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The Monday Rant: Trashing Tourists

Christina Talcott

It happens every year here in D.C.: The cherry blossoms pop, the days get warmer, and everywhere you turn, you can't help tripping on... some local griping about the tourists.

They stand on the left on the escalators! They stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures! They [gasp!] talk on the Metro! The nerve!

Well, you know what? We need those tourists. They're here to have fun, learn a little about the country and the city. And they bring much-needed money to our city that's reliant on tourist dollars. Besides, it's not like they're coming to make trouble, destroy city property or deliberately inconvenience the locals. Besides, anyone who's ever traveled should know the feeling of being in a new place, trying to find your way around, seeing something so new and cool you have to take a picture.

In New York last weekend, I kept trying to take the subway, a system I find hopelessly confusing. One time, I was swiping my farecard for the subway, and I kept swiping it the wrong way -- backward, upside down... A line of people started forming behind me, since I was blocking one of the only turnstiles at that stop. But there was no sighing, and there was no audible grumbling, just people waiting for the idiot from out of town to get out of the way.

That, I thought, was the right attitude: Tourists are minor inconveniences to to be tolerated, even accepted, in a big city that relies on tourism revenue and jobs.

So why can't D.C. be more friendly to tourists?

By Christina Talcott |  April 21, 2008; 6:40 AM ET  | Category:  Christina Talcott , Monday Rants , Subways
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Problem for many in DC is these tourist are from flyover states and many DC area residents think they are superior to them.

I try to helpful and tolerant of the great unwashed herds from trialer parks in flyover territory. They are spending their hard earned dollars from working their "shift work" jobs in a blue collar world in the DC area. Its there only vacation.

Cut them some slack.

Now foreign tourists get no slack at all!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2008 7:18 AM

I dunno, I think people just like having something to complain about - when you're done with the weather, move on to the tourists! It makes the complainer feel like an insider.

Posted by: h3 | April 21, 2008 8:04 AM

I don't complain about tourists and don't know people who do. Most of us are happy to provide directions or suggestions for activities or restaurants. We have a lovely city and I'm happy to share it with people from out of town.

I really hate the Monday rants on this blog. I don't like the negativity and I think that we can come up with some other theme for the day.

Posted by: Betsy | April 21, 2008 8:34 AM

I think the big issue is that the tourists don't realize that people WORK in DC and some of us are on tight transportation schedules (i.e. I miss a MARC train, and I'm stuck for a good 1/2 hour until the next one).

Move along, or step to the side. Don't stop and block the path or the top of the escalators (this is all evident at Union Station quite often).

I will add that I don't mind helping people figure out how to get a metro ticket or find their way. I even helped some poor guy up in Boston get a Charlie ticket and I was there on business myself.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | April 21, 2008 9:24 AM

I think a better question is "Why can't DC people be nicer?"

Posted by: Liz | April 21, 2008 9:42 AM

Tourists really aren't that bad anyway - unless you work at a museum. Just walk around them, have some patience and don't blow a gasket because it takes you 4 minutes on the escalator instead of 30 sec -- because maybe if you're so aware of the tourist "problem" then you could leave a few minutes early, or take a cab. The tourists probably have more right to ride the metro than govt workers because at least they pay for their fare whereas govt metro fare is heavily (100%?) subsidized.

Maybe we can go back to the way it was in the 80s!!! We can bring back Marion Barry, no tourists will come and all you non cab driver tipping suburbanites will be forced to whine about each other on the metro instead of tourists.

Posted by: non commuter | April 21, 2008 9:54 AM

I'm going to second WDC 21113 - it's that many tourists treat DC like a theme park (when it's really only that for the lobbyists...), instead of a town where people have to work and our public transportation system simply isn't that efficient (compared to broad the NYC system or SF's Muni).

