Monday, August 9, 2010
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.