The first thing to understand about Washington D.C. is that life here almost completely revolves around the Congressional and news cycles. The streets are packed with protestors representing causes from across the spectrum. One day it’s incarcerated immigrant children, another day it is access to abortion. People here are very interested in ensuring that the powers that be hear their grievances loudly and clearly. The first amendment is certainly alive and well! The workflow in this city follows the tempo of the United States Congress. When Congress goes into recess in August there is very little going on in a lot of offices situated near the capital (mine included). When important pieces of legislation are close to being passed, all of Capitol Hill is abuzz with activity. The conference version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019 was just released so my office (which is engaged in defense lobbying) is quite busy. As for weekends, Washington D.C. is chock full of things to do if one is a fan of history and academia in general. The Smithsonian alone has 17 different museums, all of which are free to go to and open year round. The National Mall also tends to be the epicenter of major cultural festivals and the like. When the Capitals won their first Stanley cup this year they paraded around the National Mall on a Tuesday afternoon (I’ll always be grateful to my bosses for letting us go to that). Other than that, nightlife is decent, there are plenty of good restaurants and I cannot emphasize this enough: DO NOT DRIVE! USE THE METRO!
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