Georgetown, Washington D.C.

Located Northwest of Washington D.C., and founded in the mid 1700’s, there lies a neighborhood called Georgetown. With a population over 70,000 Georgetown has a rich history from the day it was first founded. Today, Georgetown is home to some of the most fabulous restaurants in the country and some of the best shops as well! This makes it worth visiting for any tourist, so make sure you have transportation to the neighborhood to enjoy your stay. From its busy M Street to the beautiful Georgetown Park, there are plenty of things to do for anyone wanting to visit. Georgetown is also flooded with historic areas from both the 19th century and the 20th century. This can include things such as the Washington Harbor or even some of its historical schools. Georgetown is not just known for its high end shops and restaurants but also for its education. The neighborhood has consistently poured its resources into its education system landing them one of the most prestigious schools to attend, Georgetown University. Georgetown is a wonderful place to visit, and while it used to be more well known for its unattainable status. Though, recently its become much more accessible to the public, with more shops and restaurants for anyone to enjoy.

Georgetown was may have been founded in the mid 1700’s but its history goes all the way back to the 1600’s. In 1632 Henry Fleet, an English fur trader, documented a village of the Nacotchtank people called Tohoga, this is where modern Georgetown is now located. Henry Fleet had actually spent 5 years as the Nacotchtank’s prisoner, he was later freed for ransom. Henry Fleet saw the advantage that Georgetown had for shipping due to its connection to the ocean via the Potomac River. This lead to a port being build in the area and trade was then established. The port of Georgetown is actually about 40 years older than the city of Washington. Then in 1745, a tobacco inspection house was constructed alongside the Potomac River by a man named George Gordon. George Beall Jr. was also a prominent figure in the neighborhood, he was the grandson of George Bell who was a strong political figure among other things. In the 1750’s the 60 acre area was purchased by the Province of Maryland, this was done to turn the neighborhood into Georgetown. Robert Peter then became the first mayor of the town, Georgetown then began to build, using the river to its advantage by building ports and warehouses. After which the establishment of the federal capital helped Georgetown become its own independent district.

View of Georgetown University in the 19th century

In the early 1820’s the Potomac River became so filled up with ports and silt that it became hard to navigate up to Georgetown. This was becoming such an issue that it became difficult to trade in Georgetown. The solution was to build a new canal going from Harper’s Ferry to Georgetown, however the introduction to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad altered that. To start with, the railroad was finished before the canal could be done, and it was much cheaper than the ferry. This practically killed any hope for a ferry to bring in money. While the canal was still built it was not as profitable as they had hoped, this was due to the train being much cheaper and much faster. There was an upside, the canal was originally made to allow for civilian boats to pass but with most residents now taking the train, it gave another route for ships and cargo boats to take. This wound up being extremely helpful as it helped clear up some congestion and provided a boost for the economy in the town. Georgetown would follow the trend of the evolving industries throughout the decades; during the 1820’s they traded tobacco, sugar, salt, and even hemp, later incorporating flour, and even coal. For the next 40 – 50 years the area would remain largely self governed, while this was good for expanding business it would eventually become a problem. Georgetown eventually had to deal with its original problem, constant shipping of coal leading to the area becoming silted. To make things worse in 1889 a storm at the end of May washed away a poorly managed dam in the area. This nearly destroyed Georgetown, it took years for the area to finally begin to rebuild. Georgetown not only rebuilt but also expanded. This led to the expansion of the railroads and allowed for new factories to be built in the neighborhood. Georgetown’s waterfront became more industrialized, with warehouses, and apartment complexes going up in the area. None of these apartments were actually well kept. By the end of the 19th century, Georgetown was a mix of industry along the river, and “projects” for the workers to live in. However, older homes remaining unchanged though most of them would remain abandoned for a while.

The opening of the Buffalo Bridge in the early 1910’s helped connect Georgetown with Rock Creek Park. then in the 1920’s construction began on large apartment complexes along the edge of Georgetown. The C & O Canal would deal with a series of floods throughout the years until it was eventually sold to the National Park Service in late 1938.

The area would then remain largely industrial until about 1968, a series of freeways then allowed for some commuters to avoid Georgetown altogether.

