Last weekend, I took a second look at our nation’s capital, the closest metropolis to me while growing up in Virginia. Back then I considered it a real snoozerville. Didn’t really give it the time of day - not even when I spent two summers interning for The Discovery Channel in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of DC. Today I’d have to say I found its political underpinnings appealing (instead of vexing), its historic rowhouses quite comely and, yes, its pulse quickened.
I stayed at my friend Ali's apartment on Corcoran Street, a lovely shaded street of brick rowhouses in the Dupont Circle area. Over the course of the weekend, I learned that people in their 20s and 30s are moving into the city in droves, gourmet restaurants are opening everywhere, the walkability and public transportation are great (although having a car in DC is actually fairly manageable), and all in all, quality of life seems quite copasetic – if you can afford the taxes, that is. (In the mid-Atlantic region, DC is known for its high taxes on sales, income and property, although this Washington Post article argues that the reputation is not entirely warranted and that certain suburbs in Virginia and Maryland actually face higher tax burdens.)
In a city where you can inadvertently pass the White House while strolling (as the photo above proves), I found myself taking in all the sites and monuments anew. There’s a reason so many tourists come here. It IS something to behold. I also checked out the World War II monument for the first time. The photo came out quite moody.
But what really caught my attention was the food. Our memorable meals at Urbana, Proof, Cork and Cashion’s Eat Place demonstrated that DC is stepping up its culinary game.
In particular, I have to cite Proof as the strongest evidence – pardon the pun – and the most standout meal. The photo below shows a few of the fab appetizers, from local heirloom tomatoes to the roasted beet and kaleidoscope carrot salad to the ahi tuna tartare served with a tasty seaweed crisp. But that’s wasn’t all. My amazing five-spice roasted Peking duck on a bed of charred green onions was worth returning for in and of itself, and we all swooned over the unusual sticky toffee cake. Oh, and yes, the wine was pretty good too.
Clearly, I’m still licking my lips. Does this mean I could live in DC? The answer is yes. I’m not bumping it into my Top 15 Geographical Crushes, but if I wanted to return to the mid-Atlantic region, I would have to consider it, especially the desirable Dupont Circle area. Consider my longstanding biases shed – once and for all!
4 years ago