Thursday, December 14, 2006

I still get a kick…

My regular lunch walk today was slightly delayed by a carpenter’s strike/rally/protest/rise against the wood-working man. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t annoyed. In fact after two years of living in the general area, and one year of actually working in DC, I’m still in amazement at all the things that go on, that many metro DC folks might take for granted.

Call me a big dork, but:

-I actually thought it was kind of cool how last week during the Christmas tree lighting my walk to the metro was impeded by secret service shutting off the street. Most people in the U.S. have traffic or weather to blame for causing commuting delays, DCer’s “Oh, yeah, the Secret Service caused a delay, you know same old, same old.”

-I still get a kick when I see the monuments and important buildings, the Washington Monument, White House, etc.

-It’s sad that Sen. Tim Johnson was recently hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms. However, all I could think of when I heard the news report was “Wow, I walk by that hospital every day.”

-I saw Al Gore speak a month ago and I didn’t even find out I was going to the event until a few hours before. Most people outside the beltway will probably never see a vice president/presidential candidate in their lifetime.

Maybe all this wonderment is because of growing up in the capital of the Confederacy and then going to school in a town called Farmville. Richmond politics revolved around finding new ways to dreg up the past. Farmville politics was typically something like “To bring in an Arby’s or not to bring in an Arby’s,” or “Let’s have a vote on a noise resolution to shut up those pesky college kids.”

Anyways, I’ve laid my dorkiness on the table. Mock me if you will, you jaded souls, or better yet, let me know what still gives you a kick.


Anonymous said...

Actually I had the opposite problem when I moved out to BFE, Louisiana. People talked about Washington as if it was some other country. The refrain "Those idiots in DC," the lack of political discussion, knowing all the local politicians personally, the incredibly tiny wages, and the virtual absence of police activity all made me feel like "this is not home." Considering most of the people I knew didn't even graduate high school, it was hard to keep my mind occupied too.

All that said, growing up in an urban environment never prepared me for the natural beauty of the night sky without any lights around. I'd never stepped out my front door to see bovine creatures mating across the pasture in the dawn fog. I'd never appreciated actually COOKING the amazing cajun meals. I have also yet to experience a people as generous as the cajuns.

Being well and truely ALIVE, not just surviving, means that there is always some part of you that is open to wonder and joy even if most of you has ceased to care. Everyone is jaded about something, and in a lot of cases thats not a bad thing. However, being jaded about everything means you have stopped living your life.


The View from Dupont said...

See, I still get butterflies when I see the Capital, even though I'm friends with a good number of people who work there. I felt truly devestated during a recent "scandal" because there were friends involved. I love Ice Skating on the National Mall just because we can do that (which I'm sure you know by now, lol). Happy Hours where you might be sitting next to a Congressperson and not even know it. The National Gallery & the Museum of American History & the National Air and Space Museum. Fourth of July here in the city - sitting on the Mall. Getting to tell people the Street I work on. Everything and anything about Dupont Circle (DC Pride, Kramers, the statue, diners, bookstores, the coffee shops, the park... I could continue, of course). Hehe... DC Bloggers' Happy Hour; there is nothing like it.

Wow, I guess, to be honest, there isn't much about this city that doesn't still (after five years) make me feel incredibly wondrous.

Patricia said...

I agree with you on seeing the White House and the Washington Monument. I love crossing 16th Street and looking down and seeing the White House, especially at night when it's lit up. There's also a slight thrill when the motorcades drive by and you have to wonder who's inside. It's a wonderful city and there are so many times when you just have to stop and think that "wow...this is unlike any other place I've lived."

Across The River said...

Dan: I'm glad you were able to get your kick outside the beltway.

Dupont: Thanks for reminding me of another point of pride, K Street.

Patricia: I agree, motorcades and monuments. There's definitely a lot about this city to "wow" about.