Saturday, March 13, 2010

Skip on a Different City

"I came to Washington. D.C. as a student at Georgetown University in the fall of 1968. At that time, Washington was a very different city. There were virtually no cars in the city on the weekends, and my classmates and I would walk from Georgetown up to Capitol Hill and barely encounter anyone. In those days, there was no security and all areas of the Capitol, including the subterranean chambers and hallways, were all open. We would spend hours walking around those areas and admiring the beautiful frescos and marble floors. Back then, the Capitol was truly open to all people. That period of D.C. has some very precious memories for me. It is a pity that we have to live in such fearful times, and we can't have access to government buildings like we used to. 

"Another thing that I notice is the changing role of the suburbs. When I first lived here, the suburbs were very small and there was definitely a feeling of Washington as a self-contained place. People used to live and work in the city. Now, I think there is more of a mentality that one can work in the District and live out in Maryland or Virginia and feel less of a connection to D.C. I have known people who only know how to get from their suburban home to their office and don't know how to get anywhere else in the city if their life depended on it. I think that is sad as this is such a great city."

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