Herein a visitors' guide. I will be updating it daily. Please post any issues you want addressed or researched.
(For those wanting more info on the 9/12 March please visit the website of the excellent group FreedomWorks at:
I am revising my Guide because our metro system continues to display all the problems of any centrally planned government system. Labor Day weekend the National Transportation Safety Board ordered 5 Red line metro stops closed for safety repairs. A few weeks ago a gang rumble of 70 people in the metro system left several people hospitalized. And at the 8/28 event the Foggy Bottom metro stop broke down entirely under hundreds of thousands of visitors. So though I have left my supposedly controversial guidelines below, I am amending them and now advocating that tourists avoid the metro when possible. Take the Circulator bus, walk (it's greener!), or use a cab -- if possible. If you must use the subway, then subscribe to the Metro system's daily internet alert of which piece is currently breaking down at: https://textalert.ema.dc.gov/index.php?CCheck=1. Basically the Metro, like most "public" property, fits the legal concept of an "attractive nuisance," like an unfenced swimming pool a toddler could fall into: it looks nice and shiny and futuristic, but it is fecklessly managed by people who do not make a profit by pleasing the consumer.
So this is mainly a list of cheap, good, free, bad, and safe or unsafe, and delightful, things. I am also reproducing hotel information from the Tea Party Patriots group, with my own additional notes.
3200 Wilson Bouelvard
and other locations see: www.silverdiner.com
[Clarendon metro stop, Blue and Orange line)
212 2nd Street SE
(Good reasonably priced food on Capitol Hill; eat with the Congresscritters' staffers; across a side street from the Library of Congress)
[Capitol South metro, Blue and Orange Line]
1140 19th Street NW
Lunch buffet all you can eat (Indian) $7.99 plus tax
(downtown business distict)
[Dupont Circle metro, Red Line]
1523 17th Street NW
tasty hamburgers and middle eastern food; free wifi; indoor & outdoor seating
(Dupont Circle, gay area)
[Dupont Circle metro, Red line]
CVS is the DC area drugstore chain and most carry simple hardwares and basic groceries (milk, bread, canned soup, TV dinners)
1101 25th Street NW
(25th and L)
Washington DC 20037
Competitively priced food and wine, underground parking garage free to customers, free sample counter in back cooking up a different treat every day
[Foggy Bottom metro, Blue and Orange line]
Some critics of the original 8/28 Guide wanted their favorite cheap eats listed. I think people can find a McDonald's on their own, but if you know of anything particularly interesting feel free to list it in the comments!
Libertarianish Virginia economics professor Tyler Cowen extensively explores and reviews restaurants, especially Northern Virginia Asian fare, at http://tylercowensethnicdiningguide.com/
Adding my own "bests"
1190 22nd Street NW
Washington DC 20037
DC outpost of Manhattan restauraunteur Eric Ripert. Slightly pricey but the complicated market salad or the spaghetti bolognese can be enjoyed for under $20. Nancy Pelosi, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, Clint Eastwood, and other celebutants, good and evil, local and visiting, may be spotted.
[Dupont Circle metro, Red line, or Foggy Bottom metro, Blue and Orange lines] $$$$
4301 North Fairfax Drive
Happy hour prices much cheaper than many DC area restaurants. $5 glasses of very good wines and $5 appetizer plates. The quality of the food is similar to posh downtown DC see-and-be-seen places that cost 2-3 times as much. Outdoor and indoor seating.
[Ballston metro, Blue and Orange line] $$
480 7th Street NW
Really near the Mall and monuments and close to a variety of metro stops. Tapas/Spanish. There is also a Jaleo in Bethesda, Maryland's restaurant row (should you be driving by Tingles Matthews' in neighboring Chevy Chase.)
[Chinatown metro, Red line] $$$
Hank's Oyster Bar
1624 Q Street NW
Washington DC 20009
Small menu which changes daily, the best food, bar, no desserts. Lovingly named by the owner/chef after her fisherman father. She also provides an additional Hank's in Alexandria, VA and CommonWealth (a British pub influenced restaurant) (best white bean soup I ever had) in the less safe Columbia Heights neighborhood (http://www.metroweekly.com/feature/?ak=4955). The Washington Post's Jonathon Capehart, who is imported (like Eugene Robinson and other black guests) to provide a rubber stamp of "urban" flavor on the all-white (-hosted) MSNBC (usually with the ultra-nordic Mika Brezinski and uber-suburban WASP Joe Scarborough on "Morning Joe") hangs here.
