Just Another DC Weekend

Just Another DC Weekend

This was the first weekend of spring in the Nation’s Capital, and natives spotted the usual signs of seasonal change. Streets were blockaded for:  a marathon, a Tea Party (with clever conversation), rallies for health care legislation, a march and demonstration for immigration reform, a symbolic protest against the Iraq war and an anti-war march. There was an Environmental Film Festival, a Senior Expo in Chevy Chase (and a Bach Marathon just across the Maryland line), several block parties and the rolling roadblocks that accompany motorcades.

Each weekend, groups come to Washington, DC  in the mystical belief that gathering crowds near monuments and marble buildings will somehow alter the cosmos or change the votes of their duly elected weasels. These political pilgrims invariably leave DC disappointed, only to be replaced by next weekend’s hopeful hordes.

On weekends, from March to October, the fragrance of Washington’s balmy breezes is masked by the smell of burning meat. It’s festival time! And soon the Washington Nationals (DC’s alleged major leaguers) will be back at their publically financed stadium, and Verizon Center hosts events year-round. There are marathons, fun runs, festivals, motorcycle rallies, marches, walk-a-thons, BBQ contests,chili cook-offs, tour bus caravans, prayer vigils, demonstrations, motorcades, exhibitions, bike-a-thons, tourist mobs, school trips, and heart-felt but vague demonstrations (“Mothers Against Bad Stuff”).

Drive into DC on any weekend and electronic signs warn: “CAUTION — DOWNTOWN EVENTS — EXPECT DELAYS,” so it seems like a good idea to avoid driving into town on busy weekends by taking mass transit. There’s just one thing: Metro repairs the subway rails on weekends.

So visitors drive. All those charter buses full of protesters, 20 million tourists each year, and a million daily commuters means lots of wear and tear on DC streets. No wonder Washingtonians observe Potholepalooza! for the entire month of March.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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2 Responses to “Just Another DC Weekend”

  1. Another David Says:

    I feel like none of the protesters realize they can walk right on into Rayburn and Longworth and talk to their Congressmen. It still probably wouldn’t do much, but it’d be more than being a faceless head in a crowd that no one pays attention to anyway.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Another David wrote: I feel like none of the protesters realize they can walk right on into Rayburn and Longworth and talk to their Congressmen.

    They can visit with an appointment, of course. I’m sure these folks don’t realize that meeting with the appropriate staffer is usually more productive than face time with a Member of Congress. The latter gets you a nice “grip and grin” photo but achieves little else.

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