Saturday, July 21, 2007


Today was spectacular. The weather was perfect and I was on my own. My mom and stepdad took the kids to a horseshoe tournament. My stepfather just so happens to be ranked 4th in high ringer average in the world. So he's pretty serious about horseshoes. Before I met him I had no idea horseshoes was a bona fide sport. Micaela was scoring the tournament today to make a few extra bucks.

I headed for Dupont Circle, an area of Washington DC that I know very well and that holds lots of memories for me. It is my favorite neighborhood in DC, and while I know I could never afford to live there it is probably one of my top five places that I would like to live. Maybe number one considering it is right near my family. I bought Jane Hirshfield's newest book of poetry for reading with coffee later in the day, ate lunch, and then I headed up to S St. specifically for this:

I saw a gorgeous exhibition of central Asian tent bands. The colors, the textures, the insane amount of work that went into these practical works of art!! I so wanted to take pictures, but alas no pictures in the gallery. Not so in the gift shop where I saw books on natural dyeing and knitting and spinning that I had never seen before. Plus the textiles for sale were museum quality themselves with prices to match. I didn't buy, but I did admire. This is just one corner of the store.
From here I walked to another favorite neighborhood, Adams Morgan, where Madame's Organ is still to be found keeping watch over Columbia Rd.
Coffee, poetry reading and writing ensued before walking back down the hill.

More wall art in Adams Morgan

Everywhere I went I felt like I was going to bump into my 16 year old self dressed in a dirty black slip on her way to the nearby hotel to wash herself in the "public" bathroom sinks off the lobby. Or maybe my somewhat older 18 year old self dirty and sweaty from working as a bike courier locking my bike to a parking meter for the dash into a building with a delivery. This trip home has been all about the past. I've met up with various people I haven't seen in over 20 years and for the most part it has made me feel good about the direction my life took. Still, there is a bittersweet sense of my youth and being in such a beautiful, walkable city makes me yearn to live here again.

On my way back to the car I took this picture and then realized, when I got to the end of the block, that this house was only three or four down from the abandoned house where I squatted with some other kids when I was 16. I walked down this street a few weeks ago when I went out to dinner with some friends and couldn't place exactly which house it was. Once this street was so familiar to me, now I can't place it a few weeks later. It all looks so posh and upscale now!

One last picture before I got in the car. I've always loved the National Headquarters of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rites right behind me, but I didn't do such a great job of getting it in.

I think I got some sun today.

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Anonymous s t a c i said...

What a great post, Jeanne! Thanks for sharing...not only the sights that any one of us would (and want to) see, but also your memories of your time there. I really enjoyed reading it.


5:57 PM  
Anonymous ~drew emborsky~ said...

Tell me again why you haven't written a book about your youth?

I lived in a walking city once and totally understand your yearning to return; it's a very free way of life isn't it?

4:24 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

It's good to see Madam's Organ is still there... Adams Morgan was definitely the fun neighborhood when I lived in the DC area (1990-1994). I would go all the way there from Annapolis to buy bike parts and Jamaican food. Good times...

10:53 AM  
Blogger Meg McElwee said...

Ahh, DC. We used to live there before we moved to Mexico. I miss it so. Thanks for the pics - they gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling!

Thanks for your comment on my blog - what a coincidence that you have that old knitting book, too. Mine was from my my great-grandmother's collection.

Just so you know, the reading pillow pattern is up for sale at Montessori By Hand

8:46 AM  

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