History UsefulNotes / WashingtonDC

23rd Aug '16 4:58:45 AM Morgenthaler
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* ThePentagon: Actually across the river from Washington, in Arlington, Virginia, this is the headquarters of the Department of Defense and the AmericanArmedForces it oversees. As with the White House, when the Secretary of Defense or the Defense Department announces a policy, it is often said that "The Pentagon Announced" as if the building actually was talking.

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* ThePentagon: Actually across the river from Washington, in Arlington, Virginia, this is the headquarters of the Department of Defense and the AmericanArmedForces American armed forces it oversees. As with the White House, when the Secretary of Defense or the Defense Department announces a policy, it is often said that "The Pentagon Announced" as if the building actually was talking.
24th May '16 10:43:30 AM jadmire
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** Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), the largest airport in the area and one of the busiest in the country, and a hub for United Airlines. Infamous for being a long, long haul from downtown (25 miles from the White House, through what has since become the highly-populated edge city of Tyson's Corner), for having an equally long access road reserved especially for it, and for not having any sort of public transportation (though Metrobus has since set up a proper shuttle line that serves it while the Metro extension, the Silver Line, is being built). You ''will'' get a ticket on the access road if you're not going to the airport for something; that said, "something" can be going to the Fedex terminal or picking someone up, not just boarding a flight. Otherwise, from the Beltway westward, you're expected to use the Dulles Toll Road and pay the tolls. Dulles was also infamous for its odd "shuttle lounges", crosses between buses and Jetways that, originally, could drive right up to the side of a plane and allow you to board directly. As the airport got busier, though, the lounges became a liability as they were small, cramped and required a slow docking process when arriving at the terminal. A new underground peoplemover (similar to the ones in use at other large airports) has mostly replaced them, although they continue to be used to connect Concourse D (not yet served by the rail line) to Concourse A and the main terminal. The building housing Concourses C and D is supposedly "temporary;" that said, [[DevelopmentHell they've been working on the "permanent" replacement since 1983 and not even preliminary designs have been approved]]. The most striking architectural feature of Dulles is its RaygunGothic main terminal building, which was designed by Eero Saarinen (the same guy responsible for the old TWA Flight Center at JFK) and built in 1961.

to:

** Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), the largest airport in the area and one of the busiest in the country, and a hub for United Airlines. Infamous for being a long, long haul from downtown (25 miles from the White House, through what has since become the highly-populated edge city of Tyson's Corner), for having an equally long access road reserved especially for it, and for not having any sort of public transportation (though Metrobus has since set up a proper shuttle line that serves it while the Metro extension, the Silver Line, is being built). You ''will'' get a ticket on the access road if you're not going to the airport for something; that said, "something" can be going to the Fedex terminal or picking someone up, not just boarding a flight. Otherwise, from the Beltway westward, you're expected to use the Dulles Toll Road and pay the tolls. Dulles was also infamous for its odd "shuttle lounges", crosses between buses and Jetways that, originally, could drive right up to the side of a plane and allow you to board directly. As the airport got busier, though, the lounges became a liability as they were small, cramped and required a slow docking process when arriving at the terminal. Thus, as the airport expanded to multiple, widely-separated "concourses" where arriving and departing planes docked, they were mainly used to shuttle passengers between the main terminal and the various concourses. A new underground peoplemover (similar to the ones in use at other large airports) has mostly replaced them, although they continue to be used to connect Concourse D (not yet served by the rail line) to Concourse A and the main terminal. The building housing Concourses C and D is supposedly "temporary;" that said, [[DevelopmentHell they've been working on the "permanent" replacement since 1983 and not even preliminary designs have been approved]]. The most striking architectural feature of Dulles is its RaygunGothic main terminal building, which was designed by Eero Saarinen (the same guy responsible for the old TWA Flight Center at JFK) and built in 1961.



