Sunday, January 9, 2011

Washington DC: An Overview

Since I did a horrible job of keeping up with posting while I was in DC and I now have lots of free time on my hands I thought I would do a few review posts of Washington, DC. My favorite things to do and see and places to eat will be covered.

The view looking at the Capitol from the Old Post Office.

First off the best decision I made to have a worthwhile experience was choosing to live on Capital Hill. I lived near Eastern Market, which was about a 20 minute walk to the Rayburn building. It's a very quaint neighborhood. Cute little row houses side by side. Most of the people that lived in that area were young couples who worked on the Hill and some families. We did spot a couple of different members of Congress on the weekends wandering around the Eastern Market farmers' and flea market. This farmers' market was a great place to look around and shop on the weekends. My Sunday routine usually consisted of going to church at St. Peter's then grabbing a pretzel and lemonade from a vendor in Eastern Market. I would then meander through the market and usually ended up buying some fruit to take with me for lunch during the week. The market building inside reminded me of the Central Market in Florence.

Though I was able to buy some food items at either the Roland's grocery store on Pennsylvania Avenue or at Eastern Market, I would try and go the supermarket once ever two weeks. It was about 10 blocks away so finding the time to get over there and back while hauling groceries on the Metro was something I tried to limit.

Eastern Market in the's much more enjoyable in the warmth.

Thinking about hauling groceries from my place to the store makes me think about my first weekend in DC. I did more walking in one day than was entirely necessary, mainly because I couldn't ever figure out the bus system. I remember starting my day off by wanting to go down to the Mall by bus. I walked up to where the bus was supposed to be only to find it wouldn't be there for 15 minutes. I'm not a very patient person so I didn't really want to wait in one place for that long so I took off walking to the west. I walked all the way to the Newseum which was about 16 blocks from where I was at. Whew!

After spending most of my afternoon in there I hauled it back to church which was only about 10 blocks from the Newseum and then walked home after church. That was only day one.

The next day my roommate and I decided to explore the Eastern Market/Barracks Row area and then grocery shop. We ended up walking about 24 blocks that afternoon, including 10 blocks walking with loaded bags of groceries in the late August heat. Needless to say that was a good introduction to how DC works...walk, walk, walk.

So while this post took a bit of a detour with my weekend walking story, two tips I have to give is if you're interning: live on the Hill and be prepared to walk. If you're in DC visiting, while the Metro gets you close to all the great tourist spots, be prepared to walk or dish out some money for a taxi because they still are quite spread out.

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