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Talk:Washington, D.C.

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Contents

This article was the Collaboration of the week between 04 July 2006 and 10 July 2006.

For discussions regarding D.C.'s districts scheme, please see Talk:Washington, D.C./Districts discussion.


Pierre, you're deafinitely a punster. --Evan 13:07, 5 Feb 2004 (EST)

Inhearently so. -phma 21:03, 5 Feb 2004 (EST)

I'm moving the transport links to embedded links to this reason: "Washington Flyer (http://www.washfly.com/)" includes the closing ) as part of the clickable text and as part of the URL, which means all the URLs in that section don't actually work. - Hypatia 16:09, 3 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Just a little to much agenda?[edit]

"somewhat dysfunctional US Federal government" "itself underfunded" "To make things worse, the US congress often intervenes in city government while subordinating local concerns to national, partisan squabbles."

These statements are awful slanted. Is this article's intent to be a rallying cry for D.C., or information regarding visiting D.C.?

"In addition to the problems caused by its political status, DC also suffers from some very serious cultural divides within its population. DC is simultaneously inhabited by some of the most privileged and underprivileged US citizens and the ideals of a temporary governing, professional population often conflict with the needs of this real-world metropolis' permanent residents."

Palestinian and Jews have a "serious cultural divide" in Israel. Living and working in D.C., I can say while divides may exist (as do in most places), I'd be pretty doubtful to call it "serious".

As some side notes:

D.C.'s annual budget is approximately $6.2 billion, composing of 60 square miles.

That budget is more than North and South Dakota's states' budgets combined (representing nearly 150,000 square miles). It also equals the entire budget of Delaware.

DC's budget works out to be about $100 MILLION dollars per square mile. Compared to North & South Dakota's which is roughly $42,000 per square mile.

D.C. may indeed need more money, but I'm not sure it is as broke as this article is suggesting.

You've got to be joking. That's lame compared to what's currently written. The $100 million figure and the North Dakota figure you use are misleading. Based on the information you provided, North Dakota's total budget is ~ $2,972,004, while D.C.'s is in excess of $6 billion. There are different priorities compared to ND and DC, primarily one of these two places has nuclear warheads aimed at it so one of these places needs to have impecabale security, one of these places is so small it has infrastructure requirements that the other doesn't need. Both places have roughly the same population level, but because DC is more compact it needs things a guy in Fargo doesn't need – a police force with enough gun power to invade Holland, a subway, just to name a few.
But, the point of the article is not how broke the city government is, but rather how broke its residents are. Go to any park in DC and you'll find homeless people. Now, you can find homeless people anywhere, but there seems to be an unusually high number in DC. Hence, the bit about the city being shared by some of the nation's poorest and richest individuals. Congress can pass stupid bills and laws, but can't help out it's own homeless neighbors, who live less than 100 yards from their offices? Well, I do believe that's the definition of "dysfunctional". -- Sapphire(Talk) • 16:56, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

Sapphire: Sorry I meant North & South there. $42,000 * 150,000 sq miles = $6,300,000,000. I'm not suggesting all things are equal, I am suggesting "severely underfunded" has a lot to do with one's opinion and/or agenda. Besides lobbying for DC what does this information add to the article? Is a visitor to DC being substantially hampered by some lack of a DC Government resource because of budgetary issues?

"Serious cultural divide" would be euphemistic for the war in Israel/Palestine, for DC it is merely fair. And I say that having grown up and spent most of my life here thank you very much. "Agendas" spoil (ahem) encyclopedia articles, lively writing on the other hand makes travel guides worth reading. --Peter Talk 18:06, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

Why I added the Within city limits of D.C[edit]

Have you ever walked from downtown D.C. to the National Zoo? I have, and it takes a while. I didn't want people to be misled into thinking that it's a short walk. I think that for the D.C. listings, "Downtown" should be defined as whatever is within a short walk of the National Mall. Of course, that calls into question what should be "Downtown" and what should be listed under "The National Mall". Take the White House, for example.

I also wonder about the "Elsewhere" section. Should it include daytrips like Mount Vernon, Williamsburg and Shenandoah National Park?

It's only my second day here, so please forgive any formatting errors. Using this Wiki software takes some getting used to.

Day trips outside DC should prob go in Get Out. "Elsewhere" is redundant now you've made "Within city limits", which is better. Nurg 00:35, 12 Jan 2005 (EST)

How to explain D.C?[edit]

I, Mikito, think it's important that the D.C. in Washington D.C. be explained. Someone who isn't from the U.S. might wonder about the name. As of this writing, I have the text "Washington (D.C.), also known as the District of Columbia, is the capital..." but that still feels clunky to me. I think it's worth saying in the introduction that Washington D.C. isn't part of any state, I think it's interesting, but it's not that interesting either. A more detailed explanation could go under "Understand", but that might be overkill. 67.1.104.147 12:03, 12 Jan 2005 (EST)

I certainly think it is worth explaining, perhaps not in total detail like Wikipedia might but certainly sufficiently to give some historical insight for the traveller. If you do not want to do it in a Washington (D.C.) article then you could explain it in a District of Columbia article, as that is a region - like a state - rather than a city article. -- Huttite 16:33, 12 Jan 2005 (EST)
But DC and Washington (D.C.) are one and the same, aren't they, so we wouldn't have 2 articles. Nurg 02:44, 13 Jan 2005 (EST)
No, they are not. For example: Silver Spring is a suburb of Washington (D.C.) but it is in Maryland. This means the District of Columbia is different from (and probably smaller than) Washington (D.C.). Whether it deserves an article of its own is questionable, but certainly a mention, and a redirect to the page section where that mention is made, at least. -- Huttite 03:21, 14 Jan 2005 (EST)
We almost always do a separate article for suburbs. My understanding is that Washington and the District of Columbia are coterminous (they have the same borders). --Evan 06:17, 14 Jan 2005 (EST)
Ok, if that is the case it sounds like District of Columbia is best explained in the Understand section. I was getting the impression that Washington is a sprawling conurbation that has exceeded the District of Columbia boundaries. -- Huttite 06:32, 14 Jan 2005 (EST)
I'd suggest a floating infobox for this. Jpatokal 02:54, 13 Jan 2005 (EST)
Or just something for the Understand section. -- Mark 04:50, 13 Jan 2005 (EST)
I think Evan has done the best job so far in dealing with this issue, with his greatly expanded "Understand" section. Good job! -- Mikito 14:05, 14 Jan 2005 (EST)

How to make The National Mall more readable?[edit]

I'm concerned about the length and density of the National Mall listing. There's a lot to see on the Mall, but that also makes for a big block of unrelieved text.

I was thinking of splitting the attractions listing so that it would list the museums along Constitution Avenue (the north side) and have a space break before the Independence Avenue (south side) listings.

The thing is, there are some items which are centrally located, like the Washington Monument. I also don't want to end up making the whole thing more confusing in an attempt to improve how it looks.

I'm also thinking of spinning off the US Capitol into a separate Capitol Hill listing which would eventually include Union Station, the National Postal Museum, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. Again, this is in order to break up the text into manageable chunks. -- Mikito 17:12, 13 Jan 2005 (EST)

The Mall and/or Capitol Hill would probably be classified as a districts of Washington (D.C.). If you wanted to split them off into separate pages have a look at the Article templates. -- Huttite 06:28, 14 Jan 2005 (EST)
I don't plan on spinning off "The National Mall" or "Capitol Hill" onto their own pages, at least yet. There's still a lot of work to be done in expanding the content before I think they would truly merit their own pages. Down the road, perhaps. That would also work well with other areas like Georgetown and Dupont Circle. -- Mikito 14:06, 14 Jan 2005 (EST)

Source material to add to Sleep[edit]

The PyCon wiki has some information they've researched on accomodation:

(PyCon is a conference about the Python programming language).

Someone looking to expand the Sleep section might find some useful source material there.

