Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

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    KATHY, CHRIS AND FEDERAL POLICEMAN
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  • NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN INDIAN
    NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN INDIAN
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  • Most Metro passengers obey the rules
    Most Metro passengers obey the rules
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Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

  • Neighborhood Watch

    Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

    I have lived in various parts of DC (from NE, to SW, to NW) for several years...and that was a few years ago, before the city was "cleaned up" (aka gentrified). I am a young, educated, white female, in case you were wondering. Indeed, like any urban area, DC has its seedy parts. However, it is not AS BAD AS some people make it sound on here. Of...

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  • Panhandlers, Pickpockets / Other Perps

    Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

    Be very mindful of your belongings. Thieves have a particular eye out for Apple products, ipods ipads . Do not fall asleep on the Metro and make sure your stuff is where it is in your control. Reports of theft on the metro are no longer uncommon in the Washington DC area. News reports in the last few months tell of a significant increase in theft...

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  • Road Conditions

    Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

    DC taxicabs are a breed all their own. Unlike other cities, DC cabs do not use meters. Rather, they use an arcane 'Zone' system that is based on a series of zones the extend out from the US Capital. I've lived in DC for ten years and my job takes me up to Capital Hill several times a week. Can drivers often try to over charge me. So keep in mind...

    more
  • Heightened Security

    Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

    I did not realise that you cannot take any photographs inside the Metro anywhere. I found the architecture fabulous and I am sure I have seen it in a movie but be warned the Metro police will be on you in a minute if you snap any of the Metro but did nt really see any warning signs? ChinaTown not good to be there just as its getting dark - even...

    more
  • Weather Reports

    Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

    Rain couldn't ever possibly change my plans...There's always an alternative, nothing an umbrella can't fix. Right? It rained so hard that records were shattered. For the first time, all the Federal Buildings, including ALL museums closed. But fortunately, I had made reservations through my congressman for a tour of the Capitol building. It...

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  • Airport Mishaps

    Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

    I’ve been to quite a few airports in my life, and one of the worst is definitely Dulles International Airport in Washington DC (actually not in DC but that's the least of its problems). No comprehensible signs, long lines leading to nowhere, unhelpful, clueless employees, overcrowded halls and general chaos. It took me over 3 hours to get on a...

    more
  • Crowding

    This is a pretty obvious tip. If you wish to avoid crowds especially in the museums DON'T go on a weekend or public holiday if you can avoid. Many of the museums in Washington DC are free and it seems many parents like taking their kids on a family trip to the museums to learn something :) This only became apparent when a public holiday* was...

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  • Winter Visits

    D.C. in the winter months can be brutally cold and have some serious snow. Dress warm and in layers to avoid freezing your rear off. Also wear a good slip resistant pair of shoes/boots as many of the pathways and sidewalks are slippery with ice.Our last visit in January 2014 was right after a large snowstorm blanketed the North East. We experienced...

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  • On the Metro

    Be very mindful of your belongings. Thieves have a particular eye out for Apple products, ipods ipads . Do not fall asleep on the Metro and make sure your stuff is where it is in your control.Reports of theft on the metro are no longer uncommon in the Washington DC area.News reports in the last few months tell of a significant increase in theft on...

    more
  • Travel with a Small Child

    Washington was pretty good for a toddler and a pushchair. The pavements were wide and well maintained. The National Mall was one long child friendly avenue where he could run about in safety. Many of the metro stations had lifts, and there was no requirement to fold up the stroller like in New York. Some of the museums and monuments had steps, but...

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  • Safe for tourists

    Washington D.C. has a bad reputation. It was once known as the murder capital of America, although the crime rate has come down a lot since then. It still has its bad areas, but most tourists won't get to see them, especially if you are hanging around the National Mall. Everything from the White House down to the Jefferson Memorial and from Capitol...

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  • Skateboarders

    Skateboarders love downtown Washington because there are some great flat surfaces and lots of open space. They will not hesitate to get on their boards and do tricks with people around. At Freedom Plaza they run rampant, despite signs saying that its not allowed. There are no Park Service people there, so unless a cop comes by they go right ahead....

