Washington in Slumber

The White House at sunset in Washington, D.C., March 6, 2021. (Erin Scott/Reuters)
Sleepy Washington is likely on the verge of being awakened by a major world crisis.


ashingtonians may not fully grasp the impression their city gives to foreign visitors these days. It is one of somnolence. Too many shops or restaurants are closed, temporarily or permanently; the traffic is light; the streets largely empty. As a suburbanite, I drive into Washington for meetings and find I never have to use a parking garage these days. Downtown is sufficiently deserted to make finding a parking meter easy. Thus, to foreign visitors, it often seems that the city is asleep and nothing important is happening right now.

They are right. What, after all, is happening on Capitol Hill? Nothing …

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