Spiv 19:44, 21 Jan 2005 (EST)

Metro service levels[edit]

What is the source of the information stating that Metrorail is increasing service levels as of January 1, 2006? I have never seen that information before, and I can guarantee you that there is no such increase planned (i.e., Metro will never be running 24 hours/day). The only relevant tidbit about increased service levels is that Metro is now testing the operation of 8-car trains on some lines during peak hours, and hopes to eventually implement full usage of 8-car trains. - Snowman83

Welcome Snowman83. If you think it is wrong, please plunge forward and correct it. --Huttite 15:27, 2 Jan 2006 (EST)

External links removed from the main page[edit]

The following links were on the main page, someone may be able to use them for research:

Moved by -- Tom Holland (xltel) 15:27, 20 March 2006 (EST)

Copyvio -- which way?[edit]

I noticed that some of the text on this page is similar to [1]. ("Fast forward two hundred years..."). Did it get grabbed from there, or did someone grab it from here and put it there? Either way, it's someone's copyvio. I don't have time to do the detective work right now. -- Jonboy 18:36, 5 May 2006 (EDT)

They're copyvio'ing us. See their San Francisco article which contains See-style attraction listings. (My favorite part is the lede for their SF article is actually about San Diego. -- Colin 18:46, 5 May 2006 (EDT)

Pet peeve[edit]

I hate that we call this article Washington (D.C.)! Anyone object to renaming it to the appropriate name - Washington, D.C.? We could use this as a redirect, but I'd be much happier. (If that counts for anything). - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 19:33, 23 May 2006 (EDT)

I agree that "Washington, D.C." would be a better name for this article (and in fact, I've been operating under the delusion that it was the name of it). The city of Washington is not in fact in D.C.; it is D.C.; they're two names for the same place. Although we may say "Washington" as shorthand (like we say "L.A." or "Vegas"), the most common English-language name for this place is "Washington, D.C." That's also the clearest version to use for wikilinking, rather than requiring piping or redirects. - Todd VerBeek 18:49, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
I'll move the page tonight and work on fixing redirects and "Whatlinkshere" when the site is less busy. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 19:02, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
I disagree with this move; please don't do it right now. --Evan 23:04, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
Alright, might I ask why? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 23:07, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
Just wanted to get that in there quick. First, the "appropriate" name is the one that fits with our Wikitravel:Article naming conventions. I think the most common English name for this city is "Washington", not "Washington, D.C.". At least the Getty Thesaurus says so. "(D.C.)" is not part of the name; it's a disambiguator so we can have Washington (state) and other Washingtons around the world.
City, State is a disambiguation method frequently used for American cities, which is why "Washington, D.C." (as well as "Dallas, Texas" and "Denver, Colorado") are commonly-used names. We don't normally use this disambiguation method on Wikitravel, mostly because using parens for disambiguation lets you auto-hide the disambiguator (like [[Paris (Texas)|]]).
SO, I guess what I want to say is that this article name conforms to our naming conventions, and if we have to break them, let's do that thoughtfully, knowingly, and carefully. We should be able to explain why we have "Washington, D.C." but not "Santa Fe, New Mexico". I'm not opposed to it -- I agree that Washington, D.C. is more natural -- but let's be careful. Andrew, if you still think it's a good idea after reading all the way through this, you have my vote of confidence to move it. --Evan 23:28, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
I do think you have a point for non-Americans and non-Canadians who do not understand writing "Columbus, Ohio" following the ANC makes sense to them. It's not life or death for me so I'll gladly go about being annoyed by the parens. :) See I'm already smiling. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 23:34, 9 July 2006 (EDT)

I suppose I'm way too late here, but I've always felt that the city is most often referred to as Washington D.C., no commas, no parentheses. Calling it just "Washington" sounds, to me at least, borderline incorrect. And wouldn't (D.C.) be an inappropriate disambiguation name anyways? "Washington" is not contained by D.C. (unlike Saint Petersburg (Russia)); Washington is the equivalent of D.C. And DC is not the type of destination (unlike say Washington (state)). A proper disambiguation per our naming conventions would be "Washington (city)," but that would be ridiculous. If there are objections to just calling this Washington D.C., I'll drop this, but if there's any support, I would like to change the name, since typing "(D.C.)" is a pain. --Peter Talk 19:57, 27 August 2007 (EDT)

I've left this alone for a long time without altering the status quo. Does anyone still hold that this article shouldn't be moved to Washington D.C.? It's way easier to type (and I'll be typing it a lot while fixing the districts hierarchy), but more importantly Washington DC is the most common English name. "DC" is not a disambiguator akin to affixing a state abbreviation to a town—DC and Washington are technically coterminous. Regardless of the technicality, people here call it Washington DC, making that the most common name whether you like it or not. Moreover, foreign visitors who talk about having visited "Washington" mostly just confuse people who are actually from here, so it would be good to make it all clear at the top of the page.
I don't think the arguments advanced earlier in defense of keeping the article here are correct. If no objections, I'll wait a couple weeks and then move the page. --Peter Talk 05:39, 9 January 2008 (EST)

Districts[edit]

Long discussion moved to Talk:Washington, D.C./Districts discussion. Please do not continue districts discussion here, rather, state your concerns there.

We need to eliminate districts from this article ASAP. As it is, most of the districts articles have almost no content. The districts themselves make no sense, certainly not to an outside visitor. And important new attractions, such as the Newseum, are not listed ANYWHERE. Sadly, dividing the article into districts has resulted in making the entire article less usable and less relevant.
I'm aware that there is a long "districts discussion" page linked to above, I'll gladly continue the discussion over there. But given that summer travel season is coming up, we seriously need to improve the article now. SONORAMA 21:58, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes lets keep the discussion → in one place. --Peter Talk 18:00, 19 May 2008 (EDT)

Metro Service Levels[edit]

NOTE--METRO SERVICE LEVELS DISCUSSION NEEDS TO BE REWRITTEN TO REFLECT NEW 2007 YELLOW LINE OFF-PEAK SERVICE CHANGES (i.e. service from Mt. Vernon Square to Fort Totten)! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.239.77.220 (talkcontribs) 15 Jan 2007

Note: please don't SHOUT, and if you see a problem that needs fixing, plunge forward and make it better yourself! --Peter Talk 04:50, 21 January 2008 (EST)

Unfit for publishing[edit]

The following paragraph is should be reworded or removed. There is no citation or reference for this accusation/speculation. It could also be considered deragatory and based on inaccurate assumptions.

Meanwhile, a large portion of Washington's population is African-American...A comically and occasionally dangerously dysfunctional city, that is the home of the somewhat dysfunctional US Federal government. Simultaneously inhabited by the most informed and ignorant US citizens. Simultaneously inhabited by some of the most privileged and underprivileged US citizens.

We don't like citations. Who has ever heard of a travel guide making citations!? Lastly, our philosophy is - if there's something wrong and you know about it - fix it! -- Sapphire(Talk) • 15:36, 13 May 2007 (EDT)

Also: "a full two thirds of the metropolitan area's residents were born in another country" is manifestly untrue. link Population of the Washington--Baltimore, DC--MD--VA--WV Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7,608,070. Born in the U.S. and its territories: 6,627,449. Foreign-born: 980,621. Okay...I read the philosophy...though not wikiwise, I fixed this.

Hmm, 2/3 is definitely wrong, but looking at the consolidated version w/ Baltimore is a bit misleading, as Baltimore city & county have way less immigrants than D.C. & its surrounding counties. I think I read in the Economist a long while back that the figure was about 1/3 the population was foreign born. --Peter Talk 19:14, 23 April 2008 (EDT)

WTF!?[edit]

WTF: a charming park district in Northwest D.C. and speculated site of Chandra Levy!? Is Ms. Levy really that noteworthy of an attraction in D.C.? I think not. Plus, no one except the Congressman and God knows where she is. I'm removing the reference to her. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 00:03, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

Her remains were found in Rock Creek Park in 2002. "It's not news — it's CNN" -- Colin 02:14, 31 May 2007 (EDT)
So what happened to Congressman? -- 71.72.212.152 02:20, 31 May 2007 (EDT)
WikiPedia:Chandra Levy -- Colin 20:54, 31 May 2007 (EDT)

Taxi drivers = criminals?![edit]

I'm at pains to assume good faith here. Despite having lived in DC pretty much my entire life, I've never heard of a taxi driver mugging a customer, although taxi drivers are themselves victims of armed robbery daily. And I just did a google search that turned up nothing. DC cab drivers are wonderful people who have hard, rather dangerous jobs, who work hard to build a life for their families here, and I'll be honest, I take some offense at slander directed towards them. I would definitely like to see some sources talking about how this is a problem (and a one time event does not constitute a trend—if there even was such a one time event). --Peter Talk 16:59, 20 January 2008 (EST)

Address system[edit]

I've been trying to divine the system by which locations are given even or odd addresses in DC. I haven't found any positive proof, but I haven't so far been able to disprove the following scheme:

