A Local Explores D.C. Like a Tourist

M and I took a break from our insane work schedules to enjoy the pleasant spring weather and explore D.C. I’ve lived in the nation’s capital for seven years, but sometimes I forget what a great city D.C. is. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day slog of getting work done, going to the gym, collapsing in bed, etc. It was nice to set aside one day to push that all aside and just explore.

Our walk started with a visit to the Phillips Collection, a private art collection in Dupont Circle. I’ve dragged M to more than a handful of furniture stores, but I had not yet stepped foot inside an art museum — which is M’s version of happiness. It was time to change that.

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Stunning flowers growing on the bark of a tree in Dupont Circle

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A cool shot of the Indonesian embassy

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A statue of Ghandi outside the Indian embassy, kitty-corner from the Phillips Collection

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An eerie tree outside the Phillips Collection

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not exactly an art expert. I can handle an hour or two in a museum, but I’m not one of those people who gets lost in meditation in front of a painting for 20 minutes, pondering the deeper meaning of whatever it is people ponder. It’s not that I don’t appreciate beautiful things. I am just too impatient, too distracted – in museums and in life. M tells me to slow down. I tell him to hurry up. We are a good team.

M, however, is an art critic by profession. So this trip was kind of like walking into his temple. He was a bit dismayed when I got too close to paintings with my camera and spoke too loudly – especially in the Rothko room. Museums are really meant for proper, quiet adults – and I am none of those things. For some reason, M is still dating me.

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A new exhibit at the Phillips. Gotta be honest: I don’t get it.

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I like this series

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A moving sculpture

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A Van Goh

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Pretty stained glass window in the Phillips

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M taking a picture

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Yours truly

We left the Phillips and headed to my temple – Room and Board – one of my favorite furniture stores on 14th Street. I’m in the market for a new table and wanted to check out the wood options in person. On the way, we walked through pretty, residential neighborhoods.

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A beautiful lamp post on Swann Street. I love the fire. I love the reflection in the glass. Basically, I love everything about it.

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Memorial bricks at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History

After Room and Board, we headed down T Street to the Shaw neighborhood, a gritty area that is in the process of modernizing. Dilapidated storefronts mix with brand new condos and hip restaurants. There is a palpable tension between old and new.

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Right next to the historic Howard Theater, I found a sprawling mural on the side of an ethnic restaurant. I can’t resist good street art.

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A new, modern restaurant with a very interesting logo (and name)

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Here’s lookin’ at you… A door on a ramshackle storefront on 7th Street

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A Liz Taylor mural overlooking Dacha Beer Garden at 7th and Q Streets

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As we headed through Chinatown, I stopped to photograph this church. I love the way the street lights cast a glow on the brick facade.

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The Greater New Hope Baptist Church

Our last stop of the day was CityCenterDC, a new development in downtown DC. A mix of apartments, retail shops, restaurants and a public park, CityCenterDC is a great place for this camera-crazed girl.

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An up-close shot of water jumping out of the ground

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These colorful lanterns line the narrow alleyways of CityCenter and reflect on the windows of high-end stores and office buildings

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Pretty

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One day, I will bring a tripod. Then, I can really have some fun.

I love traveling the world, but days like this remind me that I’m lucky to live in a beautiful, historic, and thriving city, filled with old and new surprises. I’m a local getting to know D.C. like a tourist, and I’m okay with that. 









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4 thoughts on “A Local Explores D.C. Like a Tourist

  1. Kelsie O says:

    I think it’s so cool that you explore your city like a tourist-never lose that sense of wonder/wander! Great photos, too 🙂

    Ps. My husband and I are the same way, except I’m the one that gets lost in art while he pulls up a video game on his phone. Hah! 😉

  2. Kelsie O says:

    Fairfield, CT. It’s a suburb of NYC.

  3. Love that Elizabeth Taylor mural. I want a selfie with it!

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