Photo by Ada Polla

They say absence makes the heart go fonder. That is certainly true for me… after almost three weeks on the road, with 12 hours here and there in DC, I got back last night for what is going to be 4 days here straight, and remembered the many reasons why I love DC so much.

1.      The monuments. Even with all of the scaffolding around it, the Washington Monument is jewel-like, in particular when it is all lit up at night. The list is long, I won’t mention them all…

2.      The cab drivers. In what other city is NPR the radio of choice for cab drivers, and where else can you have such insightful political conversations with them? I learn something every time I speak with one.

3.      The trees. The entire city is filled with trees… and today, they are the color of gold, copper, bronze.

4.      The security. There is something special about seeing the Secret Service or just some big security guys with earpieces outside the restaurant I am about to walk in to.

5.      The conversations people have. Invariably, they are educated, intelligent, hushed, and intense. And the conversations I randomly strike up with someone sitting next to me at a bar (see below for my favorites). Similarly educated, interesting, and enlightening.

(Photo by: Ada Polla)

6.      The running trails. Miles and miles of amazing running. The bridge loop. The C&O Canal. Embassy Row. The National Mall. The running trails, and the friendly (and numerous) runners.

7.      Town Hall. Ex-pat Louisianans come here for Saints games. New England Patriots haters are not welcome. The food is delicious. And their specialty cocktail, the “Town Hall,” is perfect to celebrate a touchdown or drown your sorrows following an interception.

8.      The Rye Bar, and its barrel-aged Manhattan made with Pennsylvania-based Dad’s Hat rye whiskey, Dolin sweet vermouth, and Byrrh quinquina. The restaurant at the Capella is just as amazing, topped only by the truly amazing service.

9.      Black Salt. I spend much time in Louisiana, where the seafood, the oysters, the shellfish is amazing. Yet (and even my Louisiana-born and bred husband agrees), Black Salt remains my favorite for seafood. And then, there is the fish marke t…

10.  Thunder Burger. Amazing beer selection, burgers worth dying for, and Josh the deadpan bartender, make this place a must.

11.  Peacock Café. When I need a French Kiss, or to feel like everyone knows my name, Peacock it is. And their fries are the best I have had in DC.

12.  Stachowski’s. As a European, it thrills me that the American city I live in still knows what it means to be a butcher, and to buy meat somewhere other than at the grocery store.

13.  And last, but not least, my amazing girlfriends that live here; they are my heroes, my sisters, my support network. You know who you are.

DC, I love you.