Week 1: First Week in Washington

With eyes wide and bags packed, this New Yorker embarked on what is sure to be a grand adventure for me: my first new job in almost 20 years in a city I know little to nothing about.  After a champagne send-off from my family in Queens, my husband and I headed south, Google maps with traffic enabled on my cell. 

In a few hours we arrived at my temporary home, an old brownstone in the Adams Morgan section (AdMo so the locals tell me) of Washington DC.  While converted to apartments, the building has not lost its charm; my flat sports lots of character with wood moldings galore, two fireplaces (sadly no longer working), big bay windows offering lots of natural light, and original hardwood floors, knots and all.  This corporate rental also comes with washer/dryer, small dishwasher, and two powerful A/C units – especially important since the weather forecast for my first week was accurate: 90s and sweltering. 

After quickly stashing my things in the apartment, we ventured out on foot.  First stop was a few blocks away: the Washington Hilton for tourist pamphlets and the Metro schedule. This hotel is infamously known as the “Hinckley Hilton,” the site of David Hinckley’s assassination attempt of President Reagan in 1981. According to Wikipedia, this hotel is owned by an investment group, one of whose partners is NBA legend Magic Johnson. Sadly for the 10 minutes or so we were inside, we did not run into Magic, Pat Riley, nor any other famed Lakers from that era.  

We zigged and zagged down tree-lined residential blocks admiring the diverse architecture and small but beautiful front gardens.  In less than half an hour we found ourselves at Dupont Circle, so named for Rear Admiral Samuel Frances Dupont of the US Navy during the Civil War Era. A consultation with Wikipedia suggests a bit of a scandal with RA Dupont, which I will not share in this blog as it must first be confirmed through more reliable sources.  As our tourist brochure suggested, we stopped at the popular Bar Dupont for a cocktail. 

And so the adventure has begun!  In my first seven days, I’ve walked several miles throughout the NW part of the city, ridden three different bus lines with my new Metrocard, visited with four friends who live in the area, enjoyed meals at five restaurants, and started my Fellowship!  My personal goal during this fall semester is to learn as much as I can about the city, and enjoy what Washington DC is and has to offer.


Marianna Savoca, PhD., Director of the Career Center at Stony Brook University–State University of New York, is a Faculty Fellow this semester at the Business-Higher Education Forum