Discovering DC with DC Celine


In this weeks Discovering DC, we explore Washington DC with the fabulous Alison from DC Celine! DC Celine is one of my favorite blogs so it is an absolute delight to team up with Alison and find out her favorite spots in DC!

What's your history with Washington DC?
I came to the DC area way back in 1992, when I started at the University of Maryland, College Park. I lived in College Park, Takoma Park, and Silver Spring until 2004, when H and I got engaged. I moved in with him in the Van Ness neighborhood. We love our condo, and are now married with two "Beans," 6 and 3 1/2. Our 'hood is a fantastic place to live, metro-accessible and walkable to all sorts of other neighborhoods. We keep thinking about moving to the 'burbs, but can't bring ourselves to leave a place where we can walk literally everywhere we need to go.

Discovering Washington DC- what are your favourite places to shop/eat/go with friends/people watch?
Our area is so very green - literally. Connecticut Avenue and the side streets are tree-lined with old oaks, maples, and ginkos that make a gorgeously lit "alley" arching over the streets. We stroll up to Politics & Prose, a DC institution of an independent book store (with a fab subterranean coffee shop, Modern Times.

For shopping, we'll hoof it over to Friendship Heights and hit the discount retailers like Nordstrom Rack and the new DSW. I've scored some amazing deals in that neighborhood because of the range of retailers from high to low. Even the Beans (the 6 year old, especially) love to shop, and if we buy too much, we treat ourselves to a "fancy car" home, via Uber. It's been a lifesaver for a mama with two Beans laden with packages.

That is, if we don't hit Frosting for the. best. cupcakes. (and coffee) in the area, first. Really. Forget all of the other cupcakes. And go. NOW.
To eat? What's not to eat? With the Beans, we're lucky to have a couple of places blocks away. Most of the city knows about Comet Ping Pong and Buck's, where H and I will go to get one of the best steaks in the city. With the Beans, though, we love the local "chain" Italian Pizza Kitchen and the new Boiler Room at Jake's American Grill. If we're alone, H and will steal a walk to Cleveland Park for a quiet dinner at Dino which does an amazing job of accommodating our sometimes strange diets.

Then, if we're lazy, we "hit" our absolute favorite: Masala Art via delivery. The food is phenomenal, unlike other Indian places, and well worth the (unfortunately) super long delivery times. As long as we plan for it, we can survive until the delivery guy rings our bell. We've gotten pretty close to him.

Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Washington DC?
Our newest discovery - and one we're kicking ourselves for not making sooner - is to walk a whole 2 blocks south on Connecticut to the Soapstone Valley trail . It's an easy trail (less than a mile) that wanders along a Rock Creek tributary. It's cool, even in the heat, quiet, and there are rocks and logs to climb. And bugs to investigate. Then we indulge in some homey Italian at "IPK," as we call it, just around the corner.

Alison Santighian by Amy Carmichael Smith

Check out more posts in the Discovering DC archive here. 

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