I had a doctor’s appointment at 600 New Hampshire NW today. I did not realize this meant my doctor’s appointment was deep in the Watergate office complex. When I walked up to the strange, round structure, I was like, “Wow! Watergate!” But my knowledge of the scandal of 1972 is pretty much this:
Nixon –> stuff taken –> lies –> more lies –> reporter Bob Woodward as bloodhound –> lies, lies, lies –> scandal –> Nixon busted –> Gerald Ford –> Chevy Chase making fun of Ford on SNL.
But I didn’t know that Watergate was the name of the office building where the theft went down. I think I thought Watergate was some code word for something? So I come up to the Watergate building and can’t find the doctor’s office for the life of me. I’m looking up from my Google maps and back down. I’m peering around Watergate this way and that; I’m telling you, Watergate was really in my way. It was a good thing I left enough time to get lost.
Meanwhile, I was wearing my fedora and my black trench coat; it was not lost on me that I looked mighty suspicious walking back and forth and back and forth on the street. At one point, I hit a dead end by a closed restaurant with all the windows papered up and I encountered a man smoking a cigarette back there. He glanced at me, we nodded to each other, and I felt like I was in a spy movie. All I needed was a briefcase and files of some kind.
Finally, I surrendered and went into a lobby. I asked the front desk lady, “I’m sorry, where is 600 New Hampshire? I’m new in town.”
“Sure, sweetie — it’s just at the end of the block. Go out and take a right.” I did, and discovered my doctor had an office in the Watergate scandal. It was so confusing. As I was disassembling what I thought I knew, I got whacked with another landmark. I took the elevator to the third floor, turned to my left and what do you suppose I saw? The office of flipping Atlantic magazine! The Atlantic! I’m not a subscriber, but I fly a lot and read a wide variety of magazines at 35,000 feet; me and the Atlantic go way back. So how about that! The Atlantic offices! I just shook my head.
But the Atlantic offices were actually the third landmark that smacked me in the face today. The other one? In a cruel, cruel twist of urban planning, directly across the street from Watergate is the Kennedy Center.
Oof. Poor Nixon. That one’s gotta hurt, buddy. Chin up.