Washington, District of Concrete

The night before I left for D.C. was the night the government decided to end the shutdown. I anticipated that the tension and chaos of D.C., save celebration and traffic as a direct result of the government's re-opening, would be lessened upon my arrival. But part of me wished that something would happen in D.C., something that would change my mind about this city having some soul.

My plan was to see three friends (done), play with the cat of my hostess (done), and check out a few markets and restaurants (could have been done more extensively, but still done). The national monuments remain majestic, the streets, clean and wide, the restaurants, plentiful, and the metro, more efficient and cleaner than Boston's or New York's. But despite my general familiarity with the place and the fact that it has all the ingredients of what I like in a city, I still can't stand D.C. Something about D.C. has always snuffed my inspiration, and despite all the museums, time and again, I've found the city lacking in culture. I find no passion in the grid of molded concrete.

Last year when I visited D.C., I felt bad for not liking it, wishing I liked it more and that I'd fall in love with a more certain future based in D.C, probably involving China. When I began writing this post, I felt that my time in D.C. was largely a waste, but instead, I'm seeing a lesson in my time here: I had to come back to come to terms with not liking it, and unlike a year ago, I no longer feel guilty about my lack of enthusiasm for D.C. I love my friends who live here, but this place is not for me, and that's more than fine. 

I found charm and warmth in Charleston, beauty and calm in Durham, and sterility and boredom in D.C. Now, I'm ready to return to love in Boston.