Sunday, February 7th, 2010
“I have been working for the Downtown BID for three years. I’m always learning about this city. One of the important things to know is that there is no J Street in D.C.. That is because the ‘j’ and the ‘i’ look similar in old English. They didn’t want to confuse people, so they eliminated J Street. I’ve also learned that people ask you all kinds of weird questions out here. I had one gentleman ask me where to buy coke. I said, ‘Are you serious!?’ The guy said, ‘Well, you seem to know everything else about this city.’
“Otherwise, most tourists ask about the usual stuff. People don’t come over and ask me about Southeast or Northeast, it is usually the sites in Northwest and where the celebrities go, like Ben’s Chili Bowl. Even during July 4th, everyone rushes down to the Mall to see the fireworks, but the best views are from Southeast because of all the hills there. Everyone comes here and strains their necks looking up when they could could just sit atop one of the hills in Southeast and look out. But, Southeast has a bad rap and many people don’t want to go there. It’s a shame because it is so beautiful.
“The best thing about working for the BID is that they always tell us about stuff in this city before it happens. I knew about the H Street trolley before my friends did. Those are the little things about this job that make it interesting. My own prediction is that downtown will have a big shopping area soon. People complain about the lack of shopping opportunities in this city and I think that there will be lots of retail, restaurants and places to spend your money downtown soon. I mean, who likes going to indoor malls when you could do your shopping outdoors.
“Overall, my experience in D.C. has been a good one. People always talk about how expensive this city is, but you could entertain yourself for days for free here. I think that the more you get out in D.C., the more you realize all of these great things that you didn’t know existed. Just walk around with your eyes open and you’ll see how amazing this place is. And the people are friendly here. People from out of town always tell me how friendly D.C. is. We get a bad rap, but we really are friendly people.”