I moved to DC in January 2006. I had visited a few times before: a hormone-ridden Middle School trip, a brief look at GW and Maryland during the exhaustive college search and a one-day journey to pick my sister up from her semester in DC program. But aside from these all too quick and superficial trips, I really had no clue about the depth and charm of this Southern-Northern gem of city. What exactly prompted me to job search and relocate to a city I had no connection/experience with, I’m not sure. What I do know is that now that I’m here, I’m in no hurry to leave.
‘Wisconsin Avenue, by daylight’ courtesy of ‘MattHurst’
Having no idea about where to live when I first arrived, I randomly settled in Glover Park. If you’re a regular WLDC reader, you’ll recognize GP as my usual neighborhood stomping ground–ok, I can be slightly biased, but I seriously love my hood and the area is one of the particular reasons Why I Love DC. Glover Park is a quaint, rural gem in the heart of DC with plenty of woodsy parks/trails, quality restaurants and bars, a farmer’s market, an ice cream shop, Whole Foods, a soon to-be refurbished Social Safeway, lots of doggies and responsible owners, good schools, and friendly neighbors. OK, yeah, so it doesn’t have a metro station, but with the regular D1, D2, N2, 30 routes and Circulator, it’s a bus riders paradise. If you haven’t checked out Glover Park, I highly recommend taking a jaunt over to walk the tree lined streets and grab a drink along the Wisconsin strip.
Another reason Why I Love DC is because people here have lives outside of work. For the mid-20s crowd life in a city tends to revolve around working hard, earning a lot of overtime and spending it all on ridiculously expensive tiny apartments, jager shots and dry cleaning. However in DC, everyone seems to be actively engaged in social get-togethers to discuss books, plays sports, train for marathons, take day trips, walk their dogs, BBQ, etc. What’s remarkable is how easy it is to find these groups and effortlessly join them and feel at home. One of the best organizations I’ve found is the Washington Area Women’s Soccer League. This fabulous non-profit strives to develop and strengthen women’s soccer in the DC area through league and tournament play. They offer multi-season recreational and competitive outdoor soccer and welcome all levels of players, from beginner through premier. Even if you’ve never kicked a soccer ball, this organization will put you on a team and get you aquainted with the sport. It’s amazingly well organized and they even offer off-season training camps with professional players. WTF?!!! Amazing! WAWSL is why you’ll find me on the soccer field most Saturday mornings playing my heart out. These types of groups/clubs, and trust me, there’s a club for everything/anything, make this city amazing.
courtesy of ‘oddlittlebird.’
On the same note, sort of, is the fabulousness of the Mall and the areas running trails. I’m a very sporty person, so I’d SOOOO much rather be playing pick up soccer, basketball, softball, anything! than hitting the gym. And The National Mall and surrounding DC running trails inspire me to explore our Nation’s Capital by running around it. For me running can be a chore, but the majesty of DC’s layout, buildings, museums, statues, bridges and monuments is so beautiful you can’t help but be distracted from whatever mental or physical anguish you might feel. The views are inspiring. Additionally, there are a ton of organized races of varying lengths that take place right here! You don’t have to travel thousands of miles, pay for a hotel and pack. It’s all right here in your back yard, and you get to sleep in your own. You can also join organized groups that help you train (i.e. Team In Training) and introduce you to new friends, all while raising money for a good cause.
There’s plenty more to write about Why I Love DC, but part of the charm of this city is that everyone has their own uniques stories about places they discovered, streets they love, what cafe serve the best coffee and cupcakes, and why the Nation’s Capital touches their heart.