Speaking of October, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently declared October “LGBTQ History Month” in Washington, DC to honor the community’s rich history here (LGBTQ History Month will be different from Pride Month in June), which would never have been implemented (or even considered) without the power of local LGBTQ voices.
My journey to Washington, DC began the way it does for most New Yorkers: via Amtrak (www.amtrak.com). D.C. is a short, 3-hour journey on Amtrak Acela Business Class (the “fast” train), which deserves a mention. Amtrak, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021 — with a shout-out from President Joe Biden — spent time during the pandemic to improve…well, everything. It now has a better pet program, renovated stations, improved rail corridors and a seamless and advanced booking platform (for instance, passengers can now view and select their seat when booking online, like a flight). I was pleasantly surprised with the journey, significantly overhauled from train rides of yore, as well as cabin comfort that includes plenty of space, clean, large seats, and oversized windows with landscape views. The other benefit of the train ride is that it led me to explore Washington Union Station (50 Massachusetts Avenue. www.unionstationdc.com), the historic, 1907 train station that’s an ideal introduction to D.C. Visitors step right into history, the arched, dramatic ceiling of the main Great Hall, and rows of skylight in the concourse leaving quite an impression. Train stations don’t get a lot of love in the US, so it was nice to see Union Station truly appreciated and cared for.