PD In DC: Life In DC

PD In DC: Life In DC

After a few months here in Washington, D.C. it’s become a routine for me to go to my internship and class like it’s my nine to five, forty-hour work week. I appreciate the semester and emphasis on the internship as a way to transition myself back into the real world, but I’m often left feeling like a vegetable by the end of the week with no motivation to leave my apartment. However, I’ve had to remind myself that there’s more to a semester in Washington, D.C. than internships and class. Now that the semester is pretty much over, I actually did some pretty cool things in my free time that weren’t class related.

1.  Hanging out at the National Mall/Smithsonian Museums Standing in front of the Abraham Lincoln statue

Nope, I haven’t been to all the museums yet, but I just went to the National Museum for African American History and Culture last week (it was phenomenal, and I cannot even begin to explain it all). I also visited the National Portrait Gallery to view the new  portrait additions of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Sometimes when friends had guests in town, I’d venture down to the monuments with them. Pro-tip: use the DC Circulator bus if weather conditions aren’t the best or you just don’t feel like walking. It’s only $1 and goes around the National Mall in a continuous loop up to Union Station.

Yoga mat on the ground in a candle-lit room2.  Yoga class at Embrace Yoga DC

Am I really living if I’m not in a yoga class? I haven’t been able to practice at a studio here with the same intensity that I did while taking the free classes offered back at SU, but it’s still a treat to go to Embrace Yoga’s Sunday relaxation class and set intentions for the week. It’s also close to my apartment, so keep in mind there are plenty of other studios to practice at in D.C



Juices from the Farmer's Market in jars

 3. Farmer’s Market in DuPont Circle

I stumbled onto this by accident one Sunday when I just wanted to take a walk into the city. I typically buy fresh, cold-pressed juices, but they have fresh produce, meats, pasta, soaps, candles and other cool things. Check out the website here for more info.




305 Fitness sign4. Cardio at 305 Fitness

These classes are so much fun! I have to admit the classes were initially so intense that I had to stop for a few weeks to let my body recover (that’s my own body needing time but perhaps you’re more in shape). It’s high-intensity cardio with a live DJ for almost an hour that legit always leaves me dripping in sweat and thankful for the large bathrooms with showers when I’ve got somewhere else to go after the class ends.



Two people at a podium at the Robin Toner awards

5. The Robin Toner Awards 

I sat at the Bloomberg table and met some really interesting journalists before the awards were presented. The stories of the award winners and how their stories came to life were incredible and made me proud to be a student in a school that supports journalism and awards that honor the contributions of professionals in the field



Photo of the Pod Save The People panel from the audience6. Pod Save the People at the National Geographic Museum

So this was a two-for-one because I listen to Pod Save the People regularly but had never been to a live podcast taping. I also hadn’t been to the National Geographic Museum. If you haven’t heard this podcast on Race and What Defines Us? I suggest checking it out because the conversation and insights were unlike any perspectives on race that I’d heard before



Typing a haiku on a typewriter for me at Newseum Nights in Bloom
Typing up a personal haiku for me at Newseum Nights in Bloom

7. Newseum Nights In Bloom 

I had to do something for the Cherry Blossom Festival, but heading to the Tidal Basin to look amongst the crowd or waking up early enough for the parades to get a good spot before the crowd wasn’t at the top of my list. Thankfully, the Newseum hosted this cool event with live entertainment, free haikus, photo booths, games delicious food and the chance to walk around and check out their Photo of the Year exhibit.


Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a second-year Public Diplomacy graduate student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

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