Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Them

I know I'm supposed to be happy for what my friend Jane calls "the summer people." She's talking about tourists, and she's right. It's a good thing that people come here to spend their time and money. I can't blame anyone for wanting to see Washington DC. It's a beautiful, powerful city full of history and charm.

I should be happy, but. But. But ... it's difficult to share the nation's capital with the rest of the nation, especially when they arrive in huge, ugly, loud, hideous tour buses. I'm not talking about two or three buses at a time, oh no. From Memorial Day through the Fourth of July, it's not possible to take a walk next to the river, or go anywhere on the national mall, without encountering literally dozens of the ugly monsters. The drivers leave them idling for hours in front of the museums so the streets around the mall stink and are at least ten degrees hotter than elsewhere.

Sorry Jane, I should be happy, but.

12 comments:

Aileen said...

I can't blame you!

This past weekend, as I played tour guide bringing family to the mall, I was surprised by the condition of the area.

It's been a long time since I've been down there and I remember it as a very naturally beautiful, majestic, clean, place. Not so much anymore. I was dismayed by the concrete barricades, rickety fences, plastic tents, construction equipment everywhere. What happened? I thought the National Mall was our pride and joy?

Lynne said...

I certainly hope you weren't driving during the making of that clever vid! :) That's a lot of busses!

Lynne said...

I certainly hope you weren't driving during the making of that clever vid! :) That's a lot of busses!

Steve said...

I can totally sympathize with disliking tour buses (or any kind of buses, for that matter). But look at it this way -- it's better than having all those people drive to the mall in their individual cars!

Reya Mellicker said...

Aileen, it's the Bush administration that has diverted money away from the upkeep of our national parks into the war and all his other awful projects. It's a shame, isn't it?

Steve, my sister said the same thing to me. As I said to her, DC has excellent public transportation. Very cheaply, anyone or any group can get around the city by metro, city bus, and cabs. In addition there are wonderful services like Bike the Sites and they even have a tour service where the people get to ride around on those bizarre little scooter thingies.

Being bussed from site to site sounds AWFUL to me. And, as a citizen of DC, it doesn't feel like cars are being kept off the streets, it feels like an invasion - to me it's more an invasion of buses than tourists.

I really do NOT like tour buses!

Reya Mellicker said...

Lynne, I was driving, but I wasn't watching what I was filming, just holding the camera to the wheel. I'm very safe!! Don't worry.

Chedwick University said...

This is exactly why we don't allow buses on the actual Ched U campus (that and the fact that they cannot climb up the dirt road or even if they could, they'd never ever make the turn.) We hate bus exhaust fumes!

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Old King Coal was a merry old tourist. Gosh, is that stream of traffic an homage to Godard's "Weekend"? And I thought we had a lot of buses headed up to Twin Peaks!

Jane said...

No, Reya, happy isn't called for, endurance is. The summer people are like a seasonal allergy!

Reya Mellicker said...

Ladron, yes! Homage to Godard's Weekend?? Yes!!

Thanks, Jane. Endurance. Yeah ... OK.

Gary said...

As a New Yorker I totally understand the love/hate relationship with "THEM". They are needed I suppose but also congest the place and slow me down as I race from place to place.

I have a friend who lives right near Port Authority and from his balcony he can see the busses going in and out. What a terrible view - I can't believe he's lasted in the same apt. for so long. However he will be moving soon. They just offered him $50,000 to break his lease and move (they are upgrading the building). Can you imagine?

Reya Mellicker said...

$50,000? Wow. That's a lot of money, but I'm unclear that watching tour buses drive past me every frickin' day would be worth even that much money.

Hate 'em - the tour buses, that is.