The New U Street
What better way to satisfy some urbanites’ yearning to cross over to a new land than a Memorial Bridge that ends where it began? The would-be commuters still get to burn gas and contemplate their meaningless existences in traffic, while D.C. gets to recapture population and, more importantly, taxes on wages paid here.
District leakers on their way to the suburbs pack up their moving vans and whisk right by local landmarks like Embassy Row—a sterile strip of 19th-century buildings populated by stuffed-shirt foreign bureaucrats driving erratically in big black cars with diplomat-
ic tags. Frozen in its original layout by rigid preservation regulations, Embassy Row has been unable to partake in the postwar suburban boom that so entices D.C. denizens. What better way to slow the erosion of the tax base than to bring a little split-level ambience closer to home?
The Smithsonian Museum of Contemporary Consumer Culture
Once they’ve paddled around the Tidal Basin and jogged through the Holocaust Museum, there isn’t much to keep fickle suburban folks engaged. So why not erect a new monument, one to America’s most enduring passion? Start with a food court framed by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Those 57,000 dead soldiers might go down easier with a little Orange Julius anyway.
A Captive Audience
The byways leading out of D.C. are paved with lame, pie-in-the-sky proposals to stem urban flight. Fifteen-percent flat tax? Nice try. Revitalized District schools, where students can feel safe without packing heat?
Dream on. But where subtle attempts at social engineering fail, a nice big wall—made of useless federal facades, outdated office buildings, and other local detritus—might just do the trick.
Art accompanying story in the printed newspaper is not available in this archive: Jay Kabriel.