Leslie's Top Ten Best Things About Georgetown in 2010
As the end of the year rapidly approaches, here's my completely subjective, non-exhaustive, personal list of the best things about Georgetown Life in 2010. In no particular order (unless I say otherwise): 1. The renovated and restored Georgetown Library is a gift to everyone in the city from the city (and its generous friends). The beautiful reading rooms, the fabulous children's section and the lovely terraced grounds are just a few reasons to love it and, if my last visit is any indication, it is also a great place for weary travelers to take a rest as well as catch up on magazines or email: I found a few people snoozing (and one snoring) in the reading room. Whoever thought of having a dedicated computer area for teens is a genius. 2. The newest incarnation of the Social Safeway: was it really a year in the making? It may have seemed longer while we were without it, but now it is hard to imagine life before it. The clean, well-lit aisles, the produce section, nut bar (?) and the luxurious wine room all make for an elevated shopping experience, not to mention the easy in and out parking. Now they just need to work on those self checkout lanes.... 3. The24 hour Starbucks at Safeway. Not to be redundant, but the Starbucks at Safeway is a great place to meet friends or work on your computer with free wi-fi. Georgetown really needed a 24 hour coffee bar with decent parking and this is a surprise hit. I was recently delighted to find the cozy room tucked in back by the windows that makes it feel like you are not in a grocery store at all. 4. The Apple Store. After all the hoopla about the design of the store itself, it seems Georgetowners cannot get enough of the Apple store on Wisconsin. Day and night, it is packed with people of every description, not to mention their Benetton-like staff which appears to consist of every possible demographic on the planet. Children can play games on the kid-designated computers while you shop or you can play on the Ipads, Ipods and I-whatevers instead of shopping. If and when you do decide to make a purchase, one of the very helpful Apple worshippers on staff will ring up your sale from the device around his neck and hand you a bag lickety-split. It's so easy you may just forget how much money you just spent. Hmmmm. 5. Fashion's Night Out brought out the best in the village's retail community with many, many of them opening their doors to the neighborhood and hosting special receptions, sales and promotions that benefited several local charities including BabyLove DC and Labels for Love. While lacking the star power of the original event which started in NYC in 2009, this event turned the spotlight on many of our local boutiques which have endured a tough economic climate. It was an important reminder to everyone to shop locally whenever possible. 6. Waterfront Park. The largest public park to be completed in DC in 30 years is the seven-acre secret below the Whitehurst freeway. Beautiful by day or lit up at night, this is a wonderful place for a leisurely walk. Don't miss the maze and the opportunity to write in the guest book (attached to the accompanying bench) that is curated and maintained by Georgetown residents Pam and Rich Hines. 7. Cafe Bonaparte's new morning coffee service. Not to discount the coffee available at other wonderful neighborhood establishments, but the institution of morning coffee service and take out coffee at Cafe Bonaparte is a godsend to those who, like me, yearn for a proper cappuccino or cafe au lait in a proper cup and in a setting that makes me feel like I'm in a Paris cafe. We are all usually rushing in the morning, but a cafe encourages me to stop and smell the beans, as it were. 8. Farmer's Market at Hardy - While technically Burleith/Glover Park, this market is a G-town favorite. Bluegrass music, fresh flowers, meat, dairy and produce, chef and gardening demos and a bike clinic make Saturdays at the market a "must-do." The market is run by the non-profit DC Greens which channels proceeds into local food education and access in DC schools. And they're dog friendly! 9. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the return of the annual Volta Park Day Softball Game championship title to the East Village. I won't say who insisted I mention this. (And anyway, a "Top 9" list didn't have the same zing to it.) and the Best New Addition to Georgetown in 2010 is: THE GEORGETOWN DISH! I know this may seem a little self serving, but having only recently become a contributor to the Dish, I feel I am still qualified to judge it objectively. I cannot overstate the number of times I have told a person I write for the Dish and have them tell me that it has become a part of their daily news ritual or the much needed tool to find out about local events they had been missing. Awarded "Business of the Year" by the GBA (in their first year of operation!), the Dish has filled a void in both hyper-local news and new media outlet coverage for Georgetown. Just enough news, society and fun items (but not too much) to read on the fly. Congratulations and thank you! I thought about listing the top ten worst things about Georgetown, but thought that would be a down note to end the year with. I'd be happy to hear from readers who have their own favorites or other things they think I should know about Georgetown and perhaps there will be a Top Ten (Part II) in 2011. Happy New Year Georgetown!