Okay, that's a bit dramatic, but it is true that I'm living in DC in the midst of a "partial" government shutdown.
In many ways nothing has really changed here. There are people jogging on the Mall, there are large tour groups following a leader waving a yellow silk handkerchief on a stick, there are customers in the cafes, and traffic is still awful. But there's also this weird feeling of suspended animation. Tourists climb up the steps of the Air and Space Museum and press their faces against the darkened glass, trying to get a glimpse of the magic inside. (All I can think of is: "you flew 17 hours for this, I'm so sorry.")
Random places I never gave much thought to: Fort McHenry, Teddy Roosevelt Island, the Jefferson Memorial all have their gates locked, or in the case of the Memorials--which never had gates--hastially assembled metal fences to keep people out. It's a city under a spell.
In the meantime, the hot, Indian summer that had been here for more than a week broke today. It's a blustery, rainy October afternoon. The sunset-bright orange, red and yellow leaves that looked incongruous as the temperatures made it to the mid-80s suddenly seem much more in season.
I'm wearing my old sweatshirt and slippers, sipping on tea, and wondering when DC is going to wake up again.
How are the rest of you doing? Any wise thoughts to share?