NW: even south & west, odd north & east NE: even north & west, odd south & east SW: even south & east, odd north & west SE: even north & east, odd south & west

Can anyone disprove this? Or does anyone have positive knowledge of how the DC address system works? --Peter Talk 23:53, 20 January 2008 (EST)

For anyone interested, I still haven't found any official source, but it does seem to be that addresses are odd on the right hand side of the street, facing away from the Capitol Building (which is the center of the quadrant system). --Peter Talk 02:03, 20 June 2009 (EDT)

National Mall map[edit]

If anyone has suggestions for the National Mall map—if I've left anything important off, or something like that—please let me know. --Peter Talk 20:58, 23 February 2008 (EST)

Breadcrumbs[edit]

I'm not getting the breadcumb navigation on this article, even though the {{IsIn}} template is present. Is it just me? LtPowers 15:35, 4 June 2008 (EDT)

No, not just you. This page is screwy for some reason & causes all RDF features to break. I'm also a docent for D.C., but I don't appear on the left. See shared:Tech:D.C. has problems (on Wikitravel too). --Peter Talk 16:21, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
I finally got the RDF to work on this page, by removing the related template containing the link to Washington, D.C. in four days (either the comma or the periods in that title were causing the related template to break RDF on the page), and by removing the Geo template. I have no idea why geo was causing problems. --Peter Talk 04:57, 19 September 2009 (EDT)

Washington and the District of Columbia are not coterminous[edit]

From Webster: "coterminous - having the same or coincident boundaries"

The "City of Washington" no longer exists and therefore cannot be coterminous with the District of Columbia. Washington was merged into the District of Columbia in 1871. There is no municipality currently called "Washington" (go ahead and look for it), it exists in name only. As such, "Washington" is a ceremonial name, and is not a city within or coterminous with the District of Columbia. Please do not revert the edit again. -98.218.224.177 14:54, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

All hair splitting aside, I like the text as you have left it—less verbose. --Peter Talk 16:46, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
My mistake; I should have checked beforehand, although I never would have guessed that the U.S. doesn't have a capital city. LtPowers 18:35, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, the U.S. does have a capital city, in the general meaning of the word, it's just called a "District" instead. I may certainly be splitting hairs as Peter says above, but I think it's important that resources like this are precise. Best, 98.218.224.177 18:45, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

Districts section[edit]

Discussion moved to Talk:Washington, D.C./Districts discussion

Districts status[edit]

The D.C. guide is still a good way off from becoming a star, but I do intend to push it there over the course of this year. (As some might have guessed, I'm hoping to publish this through WTP.) The main article right now still has plenty of work to be done, but I'm focusing on the districts first. Below is the current article status of each. --Peter Talk 17:59, 26 April 2009 (EDT)

Wow, nice work. Waterfront was an outline, like...yesterday. --Jtesla16 16:16, 24 July 2009 (EDT)
All are at least at guide status now except the main article! Time to finish the overview, polish it up nice, and then a star nomination is, I think, in order. --Peter Talk 00:52, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
And they're done. I intend to put it up for a star nom in the next couple months, after having time to proof and review all the articles for a while. Plenty of the district guides could also pass a nomination, methinks; I'll mull over which ones would best merit a star. --Peter Talk 05:13, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
Stunningly good work. Very impressive indeed Peter. --Burmesedays 05:41, 12 October 2009 (EDT)


Lazy congressmen and lively writing[edit]

There have been two "corrections" of the nation's impressively lazy Congress takes its extended vacation to the U.S. Congress takes its extended vacation. This seems to me obviously undesirable per Wikitravel:Tone, especially given how dull the main D.C. article is already. Wikitravel guides are supposed to be cheeky, and I'd like to see the guide get more not less lively. In any rate, lets discuss this before edit warring. --Peter Talk 14:40, 25 May 2009 (EDT)

Agreed.AHeneen 16:19, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
There's cheeky and then there's unfair. There are numerous reasons that the Congress seems to take an inordinate amount of time off. Some of it may be laziness, but Congressmen are hardly sitting around all day doing nothing when the legislature is not in session. Calling them lazy for taking off during the holiday season seems needlessly petty. The wording also implies that U.S. legislators are considerably lazier than those of other nations, which I don't think is fair either.
However, that's not to support the specific edit in question. As a fan of the tone we try to encourage, I think we ought to at least come up with an appropriate replacement, rather than just neuter the language. LtPowers 17:04, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
Oh, and don't forget that Wikitravel:Tone does suggest we should avoid sarcasm, to the edge of which I think this particular turn of phrase dances. LtPowers 17:10, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
Our congressmen are certainly not lazy about campaigning for pet issues and fund-raising, but they are awful lazy about going to Congress. From the long vacations (longer than I'll ever get) to the fact that none of them show up to that empty chamber when Congress is in session! Congress is roasted for laziness in the press, mainstream and satirical, all the time, (google shows >3.5 million hits for lazy congress) and to good comic effect, so I think it's ok for a decidedly non-serious source like a travel guide to take a jab. And when I added the bit to Wikitravel:Tone, I meant specifically stating the opposite of what is true for laughs. I'll try to clarify that. Of course, if you've got something better, by all means ;)
As a rule, though, I think we should err on the side of irreverence, since keeping prose lively is one of the things to which the wiki format is least well suited, and its really easy to let it slide towards excruciatingly boring articles (like this one), which have been excised of much anything anyone could take issue with. (The other being the problem of touts.) --Peter Talk 18:11, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
I don't mind irreverence (believe me), but I consider this bordering on misinformation. But it's just my opinion, and I'm not going to do battle over it or anything. LtPowers 20:05, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
The fact that the line returns millions of hits in a google search, should give some indication of certain lack or originality - which is something we are also striving for, I think. The line jars, it is confusing and has no comic effect. Are the congress lazy or not? I still don't know. If they are, I'm a little surprised. If they are not, then surely it falls within Peter's definition of sarcasm (stating the opposite of the truth, for literary effect). --inas 23:00, 25 May 2009 (EDT)
The google hits are for the words congress and lazy together. The short phrase "impressively lazy congress" gets two—this one and a mirror. I meant it as straightforwardly as possible, and have trouble understanding how this could be confusing. And the idea that this stupid little phrase has led to this much silly discussion and controversy is disturbing to me, so I'll just excise it. --Peter Talk 00:04, 26 May 2009 (EDT)
Far short of millions — I see 578 results for "lazy congress" and 1 for "impressively lazy congress". Flawed accounting aside, I'd hate to see this site get into the habit of judging language by math. Gorilla Jones 00:46, 26 May 2009 (EDT)
I'm hoping it is just US centric thing, rather than my sense of humor fading (although LtPowers may also think that to be the case!) Thanks for removing it, I really think it reads better now.. --inas 00:38, 26 May 2009 (EDT)
In a different context, it may have been fine; here I think it was implying that Congress was lazy for taking off for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Perhaps a line about how much chillier the capital is without Congress in session (less hot air), or even just how much more pleasant it is without them around could be used as an alternative? LtPowers 09:13, 26 May 2009 (EDT)
(I swear I'm not the only one with this opinion...) [2]. --Peter Talk 15:26, 4 August 2009 (EDT)
Never said you were. That article has a number of logical errors that I won't bother to point out here. But I also note that even that article doesn't take them to task for taking off in December. =) LtPowers 17:02, 4 August 2009 (EDT)

Internet cafes[edit]

An anon dropped a bunch of listings (and external link vios) into the main article, and I think they're rather useful. I'll post them here to either be moved to appropriate districts, or for research. --Peter Talk 19:10, 7 August 2009 (EDT)

The following coffeeshops offer free WiFi:

■Crumbs & Coffee (1737 Columbia Rd NW)


■Tryst Coffeehouse (2459 18th Street, NW, no internet sat/sun)

■Java House (1645 Q St. NW)

■Columbia Heights Coffee (11th between Park and Monroe)

■Caribou Coffee (several locations, www.cariboucoffee.com)

■Java Shack (2507 N. Franklin St., in Arlington, Virginia, accessible via the Orange Line)

■St. Elmo's (Alexandria, Virginia, http://www.stelmoscoffeepub.com/)

Also visit the following for more information:

http://www.wififreespot.com/dc.html

http://dcatlas.dcgis.dc.gov/agencyapps/wifi.aspx

http://indiecoffeeshops.com

Gallaudet[edit]

Saying Gallaudet is the only university wholly dedicated to deaf students is only true if we use the common American connotation of "university" as a large institution with multiple colleges (or, in British parlance, "faculties"). Under broader definitions of the word, such as that used in Canada, NTID could also qualify as a university. But in either case, isn't it enough to say Gallaudet was the first without having to make sure that the "only" distinction is properly qualified?

