Yesterday I walked from my office in Downtown DC to the Ford’s Theatre to see the play Necessary Sacrifices about the meetings of President Abraham Lincoln and former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The play was awesome! Go see it if you are able. Although, pause, it’s kind of eerie to watch a play about Lincoln in the theater where he was shot. But anywho.
I’m walking through downtown and the city was buzzing. This was incredible to me, mainly because I came up in the city during the 80′s and 90′s and downtown used to be a ghost town. And if you went after certain hours, all you saw were hookers at the point. I vividly remember as a child when we would drive through the city, my mom would say, “this is so crazy to me. No other city’s downtown is dead like this. Go to Chicago. Go to New York. You’ll see people.”
And last night all I saw were people. Coming and going. Eating in restaurants. Drinking in bars. Walking with their jerseys on to see the Caps game. It was pretty amazing.
There is something about DC that I just absolutely love. Maybe it’s because even though it’s clearly a Metropolitan city with great restaurants, awesome opportunities to get cultured, free museums and other cool tourist attractions, it still has a small town feel and you will more often than not run into somebody you know. I am truly envious of people who have roots here. Whose grandmomma still lives up the street in the house your momma and her siblings grew up in. Who have a mess of cousins who got your back if something goes down. Who can get into a place, an event, a job because their auntie or uncle work there. My people are not from here and so I don’t have that. But come to Selma, Alabama son and we run it!
So, I’m walking through the city and I come to the spot of the old department store Woodward and Lothrop, affectionately known as Woodie’s. And I had a flashback. Saturday morning. My aunt would pick me up from my house. We would ride the train through the city allllllll the way to downtown. And we would walk a few blocks to get to Woodie’s. And when we finally arrived we would start at the basement level and work our way up. It was a good 5 or 6 floors of just pure goodness. Clothes. Sparkly things. Home goods. And at the very top, a restaurant. And after we had shopped enough, we would go to the top and have lunch. And it felt like we were on top of the world. In the middle of the city where important people moved and important things happened. We ate. We shopped. We walked. We laughed. And I loved it all. And I still love this city.
What do you love most about your city?