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.