Week 6, Washington D.C.

I could never be a great journalist but I might make a decent historian. I don’t like to report events as they happen, but rather like to look at things as part of a trend or a grander stroke. It takes time to create a good narrative. What I’m writing now isn’t breaking news, but an account of what’s been going on in my head in the past few weeks.

So I’ve been in DC for a while. Long enough to really see the flow of the city and the people that reside here. Georgetown, the area where I live, isn’t the best representation of what it’s like to live in DC since it’s known for its 5 million colorful matchbox condos (or townhouses?) that are lined up from Prospect st up to Volta. However, an attorney/business women I met for coffee described it the best–DC is a city of many layers, and to experience all of the layers, you have to have friends in each. There is the governmental layer with the lobbyists and the Congressmen/women, politicians. Then there are the intellectuals, and the professors–DC being a city with a concentration of ¬†world-renowned universities and think-tanks. There’s the ¬†history and the arts in the Archives and the Smithsonians as well as in bookstores like Politics and Prose. There is also the nightlife, some high-end, and some a bit shady and maybe unsafe (e.g. in parts like Adams Morgan where one of my roommates were advised by a cab not to go after midnight.). There are many other layers, like the activists, writers, non-governmental organization (NGO) professionals, high-ranked officials et cetera, but my point is, DC is one of the most colorful, vibrant and exciting city to work and live in. As it is the case for most capitals, it is the figurative heart of America, pumping the blood to the rest of the country, feeding the policies and ideas to the 50 states. I was fortunate enough to be in DC for the monumental health care hearing. Some of my brave co-interns even stayed overnight at SCOTUS to witness the ruling. Everyone here at the minimum dabbles in politics. I am far from being fluent at it, but you cannot possibly live in DC and ignore what’s going on in Congress, the White House or the State department. It gets so American sometimes, I am more conscious of my nationality than I’ve ever before.

I’ll write something about the people I met at the program here at TFAS next time. Off to bed now.

-A

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