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Urban Etiquette: Where Did All the Tourists Come From?

by Borderstan.com — March 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm 3 Comments

"Borderstan""Cherry Blossoms"

Tourists along the Tidal Basin (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Mike Kohn. Have an urban etiquette right that needs to be wronged? Find Mike on Twitter at@mike_kohn or send him an email at mike[AT]borderstan.com.

Given that Friday was the only beautiful day of the weekend, I thought I would take advantage and partake in my token annual visit to the Cherry Blossoms.

Unfortunately for me, I was not alone in that thinking. Everyone and their mother decided to drop by, so what should normally have been a casual walk around the Tidal Basin turned into a somewhat maddening journey that involved me weaving in and out of what I can only assume were several groups of tourists and fighting to make it across bridges in a speed that actually exceeded that of molasses.

I considered afterwards all of the things that I probably should have paid closer attention to, all of which apply to the Borderstan hood:

  • Everyone takes photos. I did actually think about this and managed to stop myself short, but I had to apologize for being in a couple people’s memories when I was walking too fast to notice.
  • There are WAY too many people traveling with pets and babies. I accidentally cut off a stroller. I did feel badly because the mother was clearly in distress mode, but I was distressing about feeling trapped behind her.
  • Many of these people have never seen these things (or been to the District for that matter) before. While this was my 7th visit to the festival, it still has that inaugural excitement to it for a lot of tourists, so naturally, they want to stop and admire, rather than powering through. I felt even more aggressive than I usually do in a city where things are generally more fast-paced.

Ah, things to remember for next year…

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Comments (3)

  1. Be glad for the tourists. They keep the taxes down. I recall reading (WaPo?) that the city would have to raise everyone’s taxes by ~$3700/yr to maintain the same level of services.

  2. Patrick Division

    $3,700, huh? I’ll pay it!! But I want anyone with a MD or VA put in the “tourist” category, too, and stopped at the border.

  3. Patrick Division

    MD or VA *license* – where’s that edit button?

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