I used to volunteer/intern at NMNH, so I encountered a lot of tourists over the years, as I worked in the bulls-eye of the tourist target. While I was generally pretty patient and have helped far more tourists than I've grumbled at over the years, there were times when I was ready to strangle some visitors to our town.

Because lets be honest - some simply don't know any better. For those folks, a polite "excuse me, here in DC we stand on the right side of the escalators so people can travel down the left" will usually get a "Oh, I'm sorry!" (it works even better if you lace it with a southern accent, since they think all of Virginia is the Deep South ;) ).

But there are some tourists who are simply rude. Who feel that since that many of the attractions are paid for by "their tax dollars", that they can be as rude to DC residents, park rangers, and SI employees as they like, since we "work for them."

I could give you countless examples, but there's no point - I think we've all run into that variety of tourist before.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 21, 2008 10:13 AM

Actually people in DC are very nice to tourists. Everyday I see locals giving tourists help on how to get where they want to go, often unsolicited advice when they perceive some confusion. I've never heard anyone gripe to a tourist about anything.

They just rip on them behind their backs. Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: e | April 21, 2008 10:16 AM

The escalators are a choke point that other cities don't have. There's no similar opportunity to bunch up in the NYC subway on the stairways. And I'd be careful about extrapolating about how patient New Yorkers are from just one incident.

Also, I think the ratio of tourists to commuters is higher in Washington than in other cities, including NYC. I suspect that Washington is also more susceptible to tourists traveling in large groups.

Finally, I think tourists who go to NYC do so with the understanding that it is a busy, working city, and so they approach the commuting rush with a certain level of respect. Washington, though, is viewed as a big theme park, so tourists lose sight of the fact that they're in the way of people trying to make a living here.

Posted by: Tom T. | April 21, 2008 10:23 AM

In NYC, many tourists stay in Midtown or Central Park South. They use the subway infrequently because it is very easy to walk or take an inexpensive cab to the tourist sites and shopping.

In DC, many of the travelers are in large school groups staying in Northern Virginia hotels in Crytal City, Pentagon City, or other areas of Arlington or Alexandria. They depend on the Metro to take them into the city and overwhelm the system during rush hours.

If the situation was reversed, I have a feeling that the DC folks would show much more restraint than some of those feisty New Yorkers.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2008 10:39 AM

I think Tom T. really touched on the main issues. While the tourists may be the object of frustration, METRO is the cause of much of that frustration.

I also agree that many tourists who visit DC treat the city more like visiting Disneyland instead of a working city, such as NYC or Chicago. I've been to both, as a tourist and a resident, and whatever the cause, there truly is a different, less disruptive mix in those cities between tourists and residents.

Posted by: M Street | April 21, 2008 11:12 AM

People in DC tend to be self-important and feel superior to the rest of the country. After all, they are here to conduct important government business. DC does not have tourist ambassadors like Chicago, for instance. What are tourists supposed to do to figure out how to get from point A to point B? Two things need to happen. DC needs to implement some tourism help and DC residents/workers need to increase their tolerance.

Posted by: DB | April 21, 2008 11:19 AM

In my experience, people get annoyed at tourists who show a lack of common sense. Of course, these points would be equally annoying whether it's a tourist or a local resident doing them, but it seems like it's almost always the tourists who do these things. For example:

--Don't stop at a green light trying to figure out where to go while you fiddle with a map! If you're not sure you're going the right way, make the turn anyway and then pull off to the side somewhere to read the map. If you're not moving at a green light, of course I'm going to blow the horn at you!

--Don't slow down to 5 mph to take a picture of the White House, or the Pentagon, or the Capitol, or whatever. If you want to take pictures, park the car and walk, or else keep driving at the speed of traffic and tell the photographer to use a higher shutter speed.

--Don't stop immediately at the bottom of the Metro escalator. Of all the stupid places to stand, this is #1 on the list, because where the heck are all the other people behind you supposed to go if you're in a clump of people blocking the way?

