21 Things Everyone From Washington D.C. Knows to Be True

Washington, D.C. is a city of transplants as it is home to the federal government and public servants who flock here from around the world. But, there’s a whole population of people who were born and raised in the District.

If you’re a true Washingtonian, you love the city’s history, laugh at the political culture and understand what truly makes the nation’s capital special.

Real Washingtonians know these things to be true

1. Not everyone works in politics.

2. “What do you do?” is a question you’ll be asked within the first five minutes of meeting someone. Everyone is hung up on career advancement and how you can help them.

3. If you ask someone what they do and they say they work for the federal government and you ask what part of the government and they say “the federal government” again, they work for the CIA.

4. We plan our lives around traffic, avoid rush hour driving and walk or ride a bike whenever we can. Road closures for motorcades and parades are the worst.

5. Metro is convenient, but it ‘s getting way too expensive. We walk between some of the downtown areas whenever we can as it’s not always worth the time and cost of riding between stations.

6. At any given moment, in at least one metro station, at least one escalator will not be working.

7. You can size up a driver by their license plate. Folks with blue diplomat plates are the scariest — get as far away as quickly as you can.

8. The minute you feel great about the friendships you’ve made in the area, you find out someone is moving.

9. Taking out-of-towners on a tour of the monuments never gets old and walking the Tidal Basin at dusk is peaceful.

10. The Kennedy Center is exceptional, but the best live entertainment in D.C. is at Lafayette Square in front of the White House.

11. Rock Creek Park is the perfect place to escape into the woods and go for a run or bike ride.

12. We’ve been fighting for statehood (voting rights) since the 1980s. Residents have only been able to vote for President since 1961 and still have no representation in the Senate.

13. Jazz and go-go music are the best in town. Jazz musician Duke Ellington called D.C. home, and hometown hero Chuck Brown pioneered the funk of go-go music.

14. No one is here in August so it’s one of the best times of the year enjoy museums and live entertainment without the crowds.

15. An inch of snow is paralyzing. Schools close, the government shuts down and parents scramble to find day care.

16. We love to complain about the cold or hot and humid weather, but our four seasons are actually pretty great.

17. Each spring, the National Park Service predicts the dates that the famed Tidal Basin cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom and the dates usually miss the mark.

18. The dress rehearsals of the Capitol concerts (the day before Memorial Day and the 4th of July) are the best way to enjoy the performances and avoid the crowds.

19. It’s way more fun to enjoy holidays in D.C. than to sit in traffic for hours to get out of town. Vacations and weekend getaways are best on non-holidays.

20. Any restaurant with a wait to be seated is probably overrated. D.C. has plenty of great places to eat without a long line to get in the door.

21. Outside of D.C., you’ll meet many people who lived here at some point in their lives. In D.C., you’ll meet very few people who were born here.

Ready for a debate?

Do you relate to these true D.C. facts? Disagree? See something we forgot? Hit us up in the comments.

Photo by Caleb Wright on Unsplash
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Rachel CooperRachel Cooper is a freelance writer and author with more than a decade of online journalism and content creation experience. She has written for About.com, Washingtonian, Federal City Council, Montgomery Parks, Destination Maryland, Conde Nast Traveler, Payscale, Valpak, Grandparents.com, Washington Parent and more. Her books include Quiet Water: Mid-Atlantic, AMC’s Canoe and Kayak Guide to the Best Ponds, Lakes and Easy Rivers; 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Washington, D.C. and Images of Rail: Union Station in Washington, D.C.

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