[Dupont Circle, gay area, Red line metro] $$$
2004 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
The nicest gay hang out, mainly somewhat beautiful people. Some lesbians and straights allowed. The latest martini combined with pricey comfort food like mom used to make for her best little boy (pigs in blankets and tater tots are appetizers). This is at the foot of the hill of 18th street leading up into the dicier Adams Morgan, which is sprinkled with muggers and aggressive pan handlers. When I lived 3 blocks away and could walk home I ate and drank there every other night. http://www.metroweekly.com/feature/?ak=895
[Dupont Circle, gay area, Red line metro] $$$
458 Forest Beach Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Should you stay in Annapolis, 45 minutes east of DC, besides going to a lecture at St. John's College or strolling through the 18th century architecture "downtown," you might want to eat Chesapeake Bay seafood on the water. I can't say Cantler's food is great (but it is good), since it is often breaded and fried into being standard sea food. But you can sit on the large dock looking at the water, either in the shade or sun, while you eat. Most pleasant. Use your GPS or mapquest because it is way down at the end of the road in a suburb east of Annapolis at the end of many twists and turns. Gravel parking lot, rustic decor. Moderately priced for the area. Sunshine, beer, seafood might be just the thing post-March.
Bedbugs: the same big government we are protesting has led to an epidemic of bedbugs, as hotels, including the most luxurious hotels, "go green," and stop using bleach, hot water, and phosphate detergents on the sheets used by the massage therapists Al Gore tries to molest (allegedly!). Please check the websites of any hotel you intend to patronize, and if it promotes itself as a green hotel DO NOT STAY THERE! (Or call and ask: are you green? do you use bleach? do you wash in hot water?) One luxury hotel in downtown DC recently had a guest in its most expensive suite eaten alive, and had to comp her room and send her to the spa for free for a day of skin treatments.
Please also avail yourself of all the discount websites like Priceline.com etc. The DC metro area (including neighboring cities like Annapolis) is awash in hotel and motels, and you can probably find a suite with a kitchen and parking and a free breakfast for under $70 a night. I think the (Annapolis) Marriott Residence Inn is great and it is right off Route 50, a straight shot, 30 minute drive into DC. It could well be worth staying 30-45 minutes outside of DC, especially in Annapolis or some other town that will have its own interesting sites to see, which may well be safer at night and have free parking and lower prices.
One can get free wifi access in many parts of DC: any Starbucks (and often any restaurant adjacent to Starbucks); most Barnes & Noble bookstores (which usually contain a Starbucks); Caribou Coffee (another chain, though it restricts your access to "adult" sites including some FaceBook functions); Illy's (at New Hampshire Avenue and M Streets NW), which also has the best coffee. (You must try Illy's coffee, which you can also buy at groceries or on-line to make at home.)
DC residents have also urged me to tell you to go see National Zoo, which is indeed "free" in that your taxes already paid for it. I should have thought it was too obvious to require a Guide, but they seem to think you tea partiers are as slow as a federal bureaucrat. It is great. Avoid the tapirs; they spray a mist of urine to mark their territory, which can include your jacket. Rock Creek Park and the Smithsonian are nice too, should you be a federal employee who has become a tea partier and needs marching orders about what one can visit.
(3001 Connecticut Avenue NW)
[Cleveland Park, Red Line Metro stops at Cleveland Park and Woodley Park]
Dumpster diving for peasants: DC is now, on average, the wealthiest place in America. The Imperial City of the Statist Malignancy (Big Government). A decadent urban parasite economy like Rome the year of its fall. Several of its suburban counties have the highest incomes in the United States (i.e. Tingles Matthews' and Eugene Robinson's lily white hoods) afloat on your tax dollars, while you drown with your mortgage under water. Most of NW DC is the same. The politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and campaign strategists who live here, from Bob Shrum to Hillary Rosen to the Elmendorfs, live among people who constantly throw away their 2 year old Mitchell Gold ottomans and Pottery Barn armoires and replace them with even posher oriental rugs and imported French antiques. Paid for with YOUR tax dollars.
So come in a Scott Brown truck or Mama Grizzly station wagon. (And there is no shame in that, these people have already spat at you all year calling you a racist hick, so why would you care what they think?) You don't even have to go to the dump. Just drive through the alleys in between the streets. Gently used lamps, TVs, rugs, chairs, book cases, end tables, all yours for the taking, sitting beside the recycling and trash cans. And it is environmentally conscious to do so!
