I’ve just come home from a one day junket to Washington, where I presented the website that I’ve been creating to a bunch of folks at the World Bank. What a day! Besides a stupidly early start (my flight out was at 7AM, which meant I was up sometime starting with a 4), the trip was a complete success. The site went down a treat, and I got some awesome feedback which will help with the next stage of development.
I really, really like Washington. Firstly, the people are much more relaxed than they are in New York. In fact, the entire city seems more laid back and easy-going. Even the cab drivers are friendly – and there’s no bullet-proof glass between the driver and the passengers in the backseat. (My morning driver explained that this was because to cabbies, Washington is divided into halves; only one of these halves takes cabs, but it’s the half that can afford to, so they don’t need to rob the drivers.)
Secondly, coffee (and probably everything else) is cheaper than it is in New York. Taking the Starbucks Latte comparison, you’re up for about $2.70 for a tallie in DC, compared to $3.36 in Manhattan.
Thirdly, Washington is a beautiful city. They have one of those laws which limits the height of buildings (apparently no higher than the Washington monument), which provides a refreshing change from the sky-scrapers in New York. Plus, there’s a bunch of monuments, memorials, lakes, government buildings, etc, all centered around a lovely “national mall” (a really long stretch of grass), smack bang in the downtown area. Check out the picture below, and see for yourself. This is Francesca and Fabia – 2 of the girls I work with – in the National mall. You can see the US Capitol building behind them.
I was stoked to get an opportunity to go back to Washington, and given another one, I’d jump at the chance. Highly recommended for anyone planning to come and visit us in the USA!