Wednesday, 29 June 2011
GUIDE TO: WASHINGTON D.C.
As soon as you arrive, the amazing architecture and clinically perfect streets will take you away. Evoking elements of Philadelphia and even Boston this city is distinctly American, with a New England charm. Still, this city is a place in itself, from some of the worlds wonders, to the most down to earth, lovely locals you'd ever like to meet, it's time to lay down your hat and call this place home for a few days, because it'll certainly feel like that. Now where to stay?
How about them sites? Some of the most sensational you'll see. Obviously the wonderful White House is the top drawer and Mr. Obama's home truly is something to marvel at, from it's rich history to it's grand look, just don't expect to be invited in for a game of basketball...not that he's not nice like that, but he's pretty busy. The biggest, most eye-catching building however is the place where all the Presidents take their oath on inauguration day. The Capitol building really defines D.C. to the letter (or should we say letters). It's one of the first-things you see, even streets away and it is bold and beautiful. The grandest of all buildings no wonder newsmen stand next to it when giving reports. It looks like the White House with a face-lift.
Still for something even more epic you have to take a walk down The Mall. From it's tranquil, calm lake to the perfect pinnacle of the Washington Monument it's vast and breathtaking. As you make your ascension up The Mall and up the marble steps you meet a good ol'friend Abe at the Lincoln Memorial, this statue of the former president that freed the slaves as as awe-inspiring as the man himself. So detailed and moving too looking at his speeches you won't be able to take your eyes off of him. The same can also now be said for the beautiful and touching Marin Luther King Jnr, memorial and tribute. It's finally here.
Still turn around, walk a few paces and take a seat on the marble steps and you'll be greeted with one of the best views you can sit, see and take in for free. Many more incredible speeches have been made around here, so take a minute and pay respect to Martin Luther King Jnr. They have also used this perfect location for many introspective scenes in movies, just ask Clint Eastwood, Owen Wilson or Vince Vaughan. Count on some company, unlike the movies however, but this heavily visited tourist location still has sedate calm (like the city) and is also a great place to shoot the breeze and share some history with other tourists (again like the city).
Plus from memorable memorials to the perfect precision of the Pentagon building there are many more must see places here to pay your respects to. There is also an alumni of must see attractions like the grand Georgetown University or the historically compulsory 'Frederick Douglass National Historic Site'. This city is rich with history from museums and galleries (check out the 'National Museum of the American Indian' and the ' National Gallery of Art') the to the marvellous Mural of jazz legend Duke Ellington on U Street.
Beyond all the world-famous sites there's much more to see in this cool city, from the sublime streets to the character of every vestibule and alley. Just check out the Row houses on Logan Circle or the Eastern Market for more delights. One of the best things about Washington is that everything blends in and nothing overpowers the skyline or streets, even the epic architecture blends in to a suitable, subtlety in this cool and calm community. Everything just feels nice and welcoming here, with a laid-back feel despite the very stressful and important decisions that go on amongst some of the inhabitants of those aforementioned architecture.
At the unique, and classically fashioned Union Station you can catch more then a train (which in itself is a great experience with the grand, stone-cold stations). With a small wood and marble laid, appealing shopping arcade and a feel-good food hall, this station has a great network of shops and eateries for a quick stop off. A visit at the Union, really is a rewarding one. Outside of this there are plenty of other restaurants and coffee shops to dine in, from the classic Chinatown, to even more places that blend into the cities overall feel. From the gorgeous 'Georgia Brown's' to the French favourite 'Cafe Du Parc'.
Still if you'd rather say bonjour to a good drink over a good meal then why not frequent one of the cities batch of brilliant bars. From tabbing the 'Rocket Bar' or the 'Lucky Bar' to searching for 'The Big Hunt' D.C. has the streets paved for your crawl. Then again if you prefer dancing to staggering (all depending on how many left feet you have) why not hit up 'Ultrabar', or clock into the '9:30 Club' or even grant yourself 'Asylum' at many of the towns night-spots and clubs? When it comes to a night-life Washington really hits the heights.
Still if that's not for you why not head further downtown and catch some basketball and the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Centre? Hey, if it's good enough for Obama. Still if that or other ball-games aren't your field why not catch a concert at the Verizon Centre? Or a show at the nice National Theatre? 'The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' also makes for a perfect site and view of presidential talent in performing. Art really is brought to life here.
After all this from the historic 'Willard InterContinenta' hotel to the classy 'Capitol City Hostel' there are plenty of comforting places to get your head down and when you rise and shine the next morning you'll really have to open your eyes as there's much more to see in the city of D.C. Plus the beautiful Baltimore isn't far down the wire from this linking city. Still between Maryland and Virgina what really stands out is the real America and nations capital. Next time you make a point of taking a trip put D.C. first. TIM DAVID HARVEY