After one weekend in DC, I've now gotten to see some of the common stereotypes of the city tested. Let's just say that they are stereotypes for a reason.
1. The metro is actually clean
I don't really have anything to compare it to, but considering how much foot traffic that comes and goes on the metro, it is surprisingly clean. Food and drink aren't technically allowed, which may aid the cleanliness of it, but overall the worst part of it definitely has to be the nasty smell of the newer trains.
2. The drivers are bad
Coming from a small town, the traffic itself was enough to take me aback. However, on what I was later told was a pretty calm day, the sheer amounts of defensive driving and severe honking that I witnessed assured me that D.C.'s traffic is definitely my person idea of hell.
3. Food trucks for the win
The sheer number of food trucks, especially by The National Mall, is enough to cover the street side. The variety and popularity of them helped me realize the future of food and what exactly makes them so popular.
4. Different areas of the city can give you very different impressions of the city
From The National Mall to China Town to Georgetown, the vibes are very different. It's almost as if the areas were different cities completely, not all within walking (or a short metro) distance away.
5. You'd need a week to actually explore the city in depth
With 19 Smithsonian museums, thousands of unique restaurants, shops, and stops, there is literally an endless amount of things to do in the city. After spending two days there, the main thing I walked away with was the need to come back and see more.
6. Parking is atrocious
Also with the bad driving comes horrible parking situations. Street parking is a nightmare, and the expensive, tightly packed parking garages aren't much better.
7. The turnover is alarmingly fast
New stores are popping up all over the place and the number of "closing" signs I saw were almost as many. It's hard to make it in D.C. and it seems that by the time I make it back there it might as well be a whole new city.
8. Whoever came up with the road and metro patterns are geniuses
So I don't really think this is a stereotype, but after traveling by car and metro in and around D.C., I have a new appreciation for the intricacy with which the roads and lines were made. There is so much traffic that a well designed traffic flow is essential to the working of the city, and these engineers did it well.