DC Culture

DC Culture

Coming from New York, I am not easily impressed with the cultural life of other cities. After all, when you live a short train ride away from the cultural, artistic, and economic capital of the world, it's not hard to become jaded. But I have to say that, in the time I've spent living in DC, I've been pleasantly surprised with the rich and exciting cultural offerings it has presented.


DC's Chinatown


As an unrepentant music nerd, I have to start with DC's live music scene. I'm a huge fan of the Bowery Presents venues in New York - concerts in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn - and I've been really happy to see that DC thoroughly stacks up in this respect. U Street and Adams Morgan are two really cool neighborhoods in northwest DC, with some great small venues that usually only cost between $10 and $30. A few weeks ago I saw Ryan Hemsworth, an electronic producer and DJ, do a set at the U Street Music Hall, which was an awesome show - super cheap, a really cool crowd and plenty of remixed Drake and Future tracks.


Questlove at The Howard Theater.


This past weekend, I scored one even better: Questlove, drummer and bandleader of The Roots (yes, of the Tonight Show), at the Howard Theater right off of U Street. Quest offered up a nearly three-hour-long DJ set, which was satisfyingly eclectic and high-energy (especially during the now-requisite "Happy" by Pharrell). It was great to see him, afro-pick and all, on a really small, close-knit stage.


The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History


DC has much more to offer than Questlove, though. After a few weeks of constant work and socializing, I finally got a chance to hit up a few of the District's many, many museums. I didn't have all that much time (especially after coming from Sunday's massive Keystone XL pipeline protest in front of the White House, which I checked out at its tail-end), but I managed to swing by the Smithsonian's American and Natural History museums. I liked the Natural History museum a bit more, but both were fascinating. The American History museum had two amazing exhibits on the civil rights movement and presidential elections, and while I didn't get to see nearly everything in the Natural History museum, I absolutely loved the various stuffed mammals and dinosaur bones (a long-time favorite of a four-year-old me). These are two must-sees for anybody in Washington, and the city truly does have a booming cultural atmosphere that will entertain me for months to come.

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