[The 90’s raw: Eddie Tape – Adams Morgan Day street festival – IMF drivers]

Adams Morgan Day street festival; International Monetary Fund limo drivers, Washington, DC. Eddie Becker interviews people on the street in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC during the Adams Morgan Day street festival. Second half of the tape are interviews with various limo drivers for the IMF.

00:00Copy video clip URL Interview with a local resident  in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC, during a block party. He says it’s too crowded and adds that locals used to call this day Adams Moron Day, because at about this time all these people, after drinking all day, acted like morons. He adds that most of the visitors don’t even live in Adams Morgan.  They just come in for the block party once a year which make him, as a resident, feel used. His business is closed on Adams Morgan Day because  the heavy foot traffic keeps his customers away. It’s a loss of revenue for him. The day is simply commercialism and has lost its sense of neighborhood. He says this celebration has a gentrification overtone. All the white people come in on this day because they feel safe. He says again that it’s too crowded. “You can’t get near the music.”  He says in five hours he’s seen less than 10 people he knows from the neighborhood.

04:00Copy video clip URL A woman enters and mock interviews the on-camera subject, “Do you know where Saudi Arabia is? Do you know four ways to resolve a diminished seventh chord?” She leaves.

04:53Copy video clip URL Crowds at the block party.

05:20Copy video clip URL Interview with passerby Barry McCormick and friends. They are all from the suburbs. He says he gets to Adams Morgan six times a year. “Why aren’t you coming more often?” He has no reason to come to the neighborhood. He only came today because of the street festival. “I heard about today at a party last night. The best part of it is the food, the people.” The guy adds that to him Adams Morgan has a mystique about it, “…lots of homosexuals.”

08:15Copy video clip URL The guys leave. Continued shots of the street festival, block party.

08:40Copy video clip URL The videographer and on-camera subject try to entice female pedestrians to be on camera, but they reject.

09:03Copy video clip URL Interview with a male passerby who says he got to the festival late and couldn’t buy any food. He says he didn’t see any bands. A bunch of drunk friends join him. One says he was at the Renaissance Festival earlier. One of the friends says he live in Adams Morgan. “I leave Adams Morgan on Adams Morgan Day. I don’t want a quarter of a million people in my neighborhood.”

12:05Copy video clip URL Another passerby says he’s from Hyattsville, Maryland. What he likes about Adams Morgan Day is the ethnic food. He notes this is his seventh or eighth time at the festival.He thinks Adams Morgan should continue the street festival each year. He says he can see why locals don’t like Adams Morgan Day. He adds he’s seen more people here today then he’s ever seen.

15:15Copy video clip URL Videographer stops/re-starts shooting. In his home, the videographer rolls twenty seconds of video, checking audio for a hum.

15:55Copy video clip URL Static.

16:01Copy video clip URL Distinguished business men and women emerging from limousines at the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, DC. They are bankers in town for a conference. Another limo pulls up, two Asian business men emerge and walk up into the building where the event is held.

17:54Copy video clip URL Another limo pulls up, unloads men in suits. An official photographer takes pictures of them. The photographer tells his partner that the last guy he photographed was “O’Neil”, but he didn’t know who the Japanese business were. Another limo pulls up and a  man and woman get their photos taken. The man gives the photographer his card. He says he’s from Belgium. Various shots of more limos arriving and more distinguished people emerging. The photographer tries to collect everyone’s name.

27:47Copy video clip URL Videographer Becker asks a group of drivers how much a limousine costs. The prices range from seventy-seven thousand to thirty thousand to fifty thousand. They say the most expensive are the ones with the jacuzzi. He says the double stretch are expensive too. There are none in the Washington, DC area. One driver shows the inside of his car, a stretch limo. It features a TV and bar, cassette player, stereo. He says business people mostly rent this car. It’s called a Cadillac stretch. It costs forty-five thousand dollars.

32:10Copy video clip URL The chauffeur says that bankers are busier than any celebrity. “We move more than we sit.”

33:05Copy video clip URL The bankers emerge from the building and await their rides.

33:40Copy video clip URL Shot of the bankers getting into their limousines and pulling away.

34:36Copy video clip URL A driver says a lot of time is spent in isolation. He likes the irregularity of the day. Sometimes days can run 12, 15, or 18 hours. He notes there are lots of small companies with one or two cars. He says one of the big companies in town had a big feud. The employees took the owner to court. Other feuds in this line of work, he says, might stem from a contractor not being paid on time or a contractor not showing up on time. One of the most important parts of this job, he adds, is showing up on time.

37:04Copy video clip URL Another chauffeur says he’s been driving four years, but he doesn’t like it. He only does it to help out a friend. The worst, he says, is prom night and all the kids. People, he says, get too much to drink and get rowdy. This event with the bankers is nice. Easy work. He adds he’s been driving since yesterday, Sunday. He took his clients to a boat cruise that was a three hour wait for him. Then he took them to the Four Seasons Hotel.

39:18Copy video clip URL A chauffeur waiting. He says when you see your client coming out of the building you have to jump. “Generally,” he says, “the people treat you nice.”

39:58Copy video clip URL Chauffeur Bruce Snow introduces himself and says the bankers everyone is driving around are part of the International Monetary Fund, World Bankers. My job, he says, is to make sure they get to their appointments on time. Another driver accidentally tries putting his keys in Snow’s car. Snow says he drives for a Swiss bank. The average day for these bankers goes from 7am to midnight for 5 days. He says the International Monetary Fund will spend about thirty million dollars while they’re in DC. Hotels and cars are booked a year in advance. There’s 3,500 to 4,000 bankers that come into the city. There are about 3,000 limos in DC. He says tonight’s event is at the Woodrow Wilson House. They have a reception with members of an Amsterdam-Rotterdam bank. From here he goes to the Shoreham and then to the Bank of Montreal. Then to a black tie dinner event at the China Bank and Trust. The banks set up all the logistics and finance for the hotels and dinners. What the banks get out of it is the chance to discuss how the nations in debt to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank can pay back their loans.

45:20Copy video clip URL Snow says he has to get back to work. Snow and the other drivers getting ready to pick up their clients.

46:59Copy video clip URL Bankers who say the quality of the limo drivers has been outstanding. Clients being escorted to their cars. Snow preparing to collect his client, trying to get two cars into traffic on a narrow street. When asked if clients discuss their problems with limo drivers, a driver responds, “rarely.” It’s a casual acquaintance, but he adds that if you’re with someone five or six days barriers do break down. He says his problem clients come from Africa nations. They don’t see you as a service provider, but as a servant. Bankers are more refined, dignified.

51:41Copy video clip URL The videographer asks Snow what people expect of a driver. He answers, “respect, courtesy. They expect you to go out of your way to get a car to them so they don’t have to look for you.” He sees clients arrive and provides an umbrella for them as they go to the car.

54:00Copy video clip URL Continued discussion with Snow about how to be a good chauffeur. He says client’s contribute money to third world nations. When asked, he says he can’t say how unwisely they use their money.

56:39Copy video clip URL The videographer asks Snow if it would be wiser to use smaller cars. Snow agrees, but then has to rush off to bring an umbrella to a client. The client says Bruce Snow is one of the best. He knows everything. He’s always at the right spot.

58:15Copy video clip URL Snow pulling away while other bankers exit the building and head to their cars.

58:37Copy video clip URL A banker from Canada says he waiting for a white car.

01:00:00Copy video clip URL Various shots of limos

01:02:50Copy video clip URL END



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