The three things I have most noticed about DC since returning for only the third time since I lived here in the 1990s is how few people smile (compared to LA), how many more smokers there are and how oppressive is the humidity.
Perhaps, oppressive is a bit harsh, but it does take some getting used to when you’re walking around downtown, especially when wearing a jacket and tie and toting a laptop.
It is weird to be back, a stranger in a city which was once my home. I remain familiar with many of the places I pass, but they all seem different in some way. Not to mention the new construction.
The oddest thing though is how easily I have been able to navigate the city’s streets. I quickly remembered how things fit together. When driving in, I didn’t need look at a map to find my way from I-95 South to central Arlington.
Why is it, I wonder, that people don’t smile as much as they do in LA. Is it just the weather? Was it like this when I last lived here (in the Clinton era)? Or does everyone now take themselves far more seriously now that a new man’s in charge.