Montgomery County in Maryland is a fairly good area to stay in since it is generally close in proximity to DC. Bethesda/Chevy Chase areas are nice and more upscale areas to live/be in. Silver Spring has a more genuine and "grounded" appeal.
Although Silver Spring may not be the BEST area to live in or visit, there are some good points, namely: easier navigation in the roads (there could be congestion though) compared to DC, diversity as to its residents, ethnic dining, the recent gentrification of downtown--which is good for people coming in, but unfortunately driving out old-time residents who may no longer be able to afford to live there as rental prices/real estate have dramatically soared, among others.
Fondest memory: Hiking the trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring
And what would the Capital be without its protestors? Usually they congregate either in the front or back gates of the White House. You can also find them throughout the city handing out leaflets and trying to get their point across.
Fondest memory: This guy was all dressed up as Bush...his slogan says it all!
My favorite thing about Washington, DC was the "hands down" the drum circles at Malcolm X/Meridian Park every Sunday. I stayed in DC for 4 months and enjoyed the free museums. I loved the seafood. I also love the trees, the flowers, the parks. I came to DC when spring was peeking it's waking eye. I will not forget the beautiful bushes where the wind blew the petals into the street. You could ride down the street and it would be pink!
Fondest memory: My fondest memories of DC had to be the "Marina". I loved it there. It was a place where you could just go and sit by the river and enjoy the peacefulness. You can get some of the best steamed crabs, corn on the cob and garlic toast in America.
What I really love about this place is its multiculturalism. Due to the fact that Washington hosts a huge number of embassies and international organizations, it is very easy to find people from anywhere, as well as their foods and culture. Most embassies and consulates do a great job getting their nationals together or promoting spectacles with national groups or artists, who can be arranged to perform either in a private venue at the ambassador's house or in the Millenium Stage of the Kennedy Center.
For example, you can easily find Mexican, Malayan, Indian, Thai and Ethiopian restaurants. You can also buy African, Asian and Latin American stuff in the stores. You can easily find books in Spanish or French in the bookstores, something that is not commonly seen in other large cities. You can even find directions in the metro station or in shops translated into Spanish, considering the huge Latin American population living and working there. An important number (including myself) came because we work at the Organization of American States or any of their related bodies, like the Inter American Development Bank.
Fondest memory: The huge Latin American and Peruvian community I found in here.
The West Potomac Park is a U.S. national park in Washington, D.C., adjacent to the National Mall. It includes the parkland that extends south of the Reflecting Pool, from the Lincoln Memorial to the grounds of the Washington Monument. The park is the site of many national landmarks, including the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the surrounding land on the shore of the Tidal Basin, an artificial inlet of the Potomac River created in the 19th century that links the Potomac with the northern end of the Washington Channel. The West Potomac Park is administered by the National Park Service.
In 1971, Mrs. Michael Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National League of Families, recognized the need for a symbol of our POW/MIAs. Prompted by an article in the Jacksonville, Florida Times-Union, Mrs. Hoff contacted Norman Rivkees, Vice President of Annin & Company which had made a banner for the newest member of the United Nations, the People’s Republic of China, as a part of their policy to provide flags to all United Nations members states. Mrs. Hoff found Mr. Rivkees very sympathetic to the POW/MIA issue, and he, along with Annin’s advertising agency, designed a flag to represent our missing men. Following League approval, the flags were manufactured for distribution.
I got this picture of the flag near the Veitnam War Memorial.
Fondest memory: http://www.pow-miafamilies.org/
Everywhere I went in Washington there were people jogging. I noticed this I guess where I jog myself. If I lived in Washington I think I would have been doing lots of jogging as well. There are great sidewalks and views al throughout the city especially in the park and mall area. For me to see as many joggers as I did in February I can assume that in the warmer months it must be very busy.
