There are two Washington DCs. There is the DC of the White House and the Congress, of politicians locked in ideological battle over the debt crisis.
And there is the DC that is seldom heard or seen, the neighbourhoods that are among the poorest in US, where the debt row is seen as irrelevant. The divide in DC is both racial and economic. Almost all the politicians live in the north-west of Washington, the wealthy, predominantly white part of expensive houses and pricey restaurants, home to the national monuments and museums visited daily by thousands of tourists.
Fifteen minutes away by car on the other side of the Potomac river is Anacostia, a 92% African-American neighbourhood. Its Ward Eight is one of the poorest areas in US, with the highest unemployment rate.
Residents said they regarded the showdown in Congress as failing to address their concerns: the hunt for largely nonexistent jobs and their daily battles with poverty. "If Congress cuts spending, there is nothing I can do about it. I am a mother of two kids barely getting by. After I pay the bills, there is nothing there," said Mercedes Woodberry, 23, single mother of twins.