Washington D.C. the Improv City

April 15, 2014

As the end of the semester comes, the thing people have most asked me recently is what will I miss most when I leave D.C. I believe people have different experiences with this city, and so I would like to share my best memories of Washington, D.C.

1. Cupcakes. It has to be on your to-do list in D.C. People know about Georgetown Cupcake, Baked & Wired (B&W) and Sprinkles but have no idea how to choose. Here, let me give you some suggestions. According to size, B&W cupcakes are the largest, Sprinkles’ cupcakes are medium and then comes Georgetown Cupcake. All of these bakeries have about 15 different types of cupcakes on their daily menu, so feel free to try a new flavor every time you go. Tip: There is always a line in front of Georgetown Cupcake. The shortcut is to order online and pickup in the store without waiting, like a VIP!

2Jogging. When spring comes, there is no reason for me to workout in the gym. I enjoy going out to nature and embracing the sunshine, bird whistles and cherry blossoms. Starting from the UC Center, I turn left and jog all the way down to the White House. If this workout is not enough, I can keep jogging to the National Monument or Tidal Basin. I feel like a resident of D.C. on my jogs when meeting tourists taking pictures at the White house, but in fact I am temporary as well.

Tours. Schedule a tour for yourself frequently when you are in D.C. I took my lunch break to visit the Library of Congress, which reminded me of a scene I had seen in a movie years ago. Also, for spring beak, I headed all the way north to New York City. I visited my friends at NYU and scheduled a tour at the United Nation Headquarters - the only international territory in Manhattan. I would say take your chance to explore the world! It is better than Facebook or online games!

4Global Challenges, Global Solutions. “Global Challenges, Global Solutions” is the topic of the World Bank Group Spring Conference this year. With thousands of participants from governments, NGOs and other international institutions, people come together to discuss solutions to end extreme poverty by 2030. I went to the panel on Universal Health Coverage. The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, shared his thoughts on public health policy. Also, the two Korean “Samchons” Ban Ki-moon and Jim Yong Kim - the Secretary General at the United Nations and the President of the World Bank - gave speeches urging world leader to focus on health issues.

All I have been exposed to here is not pre-planned, more like an improv. So I would say Washington, D.C. is such a place that can inspire you to go beyond yourself, which may surprise you when you look at your experience retrospectively.

headshot of Yixi Zhao

"My name is Yixi Zhao, a third year Berkeley student double majoring in Economics and Media Studies. Since I have previously interned in the China Development Bank and focused on policy development, I'm really excited about my spring internship at the World Bank, which will further my research on international bank governance. Also, I will be able to take seminars about Washington media and political journalism with previous columnist from the San Francisco Chronicle. I believe the variety of choices and museums in Washington, D.C. will make my spring semester a memorable journey. Thank you to the Matsui Center for providing me with the fellowship! Go bears!"