Why I Love DC: Brian Mosley

Photo courtesy of
‘Fall Equinox – Aligned – 9-15-08′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

When I was asked to write this piece, my first thought was “well this could be a long article or this could be very short.” If I listed everything I love about my hometown, I’d have a multi-post series; or I could sum it up with a simple “everything.” But neither would do. So I sat down and started thinking. When is it that I say “I love this city” and mean it? I started to realize that I say that almost every time someone says “I hate this city because.” Sounds wrong right? Normally when people start complaining, everyone piles on. Not me…well, not always me.

Photo courtesy of
‘Metro – Ludicrous Speed – 9-13-08′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

For example: Metro sucks? It’s hard for me to hold that view when I still remember my first trip when I was two or three. Every time I’m in the tunnels, seeing the lights zoom by, I remember that ride. And my two-year-old thought comes back to me: I’m on a spaceship flying at warp speed. Or when you look up at those massive station vaults, and get lost in the repeating pattern of concrete blocks; how can a delayed train or a broken escalator be seen as anything more than a small annoyance?

Photo courtesy of
‘History – Brian’s Preschool Class with Uncle Beasley – May 1986′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Want people to know the “real DC”? Maybe you could start by not dismissing the monuments; they’re as much DC as the Coliseum is to Rome or Big Ben is to London. What if I told you one of my favorite childhood memories happened on the Mall? It wasn’t a parade; it wasn’t a festival. It was when my kindergarten class got to go to the Natural History Museum and my class got to play on Uncle Beasley. Then there’s the fact of living a mere thirty minutes away from the original Starship Enterprise, a Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, and Kermit the Frog? The not-real DC sounds like a good place to me.

Photo courtesy of
‘Lincoln’s Cottage – Magnified Capitol – 4-25-09′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Speaking of the real DC, it’s hard to realize exactly how much the city has changed in my life time. Neighborhoods I would never drive through while growing up (Columbia Heights, H Street) I now walk to; and new places not only come out of nowhere, but rise from nothing (NoMa, though I prefer Swampoodle). NoMa in particular is interesting, because I still expect to see barren city wasteland when I go through it, and the surprise of seeing gleaming new buildings is still fresh. As much as the city has changed in my 30+ years, try my parent’s 40+ years here; things I’m starting to take for granted, they are fascinated by. For instance, they’re still shocked that street cars are coming back to DC. It makes me ever more excited for what the future brings; and I hope to help make that future better.

Photo courtesy of
’11-04-01 – Cherry Blossoms – Flashback of Dad’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

And then there are the little memories. How about the ’87 football season, where, not only did the Redskins win the Super Bowl that year with a “Touch of Class,” but my dad took my brother and me (ages 9 and 7) to RFK to get scalped tickets for the game against the Lions. And we got to hear one of the loudest games, ever, at RFK. Or how about seeing the Statue of Freedom lifted onto the Capitol Dome after six months of restoration in 1993. Then there are the special, little things like that double-decker McDonalds on New York Avenue. It has a special place in my heart because of early morning breakfasts after all night Children’s Hospital ER visits due to asthma attacks. And, of course, there’re the Inaugurations. I’ve seen George H.W. Bush’s, both of Clinton’s, and now Obama’s (I missed W’s first because of college, and his second because I didn’t have a job…which I blamed on W :O).

Photo courtesy of
‘Family – Thanksgiving – 1981′
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

When it comes down to it, I love this city. I feel steeped in the city’s history; truly invested. When I think of what a city should be, I think of DC. I can’t think of living anywhere else. My normal refrain is: I was born here, I’ve grown up here, and, God willing, I’ll die here (preferably at the ripe old age of 130). Who could ask for more?

Brian is so DC. Born on Pennsylvania Ave (not there) to a lifelong Federal worker father and a mother who has worked for Garfinkel’s, the Smithsonian, and Mount Vernon. Raised on the “mean streets” of Cheverly, MD; went to high school at Gonzaga College High School (Hail Alma Mater!); and now trolls the corridors of Congress as a lobbyist, you couldn’t write a more quintessentially DC back-story. When he isn’t trying to save the country from itself, Brian can be found walking DC looking for that perfect photograph.

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4 thoughts on “Why I Love DC: Brian Mosley

  1. Glad to see somebody say they love DC for tourist attractions too. We’re spoiled having FREE access to some many wonderful things and many people here don’t ever take advantage of it.

    One Saturday morning, long ago, I heard a low flying helicopter. I rolled over in my bed to the window, looked out and it was the skycrane carrying the Statue of Freedom right over our house in Vienna.

  2. This is great. It’s given me some insight into what it must have been like to grow up in DC, for one thing. And unlike some of the other photographers you’ve featured here, this one has a substantial narrative acocmpanying the pictures. After admiring Brian’s photos for so long it’s nice to know a little about the guy behind them.

  3. Uncle Beasley, man, I remember that ol’ dinosaur. Thanks for this post. I was feeling a bit low this week, so I took a long walk from K Street to the Zoo (which turned into Cleveland Park in mere steps) and texted a friend- she sent me the link to your site. Like you I was born in the city (to two career feds), went to local schools, have lived just outside the boundaries of DC pretty much my entire adult life (it’s SO not Monkey County if it’s less than 5 miles from Georgetown), and wherever I go I keep coming back- and this post reminded me of why. The little annoyances just don’t compare to the awesomeness.

  4. Pingback: We Love DC's NoMa Shout-Out