From Twitter on 3/28/15:
@JulieZauzmer: I've been to all 91 DC Metro stations. My essay in @washingtonpost on memory, community, & even romance on @wmata.
@Lawrence_n_DC: @juliezauzmer @washingtonpost @wmata If you were actually born and raised in the District, I'd probably care.
@JulieZauzmer: @Lawrence_n_DC Fair. We can't help where we're born. I can try my best to learn deeply and sincerely about a place, but never the same.
Remind you of anything? "How long have you lived in Columbia?"
And I thought this was principally a Columbia phenomenon. No, apparently there will always be someone ready to smack you down if you don't meet their qualifications for residency. What a pity.
I share it here because 1) I loved her article, and 2) her response is brilliant. She acknowledged that there is a distinction between her experience and that of the "born and raised here" resident, but notes:
We can't help where we're born. I can try my best to learn deeply and sincerely about a place...
I admire Zaumer for rising above the snarkiness of her detractor. And my wish would be that born and raised Columbians (and Pioneers) would welcome, rather than dismiss, those who do their best to learn deeply and sincerely about this place where we all live together.
The People Tree makes no distinctions. It is not necessary to trace one's lineage to a piece of that sculpture. In fact, it might be good to take another look at what makes it beautiful--the people are reaching out, not facing in.