5 de febrer de 2020

Unexpected D.C. – A mecca for food, wine and culture lovers

A friend and I were recently talking about one of my all-time favorite films, When Harry Met Sally, a classic 1980s American romcom, when this question came up for self-reflection: Do I consider myself to be a fussy, set in my ways type of person like Sally’s character in the movie? In Catalan, I think we’d call that maniàtic/-a or primmirat/-ada. My answer: Well, maybe a little.  

An idealist at heart, I have been known to view life from a perspective of how well just about anything measures up to my vision of what it could be. Not in the sense that I always see the grass as greener on the other side, but I’ll admit to sharing a few personality traits with Goldilocks (better known to Catalan and Spanish speakers as La Rínxols d’Or or Ricitos de Oro), the fairy tale character who breaks and enters the home of the Three Bears, assessing whether an experience is too this, too that or just right.

So what does any of this have to do with Washington, D.C.? As I observe my own thoughts as I discover this city, I recognize that I’ve spent a lifetime looking for the ideal American city to call home through these lenses. And that in my search, I’ve set a fairly high bar for what that place should be like. Los Angeles will always be my hometown but has always felt, to me, too big and impersonal. And don’t even get me started about the traffic. I’ve heard wonderful things about Boston and Chicago, though I’ve never lived in either, but have never seriously considered moving there. Too cold. Then there’s Portland or Seattle in the Pacific northwest. Gorgeous places with great food and wine. Why not settle there? Too wet. See what I mean by the Goldilocks reference?

What makes Washington, D.C. feel ‘just right’, at least for me? So far, everything! It’s an impeccably clean city with beautiful architecture. The vast network of museums and galleries run by the Smithsonian Institution are free to the public. Public transportation is safe, clean and for the most part efficient. It’s one of the few cities in the U.S. where you don’t need to own a car. The city has a little bit of a Parisian look and feel, but is smaller in scale, more like Barcelona.

But the one thing that makes D.C. truly unique is its diversity – of cultures, languages, food and wine. A wide variety of African, Asian, Latin American, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines are represented here - in both restaurants and markets. The residents of ‘the District’ are very open and creative, and this is reflected in the city’s food and wine offerings. I would offer recommendations, but I haven’t lived here long enough to give you a comprehensive list. Besides, my list would be totally biased - a reflection of my favorite things. Goldilocks, remember?

P.S. If you’re planning a visit to Washington, D.C., feel free to message me and I’ll gladly share that list with you if you’re interested. You can find me on Instagram @polyglotsomm  

By Carla Gordillo @polyglotsomm

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