Sunday, August 13, 2006

Yet Another DC Post

Unlike most other cities, DC does not have a prominent skyline. There are mounuments (and then there is "THE MONUMENT") museums and the White House etc. etc. Movies set in DC usually have the main characters walking along the Tidal Basin discussing all manners of hush, hush conspiratorial stuff or doing drugs in some seedy part of town (remember Michael Douglas driving around Southeast in "Traffic"). Most of the time its the former that gets more coverage. How come DC is never the setting for a family drama involving the girl and the guy next door, their dog, the neurotic parents just like any ordinary city?

Okay, so you just can't escape the lofty government buildings in the District. But just behind the shadows of the Capitol and beyond the grasp of the tourist-y National Mall there is a perfectly normal city

It has its churches, sometimes two within a block. It has its weird guy jogging at a weird hour.

Then there are quaint old row houses from its horse and buggy days, terribly homey and all that.

Some buildings still maintain their old facades, while some try to make themselves more visible with a bold coat of paint. These row houses define the District, from the upscale homes in Northwest to the dingy ones in its crime ridden neighborhoods. My love affair with these homes started in 2003, when I would visit A who lived in a row house in Dupont Circle. She shared the high ceilings, large windows and the winding staircase with a few students and a rather grumpy landlord. The kitchen was spacious and always cool. And there was an adorable claw foot tub in the bathroom. In some of the economically depressed sections, there has been a sudden spurt in development with ugly condo's sprouting all over. I had rather see these old homes, restored and set up as affordable housing than be converted into obnoxiously priced condo's for yuppies.

And now for a little history lesson (for me):
Address: 221-225 Pennsylvania Ave.SE

Date: 1887
"The three buildings that make up the Mayers Block were designed by John Granville Meyers in the Queen Anne style to have shops at street level and residences above. Meyers also designed the Christian Heurich Mansion near Dupont Circle."

Now, come on some one please make that average Joe, peanut butter movie about DC without resorting to lovely aerials of the Capitol or high octane chases down I-395. And no, not another cheesy movie about the cadets at Annapolis (techinically that's in Maryland) either.

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