"What the mind of man can conceive & believe, the mind of man can achieve." Napoleon Hill
Here are the other sites I think you should not miss:
1. National Air & Space Museum is the world's most visited museum. It offers 23 impressive galleries that showcase the history of aviation. Collections include the original Wright Brothers Flyer, Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, space capsules, an authentic space station, an array of rockets, jet fighters, hot-air balloons, & an Air-Force One. Also see the Einstein Planetarium, the Langley Theater, & the hands-on astronomical observatory.
6th St. & Independence Ave.,SW
2. U.S. Botanic Garden is a refreshing oasis at the foot of Capitol Hill. Relax in this excellent conservatory with lush rainforest, palm trees, stream, an orchid display, & gardens.
1st St. & Maryland Ave., SW
3. National Archives is the repository for the three NW
Fondest memory: 4. U.S. Grant Memorial is the largest sculptural grouping in DC and the 2nd largest equestraian statue in the world! It's immense: a bronze figure of President Ulysses S. Grant on his steed, Cincinnatus...a depiction of the Civil War hero as warrior rather than politician.
1st St. between Maryland & Pennsylvania Avenues.
5. If you love fountains as much as I do, you'll make a detour to see the Fountain of Neptune located on 1st Street between East Capitol St. & Independence Ave.
It is a delightful turn-of-the-century fountain designed by Hinton Perry that has the sea god, Neptune, surrounded by a fantastical array of sea nymphs & aquatic creatures.
I come here oftern, although some would say not often enough, because I have family in the city. This year has been good to me and I have at least recently been here a couple of times in the past month.
It is quite fun to be able to walk into shops and talk to people who know of what or whom I am speaking.
I will always come back here and enjoy each trip I take to this town.
Favorite thing: If there is one thing DC has a lot of, it is monuments. It seems like every corner you stop at there's a monument for something different. I lost track of all the monuments I saw and just ended up listing them as a travel logue. Anyway, if you want to take pictures of them all, bring lots of extra film or memory cards, whichever you use. All joking aside, there are some really beautiful monuments here, one just has to walk around to find them. See my travel logues for loads of photos of monuments.
You can't walk more than a block or two in the Northwest or Southwest sections of DC without running into a street vendor. Mostly they sell over priced drinks, snacks and ice cream, but some of them do sell souvenirs. I got lucky and found a vendor selling post cards at a cheap price. He even gave me a couple of post cards for free also he gave me a glass of ice water.
Fondest memory: Walking down 17th Street with Talo and stopping at a vendor for an ice cream. It was about 95 degrees that day and that ice cream hit the spot.
Favorite thing: Anyone who is a horror movie fan has seen The Exorcist. While I was here, Talo was nice enough to point out the stairs made famous by this movie in 1973. These 97 stone steps that lead from the top of Prospect Street down to M Street. Before they became know as The Exorcist Steps, they were known as the “Hitchcock Steps”.
Favorite thing: The typical sidewalk scene in downtown Washington, DC looks very much like this. Gleaming buildings are on both sides of a bustling street with important people (or folks who think they are) with a briefcase in one hand and a mobile phone in the other walking down them. Besides the usual humanity on the sidewalks are people selling everything imaginable whether it be clothes or food. Don't scoff at the food sold by sidewalk vendors, friends and neighbours. While it may not be pâté and caviar, it's some good eating there, folks.
Fondest memory: If things had gone according to plan, the parade would have begun at 2pm and each state would be represented by a float and a band. It is to be expected that the parade route be crowded and the weather cold. Since the parade was delayed more than an hour, I was very hungry and my toes were getting numb.
Fondest memory: The parade route extends along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House: an exquisitely linear route. Light poles were festooned with American and DC flags. Police offers from as far away as Chicago came to supplement the Metro Police as well as all federal and military law enforcement. Along the way were myriad well-wishers and protesters. Sometimes the two camps clashed like sequins with...anything. It was just enough to add pepper to the gumbo.
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801 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC, District of Columbia, 20037-2304, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Not just a typical hotel in the chain, this oozes presidential character. Located well, near the...more
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see all Washington D.C. member meetings