Monday, August 9, 2010

Quiet DC


From the "back porch", aka west side, of the Capitol.

Not everything about August is bad. Though the relentless midatlantic summer usually worsens in August (hard to imagine it could get any worse this year), the good thing is: everyone leaves town. The citizens of the District slip away to a lake in Vermont or the mountains or the Outer Banks or some other beach location. Members of Congress go "home," their staffs work short days, wear flip flops, take long weekends. Even the tourists disappear.

The traffic lightens up, the pace slows, DC gets quiet and as close to lazy as this frantic city ever will. I love this aspect of August so much. As I always say, I really hate sharing the nation's capital with the rest of the nation even though I know that's part of the deal.

I tend to get nostalgic during the quiet days of August. I think about how DC used to be, with folks sitting out on their front porches drinking tea or lemonade, talking about the neighbors, or at least to the neighbors.

One thing I really miss about living on Tennessee Avenue is the neighbors. I bet I hadn't lived in that house for 5 days before I knew pretty much everyone on our end of the block. The other day, one of my ex neighbors drove past me as I was wandering around. She leaned out of the car and yelled YOU ABANDONED US, REYA!!, then laughed and drove on. I love the informal, ironic, you-are-one-of-us connection that was part of the Tennessee Avenue lifestyle. Here on East Capitol, people are friendly, but it's very different, much more formal. Truth is, I am way too funky to live on this grand avenue. Please don't tell anyone; I'm trying hard to fit in!

I miss being awakened every day by the sound of barking dogs. Now I wake up to an alarm clock which is not nearly as humanizing. Awww ... see? I am feeling nostalgic. Time to get a grip right now, jump in the shower, head into my busy day at work. That should shake me out of my reverie, yes? I say yes. Onwards & upwards. Shalom.


The blues guys at Eastern Market, with their porkpie hats and some cute girls. Oh, and bubbles from the bubble machine at Marvelous Market.

15 comments:

Barbara said...

I love driving into and out of DC in August when rush hour isn't such a rush. I can give my parking karma a rest since places are plentiful. I just remembered I'm leaving town tomorrow. Oh well...

NanU said...

Now don't you be trying to fit in. Useless activity if there ever was one! You just be you, comfortable in your place, expanding that place to include a few blocks, some neighbors, favorite walking spots. I can just see a little Reya-Funkified East Capitol. _They_ need _your_ breath of fresh air!
True, life has a different flavor there. If it isn't one you want to live with, you can always move. Eventually. But give it time first; see if the blend of you and it mellows to something delicious.

Reya Mellicker said...

See? Everyone leaves town in August, even the locals.

Nancy you are absolutely right. There's no way I can be one of the East Capitol people. It's a class thing.

On Tennessee Avenue, we got together quite organically; someone would be on their front steps, another neighbor would come home from work. Next thing you know, there was a gathering. Here on East Capitol, one of my friends is planning a tea so I can meet some of the neighbors. Gawd. What do you wear to a tea? Hope jeans and t-shirt are ok cuz that's what I wear!

Butternut Squash said...

I might still be able to find the white gloves and black patent leather shoes and strand of pearls that my mother made me wear to tea in the 60's if you need them for your East Capitol tea. Size could be an issue. Peace!

ellen abbott said...

What NanU said.

We were planning to leave the late August heat in Texas for upper NY state but no one signed up for our class. Lots of interest, she said, but the timing was bad with school starting up.

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

BEAUTIFUL photo of the Capitol and beyond!

You paint a tranquil picture of your fine city this time of year, making me wish to visit you all the more! Sounds like a great time and a great place to experience a touch of that melancholy nostalgia.

Linda Sue said...

I hope that your new digs do not change you- rather that you influence them, the neighbors, who must be very uncomfortable in their formalness- you have come to set them free!

Everton Terrace said...

I was going to say the same thing as NanU - don't fit in! I think your new neighbors are going to be enchanted by you, I certainly am.

Kerry said...

DC looks laid-back, sultry, and therefore alluring. I have never been to a tea, but maybe it will be more fun than it sounds. At least tea cups and tea pots are really pretty, and maybe the people will be really interesting; who knows?

I can imagine wearing a jaunty little hat. Flip flops, maybe. Jeans are OK anywhere, in my book, but it looks hot enough for a sundress there in your town. Have fun!

Karen said...

Perhaps a dog would help you wake up to something other than an alarm clock AND meet more neighbors. :)

Karen said...

P.S. I'm with NanU--never mind about fitting in. You can be the neighborhood "eccentric"... :)

Reya Mellicker said...

I have never been to a tea, but maybe it will be more fun than it sounds.

Ha ha, Kerry! I'm sure it will be very fun; the person who is organizing the tea, while quite an East Capitol kind of person, is wonderful. I'm ready to step up.

As for being the neighborhood eccentric, well, no contest about that one! As if I could be anything else!!

Thanks though for the support and encouragement.

Reya Mellicker said...

Jo: mi casa su casa. Come anytime! You are so welcome here.

Janelle said...

gorgeous pics all of 'em...and you go get 'em reya...do yer spells in the new neighbourhood, darlin'! xxx j

Steve Reed said...

I suspect your new street will start to feel like home in a while. You're still adapting, after all!