Alyson Chadwick

Writer・Editor・Strategist・Comedian・Activist

Word on the street

This has been an amazing week. Washington, DC is very much a southern town in a lot of ways but it is a relatively ‘large’ city. My reference points before coming here were New York, San Francisco and Paris so WDC may be our nation’s capitol but it usually feels like a small town. The only exception to that rule is that people generally do not talk to strangers like they might in real small towns. At least they didn’t until this week.

Ever since Barack Obama won the election most people are smiling. They say hello. I feel like Elaine’s plan to make NYC friendlier has been implemented here. (Elaine, from Seinfeld, told her boyfriend, who worked for the mayor’s reelection campaign, that people should wear nametags to encourage them to talk to each other. The idea flopped and the guy’s boss, I believe it was Mayor Dinkins, lost.) Everywhere I go people are talking to everyone and anyone about how happy they are. True conversation I had today in line at the grocery store:

Random guy: I just cannot believe Obama actually won!Me: I know, it’s great! RG: And the rest of the world is happy, too!Me: Yeah, it’s nice to not be hated anymore.RG: That’s true. People like us again!

Bill Clinton said he believed in a ‘place called hope.’ Right now I would mark a new place called hope on the map and it covers most of the planet.