I went to my erstwhile hometown of Washington, DC this past weekend to attend my friend Maggie’s wedding. It was quite fun and more than a little trippy, considering we’ve known each other since we were five years old and went all the way from Kindergarten through high school together.
Photos of the wedding and some of my wanderings around DC will be forthcoming when I stop being so goddamn lazy about getting stuff up on Flickr, but I wanted to post a few scenes that stuck out in my mind about my trip:
- I’d totally forgotten about the People Movers at Dulles. Seriously, you feel like you’re riding in a time capsule. They’re gone in a few weeks though – When I left I saw them doing test runs of the new train system that will transport everyone between terminals in a more standard fashion.
- The guy working for the woeful Nationals who was at Union Station when I went to meet Jill, practically begging people to come to some of the rest of the games. He got shooed away from the entrance by security.
- Checking out the Air and Space Museum with Jill for the first time in about 10 years, and definitely the first time since I became a major space geek. I practically had a nerdgasm over the Apollo 11 Command Module. I also could not believe how freakishly small the Mercury capsule was. It’s one thing to read about it, it’s another to look at the capsule and wonder how anyone could get in it buck naked, let alone with a spacesuit on.
- Realizing how much DC has changed. And I mean REALLY changed. I came of age at one of the city’s low points, having one of my very first political memories being the mayor getting arrested for smoking crack and then the subsequent mayor proving even more incompetent at managing the city than a convicted crackhead. The city was just beginning to pull itself out of what was basically a death spiral when I left for college in 1999.
There’s been a great deal of “urban renewal” in the ten years since I fled, and the difference, particularly along the U Street corridor, is jaw-dropping. Areas where my parents used to freak out that I was going to get shot during broad daylight are now yuppie-filled and almost unrecognizably nice. I half-jokingly texted another friend from high school who fled that “Everything is now postmodern, gentrified, and/or unnecessarily huge.”
- Mom, who I was staying with, spent two solid days bitching at me about how I was going to be so deeply under-dressed for a wedding in a black jacket, black slacks, and a red shirt, when it turned out I was hilariously overdressed, as the groomsmen weren’t even wearing ties.
- This was the smallest wedding I’ve been to in a while, I think with about 40 people, tops. I think the only smaller one I’ve been to was my dad’s wedding to my stepmom, which was literally only family. I must say, it was nice since it meant I actually got to have a couple conversations with the bride, who I hadn’t seen in person in several years.
- Going out for drinks with Weigel after dinner Saturday and having a friend of a friend of his turn out to be one of the presenters of a BBC podcast I listen to all the time who was in DC on assignment for six months. It was hilarious, I recognized her voice immediately. She said it was the first time she’d met someone who actually listened to the podcast.
- Sunday brunch with another pair of folks who I hadn’t seen in a few years – one friend from when we were little kids and another from high school, both of whom I’d gotten back in touch with via Facebook. I suppose falling out of touch can happen when you only go to your hometown about once every four years for 2-3 days.
Anyway, overall it was a great trip, and while I was also reminded of several reasons why I don’t spend a lot of time there, I’m really glad I went. As I said, pictures to come.