January 20, 2017 at 3:32 pm EST | by Valerie Blake
Visitors will find D.C. is no swamp
inauguration weekend, gay news, Washington Blade

Inauguration 2017 (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

If you haven’t noticed the street closures, excess law enforcement, or the influx of red-capped tourists, then you may not realize that today marks the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.

It’s also possible that you’ve seen pigs flying overhead or that you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or two.

With all the pomp under some strange circumstances, some of my friends and colleagues have opted to take time out to smell the roses and chill out elsewhere. They are sniffing in places like Aruba, Honolulu and Cancun, where the roses smell like coconut and rum.

Meanwhile back in D.C., celebratory, social and protest activities alike are planned for this weekend, prompting people from across the country to flock to our fair city and allow those of us with a spare room to make a small fortune by offering it as a weekend rental.

Ordinarily during an inauguration weekend, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and furnished apartments are booked far in advance, but like everything else that’s out of the ordinary this year, there are still rental accommodations available.

As of this writing, there are 726 listings on Craigslist, a favorite advertising venue. While some are re-posts, there are still a sufficient number of homes, condos, spare bedrooms and sofas to allow the top 2 percent, the middle class, and the last-minute road-trippers to find a place to stay.

For example, for a mere $2,000 per night, you can rent a lovely two-bedroom, two-bath condominium with a garage parking space along the U Street Corridor.

Want to spend just as much for less space? Try a studio apartment in Columbia Heights for $6,000 for the week.

If you need something a bit cheaper and are traveling with friends who don’t mind sharing space, there’s a two-night stay in a private room that sleeps three on Capitol Hill for $1,000 or you can take a spot on a couch in the living room for a mere $300 per night per couch.

Haven’t hit your price range yet?  You may want to stay far from the crowd but still come into the city for the day. If so, try a room with a shared bath for $125 per person in Fairfax, Virginia where your host will let you smoke on the front porch.

A parking space near the Navy Yard can be rented for a daily rate of $100.  This is one of the best bargains out there, especially if you plan on sleeping in your car as I did at Mardi Gras in New Orleans in 1973.

Interestingly, you can even rent a four-bedroom, four-bath, bargain-priced penthouse at National Harbor where “you have no requirement to attend a sales presentation unless you desire.”  (Hmmm. Think I’ll go up for the inauguration, listen to a two-hour pitch and buy a timeshare while I’m there.)

I hope that people will treat our homes gently and with respect. Some hosts have wisely posted “No parties” among their rules. Since there aren’t any well-known rock bands coming to perform, that shouldn’t be a problem, but there will, of course, be private drinking games.  My game word is “unprecedented” and I should be sloshed by 10 a.m.

Regrettably, I have no balls, but there are scalpers on Craigslist willing to sell me tickets to some if I will meet them in D.C. with cash in hand. Unfortunately, there’s not a ball gown to be found in all of D.C., so unless Nina Flowers wants to loan me one of hers, I’ll have to pass.

I will also not be hosting any strangers in my home.  It just feels too scary out there right now. But whether we are celebrating, marching, or just watching all the hoopla from a safe distance, we have the perfect opportunity to show that D.C. is not a swamp but a city of diversity, tolerance, inclusion and solidarity.

Perhaps the people who visit us this week will see the value of that. One can only hope.

Valerie M. Blake can be reached at 202-246-8602 or Valerie@DCHomeQuest.com. Each Keller Williams Realty office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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