A Photographer's Guide to Washington, D.C.

Photos by Joel Barhamand

Lyric at Liz resident artist Steven Marks gives his take on some of the city’s best spots

Lyric at Liz resident artist Steven Marks has a deep affinity for Washington, DC – from its unrivaled cultural institutions to the plethora of incredible restaurants. We asked Marks to give us his take on some of the city’s best spots with the hope of inspiring a little adventure on your next trip to the nation’s capital.

What do you love most about DC?
The District may be the cleanest large city in the US, which is very appealing, and its light can glisten. The old neighborhoods are a treat to explore, although many are disappearing. But far above every other feature are the museums; no city in the world can compare…that [includes] Paris and New York. And, best of all, the overwhelming majority are free, thanks to the US taxpayer.

What are a few of your favorite restaurants?
The Dabney
, for sure, and we like Maydan, among many others. DC is a foodie’s paradise; there are so many excellent restaurants to explore. Also, I want to give a shout-out to my favorite local Chinese restaurant, Joe’s Noodle House, in Rockville. Worth the trip.


It’s time to get caffeinated – where do you prefer to refuel?
I don’t like coffee, alas, but my wife does. Little Pearl and The Cup We All Race 4 are popular and where I’d drink up, if I did.

You’re in need of a cocktail or meeting friends for a drink – where do you go?
and the District Winery are my favorites…the former is on U Street, right nearby, while the latter is on the Riverfront, the site of much refurbishing and polishing of late. 3 Stars Brewery on Chilum Pl NW is also a scrumptious destination for craft-beer lovers. I always stock some of their beers in my fridge.

Breakfast or brunch?
in Mt Pleasant is a great breakfast location, as is The Village Café in the booming new Union Market neighborhood, where my daughter and her husband live. Good stuff.

The Smithsonian Museum of Art

Where’s the best place to see great art?
The National Gallery
is the Districts’ most important institution, by far. One can glean more from an afternoon spent in its remarkable corridors and salons than from weeks spent at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The Smithsonian Museum of American Art is also monumental. The Phillips Collection is smaller, more idiosyncratic, but also marvelous in its own way. And, of course, there’s always Studio Gallery, my own.

Where’s the best place to brush up on your reading?
Politics and Prose
, by far…even if one doesn’t always agree with the politics. The author readings shouldn’t be missed.

Politics and Prose Bookstore

Your favorite urban adventure?
Wandering about with my camera, particularly in Georgetown and the H St. corridor. The latter used to be a bit more gritty and interesting visually. In some respects, I miss the energy and character.

Favorite tourist attraction - what not to miss in DC?
The National Gallery
…nothing else comes close. The Library of Congress isn’t bad either.

Check it out
Lyric at Liz
1357 R St. NW, Washington, DC 20009