Binge watching the first two seasons of “House of Cards” may not be the best way to get a first impression of Washington. Or then again, maybe it was. Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a fast-talking House majority whip ascending up the legislative branch, leaving adversaries wondering what hit them in his path of manipulative destruction.
Even if some real members of Congress enjoy the show, I can’t say that I believe what happens in the show is what really takes place in congressional inner-circles.
What I can say though, is that people in Washington in real life are pretty nice. Whether it was the woman in the elevator saying “I like your suit” or another neighbor telling me that my roommate and I could ask him and his girlfriend for anything we need, D.C. has welcomed me with great hospitality. One couple even said “follow us” when I asked them where the nearest Metro station was. People here are well versed in the art of dealing with tourists and never seem to be annoyed by it.
It felt good to write my first story, get it published and have it picked up, and now I have to keep the momentum going. I want to cover a wide range of stories during my time here (politics, sports, race, women’s rights, LGBT rights, religion) all the while being in different locations.
So far I’ve checked a couple of sites off of my D.C. bucket list – I admired the art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and traced the evolution of animals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. I remembered those lost visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, walked up to the Washington Monument (I gave it a hug) and I basked in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial at night. The White House, Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, Pentagon, Ford’s Theatre and Newseum are next.
I’ve enjoyed exploring residential areas, too. Georgetown reminds me a lot of Faneuil Hall or Newbury Street back home in Beantown – a bunch of old brownstone buildings turned into expensive retail boutiques. Woodley Park is a vibrant neighborhood with a wide variety of take-out options (I can’t cook), and Adams Morgan comes to life at night with bars, karaoke and hookah spots everywhere you look. The only thing that’s missing is a BBQ joint like Freddy’s in “House of Cards,” where I can dine on juicy ribs while wearing my suit in the comfort of an alley. There has to be a way I can get that done.