Also, "Deaf" is usually capitalized when referring to the culture.

-- LtPowers 22:25, 4 October 2009 (EDT)

I think you're splitting hairs—NTID is a program at a university, Gallaudet is a university. I could add more qualifications, but that would make for bad travel writing—we're not going for an academic or encyclopedic degree of precision here. And actually, they say the the same thing. --Peter Talk 23:27, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
It's hardly just a "program"; NTID has several programs under its remit, and it awards graduate-level degrees. But my point is that just saying "university" is ambiguous and could lead to an incorrect interpretation by the reader; better, I think, to remove "only", since "first" is distinctive enough without needing to finagle a definition under which "only" is correct. (As for Wikipedia, I'll probably bring up the issue there too.) LtPowers 08:40, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Sports[edit]

Is the Washington Freedom worth mentioning? Their normal stadium is in Maryland but apparently they play doubleheaders with United at RFK from time to time. LtPowers 22:27, 10 October 2009 (EDT)

They play in Germantown, which is actually really far out from the city. While I think it's pretty unlikely that visitors will find them, it could make for an interesting aside, keeping in mind that the section is already a little long (my fault). --Peter Talk 00:12, 11 October 2009 (EDT)

Metro map[edit]

Outer, suburban metro stops
Central, city metro stops

experimental combined map

The current map is based on the stylized map put out by the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority. I thought it might be cool to come up with something more unique, and tried making a to-scale map from the PD sat-imagery based Image:DC map.svg. Using it would have its ups and downs, as the stylized map uses up less screen space. Anyway, here are the maps—any thoughts on whether we could/should use something like this? --Peter Talk

I like the union'ed map best, but the text size for the inner city is a problem, especially on the green line. Maybe you could make the inner area a bit smaller, so the size can be increased. I.e move: East Falls Church, Addison? road, Landover, Silver Spring & Bethesda to the outer map. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:18, 18 January 2010 (EST)
The stylized map is probably preferable, since it's what tourists are going to see when they get to Washington. I would highly suggest including the map that's used on Wikipedia [3]. It shows the current alignment of the Yellow line and the station names are, in my opinion, easier to identify. Did anybody notice that the current map only says "AA Civil War Mem'l" for U Street? Odd. —The preceding comment was added by 72.83.100.212 (talkcontribs)

The article contains more than just a little Agenda![edit]

There is a serious bias present in the writing on the main D.C. article, not to mention a great deal of unnecessary editorializing and fluff. For example:

"Many Americans often forget that the country has a professional soccer league, but not so here."
"Few think of D.C. as a major shopping destination, but it will surprise you, having shrugged off its time-old, politically-influenced, staid and bland culture over the past ten years."
"the lion's share of the nation's most treasured monuments and memorials. " - what is this garbage? Most treasured by whom? Cut out the editorializing.
"Most tourists in D.C. look for accommodations close to the Smithsonian" - this is completely untrue as the only hotels near the Mall are very expensive. Many visitors to D.C. stay at a hotel in one of the city's suburbs and use the Metro to get around.

D.C. was not 'borne of politics' but out of the United States Constitution, which designated a national capital not to exceed 'ten miles square'.

The wiki articles on D.C. neighborhoods are completely inaccurate with regard to naming and placement of various areas. For example there is an entire article on the West End, which supposedly includes all of downtown. In reality the West End is a tiny piece of the city just to the east of Georgetown. The same thing goes for for the East End, which does not include Chinatown. I suggest that we switch the articles over to the Quadrant system, since D.C. uses a quadrant system. Everyone in Washington knows the quadrant system, and will look at you quite strangely if you ask where the 'North-Central District' is!

I really hope that no tourists rely upon the information in the D.C. pages because they are grossly inaccurate. I may begin correcting and supplementing some of the articles.

Oh, also: the D.C. 'District' map is also garbage since D.C. does not use a District system!! This is very misleading for any visitor to Washington - Michael 3000 23:56, 8 March 2010 (EST)

Please hold off on "correcting" these articles until you gain a little more familiarity with how Wikitravel works. "Editorializing" is a part of travel writing, the goal of which is to guide a traveler around all things interesting at any given destination while also entertaining the reader. Please see Wikitravel:Tone as well as Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals. Regarding the districts, please see Talk:Washington, D.C./Districts discussion as well as Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy#Districts in cities. I also strongly recommend looking over some of our Wikitravel:Star articles to get a better idea of what we are looking for at Wikitravel.
I disagree with the specific points of contention you have stated with such conviction, and would suggest that the tone with which you are approaching this may not be conducive to consensus building. --Peter Talk 00:34, 9 March 2010 (EST)
With respect, lively editorialising and opinion are just what we want in a travel guide. If you are looking for regurgitation of porridgey factoids, go to Wikipedia.
Otherwise, Peter covered it beautifully :)--Burmesedays 02:23, 9 March 2010 (EST)
In my opinion he did a laughable job. Most of what is written is opinion. There is very little here for the actual traveler to Washington. He did not even mention the BASIS the foundation of Washington - Namely Article one Section Eight of the United States Constitution! Also, the hands-free cell phone driving law is almost never enforced.
I thought readers came to this site for relevant, objective travel information. Certainly that is what I look for in a travel publication. Now that I know the D.C. article is beyond saving it gives me all the more reason to write a good travel book about D.C. - Michael 3000 03:22, 9 March 2010 (EST)
Please see Talk:Washington, D.C./Districts discussion, where I have replied and given you a way to propose change.--Burmesedays 03:32, 9 March 2010 (EST)
Why did you remove my edit? I had removed the line that D.C. was laid out 'to confuse invading armies'. It was not. It was laid out on a grid system. Do we wish this to be a compendium of lies? I was under the impression that this was meant to be a non-fiction resource. - Michael 3000 03:52, 9 March 2010 (EST)
Example: "sadistic traffic circles." How can a traffic circle be sadistic? D.C. is not the only place on Earth with traffic circles and ours are no more 'cruel' than those in any other city. Also: "limited and expensive parking" Actually, parking in D.C. is quite affordable. There are many garages downtown; most charge $14 for an entire day. That is far less than in other major U.S. cities. Generally garages are open Monday through Saturday. Some are open quite late on Friday nights - the one in my building is open until 4 AM. Meters cost $2 per hour and are operational Monday through Saturday. Most have a maximum limit of 2 hours. It is true that parking is limited around the Mall area, and that tourists would be advised to use the Metro. Now, doesn't it seem better to use factual, relevant info rather than just opine that parking is 'limited and expensive'? Again, driving in D.C. is no more 'difficult' than in any other city. Unless of course you're a bad driver to begin with... - Michael 3000 04:04, 9 March 2010 (EST)
If I may, I think you might have some constructive suggestions, but they're going to get lost if you continue to take the incredulous tone that you have. The most important thing for you to realize right now is that Wikitravel:Tone is policy, and Peter is probably the most vigorous defender of that policy we have. He's also one of our most talented writers. Of course, any time one gets creative with the verbiage, others may disagree with specific points; you can see some of those discussions above. But it's important to disagree respectfully, rather than coming in with the virtual equivalent of a bullhorn demanding that one of our best travel guides be changed to be completely neutral and non-opinionated! LtPowers 08:16, 9 March 2010 (EST)
If this is one of the best [sic] articles in Wikitravel, I think that's pretty sad. I've found quite a few useful and interesting destination articles on Wikitravel, but the D.C. page is not one of them. The writing is verbose, opinionated, and quite frequently counter-factual. Example: "Moreover, you can actually park on the street and avoid the $25-55 nightly fee hotels will charge you to keep your car downtown." This is NOT TRUE! Metered parking is in effect until 10PM Monday through Sunday, and most meters have a two-hour limit! If you leave your car on the street for more than two daylight hours without moving it you will get a ticket!
The History portion does not even explain the most important part of D.C. history - the fact that it is written into the U.S. Constitution! I am a world traveler, published photographer and an excellent writer. I've been thinking about writing a D.C. travel book for some time now. I've been a D.C.-area resident for more than thirty years and I've witnessed quite a few important events in the city. Since I now know that the D.C. article on here is mostly fluff, I can see that there more than enough room for a factual, accurate, relevant travel book on the subject. One must choose one's battles. Since I can see that progress on the D.C. page will be difficult if not impossible, I think I will pursue my own publication on D.C. tourism. Have fun with your worthless article! - Michael 3000 13:37, 9 March 2010 (EST)
Thanks for the good wishes - let us know when your book is done! -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:20, 9 March 2010 (EST)
I definitely will! Although of course it will have to wait until I get back from China, Nepal, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Singapore and Japan. You see, I'm an experienced traveler, and I will be visiting all of these places this year. As you might expect, over the years I've developed considerable skill at evaluating travel guides. I really wouldn't mind the 'tone' that was used by the authors of the D.C. article; it would be enough for me for the article to be written factually and not contain so many opinions and misleading statements. How can you allow the very second paragraph of the article to contain a sentence such as "Beyond the Mall, D.C. has in the past two decades shed its old reputation as a city both boring and dangerous"? Boring? Oh, right, nothing exciting ever happened in D.C. prior to the past two decades. Here are a few exciting things that happened in the city that are not mentioned in the article:
The vibrant and highly influential go-go, punk, and post-punk bands of the 1970s and 1980s
The civil rights marches including the famous Dr. Martin Luther King speech on the MALL.
The Bonus Army's march on Washington and subsequent eviction DC in 1932
The article omits interesting facts such as D.C. has the second-largest population of actors and the second-most theaters of any city in the country (after NYC), or that the Cherry Blossom trees were a gift from the Japanese in 1912.
"D.C.'s culture is in no small part defined by a divide between black and white, native and transient, east and west." Whose opinion is this? It would seem to me much more logical to state that D.C. is a diverse city with a broad spectrum of inhabitants: The ethnic breakdown in D.C. is as follows: 54% African-American, 31% White, 9% Latino and 4% Asian, and 2% Other. Rather than native/transient and east/west, I think most D.C. residents view the divide as being between Federal Government Washington (and sectors related to the Federal gov't) and the rest of the city. Michael 3000 16:09, 9 March 2010 (EST)
If you had made those suggestions in a spirit of collaboration, rather than coming in ranting about how much this guide "sucks" and how horribly opinionated it is, you might have gotten a better reception. If there's one thing you should take from this conversation, it's that we're looking for opinionated writing. Opinions are what make for lively travel guides. If they sometimes go too far, that's something that can be addressed, but we quite simply are not going to remove all trace of personal thoughts from our guides. LtPowers 18:20, 9 March 2010 (EST)
Precisely. Despite being such an "attorney", "experienced world traveller", "published photographer" and "excellent writer", Michael finds time to come here on a trolling exercise. As I suspected yesterday, engagement with such an unpleasant individual is not worth the effort. --Burmesedays 20:59, 9 March 2010 (EST)
Well there are definitely some worthwhile suggestions buried in there; I would rather make the attempt to retain what could be a valuable contributor. LtPowers 22:25, 9 March 2010 (EST)