If DC is a tale of two cities, then the third part is Virginia, across the Potomac River -- a haven for [[{{NSA}} infotech workers and military]]. This is where the heroes in political and spy thrillers live (If you hear the word "Langley", you immediately think of the CIA). Many north of the Potomac consider it the edge of the [[DeepSouth American South]], at least outside Arlington, which is heavily urbanized (and, perhaps, Alexandria and portions of Fairfax County as well?). Many, if not most, modern [=NoVa-ites=] tend to consider themselves more "Yankee" than anything else, however - much to the chagrin of their southern neighbors in the rest of the state. The Pentagon and National Airport are there. Northern Virginia is actually larger than DC, but much more spread out. Refugees from major modern wars (Korean, Vietnam, and all the Middle Eastern conflicts) tend to settle there due to military connections as well as immigrants from many other regions (for example, [=NoVA=] has large Hispanic populations mostly from Central America, including the largest Bolivian American community in the country). Along with the growing number of young urbanites moving into the region, they help [[FriendlyLocalChinatown dilute the old southern influence]].\\

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If DC is a tale of two cities, then the third part is Virginia, across the Potomac River -- a haven for [[{{NSA}} infotech workers and military]]. This is where the heroes in political and spy thrillers live (If you hear the word "Langley", you immediately think of the CIA). Many north of the Potomac consider it the edge of the [[DeepSouth American South]], at least outside Arlington, which is heavily urbanized (and, perhaps, Alexandria and portions of Fairfax County as well?). Many, if not most, modern [=NoVa-ites=] tend to consider themselves more "Yankee" than anything else, however - much to the chagrin of their southern neighbors in the rest of the state. The Pentagon and both National Airport and Dulles Airports are there.there, as is the National Reconnaissance Office (the agency controlling America's spy satellites, which is housed in a high-rise, high-security compound near Dulles Airport). Northern Virginia is actually larger than DC, but much more spread out. Refugees from major modern wars (Korean, Vietnam, and all the Middle Eastern conflicts) tend to settle there due to military connections as well as immigrants from many other regions (for example, [=NoVA=] has large Hispanic populations mostly from Central America, including the largest Bolivian American community in the country). Along with the growing number of young urbanites moving into the region, they help [[FriendlyLocalChinatown dilute the old southern influence]].\\



The most affluent portion of the region, Northern Virginia has some of the wealthiest and most well educated counties in the country. South and west, the communities of Arlington, Alexandria and Tysons Corner, with no high-rise limits, resemble [[SoCalization Los Angeles]] or the southern city of UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}, with crushing traffic on 8-lane roads, towering high security office complexes (populated by government contractors known as "Beltway Bandits"), and vast office parks, connected to DC proper by the Metro system. Wilson Boulevard provides a vaguely-human scaled "main street" to the area. Just north of that is Loudoun County and its' seat of Leesburg, which is a fairly quiet town with not much in the way of excitement (except for the ''two'' Roy Rogers fast food joints, as those are getting rarer by the day); the rest of the county is similar, although there are many [=McMansions=] out in the fields. Columbia Pike, a former suburb for enlisted military, is one of many small pockets of ethnic diversity. Old Town Alexandria is a quaint historic district, located just north of George Washington's home (in the world's best commuter incentive, he arranged for the District to be built near his house). Some roads in Alexandria area are still named after [[ValuesDissonance Confederate]] [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Generals]]. Going west on I-66, or south on I-95 leads to the exurbs of Prince William County. While only the very wealthy own homes in D.C. proper or Arlington/Alexandria, many on the very next rung down on the income ladder own homes in Prince William.

