Sweet Tweets

Friday, August 06, 2010

Discovering D.C. - Driving Around Town

I've been in D.C. for just a little over a month now, and I'm starting to learn the way around my new town. Every city has its own personality and just like people, it takes a while to get comfortable with each other and become fast friends.

A few observations on driving in DC:
  • Pedestrians are seriously out of their minds here. They don't care if they aren't supposed to cross against the light. They step off the curb without looking. They will jaywalk and then play chicken with you while you are obeying all traffic laws (this led to a moment where I was rolling past and telling a particular jaywalker to go find a crosswalk out my open window - stellar).
  • I have learned how to parallel park like a native. Or so Hunt says. It is a necessary survival skill. I think that the DMV should test prospective drivers on parallel parking on M street with pedestrians and heavy traffic passing by - they will need to do that in the real world!
  • The streets of Georgetown are like walking back in time. The historical buildings are majestic and make for an amazing stroll down tree-lined streets. Especially if you are walking with your sweetheart. Another aspect of living in history is driving along the old trolley rails down the few remaining cobblestone streets - you have to keep it slow to stay on those slippery rails or else you'll be bouncing around like a popcorn kernel.
  • Cabs are the enemy. That is, unless you want to hail one. And when you are a passenger and needing to be somewhere five minutes ago you appreciate them driving like a bat out of hell. Otherwise, you need to anticipate that they will change lanes, come into your lane, stop short in front of you, tailgate, pull a 3-point turn without warning in the middle of the street that you previously thought was clear just two seconds ago, block an intersection, and let out a family of eight while double parking in a crowded side street.
  • And my favorite part of driving around town is the fact that every morning I pass by the Lincoln Memorial, drive over the Memorial Bridge and see the Washington Memorial while traveling to Alexandria. One of the best parts of driving around DC is getting to see our nation's treasures every day through my windshield.

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