Thanks for that. And I apologize for being so aggressive with the changes I've suggested. However I still maintain that the article is written in a confusing manner, especially with regard to the four 'districts'. Also there are many bold assertions in the piece that are either arguable or outright counter-factual.
Example: "D.C., a.k.a the Chocolate City, is a clear majority-black city." - There are many cities in the U.S. referred to as Chocolate City. D.C. is but one of them. The 'clear majority' is currently 54% and decreasing steadily. In the near future D.C. will not be a 'clear majority-black city' at all.
Perhaps even if you ignore my substantive suggestions at least correct the grammatical errors. There is no such thing as a 'sadistic traffic circle'. Personification is far too basic a grammatical error to overlook. If you want to say that the person who designed the traffic circles was a sadist, then say that. Proper grammar is a pretty basic thing. - Michael 3000 23:13, 9 March 2010 (EST)
Personification is not a grammatical error; it's a rhetorical device. LtPowers 10:00, 10 March 2010 (EST)
Either way, it is used improperly here. The author is giving human attributes to a traffic circle. Anyone care to explain how an inanimate object can be sadistic? Might as well say that tree looked at me funny. - Michael 3000 12:46, 10 March 2010 (EST)

National Ballet Company[edit]

I removed the mention of National Ballet Company under the music section. There is no such company at the Kennedy Center. —The preceding comment was added by 155.229.204.210 (talkcontribs)

Proofreading[edit]

I'm happy to work on Washington, D.C.-related articles, given that I consider it to be my home city and that I'm a total stickler for accuracy and editing. I know my stuff (I tutor graduate-level sentence correction), and finding nothing in the Manual of Style about single-spacing to start sentences, the serial comma, or spaced m-dashes, I intend to continue using each of these perfectly acceptable conventions. (I note that spaced m-dashes, in particular, are used throughout Wikitravel, including notably the USA page.) Anyway, I've fully edited the grammar and punctuation of the main article. I also intend, periodically, to move from grammar cleanup to working on the issues of tone and content that have been mentioned in this talk page. I feel that it's important for this city to have a top-level travel page. Apologies if this subtopic was not the proper place for me to introduce myself any my work on this article. KingRitz 01:21, 6 May 2010 (EDT)

A good place to introduce yourself is on your user page. Single spacing to start sentences is definitely a convention at Wiktiravel, as is the use of serial commas (sadly). That neither get a mention in the Manual of Style should not be too surprising. On mdashes, as long as the application is consistent, I doubt that spaces or lack thereof matter too much. Either way, but keep it consistent would be my view.
I would though question your edits in the Get out section of this article. Is it really correct to have a place name, mdash and then a capital letter as though a sentence was starting? E.g: "Wheaton — Some of the best ethnic dining...", looks wrong to me. --Burmesedays 01:51, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
Thanks for the feedback, Burmesedays. I'll admit that by the end of this (I've been working on it all day now), I was pretty tired, and I should take another look at the "Get Out" section. I think ultimately it might be more consistent to remove the m-dashes there entirely, but they were there when I started, just with sentence fragments following. EDIT: I just looked back and remove the m-dashes in favor of complete sentences -- more consistent and aesthetically pleasing, I think. Also thanks for the pointer on my introduction. I'll take it to my user page. I'd edit it out here except that I understand that I'm not supposed to edit out replied-to statements. Also, because I now feel like I might be thread-hijacking, I'll try not to respond further in this Districts thread about unrelated issues. I just wasn't quite certain on forming new topics here. --KingRitz 01:56, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
I will expand on this on your user talk page, but please realise that this is one of the small number of articles voted by the Wikitravel community to be worthy of star status. Therefore, please do not make substantive edits involving established Wikitravel conventions, without prior discussion. This is not though the place to be discussing that in detail. --Burmesedays 02:13, 6 May 2010 (EDT)

Building heights[edit]

A user removed the factoid about D.C.'s building heights being first restricted by the height of the Capitol Building, claiming that this was not true. I'd like to see a source for that, since the Washington Post clearly disagrees [4][5], as does Wikipedia [6]. --Peter Talk 08:51, 9 May 2010 (EDT)

If there is a dispute over facts, WP is our court of appeal. Fight it out over there, and we'll adopt the result --inas 19:02, 9 June 2010 (EDT)
Hi all. I just noticed the dispute here. Buildings were never actually restricted to the height of the Capitol. See: [7] and [8] (page 863). The other pages on Wikipedia including the D.C. main page [9] and the article on the Heights Act itself [10]. The Washington Post also issued a correction when it was brought to their attention in a recent article [11].
In addition, restricting buildings to the height of Captiol building doesn't really make sense, when you think about it. The impetus for the Heights Act was the construction of the Cairo Hotel, which rises to 160 feet. If ensuring buildings did not go any higher was the intent of Congress, passing a law that would restrict buildings to the height of the Capitol (at 289 feet) would have been humorously ineffective. Best, Epicadam 09:13, 12 June 2010 (EDT)
Egg's on my face, then, although perhaps not so bad as on the Post's! --Peter Talk 21:19, 12 June 2010 (EDT)

D.C.'s representation in Congress[edit]

Re: this edit. I don't know if Stefan realizes or not, but that paragraph was just added by an IP user yesterday. I personally think it goes into excessive detail about the political situation in D.C. If a traveler is really interested, there's always Wikipedia. LtPowers 09:50, 9 June 2010 (EDT)