Georgetown has some of the best schools in the country and for good reason. With money constantly moving in and out of the area it allowed for schools to be well founded. Georgetown is home to many university-preparatory schools, the first being Columbian Academy. Georgetown was not just fueled by wealth but also its desire to properly educate the young. Georgetown contains multiple private schools such as; Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Georgetown Day School, and many more. The schools themselves also contain some interesting history for anyone willing to read. Georgetown does contain some public schools, and most are operated by the District of Columbia Public Schools or (DCPS) for short. There are also a number of public libraries in the area, mainly due to the District of Columbia Public Library operating there. However the most well known university is without a doubt Georgetown University.

Georgetown University is one the oldest schools in the United States founded by bishop John Carroll in 1789. It stands as the best private research university in the country and is consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States with highly picky admissions. It stands as the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in the United States however the majority of its students do not follow the religion. The school’s alumni include more U.S. diplomats than any other university in the United States. Georgetown University’s main campus is identifiable by Healy Hall, a National Historic Landmark. The school now houses about 10 undergraduate and graduate schools.

Georgetown University is one the oldest schools in the United States founded by bishop John Carroll in 1789. It stands as the best private research university in the country and is consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States with highly picky admissions.

It stands as the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in the United States however the majority of its students do not follow the religion. The school’s alumni include more U.S. diplomats than any other university in the United States. this means that visiting the university is not as easy as getting on a bus, often times the students take a car service to the school. This means that unless you have the funds, Georgetown University is very difficult to tour. Georgetown University’s main campus is identifiable by Healy Hall, a National Historic Landmark. The school now houses about 10 undergraduate and graduate schools.

Georgetown has 2 main roads going through it, one of them being M street and the other being Wisconsin Avenue. Wisconsin Avenue is part of the Maryland suburbs and is often being used as the main road in the neighborhood. Wisconsin Avenue actually starts in the Georgetown and passes through a lot of parks and neighborhoods. Wisconsin Avenue passes through Glover Park, Cathedral Heights, Cleveland Park, Tenleytown and Friendship Heights. Eventually the road goes into Bethesda and forms into one of the main streets in the area. M street is split apart into 4 different section. All of these sections are named after their direction Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast. The Northwestern section carries heavy commuter traffic as it connects Pennsylvania Avenue with Key Bridge and Canal Road. The Northeastern section of M street contains the Gallaudet University. Finally the southern sections of M street lead to both the Washington Navy Yard and a few National Parks.

One of Georgetown’s best tourist destination is Georgetown Park. Georgetown Park is a mixed use area, consisting of both a shopping mall and condominium use. Often times, taking a taxi is your best option for getting around the neighborhood. After all, your feet will get tired from all the shopping you’ll do! it also went through some of the most renovations throughout the decades. parts of its structure where actually used from old tobacco warehouses in the area, these parts can date as far back as 1838. In the 1850’s Georgetown Park was bought by John E. Reeside and Gilbert Vanderwerken, during which it was used to hold their Omnibus line. After it was used to hold the Washington and Georgetown Railroad, it was then converted into a machine shop for streetcars. At one point the building served as the United States Defense Communications Annex E. Donohoe Construction Co. acquired the building in 1975 and was tasked with developing the area into a combined housing and commercial complex.

Washington Harbor is also one of Georgetown’s most famous destinations as well. Washington Harbor is a mixed used development that was designed by Arthur Cotton Moore. The complex contains luxury condominiums, offices, retail space, and restaurants. Washington Harbor has a postmodern architectural style. Washington Harbor has a set of floodgates designed to help protect it against river floods; the gates were later renovated after 2010. During its initial days it was mainly used as a commercial harbor, however this changed during the Industrial Revolution. At first Washington Harbor had to close because of a decline in commercial sales. This led to numerous Manufacturing plants and industry to be built in the area. After the 1960’s Washington Harbor went through numerous proposals but none were acted upon for almost a decade. Many Georgetown residents strongly opposed plans to build a series of highways throughout the city. Ironically enough the plan that eventually went through was a plan to tear down the already existing freeway. Washington Harbor was inevitably saved by President Nixon in 1971. Construction of the actual area began in the 1980’s and was opened in phases, the first phase being in 1986.

