If you haven’t interned on the Hill or visited the Capitol Building, take a tour and see Congress in action – or inaction, as some joke.
Hop on the Blue or Orange lines to the Capitol South Metro station and take in the skyline. Capitol tours are easy to arrange: Simply contact your state representative or senator. If you go during the week, you might be able to take a smaller, more intimate tour with a Congressional staffer and even get a peek at Congress in session.
If you opt for a larger weekend visit, a tour guide will lead you through the Crypt of the Capitol, the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall.
After your history lesson, whet your appetite at the appropriately named We, The Pizza, which offers, hands-down, the best pizza I have tried so far in the District. My prior D.C. experiences having been the average Fuel Pizza, Jumbo Slice and Pizza Movers, I almost gave up hope of finding a stellar pizza experience here.
We, The Pizza, a relaxed joint owned by former “Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn, proved me wrong. Its chewy, large slices will leave you wanting more. My mom and I tried the White Pie and the Fresh Buffalo Mozz & Roasted Tomato Pie, which was excellent.
Wash your slice down with one of the restaurant’s signature handmade sodas. I sampled the Ubet Manhattan Egg Cream, made with a layer of pure chocolate syrup under soda water and milky goodness. The restaurant doesn’t deliver to Foggy Bottom, but trust me, this pizza is worth the trip for take-out. Its smell alone will win you admirers on the Metro ride back.
For a full taste of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, walk down to Eastern Market, the city’s oldest continually operated fresh food public market. Every weekend, the open-air mecca features farmer-sold fresh produce, antique housewares, vintage clothing and handmade arts and crafts.
Though there are more than 140 arts and crafts vendors in the Weekend Outdoor Market, my two favorites are Jeannette Landphair and Curtis Baity. Landphair makes magnets and ceramic coasters out of vintage Washington postcards and offbeat newspaper clippings. She also paints beautiful canvases of the District’s famous cherry blossoms. Baity crafts funky light switch covers covered with any logo, magazine cover, celebrity or historical figure you could imagine.
Spending most of my time in the workers’ paradise of Foggy Bottom, I often wonder where residents’ houses are located. Wander through the back streets of the Capitol Hill Historic District and get lost within the picturesque, dollhouse-like row of houses. This neighborhood is one of the largest historic districts in the country, filled with early 19th-century manor houses and townhouses. As dusk falls and gaslights ignite, you’ll feel as if you’ve wandered back to the Victorian Age.
End the evening at Lincoln Park, nestled in the center of the community. Now mostly used as a dog park and jogging area, the urban green space is complete with a centerpiece statue of Abraham Lincoln himself.