Christina Wing
Christina Wing

I awoke extra early, partly out of excitement, but mainly because my alarm went off and I didn’t want to wake up my roommate. There was the general Friday excitement, but this would be no ordinary Friday. I was finally going to my very first Jazz in the Garden concert at the National Sculpture Gallery. I’d seen all of the Instagram posts and heard all the hype, so I was determined to get to work early, finish my tasks, and leave to beat the traffic and find a prime seat.

When I got there, I felt like Cady Heron in “Mean Girls” entering the cafeteria for the first time — it was like a watering hole in the animal world. As I entered the garden’s gates, there was an actual watering hole (better known as a fountain) in the middle surrounded by all of the “cool kids” (locals and interns who have Fridays off). On the outskirts were grassy areas where people gathered on blankets to picnic and listen to some jazz.

Although we arrived at a time I thought was early, the true early birds claimed most of the fountain-side seats. After a lap or two, my friends and I snagged a few spots next to some familiar faces. Those lost twenty minutes of precious sleep because of an obnoxiously early alarm were totally worth it; we were able to get those coveted fountain seats and blend in like native Washingtonians.

On this particular evening, we were being serenaded by George V. Johnson Jr. as a part of the D.C. Jazz Festival. When I first heard of Jazz in the Garden, I imagined the 1920s and the “Midnight in Paris” soundtrack. I wasn’t expecting this kind of funkier jazz, but I welcomed it with open arms as it enlivened the start of my weekend.

I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Friday evening. I was sitting fountain-side with my feet in the water, surrounded by my friends and sipping on sangria. The Snapchat filters are great on the National Mall, and my Instagram was climbing in likes.

And then, we felt the first raindrop. It was nothing alarming, and D.C. is known for having erratic weather, especially during its humid summers. A few people stood up and started packing their things, but we were willing to embrace, or maybe rather fight, the weather for the sake of jazz and perfect seats. However, the weather was not on our side, and within minutes the announcement was made that a thunderstorm was coming and we all should evacuate immediately but avoid trees. I’m honestly still unsure how we were supposed to avoid trees in the middle of a garden.

To quote my dear friend and blogging queen extraordinaire Courtney Klein in 140 characters or less, “most important thing I’ve learned from living in D.C. this summer: always have an umbrella.” I guess I’ll just have to go back again next week, and this time, I’ll be sure to bring an umbrella.

Christina Wing is a rising senior in the McDonough School of Business. Living like a Local appears every other Sunday at

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