Last week, amid having my car broken into, and the dreariest weather of the winter, I got a letter from a reader that lifted my spirits immensely. As a result, we wanted to introduce you to the light of our winter. Lindsay Largent, born in the District, and living in North Canton, Ohio, sent us this piece on her love of the city of her birth. We’re pleased to reprint it with her photos.
Sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste: the five basic senses that we all learned about in first grade. We use our senses everyday without even knowing it. It has turned into an ability of ours that we can sometimes take for granted. Have you ever just stopped and stared at the world around you, inhaled the air you breathe every second of every day, listened to the voices of your neighbors, felt the rain drops hitting your face, or thought about the taste of that bagel you get from the bagel shop on the corner of ninth and E street before you go to work every morning? If you live in the District of Columbia, I envy you. You have the chance to stimulate these senses in the most beautiful city in the world every day. Yeah, there are hundreds of historical sights to see, entertainment all around to listen to, and an endless count of good restaurants to critique, but what about the simple things? The little details are the aspects of Washington D.C. that I fell in love with from the moment I set foot in the city.
What to see: M Street at night. Almost everyone has been in the heart of a city at night, but Georgetown isn’t like any city. It has a sweeter, warmer, and calmer glow to it. I walk down that street at night and my eyes are drawn to so many things: the people in front of me, the cars parked bumper-to-bumper on the street, the vintage street lights, the light coming out of the windows and doors of the shops and restaurants, or the endlessness of M Street. And it’s impossible to rush down these sidewalks. There’s so much to take in while walking along with thousands of other people. No matter how many times I find myself on M Street, I make sure that I never miss a thing.
What to smell: the cherry blossoms in the rain. Because of this particular smell, I think I speak for many when I say that no other city is as fragrant as D.C. in the Spring. Not only do you get to experience the scent of the romantic, flattering flowers but also of the fresh rain dripping onto its’ pedals.
What to listen to: the warning sound when the doors close on the metro. It may just be a sound that nobody really pays any mind to, but it gives me such an amazing feeling. It isn’t obnoxious, loud, or excessive. It’s just enough to remind me what I’m doing: “Step back, doors are closing.” It excites me as I step onto the metro, grab onto a pole, and watch the doors close. I think, “Even underground, this city gives me the chills.”
What to feel: the cool pool of water in the World War II memorial drowning your bare feet. You feel relaxed, safe and sound. You aren’t alone. Look around you and realize what the memorial is there for. You feel proud to be an American and lucky to live in a city as meaningful as Washington D.C. Everyone around you is smiling and without even knowing it, you find yourself smiling, too.
What to taste: the bottle of water you bought on the side of the street for one dollar during the Fourth of July Parade. It has to be at least 90 degrees and you’re sweating head to toe. There are people everywhere and most of the colors you see are red, white, and blue. Open the water bottle, take a sip, taste how pure it is and feel it as you have your friend pour it over your head. You’re in a wonderful mood, it’s the celebration of our country’s freedom, there’s so much to do and so much to see and after that refreshment, you’re ready to take on the day.
The simple things: those are what make this city so unique. Those are what I have fallen deeply in love with.