Monday, January 10, 2011

Keeping Tabs: DC vs Washington

DC's Big Flea Market and DC Tattoo Expo... held in Northern Virginia?
Yeah, I love regionalism, but there is a limit. The DC Big Flea! Over 1,000 booths! Two huge buildings! In Chantilly? That's like, another world. A good 25 miles from downtown DC. And the DC Tattoo Arts Expo (which I will probably be attending!) is being held in Crystal City. Virginia. At least it is on the Metro. And the land it sits on used to be a part of the District. So, they get a pass this time.

Many events held in VA or MD have regional or national appeal and should be treated as such when they are marketed. I'd rather have organizers of these "capital area" events use the word "Washington" instead of DC. DC denotes like a specific area --the 68 sq miles we call the District. The word "Washington" should be used to denote other places into metro area. Except Chantilly.

Lucky Brand Jeans Closing in Dupont
Dupont has seen more businesses open than close in the last two years on the main part of it's Connecticut Ave strip (in between Metro entrances) the last two years --Panera, AT&T, BGR, Sweetgreen, Hello. But a long time tenant is poised to leave soon. Lucky Brand Jeans at 1739 Connecticut Ave NW will close by month's end. The specialty jeans seller has other DC area stores, but will be missed in this part of town that I consider more of a food lovers mecca than destination for fashionistas. Georgetown still holds that label in my eyes. No word on what business will replace Lucky. 

No Pants Ride? No.
An oddly related event, the No Pants Metro ride, happened yesterday. I was out of town, so I missed it. But there's no way I would have done it if I were here! 30 degrees and in my skivvies? Uh, no. You are brave souls who dared to walk around and ride Metro pantless yesterday: tip o' the hat to you. I won't be joining you anytime soon.

On a More Serious Note,
When Paul Krugman asked "When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?" I have to answer yes, I was expecting something like this, as he did

As a former civics teacher, current political junkie and student of history, I know how hard it is for most folks to sideline their own beliefs for the sake of debate, legislative compromise or any other reason. There's such a wide spectrum of opinion and vision about how our American government should operate. Even if only 10% of the 300,000,000 of us participate in political discourse, that still means 30,000,000 voices out there to reconcile and work together.

We can run as far to the left or right as our hearts desire. That's part of the system. But not to the point that we fall off the map. There are boundaries. And the more we abandon common sense, intellectualism, and due diligence in examining the past, the harder we make in on ourselves. America is an experiment. Who knows if we are succeeding or failing. It's hard to say. I tend the think we are a complicated, messy work in progress. But, generally better off than we've ever been.

Sure, every generation feels at some point that it's times are the best/worst/darkest/promising/whatever. But it's easy to look around today and see a lot of common sense being overlooked, overrun and just plain disregarded as we debate our views and each try to have an impact. Let's be smart and conscientious about our actions and words. Democracy is not "anything goes," it's "anything possible." The trick is constantly having to revise the methods we use to get there, including how we communicate with one another as fellow citizens. Let's resolve to do that as peacefully and safely as we can from now on.