Between Union Station and the intersection every Senate staffer uses on their way to work from the Metro, there was a man who used to stand nearly every morning playing the saxophone.
It wasn't just the sound of his sax playing over rush hour traffic and mute Hill staffers who awkwardly pretend they aren't standing on a median with throngs of others that made him notable. It was also that he would stop playing periodically to yell, "Good morning, good MORNING, GOOD MORNING!" as we all stood there waiting for the light to change so we could rush by.
I called him the Good Morning Man. And I loved him. He was one of my many favorite, quirky things about D.C.
He always made me smile, and I was happy to see he generally got a positive response from others too. You couldn't help but say good morning back - whether you meant it, or it was frightened out of you.
I figure he's about one of the only people in the city that says good morning to people whether he knows them or not.
I did for a time. When I first moved there I'd say it to people I passed on my morning run, or on my way to the Metro, or to get coffee...exchanging good mornings is what I'd always done. But generally the person would be visibly surprised a stranger was talking to them and their attempt to respond would be too late - if they responded at all.
I finally caught on. You just don't do that in the "big city." People have no expectations of others being friendly, so why should they?
It's not like that here. You can hardly be out before noon without getting good morninged every where you go.
And I'm back to being one of the culprits. I pretty much good morning every one I see. Particularly on my morning run.
The East Coast may have it's lone Good Morning guy, but the West just got back another Good Morning Gal.