22 August 2004

Saturday Slant:Layover Luck

This weeks thinker:
Today’s Slant is Inspired by my recent and unexpected 3-hour layover in Atlanta. Instead of boarding your connecting flight in a never before visited airport, the airline announces that the flight has been cancelled. You will, however, have a seat on the next flight to that destination—tomorrow. To help make up for the inconvenience, the airline has given you a hotel room for the night and $100 USD. You have 24-hours to yourself in a new city. Where are you? What do you do?

For me, it's Washington DC. I've known people, friends and family, who have been, and they keep saying I must go. The sense of history, I'm told, is palpable. I've long admired the layout of the town (props to Monsieur L'Enfant) and the beautiful, beautiful architecture.

I'd love to walke the National Mall from one end to the other.

I've always wanted to be to the top of the Washington Monument, see the Pentagon, see the Naval Observatory, see the Tidal Basin.

I've always wanted to see the White House in person, rather than on TV, like in the news reports.

I want to see the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, and the original copies of the Declaration and Constitution (I have a printed copy of the Constitution at hand? If you're an American, do you? Do you look at it unfraid of what it says, or do you project what you want it to say on those pages? In times like this, that's important to know).[1]

I would also collect the maps. I love maps. I must have over two or three thousand city maps from all over the world; maps from the few places I've visited, sent to me by acquaintances far and near, and specially bought from places I may or may not evre see. I'd get maps of Washington, ones that show the exquisite street plan of the District, and maps of Metro! I'd ride Metro for hours and fantasize about being selected the person who got to design the maps and signage.

Yes, that's what I think I'd do.

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