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Moving to Washington, D.C.: Get Ready for a Monumental New Life

Team FYI

Team FYI on July 3, 2020

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Moving to Washington, D.C.? Of course, monuments are a huge part of the vista in Washington, D.C. It is the nation’s capital, after all, and what better place to show off all the great things about this country. Life in D.C. is not all about government buildings and statues though. It’s a vibrant city with great restaurants, history and culture. So, let’s start exploring and get you acclimated to your new home.

First Things First; Get Moving Help

Whatever you do, when moving to Washington, D.C., don’t expect that you can unload your moving truck with just a couple of friends and the promise of pizza and beer later. D.C. streets can be narrow and moving trucks will be blocking traffic so you’ll want pros that can move quickly. There’s also the chance that the truck will have to be parked down the street or in some alley near your home. Trust us, you really don’t want to make all those trips loaded down with furniture and glassware. Movers may charge more for extraordinary situations. And if your new digs are in a building with a service elevator, be sure you schedule time to use it on the day you move in.

Pass on the Left, Stand on the Right

Washington, D.C. is a commuter town with plenty of public transportation options. The METRO is the nation’s second busiest subway system, beat out only by New York City. Many people put their cars in storage and either bike or walk to their destinations, especially in the downtown area which is very walker friendly. But when you do take the METRO, be sure to remember this cardinal rule—pass on the left, stand on the right. Impatient locals will plow you over if you’re in the way. So don’t say we didn’t warn you.

You’ll Eventually Run into the Capitol

Since you’re a local now, be sure to call the city “D.C.” or “The District.” It’s also good to know that The District is divided into quadrants which have the Capitol Building as its center. It’s the dividing point for the quadrants so all roads will eventually get you to the Capitol.

This Could be Another Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4

Washington, D.C. streets traveling east to west are named with letters while north and south streets are numbered. But don’t blame your driving companion if you’re driving and seem to miss “J” street. It’s not a Harry Potter Platform 9 ¾ trick. J Street simply doesn’t exist. And if you want to blame anyone, it should be Thomas Jefferson. During the time that the streets were being named, I’s and J’s were used interchangeably in old English and even Jefferson would sometimes use the initials T.I.

More Rain than Seattle

When you think about which U.S. city has the most rainfall each year, Seattle comes to mind for most people. But they would be wrong. Washington, D.C. and a few other cities have Seattle beat by at least two inches annually. D.C. summers can be brutal with unrelenting humidity so unpack your umbrella and all your flowing, natural fiber clothing first to get through your first summer in the nation’s capital.

Hey, You Gotta Eat

Washington, D.C. is one of the best food cities in the world. When you think about all the high-profile people coming and going all the time, there has to be some great grub available. Whether you’re in the mood for steaks, barbecue, Mediterranean or just want to get your taco on, D.C. has what you need.

Tax Quirks in the D.C.

You can move but you can’t get away from them—taxes. Washington, D.C. residents pay 6% sales tax with the exception of liquor which is taxed at 9%. Meals at restaurants get taxed 10% and parking is charged a 12% tax. Items exempt from D.C. taxes include groceries, utilities and prescription and non-prescription drugs. These taxes may surprise some new residents so it’s good to be informed before you head out for a night on the town.

It’s Cool to Act Like a Tourist for Awhile

People plan vacations and send their middle schoolers on trips to D.C. every year for one reason—the amazing display of history and art. There’s nowhere else that you’ll find the abundance of national monuments, historic sites and cultural opportunities. And just think, you’re already here and can take advantage of the richness of the nation’s capital any time you want. And many sites are free so you can return to your favorite spots to learn something new every time.

Welcome Home

Congratulations on your decision to make Washington, D.C. your new home. This vibrant and sophisticated city is the heart of the nation and most Americans consider it home. And now you have too. Welcome.

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