Crystal City Underground

A typical Saturday in the Nation’s Capitol.  Stuff going on at the mall, museums, parks and galleries full of tourists hasn’t reduced the amount of traffic or crowds at certain Metro (subway) stations.  The city’s workers are off today, but their presence has been replaced with grandmas, grandpas, moms, dads, and of course, children.  While not staying in the city this time, I still tend to ride over there just to take in all the mayhem, until I get sick and tired of it.  Then I retreat back to the suburbs, where my hotel happens to be this time.  It’s been rather warm this visit.  Combined with the occasional rain shower, I have new appreciation for the Crystal City Underground.  This is an underground mall that runs the length of the district in Arlington called, you guessed it, Crystal City.  There are plenty of shops, eateries, entrances to office buildings and hotels.  There is also a metro station.  Like downtown Washington, this place has a buzz all of its own.

During the normal work week the place is alive!  People everywhere either on their way to/from an office, or catching the metro in a climate controlled, dry maze of commerce.  Lunchtime finds all the eateries packed, except for the cruddy ones that is.  There’s everything here, beauty salons, barbers, dry cleaners, banks, a drugstore, you name it, they probably got it.  There’s only one real drawback that I can see.  Night time.

The whole thing seems to shut down after 6pm with the higher end restaurants only staying open until 10pm.  On the weekend, many of the shops aren’t open or have extremely limited hours.  There are other malls around, but the convenience for both hotel guests and residents seems to be a bit wasted by the Underground not keeping better/longer hours on the weekend.  All in all it must be a money thing.

Got to go.  Need to pick up some stuff before things close!

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