Hello CMC, my name is Gracie Mahan and I am a junior IR major with a focus on Security Studies in the D.C. program. For the rest of the semester I will be writing biweekly blog posts to keep you updated on my capitol tomfoolery. Today I thought that I would introduce myself and then recount the five dos and don’ts of D.C., which I have learned since my great Eastward migration.
I am originally from the High Plains of Texas, the bustling city of Lubbock to be more precise, where the cotton grows as thick as the Texan accents. In DC, I live with my two wonderful roommates Abby and Mackenzie in a basement apartment on U Street, and I work at the congressional newspaper The Hill. In the apartment, I am the resident cook and I have become known for my habit of constantly singing, both in private and in public (I have a vast repertoire of songs about Texas). My roommates like to joke that it allows for them to keep track of me everywhere we go. I have a debilitating fear of all rodents, from bunnies to beavers, I love of DC so far, and that pretty much sums me up!
And now for the Dos and Don’ts:
1. Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or staying for a semester you have to go and see the monuments. Everyone does it, but only a few know the secret to monument viewing glory… you have to go and see them at night! At night, the monuments literally glow, plus they’re much less crowded. I would suggests going with a date of some sort because, let’s be honest, there is nothing more romantic that canoodling with that special someone while a stone faced Abraham Lincoln glares down at you.
(Here I am at the Lincoln Monument at night)
2. Go to Eastern Market: If a farmer and a flea had a baby, and then that baby started a market, it would be Eastern Market and it’s great! Eastern Market has everything you could ever want plus a lot of vegetables you’ve never even heard of. They also serve a kickin breakfast.
(This is literally the worst picture of Eastern Market. I swear, it's beautiful!)
3. Shop at Giant: Cheap individuals, such as myself, will quickly be driven to panic by the general price of food within the District, but have no fear, Giant is here! Giant Food stores are cheap and they have a great selection. I would recommend getting a Giant card and using the location at Columbia Heights.
4. Always pack two pairs of shoes: Ladies! Wrangle your inner divas, save your blistering feet, and always bring a change of shoes.
5. Walk!: The D.C. Metro is great, and by great I mean ridiculously expensive. Accordingly, the most important D.C. Do is to walk everywhere; it saves you money, makes you more familiar with the city, and gives you a bit of exercise!
1. Don’t start conversations with panhandlers: Where I grew up it’s rude to ignore people, so when I first arrived in DC I would respond to every homeless man’s beckoning by saying “No thank you, but have a wonderful day sir.” This resulted in my being heckled several times. Lesson: sometimes in city lingo “have a nice day” translates to “ please follow me, I like you.”
2. Don’t contract critter paranoia (I myself suffer from this): There are rats in D.C., and rats are terrible, but a rat does not make every ambient noise that you hear, and there aren’t little critters lurking in every dark alleyway, so don’t allow yourself to panic; it can really disrupt your sleeping habits.
3. Don’t try to ride the metro with no hands: I have seen many a drunken daredevil face-plant on the trains whilst trying to subway surf with no hands. Believe me, the trains are joltier than you’d expect!
4. Don't try to play a board game with CMC DC students: It’s no secret that CMC is composed of a bunch of type A personalities, it’s also no secret that the DC Program tends to attract the type “A”iest of the type “A’s”. Accordingly, a DC program board game is nothing less then a battle of the alpha males.
5. Don’t talk bad about your boss around town: As soon as you get to DC everyone will start telling you “DC is a small city, so don’t say anything bad about anyone in public. It will probably get back to them.” I’m not sure I buy this…but just in case, if you are going to gossip in public, make sure that it is stuff that you completely make up! So then, your ranting can result in town-wide rumors concerning fake stories about fake people!
(Here I am creepin on my way down to the metro where I probably made stuff up with no hands!)
Make sure to tune in next time! I'm going to recount my first panic attack!