Today, the Potomac river contains multiple waterfront dining options, many of which can give you a fantastic view of The Kennedy Center. Some of the better options for seafood in the area are places like Sequoia, Nick’s Riverside Grill, and Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place. Georgetown is also home to some of the most famous restaurants in the country, so famous even presidents eat there! 2 of these restaurants are Farmers Fishers Bakers, and Fiola Mare, who have had the luxury of having guests like Joe Biden and James Bond. Some luxury hotels offer restaurants of their own, all of these restaurants offer top cuisine options for all their guests. Places like Bourbon Steak, and CUT by Wolfgang Puck can offer you a variety of Steaks and red meat options to satisfy your meat filling. There is also a restaurant called The Alex, named after Alexander Graham Bell, which features a Steampunk aesthetic for its visitors to enjoy. You can enjoy some Italian Cuisine at the Cafe Milano and Filomena Ristorante, or an all-American menu at 1798. Georgetown also features a number of stylish bars such as Richard Sandoval’s El Centro D.F., which serves up authentic Mexican food all day!

There’s also Greg Engert’s The Sovereign, where one can fill up their Belgian food desires. If you’re looking to enjoy a good cocktail check out Konditorei + Kafe Leopold. For those who just want to grab a quick bite to eat, you can check out places like Sweetgreen, or Good Stuff Eatery. There are also a number of clothing shops in Georgetown as well.

If you’re planning on visiting Georgetown its good to know the best way to get around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, there are no direct bus or train routes that go in and out of Georgetown, luckily there’s another solution! Washington D.C. has many great transportation services and one of which being My Destiny Limo! My Destiny Limo can provide you with a black car service to take you in and out of Georgetown. So if you’re looking for a safe car service, they have both the safest and most relaxing car services available to you. If you’re coming in from out the Washington D.C. area, or if you’re just visiting family, then you will be happy to know that some car companies can accommodate for that. My Destiny Limo can go as far out as New York City to Washington D.C. if you needed it.

SoHo, Manhattan, New York

Great view of SoHo at street level with Manhattan in the background

Located in Lower Manhattan, covers 0.3 miles of Manhattan and has a population of over 18,000 (as of 2019). Often times, New Yorkers will prefer to taxi around the area when shopping. SoHo has been at the forefront of national and international chain stores, trendy boutiques and is the location for many different lofts belonging to artist and their art galleries’. The combination of stores and fashion makes SoHo an excellent vacation point for anyone looking for some inspiration! SoHo also has a massive historical significance and is an example of Inner-city regeneration. The area of SoHo was actually named that because the area is located “South of Houston Street” and was conceived in 1962 by Chester Rapkin. The boundaries covering the neighborhood are actually quite interesting, it is agreed that the Northern boundary is Houston Street and the Southern boundary is Canal Street. However where things get complicated is when deciding the Eastern and Western boarders.

During the colonial era the area of SoHo was used as part of a grant, this grant had farmland given to freed slaves. This established the first ever black settlement on Manhattan Island, marking a historic moment for New York City. During the American revolutionary war SoHo became an area with numerous fortifications. After which the area of Soho mainly lie dormant, no development and a lot of the area had to be mortgage because of the war. During the mid 19-century the section began to remodel itself and changed its entire aesthetic. tearing down the Federal and Greek revival homes and made way to a new style of building, this includes solid structures of masonry and cast iron. The area slowly began to reinvent itself, new grand hotels began to go up in the city, new commercial establishments where opened. The streets themselves became lively and the addition of new theaters and food destinations helped its growing popularity. The area itself began to change and it caused the middle-class to be driven out of the area and made way for the small manufacturers. This includes locksmiths, book publishers, makers of fine china, cabinet-makers, makers of glassware, and many more.

Street view of the SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City
Street View of SoHo Manhattan, New York City.

