Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Return to National Harbor

Two years ago when our group held its annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, I wrote here about the mystery of this development, consisting of convention sized hotels, trendy designer stores, but the streets of which were a Twilight Zone like ghost town. I attributed this to conventioneers staying within the confines of their facility during unbearably hot and humid days, and the lack of local residents to support everyday retail activities, such as large grocery or chain drug stores.

Two years later we're back at National Harbor, and I need to modify my observations and conclusions. First of all, walking outside for about two blocks at lunchtime, I actually saw people on the streets. About ten of them in a two block area. Also, there is now a CVS drug store, a gourmet food market, and even a dry cleaners. In addition, all of the trendy stores that were here two years ago are still here, and it looks like a few more have been added. So it's no longer proper to call National Harbor a ghost town. On the other hand, the weather is much more comfortable than two years ago, so if that only draws ten people onto the street at lunch time, this is still a pretty deserted place. Also, I had previously suspected that things picked up at night time, especially in the restaurants, but when I drove out last night at 9 pm, things were fairly dead. I do presume that there is more activity here on weekends, but on weekdays this town is still pretty dead. I guess this means that the conventioneers still stay inside their hotels, and nobody actually seems to live here.

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