10 things I now know about Washington DC

Washington DC Capitol Building

  1. If you’re used to New York, you can safely ignore Wikitravel when it tells you how confusing the subway system is. You’ve seen far worse.
  2. Ditto how busy the tourist attractions are.
  3. Ditto how hard it is to get a table at a popular restaurant.
  4. Every other shop is a dry cleaner. Eventually I worked out that this must be because everyone works in politics, and therefore wears suits all the time.
  5. If you bluffed your way through The ABC Song at school by mumbling through the middle third and coming back in for ‘V, W, X, Y, Z’, allow an extra 2o minutes to reach any destination.
  6. If you’re at the Capitol Building and someone suggests you come and meet them at a street that shares its name with a plant, don’t.


  7. Posing outside the Capitol

  8. Even if you’re used to New York, you can’t ignore people when they warn you how hot DC gets in June. Oh god the humidity.
  9. The DC taxi market is deregulated. This means that if you get into a cab that doesn’t look 100% like you’d expect a cab to look, you don’t need to spend the entire journey tracking your route on Google Maps. Although in Mish’s defence, he didn’t seem to have a firm grasp of ‘right turn only’ lanes.
  10. Obama clearly doesn’t spend much time ferreting out interesting little out-of-the-way places to have dinner: his favourite restaurant was also the favourite of Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and just about every DC mayor ever.
  11. DC has more foreign embassies than any other city, but some of them aren’t trying that hard – a surprising number seem to share a building with architects or dentists. Full marks though to the Luxembourg Embassy Building, which is possibly bigger than Luxembourg itself.

What quirky stuff do you know about Washington DC? Let us know in the comments.