This shift led to many more middle-class residents moving out of the neighborhood, this led to a 25% drop in population between 1860 to 1865. Then came the Civil war and the Panic of 1873 which led to large textile firms and other merchandise companies to move into the neighborhood. The area began to develop very quickly after this and soon that section of the city became the wholesale dry-goods and mercantile trade center of Manhattan. However, as the center of the city began to move uptown the quality of the area in SoHo declined rapidly. Soon the area began to become vacant and housed a lot of empty buildings. This was the direct effect of World War II, after its end the textile companies that previously resided within SoHo moved down south. This left many buildings empty and where either repurposed or torn down to make way for parking lots, garages, repair shops and gas stations. In the 1950’s the area became known as Hell’s Hundred Acres, this was due to the area essentially becoming an industrial wasteland. SoHo at the time was filled with nothing but sweatshops and small factories, however because they only ran during the day time at night the area would be empty and lifeless. In the 1960’s a resurgence in interest occurred in the area, and suddenly artist began to move back in leading to a change in the SoHo area.

With the new influx of artists and residents looking to expand their creative minds the area itself needed to become much more “livable”. This brought upon the birth of the Cast-Iron Architecture throughout New York City, Cast-iron was quick and cheap to make and was perfect for a resurgence in a previous hellish area. Currently there are 250 Cast-Iron buildings in New York City and most of these are in the SoHo neighborhood. The cast-iron design is actually a façade and was actually a ploy to make the warehouse structure more visually pleasing, in reality, cast-iron was very brittle. The architectural style of cast-iron buildings was inspired by Classical French and Italian architecture. While these architectural designs would usually use stone, cast-iron was favored due to its “easy to mold” nature, that when combined with neutral colored paint, such as beige, it can become something with a visual similarity. The iron itself made the material very pliable and could be molded very easily despite this it is still a very strong metal. This meant that the window frames within the buildings could be made with significant height, this allowed for more sunlight to fill the rooms that were rented out to artists and the such. At one point, cast-iron was seen as more viable then steel, it was also believed that it was fire proof, all of this was not correct. The truth is that cast-iron has a set of big problems, one of these being that when exposed to heat the material would buckle. in addition the cast-iron material would also crack under the cold, this meant that in the event of a fire, the sudden change in temperature when trying to put out the fire can cause buildings to collapse. at one point in the 1960’s the SoHo area became threatened by a project that would have built a highway directly through the neighborhood, destroying most of its historical significance. This caused major uproar among the community and led to multiple architects and historical preservation movement fighting against the highways construction.

The Interior of SoHo apartments feature an Industrial design and a lot of open air.

Finally after the proposal to essentially destroy SoHo simply to build a road was put away, artist began to come in. Many artist favored the industrial style buildings because it helped motivate and inspire their work because of how open the space always was. However this cause problems among the city and specifically with its zoning laws and the fear that the building may be needed again for manufacturing. This led to the city creating the Artist Tenant Association and then the SoHo Artist Association. Instead of keeping the area strictly industrial the city opted to allowing artist to live within their work quarters under certain permits. The SoHo area had then finally received landmark designation as the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District in 1973.

SoHo Began to change in the 2000’s and in 2005 became a victim to gentrification and the entire area began to change. Former artists that lived in SoHo began to move to Chelsea during the 1990’s, as of 2013 only a few art galleries remain in SoHo, this includes, William Bennett Gallery, Martin Lawrence Galleries, Terrain Gallery, Pop International Gallery, and a few more. SoHo became very pleasing to be people due to its location, living spaces, Architecture, and its known reputation of being favored by most artist led to more people coming in. The combination of struggling artists, repurposed industrial buildings, unique architecture, and exquisite fashion made SoHo a popular destination for both tourists and buyers. SoHo has many different shopping chains around the neighborhood however most of these shops are in the Northern Area. Those who Manhattan visit frequently know that despite the area, SoHo is always scattered with street vendors trying to vend you anything from purses to jewelry and even off brand clothing.

