Monday, November 8, 2010

The city in which I live

I love DC!

As I mentioned in my post the other day, part of why I like DC is it reminds me of the Hong Kong in which I grew up:  height restriction on buildings, very cosmopolitan, and any kind of ethnic food you can imagine.  But there's more.  I like the fact that I can live here without a car, but that I can rent a car and drive an hour each way and find such amazing history among mountains, beaches, or just neighborhoods. 

I've lived in the "DC Area" for about 24 years now, just over half of my life.  I think I probably moved about 100 times in my first 24 years!  But, I ran away screaming from Atlanta (I'm NOT a Southern girl) and found myself in "DC" because my sister lived in Virginia (Alexandria) and my best friend lived in Maryland (Rockville, but she grew up in Bethesda).  I lived in various Maryland locations (Rockville, Laurel, Bethesda) for about 20 years and then finally... FINALLY!  I moved into the actual District of Columbia.  Who knew what a difference there was?  I had loved living in Bethesda -- right on the Metro, 200+ restaurants within walking distance, 2 major movie theatres, walking/running trails, location location location.  But, then I moved into the city and became a DC resident.

It is SO different, but it's really hard to explain.  One thing is that I now very rarely go out of the District, except to visit family.  What, you want me to drive somewhere?  I can't take a cab or the Metro?  Uh... no.   Too difficult. :-)

Another is:  I didn't vote in the last election.  Why not?  Because it just. didn't. matter.  My rights are now being controlled by a man who was voted into Congress by the fine, upstanding citizens of... Utah?  Yeah, that makes sense!  I really think it is deplorable that American citizens who live in DC do not have voting representation in the House or the Senate.  Definitely taxation without representation, which I believe is what the original Tea Party was all about, right?

Hmmmm, I think I might have to write another blog post about that...  ANYWAY, back to DC.

Where did Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart/Steve Colbert have their rallies?  And could I have walked there?  (Yes... did I?  No)  Where did Top Chef have its latest season?  And did I see any of the contestants?  (No, but I watched the show and followed the comments on DCist, does that count?)  Where do they have the National Book Festival every year?  Yep, right here on our Mall!  (And btw, the "Mall" is not a shopping mall; it is "The Mall" where you will find museums, memorials, tourists and a lot of red, white, and blue popsicles.)

DC is only four hours away from New York City, three hours from the beach (Ocean City), and about two hours away from the mountains.  We have a park in the middle of the city.  It is GORGEOUS here and I have proof!

Taken during Snowmageddon - 02/07/2010

The view from my office

Taken on my walk to work from the Dupont Circle metro station
And we have sports!  OK, only the Caps are doing anything good right now, but hey, the Redskins are better than they were last year! And the Nationals have some pretty good young guys in there, so hopefully they will be better next year!  We won't talk about the Wizards/Bullets...  (No bad vibes, only good thoughts, good thoughts...)

Where was I?  OH yeah...

DC is also an up-and-coming foodie place with some really excellent restaurants and people wanting to create more - and remember that ethnic food comment I made earlier?  You really can get pretty much anything you want to eat here, and it generally will not cost an arm and a leg.  Unless, you WANT to pay an arm and a leg, but that's just crazy talk.

And yes, there is a lot of government business here, but there are also a whole bunch of non-profit organizations which aren't necessarily related to the government at all!  (Disclaimer: I work for one, largely because I couldn't stand being a government contractor any more.)  Yes, there's an over-abundance of lawyers, but not ALL of them are bad... (don't write to complain, some of my best friends are lawyers!)  One of the things I love about this area is that you also have the snarkiness of the Express headlines, City Paper, and to keep you sane.  How I survived without in my Google Reader, I just don't know!

And that leads to one of the most unique things about DC:  you seem to get news by osmosis here.  Our local news is often national or international news, and it's EVERY WHERE. I love that.

Yeah, I wasn't born and raised in DC, but I figure that I've been here for almost 24 years so I should be able to say I'm "from" here now.  No, I guess I can just say I'm "from the DC area" until I live in the District for 20 more years... :-)

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