Y'ALL COME ON DOWN! WE BE WAITIN' FOR YA!
LONELY PLANET TAGS D.C. AS WORLD’S TOP CITY TO VISIT IN 2015 AND
FORBES MAGAZINE NAMES WASHINGTON “AMERICA’S COOLEST CITY”
Those of us who live in your Nation’s Capital (aka The Capital of the Free World) occasionally get frustrated when we stumble upon one of our millions of visitors trying to decipher our street parking signs as he or she blocks the precious parking spot we were aiming for like a drone homing in on WMD’s. Or the family collectively gazing mystifyingly at one of METRO’s farecard machines as dozens of us on our way to work wait impatiently in line behind. (But, never mind. It took us a long time to figure out these unduly complicated machines too.) Then there is the constant and annoying questions that begin with ‘Can you tell us where the……is?” as a family from Kansas wilts in the blazing summer sun in front of the Museum of Natural History desperate to find the Air and Space Museum right across the Mall. Then, too, there's the ever-amusing, always-revealing but endearing one that goes: “How many stores are there in the National Mall?’ (True!)
So Lonely Planet’s and Forbes’ accolades about how cool and visitable is Washington, D.C., while welcome since our visitability is constantly compared to that of our larger neighbor to the northeast, New York City, but they also have a down side. As an aside, there’s really no contest, since NYC is by far the more lively, vibrant and fantastic city but we’re happy to take second place in this case. For the past few years, after a slump in tourists following the Crash of 2008, our visitor numbers have been steadily on the rise, to 20 million in 2014 - a record - and projected to set another record this year.
And I believe the figures since on last spring’s visit we made down to the Tidal Basin surrounded by cherry trees in full bloom, we ran into crowds that resembled a mosh pit at a Grateful Dead concert. In fact, just last week we toddled down to the National Museum of the American Indian, there was a temporary exhibit about the transportation network of the Incas, and the place was so jammed with overweight, tee-shirt and shorts clad tourists, it was nearly impossible to find a seat in the museum’s cavernous cafeteria, Misitas, (We like the seats next to the undulating glass wall overlooking the outdoor ponds that host migrating ducks each year) by far the most imaginative and delicious of the Smithsonian’s otherwise forgettable eateries.
|NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN|
So as we lurch toward our August vacations for us D.C. residents and hordes of outsiders crowd METRO, the Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art to overflowing, we will be kind, we will be patient, we will be understanding. After all, we know that come September when America’s kiddies despondently start the Fall school year, we will have the city back in our hands again and will thoroughly enjoy the languid, cool and colorful days that the Fall season brings upon us and our fair city. To all of the world’s past and future visitors to our beautiful city, please know that we love you in spite of your K-Mart attire.
And we especially love the millions of you who grace our broad, tree shaded avenues, white marble monuments and local restaurants each year for the $20 billion dollars you pump into our local economy annually.
May God Bless You And Keep You Safe Til Next Summer!
|AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM|
|EAST WING - NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART|
|DUPONT CIRCLE NEIGHBORHOOD|
|NAVY YARD NEIGHBORHOOD & NATIONALS STADIUM|
|WHY WE LOVE DC!|