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Questions about Washington DC?


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Hey folks,

I'm going to be in our nation's capital to do my practicum at LC over July and August. I have recieved a few enticing replies from my post for lodging on Craig's List. One of them is in Silver Spring, MD and the other is in town at 15th and Massachusetts. Here's the email the woman who posted the second one sent me just now:

****************************************************

"We have 1 bedroom in a house available during July and

August.

Location: 15th and Massachusetts--15 blocks from LC

with good bus when you don't want to walk. 4 blocks to

Metro.

Room and house: Your bedroom with a/c & shared

bathroom on second floor. Livingroom, kitchen on main

floor. Yard. Easy parking on street.

Other occupant: Middle aged female who works a lot;

otherwise quiet-ish but friendly.

Money: $500 includes utilities. Payable in advance

for 2 months.

Lets correspond if you are interested."

****************************************************

I'm thinking that $500 is pretty good. Many of the other ones I've read are up around $700-800. My question is: what is this area of town like? I have absolutely no idea. Any other suggestions or offerings would also be of help, obviously.

Thanks,

Brandon

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15th and Massachusetts might be the ticket. That is right in the heart of DC. Most buildings around there are in good condition. But you never know until you actually see the apartment, of course!

I live on the border of Silver Spring, which is a rather large and diverse city next to Washington. Do you have a more concrete address? In any case, Silver Spring would not give you the same benefits as downtown DC, and would require at least a 30-40 commute to the LC.

John

Edited by John L
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That area is fine. Jefferson Hotel is a couple of blocks away....Henley Park Hotel is over near 10th & Mass and they have decent Sat. night jazz in the lounge. National Geographic Society bldg. is a couple of blocks away (hit that a few weeks ago and saw the 'Mars' exhibit). Quick cab to the Hill.....not that far from Dupont Circle......Chinatown & the MCI Center might be......I dunno..8 or 9 blocks? Cafe Mozart and the weizen biers are down near 14th & H. I don't ride the Metro much anymore but my guess is that you'd be near the McPherson station. At that price..for a couple of months, I'd take it over Silver Spring in a heartbeat.

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Off topic, slightly, but Brandon -- if you get the chance, try to get over to the National Building Museum while you're in DC. It's just about my favorite museum in all DC, and with their ever-changing exhibits - I try to stop by there nearly every time I'm in town. (I think I've been there about 3 or 4 times, in the last maybe 8 years.)

nbm.gif:wub::wub::wub:

Here's how to get there, and their hours: CLICK HERE. They appear to be open on Saturdays -- and actually, entry to the museum is free, though they suggest a donation. (And there's a Metro station right at the Museum.)

If I lived in or anywhere near DC, I'd probably be visiting this place at least 2 or 3 times a year, like clockwork.

Back to the rest of the discussion about where you ought to live.

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Thanks guys. I replied to this woman right away and said that we should talk on the phone about details. (I figure by then I will have thought of some good questions.) Sounds like a good deal to me and location is huge since I won't have a car.

I'll be sure to check out that Museum, Tom. sounds interesting. If I remember right, someone else has a hologram museum a bit off the beaten path. And by this I mean the kinds of holograms they used to put on the cover of National Geographic ironically enough.

Speaking of museums, what's the deal with the aquarium in DC? It's like a freakin' dungeon in there......

Keep 'em coming you guys! I visited DC about six years ago but know very little about the place in reality. I only saw the *greatest hits* so I know nothing about the different neighborhoods, etc. This is very helpful and I really appreciate it. :tup

[bONUS TRACK] My Royals play the O's at Camden Yards the week that I get there. If anyone wants to go, the first round is on me!

Edited by Brandon Burke
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Brandon,

In general, you don't want to live in South East DC, especially as far as 15 blocks from LC - it's a pretty bad neighborhood. 15th and Mass. NW is OK, though - you're close to Dupont Circle. What metro stop did she say?

PM me as we get closer to the date - I hang out at LC a lot, and I've been collecting some goodies there that I'll be glad to show you.

Who will you be working with? Larry Appelbaum?

Bertrand.

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I'll be working with Sam Brylawski. I was originally supposed to be working with Mark Roosa as well but his last week at LC is the week before I begin. As such, I'm going to show up a few days early so I can see Mark.

I'll definately be getting ahold of you Bertrand. And thanks for the note.

B.

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Well....it's SE or bust, fellas. I can't afford the other places I've seen. Also, all three of the women who live at this place are *mousey* library types, the likes of which one immediately thinks of when discussing NPR hosts. So I figure, y'know, they're living there. Also, the owner of the house said that her roomate keeps her bike on the front porch every night (without trouble) and I figure that if that's cool then, in the grand scheme of things, the place is too.

I mean, when it comes down to brass tacks, anything that can be pawned can be pawned. I'm from Kansas City so I've seen some rough shit too (KC is way up there on the annual homicide list). If she can leave her bike out there then that says something to me.

Also, my buddy who works at LC said this in response:

"I'm assuming that this is 15th and Massachusetts SE. That's a pretty nice neighborhood. You'll be living on Capitol hill, which I think is a great place to live."