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The most affluent portion of the region, Northern Virginia has some of the wealthiest and most well educated counties in the country. South and west, the communities of Arlington, Alexandria and Tysons Corner, with no high-rise limits, resemble [[SoCalization Los Angeles]] or the southern city of UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}, with crushing traffic on 8-lane roads, towering high security office complexes (populated by government contractors known as "Beltway Bandits"), and vast office parks, connected to DC proper by the Metro system. Wilson Boulevard provides a vaguely-human scaled "main street" to the area. Just north of that is Loudoun County and its' seat of Leesburg, which is a fairly quiet town with not much in the way of excitement (except for the ''two'' Roy Rogers fast food joints, as those are getting rarer by the day); the rest of the county is similar, although there are many [=McMansions=] out in the fields. Columbia Pike, a former suburb for enlisted military, is one of many small pockets of ethnic diversity. Old Town Alexandria is a quaint historic district, located just north of George Washington's home (in the world's best commuter incentive, he arranged for the District to be built near his house). Some roads in Alexandria area are still named after [[ValuesDissonance Confederate]] [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Generals]]. Going west on I-66, or south on I-95 leads to the exurbs of Prince William County.County, whose county seat is Manassas (see above for its AmericanCivilWar role; Manassas was, and still is, the location of an important railway junction). While only the very wealthy own homes in D.C. proper or Arlington/Alexandria, many on the very next rung down on the income ladder own homes in Prince William. The relatively low cost of housing in Prince William County makes it an attractive destination for immigrants, particularly Latinos; the Hispanic population in the area dropped sharply around 2007 after local law enforcement cracked down on undocumented immigrants, but has since rebounded. One of the country's largest discount malls, Potomac Mills, is located here, as is Quantico Marine Corps Base, where both U.S. Marine Corps officers and FBI special agents learn their trade.
24th May '16 10:30:09 AM jadmire
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* [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro Metrorail]] - DC's subway system, the second-busiest in the nation and designed as something of an antithesis to the New York City Subway, with huge domed-concrete stations, hexagonal tile floors, computer-controlled cars, and notoriously strict rules about consuming food and beverages. Designed in the late 1960s as a [[TimeForPlanB Plan B]] to redirect unused freeway funds to some form of transport (as DC residents saw that they [[BigNo really didn't want freeways]] cutting apart their backyards and neighborhoods), it was made with an eye toward luring commuters out of their cars -- a plan that, 40 years on, seems to have worked. It's starting to show its age a bit (it went online in 1976) and is nearing capacity, but still preferable to driving (especially if you're aware of how bad DC traffic is). One trait of Metrorail that often surprises people is how ''clean'' it's kept, thanks in part to those notoriously strict rules about consuming food and drink.

to:

* [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro Metrorail]] - DC's subway system, the second-busiest in the nation and designed as something of an antithesis to the New York City Subway, with huge domed-concrete stations, hexagonal tile floors, computer-controlled cars, and notoriously strict rules about consuming food and beverages. Designed in the late 1960s as a [[TimeForPlanB Plan B]] to redirect unused freeway funds to some form of transport (as DC residents saw that they [[BigNo really didn't want freeways]] cutting apart their backyards and neighborhoods), it was made with an eye toward luring commuters out of their cars -- a plan that, 40 years on, seems to have worked. It's starting to show its age a bit (it went online in 1976) 1976), will have a huge across-the-board repair project during 2016 and 2017, and is nearing capacity, but still preferable to driving (especially if you're aware of how bad DC traffic is). One trait of Metrorail that often surprises people is how ''clean'' it's kept, thanks in part to those notoriously strict rules about consuming food and drink.



** Nowadays locals tend to have a love-hate relationship with Metro. On weekdays, if you're a commuter who drives to a Metro stop and parks there, you have to pay a flat parking garage fee, and then it costs money to go in and out of DC. At the wrong times of day (read: rush hour), that could add up to $15 a day just to go to work. And that's not counting whatever is spent on gas. Some companies will reimburse DC-based employees for their Metro expenses.
** On weekends and federal holidays, Metro parking is free; however, Metro has closed several sections of the system on alternating weekends for track work. As a result, train times can be widely spread out and it becomes an inconvenience for people who want to go into the District without having to drive.

