A Citywalk, Thanks to Metro

As we arrived at Farragut West this morning, the train stopped for longer than usual, the teeming masses slowly crawling by the train windows, headed for the escalators, countering our silent patience. The driver came on “Passengers, one moment please.” *click* *click* *click* *click* “Passengers, this train is now out of service, the track ahead in on fire.” Sure enough, the smell of smoke was acrid and thick against what was a second cool and crisp air from a *gasp* working air conditioner on a Metro car.
Stepping out of the car, the normally dimly lit station was even more murky and dark, smoke pouring out of the tunnel ahead, and people rushing up the escalators, coughing. Even the faregates seemed darking, the smoke haze making it hard to see. The smell of ozone and smoke was overpowering.
On the street at 18th and I, a block from the worst job of my life, I walked away from the smoking metro station, toward the White House. It never fails to awe me that you can walk right by the President’s front lawn. In the midst of a city, there stands the most powerful home in the world, beautiful columns, a tall hanging lantern, a perfectly manicured lawn, and snipers on the roof.
I turn at 15th St., walking down past a gorgeous building in Neo-victorian style, then the Headquarters of the American Bar Association, a pigeon perched atop the greek revival courthouse arch above their entryway, acting as both mascot and ironic totem. The Treasury is next. The head of all the fiscal policy these days. Odd that you can just walk right up to it, walk in, if you like.
DC just feels open, with its low skyline, wide streets, and impressive architecture, there’s always a reason to look up instead of just staring down at the sidewalk.
The Old Ebbitt Grill stands there, a Washington landmark, unassuming and simple. A samurai panda stands its guard at the door. The zen surrealism that is so becoming of DC begins to crowd its way to the foreground. I get my coffee, and I go to work.

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