|The Washington Memorial on a clear, sunny day.|
So . . . I kind of put off writing a post about Washington D.C. for a little while (okay, so it was a long while - Dan and I had already left by February 29th) because I really had no idea what I wanted to say about the capital of my nation. (I wrote MY nation totally by accident; it's sort of like the time Dan caught me singing "It Had to Be You" except I was, unintentionally, singing "It had to be meee . . . wonderful meee . . ." like a drunken peacock even though I was 100% sober. Good thing he can laugh off my slight case of megalomania with such tender nicknames as "Napoleona"; my overgrown toddler stature doesn't do much to help.)
|The Pacific part of the National World War II memorial.|
After a few weeks' contemplation - and thanks to a really thoughtful question from reader Eva W. - I realized that the reason why I had trouble writing about D.C. was because I found it sort of . . . underwhelming. For example, European capitals like Vienna or Rome or especially Paris feel really grand in the sense that this place is not only the seat of power for the government, but also impressive in that they show off what the Austrian or Italian or French people are capable of building: the architecture is elaborate, stunning. The streets are filled with fashionable people in artistic vignettes. The atmosphere buzzes with excitement and fresh ideas. But D.C. feels . . . different.
|A lone protestor camps out across from the White House.|
The architecture is gray, gloomy: each memorial is more somber than the last. (Don't get me wrong: veterans both past and present deserve those monuments and more for the sacrifices they've made for this country.) Each person seemed to be wearing the same navy or black suit. For the most part, the city center seemed empty of anything other than office buildings.
|I found this cutie fella in front of the White House!|
Buuut . . . there are definitely cool neighborhoods to be found. Georgetown is totally charming, and is filled with adorable boutiques and more than one cupcake bakery (bonus!). The U Street neighborhood has some amazing eateries - Dan and I had wicked good tacos at Richard Sandoval's El Centro D.F. (do yourself a favor and order the Mojito Mexicano - OMG yum). The city itself is under an incredible amount of construction, and I'm willing to place some bets that it'll lead to a lot more cool, fun stuff for cool, fun people - and all the stodgy folks can stay at home with their C-Span. Hooray!