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** Nowadays locals tend to have a love-hate relationship with Metro. On weekdays, if you're a commuter who drives to a Metro stop and parks there, you have to pay a flat parking garage fee, and then it costs money to go in and out of DC. At the wrong times of day (read: rush hour), that could add up to $15 a day just to go to work. And that's not counting whatever is spent on gas. Some The federal government and some companies will reimburse DC-based and suburban employees for their Metro (or other mass transit, see below) expenses.
** On weekends and federal holidays, Metro parking is free; however, Metro has closed several sections of the system on alternating weekends for track work. As a result, train times can be widely spread out and it becomes an inconvenience for people who want to go into the District without having to drive. This problem will become much worse from summer of 2016 to the spring of 2017 as an emergency, system-wide repair project is put into effect as the result of a series of serious, sometimes deadly incidents caused by various parts of the system's infrastructure wearing out or not having been properly maintained.
24th May '16 10:23:52 AM jadmire
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DC has an extensive system of trains known as the [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro Metro]]. Basically, everyone uses the Metro, except Washington Post writers and the politicians on the Metro Board. You can even use it to go far out to suburban shopping destinations (or to the University of Maryland in nearby College Park) and as of 2014, the newest line, the Silver (Metro lines are color-coded) has been completed, connecting Dulles International Airport with the central city. It [[WeaksauceWeakness does not go to Georgetown]], although it does stop nearby at Foggy Bottom (where the State Department is). As of the spring of 2016, due to a long string of serious accidents and incidents, some of which resulted in fatalities among commuters unlucky enough to be caught up in them, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs the Metro, is embarking on an ambitious and highly urgent program to repair the entire Metrorail system, aiming to compress what would normally be three years' worth of work into one; this is universally expected to greatly worsen the region's already terrible traffic situation.

to:

DC has an extensive system of trains known as the [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro Metro]]. Basically, everyone uses the Metro, except Washington Post writers and the politicians on the Metro Board. You can even use it to go far out to suburban shopping destinations (or to the University of Maryland in nearby College Park) and as of 2014, the newest line, the Silver (Metro lines are color-coded) has been completed, connecting largely completed; when finished at last, it will connect Dulles International Airport with the central city. It [[WeaksauceWeakness does not go to Georgetown]], although it does stop nearby at Foggy Bottom (where the State Department is). As of the spring of 2016, due to a long string of serious accidents and incidents, some of which resulted in fatalities among commuters unlucky enough to be caught up in them, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs the Metro, is embarking on an ambitious and highly urgent program to repair the entire Metrorail system, aiming to compress what would normally be three years' worth of work into one; this is universally expected to greatly worsen the region's already terrible traffic situation.



** Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is the closest to town, and a hub for American Airlines. Just like the Pentagon, it's directly across the river in Arlington, VA. It used to be just "Washington National Airport", but was renamed by Congress in TheNineties (the name change was unpopular in certain circles because of Reagan's breaking of an air traffic controllers' strike in TheEighties). It's also the only airport in the DC area with direct access to Metrorail, though as noted above, once the Dulles extension of the Silver Line opens. This is the airport of choice for Congresspeople entering and leaving town (indeed, it's seen as one of their perks), but also has a limited number of flights available due to noise concerns and the difficult approach to the runway, which requires avoiding skyscrapers in Rosslyn and Crystal City while trying ''not'' to crash into the Potomac and avoid heavily restricted airspace nearby. As such, it commands higher ticket prices and isn't quite as busy as the outlying airports. Also, it's strictly a ''national'' airport; it can only originate or receive flights that are headed to or from US destinations, meaning international flights must use BWI or Dulles.[[note]] With a few exceptions—the airport has flights to UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}}, UsefulNotes/{{Montreal}}, Ottawa, and [[UsefulNotes/TheBahamas Nassau]]. Because these cities' airports have U.S. customs and immigration preclearance facilities, they are treated as US destinations. (This means that theoretically, flights to and from UsefulNotes/{{Dublin}} and Shannon Airports in UsefulNotes/{{Ireland}}, which also have these facilities, could also come here, but various other considerations have prevented this.)[[/note]] Or you could just go to:
** Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), the largest airport in the area and one of the busiest in the country, and a hub for United Airlines. Infamous for being a long, long haul from downtown (25 miles from the White House, through what has since become the highly-populated edge city of Tyson's Corner), for having an equally long access road reserved especially for it, and for not having any sort of public transportation (though Metrobus has since set up a proper shuttle line that serves it while the Metro extension is being built). You ''will'' get a ticket on the access road if you're not going to the airport for something; that said, "something" can be going to the Fedex terminal or picking someone up, not just boarding a flight. Otherwise, from the Beltway westward, you're expected to use the Dulles Toll Road and pay the tolls. Dulles was also infamous for its odd "shuttle lounges", crosses between buses and Jetways that, originally, could drive right up to the side of a plane and allow you to board directly. As the airport got busier, though, the lounges became a liability as they were small, cramped and required a slow docking process when arriving at the terminal. A new underground peoplemover (similar to the ones in use at other large airports) has mostly replaced them, although they continue to be used to connect Concourse D (not yet served by the rail line) to Concourse A and the main terminal. The building housing Concourses C and D is supposedly "temporary;" that said, [[DevelopmentHell they've been working on the "permanent" replacement since 1983 and not even preliminary designs have been approved]]. The most striking architectural feature of Dulles is its RaygunGothic main terminal building, which was designed by Eero Saarinen (the same guy responsible for the old TWA Flight Center at JFK) and built in 1961.

