To my surprise, the price of hotel in Boston drops significantly in the weekdays than weekends. So we modified the route a little bit and chose to come to Washington D.C. during the weekend. I am in Hotel Washington, in Washington D.C. now. As always, to find sometime to sit down and write is not easy.
We took greyhound here. It took 4 and half hours. I am planning to leave for Boston on Dec 20 and go back to New York on Dec 23 to continue the Big Apply journey. The Hotel Washington is a very nice hotel. It is on the same street of White House, which is only one block away. The Washington Memorial is shining right outside my window and the huge Christmas tree Bush lit up is down there.
Washington D.C. is the type of city that I fall in love at my first step. Since the law requires no building can be higher than the capitol in this city, the buildings here are not tall but huge. It seems every building’s name starts with “National”, such as the National Press Building, National Theatre and National Museum of blah-blah around the hotel.
Due to the big contrast between Washington D.C. and New York City, it is even more quiet and here. It is a place where pedestrians have time to wait for red lights and drivers yield for pedestrians. People have time to say “excuse me” again. For us, it’s quite like an escape from New York City.
BTW, the Metro in Washington D.C. is among the best metro system I saw so far. The big halls of Metro and clear signs make it very friendly. The train carts are clean – they even have carpet on train!
P.S. Excuse me for not replying comments, or some emails recently. For those I do replied, sorry for conciseness of the reply. For a person with very strong Internet relationships like me, you can imagine how many emails in my mailbox after two or three days of absence. The dialup is slow here.
Dear Jian Shuo,
This is my first time writing, but I have been following your blog ever since I moved from New York to Shanghai 2 years ago. Yours is definitely the best blog I have encountered on the Web.
I am not sure if you already know about this or not, but there is a “Chinese” bus system between NYC, Boston, Philadelphia and D.C. I am not sure where the D.C. terminal is, but the ones in NYC, Philly, and Boston are in their Chinatowns (all very conveniently located). There are several companies (eg, Fung Wah) whose schedules are online (try googling “chinatown bus schedule”).
This is definitely the cheapest way to travel between these cities. There is fierce competition among the companies, so the fares are really low (used to be $10 one-way from NYC to Philly). It is much cheaper and just about as comfortable as Greyhound, and a fraction of the cost of Amtrak. There was some gang-related violence involving some of the companies, but in general it is safe and even a lot of non-Chinese use the system. You may want to try it just for the experience of living like a huaqiao.
If you go to the Metropolitan Museum in NYC (pay as you wish), don’t forget to check out the replica of the Master of Nets garden (it is nothing like the original in Suzhou).
Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!
Between Boston, NYC, and DC, there are many Chinese buses connecting the China Towns. Very cheap, comfortable, and many buses available daily. You can check it out at DC china town. Much better than Greyhound. Enjoy your trip. I really like your blog. Keep going, please.
Sorry,I did not see Warren’s post. Anyway, please just take it as second opinion.
Welcome to DC, Jian Shuo. Sorry about the cold weather.
Jian Shuo, did you know your blog is named in the New York Times today, and you are quoted? You are famous!! I just wrote up the story on my blog.
wow, keep up the good work!
Interesting observation about the contrast between NYC and Washinton. I just cam back from a trip to California (San Francisco mainly) and felt the difference between great cities are as much as that of individual persons.
I’d even call the difference ‘personality’ or ‘souls’, all great cities have it’s own unique personality and charms (or in rare cases, annoys) me in different ways.
On that aspect, Shanghai feels like the NYC of China, while Beijing feels more like Washinton.
In the UK, London is closer to NYC than Washinton. I live in Manchester and for years I disliked it because I think Manchester is try too hard to be an also-run and lacks it’s own individuality.
This is the useful site for the Chinese Bus on the east coast:
First time i bumped into your blog. Wow, just enjoying the photos u took, artistic touch + adventurous drive. Great work. Well, i just came back from a trip to D.C. and NYC. I love D.C. as a place more than NYC. The thing that really struck me was that early in the morning a bunch of students (maybe from Georgetown U?) were jogging with shorts while the temp was like 5 to 10 0C in the National Mall. Well done keep on blogging!