October 30, 2004
Citizen Kittyjoyce

I was in DC a few weeks ago, visiting friends and working, sometimes both at the same time. I had a couple of days to myself, which I spent alternately sightseeing and taking naps.

While I always enjoy tooling around the monuments, I was saddened to see how paranoid the city has become. Cops were stopping and searching cars driving toward the Capitol. Meanwhile, the White House was well fenced off with barricades, fences, and street construction that makes it difficult to walk anywhere near there. The government is cut off from the people both literally and figuratively, these days. This should have made me angry, but it mostly made me sad.

What's left, then, is the people milling around with each other. As I was getting ready to leave, a vanload full of anti-gay protesters from a local church stopped by for a photo, complete with signs. They would later continue on to a rally on the Mall. I edged away, preferring the company of the nearby wild-eyed barefoot homeless guy. They stood near, but kept a wide berth from, the peace lady.

Had I been a little luckier, I might have bumped into Salam Pax, who was also wandering around the city that week, with the same (if not more) malaise. Here's his take:

There was one small detour: my map showed a place called Foggy Bottom - and I had to see what a foggy bottom looked like. It didn't work out as well as I thought it would. To start with, the Foggy Bottom detour was a waste of time. It seems the gods here don't think much of circumambulation rituals: you can't walk around the White House. So I just stood there and gawked.

Posted at October 30, 2004 02:46 PM