Be local

There’s lots to do in DC. But a lot of it tends to be overrun with tourists.*

There also are a lot of people out there who wear the term “native Washingtonian” like a badge.**

What about those of us who weren’t born here but have fallen in love and are committed to staying here and helping our city work? How can we prove our bona fides? What do we need to do to show that we’re not just interlopers but KNOW and LOVE the city?

I’ve solicited your recommendations, which I’ve organized here by ward, not for any political reasons but as proxy for making sure there is adequate geographic distribution. Feel free to suggest more in the comments (or make any corrections if I’ve put things in the wrong ward):***

Ward 1:

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl. Famous enough that it attracts tourists, but something to do once as a local.

Ward 2:

  • C&O canal towpath
  • Free shows at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
  • Dupont Circle Farmers Market
  • Albert Einstein statue

Ward 3:

Ward 4:

  • Rock Creek Cemetery. In particular, the Adams Memorial.

Ward 5:

  • H Street corridor.
  • National Arboretum. In particular, check out the Corinthian Acropolis.

Ward 6:

  • Eastern Market.

Ward 7:

  • Aquatic Gardens.

Ward 8:

  • Big Chair. Not a destination in its own right, but you have to know the Big Chair if you want to be a local.

*Tourists are GOOD. Tourists add to our tax base, they pay more for Metro because they use paper farecards, and they remind us not to be TOO jaded by the fact that the White House is just a building along our walk to work.

**Native Washingtonians are also GOOD.

***I haven’t done a lot of these. I’ll be working on it, though!


2 Comments on “Be local”

  1. Ian Rothman says:

    Hi. Enjoying your blog.

    I live in Ward 4, which I love, and wanted to share some things you might want to add to your blog.

    Battleground National Cemetery, on Georgia Avenue NW, between Van Buren and Whittier Streets NW. Small, but very peaceful, and a nice tribute to the people who lost their lives defending the nation’s capital from Confederate soldiers.

    Fort Stevens, at 13th Street NW and Quackenbos Street NW. Site of a civil war battle, where Union troops defended the capital from a Confederate invasion.

    The Bishop’s House, 1665 North Portal Drive NW, on the corner of Birch Drive NW, two blocks west of 16th Street. Always decorated to the hilt for Christmas. Pepco bill must be a king’s ransom. Well worth a look every December.

    Also Ward 5:

    Mount Saint Sepulcre Franciscan Monestary, 14th Street NE and Quincy Street NE, in Brookland. Lovely garden, well maintained, extremely quiet, and a great place for reflection.

  2. In Ward 3, Peirce Mill is quite interesting. The Hillwood Museum is a gem. Little known is the Newton Apple Tree, from a cutting of the apple tree that Isaac Newton sat under when discovering gravity.

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