I should know this. I’ve made this mistake before — in the Panamanian rainforest, Bogotá, New York, Budapest — those extra inches of height are rarely worth it. But anyway, yesterday I had date with this guy at Cuba Libre in Chinatown (background in education policy, works as a lobbyist, originally from somewhere else…so D.C). I hadn’t done any exercise, so I parked near my sister’s house in Eastern Market and made the long walk down Massachusetts. And then walked back to my sister’s place. It was a lovely, scenic city walk, but by the time I got back to my sister’s house I was in severe pain. The alcohol had worn off and truth be told, I would never have made it if not for my two gin and tonics, which fortified me in the face of my stupid shoe attire decision.
Despite the sad state of my feet today, yesterday’s walk allowed me to see D.C in a very different light. Most of my excursions into D.C have consisted of accompanying visiting friends and family to the Mall and museums. So despite the fact that I’ve lived in the DMV area my entire life, I’m really not all that familiar with the city. But yesterday I was able to experience the city during rush hour, right when everyone was leaving work. The parks, restaurants and bars were bustling and the streets were full of people. D.C actually felt like a real city.
One of the things I love about cities like New York and Bogotá is the prevalence of market delis, places where you can buy a cold soda, a candy bar and a decent enough sandwich (not that great of a sandwich in the case of Bogotá). D.C doesn’t really excel in the deli department.. This small, cramped market is about a block from my sister’s place, but I would describe it more as a depressed version of 7-Eleven than a New York style deli market.
Another small market. This one looked a little nicer than Mott’s Market, at least on the outside.
To read more about my interest in small markets, click here and here.
- Typical D.C rowhouses. Capitol Hill’s residential area is predominated by traditional D.C rowhouses.
The very palatial Seventh Day Adventist Church of Capitol Hill.
A nice urban park. I’m not sure what park this is, but if I remember correctly it was off Massachusetts Avenue near Union Station. I would say this park showcases the changing demographics of D.C.
The Chinatown arch. I’ve never really seen all that many Chinese people in Chinatown, so I did a little Wikipedia research on this small neighborhood. According to Wikipedia, Chinese immigrants began arriving in Chinatown in the 1930s, but after the 1968 riots, much of the Chinese population left for the Virginia and Maryland suburbs. However, Chinatown remained predominantly Asian as recently as 1990, when 66% of the population was Asian. As of 2010, only 21% of Chinatown residents are Asian.
The Chinatown arch, technically known as “the Friendship Archway” was built in 1986 by Taiwanese/D.C architect Alfred H. Liu.
Chinatown’s 6th Street. I’ve tried a few Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, but haven’t really found anything great. Anyone have any good Chinese restaurant recommendations in this area? Compared to the Chinatown neighborhoods of San Francisco, Toronto and New York, D.C’s Chinatown is pretty small. Sure, all the restaurants and businesses’ names are translated into Chinese, but it doesn’t feel as dynamic or, well, Chinese, as Chinatowns in most major cities. This is an example of a D.C neighborhood that has gentrified quickly and is now home to a large yuppie population. New, upscale condominiums and apartments have sprouted up, though the area does still have a gritty/edgy feel in some areas.
Victims of Communism Memorial. This Memorial was built in 2007 and dedicated by Bush. I’d actually never seen it before, but it’s on the intersection of New Jersey and Massachusetts Avenues near Union Station.
Capitol Hill at dusk. I’ve been bingeing on House of Cards this week and was seeing Washington through a (very calculating and evil) House of Cards perspective. Yesterday as I was happily (if a bit painfully) walking through D.C, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit lucky to live so close to such a powerful city.
To read more about D.C culture, neighborhoods and the D.C dating scene click here.
Categories: D.C, D.C Neighborhoods