Sunday, August 16, 2009

Washington DC Schools IV: University of the District of Columbia

To close out my four-part series on universities in the nation's capital, I offer a brief posting on the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Of the other schools I've presented, Georgetown is clearly nationally elite, whereas George Washington and American U. are prominent at the regional level, if not also nationally. UDC, on the other hand, is a local commuter school, albeit one with an elaborate history that intersects with our nation's history in civil rights.

In all honesty, I had not originally planned to visit UDC and photograph it. Rather, my purpose for taking the subway up Connecticut Avenue NW was to visit the Politics and Prose bookstore, which is frequently featured on C-SPAN's Book TV when prominent political journalists come to do book talks and signings. One can get to Politics and Prose by taking the Red Line to the Van Ness-UDC station and then walking about a mile northward on Connecticut Ave., which is what I did. As the name of the station implies, UDC is right there, so it was no problem to snap a picture. Anyway, with all this having been said, here's the UDC...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Washington DC Schools III: American University

Situated in upper Northwest Washington, DC (the Spring Valley neighborhood, to be exact) is American University. Unlike the more bustling neighborhoods adjoining the Georgetown and George Washington University campuses, the area surrounding AU is much more residential. And it's very exclusive, too, serving as the home to numerous political and media luminaries, as well as embassy personnel from around the world. On my way to AU, in fact, I walked by the Swedish Ambassador's residence.

Not surprisingly (and as with Georgetown and GWU, as well), the study of government and politics is big at American University. Here is the banner-festooned AU School of Public Affairs.

AU's Katzen Arts Center, with its funky sailboat display, also caught my eye. It turns out that the Katzen is one of AU's newest facilities.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Washington DC Schools II: George Washington

As the Media and Public Affairs webpage from George Washington University puts it, the campus is "[l]ocated in the middle of political Washington." That's absolutely correct, as the White House is just a few blocks from GWU, with the U.S. Capitol another dozen blocks (roughly) further down Pennsylvania Ave.

The Washington Monument and various government buildings (shown below in a photo I took from my hotel room) are also near GWU.

The university proudly announces its presence with statues and signage...

GWU blends in well with its urban setting, reminding me somewhat of Boston University.

George Washington also, however, has some green space...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Washington DC Schools I: Georgetown University

I've just gotten back from Washington DC, where I attended the annual Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) conference. I took some time last Friday afternoon to visit and photograph four universities in the District, all via subway, bus, and walking (including a non-stop walk from American University to Georgetown). Luckily, an afternoon rainstorm cooled things down and then dissipated, making it fairly pleasant to get around.

Let's start our series on the DC campuses with Georgetown University. Not only is Georgetown an academically elite institution (with alumni including Bill Clinton, at the undergradute level), but the surrounding neighborhood is also extremely famous. Below are a couple shots of the campus (from the 37th St. side), which my fiancee Sylvia tells me features Gothic architectural style.

Also visually interesting is the adjacent residential neighborhood, featuring an array of pastel-colored townhouses. Somewhat reminiscent of San Francisco (although with much less severe incline), one must go down a hill to get to the "main drag" commercial area.

The hub of the commercial district is the intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, NW (under L'Enfant's design for DC's street system, letter-based streets go east-west, numbered streets go north-south, and streets named after states run diagonally). Most of the stores and restaurants in Georgetown -- which appear to cater primarily to an upscale clientele -- run along M Street. That includes an Uno's pizza, at which I dined.

Nearby, running roughly parallel to M Street is the Potomac River, on the other side of which are a number of glitzy buildings in the Virginia suburbs. Washington's excellent Metro subway system does not run in Georgetown, but one can catch buses on M Street going to the subway.