For Valentine’s Day, we asked area photographers to tell us what they love about living in the DMV. Among the answers: the artists and performers, the parks, the quirky events, the architecture, unexpected moments, and, of course, the pandas.
Rodney D. Cunningham
I love the DMV because there is always something that will catch my eye, even during a pandemic. I took this picture in February 2020. Mardi Gras parade at the Wharf. The pandemic had started but none of knew that this would be one of the last major public gatherings for months. Hundreds, if not thousands of people, side by side, laughing and enjoying life. And then…
I took this picture in April 2020, near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The pandemic was in full swing. All of us have been desperate to find something to do, even if that means walking early in the morning, in the rain, on a path that we’ve been on countless times.
The suspense was as joyful as it was palpable. We awaited the 50 years of Apollo program in the shadow of the Washington Monument, minutes away from it becoming a Saturn-5 rocket for the evening.
(IG: @joeflood; Website)
A different time, when not only could you walk by the Capitol, you could even run by it in your underwear. The occasion was Cupid’s Undie Run, a race for charity that occurs around Valentine’s Day every year. (This was from 2014, FYI.)
Logan Circle is a beautiful city park that has become invaluable during the time of the pandemic for people who wish to safely meet their friends and have a drink.
What do you love about living in the DMV? The parks, the events, the people, the monuments, the pandas? Well for me the answer is all of the above, but I absolutely love springtime in Washington! Nothing says spring like the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. This is one of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken at the Tidal Basin because it captures the essence of springtime Washington in one frame.
(IG: mikijourdan; Flickr)
There is a special place in my heart for Constitution Gardens, a peaceful spot in the heart of the city that attracts a host of beautiful birds, including great blue herons, cormorants, northern shovelers, red-winged blackbirds, ducks, and geese. During the pandemic, when so many of the District’s indoor attractions have been closed, the gardens’ quiet charms have had an extra appeal.
There’s a lot to love about living in the District. My two favorite things are the nature and the Malcolm X Park Drum Circle. I can’t think of many cities where in less than a mile from its core you can find owls, eagles, deer and foxes to name a few and it goes without saying that the drum circle is a unique DC tradition that is unequaled anywhere else.
There are many things to love about DC, as well as many things to dislike. One love is the C and O Canal. First discovered soon after I moved to the area, it has been a source of relaxation and inspiration. Walking the same stretch over the years you can see and feel how the seasons unfold and change.
The other love is the Mall and monuments. Seriously, where else can you play at the footsteps of the monuments?
I love the National Zoo’s panda family.
The pandemic has prevented us from meeting Xiao Qi Ji but here’s a screenshot from the panda cam!
As photographers, shutterbugs or whatever we like to call ourselves, the DMV has no shortage of sights that catch our eyes. For someone like myself who grew up admiring architecture, the one thing I enjoy seeing over the years is the teardown of both residential and commercial properties with anticipation of what’s to come. The first selected image is of a plot of land converted into a mass timber constructed office building. I believe this was completed in Fall of 2019.
The second image is of a home in its early phase of a teardown and new construction build. Neighbors walking their dogs or fiending for a Five Guys burger and fries will no doubt stop for a peek. Especially since the owners opted to keep the facade.
We have the best places to run or take a walk; beautiful, historical architecture can be found throughout the city; residents are active and take advantage of their access to the National Mall and other nearby trails.
Little hints of DC pride can be found everywhere. There’s a pride in living here and being part of this dynamic community.
There’s so much I love about this city – the chance to see politics up close, the festivals, public art, history, neighborhoods, people – but what I miss most during the pandemic is the wide range of free events at museums, embassies, and cultural venues. For almost 25 years, the Kennedy Center has had a free performance every single night of the year until the pandemic. Here are photos from two of them:
These photos capture a side of DC that I love, not the fabulous museums and beautiful buildings, but rather the unexpectedness of real life that you can still experience in the city. I ran into these bikers enjoying the lovely warm weather we had last weekend and everything came together to make this a memorable moment for me.
(IG: @arpixa; Flickr)
I love living in DC. I love the people, the diversity, the excitement about many events, and the beauty of the city. I particularly like the monuments and memorials and the wide open spaces around them, which have been a wonderful escape during these times. The first photo is a reflection of Lincoln Memorial on a lovely summer evening.
I also enjoy taking the Metro in DC (which used to be my daily commute), with its interesting architectural forms, microcosm of people, and a great place for urban photography. This photo was taken outside Dupont circle station last summer — it was cool to get a shot of this after months of not being on the Metro.
Lisa A. Walker
There are so many things I love about the music scene in DC: it’s incredibly vibrant, it has a fascinating backstory/culture, and it’s thriving. Trouble Funk and Gogo is DC. It became the official music of the city about a year or so ago and it is always so much fun to see live.
Thievery Corporation is basically another one of our “hometown bands.” Rob Garza and Eric Hilton are DC locals, and the diverse and eclectic music they play, along with the international cast of performers, is such a dynamic show they usually play for at least three nights in a row at the 9:30 Club or even The Anthem. Oh how I miss the energy, the people, and the music.
(WillmorePhoto on Facebook)
Here are just a couple of things I love about the DMV… The wildlife (the shot of the osprey and the two chicks was shot on the Patuxent River).
A vibrant art scene—including live performances. The photo is from Art All Night in the District and is of the group Pyroxotic.
(IG: @wolfkann; Flickr)
Family snowman fun with barbed wire fencing around the Capitol is quite the visual contrast.
Snowman with a COVID mask “chasing” kids playing in front of barbed wire fenced Capitol is not only visual contrast but showing epic images of the times.