I have now lived in Washington, DC for thirty years.
I arrived in Washington, DC to go to college at the George Washington University and have been here ever since. I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I've lasted through Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and hopefully Bush II. Also all the many many terms of Marion Barry as mayor of DC.
When I first got here the metro at rush hour cost $0.45. Non-rush hour fares were $0.50. Yes rush hour fates were lower than non-rush hour fares to get people to ride the metro. The base rate on the metro now starts at $1.35 and runs as high as $3.90. There was no Green or Yellow line. The Red line ran from DuPont Circle to Union station. The Blue line from Stadium-Armory to National Airport. The Orange line from Stadium-Armory to Rosslyn. There was no service on Sunday and Saturday service was noon to 8pm.
There were three local department stores: Garfinkels, Woodward and Lothrop (Woodies) and Hechts. Now of those are left. Hechts was the last to go when Macy’s took it over. Georgetown was a really unique and neat place to go. There was the Kemp Mill record store (yes record store), next to the Italian men’s clothing store with $500 Italian suits (which was really expensive then) next to the bong and crystal store.
Also in Georgetown was a wonderful coffee and tea place. The entire store was devoted to coffee and tea. Just about everything you could possibly want or imagine dealing with coffee and tea could be found in the store. There were huge wooden barrel full of coffee beans. You could smell the store blocks away. There was a blackboard that listed when certain types of coffee would arrive. It would list the country the coffee was coming from, the ship it was on and what port it would be arriving in and when it would finally get to the store. That store is long sense gone. In fact the originality of Georgetown is essentially gone too. It is now just a bunch of chain stores. There are still a few very good restaurants to go to but the shopping well you can do that at about any mall now.
The wonderful Circle Theater which was just a block from the GW campus. It was a revival house that had some really fantastic double features. Top Hat and Swing Time. Modern Times and The Great Dictator. To name a few. One time my parents were out and we had dinner and then saw the Band Wagon. It was truly a great place to see an old movie on a large screen.
Not to say there are some incredible and wonderful new things. National Museum of African Art, Sackler Gallery, American Indian Museum, the re-newed Portrait Gallery, the Spy Museum, Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, Air and Space Museum and Udvar-Hazy Center, The Roosevelt Memorial, The Korean War Memorial, The Shakespeare theater, the Verizon Center, the soon to open Newseum, the revitalization of Union Station to name just a few.
I am looking forward to seeing my 30th season of GW basketball. I also plan to attend more GW baseball games this year than I did last year. Since I’m close to Catholic University, I am going to attend one of their football games this year too.
I’m looking forward to the many shows that will be at the Kennedy Center, National Theater, Warner Theater, Studio Theater, Arena Stage, Shakespeare theater (and the new facility they will be opening soon), Ford’s Theater. The main wonderful movies to see on the largest screen in DC at the Uptown theater. The inauguration of a new president (probably several more to be exact).
I can hardly wait to see what the next 30 years will bring.