Friday, September 25, 2009

Driving in DC

So, lately, I've had lots of thoughts regarding driving in and around our nation's capitol and I thought I would pass them along.

Driving into the city is one of the most amazing things to me, even after living here for over a year. It still makes me smile when I drive over the bridge from Arlington, VA into DC. First I pass the Iwo Jima Memorial, then I drive over the Potomac where I often see Georgetown's Crew team practicing. Then to my right is the Washington Memorial (see below) and to my left is the Kennedy Center and Georgetown's Waterfront. It's a great way to start the day, let me tell you!

This past month, I've been driving to the local children's hospital which requires that I drive through the city (as compared to driving to campus which is just on the other side of the river). When driving through it's pretty cool because it's like the city is just waking up, without all the crazy traffic and masses of pedestrians. Most restaurants and shops are closed, a few cabs are driving around, the garbage trucks are making their rounds and some early bird pedestrians are milling about.

Unfortunately, the afternoon/early evening is HORRIBLE! There is traffic and congestion on practically every road I have to take. And if there is ever an "incident" traffic backs up and things don't move. For example, the other day, a motorcade came down the street I was driving along. All these cars had to figure out how to get out of the way when there were a huge line of cars in front of them - not exactly an easy feat. Or, the big-rigs or delivery trucks that think nothing of taking up an entire lane during rush hour traffic on an already busy street. Or, how about the fact that it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get home on any given day - oy! Those things can get super frustrating.

I always thought I would be afraid of driving in a city like this, but some sick part of me enjoys it. There's something about driving around, being able to navigate the one-way streets and dodging cabs and pedestrians that makes me smile. Plus, if I have to be stuck in traffic, DC has some pretty cool architecture, tree-lined streets and all those government buildings and monuments to look at. You can call me crazy, I'll understand :)

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