I Live in the Wrong City

Let me put it this way…I never planned to live in the DC area.  When I was younger I did a stint at a law firm in NYC.  I’d always pictured myself back in New York rather than much much further south.  It’s not that I don’t like DC…I just prefer NYC and always have.  As a kid I grew up in CT and we often visited the city…plus, I lived in the area for about 6 months and I just found it to be my pace. However, fate intervened and Matt, (then my fiance, now the husband), had a job in DC when it was time for me to look for a position. So DC it was. Years later, and here we still are.

We were up visiting family in NYC this weekend.  There’s a wine bar on early every block.  Or a wine shop.  I couldn’t get it over it…every time I turned my head I saw “Vinoteca” or “Enoteca” or “Wine Bar.”  I’m jealous.  Very jealous.  If there’s one thing DC really lacks in, it’s wine bars.  For sure, there are a few, Proof, EatBar, and Sonoma Restaurant pop into my head, but….well, 3. Versus the at least 20 that I saw just wandering around for a day and a half in NYC.

And that doesn’t even mention the wine shops! I can list about 10 in the DC area (including the suburbs of VA that I live in).  10.  And most of the ones I’m familiar with are NOT in walking distance to a Metro or even to my office. Walking from the apartment we stayed at in NYC to breakfast and to catch a cab this morning, I saw at least 4 just in that 5 block radius.

Yep, wrong city.

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12 Responses

  1. Oh, man. You’re making me have second thoughts about moving back there! I am spoiled here in S.F., and my neighborhood FINALLY has a great wine bar.

    When I lived in Alexandria, I was a regular at Fern Street Gourmet.

  2. No question DC is more of cocktails and beer place than a wine emporium. I don’t know whether it has to do with regulations or the K Street crowd (or both) but I didn’t start to appreciate good wine til I got out of the Swamp. Then again, I enjoy some of the incredible beers and ales that DC has in great supply. It’s all a trade-off!

  3. Folks, where I live we have four liquor stores and their stock is controlled by what the state commission allows them to carry. I have almost a much wine in my coolers as they carry on their shelves (almost). The closest real wine stores are 90 miles away, but thanks to the internet and wine.woot I can shop for whatever catches my fancy. Don’t misunderstand me though, I’m still damn glad I live in the wide open spaces of Wyoming and wouldn’t trade it for your city life. No offense intended!

  4. Hey, I’m trying to move back to NYC too… when I get a job, you should definitely follow :-). I need my drinking buddies to tag along!

  5. DC has it’s share of winebars……. Enology, Proof, Cork, Veritas, Bardeo, Vinoteca, Mendocino, etc…..

    And there are many good wine shops, of course not as many as New York. Then again DC doesn’t reek like festering garbage in mid-august. Try to say that about Manhattan. I looove visiting New York, and am going again at the end of the month. But I love coming home to DC even more. 🙂

  6. When you were younger? You barely look old enough to drink!

  7. Love your blog, but have to agree with Jon W. It’s not DC’s fault you choose to settle in Virgina. DC has a healthy selection of wine bars, per capita, and you can rent a 2 bedroom apartment for less than $5K/mo. If you want to stroll a few block and hit several killer wine shops, go to the 5500 block of Connecticut Ave. and drop in on Circle Wine & Liquor, then wonder up the block to Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, then cross the street to Magruders. Or take the Metro to Friendship Heights and hit Paul’s, then walk a few blocks south to Rodman’s. Or if you’re on the Blue line, from Foggy Bottom walk north and visit the Trader Joe’s on 25th St., then walk a few block to Bell Wine & Spirits on M St., and walk three blocks east on M to The Wine Specialist. And those just scratch the surface. See, here in DC, you can afford to own and operate a car, which will take you to Pearson’s, MacArther Beverages, Schneider’s of Capital Hill, Calvert Woodley, etc. And even in the sticks of Virginia where you live, there are dozens of great wine shops; Arrowine, The Vineyard, Rick’s Wine & Gourmet, etc. And that’s not counting Total Wine. I defy you to name a single NYC wine shop that has 40,000 sqaure feet of wine selection! Anyway, I do feel for your isolation down here in the sticks. But hang in there. This is becoming a better wine town every day.

  8. Love your blog, but have to agree with Jon W. It’s not DC’s fault you choose to settle in Virgina. DC has a healthy selection of wine bars, per capita, and you can rent a 2 bedroom apartment for less than $5K/mo. If you want to stroll a few block and hit several killer wine shops, go to the 5500 block of Connecticut Ave. and drop in on Circle Wine & Liquor, then wonder up the block to Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, then cross the street to Magruders. Or take the Metro to Friendship Heights and hit Paul’s, then walk a block south to Rodman’s and keep heading south to the Whole Foods Market on 40th St. near Tenley Circle. Or if you’re on the Blue line, from Foggy Bottom walk north and visit the Trader Joe’s on 25th St., then walk a few block to Bell Wine & Spirits on M St., and walk three blocks east on M to The Wine Specialist. And those just scratch the surface. See, here in DC, you can afford to own and operate a car, which will take you to Pearson’s, MacArther Beverages, Schneider’s of Capital Hill, Calvert Woodley, etc. And even in the sticks of Virginia where you live, there are dozens of great wine shops; Arrowine, The Vineyard, Rick’s Wine & Gourmet, etc. And that’s not counting Total Wine. I defy you to name a single NYC wine shop that has 40,000 sqaure feet of wine selection!

    Anyway, I do feel for your isolation down here in the sticks. But hang in there. This is becoming a better wine town every day.

  9. SF is really the place to be. Besides the excellent wine bars and proximity to so many wine regions, all the wine shops have great tastings on the weekend ranging from free to more depending on the quality of what they pour. Plus the development of urban wineries in the East Bay means you don’t even have to fight Napa traffic to visit a great winery!

  10. Hell, even Cleveland has 3 wine bars within a mile of where Andrew and I live. You should come visit if your schedule ever calms down. We could go on a (possibly terrible) Ohio Wine Tour!

  11. Thanks for all the comments everyone.

    And Gretchen, looks can be deceiving. I worked in NYC nearly a decade ago and was very much legal to drink at the time!

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