This post was written by Lauren Katz, a senior engagement manager for Vox. She previously worked on the social teams for Google Glass and NPR. She believes you miss 100% of the likes on the tweets you don’t send.
The Online News Association conference, like any large, multi-day event, is a challenge for introverts. Introversion, as Irving Washington reminds us in his strategy for introverts at ONA17, isn’t related to shyness or social awkwardness. Introversion is all about a person’s response to stimulation and the ways in which they recharge. Put simply: “Introverts are people who find other people tiring.”
So to my fellow introverts, I encourage you to attend sessions, network and then embrace JOMO: The joy of missing out.
Introverts know the importance of taking the time to re-energize. If you’re looking to spend your down time outside of the conference hotel, consider one of the following spots within walking distance of Woodley Park. If you’d like recommendations for places around other parts of D.C., feel free to reach out to me directly for suggestions at @laur_katz on Twitter. I’ll be tweeting my introvert feelings all week using #ONAIntroverts. Join me!
Rock Creek Park Trails
The backyard of the conference hotel is home to some paved, relatively-flat trails. A quick escape to nature doesn’t get more convenient than this. Plus, with a little exploring you’ll find discarded pieces of the U.S. Capitol.
Cross Calvert Street and head down the steep Shoreham Drive. At the bottom of the hill, there’s a fork — left will take you north through Rock Creek Park, right will take you south to Georgetown.
Open City at the National Cathedral
It’s true that there’s an Open City coffee bar location right next to the hotel, but this second location is worth the slightly-more-uphill-than-you’d-like-it-to-be trek. If rustic gothic architecture is your thing, you’ll love this Old Baptistery building-turned hip cafe. Enjoy a treat in the gorgeous space or grab it to go and spend time in the expansive gardens while you admire the National Cathedral.
Pro tip: The Cathedral is open for tours, but they’re only free on Sundays. Get to Open City early for breakfast and when the service lets out and people trickle over to Open City, swap with the masses and head over for your free tour.
Stanford in Washington Art Gallery
Nothing says peace and quiet like an art gallery. One of the current exhibits features paintings by an artist who recently completed a residency in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, where she lived and worked alone for 10 days. Sounds ideal, no?
The hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The gallery asks that you please call (202) 332-6235 to confirm before you visit.
Craving bubble tea? Looking for a short walk to take a break? Either way, you’re in luck. Eater D.C.’s boba guide highlights this small bakery in Adams Morgan. Kogibow mostly focuses on cakes, so you’ll have to look closely to spot the printed list of bubble tea flavors taped to the cabinets behind the counter.
Mount Pleasant Library
Of course there’s a public library on this list. The renovated and expanded building, first opened in May 1925, is the third oldest public library building still in use in D.C.
Along the way you’ll pass some spots that are fun to pop into if you have time: The Potter’s House, a cafe/community space, and Each Peach Market, a tiny market filled with local produce and random (read: expensive) goodies.
Wind your way past gorgeous homes and embassies to find the Kalorama public park that has it all: plenty of trees, a Little Free Library, ample dog watching and a chance to spot the Obama family out for a stroll in their neighborhood.
Bonus: Did you know D.C. has Spanish steps? They were built in 1911 on a street that was thought to be too steep for vehicles. This secret spot close to Mitchell Park is the only D.C. park to occupy a city street.