to:

** Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is the closest to town, and a hub for American Airlines. Just like the Pentagon, it's directly across the river in Arlington, VA. It used to be just "Washington National Airport", but was renamed by Congress in TheNineties (the name change was unpopular in certain circles because of Reagan's breaking of an air traffic controllers' strike in TheEighties). It's also the only airport in the DC area with direct access to Metrorail, though as noted above, once at least until the Dulles extension of the Silver Line finally opens. This is the airport of choice for Congresspeople entering and leaving town (indeed, it's seen as one of their perks), but also has a limited number of flights available due to noise concerns and the difficult approach to the runway, which requires avoiding skyscrapers in Rosslyn and Crystal City while trying ''not'' to crash into the Potomac and avoid heavily restricted airspace nearby. As such, it commands higher ticket prices and isn't quite as busy as the outlying airports. Also, it's strictly a ''national'' airport; it can only originate or receive flights that are headed to or from US destinations, meaning international flights must use BWI or Dulles.[[note]] With a few exceptions—the airport has flights to UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}}, UsefulNotes/{{Montreal}}, Ottawa, and [[UsefulNotes/TheBahamas Nassau]]. Because these cities' airports have U.S. customs and immigration preclearance facilities, they are treated as US destinations. (This means that theoretically, flights to and from UsefulNotes/{{Dublin}} and Shannon Airports in UsefulNotes/{{Ireland}}, which also have these facilities, could also come here, but various other considerations have prevented this.)[[/note]] Or you could just go to:
** Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), the largest airport in the area and one of the busiest in the country, and a hub for United Airlines. Infamous for being a long, long haul from downtown (25 miles from the White House, through what has since become the highly-populated edge city of Tyson's Corner), for having an equally long access road reserved especially for it, and for not having any sort of public transportation (though Metrobus has since set up a proper shuttle line that serves it while the Metro extension extension, the Silver Line, is being built). You ''will'' get a ticket on the access road if you're not going to the airport for something; that said, "something" can be going to the Fedex terminal or picking someone up, not just boarding a flight. Otherwise, from the Beltway westward, you're expected to use the Dulles Toll Road and pay the tolls. Dulles was also infamous for its odd "shuttle lounges", crosses between buses and Jetways that, originally, could drive right up to the side of a plane and allow you to board directly. As the airport got busier, though, the lounges became a liability as they were small, cramped and required a slow docking process when arriving at the terminal. A new underground peoplemover (similar to the ones in use at other large airports) has mostly replaced them, although they continue to be used to connect Concourse D (not yet served by the rail line) to Concourse A and the main terminal. The building housing Concourses C and D is supposedly "temporary;" that said, [[DevelopmentHell they've been working on the "permanent" replacement since 1983 and not even preliminary designs have been approved]]. The most striking architectural feature of Dulles is its RaygunGothic main terminal building, which was designed by Eero Saarinen (the same guy responsible for the old TWA Flight Center at JFK) and built in 1961.
24th May '16 10:10:18 AM jadmire
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* Out in the Virginia suburbs of Prince William County, those interested in UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar can visit the Manassas National Battlefield Park, site of the First (1861) and Second (1862) Battles of Bull Run (a creek running through the area; Manassas is the town immediately south of the battlefield, now a major suburb of DC).

