It’s a Monday morning on Capital Hill, and I’m pretending I belong here. Downstairs, the coffee shop is noisy and I can hear people coming in an out. But upstairs, in the lounge, where I’ve been sitting since my sister dropped me off 10 blocks north on her way to work an hour or so ago, the booths and tables are empty except for me and one exceptional looking young man with thick black-framed glasses and a tie.
It’s looking to be another beautiful day in D.C. I lucked out, missing last weekend’s snow storm. The old window beside me is eye level with reddish gold and spotted green trees. Maples, I think? The sun is giving each leaf a fluorescent glare, and I can tell it will be another day I regret bringing my sweater along.
I like the character in this neighborhood at Third and Penn. It’s not unlike most of the neighborhoods I’ve seen here. The big street lamps, the bumpy brick sidewalks. The Brownstone buildings with wrought iron fences. The fat squirrels that make cat sounds. And the people passing by with their layers of coats and sweaters and done-up hair.
The past few days, I’ve been trying to gauge what it would be like to live here. My mom wants me to. She doesn’t like the idea of my sister living alone across the bridge. Part of me likes the idea, especially with two of my closest college friends living here now/making the move. But in this busy city, there is a strange loneliness and I know my heart would break if I left California.
So for now, I’ll just be the tourist and take it all in that way. I’ve seen so much so far, though I wish I knew this city a little better to know what I’m missing. My dear friend Mike and his wonderful boyfriend, Michael, showed me much of the city yesterday. We saw the memorials, one of the Smithsonians and red velvet cupcakes (tons more to come on this day later). Today, I’m taking the day slow, wandering neighborhoods and seeing as much as I can. Maybe I’ll buy a souvenir, since the only thing I’ve seemed to buy on this trip is coffee.
So, happy Monday, friends. In case you were wondering, the boy in the black framed glasses has wandered out the door and down the brick street.
Oh, and these photos are just a few of what I saw yesterday with Mike and Michael. I was a true out-of-towner and quoted “Forrest Gump” lines as we climbed the steps the the Lincoln Memorial. I always think of that scene when Jenny runs through the Reflecting Pool to meet Forrest on the platform. Of course, the pool was empty and completely dug up during construction. Oh well, it kind of made it even more awesome. And it was pretty special standing where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.