1. Local

Living on Capitol Hill

Share Your Story: Moving to the Washington DC Area

By

Where did you move from?

California

How long ago did you move here?

1998

Where do you live and what do you like about the area?

I live on Capitol Hill now, and have for 7 years. Before that, three years in Dupont Circle and one on Upper Conn. NW. Lots to love about this city. What I love most is showing guests my Hill neighborhood, surprising them with the trees, friendly neighbors, walkability, cafes, etc.

Why I moved to the DC Area

I moved here from the West Coast a) because the coin I flipped came up heads (tails would have been Boston) and b) because I wanted to live closer to my family (in CT and NY). I moved by myself, at the end of a long relationship that had run its course. DC is so manageable on foot and by Metro, filled with live music, world-class museums and wonderful neighborhoods. I also found it easy to meet people--on the Metro, in the hallway, at the party--in part because so many of us have come here from elsewhere. There's always a new contingent arriving, whether you are a single 20-something or a mom with kids.

What my biggest challenges have been

Hmm. The very thing that makes DC so interesting--the constant influx of new people--has a flip side, and that is that your close friends may well move away on you :-). This just happened again in my life, so it's hit a nerve. But when I think of the range of people from all over the world I've come to know through my work and social lives, I still say it's worth it even when people go. My family and I are probably lifers here, though.

Advice

  • Newcomers to DC should explore everything: the restaurants, the galleries, the most random Metro stops. There are gems everywhere, from the Spanish Steps in Dupont Circle to the German restaurant/grocer near the Presbyterian church where Lincoln once worshiped.
  • Realize that Capitol Hill is not just a bunch of pols arguing over picayune details in bills. Real people who have nothing to do with Congress live here! It is a village within the city, filled with trees, the Library of Congress (a museum unto itself and all open to the public), Eastern Market (which always makes me feel like I am shopping in Europe), etc

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.