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City Centre

My friend <a href="http://juliewan.com/">Julie</a> summed it up pretty well when she said Washington DC, as a living space, felt functional. After all, we have university towns like Cambridge MA that inherits the attributes of its many academic institutions, industrial cities like Detroit and reinvented cities like Pittsburgh, which take after their respective industrial centres.
Washington DC, unlike pretty much any other city, has government as its centre, and it shows. Administrative buildings are everywhere, and it feels like the herd that heads to work by the metro in the morning is made up mostly of eager interns in suits. Of course, I'm generalising, and also further influenced by the fact I'm putting up 2 mins away from the Capitol Building, probably the most recognised government building, if not any building, in the world.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/annegirl/4966467552/" title="Self-portrait, Capitol Building, Washington DC by Lucian Teo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4131/4966467552_6b2248eb55.jpg" width="333" height="500" alt="Self-portrait, Capitol Building, Washington DC" class="img-center" /></a>
There are many wonderful museums around the mall to keep one occupied, but these, oddly enough, also feel a little planted to soften the pure paper-pushing power of the country's capital. Having run quickly through most of them when I was in DC last year, I gave most a miss this year
I was told that Washington is made up of many centres, and that the feeling of utilitarianism applies only to the area around Capitol Hill. The young and restless in Dupont Circle, the more settled in Arlington, so on and so forth.
It is probably a function of age, but I find the best part of my travels lie not in visiting tourist attractions, but the simple pleasures of reading on a park bench, or watching the sunset from a nice vantage point, eating a hot dog. The time and space to gather my thoughts, organise them and write them down.
Like now.

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