“The White House Correspondents Dinner is over around midnight. Very late for a town that goes to bed at 9.” ~ Bob Schieffer, Face the Nation
New York City is a town for people who don’t sleep. We go to bed late and get up early with an IV of coffee in between. It’s packed year-round with people 24/7. The beat of the city is matched by the beats of New Yorkers’ hearts and our rapid-fire footsteps. It’s been that way as long as anyone can remember.
Many times I’ve caught myself walking in D.C. at night and noticed that the sidewalks were mostly empty. For a New Yorker, this can be a bit unnerving on many levels. I know great things are happening in every corner of this city and those actions and decisions impact the entire world. So where are all the people in D.C. after the sun goes down?
This has been an adjustment, and one I couldn’t understand until this weekend when Bob Schieffer uttered the magic words above on Face the Nation. Unlike New York City, D.C. is not a 24/7 town. At night, especially during the week, people pack it in. They retreat to their private corners to reflect, regroup, and fight another day tomorrow. For all its focus on achievement and a desire to make a difference, D.C.’s rhythm isn’t a million miles per hour every hour of every day. Washingtonians work very hard, and then they go to sleep. For me, this is a novel concept and one I’m looking forward to trying.
After two months, I’m slowly beginning to figure out what makes this city tick. Thanks, Bob Schieffer, for pointing me in the right direction. I think I can take it from here, but if I have more questions, I’m calling you. Who knows this place better than someone who’s faced this nation through this city’s lens every week for a quarter century?