Monday, December 15, 2008


I finished off my whirl of a week in DC with a trip to Philadelphia to visit my aunt. She works for the Atwater Kent Museum, close to Independence Hall, the little brick building where such fine documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. It was a real treat to walk around the city and see these things again.

I last visited Philadelphia in 1995 when I was a little kid, when seeing the chair where Washington sat only excited me as a history piece. Now, as a student of political science, I see these places (Philadelphia prides itself on American "firsts") as so much more.

It was inspiring to be walking around the places where some really, really important decisions in our history have been made. Despite all of the history and monuments, though, the place had a feel much like Denver - it's a big town with a small town feel.

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Washington, DC

Every time I go to DC, I spend my time there wishing that I was a resident. I feel the pulse of the whole entire world all around me, like being in the nexus of whatever happens to be happening. Even when I visit during the summer, when the fierce humidity reminds me of life in Illinois, I still think that I could bike to work, shower, and then put on my suit and tie. Going to meetings and conferences and lectures with some of the best minds. I dream of waiting in the Metro with its oddly graceful dim tunnels, and of walking past buildings where the Founding Humans did their best work. Note: Don't tell Philadelphia that I said that.

And usually when I leave the District, those feelings leave me, and I admit to myself and others that I could never, ever live there. I nitpick and find all the parts of Washington that I hate: again, the humidity; the obscenely fast pace of everything; the transitory nature of the people that inhabit the city; etc.

But this last time was different. I had my finger on the pulse and for the first time, I left the city praying to get that feeling back. Moving out there is, I think, the perfect opportunity for me to do some good. Of course, I would have to give up my bike trails and these mountains and Watercourse, but I think I could do it. We'll just have to wait and see if any of my applications get returned with a smiley face.