Hmmmm, well I still think it provides balance, so I believe either both views goes or both views stays. Or perhaps they should be mashed together into one shorter paragraph - not that I pretend to be very knowledgeable about this. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 16:10, 9 June 2010 (EDT)
I understand the desire for fairness, but it doesn't read to me as two viewpoints in opposition. The paragraph that was there simply notes why the local license plates say "Taxation Without Representation" without commenting on the validity of the view. LtPowers 18:56, 9 June 2010 (EDT)
Agreed w/ Lt—the addition is little more than a silly rant inviting further political edit wars, and, besides, the preceding paragraph is not trying to make a case for anything. The majority of the edits by the user in question were of questionable value, and I have largely reverted. --Peter Talk 22:06, 9 June 2010 (EDT)

this map is so wrong[edit]

consider changing it to the DC neighborhood map on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_neighborhoods_of_the_District_of_Columbia_by_ward

or some other real map. This one is a joke! Thanks. --anonymous person

Ok, well along these lines, I have some more useful critiques:

For one, the name Northeast on the map is incorrect, as Northeast only starts at North Capitol Street (that curving N-S line in the middle of Northeast.) It could be confusing, like if you think you're in NE but the street signs say NW. Maybe rename it something else? Eastern DC? East of Rock Creek Park?

Another is that East End is a pretty uncommon name here. Maybe call it East Downtown or just Downtown?

The name West End is inaccurate, because the West End is actually a pretty small neighborhood -- its southern border is Penn. Ave, and south of Penn is Foggy Bottom. Maybe call that area West Downtown or West End/Foggy Bottom?

Also, Anacostia is only one part of the area east of the river. I think a better name would be East of the River, which is pretty common here and more accurate, or Anacostia/East of the River.

Your thoughts? --Awiseman 13:29, 1 August 2010 (EDT)

The anonymous commenter above may want to look very carefully at who created the map on Wikipedia that they favor, then look at who created the map they disfavor here on Wikitravel. LtPowers 13:55, 1 August 2010 (EDT)
That map aside, what do you think of my suggestions? I think we can keep the current one, just change some names. --Awiseman 17:57, 1 August 2010 (EDT)
If I had any knowledge of the city beyond Georgetown and the Mall, I'd have commented. =) LtPowers 18:49, 1 August 2010 (EDT)
User:Peterfitzgerald was the one who did most of the initial work on the DC districts, but he's offline at the moment. I'd suggest waiting a few days to allow him to weigh in. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:24, 1 August 2010 (EDT)
This discussion came up a while back... basically, the map doesn't claim to be a neighborhood/ward/quadrant map. Wikitravel articles have to be broken down by regions and this is the way it makes the most sense for the vast majority of tourists. I agree that some of the names like "Northeast" and "Anacostia" are technically incorrect and possibly misleading but this isn't Wikipedia, it's a travel guide. -65.222.139.178 16:42, 3 August 2010 (EDT)
Right, and it doesn't need to be a neighborhood/ward/quadrant map. I'm just suggesting name changes to get rid of any confusion or ambiguity, which wouldn't be difficult and would make it more accurate and less confusing. We could leave the map boundaries the same. Changing the article name and map from "Anacostia" to "East of the River" or "Anacostia/East of the River" for example, wouldn't be difficult. --Awiseman 18:12, 3 August 2010 (EDT)
First off, lets remember to eventually move this discussion to Talk:Washington, D.C./Districts discussion, in order to keep relevant discussion in one place (and avoid duplicating effort). To keep things clear, I hope you don't mind if I copy your comment from another thread:
Hi, I have some issues with the district names and the map. For one, the name Northeast on the map is incorrect, as Northeast only starts at North Capitol Street (that curving N-S line in the middle of Northeast.) It could be confusing, like if you think you're in NE but the street signs say NW. Maybe rename it something else? Another is that East End is a pretty uncommon name here. Maybe call it East Downtown or just Downtown? The name West End is inaccurate, because the West End is actually a pretty small neighborhood -- its southern border is Penn. Ave, and south of Penn is Foggy Bottom. Maybe call that area West Downtown or West End/Foggy Bottom? Your thoughts? --Awiseman 13:13, 1 August 2010 (EDT)
The naming of the "Northeast" district is really problematic. We sort of settled on "Brookland-Takoma-Petworth" at the bottom of this thread, but that's quite a mouthful, and omits yet another important neighborhood on H St NE. Thus, I changed it to "East D.C.", and later decided that was also too contrived and inaccurate, and that we might as well just bring it back to "Northeast." While potentially confusing, the article intro does make the distinction with the quadrant clear (I hope), and it is indeed accurate to call the area Northeast, as it sits in the geographical northeast of the city. I'd be more than happy to rename this one, though, if you can think of a better name.
Re: Anacostia, I'll copy my explanation from yet another thread:
So why, then, name the article Anacostia? First, it is the most common name for D.C. east of the Anacostia River—growing up in DC, I never even heard of a different name. The only other names that I have encountered lately for the area are "East of the River" and less often "Greater Anacostia," and I see you are now using "River East," but these terms are in relatively low use, and I'm not a fan of new coinages that seek to displace names that bear any negative associations (i.e., names that look like real estate euphemisms). The technical "correctness" of this name is not that big of a concern for a travel website (as opposed to an encyclopedia)—what's more important is that people recognize the name. We've already made the district borders eminently clear on the maps (one of which is even devoted to showing that the historic downtown Anacostia neighborhood is only a small part of the district). Furthermore, referring to the whole of a district by the name of its most famous part is relatively common practice here, for example, we use the name Chicago/Hyde Park, even though it also covers the Kenwood and Woodlawn neighborhoods, simply because readers/travelers will likely recognize the name as opposed to a more obscure "South Chicago Shore." This is also hugely important for our search engine results—if we choose an obscure name, searchers won't find our site. It could be useful, though, to give a better sense of differences between neighborhoods—to explain that not all of the district is experiencing the same level of urban blight, and that the historic Anacostia neighborhood is in better shape than you'd see elsewhere.
I'll add too that I think the intro for that article also makes the distinction between the looser and more precise usages of the name clear.
I don't think West End and East End are too problematic, although the use of West End when talking about Foggy Bottom is pretty informal. The parallel terms are nice, though, and do have history unlike the more arbitrary names "West Downtown" and "East Downtown," although those do clearly get the point across. I don't feel too strongly either way on this point.
Hopefully this long-winded post at least clarifies the rationale for the existing names! --Peter Talk 15:59, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
Thanks for the responses. Fair enough on West End and East End. For Anacostia, calling the whole area that is just incorrect, which I think is why "East of the River" is becoming more popular around the city in the past few years. And "Northeast" just rubs me the wrong way, since it includes so much of Northwest too and sort of makes it seem like it's all one big, same place. It'd be like an article on the Eastern US including Colorado or something. I like East of Rock Creek Park, then it's accurate and wouldn't be confusing, as I think Northeast or East DC would be. I'm open to any other good names though. --Awiseman 01:38, 9 August 2010 (EDT)
Anybody? --Awiseman 15:51, 17 August 2010 (EDT)

Literature/Film Sections?[edit]

Why are these in here? They're relatively unimportant and don't do much to explain D.C. or guide visitors through it. In fact, most of the books have little to do with the city itself and more to do with politics, which is not the subject of this article. I'd also note that other major cities do not include similar information. Without objection, I'm going to remove those sections. Best, Epicadam 21:02, 3 October 2010 (EDT)

