I couldn’t have asked for a better place to call Home. Last night as my plane circled the District of Columbia, I saw everything illuminated and glowing and calling me toward it. The homes and buildings below were nothing more than dots of light, snaking across the land. Millions of tiny flashing and sparkling red yellow white lights. This is my new home, I kept telling myself. This is the destination. One of these lights are mine.
And then I saw it- The Capitol. After it came into sight no other light had a chance. It stood above the rest of the city and had this erie light green glow to it. Almost the color you would imagine a washed out dollar bill would be if it could glow. And THAT is my work, I told myself.
After a lonely day of traveling I didn’t feel lonely anymore once I arrived. I expected to be hit in the face with homesickness, but I can’t imagine missing San Diego when I am surrounded with so many new opportunities and possibilities, and most of all adventures. But- I do miss all the lovely faces I left behind -San Diego and Santa Cruz- Especially yours.
The house I am staying at until I move into my apartment in Dupont Circle is my Father’s childhood home. When my grandfather passed away his request was that the house stay in the family. Since then, over ten years ago, the house has become my Father’s older brother’s house, and everything has been remodeled. While its still the house that I have many childhood memories of, its nicer and newer. The oddest thing is, it still smells the same. We always remember distinct smells, even if its been years upon years. And this house, its the same as it was when I was five years old. Its a solid brick house with white trim and black window shutters. It has a sunroom, a back porch, a basement, and many colonial style fixtures and touches. Its a beautiful house and its weird to imagine that the table I sit at as I write this was my Father’s dining room dinner table. Everything in this house is filled with HIs history, and now here I am, invading. My Father had one older sister and three brothers. I am staying in what was his sister’s room. She is now in her early sixties and lives in San Francisco and hasn’t lived here in over 40 years. But its her room, and she has taken it upon herself to decorate the walls with framed photographs of San Francisco. Her past and present combined.
I also happened to look in the closet in the bedroom and on the top shelf I saw a record player. I’m waiting for the right time to ask….
When I woke up today the time difference put me at almost noon when it was still earlier in my old life. I spend the better half of the day exploring Georgetown and the town where my Mother grew up. My parents are both born and raised D.C. and they left for California at about my age, so I guess returning here in my own life has completed the circle.
Georgetown is absolutly amazing. Streets made of cobble, brick buildings as far as the eye can see. Botique after botique. Coffee shops. Bars. Everything a posh college student could ask for. It will be interesting to see how D.C. warps my identity, and if it does.
Its late September, summer still, and almost everyone was wearing jeans and scarfs. I can only imagine what awaits me as the months pass by.
One thing I noticed is…. everyone is richer here. Thats an incredibly huge generalization, but thats the best way to describe what I saw. Everyone was driving nice cars. Everyone looked like they modeled for Banana Republic. Everyone looked so- put together. I’m so used to Santa Cruz and San Diego, where basically anything is acceptable. I have never seen so many guys in business suits-young guys, my age and a few years older- walking around a college area. Its as if I have entered another dimension, not the other side of the country.
After Georgetown I explored this old amusement park near my Mother’s childhood home. Glen Echo, the park, has now been converted into a national park and art commune. The park was originally the most popular of the DC area up until 1960 when there was protesting and rallying because blacks were not allowed in. For eight weeks blacks and whites protested outside the park and were successful- the next spring it was open to all people. When it became a site for rioting almost ten years later the park was taken by the government and reopened as an art commune. None of the buildings have been changed. None of the signs taken down. It stands perfectly intact as an amusement park from the earlier half of the century. While many things around it have changed, the people who spent their childhoods there and those who rallied outside have all aged, Glen Echo has stood still.
One of the most exciting things about being in D.C. is everything has a history. I have yet to see a clone neighborhood. I have yet to see any home that looks as if it was built in the last 50 years. All the buildings are really old and are incredible architecture. D.C. has been a major site for all of the movements that have taken place throughout history. Everything has happened here. This is our country’s capitol. This is the place.
And now it is part of my history.