dgm asks why I like D.C. First, some admissions: the traffic is awful, there's a fair amount of crime, it's disgustingly hot and humid in the summer, and it's full of tourists. Those are pretty serious negatives. But I like D.C. in spite of those things. To be fair, I can only compare D.C. to other places I've lived, so if you have a secret island paradise you can tell me about, shoot.
There's a lot of great art in D.C. I enjoy just wandering around museums and staring at paintings, not going to bars or surfing. Additionally, many of the best D.C. art museums are free.
D.C. is very walkable. Seldom does inclement weather (read: three foot piles of snow) make locomotion impossible. The District is pretty small, generally has sidewalks, and has less homicidal drivers than Boston, so being a pedestrian is not too bad. And if you can't walk, there's clean, safe, logically priced public transit available.
D.C. is car friendly. There are lots of parking garages, a fair amount of street parking that is not permit-only, and the roads make sense (thanks, L'Enfant!).
D.C. has seasons. Living in Los Angeles was nice, but there the only marker of spring was when the sidewalks on my way to Pomona turned green from pollen.
D.C. is full of great people. New York is for cool people and financiers. I am neither, and I'm not quite materialistic enough to really embrace the NYC consumption lifestyle. L.A. is for hot people and Hollywood types (not always the same). As Hanah has observed, the people in L.A. tend to be on the far end of the appearance bell curve. I enjoy being surrounded by humans (and I look comparatively hotter, so that helps). Plus, in D.C. more people are nerdily obsessed with the same bizarre law & policy nonsense that I am, so they're easier to talk to.
I have many fond memories associated with D.C., and I hope to forge more in the future.