--Standing DIRECTLY in front of the counter at Five Guys while you wait for them to call your number will not get you your burger any sooner and will just annoy everyone with numbers before yours who have to shove through you to pick up their food.

--Just because ONE tourist makes it across the street legally does not give the other 35 people in the group license to walk across the street against the light while blocking the traffic.

--If someone asks you to move out of the way on the Metro escalator, just move (if it's possible to do so). Don't whine "We don't have a subway at home." Don't say, "It's an escalator; you can wait." Just move over, AS LONG AS the person making the request ASKED with an "excuse me" (barking out "Move the f*** over" should, in my opinion, be met with an equally vulgar response). I don't understand why many tourists don't seem to understand that people sometimes have a legitimate reason for needing to hurry to catch the train, such as a bus connection that makes being on time imperative.

--If you're walking in a group strung out seven abreast on the sidewalk, I will NOT step into the street for you just so you can remain strung out.


....Yes, these are all things that are annoying regardless of who does them, but in my experience it seems like it's always the tourists who show a lack of COMMON SENSE. Bottom line to me is that it shouldn't be hard for people to remember that while they may be on vacation, there are a lot of other people who aren't.

Posted by: Rich | April 21, 2008 11:36 AM

I agree that it is the tourists who do not use common sense that really annoy me. Stopping at the bottom of an escalator is just ridiculous. Did they not see all the people behind them. And, why if EVERYONE on the escalator is standing on the right side would you stand on the left. Did they think it was a coincidence that everyone else ended up on the right? I have no problem helping a tourist find their way on the Metro or the street, but they need to be courteous of those who are just trying to get to work.

Posted by: Sweetie | April 21, 2008 12:02 PM

I grew up in "flyover country" and first came to DC as a student tourist, so it's not a matter of superiority. I enjoy giving tourists directions when asked, and I think it's cute when they're obviously experiencing a train for the first time (fine, call me condescending -- on the other hand, I sometimes feel like a zoo exhibit: "See the Washington Commuter in her natural habitat..."). Like others, I get irritated with those who lack common sense, especially on Metro escalators. It really is a matter of sense, because plenty of tourists have no trouble figuring it out. Even so, most are nice enough, and willing to move out of the way if asked civilly.

Posted by: jane | April 21, 2008 12:17 PM

I agree with some of the commenters about tourists lack of knowledge of DC. I have spoken to some tourists that are amazed that people live in DC, and that there are places in DC outside of the mall and downtown. I talked to a tourist at a 9:30 club show who expressed his amazement that I lived and worked in DC, and that residential neighborhoods in DC existed. It's just something that some tourists just don't get, and if they were aware and treated regular metro riders, workers, and residents of DC with respect, I don't think nearly as much ire would be directed towards them. Of course, if a tourist asks me directions or for help, I'll help. It's just when you run into people that are so clueless about DC as a city that they just think of it as a place for the monuments, museums, and the government, and treat the city as such, that really annoys me (and I'm sure other DC residents).

Posted by: U street girl | April 21, 2008 12:28 PM

It's also because you, Christina, CARED to think about the people behind you and did try to hurry up as much as you could so that you didn't inconvience others.
A lot of DC tourists DON'T care about the commuters waiting behind them while they stop and stand in the way trying to figure out where they are going as opposed to, you know, moving over to let people by.

Posted by: jEN | April 21, 2008 12:29 PM

I will help the tourists if they ask - if fact, I try to step up and ask if someone seems lost or confused. I will give up my seat without being asked.

That being said - attention tourists:
1) Do not eat or drink on the Metro - listen to the announcements for heaven's sake!

2) Do not allow your children to run up and down in the car, on the platform etc. They can get hurt !

3) Do not jam your double wide stroller and your cooler into a door when we're already filled to capacity on the train. If you do - don't get nasty when someone is trying to get in or out.

I do not behave poorly on subway systems away from home. I would expect the same courtesy from visitors.

