Monday, September 6, 2010

51 Things I Miss About D.C.

51 Things I Miss About D.C.
(Whitney Matheson, USA Today website, 2007)

I've been living in New York for almost two weeks, and so far it's going pretty well. However, I still think about D.C. quite a bit, especially since I'd grown so comfortable in that city for the last five years. While I don't really miss having a car or doing my own laundry -- I was terrible at those things anyway -- there was plenty to love about my D.C. life. I suppose this post could sort of double as "Pop Candy's Guide to Washington," because it gives away some of my favorite local attractions and weekend activities. In no particular order, here are 51 things I miss about D.C. (I was going to limit the list to 50, but I added one more, since the District dreams of becoming the nation's 51st state!)

1. The free museums.

2. Concerts at the 9:30 Club.

3. Late night/early morning half-smokes at Ben's Chili Bowl after 9:30 Club shows.

4. The Gandhi statue, especially when it has flowers around its neck or at its feet.

5. The Albert Einstein Memorial, especially when a child is sitting in its lap.

6. The Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger (with a side of tater tots) at Bourbon.

7. The folk-art wing of the American Art Museum. (My favorite part: An awe-inspiring display called The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly by James Hampton, left. It's made entirely out of aluminum foil and found objects!)

8. The great selection of Claire Fontaine notebooks at National Airport's Pen & Prose.

9. The cocktails, biscuits, grits and every delicious entree I've ever had at Acadiana.

10. The tree-lined streets of Glover Park, my old neighborhood.

11. Sunday mornings at the Dupont Circle farmer's market.

12. The French fries at Granville Moore's -- they're the best in the city.

13. The Sculpture Garden ice-skating rink, particularly when my iPod is playing a Guided by Voices song.

14. Pinny, the wacky mascot at Strike bowling alley in Bethesda.

15. The view of all the embassies on Massachusetts Avenue.

16. The relatively quiet and clean Metro system.

17. Penn Cove oysters and a sweet waitstaff that recognized me at Hank's Oyster Bar.

18. The Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair in Adams Morgan.

19. The giant Adirondack chair outside the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. I always believed this was the world's largest, but that actually sits in St. Paul, Minn.!

20. Cheap pitchers of Michelob, hot corn and (of course) piles of crabs at Bethesda Crab House.

21. Sword swallowers and burlesque dancers at Palace of Wonders.

22. Channel 4 meteorologist Bob Ryan.

23. Weekend indie-movie matinees at the E Street Cinema.

24. Well-organized shelves at Big Planet Comics.

25. The DC Rollergirls, particularly my good friend Camilla the Hun.

26. The National Cherry Blossom Festival.

27. Woodsy walking paths in Rock Creek Park.

28. Baby back ribs at Rocklands Barbecue.

29. People-watching by the Dupont Circle fountain.

30. Superhero movies on the big screen at the Uptown Theater.

31. Great vintage clothing and the Andrew Bird-loving saleswoman at Junction.

32. The annual Smithsonian Kite Festival.

33. WAMU's The Diane Rehm Show (even though it's syndicated).

34. The National Christmas Tree and the 50 state trees.

35. Pre-show drinks, olives and anchovies at Bar Pilar.

36. All of the talented ladies -- not to mention their amazing music selection -- at Trim Salon.

37. Strolls around the U Street Corridor.

38. The Silverdocs documentary film festival.

39. Pizza and ping pong at Comet.

40. Nationals games.

41. Historic St. John's Church, aka "Church of the Presidents."

42. The discounted DVD section of Melody Records.

43. Lauriol Plaza's chicken chimichanga and dangerous "swirl" margaritas.

44. Cupcakes in every flavor from Cake Love.

45. Fall.

46. Occasional Ian MacKaye sightings.

47. Nighttime views of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, which are even more breathtaking than the sunlit views.

48. The cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian.

49. Staff recommendations at Olsson's Books and Records (R.I.P.).

50. Peeping in windows of ritzy Georgetown homes.

and one more ...

51. My family and friends.

Of course, right now I'm working on my list of "50 Things to Love About New York." Something tells me it won't take so long to fill.

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