Monday, September 13, 2010

It's a Big Deal


The car at the stoplight is in northeast Washington. Just across the double yellow line? Southeast.

It's like living on the Champs-Élysées, kind of. Sort of. I'm talking about East Capitol Street, where I now live. It's a grand boulevard, a public thoroughfare. It's a major boundary line in the District. I live in Southeast DC, but if I cross the street, I'm in northeast DC. Little details like that fascinate me. George Washington proclaimed that East Capitol would be a federal street. (L'Enfant's original plan for Washington included Lincoln Park as a national gathering place. He "saw" the city growing eastwards instead of westwards. That's why Lady Liberty at the top of the Capitol faces east.) Washington commanded the citizens of East Capitol to take pride in their homes and gardens since he envisioned parades and all kinds of official federal extravaganzas taking place up and down East Capitol.

Thank god he was wrong about that! Whew!!

Even though my beloved George made that proclamation about East Capitol Street in 1791, and as it turned out, the city grew westwards, we dwellers of the public thoroughfare still take his words very seriously. It's a grand street, a fancy street. The houses are very beautiful, the gardens exquisite. The people are friendly and rather formal (compared to my neighbors on Tennessee Avenue at least). On Tennessee Avenue we spent a lot of time out on the street with the neighbors, talking, watching the kids play, drinking coffee or a beer. I really loved that aspect of living there. Here we smile, wave, say hello, then move on. It's warmly cordial, but I miss hanging out.

Honestly, a shamanic, bass "playing" bodyworker has no business living on this street! Wow. But I'm here and I'm going to rise to the occasion. I have resisted the urge to go water the plants while wearing my slippers, for instance (something I would never have thought twice about on Tennessee Ave.) I comb my hair and pull myself together before I emerge in the mornings.

I am often tickled by the twists and turns of my life's journey. I would never have imagined myself living on a grand boulevard, not ever. Yet, here I am. I should remember how limited my imagination really is!


Summer's last rose.

23 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

It looks like you might have already got a bass, but if you haven't yet, check out the Kala Ukulele bass. It is so cool and super portable. You can even get a fretless one.

Dan Gurney said...

Oh, I forgot to add this: if your hands are small, think hard about this one. Here's the URL, but it's pretty long, I don't know it it will work. Here goes:

http://www.kalaukulele.com/search_results_UBASS.asp?txtsearchParamTxt=&txtsearchParamCat=26&btnSearch.x=9&btnSearch.y=8&txtsearchParamType=ALL&iLevel=1&txtsearchParamMan=ALL&txtsearchParamVen=ALL&txtFromSearch=fromSearch

Reya Mellicker said...

I need frets! I was thinking the other day that the human body has frets - bony landmarks that help me find specific locations when I work.

I'm renting a bass right now. It'll be awhile before i know what I want to buy - will DEFINITELY check out the Kala Ukulele. Sounds very cool!

Reya Mellicker said...

I do not have bass player hands. Tiny little pinkies - it's such a shame. I'll check it out - thanks Dan!

Pauline said...

I just read this thought: "Where you are now is where you're supposed to be." It takes a load of worry away when you accept it.

Sooo... looks like East Capitol Street is right where you should be. Enjoy every moment of it!

Dan Gurney said...

Cool, Reya...

Check out Youtube, too. Lots of excitement around this thing. And if you're a fretful person like me, you can have all the frets you want.

Here's one review on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNPx6RS8PiM&feature=related

willow said...

What a grand and historical place to live. Gives me goosebumps!

Everton Terrace said...

What important and powerful things happen where you live Reya. Boggles the mind really.

ellen abbott said...

I think the energy there would be a little too intense for me. And I am so not a formal person. I'd be out in my ragged clothes digging and watering.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I'm like Ellen... I think I'd fit better on Tennessee Ave.

I checked out the bass that Dan mentioned & the sound is terrific! Several choices & prices which are not unreasonable. Really cool sound & great looking instrument (especially the Solid Acacia UBASS).

lakeviewer said...

Reya, you're in the middle of all things, our eyes and ears on the heart muscle of the nation. I guess you ought to have your own news channel, kind of the underbeat of all big news. I'm sure we'll get more from you than from any place else.

Meri said...

Isn't it funny how distinct the character of each neighborhood can be? When I worked in DC, I always lived in the Maryland burbs, so I never tasted the flavor of particular areas, though there were distinct differences in the "neighborhoods" where my various offices were located. And I don't have much in my memory bank relating to East Capitol, but definitely remember the first time my toes touched the Champs Elysees.

Linda Sue said...

Fancy city girl...I so get it- dressing before you go out to water the garden, pick up the mail, get the paper...I do that , only because I am such a fright if I don't pull myself somewhat together before horrifying the neighborhood. but I do get it...that comfort thing.

The Pollinatrix said...

How did the fact that you're a bass player ever slip by me before today? My son's a bass player too.

E said...

I think of the rose as you dressed up for watering, don't know if it was intended...

E said...

And the cloud over the Capitol looks like a person with one arm pointing to southeast and the other to northeast! Brilliant shot.

Gary said...

I have been known to go out on my front porch in my fancy boxers to water the plants so I guess that wouldn't go over too well on East Washington either.

Pam said...

Wow -just noticed what E's comment was about. That small feminine face in the pointing cloud,slightly above the outstretched arms!

Reya Mellicker said...

I definitely saw the cloud person which is why I took the pic. Very cool!

Whitney Lee said...

Instead of rising to the occasion, why not show them all how delightful it is to water the plants in your slippers? You might help add some warmth and spontaneity to the grand boulevard!

Kerry said...

I like how you embrace the differences in neighborhoods, each place special in its own way.

The cloud looks like it is directing traffic, grandly, from above!

Cyndy said...

Carol Kaye gets around the bass pretty well (understatement!)in spite of not having particularly big hands. She uses a pivoting technique to keep her left hand relaxed while playing in the larger lower positions. Check her out at www.carolkaye.com

They do make short scale basses, but it's probably too early to tell whether or not you'll need to go that route.

The bass looks like it's pretty happy to be spending some time with you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Whitney I would be fighting more than 200 years of tradition - I'm a contrarian, but I need to choose my battles! This is not one I need to fight.