Tag Archives: D.C.

Those Tourists

4 Jul

Photo credit: Stephen Bay/bayimages.net

I never really get tired of watching tourists, especially tourists to Washington, D.C.

They come with great expectations of what D.C. will be like. The capitol building. The national monument. The Lincoln Memorial. Georgetown. The White House. The National Archives. The Vietnam Memorial. Iwo Jima.

As they pass me by I hear all kinds of quirky soundbites.

THAT’s the White House?! I thought it’d be bigger than that.

So what exactly is the monument FOR?

Always from a tyke: I’m tired of this place; can we go back to the hotel?

They wear Crocs and newly purchased D.C. themed t-shirts. They gawk at the intersections. Cross? Don’t cross? They eat those questionable hot dogs from the Korean vendors–the ones that Channel 7 often profiles during sweeps months–the hot dogs in the murky water with zilch sanitization requirements met. They take pictures in front of historical buildings with their mini digital cameras. The serious ones have digital rebels Nikon 783 thingamajiggies draped on their necks. They rent bicycles and plunder through the crowds as if they just learned to ride. They ask me for directions to the American History museum–the most requested attraction, it seems, aside from the White House. They guzzle water like camels on the hotter days. They buy it severely overpriced at $3.00 a bottle for like 12 measly ounces. Never mind the water fountains nearby. They buy ice cream on a stick from those vending trucks at like $4.00/stick and then walk through the crowds licking them and bumping into other tourists. It’s like texting while driving. Quite ugly. It’s so absorbing to watch people be tourists.

Don’t even mention the cherry blossoms. Please.

And they love festivals. I’m talking amore to the highest burstitude.

Smithsonian Folk Life Festival

Battle of the Barbecue Whoevers

And don’t even mention any triatholons or marches for disease “research.” (Ever wonder why after decades of “research” so many diseases haven’t been–ahem–cured in spite of the MILLIONS pumped into “research”? Oh, that’s another whole blog or book.)

D.C. is one interesting place. I love it here. I love tourists, even when they’re annoying and clueless. I just may become a professional people watcher.

The Year I Lost My Mind

24 May

Well, actually I’ve lost it plenty of years but we’ll just talk about 2006.

I moved from home (D.C. area) to North Carolina in search of…well, in search of happiness. I always thought moving from one familiar place (read: expensive, congested, expensive) to a new, exciting place would solve all most some of my problems, quell the angst brewing in me.  North Carolina, particularly the Raleigh area, was becoming a boom place. A lot of folks were moving there and oohing and aahing over it like it was Mecca. Or Nirvana. Or the closest east coast form of heaven on Earth. So after much hestitation and analysis paralysis I jumped. I had big money saved. The house flipping craze was in full effect (there were, like, 50,000 TV flip shows airing then) and I had auspicious giddiness at making a ton of money locating shacks and turning them into–ahem–cottages. 

So I moved there after two visits where I drove through most of the state, minus the mountains. Didn’t know a soul. Got an apartment for like $650. The last time I had an apartment in D.C. costing that it was 1997, it was an efficiency with noisy neighbors and I think Clinton was president.

I sat in my empty apartment with my stuff still back in D.C. in storage.  Soon my floor looked like this:

Have you ever been so far into a thing, an idea, that you can’t pull yourself out of it even when it’s a dead-end, a closed door, a sinking ship? I had no crew. I had no carpentry skills. I had no job. I just had equity from my recently sold home and those darn flip shows playing in my head. I saw people with zilch experience flipping houses and making $25K over two months. That kind of money. I blinked dollar signs. It was my true “If you build it they will come” moment. Only problem is, I was just thinking it. There was no building, no paper signing, no “here are the keys to your–ahem-shack, Miss Artist.”

It also didn’t help that I picked up a book about Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio deliciousness.

2006 became 2007 and 2008 and 2009 and…Here I am still running from a return to CubicleVille. No flip having occured. No grand $25K payday in one month’s turn around. Back in D.C. Back to the beginning of me. Doing art. Struggling. Hoping. Cringing every time I think of those flip-a-house! shows.

I think I’m depressed now.