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* Out in the Virginia suburbs of Prince William County, those interested in UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar can visit the Manassas National Battlefield Park, site of the First (1861) and Second (1862) Battles of Bull Run (a creek running through the area; Manassas is the town immediately south of the battlefield, now a major suburb of DC). Locals are eternally vigilant for threats caused by urban sprawl to the battlefield; in the 1990's, there was a major kerfluffle when Disney wanted to build a theme park next to the battlefield; they withdrew the proposal under pressure from outraged Civil War buffs and locals who didn't want the additional traffic headache. Not all Civil War locations in the area have been as fortunate; the battlefield at Chantilly, another major engagement in the Second Bull Run-Antietam campaign, is now the site of a major shopping mall.
24th May '16 10:04:31 AM jadmire
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** Arlington Cemetery: a military cemetery (also in Virginia; it's only about half a mile from The Pentagon and the Lincoln Memorial), but not everyone there actually died in a war. Veterans who served during wartime can be buried there too, along with their families. Burial place of JFK. Before UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, it was the plantation of Confederate general Robert E. Lee; it became a cemetery because the Union Army controlled Arlington and the Union Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs thought it would be deliciously ironic if Lee's house became the Union's hospital, and buried its dead in his fields and gardens. (Also, Meigs had a personal problem with Lee, since Meigs was from Georgia but remained loyal to the Union; each regarded the other as a traitor.) The house still stands overlooking the grounds, and is itself a museum. The Iwo Jima Memorial, a giant statue reproducing the iconic photograph of U.S. Marines (and a Navy corpsman) raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi in February of 1945, is not far from here.

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** Arlington Cemetery: a military cemetery (also in Virginia; it's only about half a mile from The Pentagon and the Lincoln Memorial), but not everyone there actually died in a war. Veterans who served during wartime can be buried there too, along with their families. Burial place of JFK.JFK, his wife Jacqueline, their infant son Patrick, and his brother Robert. Before UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, it was the plantation of Confederate general Robert E. Lee; it became a cemetery because the Union Army controlled Arlington and the Union Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs thought it would be deliciously ironic if Lee's house became the Union's hospital, and buried its dead in his fields and gardens. (Also, Meigs had a personal problem with Lee, since Meigs was from Georgia but remained loyal to the Union; each regarded the other as a traitor.) The house still stands overlooking the grounds, and is itself a museum. The Iwo Jima Memorial, a giant statue reproducing the iconic photograph of U.S. Marines (and a Navy corpsman) raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi in February of 1945, is not far from here.



* National Cathedral: America's unofficial giant interdenominational cathedral--nominally run by the Episcopal[[note]]That is, Anglican[[/note]] Church, but open to all--built entirely in [[MedievalStasis Gothic Revival]] stile. It sits on the highest point in the city. There's another moon rock in the stained glass windows, along with dozens of other nooks and crannies. They recently [[ChildhoodMemoryDemolitionTeam got rid of the stonecarvers' workshop]] to make room for a parking garage. It has a [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]] gargoyle.

to:

