With only one question in mind — “Where did you find a uniquely Washington romance?” — video journalist AJ Chavar set out on a journey across the District to find love. (Or, at least, tales of it.)
“I always hear that D.C. isn’t a great place for dating, or a very romantic city, and part of me wanted to kind of prove that wrong,” Chavar said about his project “We met in D.C.”
Was he successful? Watch the video above, and then read the Q&A with him after the jump:
Q: You interviewed a bunch of different couples for “We met in D.C.” But was there any common theme among them?
A: If I had to pick a common theme, it would be their professions. Pretty much every couple I talked to met because they worked in the same or complimentary field to their significant other. There were a few exceptions, but I was very surprised that, at least among the people I interviewed, it was the norm.
Did anything about these “D.C.” stories surprise you?
I was really expecting to have to push and pry to get stories that had a D.C. vibe or a D.C. “hook” to them. In fact, most of the people said they didn’t have any good “D.C. love stories” at the beginning of the interview, but once they started talking it was pretty evident that EVERYONE did have these great stories; they just didn’t realize it.
You could’ve chosen any topic to frame Valentine’s Day. Why was D.C. the inspiration and backdrop for your video?
Well, for one, I’ve been trying to think of ways to do more local video and this seemed like a fun idea for a feature. I always hear that D.C. isn’t a great place for dating, or a very romantic city, and part of me wanted to kind of prove that wrong, and highlight these little vignettes that show that it can be.
Man, that’s hard! I tried to get a very diverse set of couples for the project and everyone had great stories — you wouldn’t believe all of the lovely anecdotes that got left on the cutting-room floor. My favorite couple was probably Adam and Eliza Robinson (the teachers). They had a great chemistry together in front of the camera and they were so witty and funny.
My favorite unique stories, though — that’s a tie. Devin and Chris being a same-sex couple, and one of the first to get a marriage license in the District, I loved that story, and to see how happy they were to have their union honored really made me proud to live in D.C. The other, though, was how Sharif and Rudy called themselves a “diaspora couple.” I thought that was kind of beautiful, that they came from such disparate backgrounds and connected in D.C. Its also a very D.C. thing for two transplants to meet each other. This didn’t make it into the video, but after they were dating for some time they found out via Google Maps that their parents actually lived across the street from each other in Egypt — in another time, they said, Rudy could have been the “girl next door.”
Did any couple leave gems of advice for dating in Washington? Do any tips in particular stand out?
Ha! Well, most of the men said the dating scene in the city was biased in favor of women, and the women said it was biased in favor of men, but oddly both sexes said this was because there were more women than men in the city. One specific piece of advice was to take any potential partner at their word, and trust them when you are first meeting. Others weren’t so hopeful. One woman said that dating in the District has a “three-month window” and that if your relationship outlasted that window you were golden, but more likely, she said, you’d end it before then.
VALENTINE’S DAY IN D.C.: