Summer is here, and this is going to be rough.
Last year, GM extolled the virtues of Georgetown in August, despite the obvious drawbacks:
The streets are empty. You can park your car like it’s a suburb in the 60s. The pools are empty because the interns left. The sidewalks are empty because even tourists have better sense than to visit DC in the summer.
Despite the stifling, turgid air, you can breathe. You can walk into a restaurant at 7:00 on a Friday and get a seat. You can even walk on M St. on a weekend.
And like spring, it is great because it is brief. We don’t ultimately love Georgetown because it’s empty, but because it’s decidedly not. That restaurant walking you to a table would be out of business if it were like that year round. Those streets without parking in September mean more people coming and keeping our thriving businesses thriving. Quiet is nice, but too much is boring.
Knowing August is fleeting is the best way to enjoy it. So enjoy it, it’s already later than you think.
Sadly, the conditions that made Georgetown tolerable–even desirable–in August will be largely gone this year. Parking may continue to be easy, but we’ve got nowhere to drive home from. The pools might eventually open, but only for swimming laps. Restaurants are open, but are you really ready to return to them?
Emptiness is now a weightier issue than it was in the before times. Like GM unintentionally alluded to last August, continued emptiness would mean bankruptcy for our stores and restaurants. And that’s just what is starting to happen. But crowds are not salvation either, at least until a vaccine comes.
And if you are like GM, and have children at home, the dread of a summer without normal camp has taken hold.
This is going to be rough. And we have no idea what our neighborhood will look like on the other side. We just have to keep plugging away, supporting each other as best we can and keeping faith that this too shall pass.