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28 Jun

Powerful and picturesque Washington, D.C..

Good day Dear readers,

In the beginning of each year I make a wish list of the places that I would love to visit. The main June’s target was the extraordinary center of the world – the city with multiple personalities, the capital of the United States of America –Washington D.C. District of Columbia in full, which is often used only as abbreviation D.C. The name was given after the Founding Father and the 1st President of the United States George Washington.

Today D.C. is a working federal city, authority and significance notes of the political “Capital of the World” were felt by me while entering the capital district. D.C. is the home for the United States federal Government (President Palace – the White House). Half of the land here is owned by the U.S. government and several hundred thousand people work for the federal administration. It is also an international metropolis and financial center: World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other considerablefinancial institutions are placed here along with printing money establishments. Washington is a picturesque place and the world’s best tourist destination, about 20 million people travel to Washington annually. Moreover, D.C. is a supremetreasury of the country’s history and artifacts, as well as a cosmopolitan centre that retains a neighborly small-town ambience. The role Washington plays as the capital of the United States often overshadows its lively local history and its complex political, economic, and social issues.

The city is locate on the northern shore of the Potomac River at the river’s navigation head—that is, the transshipment point between waterway and land transport. The state of Maryland borders the District of Columbia to the north, east, and west, and the state of Virginia borders the District on the southern shore of the Potomac River. The city of Washington was built on a gently undulating, low, wide peninsula of land bounded by the Potomac River and its tributary, the Anacostia, in the belief that the location would develop into an important commercial port. (Potomac is an Algonquian word meaning “trading place,” and Anacostia is derived from the name of a local people, the Nacostines, who traded on that river.) In fact, it did become with the gratitude to the French army engineer – Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who became Washington’s visionary planner. There 2 factors that strongly influenced L’Enfant’s imagination as heplanned the capital city: Baroque landscape architecture of the 18th –century and familiarity with the city of Paris and the grounds of Versailles. L’Enfant implemented the city’s formal plan wisely by selecting central sites for principal buildings on the basis of their importance. He started with U.S. Capitol building and placed it on a high ridge. After that he symbolically linked it by Pennsylvania Avenue was to the presidential palace (the White House) on a slightly lower ridge. By placing Capitol at the center of the plan, L’Enfant drew surveyors’ lines through the building to the points of the compass and separated the city into 4 sections. They are Northwest (the largest quadrant), Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest. Three of the four lines became streets: North Capitol, East Capitol, and South Capitol streets. The fourth line stretches west from the Capitol along the middle of the Mall to the Potomac River. Overall Washington’s streets are organized in as scheme of broad diagonal avenues and north-south streets are numbered and east-west lettered.

However, mainly 3 factors have radically influenced the style of Washington’s architecture: restrictions on the height of structures, Classicism (a style known for rationality, beauty, order, and balance), and conservatism. Yet, in the mid-20th century, Modernism began to have a noticeable effect. It had been also defined by imposing neoclassical monuments and buildings – including the iconic ones that house the federal government’s 3 branches: the Capitol, White House and Supreme Court. It’s also home to iconic museums and performing-arts venues such as the Kennedy Center.

The main point of the city is the National Mall, a formal green space containing the Washington Monument and other memorials commemorating wars and august Americans from Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King Jr. Here the Museum of Natural History, Air and Space Museum and other free Smithsonian Institution museums dedicated to art, history and culture can be found. DC is also friendly, flourishing city of Victorian row houses of varied appeals. One can find here everything from DupontCircle’s trendy shops and Georgetown’s posh restaurants to the vibrant nightlife along the U Street Corridor.

The best time to visit the capital is from middle of March to middle of July if you like busy seasons. Due to the cherry blossom time here, like in Japan, from the late Mar-mid April people plan in advance to come here for this beautiful event. The city’s most popular events are the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in spring, the 4th of July celebration in summer, and the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in winter. July and August tend to be hot and humid and therefore not of a great demand. Nevertheless, various conferencesare held here at the business centers and hotels nearly all year round (Sep-Nov and mid Jan-Jun). Wintershere, like in Moscow, are usually snowy and cold.

So if you are still thinking about going to DC or not, I would highly recommend you at least once to see this vivid and well-structured city. You can still catch one of the greatest and symbolic celebrations of the Independence Day in the capital of the USA. The purpose of any recommendation and/or suggestion is actually doing that and making the wishes come true. Be happy, be spontaneous, travel and enjoy life!

Thanks for reading me