It is pretty dificult to put in words the various things that make me absolutely Love DC, and really an image of this picturesque place speaks volumes for itself. As cheesy as it may sound, this city and I have had quite the love affair. At first I was hesitant, restrained, even judgmental (being a third culture kid will do that to you). But it took very little time to start falling for it. And when I fell for it, I fell hard.
I was lucky enough to go to Georgetown, where a break from studying took us down historic cobblestone streets, past movie-set ready houses, to a buzzing M street with a range of bars, restaurants and shops to choose where to go broke from. But that was still the infancy of my relationship with DC, and we did have some great first dates. It was once I started exploring life outside my student bubble and into the real world that I truly began to appreciate the range of love this city had to give, and gave it back in return. As I have said before, Georgetown brought me here, but the city kept me here.
I guess the longer you have been in this city, the more enamored with it you become. Finding a routine is easy, but exploring new places and meeting new people is even easier, which is why this place is so unique. Your perception, like you, begin to change in unexpected ways.
One thing has always remained consistent. The people. Whether you work on the Hill, on K street or H street, there is an understated kindness. People are friendly, open, intelligent. People are aware of the world that exists around them and continously thinking of ways to give back to it. They are curious, hungry for knowledge, interested in other cultures and ideas. They hold on to their beliefs and do something with them. It is the perfect combination of a small town, big city. All meme aside, its an international city where people come from various backgrounds, making the District vibrant, dynamic, and ever changing.
The ability to walk and bike everywhere and be surrounded by some of the most beautiful man-made structures is something I will never take for granted. There are moments when I think I am looking at a poster, not with my own eyes. I will never get sick of the Mall, or of the drive back from National Airport that welcomes me home again. And whenever we are celebrating a federal holiday, that patriotic punch just comes in stronger than ever.
This is also a creative, artistic city. Whether it is graffiti on the wall or the countless art museums and galleries in the city- from the Phillips Collection to the Hirshhorn, from the National Portrait Gallery to Long View Gallery- your eyes will never be bored. And your ears have their fair share of venues too, from the epic 930 club to U Street Music Hall, to dance fests at Rock n Roll Hotel and Bossa.
I love DC and the various neighborhoords that each have their own distinct feel. From H street to Logan Circle, to Cleveland Park and Columbia Heights, each little hood has its own charm, and with time becomes your own. And, if ever you want to escape the city and get back to nature, DC has lots of green to quench your outdoors thirst. Rock Creek Park, Billy Goat Trail, Great Falls, Harper’s Ferry- all a short distance away and serioulys rewarding.
But, ultimately, food is the way to my heart and DC made a grand entrance. From the various farmer’s markets across the city, to the pop-up dinners and supper clubs, to the food trucks and coffee shops, DC is climbing seriously up the food chain, and fast.
So I love DC, but I love lists as well. These are some of the few places that add color to the various reasons why I love this urban playground. For coffee fixes to start the perfect morning: Big Bear Cafe, Baked and Wired, Dolcezza, Filter, Peregrine, Yola. For top quality ingredients: Freshfarm Markets at Dupont Circle, Eastern Market, Maine Avenue Fish Market.
For dinners you never want to end: Tabard Inn, Toki Underground, Estadio, Cork, 2 Amys, Floriana, Komi, Seasonal Pantry, Obelisk, Vinoteca, Blue Duck Tavern, The Atlas Room, Dickson Wine Bar, Rogue 24, Birch and Barley. And for drinks you want to keep on coming: Bar Pilar, The Gibson, American Ice Co, Boundary Stone, 18th Street Lounge, Marvin, The Passenger, Jack Rose.
But what I love most about this city, is that it is a place I can call my own, even though thousands of other people share it with me, we all get to have it in our own way.