Posted by: Chevy Chase MD | April 21, 2008 12:39 PM

That "right attitude" New Yorkers have now towards tourists must have taken years to develop. Remember how they used to be: As rude as the proverbial French waiters!

Regarding why we're not as tolerant, you may have already cited the reason: We may not see our city as a tourist destination, but as a national capital where government work is performed (or it doesn't get performed, as the case may be). Another reason we may be intolerant of tourists is that in spite of the many guidebooks available in bookstores, tourists may not have read them sufficiently to know how to navigate our streets. Or, perhaps Metro personnel did not brief tour groups about escalator etiquette or proper train riding behavior, e.g., not eating or drinking.

Posted by: Shep C. Willner | April 21, 2008 1:50 PM

Following along the "common sense" theme, I agree that the biggest problem with the tourists is that all too many seem oblivious to anything and everything else that's happening around them. They may physically be in Washington, DC, but mentally, they're off in their own little worlds. So much for the "force multiplier effect..."

I think that's the main source of my aggravation - that they are being discourteous to their host city by not recognizing their own impact on the city's movement, by not recognizing that "Golly, that guy sure must need to be somewhere in a hurry. Let's give him space so he can be on his way."

That said, I've found that many tourists don't take much to "snap out of it" as long as you play to their polite sensitivities as ask politely if the would please stand off to the right of the escalator to rush hour travelers can make their connections.

Metro could just plain outlaw strollers on escalators though, and enforce it by installing evenly spaced posts before the turnstiles that would force strollers on to elevators (err... I mean "free shuttle buses")

Posted by: Anonymous | April 21, 2008 2:16 PM

And please, tourists, the metro rates go down at 9:30am (I think?). Please wait until then to use the metro! Leave the rush hour time & expense to us commuters!

Posted by: liz | April 21, 2008 2:47 PM

Per strollers...

That's got nothing to do with tourists. One Saturday several years ago, I was on the Dunn Loring metro escalators heading home.

Ahead of me were two young mothers who were obviously together, each pushing one of those massive, I could live for three months on the supplies inside this stroller.

The first one jumped her stroller at the top no problem. The second was so absorbed in the conversation she didn't even try and the stroller jammed. Which pushed her backwards. Into me, two steps below her.

I managed to grab on tight to the hand rails and act as a human backstop to keep us both from falling backwards into the other escalator riders. I then gave her a big push once I got my balance to get her over the escalator lip, since the escalator hadn't stopped and we were still going up.

At the top, while other people asked if I was okay and I asked if she was okay, she and her friend gave me the dirtiest looks they could muster and stalked away with their strollers. To their separate cars with Virginia licenses and Fairfax County property tax stickers (they weren't parked too far from me, I wasn't stalking). Because yeah, I pushed her for the fun of it...

The kicker? The elevator was actually working and sitting on the platform level. They just couldn't be bothered to use it.

So please, folks - if you have a stroller, use the elevator. It's not just about you - it's about potentially hurting yourself, possibly your child, and an escalator full of bystanders...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 21, 2008 3:35 PM

The responses to this show exactly what is going on: tourists are not kowtowing to DC residents needs. They don't have enough common sense! That is because everyone in DC has common sense. People: you are not perfect nor is the world made to cater to your particular needs.

Posted by: DB | April 21, 2008 4:04 PM

I absolutely agree with many of the other commenters, having lived and commuted w/in DC for 3 years and now w/in Manhattan for 6 years. DC tourists are often less sophisticated than NY tourists, and they do think that they own the city. They cluster in larger groups, talk more loudly, generally get in the way, and act far more entitled and obnoxious. When these types of tourists come to NY, they are a bit frightened and cowed by the size and pace of the city - they try to stay out of the way and be less obtrusive. Also a lot of NYC tourists (including many of the foreigners) are more sophisticated and observant of their surroundings. As a result, I've actually become more tolerant of tourists over the last several years, because they just aren't as bad here.

