I love this city because of its shadows, what casts them, and who lives within them.
I love the promise of the dream and the bitterness of the truth and how they coexist here. I love the power-brokers, hypocrites, and professional liars. I love the bus drivers, cab drivers, and the waitstaff at New Big Wong.
I love all the idealistic young people who flood to our city every new Fall college term. I love watching them evolve into social climbing jerks and cynical drunks. I love the few who make it through and actually do some good. I love all the wonks, feds, consultants, soldiers, and spies.
I love the Federal Employee who has to practically murder someone just to get a slap on the wrist. I love the ridiculous bureaucracy at Police Headquarters. I love the metro system (even with all of its recent woes, I still wouldn’t trade it away). I love the charter schools trying to save a failing school system. And I love the insanity of church parking on Sunday.
I love the glorious sheen of urban renewal and the reality that it tries to pave over. I love the people who try to eke out a living here and who could give a crap about politics or new over-priced condos on U. I love the people who complain about police checkpoints on their street (I agree, there has to be a better way).
I love the music venues. I love the dive bars. I love Dischord, ESL Music, and Go-Go. I love that in the early 90’s the S.H.A.R.P.s beat the Nazi’s out and DC has been a unity town ever since. I love that bands don’t really like playing here anymore (it’s hilarious and it’s our own damn fault).
I love the history, the history, the history. I love the stories, anecdotes, and scandals. I love that the White House burned, the Lincoln Memorial was hit with artillery, and a cat jumped off of the Washington Monument. I love that I recently learned that Ambrose Bierce lived here. I love that 16 years in, I am still learning about this incredible place. I love to share what I’ve learned about this incredible place.
I love watching this city grow, evolve, fail, and thrive. I love all the different walks of life that coexist here but rarely, meaningfully interact. I love the odd, random occasions when they do. I love that every home I have ever had here has either been torn down or gussied up, renamed, and repriced so that I couldn’t afford to live there again (even now at my most prosperous). I love hearing some clueless idiot describe a neighborhood as ‘sketchy’ while over-hearing so many others call the same neighborhood home. I love all of this about Washington DC. The good and the bad, you can’t have one without the other, and if we did then our city wouldn’t be any fun.