After "months and months and months" of anticipation, Binney and Bob Wells feared their vacation plans would be ruined by the government shutdown. To their relief, the city reopened a few hours after their arrival.
After "months and months and months" of anticipation, Binney and Bob Wells feared their vacation plans would be ruined by the government shutdown. To their relief, the city reopened a few hours after their arrival. - 

Now that the debt ceiling has been officially “dealt with” and almost three weeks of government shutdown have been, well, shutdown, federal workers in Washington, D.C., are once again swiping their metro cards.  Tourists are snapping pictures in front of the White House, and Elijah Alfred "Nature Boy" Alexander, Jr. has taken up his signature post at the park across the street from the president's residence.

With fiscal squabbling at a temporary standstill, D.C. resident philosopher Elijah Alfred "Nature Boy" Alexander Jr. says the city's mood has improved, despite "everyone knowing nothing's really been resolved."
With fiscal squabbling at a temporary standstill, D.C. resident philosopher Elijah Alfred "Nature Boy" Alexander Jr. says the city's mood has improved, despite "everyone knowing nothing's really been resolved." - 

Elijah's not the only one contemplating the shift in the city's mood. Budget negotiations aside, not everyone at the Office of Management and Budget worked through the shutdown. Aron Greenberg, a Budget Methods Specialist, found himself at home, patching his chimney, cooking (“I worked on some oxtails and mushrooms that tasted really nice”), and tending to projects around the house. This morning, his office has buzzed with “war stories” from his colleagues who did not take a mandatory vacation.

Alexa Finelli did not miss any days of work at a nonprofit called Amideast, but says she noticed a “definite difference” in the mood of the city. Today,  she’s “almost as relieved as her parents,” both furloughed federal workers in Colorado, “with three children who still depend on them.” Tonight, she says celebrations are in order.

Retired office manager Elijah Harris spends most of his days reading his newspaper on a park bench. While most of D.C. went quiet, with federal employees and tourists staying home, Harris says protestors on the White House lawn made this part of the city even louder than usual.

Binney and Bob Wells have been planning to bring their granddaughter, eleven year-old Binney Patton, on her first trip to Washington, for “months and months and months.” The three crossed their fingers as they watched the news, made backup plans, and packed their bags yesterday. To their surprise and “delight,” the government reopened its doors to tourists – that is, except the part Binney-the-younger had hoped to see most.

Seeing it from the outside? Not quite the same.

With her family and friends stuck at home, “worrying about their income and having nothing to do,” Emi Symenouh says she has had a hard time going to her own job at a children’s welfare nonprofit downtown. Today? Relief.

Nonprofit worker Emi Seymenouh doesn't mind the longer lines at the food trucks today.
Nonprofit worker Emi Seymenouh doesn't mind the longer lines at the food trucks today. - 
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.