* National Cathedral: America's unofficial giant interdenominational cathedral--nominally run by the Episcopal[[note]]That is, Anglican[[/note]] Church, but open to all--built entirely in [[MedievalStasis Gothic Revival]] stile. It sits on the highest point in the city. There's another moon rock in the stained glass windows, along with dozens of other nooks and crannies. They recently [[ChildhoodMemoryDemolitionTeam got rid of the stonecarvers' workshop]] to make room for a parking garage. It has a [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]] gargoyle. President WoodrowWilson is buried here in an elegant sarcophagus inside the church, as is his second wife Edith. The ashes of HelenKeller and Anne Sullivan, her teacher, are also interred here, as are Admiral George Dewey (hero of the Spanish-American War) and World War II-era Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
24th May '16 9:48:21 AM jadmire
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* [[GreatBigLibraryOfEverything The Library of Congress]]: The world's largest library. Required by law to be sent two copies of every book ever published in the US (although they don't keep all of them -- some are traded with other libraries or given away). Most are accessible only to researchers,[[note]]If you're willing to pay for a researcher to transcribe something, they will. If it's already been transcribed, you can get a copy for a nominal fee.[[/note]] but visitors are allowed to explore the gigantic main building which looks like a 19th-century opera house. If you live in the area, you can go down and apply for a researcher's card; the process is a bit more involved than applying for your local library card, though, as applicants are taken through a computerized quiz which is focused on ascertaining the fields of knowledge of particular interest to you. Unless you're a Member of Congress or a Congressional staff member, you can't actually check out books; you must request them at the various desks in the "reading rooms". There are a number of these rooms, several of which (e.g., in the Jefferson and Adams Buildings) are quite large, and most of which are devoted to specific topic areas (for example, the Madison Building is where you'd go to do research in law or the performing arts). Researchers are allowed to use laptops and portable scanners, but thanks mainly to former national security advisor [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Berger Sandy Berger]] sneaking critical documents out of the building for his own uses, must get written permission first at the reading desks.

to:

* [[GreatBigLibraryOfEverything The Library of Congress]]: The world's largest library. Required by law to be sent two copies of every book ever published in the US (although they don't keep all of them -- some are traded with other libraries or given away). Most are accessible only to researchers,[[note]]If you're willing to pay for a researcher to transcribe something, they will. If it's already been transcribed, you can get a copy for a nominal fee.[[/note]] but visitors are allowed to explore the gigantic main building which looks like a 19th-century opera house. If you live in the area, or if you're visiting from out of town, and you want to make use of the Library's resources, you can go down and apply for a researcher's card; the process is a bit more involved than applying for your local library card, though, as applicants are taken through a computerized quiz which is focused on ascertaining the fields of knowledge of particular interest to you. Unless you're a Member of Congress or a Congressional staff member, you can't actually check out books; you must request them at the various desks in the "reading rooms". There are a number of these rooms, several of which (e.g., in the Jefferson and Adams Buildings) are quite large, and most of which are devoted to specific topic areas (for example, the Madison Building is where you'd go to do research in law or the performing arts).arts, or look up items in the library's periodicals collection). Researchers are allowed to use laptops and portable scanners, but thanks mainly to former national security advisor [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Berger Sandy Berger]] sneaking critical documents out of the building for his own uses, must get written permission first at the reading desks. The Library has a huge annex at Fort Meade in Maryland where extra copies of most of its holdings, as well as lower-demand items, are stored.
24th May '16 9:39:17 AM jadmire
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DC has an extensive system of trains known as the [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro Metro]]. Basically, everyone uses the Metro, except Washington Post writers and the politicians on the Metro Board. You can even use it to go far out to suburban shopping destinations (or to the University of Maryland in nearby College Park) and plans are afoot to extend it 25 miles to Dulles Airport. (As of the spring of 2011, construction on the new line is well underway, which is causing additional disruption to traffic on the Beltway and several major roads leading to Dulles.) It [[WeaksauceWeakness does not go to Georgetown]], although it does stop nearby at Foggy Bottom (where the State Department is).

to:

