Reason 310

#310: The supposedly easy-to-understand easy layout. I still get lost, but the map looks cute.

I now get lost less. Not a lot less, but less.

This is how I did it:

  • I became a big fan of This American Life and Radio Lab. At least once a week I play one of their podcasts and just walk around DC for the whole hour. Sometimes I do this when I am actually going somewhere that is far away. Sometimes I do it when I am just walking as a way of commuting. Walking around helped me figure out where stuff was. Walking around while listening to a podcast made it ok to get lost. In my mind it doesn’t really matter where I am as long as I can get to somewhere familiar by the time the 60 minute episode ends. 
  • I learned to avoid taking streets named after states. I only walk on number streets or letter streets because they are easier to follow. The only state street that I sometimes take is New Hampshire Ave between 19th St and Washington Circle. I think if this street as my own personal stationary conveyor belt to get me to and from Gelman Library.
  • I stopped taking the metro. Taking the metro inside DC really doesn’t help anyone. You are underground the whole time and then you come out of the center of the earth into some neighborhood you don’t know. It is very disorienting.
  • I learned that K St is a street that looks like it goes underground but only because some other street passes on top of it. The realization that K Street where the lobbyists are and K Street where the waterfront bars are is the same street was huge.


The Daily Show explains K St (and other things DC)



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