So........

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I mean, when it comes down to brass tacks, anything that can be pawned can be pawned. I'm from Kansas City so I've seen some rough shit too (KC is way up there on the annual homicide list). If she can leave her bike out there then that says something to m

Well that's true, stuff can happen anywhere. Since I don't know you personally and have no idea what your tolerance level for 'X', 'Y' or 'Z' is.....I can only make recommendations based on what that area was like when I lived around there 15 years ago. Back in the late 80's the area stretching out from Lincoln Park past 11th..12th or 13th streets was a real mixed bag. When I was at 11th & D SE in '86 I once had to chase some peeing tom with a baseball bat out through the alley...and a few months later some some guy crawled into our street facing, ground floor bedroom in the middle of the night through an open window. There was just always something going on back there. At 12th & Maryland there was just the usual break-in and that interesting night when the upstairs neighbor caught a bunch of goobers trying to hitch his yellow corvette up to a tow truck at 3:00 am. :blink: Then when I was over at 14th & East Capitol in 1988 -- two blocks from where you're now looking -- I was held up at gunpoint. Only after they then stole my Audi and trashed all my hockey gear (in the trunk) did I get sufficiently worked up enough to leave. :g So, ah, I guess I'm still thinking about those good 'ol days Nevertheless, that was a long time ago and things do change...and rather quickly. In the early 80's, there were a couple of blocks down on lower 14th street over by the White House that were heavily seeded with porn shops, peep shows, strip clubs --- 10 years later every single one of 'em was history...dust...nada. There's no question that it's fun living up on the Hill....some decent bars & restaurants over on the House side by the LoC.....as well as the Senate side (Lounge 201). Some very nice walking neighborhoods and all that. Great place to live if you're single. Friends who live around 12th & Constitution say that it has gotten much better in 3 or 4 short years.....sooooooo, if your LoC pal says it's not so bad, and the current occupants are keeping a bike outside, then make a play for it. I have a meeting up there on Wed., so I might take a quick run out there and have a look around and see what's happening. What's the street address? I'll look for that bike. :g

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While Washington DC remains a rather unpredictible place, I think I can safely say that it has changed a lot since the mid 1980's and that a lot of neighborhoods have been transformed. Whether these changes are all for the good or not is of course the source of much debate, but it is a fact. I would add though that as these changes take place, the change itself is often the source of security incidents as elements from the old and new version of a neighborhood tend to clash at times.

Personally I would say that the location being discussed is a little risky (for reasons mentioned above) but not dangerous in general or in a very overt way nowadays.

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IMHO, the most beautiful building in D.C. is the Library of Congress. Beautiful, and great for studying. Also, Union Stattion is beautiful.

Also, when you go out to peruse the museums, do make sure you go the Holocaust Museum. It's a truly humbling experience, and was one of the highlights of my trip there a couple years back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are interested in jazz you should try to hang at HR57 or Twins. (HR57 if you're a musician and you wanna jam; Twins if you wanna see the local cats or national acts as well for much more reasonable prices than Blues Alley or the Kennedy Center.)

That neighborhood is in the throes of revitalization and I believe there's a cop shop right nearby there so it'll be safe enough. But I wouldn't walk alone outside after midnight.

matt m.

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Also, when you go out to peruse the museums, do make sure you go the Holocaust Museum. It's a truly humbling experience, and was one of the highlights of my trip there a couple years back.

I went there in 2000, during my only visit to the city. My brother and I were the only people in our group who wanted to go. Needless to say, it is a very moving experience indeed.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Brandon,

I just saw this thread or I would have added my two cents sooner. You've gotten good advice from the folks above.

I've lived here for 15 years, and in that time the town has changed a TON. A lot of areas, like the outskirts of Capitol Hill where it sounds like you're going, have changed a lot in terms of safety. I think you'll really like it. It's a cool town.

There are some good used LP shops. The first I would recommend is Orpheus Records in Arlington. It's right by the Clarendon metro station on the Blue line. Things there are usually in great shape. The prices are a little higher than other stores. Doesn't have much collectible stuff, but tons of titles and a lot of more obscure stuff.

Second Story Books in Dupont Circle (20th and P, right near the metro) has some jazz records. Its more hit or miss, but I have made some great purchases there. Their prices are cheaper, and they do get old copies of things, but their overall selection is pretty low. It's mostly a used book store, but their LP focus has been growing.

If you have access to a car, check out Joe's Record paradise in Rockville. Big store with great prices. He has all kinds of things there in every genre.

Shoot me an email if you have any questions about anything. I'm glad to help a fellow jazz fan.

Drew

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  • 2 weeks later...

That neighborhood is in the throes of revitalization and I believe there's a cop shop right nearby there so it'll be safe enough. But I wouldn't walk alone outside after midnight.

That's pretty much the deal. There's a guy down the block who's into all sorts of shady stuff but you really only see him in the evening. Like the woman who owns the house said, "This area is fine for walking to work during the day, walking to the grocery, etc. but if you're staying late at work or going out to meet freinds...take a cab."

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