Every summer I make pilgrimage to our nation’s capital for a healthy dose of visiting friends, playing tourist, avoiding flocks of other tourists, testing out restaurants, and cramming as much DC as I can into a few days.
I think there’s a lot of similarities between Boston and DC, which is definitely one of its draws. Here’s five reasons, as a Bostonian, that I love DC:
- They have a zoo – with pandas, and cheetah cubs! We’re sorry, Franklin Park Zoo, as much as I love the kangaroos, zebras, and the lion who likes to nap spread-eagled on his back, the National Zoo has pandas and cheetah cubs. Pause for squealing. Bonus: There’s a Frozenyo, a self-serve, frozen yogurt place right across the street. So after visiting the animals in the middle of August, dying in the heat, fro yo is a beacon of joy when leaving the zoo.
- A distinct lack of skyscrapers. Some people love skyscrapers – I’m not the biggest fan. Boston’s got a limited amount in my opinion, but one thing I love about DC are its shorter buildings. You don’t feel like you’re being swallowed whole by the city – ahem, Manhattan. Now, I’m one of those who thought that the lack of tall buildings was because of the no-higher-than-the-Capitol, thing. Myth busted, many thanks to We Love DC. There’s a multitude of “Did you knows?” and opinions behind this, but either way I’m personally a fan of DC’s short buildings!
- Neighborhoods! Now I’m still learning all of these, but am thankful that friends have lived in many areas of DC so I can better visit. Like Millie & Al’s in Adams Morgan where every half hour they flash lights and you can get dollar jello shots. This is very important information, people! You need to know where you can go back to college, if you want to that is. Dupont Circle introduced me to the delicious Southwest omelette from Kramer Books. Columbia Heighs brought me to Maple. And one year, thanks to a house-sitting perk during my annual visit, I even got to experience house party life in Friendship Heights. For my next trip, let me know what I should check out in your neighborhood!
- Green space, bodies of water – In Boston, we have the Boston Common and the Esplanade, which are among the green spaces in the city where you can run, suntan, see Shakespeare in the summer, play frisbee, or picnic. Hello, National Mall! I love running around the monuments, and it is really cool to see pick-up soccer games starting up, and people lounging in the grass. This past year, I went kayaking on the Potomac. And I can say that I’m a lot less skeeved out by Potomac water than the Charles River.
- Large potential for geeking out. Museums and history galore are pretty much anywhere you go in DC, like Boston! Whether it’s stopping to read the Gettysburg Address at the Lincoln Memorial while on a run, reflecting on your great-uncle’s service in the Pacific during WWII, wishing you could have ducked in and see Seersucker Thursday in person at the Capitol, spending hours looking at old newspapers at the Newseum, or finding a painting in the Phillips Collection that is of woods near your hometown, there is something for every nerd in this city!
Plenty of stuff in common, plenty of its own charms. There’s a reason I keep finding reasons to go back every year.