Touring DC today: With someone who’s never been here (but most things are closed during the Covid pandemic)

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Lincoln Memorial -- Photo: © JDUy

I’ve been tasked to do a driving tour of Washington, D.C. today. I barely ever leave the house myself these last few years. So, I’m not so sure what there is to see, especially now during the pandemic.

There’s the National Park Service website.

I think I’ll start with U Street.

Go down to 14th and show them the recent riot stuff.

Cut across P to Logan Circle, go down 13th.

Cut across O & say hi to my friend.

Come down 9th passed the Convention Center and around Apple Store.

Then down 7th passed Chinatown Arch & Capital One Arena.

Turn right on F and left on 10th to pass Ford’s Theatre where Lincoln was shot by John wilkes Booth.

Turn left on E, right on 9th, right on Pennsylvania.

Explain FBI Headquarters funding vs. evil Trump International monstrosity of thievery.

Come up 11th, and turn righ ton E again.

Take E straight over to Union Station.

If we’re making good time, over to Lincoln Park to see the controversial statue.

(If we’re still making good time, take a peek at Congressional Cemetery and the new RFK developments. Probably not.)

Go to 8th, go south to Eastern Market past Marine barracks.

Turn right, head past Navy Yard where mass shooting happened. Crazy men everywhere.

Show them Nationals Park & Soccer Stadium.

DC Capitol Building — Photo: © JDUy

Maybe turn around and come up 3rd Street. Cut across East capitol to 1st if we can.

Droop them off at the Supreme Court for a minute.

Then down 1st to Independence, turn right onto 3rd.

Left on Madison all the way across the Mall to the other side because everything is closed.

To the Washington Monument

left on 15th to right on Independence.

Then drop them off at the Lincoln memorial for a while so they can walk up the steps.

And then see the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, too.

Maybe they can go across and sit in Einstein’s lap.

I’ve never driven to the south side of the Lincoln — always a first. The roads are one-way and confusing down there with fast-moving traffic.

Probably go to Thomas Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin next.

Then come back and go to FDR and MLK.

Then go back around across the 14th Street bridge

Explain the airplane crash of 1982 when cars were hit and people were pulled from the water.

Pentagon Building in Northern Virginia — Photo: © JDUy

And then over to Pentagon City and to the Pentagon to show them where the plane hit on September 11, 2011.

I guess we drive over to Virginia then, show him where Arlington Cemetery is.

And then to Marine Corps/Iwo Jima Memorial, based on the famous photo, and US Air Force Memorial.

I guess we drive over to Virginia then, show him where Arlington Cemetery is.

And then to Marine Corps/Iwo Jima Memorial, based on the famous photo, and US Air Force Memorial.

Go up to Rosslyn and across the bridge to Georgetown.

I don’t know how to park and see the Exorcist Steps.

I can drive across M and show the shops in Georgetown

And then cut down to the Waterfront.

Maybe get out and explain the C&O Canal. (It’s almost 200 miles long and goes up to WV somewhere. Explain where it begins and the mechanisms used to raise and lower boats back then.)

I guess we go around Washington Circle and I show them GWU Hospital where we end up all of the time.

And then across K Street (lobbyists).

Oh, I guess we drive down toward Black Lives Matter Plaza, and they can Walk to the White House.

Then we go up Connecticul to Dupont Circle.

Up to the Washington Hilton where Reagan was shot by John Hinkley Jr.

Take a left on Wyoming Avenue.

Maybe they want a picture since they’re from Wyoming, then show them Kalorama where Trump daughter and Obamas live.

Then back across Wyoming to Columbia, back along Adams Mill to Harvard.

Over to the Zoo by 2pm.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial — Photo: © JDUy/file photo

UPDATE: It went pretty well. I think he got to see everything. My belly wasn’t cooperating too well, so I just stayed in the car. They did not want to go to the zoo — they are from Wyoming, and have enough deer and antelope playing, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Maybe not tigers. They mistook the back of the Capitol for the best photo and took too long there. And then I didn’t pull up close enough to the Lincoln Memorial so they had a long walk from Ohio Drive SW.

A lot of stuff was definitely closed. I didn’t drive down through the Smithsonians (bathroom break), but they got plenty of pics of the length of the Mall. I took them to Virginia and around the Pentagon and across Rosslyn bridge to Georgetown — except I made a goof and ended up getting off on Glebe and going through Clarendon and all. Dumb.

We had a nice socially-distanced lunch in at Martin’s Tavern in the Madeline Albright booth. 🥗🍺 I had a decent Cobb salad with a lot of chicken — $17, I think. He didn’t like their little 3/4-full glasses of beer. Talking to them (Fox News fans, I gathered), they had very little knowledge of what really happened during the protests and vandalism and destruction and police/military overreaction. I showed them the helicopter that came below building level and they were surprised at that. I had to explain the whole Trump upside-down Bible photo-op with the pepper-spraying and beating of reporters, etc. And it’s like it never happened in their world. Never heard of it — just that the BLM protesters were terribly behaved. And granted, some were, but they never got the other side of the message from their preferred mouthpieces. “Enlightening” wasn’t exactly what I would say about it. Unbalanced and unfair “news” is what they are getting in other parts of the country, it seems. At least they were good about wearing masks and had no complaints or misunderstandings about the seriousness of COVID-19.

Anyway, some things were vaguely familiar to them — where Reagan got shot, and they barely remembered the Navy Yard shooter; never heard of the 14th Street Bridge plane crash. Did know about closeted J. Edgar Hoover, and Marion Barry, but not a lot of interest in civil rights stuff. They didn’t want to hear about Trump International and FBI headquarters debacle, or anything negative or truthful about the president’s bad behavior. Just never heard it before, and didn’t need or want to. That’s okay. He liked the Exorcist steps, but watching the finale of the film, it just looks like a tepid death scene of some guy falling down the stairs now.

A lot of stuff was under repair like the Chinese Arch and the Jefferson Memorial. 🌸 The cherry blossoms are all green leaves and nothing special in August. We didn’t have time to go by the FDR and MLK memorials. I think they mostly wanted to just stick to the main monuments. I made them go to the Vietnam Memorial and the excellent Korean Memorial while at the Lincoln. I hope they enjoyed some parts of it. I didn’t mind, but I probably took too long. Haha. It would have been nice to go in a museum, but other than Space Museum with passes — just wasn’t gonna happen. Germs. 🦠

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