DC has an extensive system of trains known as the [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro Metro]]. Basically, everyone uses the Metro, except Washington Post writers and the politicians on the Metro Board. You can even use it to go far out to suburban shopping destinations (or to the University of Maryland in nearby College Park) and plans as of 2014, the newest line, the Silver (Metro lines are afoot to extend it 25 miles to color-coded) has been completed, connecting Dulles Airport. (As of International Airport with the spring of 2011, construction on the new line is well underway, which is causing additional disruption to traffic on the Beltway and several major roads leading to Dulles.) central city. It [[WeaksauceWeakness does not go to Georgetown]], although it does stop nearby at Foggy Bottom (where the State Department is).
is). As of the spring of 2016, due to a long string of serious accidents and incidents, some of which resulted in fatalities among commuters unlucky enough to be caught up in them, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs the Metro, is embarking on an ambitious and highly urgent program to repair the entire Metrorail system, aiming to compress what would normally be three years' worth of work into one; this is universally expected to greatly worsen the region's already terrible traffic situation.
24th May '16 9:29:41 AM jadmire
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Combined with Baltimore, it makes up the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Baltimore is theoretically less than an hour's drive from Washington. "Theoretically" is the operative word; traffic can be ''brutal'', due, among other things, to the fact that the Baltimore-Washington region is situated squarely atop Interstate 95, the main north-south highway on the U.S. East Coast, so that the Washington Beltway, the ring road surrounding the city, has to carry not only local traffic but traffic heading to the Northeast and Southeast. Also, Washington, being located in the Southern climate zone, is notorious for its poor response to winter snowstorms, which can be reliably counted on to snarl traffic up for a couple of days whenever one hits; the huge 2016 blizzard nicknamed "Snowzilla" by locals is only the most recent example. It's often claimed that Washington has the United States' worst traffic alongside Los Angeles. and urban sprawl between the two is pretty much continuous. However, the two cities are culturally distinct, and because of the gap both Baltimore and Washington have separate TV and radio stations covering their areas despite the short distance between the two.

to:

Combined with Baltimore, it makes up the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Baltimore is theoretically less than an hour's drive from Washington. "Theoretically" is the operative word; traffic can be ''brutal'', due, among other things, to the fact that the Baltimore-Washington region is situated squarely atop Interstate 95, the main north-south highway on the U.S. East Coast, so that the Washington Beltway, the ring road surrounding the city, has to carry not only local traffic but traffic heading to the Northeast and Southeast. Also, Washington, being located in the Southern climate zone, is notorious for its poor response to winter snowstorms, which can be reliably counted on to snarl traffic up for a couple of days whenever one hits; the huge 2016 blizzard nicknamed "Snowzilla" by locals is only the most recent example. It's often claimed that Washington has the United States' worst traffic alongside Los Angeles. and urban Urban sprawl between the two cities is pretty much continuous.continuous, and essentially forms the southern end of the East Coast megalopolis stretching from Washington to Boston. However, the two cities are culturally distinct, and because of the gap both Baltimore and Washington have separate TV and radio stations covering their areas despite the short distance between the two.
24th May '16 9:27:18 AM jadmire
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Combined with Baltimore, it makes up the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Baltimore is less than an hour's drive from Washington (theoretically -- traffic can be ''brutal'') and urban sprawl between the two is pretty much continuous. However, the two cities are culturally distinct, and because of the gap both Baltimore and Washington have separate TV and radio stations covering their areas despite the short distance between the two.

to:

Combined with Baltimore, it makes up the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Baltimore is theoretically less than an hour's drive from Washington (theoretically -- Washington. "Theoretically" is the operative word; traffic can be ''brutal'') ''brutal'', due, among other things, to the fact that the Baltimore-Washington region is situated squarely atop Interstate 95, the main north-south highway on the U.S. East Coast, so that the Washington Beltway, the ring road surrounding the city, has to carry not only local traffic but traffic heading to the Northeast and Southeast. Also, Washington, being located in the Southern climate zone, is notorious for its poor response to winter snowstorms, which can be reliably counted on to snarl traffic up for a couple of days whenever one hits; the huge 2016 blizzard nicknamed "Snowzilla" by locals is only the most recent example. It's often claimed that Washington has the United States' worst traffic alongside Los Angeles. and urban sprawl between the two is pretty much continuous. However, the two cities are culturally distinct, and because of the gap both Baltimore and Washington have separate TV and radio stations covering their areas despite the short distance between the two.
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