Posted by: ny'er | April 21, 2008 5:27 PM

DB -- please. Common courtesy is not "kowtowing." Lots of tourists do exercise it. It's not regional -- I've seen my family and friends from the midwest adapt just fine. Nor is it unreasonable to expect visitors to have some consideration for people who are trying to get to/from work. As others have mentioned, we should do the same when we travel to other cities.

Based on how I've seen tourists behave in New York, for example, I think there is something to the theory that some visitors to DC just don't realize that a lot of people actually live and work in this amusement park. And some small number just don't care, either because they figure we're all useless bureaucrats or lobbyists, or because they're just jerks. (Newsflash for DB: self-absorbed twits do exist outside the Beltway too. We may attract a higher concentration here, but there's no shortage of wankery across the country. Go drive around any mid-sized city, anywhere, for a day, and report back to us.)

Posted by: jane | April 21, 2008 5:29 PM

Are you sure those in nyc were so nice? They sometimes use nonverbal comments. Look at the cabbies and the traffic. Dure the populations may differ but the environment is very similar where many work downtown and live in the suburbs and use commuter trains where many have 90+ minute commute time to work so missing a train is a big deal.

Posted by: DJP | April 21, 2008 7:53 PM

I don't have a problem with them stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to take a picture, check their map, re-leash their children, etc.

I do have a problem when they stop and do those things in the middle of a CROSSWALK.

Tourons.

I am happy to give directions, hold up on my turn, smile, etc. but USE COMMON SENSE.

Posted by: BobT | April 22, 2008 8:49 AM

Since one of common complaints seems to be that the tourists don't stay to the right on the metro escalator, it made me think, why doesn't Metro include a sign spelling it out. Something like "Please stand to the right to allow others to pass" and be placed right at the entrance to the escalator. I'm sure not everyone would notice it, but surely some would, no?

Posted by: non frequent flyer | April 22, 2008 9:05 AM

Since one of common complaints seems to be that the tourists don't stay to the right on the metro escalator, it made me think, why doesn't Metro include a sign spelling it out. Something like "Please stand to the right to allow others to pass" and be placed right at the entrance to the escalator. I'm sure not everyone would notice it, but surely some would, no?

Posted by: non frequent flyer | April 22, 2008 9:05 AM

It's been mentioned on the transportation blogs/forums. Apparently it's some sort of liability issue since escalators were not meant to be walked (or ran) up.

Nonetheless, if you see people standing on the right side and walking up the left, wouldn't you just do the same? But there's that lacking of common sense again.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | April 22, 2008 10:21 AM

I visited DC as a tourist fairly recently, and I didn't find anyone to be excessively rude. In general, I've found New Yorkers to be more inconsiderate than the Washingtonians we encountered. But, on the other hand, I made a point of not going on the subway during rush hour. Why would a tourist need to, though - how many museums are open at 8:30am?

As our tourist season starts up as well, the pet peeves with tourists that I'm reading here all sound familiar - walking five abreast down the sidewalk, stopping in awkward places. My personal pet peeve has become all the people who come to Boston and go to the Cheesecake Factory or California Pizza Kitchen. There are so many great restaurants here - why stick with something you can get at home?!

Posted by: boston liz | April 22, 2008 11:56 AM

Chasmosaur:

I thought it was absolutely illegal to take a stroller on an escalator...aren't there signs on all of them saying so?

Posted by: Amy F. | April 22, 2008 2:13 PM

Several years ago I was driving down Independence. On the sidewalk was a couple. She was walking with the Capitol in the background. Her husband was WALKING BACKWARDS AND VIDEOTAPING HER as the talked.

He stepped in front of my car

I stood on the brakes and missed him by less than 6 inches

Their video probably showed me yelling and cursing.

