"This is not America!" Top 5 Page for this destination Inside Scoop on D.C. / it's Residents Tip by matcrazy1
Inside Scoop on D.C. / it's Residents, Washington D.C.: 32 reviews and 70 photos
I have already visited a few tenths American cities in 22 states of western half of the USA and the South. Generally there is no typical American city but there are some common features I found in all of them except... for sure downtown Washington, DC (add Las Vegas, Nevada and maybe New Orleans, Louisiana here). Thus if you, a foreign visitor, visited only DC, Las Vegas or as I was told New York City (I must check it :-), in fact you hadn't seen real American city.
First of all each American city has downtown (called the city sometimes) which has less or more numerous high skyscrapers and patchwork of perpendicular, busy, crowded and noisy streets. There is almost no green space but some underground tunnels or bridges above ground. There are banks, various offices and multi-store parking lots, sometimes downtown shopping malls but few or no residential houses. Well, the downtown is to work and make business not to live in.
Now, look at my pictures of downtown Washington, DC and forget about the above. The downtown reminds rather a large park (the National Mall up to the Lincoln Memorial) surrounded by monumental federal buildings and few broad streets (rather boulevards) which are empty most of the time. Surprisingly there are NO (even one) skyscrapers in DC. They are put up across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia. There is a lot of green space which spreads southwards along the Potomac River (the West Potomac Park). In contrast to other US cities most locals do not use private cars to get to work in downtown as there is suprisingly convenient and unique in the USA public transportation system (metro + metrobus) which covers the whole DC metropolitan area.
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