I'd definitely object. Check through Wikitravel:Star articles and you will see that these sections are in each "huge city" article. Suggested film/literature is pretty standard travel guide fare, and is one of the first things I look for when perusing the travel literature section of a bookstore before heading off to a new place. --Peter Talk 21:56, 3 October 2010 (EDT)
Yes, not only are those in a number of this site's star and near-star articles, but it's a fairly common practice in printed travel guides. One can quibble with the selections, of course, but the section definitely has a place here. Gorilla Jones 00:22, 4 October 2010 (EDT)
Ah okay. Understood. I had looked at London, New York, and a few other cities and didn't see similar sections. And yes, I agree that sections on suggested film and literature are good to have, but at 1,100 words the two subjects occupy more space than the entire "See" section. I would like to pare the listing a bit; a book about Lincoln or GWB's presidencies, for example, while interesting are only tangentially related to the city. Best, Epicadam 22:23, 6 October 2010 (EDT)
I must disagree. GWB isn't really on there, but Washington and Lincoln definitely should be. The majority of domestic tourists in D.C. (and the majority of our tourists are domestic), are here because of national politics and more specifically national political history, not to listen to jazz on U St. Lincoln looms large over national history, and his statue and memorial is arguably the fourth most important attraction in the city—it's pretty natural that a visitor would like to read about him during a visit. Events like Watergate, Lincoln's assassination, and just plain politics in general, define D.C. in the national consciousness. --Peter Talk 13:11, 7 October 2010 (EDT)
I don't disagree that national politics is what drives tourism in Washington; however, there are many books that tell these stories while also highlighting Washington as a place. When visitors take a tour, visit a particular attraction or, as in this case, read a book or watch a movie, what they are looking for is a story about the relationship between that place and history. As such, while many of the books currently listed in the section give wonderful insight into the inner workings of politics and government, I don't think they add much to people's appreciation for or understanding of the attractions they will be visiting in Washington. Best, Epicadam 19:24, 8 October 2010 (EDT)
The section does strike me as a bit long, but I wouldn't dare to try to single any particular item out for removal. LtPowers 07:05, 18 October 2010 (EDT)

Star nomination discussion[edit]

Some sort of laziness, I think, held me off from making this nomination, but I'm very confident that the article is up to snuff, with a collection of 4 star districts and 8 guide districts (probably all of which would likewise pass a starnom if nominated!) under its belt. --Peter Talk 20:35, 9 January 2011 (EST)

  • Almost Very good article. Just some minor things:
  1. The colours of Upper Northwest and Georgetown in the map are very hard to separate
  2. The district the Mall seems to have the same colour as the forestial parts of D.C.
  3. Picture of Ethiopian food in the buy section and box in the Eat section. I suggest both should be in Eat and maybe something else should go in the Buy section
  4. Embassy list is pretty long. Maybe three rows?

Excellent work and sorry to raise details. Regards, jan 04:42, 10 January 2011 (EST)

  1. The colour coding of the district map is a bit confusing in places. There are 4 colours in the key, but significantly more on the map. The area USG is presumably part of the city, but is not mentioned in the district key, and the colour is not apparently compatible with the key, unless at a stretch, it is part of Downtown, which seems unlikely. Colour for The Mall is also a bit far off the key.
  2. The grey areas are presumably not part of the city. The straight borders are presumably the extent of DC, with the river as the other border. It would be helpful (to me at least) to label the surrounding areas, as they appear to be urban areas.
  3. Get around/By Metro, last para: "Remember that absolutely no food or drink is allowed on trains or in stations. Metro employees, police officers, and even fellow riders will ask you to dispose of any food before entering. Violators are subject to fines or even arrest." Surely this refers only to open food or drink? Otherwise you would not be able to use the Metro to go home with your groceries. If this is the case it is bizarre and probably unprecedented in public transport.
  • Otherwise a fine piece of work, and gets my Support. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 05:39, 10 January 2011 (EST)
To address these in turn:
Both #1s: Districts on map: I grouped districts together to address SONORAMA's concern that the list was too long as to be overwhelming. Displaying the groupings on the map with similar colors was based on the presentation at Chicago#Districts. I definitely like having the districts grouped the way they are in the reionlist template, but maybe I could tweak the colors on the map to make it easier to read? I gave the USG area (military) a different color (the standard building color) because it cannot be visited. I'll try and make this more intuitive too.
Jan's #2: National Mall coloring: The difficulty here is that we have created a district article for a National Park. The map is using the national park color, rather than another district color. I realize that's a little confusing at first, but still think it's the better way to present the information.
Peter's #2: Label bordering areas: Good idea, will do.
Jan's #3: Eat pictures: The problem here is lack of space—I want to keep both images, but it's more important that the Ethiopian dining infobox be grouped with the eat section than the pictures.
#4: Embassy list:I have a 15.6 inch display on my laptop, and have ads turned off, but even still I couldn't display three columns of embassies without making each listing two or three lines (instead of one, currently). The main problem is just that D.C., I think, has the largest quantity of embassies in the world. What I would really like to do would be to make the list collapsable, so that you would need to click a + as with the table of contents, but I don't believe this is currently possible.
Peter's #3: Closed containers: clarified ;) --Peter Talk 12:29, 11 January 2011 (EST)
  • Support - Having just taken a trip to D.C. (restoring sanity and/or fear!), I can attest to the usefulness of this guide - I never had to look at anything else! Outside some of the suggestions already made here, I can't see any major improvements that have to be made. I really don't think the Embassy list could work as three columns - and I'm on a widescreen computer. As for the map; I think the colors are fine and I like that the Mall is that dark green color (it helps it really stand out), but I agree that the bordering towns should be labeled - in fact, I wouldn't stop with the towns; how about water features? More of the roads? North arrow? Scale? More like that killer San Francisco districts map you made. Outside of that, I can't think of anything else, though the picture of food in the Buy section does feel a little odd... PerryPlanet Talk 21:19, 11 January 2011 (EST)
  • In Get around/By Metro, price is given as "fares cost $1.95-5." Does this mean price range is $1.95 to $5.00? it is not immediately obvious. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:53, 12 January 2011 (EST)
This article is setting a new standard on Wikitravel, and reading it is very enjoyable. Took me a while to get through it, but I still found some small things that might need a change:
  • In the See section, The International Spy Museum and the National Portrait Gallery are first clarified as being in the National Mall, then in the next paragraph they come up again being a part of the East End. This means they are mentioned twice, and it is not really clear where to find them.
  • The Millenium Stage, should that really be listed under festivals? I always figured festivals would be like yearly or semi-yearly events, but this one is held daily at 6PM.
  • The "shops in Georgetown" picture does not really seem to match the Learn section it is placed in. Same goes for the food picture in Buy, but that was already discussed.
  • "Hands free devices are permitted, but if you get pulled over for another violation while using one, expect a hard line from the police." Why would police give you a hard line while hands free devices are permitted? That does not seem to make sense.
  • In the Stay safe/Security section, the last paragraph suddenly starts about parks? I find that paragraph a bit odd as it does not seem to have anything to do with security.
Hope that's enough! --globe-trotter 11:02, 12 January 2011 (EST)
  1. Fixed!
  2. Fixed.
  3. Again, I'm not sure there is much to be done about this, aside from perhaps cutting one of the Ethiopian or Salvadoran food pictures, which I'd prefer to not do.
  4. While legal, the police are sick of dealing with drivers who have ran red lights, caused accidents, etc. because they were distracted by their hands-free phone. (The government studies have shown the hands-free devices to be just as distracting as a traditional hand held, so the laws don't really match the reality.) I've tried to clarify this.
  5. I don't know, I kind of like this as an aside, to allow the reader to decompress after dealing with the unpleasantries of security issues. But if you think it should be moved to Do, I suppose that would be fine. --Peter Talk 14:00, 12 January 2011 (EST)
Districts map ideas

I've mocked up four versions of the districts map, to see what people think: 1) is similar to the existing one, but has main roads named, bordering cities, etc.; 2) is without road names; 3) has color regions placed both above and below the street grid; and 4) has color regions only below the street grid. Looking at them together like this, I think I like 3 best. (These images aren't rendering well for some reason, but that won't be an issue when I upload an individual, final version.) --Peter Talk 15:30, 13 January 2011 (EST)

I prefer #3 as well; the color scheme is nice and clear, whereas it becomes fainter under the mass of streets in #4. Though I'd still like to see a north arrow and a scale. :) PerryPlanet Talk 15:38, 13 January 2011 (EST)
Ah right, I forgot those but will certainly include them in a final version! --Peter Talk 17:41, 13 January 2011 (EST)
I would also go with #3 • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 04:05, 14 January 2011 (EST)
I would prefer #3 as well as its the only version where Georgetown is easily separated by colour. BTW Support jan 04:33, 14 January 2011 (EST)
The map has been updated, and three weeks are up. Any last comments before this becomes a star? --Peter Talk 09:46, 3 February 2011 (EST)

Please fix glaring errors in the article[edit]

Specifically, the article states that "D.C. also became the first city in North America to start a bike-sharing service." This is not true. The District's bike sharing program only began in 2008. Other North American cities have bike sharing programs dating back nearly 20 years. For example, Madison, WI; Toronto, ON; Portland, OR; Edmonton, AB.

