Why I Love DC: Joanna Castle Miller

Photo courtesy of ekelly80
courtesy of ekelly80

I moved to DC (okay, NoVa to be exact) from New York via my hometown of Memphis, and love the fact that here I can get moonshine and fried pickles but still have winter sports and a subway system.

I love that DC is misunderstood and can play the victim. The city as a whole doesn’t deserve the conniving (or worse! boring) name it gets in the debates. On the same avenues as the “Washington elite” you’ll meet incredible actors, vocalists, writers and some of the most innovative designers and techies in the business – not political elites, just gifted go-getters who are passionate about their work and more creative than 10 Congresses.

I love that DC is filled with activists who volunteer their rare free time to stand up for things that matter; and I love that people come to DC from all over the world to make their voices heard.

As a dramatic writer, I love DC for the theaters that reflect old and new with equal fondness. I love seeing Shakespeare so readily available, well-produced and approachable; and I love seeing original, daring works that honor the fringe (pun intended) or showcase world premieres with flair.

Photo courtesy of M.V. Jantzen
Fringe and Pole
courtesy of M.V. Jantzen

But I’m not being entirely honest. The real reason I love DC is because I chose to.

Before my husband and I started packing to move here, I thought about this bureaucratic, beautiful, polished, imperfect city and decided “I want to love that place.” Because who wants to live somewhere they hate? I don’t want to take, take, take from a city; I want a place to call home.

So I decided to give some love, at least feebly. And DC has given back. For every effort I put in, I receive threefold in creative, thoughtful friends who can carry on a conversation about anything at all. I get good happy hour deals, world famous museums, flea markets and (relatively) clean public transit. I get to gawk with the tourists and brunch with the locals.

I came here believing DC is worth loving for love’s sake, and I still believe that. But this city has charmed me even more than I expected. So I write to you smitten, and hope you enjoy.

Photo courtesy of ekelly80
love is too big to fail
courtesy of ekelly80

Joanna moved to DC in 2010 knowing she’d love it, and as usual she was right. She enjoys eating fried things, drinking scotch and smoking cigars, and makes up for the damage done by snacking on organic oats and barley and walking long distances to wherever with her dog Henry. Joanna now lives with her husband and said dog in Los Angeles, and they all miss DC terribly. Follow her on Twitter or contact her at joannacastlemiller.com.

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5 thoughts on “Why I Love DC: Joanna Castle Miller

  1. Love this, Johanna! I keep forgetting you love theater. Let me know next time you want to go to a show – I’m totally there! :)

  2. I’m from Memphis and just moved here and I love it here! It’s a good balance and there’s lots of great stuff if you know where to find it!

  3. Welcome, Rachel! Fair warning: DC doesn’t have Panchos Cheese Dip or Gibson’s Donuts, but otherwise like you say it’s lovely. Hope you enjoy exploring as much as I have.

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