Posted by: Dan | April 22, 2008 2:17 PM

You people are crazy. The tourists are the least of our worries. Have any of you actually driven in the city? It is filled with rude and inconsiderate taxi drivers, DC residents who don't pay any attention to walk/don't walk signs, DC residents and workers who jaywalk, MPD officers who have never once given a traffic ticket or enforced a tow-away or no parking sign (or God forbid directed traffic). And all the other drivers are insane. Part of the problem is that no one told the DC Dept. of Transportation about left-hand turn lanes. What's that?? Plus the diplomats, double-parked buses and delivery trucks, taxi's doing u-turns in the middle of K Street - and you've got utter chaos. Tourists on escalators.......sheesh.

Posted by: 13th and K | April 22, 2008 9:20 PM

You people are crazy. The tourists are the least of our worries. Have any of you actually driven in the city? It is filled with rude and inconsiderate taxi drivers, DC residents who don't pay any attention to walk/don't walk signs, DC residents and workers who jaywalk, MPD officers who have never once given a traffic ticket or enforced a tow-away or no parking sign (or God forbid directed traffic). And all the other drivers are insane. Part of the problem is that no one told the DC Dept. of Transportation about left-hand turn lanes. What's that?? Plus the diplomats, the fact that everyone grew-up somewhere else and can't drive, the double-parked buses and delivery trucks, taxi's doing u-turns in the middle of K Street - and you've got utter chaos. Tourists on escalators.......sheesh.

Posted by: 13th and K | April 22, 2008 9:27 PM

ALL THIS NEGATIVITY MAKES ME NOT EVER WANT TO COME TO DC. I WAS REALLY CONSIDERING MY NEXT TRIP TO BE TO WASHINGTON BUT THAT'S OFF.
I'M LIVING IN TEXAS AND EVERYBODY IS ALWAYS COMMENTING HOW NICE PEOPLE ARE.
YOU MAY CONSIDER THIS A FLYOVER STATE,BUT YOU ARE A VERY ARROGANT BUNCH OF PEOPLE.

Posted by: GEE | April 23, 2008 11:38 AM

I'll be that tourist tomorrow in DC and I LOVE DC! Then again, I visit frequently enough that I actually know where to stand for the Metro so I can be first on the escalator for my destination. I also am asked for directions by tourists, cause I'm so comfortable in DC and know it rather well.

While in NYC last month, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people walking at all hours of the day. At least in DC, you guys go home and leave the city to us tourists. I LOVE DC!

Posted by: Susie | April 23, 2008 12:27 PM

I read and chuckled at the comments on this topic earlier this week, then went out into the city and encountered happy, rule-minding tourists galore - - - and oblivious, left-side standing, stopping-at-the-bottom-of-the-escalator, coffee-sipping-on-the-train, smoking-on-the-escalator, taking-up-the-whole-sidewalk LOCALS Monday afternoon, Tuesday and again this morning.

Can we trade some Me First commuters for a whole bunch of enthusiastic, happy-to-be-here Fly-Over-Staters? Please?

(Apologies for the many hyphens. I have officially used up my allotment for the rest of the season.)

Posted by: Karen | April 23, 2008 1:44 PM

Bravo! Finally, a voice of reason on Washington, DC's dependence on tourists for its economy.

This city's historic monuments, museums, government icons, and countless other attractions are a perennial draw for tourists. Much of the city coffers' largesse is the result of taxes paid by tourists on everything from hotel rooms, restaurant meals, ticket purchases and souvenirs.

In fact, a recent study by George Washington University showed that the average tour bus carrying 55 travelers, for example, infuses as much as $12,000 into the local economy for each night spent by the group in a hotel. That creates jobs and incomes for our city residents as well.

Finally, let's not forget that each full tour bus removes as many as 55 autos from our congested roads. Next time you see a tour bus around the Mall or the White House, thank your lucky stars for it. Each one represents 55 cars not driven by out-of-town visitors looking for J Street, taking your on-street dinner parking, and prolonging your commute.

Thank you, America, for choosing to come to our capitol city, and thank you again for taking the tour bus!

