I have been to the USA a few times and I must say that one of my favorite places is Washington, D.C.
Here are a few things you might want to know about the capital of one of the world’s powerful nations:
IT IS NOT A STATE
Despite being USA’s center of government, Washington, D.C. is not a state. In fact, the city’s motto is “Taxation without representation”. People who live in D.C. pay taxes but during elections they do not get to choose representatives in Capitol Hill for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Last year, about 86 percent of the residents of the city voted for its statehood, and changing it’s name to New Colombia, Douglass Commonwealth. However, the road to Washington, D.C becoming a state lies on the approval of both houses of congress. With Republican’s opposition to the measure, and Democrat’s seeing it as a low priority, we may not see D.C. as a state any time soon.
HIGH INCIDENCE OF POVERTY
Seeing Washington, D.C. for the first time, one may say that it is pretty much an affluent city. It has state of the art buildings, one of the cleanest metro railway stations I have seen, and high commodity prices. However, according to the report of DC Fiscal Policy Institute in 2014, one in five residents of the city are living below the poverty line, and one in ten are in extreme poverty. Most of these people are Hispanics or African-American.
WORLD’S LARGEST MUSEUM COMPLEX
If you are into history, culture, and arts, Washington, D.C. will definitely satiate that appetite. The city is a museum lovers’ haven! It has eleven museums and galleries, and a zoo, managed by the Smithsonian Institute. Best thing is, they are free of charge! Millions of items and collections are housed in these establishments, gathering about thirty million visitors annually.
Some of these museums include the American History Museum, African-American History Museum, US Holocaust Museum, Air and Space Museum, and the American Indian Museum.
According to friends living in D.C., the law provides that no building shall be built taller than the Washington Monument. Upon further research, I have learned that the United States Congress passed the Height of Buildings Act in 1910, limiting the height of any buildings to be erected in the city to only 130 feet or 40 meters.
BIKING IS LIFE
D.C. traffic can be awful sometimes. Hence, some residents would prefer going around on bicycles.
The city is friendly to bike-lovers. Streets have bicycle lanes, and bicycle stands everywhere to safely park your bikes. If you do not have one, you can find bicycles for rent almost everywhere too! Don’t worry about being drench in sweat. D.C. climate is not humid and temperatures are way lower that that in the Philippines (except for summer).
Of course there is so much more about Washington, D.C. other than the ones mentioned above. This is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg, and if you would have the chance to travel to the United States, don’t miss this marvelous place, and include this in your bucketlist!
(All potos are mine)