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Unread 01-23-2009, 12:51 PM
 
5 posts, read 43,751 times
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Default Odd/funky/interesting/unique things in DC???

Hello. I am a 22 year old student from Milwaukee and I will be doing some traveling to Washington via Amtrak this March. My question is whether anyone from the area could let me know of some interesting, odd, or unique places and sights to see that do not fit the typical tourist-trap mold. My interests include architecture, industrial relics, jazz clubs, unique stores, etc... Although I won't have a car, I have no problem venturing into different areas of the city. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Alex
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Unread 01-23-2009, 01:21 PM
 
286 posts, read 752,977 times
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Go to Teaism on P street - it's off of the red line, Dupont Circle stop. It's a funky tea house with great bento boxes, chai tea and rice pudding. Def. check out the National Arboretum -alot of ppl. don't know what it is and don't visit - but it is an awesome place with a giant indoor rainforest. What else...pick up a City Paper when you get there and look through it for unique events, etc. There are always new things coming up!
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Unread 01-23-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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I'm a 21-year-old from Milwaukee. So I'm sure you might share some of the same interests as me. I've been to DC four times in the last six months and absolutely love it. I'm finishing up my background check with the DC Fire Dept and will hopefully be making the move soon.

About you not having a car, it isn't a problem at all. Unlike Milwaukee, the public transit there isn't hurting for money. The Metro(subway) is awesome. I've gotten pretty much everywhere that I needed to with that. The only place that I wanted to go that didn't have a Metro stop was when I went to Georgetown last time. There are so many buses though that it wasn't really any harder than taking the Metro.

I'm kind of like you and didn't want to spend much time in the touristy areas. The first time I went, I had some spare time and went to the National Mall, and White House. It was nice to see once, but you can only spend so much time there, especially with all of the large families that seem like they are always lost. Last time I went, I had some extra time again and thought I'd stop by since I had a camera this time. I got off the subway, walked around for 15 minutes, and left. It was New Year's weekend and just didn't like the tourist crowd.(even though I was technically on myself) There's people on here that say there's two DCs. The mall, and then the rest of it. Now I know what they were talking about. Going down the escalator to the Metro in most of DC is quick. People stand on one side, and walk on the other. Near the mall, families are bumping into each other, taking up the whole thing, and constantly lost.

So what I liked to do was just see a few of the neighborhoods. The first time I walked around SHAW for a little awhile. I thought it great. The row houses were nice to look at since we don't have those in Milwaukee. Some people on here describe it as sketchy, but a lot is changing and I felt safe. I had to go to the DCFD headquarters last time and that was near U St. That place was pretty interesting as well. Doesn't look like it would be a busy area, but it was. Gallery Place/Chinatown was nice to stop by. Some on here describe it was a mini Times Square. There are a ton of people there at night. I usually go there now to get a burrito from California Tortilla. Georgetown has some beautiful homes and tons of shopping if you are into that.

Hope that helped a little bit since I'm from the same place. The people on here are actually VERY helpful and honest about their city. It's a very different place than Milwaukee. There are more distinguished neighborhoods and it just has a different feel. Hope you have a good time!
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Unread 01-23-2009, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
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U street, H street NE, certain places in Adams Morgan. Walk by a place, if you think it looks interesting go in.

And metro does NOT have a dedicated source of funding, so this idea they aren't hurting for money is *******s. But are they using the money the have and are they managed well?? Well that's a whole nother thread.. But for the most part it gets you were you need to go.... mostly.. not always.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: DC
3,197 posts, read 6,979,740 times
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Check out an Ethiopian restaurant, Eastern Market, and Ben's Chili Bowl. Actually, there was a show on the Travel Channel about a weekend in DC without monuments or museums that shows a lot of this stuff.

I'd agree with the recommendation for U Street & Adams Morgan. H Street NE sounds really cool too, but I haven't made my way there yet, so I can't vouch for it. There are a couple of good jazz places, you can search for them online.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
707 posts, read 1,670,060 times
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oh geez I totally forgot (how could I), if you are a JAZZ buff you HAVE to go to HR-57!

Boehimian caverns is in U street, but everytime I've been there they haven't had any performers.. so I can't comment on that. The service there is also a little spotty but the beer selection is above average.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,283 posts, read 2,397,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smakawhat View Post
And metro does NOT have a dedicated source of funding, so this idea they aren't hurting for money is *******s. But are they using the money the have and are they managed well?? Well that's a whole nother thread.. But for the most part it gets you were you need to go.... mostly.. not always.
I was comparing it to Milwaukee when I said that. Milwaukee is shutting down bus lines left and right. I NEVER take public transit here. It's absolutely terrible. The whole system is pretty much broke. Metro probably makes more money in a day than Milwaukee transit does in a month.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
707 posts, read 1,670,060 times
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In that comparison I can believe it. Yes metro here has its problems but I have been in cities with far worse ones. Agreed.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 03:07 PM
 
7,304 posts, read 9,755,241 times
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Architecture, what kind are you interested in? A sample:

Colonial: Tons. Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria are from the George Washington era and are quite intact. George's...ahem...plantation, Mt Vernon is also nearby.

Art Deco: Uptown Theater and Kennedy Warren Apts in Cleveland Park. Nice area to prowl around and grab a drink or ten.

Mid Century Modern: National Geographic Building. Or check out Forest Hills as it has lots of MCM and other houses including one designed by Rudolf Neutra.

Brutalist: FBI building.

Embassy Row (Massachusetts Avenue): Pay a cabbie to drive you from Dupont Circle to 34 Street and back. Most embassies are clustered here and the styles are as varied as the countries. Check out the Brazillian, Finnish, Japanese and the long-closed Iranian embassies. A must do.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
707 posts, read 1,670,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
Brutalist: FBI building.
God I hate the looks of that building, I wish someone would either bulldoze it or at least hit it with a power washer.

My understanding is they are going to new digs anyway at the New York Ave location... no??
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