Safety and Mores
DC's population includes refugees from every country, as the families of embassy staffs of third world countries tend to stay in DC whenever a revolution in their homeland means that anyone in their family would be in danger if they went back. Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the delightful Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries. As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions. It's rare to meet anyone who gets really offended, but you can still be aware of the issue. (By the way this advice, about not treating the international residents of DC as if they were zoo specimens is not about race, as the mendacious Rachel Maddow suggested. Should you end up in a fancier bar or restaurant with a server who may be either a Kiwi or an Aussie, s/he may not be happy to once more respond to guesses about whether s/he is from New Zealand or Australia. Use tact and judgement, or when drinking simply prohibit your curiosity from being verbalized.)
Many parts of DC are safe beyond the areas I will list here, but why chance it if you don't know where you are?
If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don't know where you are, so you should not explore them.
If on foot or in a cab or bus, stay in Bethesda, Arlington (preferably north Arlington), Crystal City, Falls Church, Annandale, or Alexandria, or in DC only in northwest DC west (i.e. larger street numbers) of 14th or 16th streets, or if on Capitol Hill only in SE Capitol Hill (zip 20003) between 1st and 10th Streets, not farther out than 10th (e.g. 15th, 16th etc). (Or stay on the Mall and at the various monuments.) Again there are many other lovely places, from the Catholic University of America to Silver Spring, Maryland. But you don't know where you are so you cannot go, especially at night, unless you take me with you.
To see how my recommendations totally line up with crime statistics for DC, despite the libels of the Leni Reifenstahls at MSNBC, see: http://spotcrime.com/dc/washington.
Curiously, Washington City Paper editor Michael Madden joined the Leftover lemmings in suggesting that my 8/28 Guide was racist for suggesting that all metro stops were not created equal. But last week his paper admitted the same thing about schools: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2010/08/26/school-house-rock-is-michelle-rhee-becoming-a-force-in-d-c-real-estate/
This Guide was attacked and smeared by the all-white (-hosted) MSNBC network (which is now said to be investigating its author) by that silly girl on the Rachel Maddow Show and her funny uncle on Chris Matthew's Hardball, as well as by The Huffington Post and various minor agitprop websites (where paid Leni Reifenstahl wannabees write whatever George Soros, the Podesta brothers, General Electric, etc., tell them to say). None of them called me first, or even read my blog carefully, claiming I was a bumpkin who lived in deepest, whitest Maine. I suspect all of the "news" they purvey is equally accurate. Consequently I am listing the home addresses of The Washington Pest's Eugene Robinson and of DeBalled's Chris Matthews, in the two lily white suburbs where they reside, as tourist attractions. Drive down their streets and enjoy viewing the lovely multi-million dollar homes. But since they are technically not government officials, please do not protest.
Nancy Pelosi's condo
3030 K Street NW
Washington DC 20007
(30th and K Streets NW)
Harry Reid's condo
1155 23rd Street NW
Washington DC 20037
(23rd and M Streets NW)
Bob Bauer/Anita Dunn
4413 Stanford Street
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Tom Daschle's house
2830 Foxhall Road NW
Washington DC 20007
(Feel free to protest!)
Now as to the two local "gents" from the all-white(-hosted) MSNBC network who didn't call me, didn't read my blog with any care, just smeared me by name as a racist on national TV because they were both such big girls that that was easier than attacking Glenn Beck (like the Madcow, they just weren't man enough). They both live in the most lily white neighborhoods in DC! Obviously they don't like black people.
5302 18th Street North
Arlington VA 22205
Mr. Robinson's lives in a home assessed for just over $1 million, in a zip code that is 2% black (83% white) http://www.citymelt.com/zip/Virginia/22205-VA/Demographics.html. My friend Janet, an expert on East Africa, terrorism and arms control, observed that Mr. Robinson, his wife Avis, and their two sons may BE the 2% of the population who are African American in this zip code. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson run an admirable charity that raises scholarship funds to send minority students who manage to survive the DC schools to college. Of course by then it is too late, with most of these kids life chances destroyed by Robinson's "liberal" politics and his media cover ups and smears on behalf of the Democrat Party, which sells black kids to educrat unions for campaign dollars in our ongoing modern day slave trade. But his guilt is thereby assuaged.
9 East Kirke Circle
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Tingles, aka Spittles, Matthews, host of the all-white MSNBC's evening smear show DeBalled, lives in a house worth over $2 million, twice the value of the average residential property in ritzy Chevy Chase, where many political and media elites (from Anita Dunn to Nina Easton, George Will, and Charles Krauthammer, etc.) live. Chevy Chase is 3.7% African American and 89% white (http://www.city-data.com/zips/20815.html).