Capitol Columns #5
Originally uploaded by andertho
My first exposure to Washington D.C. was in 1982 as a side stop on our family’s trip down to see the World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN. On that trip we did the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the National Zoo in D.C.. I remember vaguely, the trees being more plentiful and taller, however I’m also a yard taller now, and they seem now, just a bit shorter. I’m still surprised I remember something from over 26 years ago, but D.C. had that kind of effect.
In 1992, I found myself a willing suburbanite as my dad moved from Cincinnati, OH to take a job in D.C., which, unbeknownst to me, started my 16 year off-and-on love affair with the Nation’s Capital. During my lifetime, I’ve been to the 48 contiguous states (Alaska and Hawaii elude me), lived in 1/6th of them, and now find that the D.C. Metro area has been my home for almost half my life. I returned back to D.C. from L.A. in 2001 after I felt I missed the seasonality of the area… something you’ll miss if you live in something as vacuous as Los Angeles. My friends are here, there’s a number of things to take in, culturally as well as, in the case of the main reason for this town, politically. It’s what makes this place more diverse than anywhere in America.
If it weren’t for D.C.’s musical institution, the 9:30 Club, I doubt I would have become a fan of live music… and it’s spawned The Black Cat, the Rock ‘n Roll Hotel and many others… in the musical traditions of the old jazz clubs of U Street. Since then, I’ve racked up probably over 100 shows around town and met some really amazing residents and visitors to our fair city. While standing and photographing shows, I’ve met students, NASA engineers, other photographers, writers, politicos, actors, and just regular people… and that was just one show!
I love D.C.’s accessibility, even though we love to whine about the traffic, Metro, parking, Metro, crazy cyclists in Rock Creek, Metro, and many others. D.C.’s plethora of museums and activities on The National Mall are one of a kind treasures… where else could you meet Tom Wolfe, David McCullough, E.L. Doctrow, and Neil Gaiman all in the same day? If you’re not in the mood for the modernism exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, wait a week and you get some classic van Gogh.
Being a fan of food and beer, D.C. far outpaces any city in America for it’s variety. This area has some of the most talented brewers in the U.S., including Barrett Lauer at the District Chophouse, and brewer emeritus, Bill Madden at Vintage 50… and it’s only getting better. Due to the finicky palates of the residents and transients (you know, those summer interns and two, four, and six year termed folks), we get, thankfully, regular turnover of our food choices… too numerous to name.
There are few better places in the U.S. that have as much character and opportunities as our D.C. Metro / National Capital region has to offer, and I’m thankful to be a part of it. Thanks for stopping by and keep reading!