The running joke that is the New York Times‘ coverage of D.C. continues to fall flat. The newspaper unveiled its list of 52 places to go in 2016, and D.C. makes an appearance on the list. Great, right? Unfortunately, the reasons why just underscore the Times’ haphazard attempts to understanding our city. Take a look:

The National Mall, studded with landmarks and museums, will soon have one more jewel in its cultural crown: the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open late this year. Expect exhibits presenting a nuanced perspective of the African-American experience through cultural artifacts, artwork and personal-history stories. Adding to the appeal of downtown is nearby CityCenterDC, an ambitious 10-acre development project filled with apartments, condos, shops and restaurants, including Momofuku CCDC (the first United States location outside of New York of the celebrated restaurant brand), which opened there late last year.

Check out the National Mall and visit a museum that doesn’t have a firm opening date? (Sometime before Nov. 4, is the current ETA). There’s no denying that the National Mall and its surrounding museums are worth your time, but D.C. has many more cultural offerings. The Times also singles out CityCenterDC, the soulless Emerald City of shops you can also visit while in New York. And of all the fantastic, unique restaurants the city has to offer, the paper mentions just one: Momofuku CCDC. That’s a New York transplant. In other words, come to D.C. because it now has a lot of the same shit as New York.

Instead, come to D.C. for any one of these 52 reasons (in no particular order):


The Red Hen

The Renwick Gallery

Little Serow

The National Building Museum

DCity Smokehouse

National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum

The Kreeger Museum


National Museum of Women in the Arts

The Phillips Collection

Union Market


The 9:30 Club

DC Brau’s brewery and Harper Macaw’s chocolate factory, both offering Saturday tours and tastings

The Howard Theatre

The Kennedy Center

Iron Gate

Politics & Prose

Baan Thai

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Studio Theatre

Folger Theatre

Blues Alley

Rose’s Luxury


AFI Silver Theater (It’s in Silver Spring, but c’mon, it’s not that far)

Malcolm X Park


Ethiopian food

A distillery tour in Ivy City

The National Arboretum

Salt & Sundry

Bad Saint


Crispus Attucks Park

Farragut Square food trucks

Chez Billy Sud

C&O Canal

The Anacostia Playhouse

Anacostia Community Museum

Hains Point

Horace & Dickie’s


The Georgetown waterfront

Ramen at Daikaya

Bohemian Caverns

The Newseum

Eastern Market

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Rock Creek Park

Nats stadium for a game


… or really anything other than CityCenterDC

Photograph by Darrow Montgomery