SoHo is insanely popular all over the world because of its artsy style, unique architecture, lively streets, and the endless stores to shop in. Those that are planning a vacation to New York might want to consider adding SoHo to their list, simply for the style! There’s a high demand to visit the city right now, this means there’s high demand for transportation. New York City is no stranger to transportation and has no shortage of car services either, however with so many different car companies it can become difficult to know which is the best transportation company for you. If you are simply trying to get from one point to another then any black car service can help transport you to your destination. However when in SoHo, most tourist and visitors prefer going around the neighborhood for multiple hours. Luckily there are certain limo companies in New York City will let you rent out a car with a driver for multiple hours at a time for a certain price. These New York City black car services have different vehicles available to you, from Cadillac Escalades, to Tesla’s, to even Sprinter Vans. If you are coming in out of the borough then no problem! every single car service in NYC goes throughout all 5 boroughs and some even into New Jersey. However, if you are coming in from out of state then you have nothing to worry about either, certain limo services will go out of state for clients wiling to pay, that goes for yellow taxi’s as well. These transportation companies can go out as far as New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, and even Washington D.C..

The Lincoln Memorial

The front view of the Lincoln memorial

Built in order to honor the 16th president of the United States, no vacation to D.C. is complete without visiting The Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington D.C.. The Lincoln Memorial is a great visit for anyone looking to learn about American history! so if you’re looking to visit the capital be sure to take a car service to the memorial. The Lincoln Memorial is also built in a neoclassical form and was made by architect Henry Bacon. Along with Henry there were many others who helped in the project as well. The designer of the memorial was Daniel Chester, the Lincoln statue was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers, The painter of the murals inside was Jules Guerin, and finally the epithet above the statue was written by Royal Cortissoz. The Lincoln Memorial is one of many different memorials built in order to honor an American president. It has become both a tourist attraction and a symbol for racial equality since the 1930’s and remains that way to this day.

The Lincoln Memorial was actually constructed in the 20th century, this was due to many problems with how and where the memorial should be made. Another one of these issues was the lack of funds, despite people wanting the Memorial to be made most people would not put money forward for the idea. this eventually led to the project being dormant for a while until it was picked up again by Shelby M. Cullom, the senator of Illinois. When they where planning out the design for The Lincoln Memorial they took many details into account and one of which was Abraham Lincolns character itself. President Lincoln was seen as a very humble man, this meant that the memorial to honor him cannot be too ostentatious.

The interior of the The Lincoln Memorial is divided into three different chambers and has different columns supporting the cabin itself. Every single column is about 50 feet tall, 15 meters, and is over 5 feet in diameter. the memorial itself has many different symbolic features and structures, this was all done in order to honor not only the president but also the United States itself. some of which include; 36 columns to represent the states in the union upon his death, inscribed within the structure is President Lincolns principles of life. The ceiling contains bronze and oak leaf decorations, this is combined with Alabama Marble. in addition to this, flood lights were added into the roof in a way that could be concealed, this was done in order to counter the lack of light in The Lincoln Memorial.

The Statue of President Abraham Lincoln.

This led to the matter being settled through the selection of a simple log cabin shrine, after the West Potomac Park was chosen as the place to build the memorial. The memorial itself was built almost exactly on schedule, however there where a few changes through the build. One of these changes was to make the Lincoln statue bigger so it doesn’t get overwhelmed by the cabin itself, This meant that the statue was increased from its original size of 10 feet to 19 feet. Despite this sudden change during the construction of the monument it was still completed on time and was celebrated upon its completion. During the grand opening, many people where invited including 78 year old Robert Todd Lincoln, president Lincoln’s only surviving son. African Americans where also invited to the opening ceremony, however to their dismay, they were put into a segregated section of the ceremony.

The Lincoln Memorial is located in Washington D.C., specifically on the west end mall, and getting transportation to or from Washington D.C can be rather difficult, especially if you live in another state. Luckily there are plenty of taxi companies in and out of the state that provide excellent transportation services. If you are attempting to get to The Lincoln Memorial from a different state but don’t want to take a plane or train for privacy, some car companies can take you into Washington D.C.. This includes companies that can be from different states such as car companies in New Jersey, and car companies in Pennsylvania. Their are some car companies even farther that might be willing to make the trek if you’re willing to pay the fees. This can range from car companies in New York City, and car companies as far out as Connecticut or even car companies in Rhode Island. Most car companies in todays day are typically clean and inspected before there drives, however sometimes its best to be safe. This means that most people would rather take a limo service, or a black car service for more comfort and safety.