Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Leaving the Hood

I'm not just leaving a job on Friday; I'm leaving a neighborhood — a lively, jangling, grand and varied neighborhood. A neighborhood where the U. S. Capitol and the city's  largest homeless shelter are both within strolling distance. A neighborhood of posh eateries and soup kitchens. It's a place I've enjoyed getting to know, so walks to and from Metro are taking on a special poignancy these days.

I trudge up the escalator at Judiciary Square into a jostling, careening space. Crowds of workers move in and out of the courts building. A homeless woman smokes or naps on a stone bench. Express newspaper hawkers call out a cheery good morning.

Across the street is First Trinity Lutheran Church, with a sign advertising its Bible study. A few steps away are the trees and railings where scarves were draped last January 6. There is the light I always try to catch, the one crossing Third Street.

The bridge across the highway offers a sliver view of the Capitol Dome. And then there is the construction site, as workers continue to roof I-395 so they can build a neighborhood on top. I'll miss seeing the completion of that project.

Soon I'm walking down the alley that leads to my office, a backdoor approach that's always been my preference. I like slipping into places, like slipping out of them, too.


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