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  • Invasion of the Cicada

    Every 17 years we have a strange seeming mass invasion of cicada. Predictions are that this years' invasion will start in the middle of April to the middle of may, it will last 6 weeks. During that time if you are near trees that the cicadas like you will witness the spectacle of billions of cicadas coming up to reproduce and die. The only thing...

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  • Metro Stations

    One thing I noticed recently. Lighting in the Metro stations seems to be considerably less than before. Be extra careful at the fare machines when fumbling around with money...watch your step on escalators (especially during rush hour) and always stand back from the platform. I don't know if Metro is trying to create more "romantic" lighting in the...

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  • Tourist Traveling In DC

    Washington DC has been home for over 40 years, it is as any other big city. I have worked, lived and partied in this community most of my life. Yes we have our share of homeless as any other large city. It has those nice neighborhoods and it has its' share of bad neighborhoods. Yes there are those neighborhoods and places that I would not be caught...

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  • Metro is very safe

    I ride the metro daily to commute to work. I commute at 10/10:30 daily due to an off hours work schedule, but it means my train is mostly full of tourists. I regularly take naps on the train with no issue. I have been taking the metro for 6 months with no issues. I do hold onto my purse, but have never known anyone to be pickpocketed and have never...

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  • ALWAYS CARRY TRAVEL INSURANCE HERE

    TRAVEL INSURANCE You may wonder why I stipulate that Travel Insurance is neccesary here in DC. Well , America is generally known worldwide for it's violence.This is immediately apparent when ordering life insurance as the moment you mention visiting The USA. I myself never travel without life insurance and the last few times that I travelled around...

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  • They close early or very early

    Keep in mind that unfortunatelly all wonderful and free attractions in Washington, DC close early or very early. Why? Maybe the federal or rather DC labour law doesn't allow to employee workers for longer than, say 8 hours, a day. Or maybe simply it costs too much. Additionally to visit at least Bureau of Engraving & Printing, the Capitol (guided...

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  • Taxi Cabs: Know your zones!

    DC taxicabs are a breed all their own. Unlike other cities, DC cabs do not use meters. Rather, they use an arcane 'Zone' system that is based on a series of zones the extend out from the US Capital. I've lived in DC for ten years and my job takes me up to Capital Hill several times a week. Can drivers often try to over charge me. So keep in mind...

    more
  • DC is like any other city...

    I have lived in various parts of DC (from NE, to SW, to NW) for several years...and that was a few years ago, before the city was "cleaned up" (aka gentrified). I am a young, educated, white female, in case you were wondering. Indeed, like any urban area, DC has its seedy parts. However, it is not AS BAD AS some people make it sound on here. Of...

    more
  • Metro Warning

    Be aware that the Red Line along the Glenmont-Shady Grove route on the way to DC has had slower service in the last couple of months since the major Metro disaster earlier this summer. So, allot enough time to get to your destination in the city from the Glenmont-Union Station/DC side of the Red Line. By the way, repairs have been done since the...

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  • Crime in DC

    When walking around Capitol Hill one night just after dark, we came upon an unfired bullet, perhaps a .38 or .45 caliber, that was sitting on a concrete post along a sidewalk on a busy residential street just blocks from the Supreme Court building.Crime in the city of Washington DC has been a widely debated topic from its former status as the...

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  • DON'T HONK AT THE QUACKERS, STOP!

    I just had to put this picture I took of a sign on one of the streets outside of Washington D.C. in with my D.C. pages. It is a true warning, to be aware of DUCKS CROSSING. The many creeks and rivers in the area make for the right living conditions for ducks. So, it's not a pedestrian crossing, nor a deer crossing, but a warning that ducks are...

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  • An Airport to Avoid

    I’ve been to quite a few airports in my life, and one of the worst is definitely Dulles International Airport in Washington DC (actually not in DC but that's the least of its problems). No comprehensible signs, long lines leading to nowhere, unhelpful, clueless employees, overcrowded halls and general chaos. It took me over 3 hours to get on a...

    more
  • Beware the Speed Traps

    A month after one of our trips to D.C. we received a nice speeding ticket from the police with a picture of our car and how fast we were going. So our little DC adventure led to a $100 ticket. So from now on we are careful to obey the speed limit...we never know if big brother is watching.

