Well, it’s been exactly one year since we moved to D.C. proper, after a combined 20 years of living around the periphery (well, I did 2 years in Glover Park, but that hardly counts). so, in the spirit of the new(ish) local blog We Love DC, the lady sparkler and I spent a walk through the neighborhood recounting why we love this place.

National Zoo
Denizens of Mount Pleasant refer to the Zoo as their “backyard” and in a lot of ways it is. I know more about the Prairie Dogs than I do some of my friends. Free summer concerts on lion hill, winter solace because the tourists stay away, spring babies, and the best fall foliage in the city.

Free Stuff
It’s easy to take this for granted, but we are reminded everytime we leave the city … everything in D.C. is free. From concerts, to movies on the mall, to museums, to monuments. The first time the lady sparkler and I went to NYC together, we just couldn’t shut up about the $18, $25, $30 tickets to see anything of culture. No wonder they are so grumpy up there.

Kennedy Center
Truely the greatest “monument” in D.C., the Kennedy Center presents an amazing array of theatre, music and culture to the city. Sure, we should give a shout out to the Woolly Mammoth, Arena, Signature and Shakespeare Theatres too, but the top class productions in D.C. are good enough to rival those of other major cities around the world.

A decade ago, “food” would certainly not make an area top list, but D.C. is now home to quite a few decent restaurants. Maybe they aren’t the most daring menus on the planet, but the food is top-shelf and the service is legitimately okay. Going out, we have had as many great meals as we do mediocre, and that’s a step in the right direction.

Urban Parks
It’s hard to believe in a city, but we really have trees and parks all over the place. Rock Creek is enormous, and just about every intersection of the big avenues has a park of some kind. Large and small, these parks are one of the reasons DC-ites are out and about so much.

RFK Stadium
While a source of scorn for a lot of people who just don’t get it (D.C. United’s owners to name a few), RFK Stadium is the last great municipal stadium in use in the country, and one of the truest places to watch a ballgame in the country. No doubt: we will cry if it ever gets torn down.

Meridian Hill / Malcolm X Park
Parisian fountains in the middle of the District … who can argue with that? Almost by definition, spring starts in the city when the park’s fountains are turned on, and it plays host to everything from picnics to drum circles. The best news, is that ten years ago it wasn’t save to think about entering the park. Now? Oasis in the city.

Mount Pleasant
I loved Mount Pleasant before I even knew what it was. I got lost here in the late 90s and again in 2005, both times thinking it was the most beautiful neighborhood in the world. I’m here for the amazing. She is here for the farmer’s market. It’s a win, win.

Now, the one reason we hate this place: no one stays here … in the last 4 months, we’ve lost a handful of our closest friends to Seattle, Boston and now Mississippi. Mississippi?!? When you start losing people to the deep south, you have to wonder how great your city actually is … but why we hate D.C. (politics, interns) is a posting for another day.