I’ve lived in the nation’s capitol for the better part of my existence. No, I don’t mean “The DMV” or “The Greater Washington Region,” but actually Washington, DC. What part? Northeast. Yes, Skillologists, I’m a true city girl. And I love it.
I recently watched the YouTube video “Sh*t DC People Say”, and although I did not find it offensive, I could see why others did. The stereotypes that were portrayed by transplant residents were far from accurate, according to native Washingtonians.
But the truth is – being confined to any borders, East or West of the River, could stifle one’s true appreciation of the city. And so, in the words of Dre (cc. Brown Sugar) “I’m here to set the record straight…” by revealing a few things I enjoy about my city – from all sides of town.
While I absolutely have my favorite downtown American, Indian, Mexican and Italian cuisine options, I’m not sure I could live without my wings with mambo sauce; fries with salt, pepper and ketchup; and sweet tea from the carry-out--specifically, The Yellow House on Minnesota Ave., NE. I’m certain that going away to college and finding out that mambo sauce didn’t exist outside of my area was the biggest culture shock of my life! Le Sigh.
As equally satisfying are the local Soul Food and Jamaican spots that line neighborhood blocks; there’s nothing better than supporting restaurant owners from Uptown to the Southside.
For entertainment, I would never pass up tickets to The Shakespeare Theater, The Kennedy Center or Warner Theater to see a good play or concert. However, I’ve enjoyed shows that were just as great while supporting local poetry at Liv Night Club or alternative music artists at The Black Cat. Not to mention, checking out independent flicks at the E St. Cinema.
Of course the museums and sites on the national mall are tourist must-sees, but travelers would short-change themselves if they did not make their way over to historical sites like the Fredrick Douglass House and the Anacostia Museum in Anacostia, Southeast.
For eating, partying and lounging, you’d be good anywhere from U St. to Dupont Circle to Adams Morgan, all the way over to the revitalized H St. Corridor. And while you’re on H St., check out Sticky Rice – best sushi in town.
Shopping on Saturdays or Sundays in Eastern Market offers a large array of unique items to offset the basics you’ll get downtown from department stores and larger clothing chains.
I’m not a sports girl--at all--but I’d much rather see a game live than watch it on TV. Between the Nationals, Wizards, Redskins (although their stadium is in Maryland), DC United and Capitals, there should always be a sporting event to go to. Now if the teams suck, that’s not on me.
I’m a strong believer in giving back to my community through volunteerism. The District has tons of non-profit organizations, programs and businesses, which allow you to put your skills to work for a good cause. Whether you’re most compassionate about children, homelessness, health, elderly, etc. there is a place for you to volunteer your time.
D.C. is surely the home of political agendas. But, reaching beyond 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and Capitol Hill, you will find many young leaders emerging as advocates to be voices in our local communities. Residents should not forget that these are the individuals who hold the most power to address constituent services, cleaning up our streets, stopping crime and violence, creating jobs and economic development, educating our children and protecting our elderly.
DC has many art galleries such as The Fridge in Eastern Market and The Hillyer Art Space in Dupont Circle, but since I’ve been a kid, I’ve always appreciated the graffiti painted on the buildings right outside my window.
I encourage fellow Skillologists--natives and visitors, alike, to travel all across the city to capture its true value. Enjoy!