December 21, 2014

You can’t go home again

20060726-001In 2006, I came to DC to work on Capitol Hill for Congressman Chet Edwards (D-TX), a real standup guy for whom I worked two hard fought Congressional campaigns before coming home to DC. Later, I would work two separate stints with the House Veterans Affairs Committee (Democratic Staff).

Several activities were part of my lunch routine. Chet’s office was in the Rayburn House Office Building so the Rayburn Cafeteria was the usual hangout. The House Veterans Affairs Committee, situated next door to the iconic Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), occupied the 3rd floor of Cannon House Office Building with a long balcony facing the Capitol. It was prime House Office Building real estate. Lunches at the Longworth House Office Building were the norm there, but in the summer months, office picnics on the balcony were always a treat.

Sometimes, I would skip lunch and take a stroll around the House and Senate office buildings and the Capitol building. The views are great, there is much to explore, and the tourists wonder if you are somebody important! The place has an indescribable aura and even a unique smell that doesn’t change!

If I ever wanted to eat lunch offsite when I was working on the Hill, I would go to Cosi located at 301 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The food is good. The wi-fi is reliable. The upstairs section has sofas where you can tuck yourself away in a corner, work on your computer, and admire the view through the windows.

Fast forward to 2014. Chet Edwards lost his reelection bid in 2010 and is no longer on the Hill. Capitol Hill does not feel the same for me without Chet around.

Also, Cosi on Capitol Hill closed in January 2014 after 15 years of service on the Hill.

Much of my youth as it pertains to Capitol Hill is gone and the nostalgia is hard to recapture. I guess you can’t go home again.

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood…back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame…back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” – George Webber in Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again”

DC is the best place in America to live

The Economic Intelligence Unit has ranked DC as the best place in America to live and the 14th best in the world overall. As a proud DC local, I believe that DC is by far the best place to live in the entire universe. Period.

The Chesapeake Liaison at six months

Six months ago, NOVA Common Sense became The Chesapeake Liaison. This outlet shifted from a conservative perspective of the previous outlet to an independent perspective, expanded its local coverage from Northern Virginia to include DC and Maryland, added three new writers across the political spectrum and the DMV (DC/MD/VA to all you outsiders.), and implemented a brand new site design. I’m happy to say that the Chesapeake Liaison is still going strong and is probably the most widely read independent outlet in Virginia focused on politics and public policy from a centrist perspective.

Based on our site statistics, here are the top three most widely read articles since the rebranding of this outlet.

1. Why I will not vote for Mitt Romney

2. Female Vice Presidential Candidates for Mitt Romney

3. Rumored Virginia Lieutenant Governor Candidates in 2013

Churches leading the way to fight obesity

Here is a good article from the Washington Post detailing how black churches in DC are taking the initiative to combat the obesity epidemic and succeeding. Poor individual choices are a major factor in our rising health care costs which adversely affects the economy negatively in the long run. It is good to see the Obama Administration, businesses, and religious organizations doing their part to promote healthier lifestyles. This will benefit us all.

RIP Chuck Brown (1936-2012)

Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-Go, is a Washington, DC music and cultural icon. He held it down for the DC, Maryland, and Virginia music scene and the party lives on. Ain’t no party like a Chuck Brown party ’cause a Chuck Brown party don’t stop.

The White House on Google Art

Take a virtual tour of the White House here. Budget some time to explore all the artifacts. This is too awesome.

My favorite artwork is this painting of my girl Hillary Clinton found in the hallway on the ground floor.

Virginia Blogger Summit

Your boy Phil Tran got invited to an exclusive Virginia Blogger Summit on the Hill hosted by Congressman Robert Hurt today. I am suited up; all black everything with white accents, fedora, and gold jewelry. I got my Virginia flag pin for the day and my Maryland flag pin for a nightcap with my Maryland clients. DC hip-hop and go-go artists Wale, Chuck Brown, Rare Essence, and Backyard Band are playing on the iPhone. I am representing the DMV to the fullest, baby. Ain’t no place in the world I’d rather be.

Also, I am taking the Metro to Capitol South as I write this. I can’t work while I drive. Do you really think I would hurt my bottom line and efficiency by driving? Support rail. Hustle hard.



The Chesapeake Liaison

NOVA Common Sense is now The Chesapeake Liaison. The name change reflects the new ownership and the expanded focus from NOVA (Northern Virginia) to the DMV (DC/MD/VA). With this name change comes a brand new website one month in the making that tastefully incorporates the colors of DC (white and red), Maryland (black, gold, red, and white), and Virginia (blue and gold – George Washington’s uniform colors). All the old content has been successfully imported to this new outlet.

For more information on the focus of this outlet, please read this page. We are currently recruiting new writers from the DC/MD/VA region with deep community ties to write about local and national issues of interest. Let us know if you would like to advertise with us.

Thank you for your loyal readership. We will continue the conversation with vigor and optimism for our future.