In Defense of Washington, D.C.

(Unsplash)The city gets a bad rap from outsiders, but there’s really no better place to be.

I  adore my hometown, a homey place called Washington, D.C.

The image of Washington as a cesspool of preening pretense is not completely libelous, but neither is it the whole story. You can live here and avoid all that. Among natives — and after 38 years, I think I qualify — weeks can go by without the subject of government even coming up. We Washingtonians walk our dogs, have block parties, attend concerts, grill steaks in the backyard, and shovel the elderly neighbor’s front walk when it snows. We have religious institutions, book clubs, and PTA meetings, just like other places. At the local dog park, we discuss gardening, home repair, our children, and local gossip; rarely does gun control or Medicare for All come up.

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That’s the ordinary. Now for the extraordinary: I’ve traveled the world a bit and still consider Washington to be one of the most beautiful cities on earth. “Thine alabaster cities gleam” captures our capital — my town — even if we can’t quite say “undimmed by human tears.” Every time I land at National Airport

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