This year’s list is a bit more lighthearted than my usual end of the year reflection. To celebrate moving into the District of Columbia I’ve decided to share my Top Ten Most DC Moments.
It was the best of times and the worst of times…
10. DC Funk Parade
This was an easy candidate for this list. It just screams DC. You know funk, Chuck Brown, a parade, concerts, all on U Street. I had a fun day and spotted some new artists I love (like Ressa Renee). What made this so DC? Well, the fact that is was raining cats and dogs by the time the headliners came out to jam, and the crowd got thicker. People. Dancing. In. The. Street. ((more on this later))
9. Free Meals in Chinatown
So this is sort of a “me thing” as well. This year I did a giving challenge which at one point had me buying food for people who asked me. Well if you’ve ever been in the Chinatown area of DC you’ll realize that happens A LOT. So apparently I look like a sucker and about halfway through the year I was buying meals at least 3x a week. What made this so DC? Well, one night I was walking to metro in Chinatown talking on the phone when a lady jumped in front of me and asked, “can you buy me some food?” I said ok and asked where she wanted to eat. She walked me over to a Chinese restaurant and I grabbed a menu and asked her what she wanted. She kept saying something that I couldn’t understand, and while trying not to be rude but losing patience because I was still on the phone, I kept pointing to the pictures on the menu that she kept rejecting. I decided to just go into the restaurant, which she was hesistant to do, but followed nonetheless. I explained to the host I was buying her dinner but I couldn’t understand what she wanted. She asked him if they had something that sounded like ‘hawgma’. He motioned to get a waitress from the back. When the waitress came out she repeated what apparently was CHINESE and the waitress rang up the order. BAMBOOZLED for $9. Only in DC.
8. F***n Metro
This was obviously the worst of times. Since I spent the majority of the year commuting into the District, I have my share of “metro sucks” stories. What made this so DC? There is one story in particular that really took the cake. I was stuck downtown with about 10k other people trying to catch the ‘Red Chariot’ aka Red line to Shady Grove. All I heard was that the metro was closed at Friendship Heights but it didn’t really make sense why so many people were stuck, but when I finally checked the twitter I could not believe this foolishness. Only in DC without a natural disaster.
— Metro (@wmata) June 22, 2016
7. Fireworks at the Library of Congress
I enjoyed finally being able to watch the fireworks at the capitol, or at least across from it. Mike and I found a quiet spot on the steps of the Supreme Court but then relocated to the Library of Congress steps to watch the show. What made this so DC? Well, it just was. I pulled out my portable speakers before the show and put on a patriotic playlist for the crowd to listen to before and during the show. Only across from our nation’s capitol would someone actually shout, “Please turn the music down!” in the middle of “America the Beautiful.”
6. Nando’s Sangria
What made this so DC? Well, there’s a Nando’s Peri Peri around the corner when you’re in the district. Jess and I happened to go to Nando’s in lieu of a Nats game one day and decided on a pitcher of the seasonal sangria. I took about four more visits for sangria this year. It was like a peach, mango, basil sangria. Amazeballs.
5. Women’s March
This is self-explanatory but only comes in a number 5 because it took me three hours to walk a half mile. This is typical DC, protesters with funny signs, sad signs, and foul language. It was easily the largest crowd I had ever been in and I WAS NOT prepared. Reflecting on this, it was fun to be a part of, but I’m not really sure if I like people that much to do it again.
4. Laundry Mat
So this is a post-move moment. Our dryer is broken at the house so I had to go to the local laundromat on H Street to dry my bedsheets. What made this so DC? Well, I met my neighbors for the first time. I only had to dry my clothes for 30 minutes but the amount of ‘questionable’ activity in the laundromat in that short span still amazes me. I was offered DVDs, UGG boots, 2 for $4 deodorant, an ounce and a dime bag. The guy sitting to my left was upset about a $60 boosted cell phone he lost and the guy on my right chatted me up about everyone’s bad business habits and the fact that they needed to sell their stuff online through Amazon. “If I’m gonna get busted it’s not going to be for DVDs, they’re going to catch me stealing an entire truckload of gift baskets.”
3. Pebble to Pearl at Truckeroo
One thing I look forward to every day is food, so it is no surprise that I was excited to attend the food truck festival again this year. And it was epic. I had my banana pudding milkshake and grabbed a spot to people watch. To my surprise, the live music wasn’t terrible, the band Pebble to Pearl was jamming. They started singing the electric slide and Jess and I started the line dance. People joined in and the set got more intense. What made this so DC? Well, at some point Pebble to Pearl covered Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” and the entire environment changed. It was like soul swept through Half Street and EVERYONE was dancing and singing while waiting in line for their food. It was so strange that I stopped dancing and just looked around. I had heard the song a couple of times, but this was like Michael Jackson hopped on stage…So in true fashion Pebble to Pearl started a Michael Jackson and Prince set right after. I have never seen so many people losing their minds dancing. White, black, brown, yellow, babies, adults and all in between. They did a cover of Dirty Diana I will never forget, their guitarist was sick. By the time they got to “Purple Rain” the clouds also let out and people danced in the rain. Only in DC.
2. H Street Festival – Sons of God
So as you’ve picked up so far, nothing is better than live music and food combined. DC has a lot of this. Naturally, H Street Festival would come pretty high on the list. This year was the biggest year of the festival and Lay and I danced from Union Station to the end of H Street. We went from reggae to rock to the Chuck Brown to…gospel?!? As I heard the familiar tunes I gravitated over (with several others) to see the action. The Sons of God were definitely anointed voices and had the crowd clapping and singing along. What made this so DC? Well, they started a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” and started feelin themselves. The lead singer implored to the crowd that if we had hope change was coming, walk up to the stage and shake his hand. The amount of people who came to the stage was incredible. I could barely keep my composure from laughing so hard. People were TOUCHED. Only in DC. People. Dancing. In. The. Streets. If that isn’t what heaven looks like, I don’t want to go.
1. Washington Mystics Interlude
This year was the first year I was able to be a season ticket holder in the WNBA. I really enjoyed going to the games and only missed two home games this season. Somehow this year, in the Verizon Center, the Mystics got rained out. I know you’re thinking, they do play inside right? Yes, they do, but a ceiling leak caused more than one game delay this summer. The second game with the issue was the most memorable. Since the team couldn’t afford to cancel another game they delayed it for twenty minutes and the players went to the locker room. The in-house DJ took this as her opportunity to shine. She started playing all the hits and the jumbotron camera panned the crowd. Everyone got their 15 seconds of fame. I have never laughed so hard in my life. I was able to keep my composure up until the camera panned into a suite where a girls birthday party was happening. The dad was dancing on top of the bar in all his white guy glory. SO FUNNY. So much joy. Once the time was up and the issue wasn’t resolved and the players decided to join in on the fun as well. What made this so DC? Nothing is more DC than DC sports fans and I will never forget this night. Plus we made SportsCenter.
Burning up at Union Market. For the food. For the culture.
2017, I’m out.