She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city just as much as we do.
Ted Garber is a DC native. These days, he’s an award-winning “BluesAmericanaRock” singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentatlist. Ted’s also a perpetual student who frequently travels the globe in an attempt to absorb as much about the world’s cultures as he can. His curiosity is contagious.
What is it about DC that makes it home to you?
That’s an easy one. I was born in DC at Washington, DC hospital. My late father made his living all his too-short life playing music in and around DC. I grew up in and around DC. My mother worked at the Justice Department. In spite of a few fascinating years in New Orleans, West Virginia, and L.A., DC will always be the place where both my family and I are from. I mean, my Dad sang on the now-defunct official Redskins Singers choir. It was commensurate to blasphemy to take the ‘Skins name in vain or to disparage them in any way, especially during a losing game. That particular violation usually resulted in a grounding or a night spent taking dinner alone in my room. To be fair though, I am an Orioles fan. The Nats did not exist when I was growing up here, so we drove to Memorial Stadium and later Camden Yards for games. (That’s probably going to bring me grief for admitting, I know).
courtesy of Dan Dan The Binary Man
Describe your perfect day in DC. Where would you go and what would you do?
It’s funny you should ask, because I literally JUST had this perfect day weekend before last. My absolute favorite time of year in DC is Spring–the Cherry Blossoms are out, the tourists are lively and happy to be with us; the sun is often shining, warming the pavement and my face. We are an ideal city for walking and biking, thanks to the inordinate amount of parks and green space and all the bike trails (old and new).
This time of year is a chance for lovers to fall in love all over again, both with each other and with our nation’s capital. So, the wife and I hopped on the Bethesda Metro and headed down to Chinatown for an absolutely awesome meal at the semi-new ramen place, Daikaya.
It was warm, sunny, and spectacular, and not at all crowded as it was a Sunday. We enjoyed delicious bowls of their slurp-ready Shio Ramen with braised pork belly and split an order of the scrumptious gyoza dumplings (washed down with a Kirin Non-Alcoholic Beer, for my teetotaller self). We then headed, on foot, over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History to take in the awe-inspiring exhibits about the Deep Ocean. How AMAZING is it that nearly ALL of our museums and monuments are free, not only to Americans, but to everybody? Having traveled to about three dozen countries on five continents, I cannot stress how completely unique we are for that fact.
We then shuffled across the sun washed Mall to the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial to take in the beloved and famed cherry blossoms at full peak. It is so peaceful and sublime to walk among them, watching as they dip into the Potomac and Basin for a drink, and I especially love to see all the families out, picnics and all. There was live reggae music at the festival stage, food vendors, and of course, dogs on leashes and frisbees. The mood could not have been more laid back and perfect.
It was also the first time I had seen the impressive and austere new MLK Memorial. I always get a feeling of patriotic pride walking among those blossoms, and the new Memorial definitely adds to it. Finally, we hoofed on through downtown clear to Dupont Circle, where we tried the phenomenally sinful shakes, burgers, and fries at Shake Shack, which did not disappoint.
We hopped back onto the half-filled Metro in Dupont and hopped off at Friendship Heights to enjoy yet more walking until arriving back in Bethesda totally satisfied, a touch exhausted, and still ready for a viewing of Game of Thrones. The title felt a tad appropriate too, since every Washingtonian gets to feel a bit like royalty on a sunny April day in the capital.
courtesy of ekelly80
What’s your favorite hidden gem of a location in DC? How did you find it and why do you love it?
I have always been one to walk or ride my bike. I feel that cars move too fast to take it all in. For me, there is a little hideaway off of Rock Creek Park where I have often gone to think and just skip stones into the water or put my feet in and listen to the rush of the creek and watch the sunlight play at patterns on the surface, watch leaves drift downstream, watch little bugs and birds alight and small blue gills swim to and fro. I listen to the breeze blowing in the leaves and the creak of the branches and crack of the bark. And in those moments, I feel timeless and part of the World, and I dissolve into the scene and forget that I am even IN an actual city. It never ceases to blow my mind that it’s possible for me to have these intimately quiet, serene moments of reflection amid a bustling metropolis.
Who’s your favorite DC personality and why?
I just love News 4 Anchorman Jim Vance. I remember watching him play basketball at the DC Armory at an exhibition game before the Harlem Globetrotters took the court. The guy is not just a talking head, he’s part of the fabric of our city. He has that wonderful, infectious laugh and genuine smile yet, at times, exhibits the brisk deliberate professional demeanor that proves DC marries Northern and Southern culture in a perfect way.
What’s your favorite song by a DC songwriter right now and why?
Boy, that’s the hardest question, is that why you saved it for last? Since I am a veteran professional musician and songwriter here, I am bound to alienate those of my colleagues I don’t name. But for me, I think it’s “On the Front Porch” by Jon Carroll. That song just never fails to make me sing along, and it always puts me in a great mood. It captures that exact feeling I get when I sit in my special Rock Creek Park sojourn.