Monday, April 14, 2014

There’s No Place Like the Home of Marble Memorials, Rooftop Bars, and Really Clean Subway Stations

Some time ago, I stood in a line behind two men who knew and randomly ran into each other. "I appreciate you,” one said (in lieu of “hello”) when he first made eye contact with the other. A few minutes later, he shook the other guy’s hand and said (instead of “goodbye”), “I appreciate you.” Three of the most meaningful words you can say to another person.

Or to another place. Because I whispered those words to Washington D.C. this weekend, when I was down there for the first time in several years.

I’ve spent a summer in D.C., many of my friends have lived in D.C. at some point, I’ve had two of the best birthday bashes of my life in D.C., my family took trips to D.C. when I was growing up, and “I appreciate you” sums up my thoughts whenever I roll into town. It doesn’t feel like home, it just feels good and comfortable and I’m glad it’s there. Even though it seems smaller each time I return, when I sit in the back of someone’s car looking out the window, catching glimpses of row houses and major monuments, the insuppressible smiles that spread across my face as a kid on a family trip haven’t lost their breadth. And this past weekend, it didn’t hurt to see the cherry blossoms in peak bloom.  


  1. I love it when you post photos. Great to see the cherry blossoms and to hear your message of appreciation of D.C. I have had less contact with this city, but I, too, appreciate it.

  2. Those cherry blossoms sure do look beautiful. I really appreciate that! lol
    DC looks cool.

  3. Having lived there several times during my lifetime, I will wholeheartedly admit that DC was an obsession when I was younger. I would cry every time I had to move as it became a part of my rhythm. It was the city where many of my dreams came true. Learning and enjoying advanced science courses; making some amazing friends (one of whom I had dinner with yesterday evening); having the opportunity to travel extensively abroad (super special as I was deprived as a child in the Midwest); winning awards for my professional performance as a physician (btw, I hadn't won anything since high school); confirming my love for good Indian food; teaching the local youth as a teacher; as well as meeting a FANTASTIC personal trainer who brought me from over 200 lbs to the 170s. Oh, let me not forget about learning how to integrate caffeine into my daily schedule in one of the typical "DC pretentious" cafes.... I also almost most forgot about the borderline Ethiopian girl with whom I was infatuated with in my 20s. Ah, those were the days! :)

    Having recently moved to NYC, I realize now that my love for the DMV has changed. I appreciate how it provided many opportunities many will never have the chance to experience. However, now I can practice my Spanish and French; enjoy 100000s of restaurants that are actually good (DC's foodie scene sucks...PerSe NYC rocks); be the musician I have always dreamed about becoming by surrounding myself around the BEST in the field; and finally enjoying the beauty of cultures that are not limited to delusional upper middle class whites and blacks who are nothing more than transients...and Central Americans who are all completely segregated! I will admit that I still crave pupusas in my sleep years later. Ha!

    Perhaps the reason I do not enjoy DC as much anymore when I infrequently visit is because I have evolved and the native DC culture has disappeared. I appreciated the homeless and schizophrenic presence in Chinatown.... Instead, DC-Chinatown has new un-inspiring architecturally-challenged buildings, questionable restaurants (although they believe they are amazing...NOT...sorry, real French restaurants do not have crab cake eggs benedict on the menus), and a vast array of delusional transient drunken yuppies with whom you can choose your argument of the day after they rudely push you aside (after all you are not a part of the majority) and hail the taxi that you waited 20 minutes for....all at 3AM. NYC? Dirty as all hell, but I can hail a taxi within 15 seconds. Boy, how times have changed!

    I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. I will definitely be living vicariously through your experiences.