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Movin’ Out

by: Abe Burgos

Yummy bamboo.

Yummy bamboo.

Four years and some change ago, Tai Shan was born. That makes him the equivalent to be around the age of 13 in human years. I know what I was thinking about when I was 13. But a Giant Panda is a little different than humans. They are considered cubs until they reach the age of two and in the wild may stay with their mother until the age of three. At the age of four, they reach breeding maturity. That means, it’s time for Tai Shan to finally move out and get his own bachelor pad!

I remember my first apartment. I moved out of my mom’s house and moved into a completely different state. At first it was party central. I was elated to finally be out on my own. But if I wanted a home cooked meal or my laundry done, I couldn’t go home for the afternoon to get my fix, I had to take at least two days off of work. I think if I had to do it all over again, I would have first moved out but still be close to home.

If you look closely, he actually is smiling a little.

If you look closely, he actually is smiling a little.

That’s my advice to Tai Shan. Stay close to your family. It’s a hard world out there, and you need some type of support system until you get more grounded. So where can Tai Shan live in Washington, DC? I decided to find out.

Chinatown

The Chinatown Arch is the gateway to Chinatown.

The Chinatown Arch is the gateway to Chinatown.

Imagine a home away from home. Chinatown is not that large, encompassing about 4 city blocks, but it is as close to your Chinese roots as you can get in Washington DC. The Chinese population has been growing ever since the 1930s. Originally, Chinatown was located on Pennsylvania Avenue until it moved to its current location. In 1986, the Chinese arch was erected as the gateway to your new neighborhood. It includes 7000 tiles, 272 painted dragons and is the largest single span archway in the world. Of course, don’t forget the restaurants! Over 20 restaurants are in the area including the Wok ‘n Roll, which occupies the old Mary Surratt Boarding House. This is where John Wilkes Booth, along with his conspirators, planned the kidnapping of President Lincoln. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of friends in this charming area.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Great wilderness abound on Roosevelt Island

Great wilderness abound on Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island is an 88 acre wilderness preserve. Located in the middle of the Potomac River, isolated from the city life, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Island served as a training ground for Union troops during the Civil War. Roosevelt was our youngest President of the United States. The Island is a fitting memorial to an outdoorsman, naturalist and visionary. What better place for a panda bear to live than on an island named for Roosevelt, the inspiration of the teddy bear. The only downfall is accessibility. It’s surrounded by water. If you can’t swim or have no boat, you’re going to need to cross the river via footbridge. With this in mind, it could be very difficult to bring dates home. But it is remote and can provide plenty of space to run, frolic, and play.

Watergate

The Watergate is a premiere place to live, visit, and stay.

The Watergate is a premiere place to live, visit, and stay.

The Watergate is more than what people may remember it being. It is no longer the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. It is no longer the home of Monica Lewinsky. It is your future home, Mr. Giant Panda. Ever since 1974, the name Watergate has been synonymous with scandal. So much so, the suffix “-gate” has been added to numerous political activities For a mere $500 K, you could live in one of the most premiere locations in the city. Known as a city within a city, The Watergate is luxury at its finest. Inside are shops, restaurants and also a hotel.

Georgetown

Shopping, dining and living in Georgetown among the elite.

Shopping, dining and living in Georgetown among the elite.

This is the place to live. You could run around on the campus of Georgetown University, or go shopping for the best Mother’s Day gift. It’s all in your backyard. Georgetown is the oldest part of the nation’s capital city having been originally part of Maryland when it was chartered in 1751. The rent would be astronomical for a show panda who works for bamboo, but if we ever convert our currency to sugarcane, you could be the wealthiest panda on your block. I’ve contacted my Congressman about the currency exchange and unfortunately, he has yet to return my call. But know, I’m on your side on this one.

White House

The White House where Presidents live.

The White House where Presidents live.

I’m sure George Washington did not have this in mind when he laid the cornerstone in October of 1792. In his farewell address, he warned us about the effects political parties would have on the government. He had no idea about party animals. Think about it, Tai Shan. You could be the leader of the free world. You could have the chef make you a bamboo sandwich any time of the day. You could have your elephant friends stay the night in the haunted Lincoln Bedroom. But most of all, your press conferences will be the best since Franklin Roosevelt. The only problem is the Constitution states one must be 35 years of age. In conversion, that would mean you would have to wait about 8 more human years to reach the applicable age. But hey, if you start raising campaign finances and investing wisely, you could win the election of 2016.

Ready for my close up!

Ready for my close up!

Any one of these places will be suitable for Tai Shan. He just has to make that conscious effort and put one foot forward to find a bachelor pad. And when you move out, Tai Shan, and throw your first housewarming party, I’ll bring the appetizers. I make a mean bamboo cheese dip.

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