15 Things You Notice When You Move From NYC To DC

gary718 / (Shutterstock.com)
gary718 / (Shutterstock.com)


First and foremost, you no longer live in a lunchbox. So much room for activities! (And nary a bunk bed in sight!)


Unlicensed Cookie Monsters and Elmos don’t assault people nearly as often in areas of high tourism. Although if there is one thing the National Mall and surrounding monuments are lacking, it’s surely a good NYPD-Spidey brawl.


Squirrels here won’t brazenly crawl up your pant leg in pursuit of your sandwich.

Those days of always looking over your shoulder for fear of hardened, thuggish squirrels with teardrop-face tats are a thing of the past. DC squirrels know their place.


Rooftop bars are now found on disappointingly low roofs. The highest high-rise you’ll find in DC is that of Michelle Obama’s pantaloons.

Having a rooftop bar with no view is like being an astronaut and not ending every relationship with “I just need space”—it just wastes everyone’s time. But while the views are significantly less impressive, at least here the number of floors the building has doesn’t correspond with the number of dollars you pay for a single beer, amirite?


The peeps riding front row at SoulCycle don’t (yet) know what they’re doing (YET. Give them time. I have faith). Not h8in, I’m just t3llin u. At least the NYC boutique fitness staple finally made it to the nation’s capital (or let’s be honest, you wouldn’t have moved in the first place and this list would be a lot less listy).


The first order of business when you walk in the door in sandals is no longer immediately showering off the mud/sludge (mudge?) from the city streets!


This new thing happens where bright lights suddenly come on at the bar and you feel like your mom just threw the curtains open to wake you up for school—a phenomenon you likely never experienced in the city that never sleeps.


You actually get a seat on the Metro (and an air-conditioned one at that). A seat from which your personal space is not invaded by butts aplenty. I used to take my morning commute with a medium Dunkaccino and a face full of butts. One butt, two butts; old butts, new butts. Gone are the days of subway sardines playing twister for a grip of the pole.

Downside is—rather than paying the same $2.50 flat rate to ride the subway—you now have to pay according to distance traveled. Woof. And you also run the risk of getting Kevin Spacey’d in the Metro like your name’s Zoe B. Guess you win some, you lose some.


DC nightlife is largely limited to Georgetown, U Street, H Street, DuPont, or Adams Morgan, whereas in Manhattan the possibilities are seemingly endless! Unless you ask this chick, according to whom only the area below 23rd Street is kosher on weekends (for “true betches,” anyway).


You’ve found that people here are more concerned with social causes than they are with money, materialism, status, juice cleanses, banker shoes, the new Céline bag, subway-butt avoidance (town car services), etc.


Your personal Chef Seamless isn’t as widely worshipped here and people actually take pride in cooking for themselves (wait but why…).

This is just one of those things that I’ll likely never understand. #TakeOut4Lyfe


You’ve had to reacquaint yourself with the ol’ art of driving. I am not a big fan of what you might call “turning left.” This is not a euphemism; I—much like Zoolander—just find that I don’t have an affinity for left turns and would much rather make three right ones. It’s fine.


Your power-walking, tourist-avoiding skills are sorely underutilized. You’ve actually considered undertaking the practice of speed and agility exercises on pool decks (NO RUNNING ALLOWED) to stay up on your game.

Just kidding, because that would be silly.


Pedestrian street style is overall far less fun to look at, hence your Snapchat score having diminished from that of a middle-school girl to more of a Golden Girl trying to relate to her grandkids. (“But where did it go? Why would it disappear?”)

This loss in pointage is largely attributed to the fact that fashion choices here are not nearly as Snap-chattable, and I for one am thusly far less Snap-happy. In addition to the Sesame Street BAMFs of Times Square, DC could use more of these fashion-forward types, please!


Lastly, images of Central Park in the fall, the west side at sunset (i.e., the Frying Pan at happy hour), and the Manhattan skyline at pretty much any point in time ever now break your heart a little. But when you’re missing the grates that blow your dress up, rooftops with a view, and organized squirrel crime, you can always go back and visit! The Fung Wah bus only costs about 12 bucks each way (+ all the patience and sanity you got on tap), but you do what you gotta do when these vagabond shoes are longing to stray, you know what I mean? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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