Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Government Shutdown and the Empty Streets of DC
Watching TV last night waiting to hear if we should go to work today was very strange. So at midnight I knew I would not need to report for work at the Library. I checked my email and the official notice had not yet been sent, but it was there this morning. We took a little drive about town and it was eerily quiet, even quieter than on a Saturday evening. The weather is simply gorgeous, but there was no one in the streets. The only activity was tour buses that could show landmarks from a distance. Even the scenic overlooks along the George Washington Parkway were blocked off. Barricades were all over town, traffic was non existent, the rickshaws were empty. The police cars and circling helicopters were the only obvious activity apart from congressional staff wandering between the office buildings and the Capitol. All the monuments were blocked off, with park rangers taking questions from the tourists wondering why they couldn't get any closer. I suppose I should be glad to have the day off, but there is something really sad about it all when it's not your choice and you don't know how long it will be. After thirty years working in the private sector, this is simply unheard of.