Washington, DC, 2012

During my recent Skate DC trip I walked around Washington, DC.  Beautiful city and extraordinarily clean.  People, though, did not seem to be too friendly to strangers, very much unlike Illinois where I just got back from.

Anyway, I highly recommend for you to visit our Capitol.  There are very many people at work, keeping this city pristinely clean for you and just for that fact I think DC deserves a visit.

Right outside the hotel and everything is manicured-clean.  Do they come and trim the trees at night, remove dead leaves, etc?

All the buildings have their own style.  Most of the time the style appears closer to complete-lack-of-style, like this building, still, there is an apparent and clear thought the architects put into this.

All the cars are clean, the buildings are clean, the roads are spotless.  This is the first, second, and last thing I cannot stop saying about DC — to very clean!

Rather inexpensive and everpresent all over DC, the Capital Bikeshare racks.  And what is somewhat surprising is that these bikes are neatly clean.  Wait, surprising?  The whole city is like that!

Naturally, giant churches everywhere.  Looks either empty or closed and I have not seen anyone coming in or out the three days I was there.  Come to think of it, I should have walked up the steps and checked, huh?

DC is full of monuments and, although dogs are quite frequent here I did not see any dog shit on the grass while I did see a few girls walking about barefoot (!!!).

Perhaps even the hight of the buildings is externally controlled?

Aha!  Found some garbage which manifests itself in a pristinely clean plastic made-to-look-like-glass glass. o_O!

On a Friday, only very few men are in jeans — most are wearing ties and women are in business-caj.

Lost of newspaper boxes while I have not actually seen anyone reading them or taking the papers.

So they do groom the trees as well!  And, of course, everything is very neat and clean.

DC seems to me to have quite a few parks and general relaxation areas where you can walk around.

Lay on the grass [notice the very neat bum in the middle here, relaxing right next to lunching tourists].

Get yer grub on from a row of neatly parked, clean, organized trucks.  Hundreds of people getting small bagged meals… and where is the trash all over the street?!

Look, no trash anywhere…  This is not after-the-fact when the city had a chance to clean up…  these people are keeping the place clean by themselves.  This is definitely something Philly folk need to learn and keep up with.

Clean roads and greenery everywhere.  My opinion of this city is improving with every step I am making.

Crosswalks have wheelchair, um, “drops”?  I am not sure what to call this indentation in the road divider but I did see them everywhere — the city is ready and accepting of our disabled population.

Although there is something cold about these building, something smelling of death, bureaucracy, and tons of paperwork, I still appreciate the attention to detail and the cleanliness of this place.

Even trash containers during construction are spotless.

Beautiful weather, too, by the way.  Perhaps that somewhat contributes to my great mood about the city.

Here’s a gardener, watering the flowers.  Even worker bees are clean in DC.

Here are some more angles on these beautiful sculpture-like buildings.


See, even the back alleys are pristine.

For some, it is time to take a nap. *yawn

Parks, greenery, and business-caj.  Yep, that’s DC for you.

Busy Washington bees.

A lot of ducks in the city.

And democracy, of course.  Remind me of a joke about Ronald Reagan and Leonid Brezhnev and “democracy”:

Reagan:  In USA we have democracy and freedom of speech: anyone can come in front of the White House and yell “Reagan is an asshole”.

Brezhnev:  Ha!  We have ze same freedom: anyone can come to the Red Square and yell “Reagan is an asshole”.

Stick around, I’m full of these :-).

These “protestors”, otherwise known as bums, are neat and just appear to be relaxing in their tent.  Nothing to say here, nothing to see, just a few bums chillin’.

One of them is cleaning up the area around his trash can.  Amazing!

And all this while the bees are busy at work.

Take a look at this construction site.  Neat, clean, and well-organized.

Art in the storefront window.

Another construction site and not a speckle of dust.

So, this is a terrible habit I see some Americans adapt: wearing gym shoes from the car to the office and them changing into business shoes. Why can’t you just either buy comfortable work shoes or, I don’t know, find another solution, wear jeans!  Just makes no sense.

Trash and recycling area and, again, spotless.  This is my take-home from DC — the city is superbly clean.

Quite a few interesting hotels here.  This was a residential building and now is converted to a hotel.  Their website makes it seem like a decent-size hotel when in reality it’s just your plain-old house.

Nice.  I wonder if the city does the signage or the residents.  I would think the residents do, but where do they get professional-looking plastic signs?  Wondrous…

Even graffiti in DC seems unobtrusive and just blends in with the surroundings.

Yet another park.

I’d say “Quiet! Residential area”, but that’s just me.

Back alley of a small back street.  I am starting to think that it is the residents who are responsible for keeping the city clean around here.

Oh, let’s not forget the crosswalk timers everywhere, on every traffic light.

I usually pay attention to garbage — you can tell a lot about the people from their trash.  One thing that is consistent is that I did not see alcohol in their trash.  Neither are liquor stores frequent [although, of course, I do not know the city so I just might have not seem them or walked on the right streets].

New construction keeps fasades of the old buildings — a trend nowadays that I find very attractive.

Just in case you were wondring where the parties are at.

This is the said “meth lab”.  Looks like an abandone building and still pristine.

Micro-truck collecting trash from the neighborhood.

Abandoned lot.

Birds nesting in the building air exhaust [on the right, see?].

Clean bums are having a polite conversation with eachother.

Hospital must be nearby because this is already a second plastic patient tag I find within a few dozen feet.  No other trash anywhere, naturally.

Free maps, easy to navigate.  The city clearly is loving to its visitors.

I see many people running, few people smoking, and almost no drunks/druggies on the streets.

Oh, iPhones…  I see so many people with iPhones here.  Not just any smartphone, but iPhone specifically.  Apple flooded DC.  I wonder why.

Bus maps/route info/schedule is clear, unlike Philly.

Could I even call this “graffiti”?  Yet this seems to be a preferred method around here — tag it up with a chalk, in case you change your mind later.

I see a few cars with bumper protectors.  I hate these things and I think they look atrocious; however, this seems to be the spirit here — not a scratch not a speckle.

Found one!  Finished his beer and napping now.

To come to DC and not to take a photo of the White House?!

Another one is the astonishing number of Starbucks cafes in DC.  They are literally almost at every corner.

Buildings and most protruding surfaces are covered in anti-skater bumps.

Here is a section of a bad pavement but already there is a repair truck nearby and looks like they are getting ready to fix.

This prevents skaters and skateboarders from practicing their tricks while offering ample surface for bum-sleeping.

That’s quite a line for cupcakes!

Every flowerry or otherwise-photographable spot is flooded with tourists.  Nikon and Canon should be advertising here.

Cannot stop being fascinated with the cleanliness here.

As the evening approaches, buildings are starting to turn on their lights.  Quite beautiful, really.

This was a very interesting trip and definitely a fun skate.  My opinion of DC is now drastically changed from my last visit here ~10 years ago.  I definitely will be coming back more often now.

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