Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A music endorsement and some DC randomness

Last Friday I went to Solly's on 11th and U St to check out Read Underwater, a one-man band who also happens to be my friend Andy. I've seen him play before, but Solly's is a much more intimate space than previous places he has played. Either he played some new songs or the old ones sounded new. In any case, go to Solly's for some cool local talent, and check out Read Underwater's music as well. The music is kind of like Radiohead, and Andy does some amazing things with all the pedals and knobs that somehow record and play back loops over each other. Andy also has great stage presence, so he really feels like everyone's friend while he's performing.

Regarding other DC randomness, tonight I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the annual High Heel Race. It's basically a bunch of drag queens in high heels and costumes parading up and down 17th Street, then racing two blocks in those high heels. In 45-degree weather. Fantastic. It always happens the Tuesday before Halloween, so mark your calendars for next year. It's no Halloween parade in Boys Town in Chicago, but still a good time. DC feels a little bit more like home.

Oh yeah. I also saw Donald Rumsfeld walking down the street last week. It was definitely him. I looked around to see if anyone else noticed it was him, but none of the rush-hour faces showed any sign of recognition. I felt like I was in LA, getting star-struck at the sight of some actor brunching at a local cafe. My first political sighting. Now I'm definitely a DC resident now.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

In defense of this city

I have loved Washington DC since I came here during a class trip when I was 16 years old. It was my first taste of big-city living in 2001, and I appreciate it even more now after living in Chicago for 3 years. People think DC is just politicians, but if you don't work in politics, it doesn't feel any different than any other city. Except that Congress must approve any changes in District laws and the WaPost covers national politics and national issues much more visibly than local stories. I'm finding it hard to generalize the DC population, which is a good thing. In any case, amid the calls from politicians to "change Washington", what they really mean is "change the national government" because DC, as a city, is doing a pretty good job these days. Read this article by the former Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Post. When I moved here, I gave myself 5 years before deciding where to go next. I've only been here 3 months, but I'm starting to think it might become a much longer gig.