Living in the Nation’s Capital.

This summer, we move into the city. For five years my wife and I have worked here and played here, gone to school here and spent nine-tenths of our days here. Soon, when people ask where we live, we can honestly say “Washington, DC,” instead of “right outside DC” or “the DC Metro Area” or the “Northern Virginia why-the-hell-does-everyone-have-a-Land-Cruiser-are-they-planning-on-stalking-rhino-on-
the-velt suburbs.”

We realized we’re officially no longer visitors to this metropolis a couple of weeks ago driving back from my wife’s yoga class. The drive took us along the Tidal Basin, and I weaved my car through thousand-strong throngs of tourists making their way to the cherry blossoms. We looked at the ring of cloudy pink circling the basin, at the grass on the Mall, now returning to bright green.

“It’s funny,” my wife said. “All these buses and all these people, and for us, this is just what we see on the way to yoga class.”

For two people whose hometowns’ populations added together wouldn’t fill a downtown office building, and whose parents find the city a strange and dangerous place, it’s a striking revelation: That the city remains beautiful, but is no longer strange, no longer something to acclimate to. It’s home.

Article © 2008 by Steve Spotswood