The essential guide for visiting DC during Inauguration

18 01 2009

Welcome to the nation’s capital! We’re glad you’re here. To ensure this weekend is a great time for everyone, we’ve put together some friendly pointers to help you navigate the city.

  • Stand right, walk left. I cannot overstate this point. The entire city is going to be on edge this week, and blocking everyone’s progress is enough to get you shoved down the escalator.
  • Once you’re in the station, have your Metro card ready to avoid rummaging through your Spy Museum gift bag while everyone waiting behind you thinks about throwing you on the tracks. You knew you were going into a Metro station, right? This isn’t a surprise.
  • Should you make it all the way down the escalator and onto the train, your work still isn’t done. Please do not plant yourself directly in front of the door and then wonder, aloud, why everybody is pushing you. Grab your fannypack and get the hell out of the way.
  • Similarly, don’t walk three wide down the sidewalk at a pace slower than Robert Byrd on a bad day. Move it or lose it. Seriously.
  • When you’re eating out, if you don’t know what it is, you probably shouldn’t order it. You can try a kay-suh-dill-uh some other time.
  • Be advised that while your waiter probably will ask you where you are from, this is not your cue to recite the entire 300-year history of Texarkana. He’s only asking to be polite, and because he probably can’t think of one single other thing to chat you up about.
  • Despite the fact that you’re on vacation, this isn’t Disney Land. DC is an actual city where actual people work at their actual jobs. You might get lucky and find somebody who wants to stop and explain the difference between the 14 Smithsonian museums, but don’t count on it.
  • Nobody wants to know that this isn’t the way they do things in Toledo. God willing you’ll be back there soon enough, so shut the hell up already.

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25 responses

18 01 2009
Jimmy Johns

With only minor editing, this post can be become an entirely new post: “The essential guide for living in a city”

18 01 2009

I wish this guide was available to tourists when I was living in DC! TX

18 01 2009

i think someone wrote this about NYC once. no wait – about 2,000 times. your originality is a breath of fresh air – truly, an inspiration to us all.

18 01 2009

oh for chrissake. the only people in dc who complain most about the tourists are the transplants that have been here for like 2 years, and think every complaint they spew about outsiders infiltrating their precious adopted city brings them closer to assimilation. just shut up and deal with the tourists like the rest of us – they are much a part of DC as our glorious free museums. assuming that someone from the midwest wouldn’t know what a quesadilla is? please. stop rushing to be such a jaded metropolitan and go back to south carolina or wherever it is you moved here from.

these same people are the ones that will swear that bens chilli bowl is the “best local place”. they are the step cousin to out-of-state NYU sophmores who think they run manhattan.

18 01 2009
houston texas

this is annoyingly pretentious and condescending. just because you live in the beltway dont get too high on yourself. theres only one person that people are even there to see and hes from the midwest. your city is not that special.

19 01 2009


19 01 2009
Primly Stable

All of the above also apply to everyone visiting London at any time.

And probably every other major city on earth, come to that.

19 01 2009
dee see dude

i live in dc. the only thing more annoying than tourists are the people who complain about tourists who, are more often than not, transplants from podunk who are desperate to look cool. don’t worry visitors; the REAL locals are glad to have you.

19 01 2009

As a local, I like to think that we’re a whole lot friendlier and patient with tourists than this post suggests. If you’re really in a rush to get somewhere during inauguration, you’re sure not going to be taking Metro. As another commenter said, visitors are just as much a part of our city as we are. At least, they keep this imaginary breed of angry waiters employed.

19 01 2009

hallo I am from indonesia, have never see a cool blog like this

19 01 2009
PN Cockypants, IV

It’s a shame that many of Urbzen’s readers apparently lack the wit and sense of humor of its blogger. It’s a snarky joke people. And yes, based on my three years in DC, it’s mostly true. LIGHTEN UP.

19 01 2009

I thought it was funny.

19 01 2009

you are a douche

19 01 2009

When is it true that those people objecting to a couple of jesting shots this blogger takes at the welcoming nature (or lack thereof) of urban DC dwellers actually themselves prove the point she was making? That would be today. Sheesh, lighten up people.

19 01 2009

Dude. Why comment if it’s to say something so mean? I thought it was funny.

19 01 2009
Remy Overkempe

My god, you commenters are annoying. I thought it was a nice post 🙂

19 01 2009
Meghan Harvey

Normally I would roll my eyes at the comments here, but I have to admit I’m slightly annoyed because you don’t live in DC. You live in California. And judging from this post, you are visiting DC just like everyone else.
I don’t think living somewhere for a few years and than moving away really means that you’re a “local.”
No offense hon, it was a funny post. But it would have been funnier had you written it about LA. You know, the city you actually live in.

19 01 2009

While all these are true, and we’ve all thought them, you’ve sort of managed to parody yourself with this one. If I were a tourist, I’d be pretty likely to intentionally go against everything you listed here just to mess with what I would now thing are the smug, snobbish douche-hat residents of DC. How old are you, 15?


19 01 2009

edit: now THINK are the smug, snobbish douche-hat residents of DC.

19 01 2009

as always, prescient and right on track! great post!

19 01 2009
Meghan Harvey

Ok, rethinking my comments. I still stand by them but would like to point out that they were an honest attempt to point out the irony in your post. In no way were my comments meant to cause hard feelings, and just thought I’d let you know that. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

19 01 2009

I’m not from DC, I’m not going to DC. Thought it was funny. But, I’m from Arkansas, so what do I know?

19 01 2009
One More Day Left! « Blurasis

[…] should I watch this historic moment? Watch it on CBC or NBC or ABC or CBS or CNN I wish was in Washington D.C. to see this crazy event. Probably better to see it on TV. Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

19 01 2009
Dan (Fitness)

Your frustration is heartfelt, but there is no way people are going to obey “walk left, stand right”. And all it takes is one person to make that mistake, and everyone behind them does the same.

… Awesome!

19 01 2009

I thought it was funny. But then I am kind of a hater.

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