I realize that my previous posts about D.C. make it look as if I hate this city. Au contraire, there are many things I actually like about the District, and it does not help my cause that I've been here for a mere two weeks.
One thing I do like about D.C. is that it reminds me of Paris a bit. The low buildings and the big boulevards of Pierre L'Enfant are of course part of it. Also, there are certain "squares," like the one between 7th and 8th on F Street (across from the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro) that are remniscent of the big squares in Paris like the ones at L'Opera and the Bourse. D.C. still seems newer than Paris, and rightly so, but it is nice to be walking along in an American city and be reminded of my favorite European one.
I also appreciate the size of D.C. One thing I got caught up in at first was feeling like I needed to live in The District, and though it is a bit more urban there, by living in Arlington, I am a mere five to ten minute train ride from D.C. nightlife and downtown D.C. In Chicago or New York, one can live within the city limits and still be a good thirty minute train ride from the downtown, if not more. With D.C.'s small size, of course, comes a lot of suburban development, but I can't say D.C. is any worse than Chicago in that regard, though I admit I haven't been out to scary places like Tyson's Corner and the Dulles-area yet.
So the moral of this post is, I like D.C. It seems like a great place to live.