Monday, September 01, 2008

Happiness is Washington in my rearview mirror

Well, I’m back home with my parents in good ol’ Coeur d’Alene, Idaho now, where it is a balmy 58 degrees. I still have several DC posts to make – four more church reviews and some reflections on the Holocaust museum – but they will all be retrospectives. I enjoyed my five months in DC and may well spend a year or two there after college is done, but the truth is, I am happy to leave it behind for now and return to Idaho and New Hampshire. Something I have learned over the past few years is that I am NOT a city boy. I didn’t exactly grow up in the sticks, but Democrat or not, I’m a lot more at home with camping tents and Duckin’ Donuts coffee than I am with skylines and lattes. I like my buildings between trees, not my trees between buildings.

Looking back at the past few months, I’ve put together several brief lists – things I will miss, things I WON’T miss, and things I wish had gotten around to doing. I’ll post the things I will miss list first just to stay positive and upbeat, rather than accentuating the negative and dwelling on my hatred of cities. Here also are some pictures I took of the Jefferson Memorial on Friday night. The colors are in no way enhanced - it was stunning, like looking at a graphic novel in real life. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Also, some random shots from Capitol Hill's First Street NE at the bottom.

Things I will miss (in rough order)
  • Evensong at St. Paul’s K Street – what an amazing choir!
  • Riding Amtrak through VA or MD, especially when I went business class
  • Multiple Episcopal churches with outstanding choirs, sermons, and sanctuaries to choose from – I’m not used to such variety!
  • Fireflies.
  • Reading Roll Call on a regular basis.
  • A plethora of downtown sandwich shops, fine dining and coffee shops to choose from. I swear, Union Station alone has more options than either Coeur d’Alene or Hanover.
  • Diversity, both racially and culturally. Growing up in homogenous towns of 30,000, I’ve never understood the appeal of people watching. Now I do.
  • Public transportation - being able to walk or catch a ride everywhere, from work to coffeeshop to home, and being able to go out at night and not worry about who’s driving!
  • Living only minutes away from a Major League Baseball team (and a National League team at that!)

    Things I will NOT miss (in no particular order)
  • People (tourists) who don’t get the whole “stand right, walk left” concept on Metro escalators.
  • Tourists in general. Fat, loud slobs with cameras.
  • The Metro in general, environmentalism and my comment above notwithstanding. Public transportation is great, but crowds, long waits, and grimey windows are not.
  • Incessant honking.
  • Ducking the same protestors and beggars every day.
  • Having to travel a good hour or more to find a tree that wasn’t purposefully planted.
  • Seeing only two stars on even the clearest of nights.
  • My apartment, what with its ratty furniture and the bugs.
  • The whole city feeling in general.

    Things I wish I had done, but guess I can save for next time
  • The Newseum
  • Return trip to the Holocaust Museum
  • The National Archives
  • The pandas at the Zoo (though I did see them in high school)
  • Tour of Arlington Cemetery (although I did make a personal visit to my grandfather’s grave)
  • The Spy Museum

    Here also is a picture I took Thursday on Capitol Hill. On the right is the Supreme Court; on the left, across Maryland Avenue from the Court, is the United Methodist Building, in which my office was located. Beyond that are the Senate office buildings, some parks and parking lots, Columbus Circle, and Union Station. Next to the Court on the other side is the Library of Congress, and across the street from the LOC and the Court, the United States Capitol.

    This last photo is of the House of Representatives and the Washington Monument. And yes, the title of this post is an homage to Mac Davis.

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