In an event that I’m told is quite rare, DC has come to a complete halt. The bustling government town that ignores Christmas and frowns upon interacting with strangers battened down its hatches this weekend for a blizzard dubbed ‘Snowzilla’. The federal government shut down; the Smithsonian museums and zoo closed; businesses turned off their lights; the public transit systems powered down in anticipation. DC became a ghost town. Of sorts.
After a dishearteningly long wait, I finally have proof that it snows here. The blizzard was true to its forecast and, in the course of a day and a half, brought many inches of snow (maybe in the three feet range overall) and a driving wind. It took cars off the streets, kept commuters at home, and brought out something I’d yet to see in this city: a spirit of joy. People skied down Connecticut Avenue (I went out with snowshoes to enjoy better conditions that what we’d had in Vermont). A massive community snowball fight was organized. Folks set aside their careers and social engagements and home electronics and went outside. Best of all, they smiled at each other. In my short experience as a District resident, that’s the real icing on the cake – to see that sort of warmth in a place so cold.
I love winter. And snow. I love the pristineness it gives to everything it touches. And the magic it gives to the air. I love that I’ve finally found a sliver of humanity in DC.