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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Postcard from me to you: Washington D.C.!

Tourism from my Window
So most of you may know at this point that 1) Despite previous hesitations, I currently live in Washington D.C. and that 2) To ensure that I properly Live like a Tourist here, I have made an ambitious-bordering- cockoo list of 365 things to do.

I have not been inside the Capitol yet (tragedy I know), but I have been in the other buildings/areas in the postcard above. I work across the street from the Old Post Office, and my window faces out to Freedom Plaza. This interesting Plaza is either a deliberate or de facto (don't know which) spot for rallies and protests (much like Piazza Republica in Rome). In only my short time here, there have been countless assemblies including the Tea Party protesters, the Coal Industry protesters, the Bike to Work Day rally, and a bunch of other ones that I haven't been able to identify from my vantage point.

Another interesting fact about Freedom Plaza is that it has mysterious markings, crop circle-like when seen from a third story window, but very evidently some kind of map. Well, in fact, these marking (engravings really) are Pierre L'Enfant's original plan of Washington D.C.

Wikipedia also tells me that the plaza was once named Western Plaza and was renamed in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. as he apparently worked on his "I Have a Dream" speech in nearby Willard Hotel. Oddly enough, in 1988, a time capsule containing relics of Mr. King, including a bible and robe, was also buried at the site, only to be opened in a hundred year's time. 

And all this from my window- I just had to take the time to see it!

Where are you?
Send me a postcard! Just take a digital photo, write a 2-3 line message and send it to touristliving(at)gmail(dot)com! I'll turn your photo into a postcard and post it on my blog to share your experience of living like a tourist in your own city.


  1. Hazy, foggy mornings are my favorite kind of mornings. Your 365 things to do list is wonderful. I live in Seattle and have my own list. I really thought it made me a geek, but it is nice to know that I'm not the only one out there. Your list really made me want to expand mine.

  2. I love lists!! Geeks or not, I think there are a lot of us out there who feel the same :) If I am ever in Seattle, I'll have to take a look at yours for things to hit up! Thanks for the comment!


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