Christmas weekend. Just as Adam Kotsko describes Chicago, DC is emptying itself of traffic and people. A wonderful time of year for the few who remain behind -- parking spots. I drive my car just so I can park it. Washington, DC is like a college town. People leave by the droves for "home" for the holidays around the country and the world. But DC becomes much quieter during the holidays and you start to see who the real DC people are, the ones who really make it home. It becomes a small town again, rather than a hub of half a million people with another four million streaming in and out from Virginia and Maryland. Congress is gone, staffers are gone, lobbyists have followed them.
We relax a bit. Go for walks on lonely Atget streets. Find good tables in restaurants. And we enjoy living in what is really quite a beautiful city once you get away from the gigantesque mausoleum that is The Mall (and coldly efficient downtown) and into DC's neighborhoods of Victorian and Federal style homes, bungalows, row houses, and Art Deco apartment buildings. It is an elegant city of generally decent people of all sorts, which is missed by those who only experience its Roman pretension and Citizen Kane bombast.
As the giftwrap goes flying and the belly is sated, let's also remember the nice little moments of peace and joy and quiet that we're seldom allowed. Happy holidays.