Ahh, I've got to stop going to New York. It makes me too happy. Like how, right after we got there, we were hungry and basically blundered into a vegetarian restuarant called Gobo in Greenwich Village. I typically respond to vegetarians by throwing meatballs at them, but this stuff was really good. It almost made me think I could go vegetarian for a while (although I know I'd be gnawing at my own leg after a while).
And that's what living is a big city is supposed to offer: uniqueness and surprises. Experiences you never would have thought of having suddenly present themselves.
In Washington, not so much. Here, we try to suppress anything involving individuality or surprisery. I tried to explain Washington to my NYC friend this way: imagine if Manhattan was run entirely by people from Connecticut.
In order the join the ranks of the photobloggers, I took some pictures while walking from Georgetown to Chinatown over the course of a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon (I was going from a movie to a basketball game).
In Georgetown, of course, there were actually people walking around. Really, really rich people. Actually, it was kind of funny: it was a cold February day, but all the debutantes still want to look trendy, so they're wearing clothes made of thin material that aren't really warm enough for winter. And thus freezing their bony little asses off. Good fun to watch.
After ducking into an M Street CD store that was roughly the size of a broom closet (and where you're apparently not allowed to use cell phones, for some reason), I got bored and started walking east out of Georgetown. The number of people walking around on the streets dropped off sharply. First, I encountered one of my favorite things, a traffic circle:
Hard to believe that nobody wants to spend their leisure time sitting in the middle of a circle that cars are constantly driving around.
I kept walking east. On a Sunday, almost all of the shops, restaurants and businesses here are closed. Which begs the question: why are the streets still jammed with cars?
This is I Street. As you can see, there's absolutely nothing going on, no points of interest nearby, and nothing is even open. So what's with all the fucking cars? There's not an open parking space in sight. Not that I was driving that day, but still, this is infuriating if you're actually trying to go somewhere, and for no good reason there's absolutely no place to park. Where are all those people who drove their cars down here? There's nothing to fucking do here, people.
See that? "Marvelous Market!" Sounds good, like they might have sammiches or smoothies. Oh, too bad, it's closed. Nobody needs to eat on Sunday. But hey, at least the nearby branches of T.G.I. Friday's and Wendy's are open! Hooray for crap I can just get in suburbs anyway!
OK, I'm glad I saw this, because it illustrates what a pain in the ass it can be do try to drive into Washington. We're at the corner of M and 17th. If you're driving north on 17th, and look up at the street sign, you're going to be confused, because this makes it look like 17th might be the cross street, or maybe continues around as the cross street. If you're me, you probably turn left like an idiot, because you just don't know.
All because those idiots put the street sign on the wrong side. It's hard enough trying to get around with all the traffic circles, roads that dead-end, etc... do they really have to throw in the extra challenge of misleading people with incorrect signage? That's just cruel. I know I should be thankful there's a sign there at all, but still. That's diabolical.
This is the grass on the Cato Institute's front lawn. Is there any other city where people can actually make a living by advancing and promoting the libertarian ideal, without getting beaten up? No, and that's why D.C. needs a good sacking. Here I am stepping on the grass, in the interests of social Darwinism. Or perhaps the free market said it was OK, or something. At any rate, suck it, Cato Institute.
Ahh, I've almost arrived at my destination. At [Bernie Ebbers Memorial] Center, this a busy basketball day, so people are actually walking around and businesses are actually open. Including Chinese Hooters!
Yes, nothing says "authentic Chinatown" like Hooters. I believe the Chinese characters translate to "Owl women feed you chicken."
This is why I came all the way downtown, for sure. So that I can go to Chinese Hooters. (Come to think of it, "Chinese Hooters" is something of an oxymoron. Hmmm.) But if that's not your style, there are eleventy thousand other chain restaurants within two blocks.
Of course, Chinatown also has the cheap bus to NYC... and after walking through an empty city center on a Sunday afternoon, you're tempted to just jump on it and head for a city that doesn't blow.
OK! That's all for now. Time to go get crunk.