This is what I looked like the first time I wandered Washington, DC as a tourist.


With few visits in between, one where I marched in support of women’s reproductive rights, another devoted to the company of friends, I have had little opportunity to explore the city on my lonesome. DC’s charms have remained -for me- long forgotten, under-appreciated, or elusive.

I was fairly sure I didn’t much appreciate the culture of our nation’s capital.

Broken skateboard in DC

Say DC and I’ll free-associate: khaki, suit jackets, ladder climbing, poverty, gentrification, and blindingly white, granite-smooth buildings. Hot hot heat. Free museums.

Statues in American Indian museum

However, a whirl around the city astride a shiny Capital Bikeshare rental spun my opinion.

Obligatory White House photo

Obligatory White House photo

I had arrived in DC a day ahead of the conference I was to attend on behalf of my “place-based” community agency. Figured to take in a few museums, eat some local fare, visit with my partner’s cousin, and maybe locate an outdoor market. I accomplished some of those, but it was the bike ride that finally won me over.

Coasting down Pennsylvania Avenue in the impressive protected cycle track located smack in the middle of the street, I toured the neighborhoods.

Pennsylvania cycle track

Today, you say DC, I free-associate: charmingly colorful row houses with all manor of quirky embellishments, the sky a blush pink and cottony blue, mural of some of the U.S’s most popular brown faces –Bill Cosby and Barack Obama.

Tower against the blue sky

Sunset beginnings

Dramatic sunset, DC

So . . . this is what I looked like on the most recent occurrence of my wandering DC as a tourist. Notice any differences? :^)

Pho in DC 2013