Posted by: Charles Lattan | April 23, 2008 2:26 PM

I work downtown, and if i'm out at lunch and I see a family of tourists with a confused look on their face, I'll help them. But I've stopped doing it when they ask for a restaurant recommendation, and I tell them to go up to Chinatown. And all they want is directions to Hard Rock (which is CRAPPY FOOD!). But I DETEST the buses. It is IMPOSSIBLE to go shopping after work at Pentagon City from Cherry Blossoms to Veterans Day, because there are 25+ busloads of teenagers who've been dumped there with their food coupons.

Posted by: Beth | April 23, 2008 4:52 PM

I think everyone could be a little more appreciative of our city in general, the good and the bad of the tourist because it is seasonal (or used to be). What bothers me most are the people complaining that we are rude. As a native you would be a little pissed off to have the same taxes taken from your check with no representation and then have your daily commute disrupted! So at least when you go back home you can call your state represenative to tell them how rude we are and try to get that changed. We just have to deal with it as best we can. There are plenty of us who are nice and willing to help, but again common senese would be appreciated. Don't get me started on the Federal Government workers.....

Posted by: Me-Me | April 23, 2008 8:21 PM

Beth, I've given directions to that stupid Hard Rock more times than I can count. (And I can confirm that the food is crappy, as my own mother made me take her there on one of her first trips to DC.)

Maybe you should send them to the Fuddruckers in Chinatown. ;-)

I don't expect tourists to head to Central, but for crying out loud, why not try something a little bit different? (By the way, it's not just a DC thing. I was in NYC a few months ago, and walked by a LINE of tourists waiting to get into a TGI Fridays. Of all the restaurants in Manhattan...)

Posted by: jane | April 24, 2008 11:37 AM

I'm a Los Angeles resident. I'm surprised that the tourists are in the way of the D.C. area residents very much. I am surprised that they would hang out in the same areas. How many Washington area residents go to the top of the Washington monument, go on a tour of the Capitol building, or visit the museums as part of their daily routine? How many tourists bypass the White House or the memorials which honor our military people in order to hang out in the residential neighborhoods of Prince George's County or Fairfax County?

Posted by: Dominick | April 24, 2008 7:46 PM

Dominick-- Good question, for those who aren't familiar with the area. You're right that locals don't go to the museums and monuments much. But many of those attractions -- and, more important, the Metro stops closest to them -- are close to, and often interspersed among, numerous government agencies and law firms where the locals work. The White House is smack in the middle of the most concentrated business area. The Ford Theater and the tourist-friendly Hard Rock Cafe and ESPN Zone are a few blocks away. The National Mall (with the Washington, Lincoln, Vietnam, WWII, and Korean War Memorials, as well as several Smithsonian museums) also is only a few blocks away. The U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court are on the Hill, which also has the offices and staffs for 535 members of Congress, and all the committees, as well as all sorts of trade associations, lobbyists, and lawyers.

So, on any given day, lots of tourists are all over the same streets as many of the local workers, and -- of particular relevance to this thread -- are piling into the same Metro stations as the heaviest concentrations of commuters (such as Metro Center, Union Station, L'Enfant Plaza, and Capitol South).

Posted by: jane | April 25, 2008 10:40 AM

Posted by Anonymous (April 21, 2008 7:18 AM)

"....Problem for many in DC is these tourist are from flyover states and many DC area residents think they are superior to them.

I try to helpful and tolerant of the great unwashed herds from trialer parks in flyover territory. They are spending their hard earned dollars from working their "shift work" jobs in a blue collar world in the DC area. Its there only vacation.

Cut them some slack.

..."

Sounds to me like you should be included in the "superior" group what with your put downs left and right. Maybe *you* should cut them some slack. (FWIW, "Its" should be "it's" and "there" should be their.)

:-|

Posted by: Sam F. | April 25, 2008 2:10 PM

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