MCescherstairsI live in a classic, five-story building in the heart of DC. It’s gorgeous and safe and clean. There is a pretty diverse mix of ages among the residents (side note: the absolute cutest 90-year-olds live on the ground floor and hold hands everywhere they go and check for mail like three or four times a day and do laps around the lobby for their daily exercise!) but for the most part, everyone is in good health and able bodied.


Seriously, I’ve lived in the building for three years now and not once, in my entire time here have I bumped into a single other person in the stairwell.

I live on the top floor, five stories up, and it’s a completely manageable walk up. But, ok, I’ll cut you some slack. Walking up stairs is annoying if you’re in heels or have a heavy purse or just picked up groceries. But why doesn’t anybody walk DOWN the stairs?

From the fifth floor where my roommate and I live, it’s a longer process to press the down button, wait for the elevator to arrive at your floor, take the trip (even if there are no additional stops), and step out into the lobby than it does to just take the freaking stairs straight down.

Another observation: the stairs are RIGHT NEXT TO the elevator. It’s not like you have to meander through the building or trek to a different entrance to find the stairwell. It’s clearly marked and the entrance is about two feet away from the elevator doors. The stairs are well lit and perfectly safe. They also smell clean whereas half the time the elevator smells like vomit or smoke. Once there even was vomit – though from a human, dog, or other creature, I have no idea – and it didn’t get cleaned up from the elevator floor for THREE days. Filthy.

There are buildings in New York and China and all over the world that are eight or nine story walks up – no elevator in sight – and no one complains. That’s just how life is. And here we are in DC… the nation’s capital…full of the most educated folks in the country. We know about the obesity epidemic, we eat well, and work out regularly. We strive for 10,000 steps a day. So why am I the only one in the effing stairwell?

It seriously makes NO sense to me. Is this just a DC thing? Does anyone else take the stairs in their building?

2 thoughts on “Alone in My Stairwell”

  1. I take the stairs wherever I can! Partly because I’m a little afraid of elevators but also because it’s healthier. I work in a four storey building and it’s amazing how few people take the stairs.

    1. That’s so great! Even if others choose to be lazy, there’s no reason why you can’t make healthy choices. And I agree about elevators… I’m a tad claustrophobic and when too many people squeeze in, all I can think about is getting stuck between floors!

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