Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hometown Hearts: Washington, DC

Good morning, Internet! My name is Patchie, and I am a 24 year old who lives in the Washington, DC area. Besides three years in North Carolina to earn my degree in Stage Management and Directing, I have lived here my entire life. For the last two years I have worked with a sword fighting duo at the Maryland Renaissance Festival (only 45 minutes from DC!), and I hit as many faires and festivals as I can in between. I love the accessibility of not only DC but the cities surrounding it and how no matter what, you can always find an event going on. Here are 5 places worth noting!

The Tidal Basin
Everyone should walk The Tidal Basin once in their life. Along the path you’ll find The Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the George Mason Memorial along with excellent views of all the above mentioned and the Washington Monument. Because FDR and George Mason are only accessible by foot they can be found completely empty of tourists quite often.  This is also the prime location for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which usually falls in the first two weeks of April.

This Irish Pub has a few locations in Maryland, but the DC one is located near the Verizon Center. Stop in for a Guinness and some amazing food (I recommend the fish & chips!), and if you’re lucky and plan ahead, you’ll catch one of the many great local bands they bring in.

The National Zoo
While this is a must see, I have a few bits of advice: don’t go on a super hot day (the animals will be really inactive and you’ll be miserable), if you get there via Metro hit Starbucks first for a drink (sadly the zoo is more expensive) and keep in mind that from that angle, the entire zoo is downhill. Which means you’ll have to walk uphill to exit. That being said, the zoo is free and has a wide variety of animals – see our famous pandas (every sign points you in the right direction), check out the houses where the birds can roam free, and don’t miss our seven new lion cubs!

Old Town Alexandria
While not technically in DC (it’s actually in Virginia), Old Town can be reached from DC by Metro (in fact, everything I’ve included can be). Walk King Street, visit the local shops and the Gap Outlet, and eat wherever looks interesting – I have literally never had a bad meal there, and I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten the same place twice. If you hit it on a weekend, visit the Torpedo Factory and watch all the street performers surrounding it. I’ve seen rescue parrot displays where you can actually hold them, magic shows for kids, and sometimes I’ve run into a Renaissance Festival performer or two!

Papa Razzi
Georgetown is gorgeous and while the hardest to get to of anything I listed, worth it. Make sure you explore alleys and little side streets, they lead the greatest treasures. Slightly off the beaten path we found this gem of an Italian restaurant. Not terribly priced and super generous portions, it is my favorite restaurant I’ve been to over there.

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Thank you so much Patchie for showing us what you love about DC!

If you would like to share your hometown with the world, please email us:
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  1. Im visiting DC next April :) This post was pretty useful :) x

  2. I like this feature! and I looove DC. Patchie did you go to school of the arts by chance in winston?

  3. Ha! Papa Razzi! I used to go there eight Saturdaynights a year with my office when we hosted weekend conferences for high school students. They'd wander Georgetown while the staff ate at Papa Razzi - GNOCCHI, ALL THE TIME - & then we'd all head to the Lincoln Memorial for a late-night Havdallah service (which is the end of Shabbat) by candlelight on the memorial steps. So cool. Possibly my favorite DC memories. Thanks for conjuring them up for me!

  4. Sherri - I actually went to Greensboro College, but knew plenty of people at NCSA and visited there often!


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