All cities have their quirks, and Washington DC is no exception. Aside form the cherry blossoms and the monuments, the museums and the government buildings, there are a few ways that DC just feels different from other cities.

Politics

It comes as no surprise that the nation’s capital is intimately linked with politics. The strange part comes with how many people in DC are largely apolitical, either because they are career civil servants or because they must work with all political parties in order to get their jobs done. Regardless of political affiliation, politics are part of everyday life in the DC area. Whether it’s a protest blocking traffic or the wide availability of deposition services Washington DC is an essentially political beast.

Traffic

Remember that protest blocking traffic? That’s just the beginning of DC’s traffic woes. Its popularity as a tourist destination for its many museums and monuments further exacerbates the problem, but perhaps the biggest contributor is the fact that DC was never really designed to be residential.

History

Washington DC is the result of a compromise the founding fathers made when they couldn’t decide where to put the capital. As a result, it isn’t actually in Virginia or Maryland, but thousands of people who live in both Virginia and Maryland work in the city and essentially consider themselves to be DC locals.

The character of a city is largely defined by the people who live there and what they do. Washington DC is unusual because of how it came to be and the function it serves in the nation, but what truly makes it unique are the people and how they interact with that purpose. When you’re marching in protest, stuck in traffic because of a protest or thinking about the effect that protest will have on history, you’re playing your part in making Washington DC what it is.