A City of Contradictions: Bethesda

Maryland Flag

I live closer to Maryland than I do to the Capitol Building. On any given day I could easily crawl out of bed and take a walk down Massachusetts Avenue past the Law School and cross over Westmoreland Circle into Maryland. I could. But I don’t.

Despite its proximity to me, Chevy Chase and Bethesda have become lonely little step children. Forgotten about until I start trying to remember where the closest GAP or Cheesecake Factory are located.

There’s no reason I forget about the two. Chevy Chase, which includes part of the Friendship Heights area, and Bethesda are both easily accessible by metro. They include nice shopping and dining. Some cute independently owned stores. For one semester during my sophomore year I rode the metro twice a week to Bethesda, hopped off and walked to Chevy Chase for a babysitting job. I walked right down Wisconsin, rarely stopping or turning the corner, except for the occasional stop at Starbucks.

Only once have I taken the time to truly explore this part of Maryland and that was during the Spring of my Freshman year. There’s so much that Bethesda and Chevy Chase have to offer, but I always fail to go there to truly experience it.

They aren’t lacking brick sidewalks or charming boutiques. And we’ve established they have good shopping and good restaurants. Any day if given the opportunity, I’d gladly go and wander around. But, the problem is that what you see of Bethesda and Chevy Chase is often just that. There isn’t much history to explore or many landmarks to see. There’s nothing that begs you to come and visit, let alone again and again. It’s a shame too, because if there was something that could draw me there, some historical significance, a monumental sight, I might head there more frequently.

Lack of historical landmarks, however, does not mean that my one exploration over the border did not produce some noteworthy photographs. On the contrary, Bethesda and Chevy Chase are both different enough from downtown Washington, DC that there were some very unique photographic opportunities.

Bethesda Sculpture


Chevy Chase Street Light


Downtown Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase, MD


Downtown Bethesda



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