Notes when traveling to Washington DC
I really love traveling. Due to my temporary residence in Baltimore this summer, I've had plenty of opportunities to travel, both back home and to other places. For the past day, I've been in Washington DC visiting some dear friends.
The first thing that struck me about the city after getting into Union Station was the street layout. There are numbered streets downtown, with single-letter cross-streets, each respectively parallel. This seems like a fantastic way to organize a city, as you can tell immediately how far across downtown you are based on the letter/number of the street you're on.
My history lessons (not yet forgotten) remind me that Washington was a planned city, built with the decided purpose to be our nation's capitol. The whole place is infused with a strong sense of purpose, as if each building and street was carefully thought out before being put into place. This is in stark contrast to most of Baltimore, which often has whole blocks that feel out-of-place with their surroundings. From what I understand, the history of Baltimore includes frequent destruction, rearranging, and repurposing. Some of the trendiest places in Baltimore are adapted from previously abandoned warehouses and factories. It constantly impresses me the amount of culture Baltimore exudes, and a big part of that culture is the way that the city evolves and adapts to new situations.
Washington's culture, from the minuscule amount I've seen so far, feels very planned; the same purpose that the city demonstrates is mirrored by its citizens. I find it very interesting how cities have so much culture imparted on them by their citizens, and how the citizens change the city's culture over time. I'd like to see more places like Washington and Baltimore, more places with purpose.
I'll probably be back here sometime, for longer than a day.