Washington D.C. is a “right on time” kinda town

Posted by Renee Magyar on May 11, 2011

Chad Davis on Washington D.C.

Chad Davis in Washington D.C.

DC is a "right on time" kinda town. You never get rewarded for being the slightest bit early. Not that I generally have to worry about that, but I'm definitely not motivated with the DC treatment of earliness.

Here's the "early-birds" day. First, you know you have a 17 minute descent via escalator to the Metro station so you plan for it; an hour to get to the Hill, plenty 'o time. You even walk down the left side (which seems like the cool thing to do) while all the DC right-on-time crowd peruses Facebook on their Blackberry. You have your Metro fare card in hand, no delays needed fumbling through your pocket. Your reward for all your prep is on the sign above the tracks: 'Glenmont train 10 minutes'. Nothing to do but stand and act important.

You arrive at Rayburn with enough planning to make it through the metal detector. No one in line; early again. In the building you can barely navigate the labyrinth to find Rep Walden's office so not nearly enough time to go underground to search out the cafe over in Longworth...and then make it back? Forget about it; you head up to lurk outside the office door. Eyes on your Blackberry; you're important (and way too freaking early to lounge on the leather couch inside in awkward silence)! Your reward: a comfy quartz floor and a wall to lean against (it's beautiful but a bit unrelenting). Not a chair or bench in sight; in fact, you haven't seen one inside Congressional Office Buildings over the past 3 days.

Last meeting of the day is at 3:00; by 3:30 you're jumping in a cab (I'm before rush hour!) back to Dupont Circle. That happy hour drink is just around the corner. About 14th Ave, damn Secret Service has set up a road block. You get lucky, squeak by before Biden rolls through. You can taste that martini, feel the energy from the bustling bar scene, ready to celebrate the day! You burst through the door at 4:15. Your reward: pick of litter in terms of seats at the bar. Stone cold no-one to from your crew to toast to how great that meeting with Merkley was.

But alas, there is ONE place to grab a bench inside (besides the cafeterias) if you must sit while on the Hill. Find it and you win today's prize: rest for your aching feet. Hint: look on the Senate side.