It isn't part of a state. It is officially a city. It was originally a municipality.
At least the city of Washington was, before it was combined with the territory of Columbia.
Yet still we have to specify that we are from the "State of Washington" or "Not DC" when out of the country. How shameful. :)
Also, it's located between Maryland and Virginia on the Potomac. The district has a representative in congress--but she has no voting rights.
Like any large city it has its share of violence, I would suspect that the bad parts of DC aren't any worse than the bad parts of say, Chicago or NYC. I have no stats to back that up with though.
And there are actually "states" out there that are technically "commonwealths" as well, just to be confusing.
It's very confusing. We have to make sure to specify that we are from Washington State and not DC to people in other countries not to confuse them and yet I live in the US and have no idea why we have such a confusing status for our Capitol. It's like Guam or something almost.
Oh, I forgot to say, at one point a few years ago they were number one in murders by gun violence for cities, but I think that isn't true anymore.
Edited at 2009-06-17 12:13 am (UTC)
I've never really felt 'scared' while in DC with few exceptions, and those are the places to avoid and FAR from most of the touristy areas, and the metro is - of the subways I've ridden - one of the cleanest and safest I've seen. I used to ride it home from "metro center" (about 2 blocks from the white house and the center of the metro system) at about 9-10pm everynight when I worked there.
Ditto this. Just stay in Northwest and it's all pretty nice. Even the curbs are made of marble!
The first time I took the escalators down to the metro station at the Pentagon I swear I heard a chorus of Angels singing. I love subways, the only reason I'm ever tempted to move to NYC is for the subways. But the Metro in DC...OMG! I wanted to leave and come right back in the terminal to see the mechanical gates in the wide isle politely slide open again.
Yeah, I know, I'm weird. I also like to be standing at the incoming end of the tunnel when an express blasts through the stations in NYC. The air hits you first...now if only I had money for a trip...*le sigh*
You're not the only one. :) One thing I hate about where I live is there is no metro access without a long drive. My ass would be on that train everyday if I could!! I think it's cause I grew up in a tiny town in Utah - I'm still in awe everytime I drive into the city that I'm actually RIGHT NEXT to the White House or the Capital Building - but the subway - that's always a treat. :)
How about those escalators at Rosslyn, eh? I actually walked them all the way to the top - once. :)
The escalators that went to the Path station below the WTC were the longest set of escalators I've ever seen in my life...amazing.
I love subways too, NYC's being closest to my heart despite their grossness.
But you're right - the Metro is amazingly clean AND beautiful!
Not to mention the polite little "bong" and the lights on the edge of the platform lighting up when the train is coming.
yes, massachusetts is referred to around here as "the commonwealth"...
and we still have the "registry of motor vehicles" as opposed to the "department of motor vehichles"...
Originally, the thought was that the capitol of our country should not belong to any one state, preventing "undo influence" etc. Of course, its had its own fair share of abuses and scandals.
The wiki article is has a lot of pretty good information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C
I don't tend to call it "Washington DC", but just D.C etc. But I have the excuse for having lived "nearby" and worked there for a time. I don't think I ever heard it called Washington, D.C. while living there except for folks new to the area etc.
nope, we all call it either just "DC" or "washington" ( but I've only really heard that when I was living in VA)
Most everyone I know calls it "the district" or DC. Washington is just too many syllables for someone who has to spend four hours a day commuting!
yep. It's "the District," here in Northern Virginia. And I wouldn't go asking "why isn't DC a state?" anywhere near the District. It's a sore point with them, and they have license plates that say "taxation without representation" on them. Y'know, because their votes don't count.
lol I live like half an hour from downtown so... yeah! :-P
What part? We live in Loudoun, near Dulles.
I had two babies there! I lived in Herndon at the time, but now I'm on the Maryland side closer to Annapolis.
I work in Herndon! Right across from the clock tower -- near Worldgate.
Yep, I lived right there at the corner of Frying Pan Rd. and Fox Mill Rd. in a complex that used to be apartments, but which I think they sold off as condos. Small world!
yeah - the district, but that's usually for those closer in than me. LOL! :)
I was born in the city itself, lived my first 17 years in the area (MD side), and recently spent another 5+ years living there again (VA side, about 5 minutes from DC). The city I lived in in VA -- Arlington -- actually used to be part of DC until it was given back to the commonwealth of VA in 1840-something.
DC is a very strange situation. I can understand and appreciate not wanting the capital of the country to be part of any one state. However the residents of DC get screwed over with the lack of voting rights. There are a lot of movements to make it the 51st state -- it always fails. The default current license plates in DC have said "Taxation without Representation" for the past 10-15 years or so.
When Nick and I got our marriage license in Reno, we had to give our birthplace (DC for both of us). We responded, "Washington, DC" knowing that the woman had to type in the city and select the state from the form drop-down. She was really, really confused. "What state is DC part of?" It was so foreign to us to have that question, both having grown up there (despite us both living elsewhere for 8+ years).
Also, violence and shootings in DC are not really much more than any other big city. Seattle is a weird place to live in that respect.
It's Maryland's land, but it is not a state - not apart of a state either. It's DC.
It's not meant to be a state because it's the "nation's capital".
Baltimore and Washington are often #1
in Crime and Homicide.
But Baltimore is WAY scarier than DC if you ask me!!
I haven't been to either. I'd like to do the whole East Coast tour sometime. I LOVED the heck out of NYC and regret not going to a Broadway show. I can't wait to go again and correct that oversight.
I agree. Especially west Balto.
*shudder* I've been driving through there EVERY DAY this week. Talk about scary!!!
Did you at least get to see any wild turkeys? I was always greatly amused to see them in West Balto. lol
lol. Nope. I did drive through Gwynns Falls park though, which is always pretty (and usually where I see the turkeys!) :)
My dad sent me the article with the new crime/murder top cities and Baltimore is one and he goes, "Do you still miss Baltimore?"
Yes, yes I do. :( 2-3 years and I may be moving back with 99% certainty.
well, you know my offer still stands (assuming we are still here... )
Its a district of Maryland but doesn't really follow MD state laws, have any representatives of government, but does pay taxes. Which is why a few years ago the DC license plates changed to say "taxation without representation"