Book cover photo courtesy of Wildsam.
Do you have a shelf of old guidebooks that you keep for visitors coming to town? If so, maybe it’s time to add another one: the popular Wildsam Field Guides series has finally set its sights on DC, and the pocket-sized result is one of the better quick overviews of the city we’ve come across. Here’s a look.
What makes it right
The quirky book treats DC as a vibrant place where people actually live, not just a major tourist attraction. It includes interviews and contributions from notable locals such as music luminary Dante Ferrando, chef Erik Bruner-Yang and writers Jason Reynolds, George Pelecanos and Morowa Yejidé.
what we love
It’s not afraid to have fun. What other travel guide would include a go-go playlist or devote two pages to an excerpt from one west wing Script?
What could make it better
The small size means the book is impressionistic rather than comprehensive. If you’re hoping for a complete guide to DC’s restaurants, museums, and attractions, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
“I really resent it when politicians say they hate Washington and can’t wait to go home, all that stuff,” Pelecanos says on one of the book’s interview pages. “Please go home.”
This article appears in the March 2022 issue of The Washingtonian.