South East Washington
If you are new to Washington, stear clear of South East Washington. Any neighborhood south east of Capital Hill, particularly Anacostia, is still extremely dodgy, even during the day. Washington is full of neighborhoods that are not particularly friendly, but SE Washington should generally be avoided at all costs until you are familiar with the city.
Squirrel Pest or Pets?
Ok, as cute and cuddle as some people may think these little animals are, they are still a wild animal and hand feeding them is not recommended, because squirrels may carry plague or other animal-borne diseases. Let's not forget even if they do not carry disease, they often have a hard time telling what is food or your fingertips. Bites are painful and those can get infected. My co-worker was awwww, how cute lets feed it and I was like NO, lets not! I live in the mountains and these little critters do carry many types of diseases and are distructive when it comes to your vegetation. So if you must take a picture or two, but please do not take the chance in handling one or letting your children feed them.Related to:
- Business Travel
Washington DC is apparently the murder capital of the USA. However, despite wandering about the city from pub to pub at night time, I rarely felt threatened. However, 'Roundabout Parks', large roundabouts with parks in the middle of them should definitely be avoided at night. Homeless folk gather here and a few times threw bottles and shouted at us as we walked past.
Internal Revenue Service Building
The roots of IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress, in 1862, created the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.
For some reason the tax agencies seem to be as scary as the FBI and the Pentagon, be careful :-). They got Al Capone remember! They also say death and taxes are the only gaurantees in life.
My entire time in Washington you could sense there was a lot going on there that had significance. After visiting the Spy Museum and learning of all the spies in Washington I then understood why the FBI was so serious in the US.
I walked by the building a couple of different times and there isn't a lot of traffic around it for some reason, or that is what it seemed like anyway. There were a lot of security cameras everywhere and you got the feeling that you were being watched.
I kept thinking of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for some reason in their black suits in the movie Men in Black. I think they were suppose to be part of the FBI.
Anyway I really got this ery feeling like you were being watched and I probably was.
Throughout the city of Washington you will see lots of video cameras everywhere. I am a fan of the CBS show big brother so it couldn’t help but give the feeling that we are all part of one big show.
At every corner there seemed to be a camera and I guess that is symbolic of the world that we now live in.
Be Aware and Know Where You Are Going
As in any big city, you must always be aware of your environment and know where you are going. There are dangerous high crime areas in Washington. I have known a number of people who have mistakenly ended up in them. Fortunately nothing happened to them but it gave them a bad feeling for a beautiful and wonderful city. So check you maps and ask your hotel concierge what areas not go go into.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Study Abroad
Do Not Go Into Isolated Areas Alone
There are a lot of beautiful parks and wooded areas, including those in residential areas like Georgetown next to Dumbarton Oaks, the famous cemetery on the same street, along the canal, and Rock Creek Park. It is completely unsafe to go to any of these areas, if they are isolated, at any time of the day alone or even with just one other person. On a weekend when there are lots of people out walking it may be okay. But be very attentive and when you find yourself in an isolated area turn back.
It goes without saying to stay out of these areas at night.Related to:
- Women's Travel
DC, like any major city or capital, has a large nubmer of homeless people. They are not dangerous but it is always good to be aware of your sorroundings. When the weather is nice you can see them relaxing on the parks or squares around the city.
When driving in Washington DC make sure to look at the Parking Signs. Most of DC income comes from Parking Tickets, and they are very strict about it. If you do get a ticket, you can weither pay it or go to a hearing. Check otu the website below for details
Beautiful Weather = Crowded Mall
If you don't like crowds, avoid Washington's Mall on a beautiful spring or fall day. Given the cold winter and hot summer weather, beautiful days are events on the Mall. When we went down on a gorgeous 70F/23C day, there were people flying kites, playing kickball, throwing fisbees or just taking in the monuments. But there were PEOPLE everywhere! If you want to see the Mall without crowds, pick a cold winter day when neither tourists nor locals are out and about. If you come to the Mall in the summer, you'll still have crowds -- but there won't be many locals among them!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Don't stop on the pedestrian walkway
On of the things I have noticed Tourist who dare venture driving into DC is that they tend to pull right in the middle of the pedestrian walkway, making it very difficult for pedestrians to cross the streets. Most of the local in DC go grocery shopping with their own cart, and it makes it pratically impossible crossing the street when it is blocked. Please respect the pedestrians.
As you walk along the old streets of Georgetown be aware that the tree roots sometimes can elevated the pavement or cobble stones. If you are not looking down, changes are you will trip or fall down. Just a warning !!!
Lots of rules!
As you wander about, you'll see lots of signs saying 'don't do this' or 'don't do that', or 'do this now' . As I have traveled in other parts of the world, I have noticed Americans tend to have more signs like this than other nationalities - or perhaps I just can't read them :) You'll also see public service announcement style posters that make you think just a little bit about life. Use your own judgement and you'll be just fine - really!
Check out this sampling of such signs during my own trip ....Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Handicapped Access ... not really :)
Some of the sights I wanted to see were in older, original buildings. No elevators of any kind to be found. Though some buildings, like the Ford Theater Museum TRIED to make access possible, it's not for those NOT on wheels! As you may already know, not all those with mobility issues are on wheels so this can be a problem.
Here at the Ford Theater, they rigged up one of those wheelchair carriers that I'd only seen in old movies ........ the carrier is parked up at the top of the stairwell and folded up. When needed, it is folded down to make a platform. The platform allows a wheelchair to be placed on it, and then this device rides down special rails along the stairwell itself!
The stairs are narrow, so only one manner of descent or ascent is possible at at time ... walkers or riders :) There is a flashing light in the stairwell to warn folks coming from the other way that someone is riding on down ....... to prevent accidents ;)
What I found interesting, is that even though they made this accomodation to get to the museum ... I didn't see accomodated entry at the front door - you still need to enter by climbing a few steps ... so this whole things actually doesn't make any sense to me. Oh well, at least they can say they tried?Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Budget Travel
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the hay-adams hotel is located on lafayette square a block from the white house. the hay-adams is in...more
801 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC, District of Columbia, 20037-2304, United States
This old is grand, elegant, and has a great mix of old decor and fixtures, while being modern, well...more
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