Under the Stay Safe section, it says that "...Washingtonians regularly warn against forays into parts of the Northeast and almost all of the Southeast sections of the city..." This hasn't been true for about ten years now. No Washingtonians warn about going to NE or SE; in fact many of the trendier spots are in NE/SE such as Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, and the H-St. corridor, which is one of the most rapidly developing areas in the city.

The remarks about the demographic composition of D.C. are also misleading. The article states that "D.C., a.k.a the Chocolate City, is a majority-black city that has long been a national center of African-American culture. It was the first black-majority city in the country, and until the 1920s (when it was surpassed by New York) it was home to the largest black population of any city."

However, according to the Washington Post, the most recent census data shows that the African-American population in the city is declining, and may already be below 50 percent.

The Post says: "According to census statistics released Thursday, barely 50 percent of the District’s population was African American in 2010 — a remarkable shift in a place once nicknamed “Chocolate City. With the city ‘s black population dropping by about 1 percent a year, African Americans might already be below the 50 percent mark in the city." Word to the wise: 'majority' means MORE than 50 percent. If not changed today, the section about D.C. demographic should certainly be updated by this summer to reflect reality.

I'm not addressing the tone of the article, just the veracity of the facts presented in the article. Please remove the errors. Michael 3000 23:29, 2 April 2011 (EDT)

Hi. I would note the following:
The bicycle sharing programs you cite were community sharing services where local organizations essentially loaned out bicycles. While they certainly inspired modern bike sharing, they are/were far different from systems where people can pick up and drop off bicycles from a network of automated stations located throughout a city. In that sense, Washington was indeed the first in North America.
Re Northeast and Southeast: As a native Washingtonianian, I would still give the same general advice about problem areas to most tourists; however, I agree that this could be worded better. Perhaps add information about which specific areas have improved over the last 10 years?
While Washington may indeed not be "majority" black anymore, they do still make up the largest percentage of the city's residents; that has not changed. By the same token, the current demographics also do not change the city's history as a prominent center for African American culture. A simple change in wording can make this more accurate.
Having said that, if you feel you can improve the article, then by all means do so; I don't think anyone is stopping you. Best, Epicadam 11:56, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
It's reasonably safe to say that the chocolate city has become more a shade of Vincent Gray by now. I've added a bit to address the change, and to put it in perspective. The Post had a good article on the topic [12], although it would probably a better (and interesting) topic for an in-depth thesis. --Peter Talk 19:21, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

Button-up vs button-down[edit]

Had to check Wikipedia for this, but button-up and button-down are not the same thing.

  • "Button-up" just means a dress shirt, the kind that splits completely open down the front
  • "Button-down" correctly means a button-up shirt with buttons to fasten down the collar points, which is the least formal style of dress shirt.

Just wanted to make sure you wrote what you actually meant. :-) --BigPeteB 17:52, 22 August 2011 (EDT)

No kidding—fixed! --Peter Talk 18:12, 22 August 2011 (EDT)
An unheard-of distinction in my part of the world. I've never heard the term "button-up" used as an adjective. LtPowers 11:47, 23 August 2011 (EDT)
Like I said, I had to go to WP just to find out if there was a difference or not. Maybe in the future, if Dress sections spread to a large enough part of WT, there should be a blurb in the help pages about some basic standardized terms to use so all international readers can understand equally? BigPeteB 12:36, 23 August 2011 (EDT)


I saw the discussion on the pub about a dress section. Far from being a WT guideline, the inclusion of this section doesn't even seem to have consensus of the editors. I certainly don't believe it belongs here. Beyond that, the section is just flat-out wrong. The only people who are "well-dressed" are those who work in and around the government. The difference is that they're at work; tourists are on vacation. So while being "well-dressed" may be true around K Street and Capitol Hill, it certainly doesn't hold true for the rest of the town, which is decidedly more laid-back. I have lived here my entire life and I have never, ever seen or heard of a dress code being enforced, even at high-end restaurants. And if you were going to a high-end restaurant or an evening out on the town, your style and manner of dress should both be common sense and a matter of personal choice.

The recommendation made for tourists in the "Getting Around" section is that visitors should, especially in the spring and summer, wear light and comfortable clothing and good shoes. That is the only "dress" advice necessary. Tourists walking around Washington in t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers is not only acceptable, it's expected. Who cares if shorts make you look like a tourist? You are one! -Epicadam 18:13, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

If you want to look like a tourist in D.C., you are in good company ;) But the purpose of this type of section is to help those that do not want to look like tourists blend in. That's a concern I have virtually everywhere I travel.
The advice as it stands, I think, is mostly concerned with how to dress for dinner and to an extent nightlife. I think Pete's motivation for introducing this type of a section came from a visit to D.C., right? As someone who interacts with tourists as a profession, I hear over and over that people were a little surprised to find themselves underdressed around town—most importantly when trying to go out at night, but even just for walking around Georgetown's shops. By U.S. standards, it is a pretty formal town, particularly in the areas visitors will most often experience it (after they've finished touring). I really do encounter, on a near daily basis, worries about not having nice enough clothes for downtown dinner dress codes.
All that said, let me try and condense this a bit. --Peter Talk 18:42, 31 August 2011 (EDT)
Hi Peter. Thanks. You did a much better job condensing that than I would have. However, I don't think "fashionable" is the right word for DC. Fashion-conscious visitors from NY and LA have often noted DC's dark suit and white shirt culture that has become the drab "uniform" of lobbyists and government workers. If anything, people have tried to break out of that G-Man stereotype but with only little success. I'm also concerned with presenting the city as in its entirety and not just the "places tourists are likely to go." Chances are that if visitors are looking for nightlife in DC, they will 'not' be in downtown but likely out in the neighborhood bars and clubs where style constraints are much less rigid. Best, Epicadam 19:11, 31 August 2011 (EDT)
Well, yes, if they're out in Adams Morgan or Woodley Park, things are pretty casual. Georgetown and Dupont Circle (and even U St!) less so, though, and some of the nightlife downtown is downright formal.
D.C. is at a weird point hovering between drab and formal and genuinely stylish... Not at all stylish when compared to NYC, of course, but still a good deal moreso than most major cities in the country. I'll see if I can clarify both of these points. --Peter Talk 19:38, 31 August 2011 (EDT)
I think Peter's summary captures my thoughts pretty well... it's one thing to give advice on how to dress for the weather, and another to give advice on how to blend in with the local population, should you choose to do so. In D.C., it's not such a bad thing if you look like a tourist, but in other parts of the world (e.g. Japan) it can really have an effect on how people interact with you. Speaking for myself, I think it's inconsiderate to assume that the rest of the world doesn't give a hoot how you dress just because you're a visitor, so I'd like to see travelers given the info they need to make decisions about how they want to dress on their travels. BigPeteB 11:41, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I think my main concern is with the detail this goes into. Isn't enough to say "Tourists are fine in casual wear, but you'll want to dress more conservatively if you want to blend in, and be sure to wear a jacket if you're headed out on the town" or something like that? (Of course, that's largely true anywhere in the U.S., isn't it?) LtPowers 13:45, 1 September 2011 (EDT)

thumb vs noframe[edit]

I am unfamiliar with the behavior mentioned in this edit summary. I am, of course, aware of problems with images and text overlapping, but this is the first time I've heard the claim that noframe images cause it to happen more often than thumbnail (framed) images do. Is there an example someone can show me? LtPowers 13:42, 31 August 2011 (EDT)

Easily. Compare thumb which works and noframe which is broken. (The latter is actually "right|noframe"... I tried taking out "noframe" but it didn't change anything.) BigPeteB 16:32, 31 August 2011 (EDT)
I believe what you're seeing there is just the difference in positioning caused by the differing size of the rightmost (ad) column. If you look closely at the "thumb" image, the 'g' in "above ground" is indeed overlapping the frame of the map. I think you'll find if you adjust your window width a bit you can get both versions to overlap in similar ways. LtPowers 09:39, 1 September 2011 (EDT)

Fare tables[edit]

Hi all. I added the fare tables since I think this is one instance where a chart is easier to grasp than text. I have also updated the fares to reflect the cost of using a paper farecard. The vast majority of visitors still use paper farecards, especially given the advice provided here, and it therefore makes sense to provide the full fares while explaining that they get a 25-cent discount if they use SmarTrip. Best, Epicadam 12:05, 2 September 2011 (EDT)

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