Ten blocks from the Capitol: A politics-free photo essay of the characters in Congress’s shadow


Photographer D.A. Peterson was born in the District and has lived on Capitol Hill for the past 27 years. He explains why he began photographing people who live and work within 10 blocks of the U.S. Capitol in April: Capitol Hill is famous for its politics. Just the name means something to everyone else in the country. But living on Capitol Hill means something different to me. It’s the community, people who have been here for years, people who have raised families here.

started here in 2014, when this office was just a shell. The [medical cannabis] program had a very slow start, partly because there were no physicians willing to write recommendations that their patients use cannabis. They can’t write a prescription for it; they have to write a recommendation. Cannabis works well for physical pain and for anxiety, depression and insomnia. We offer about 100 strains; with every single person who comes in here, it’s trial and error. You and I could both smoke the same strain and afterward you would want to go jump on a treadmill while I would want to curl up in a ball. In private we might call ourselves “bud tenders,” but in an effort to legitimize the industry, we prefer the term “product specialists.” We’re trying to get away from the Cheech and Chong thing, but there is a lot of stigma to

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