Today I bought a travel guide for myself. It’s called Not For Tourists Guide – Washington DC edition (official website available here). They are also making other editions, including Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Unlike mainstream guides, this one is created for newcomers to the city, those intending to live for an extended period. Therefore, you can find the usual recreational destinations such as the Smithsonian complexes, the Zoo, and historical sites in DC and also the more mundane but essential spots for residents such as post offices, banks, pharmacies, and grocery stores.
The book’s content is dedicated, for the most part, to providing readers with a series of maps, 46 to be exact, and several sub-maps. So, instead of telling stories behind the such-and-such place, the book will show you the site’s map so you can figure out how to get there and what stuff is available in the surrounding neighborhood. The maps are very reader-friendly and interconnected with one another. So, instead of carrying a huge map everywhere (and being obviously tourist-acting), I just need to carry the book and stroll along.
In the following month, during my stay, the book would provide tremendous help in getting me up to speed with DC’s public transportation routes, key neighborhoods, street names, and essential venues (banks, post offices, etc.). The book is still valid now and then, even when I have already familiarized myself with key areas important to me.
I highly recommend this book for those who will move to DC or just recently moved here. I haven’t read editions for the other cities but assuming they will all be similar, you can get yourself a copy depending on your destination cities.