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  • Panhandlers and Homeless

    Not that they are much of a danger, but be aware of the constant panhandling in certain areas of the city. You won't see them around the main tourist areas, but they are common in the poorer sections of the city such as here, along US HWY 50. Some areas of downtown like west of Union Station, where there is a homeless shelter, and on K Street NW...

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  • DC: Buy a Travel Guide

    My Saturday evening, if I am at my home, generally consists of several people with out-of-state plates asking me how to get to the H Street Corridor. They look really surprised when I tell them they may want to reconsider their plans. I also see plenty of people walking around looking a little sketched out in my neighborhood (which, by the way, is...

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  • Driving in DC

    If you must drive in this city, allow plenty of time for traffic, and parking. Never expect pedestrians to get out of your way--it's they who have the right of way. And that's ALWAYS. This is enforced.Diplomats, displaying diplomatic tags, tend to ignore parking meters and often park illegally. Their immunity protects them. The same privilege does...

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  • Tourist Season beings..... oops, begins

    The Cherry Festival must be the beginning of the tourist season in Washington, D.C. This year starting on 28 March 2008. I guess its a good time to begin exploring my state and ajoining states to avoid the crowds.

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  • Keep off the grass!

    During the winter, the national park service puts up fences enclosing areas of high traffic to allow the grass to recover. Canadian geese over wintering in the DC area are notorious for not paying heed to the signs!

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  • Never enter deserted streets at any time

    Be very very careful and alert when walking around DC. There are plenty of drugaddicts prowling around suspiciously even in broad daylight. Me and my kids were taking a stroll in a street somewhere near Chinatown. It was 10.30 am in the morning but unfortunately there was nobody in that particular street at that time. Suddenly this man appeared...

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  • Take off their heads!

    People flock here every year for the annual flowering of the cherry trees surrounding the tidal pool. The walkway is a popular path to get from the (site where the new) Martin Luther King Monument starts to the Thomas Jefferson Monument. These cherry trees are so old, their branches are heavy and arch over the trail along the tidal pool. Watch your...

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  • Watch where you walk!

    Canadian geese are over running our monuments and leaving behind their calling cards. Beware the green blobs on the sidewalks and don't even walk in the grassy areas anymore!

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  • 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...

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  • Keep walking

    There are some vagrants in the mall area and where the sites are. Keep walking by them. If you address the matter and talk to them, you may not be able to get away, or the become beligerent when you do not give them money. They are poor people, but have become hardened to a no and will be ugly to get the money-usually for drugs and alcohol.

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  • 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...

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  • The DC stat is 1991 - 2005 is 35.4/2007...

    There has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations in the last 22 months, with a total of 2,112 deaths. This gives a death rate ratio of 60 deaths per 100,000 soldiers.The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. for the same period was 80.6 per 100,000. It therefore follows that you are approximately 25% more likely to be...

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  • Bums

    Like any big city, Washington has its share of bums. They are particularly aggressive, and becoming more so all the time. That's mainly because panhandling no longer carries the social stigma that it should. To make matters worse, many of these tramps call out to female passersby, making lewd or suggestive comments. This is one reason that many...

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  • 'Roundabout Parks'

    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...

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  • Wear Comfortable Shoes

    After my first day in DC my feet were killing me. Multiple blisters and a couple cuts. Wear comfortable shoes, even if you have to be dressed up for the Hill.

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  • 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...

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  • FBI

    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...

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  • Big Brother

    Big BrotherThroughout 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.

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  • Cameras alert

    I did not realise that you cannot take any photographs inside the Metro anywhere. I found the architecture fabulous and I am sure I have seen it in a movie but be warned the Metro police will be on you in a minute if you snap any of the Metro but did nt really see any warning signs? ChinaTown not good to be there just as its getting dark - even...

    more
  • Danger Danger

    The area around the bus station that I saw looked little better than a ghetto, a slum. We walked from station to the White House but seemed to avoid it. However, we came back by taxi and I must say I am glad the driver did not hang about! The were wandering around like zombies, drinking or rifling thru bins. It was like a movie

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Washington D.C. Warnings and Dangers

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