Map of Mornings: Eastern Market

This is the first in a series of morning photo essays documenting neighborhoods around town, seen from over the handlebars of my (well, our) big red beach cruiser.

July 30, 2011, Washington, DC: Mornings are my time. I’m more creative in the morning. It pains me to spend five mornings a week in the car commuting. By the time I get there, my energy is zapped. Good ideas have come and gone.

Weekend mornings, you can imagine, are heaven. During DC summers, they’re also the best time to see the city. Especially by bike.

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The Power of Our Parks

Photo Credit: Family Archives (Thanks, Mom!)

July 29, 2011, Washington, DC:
I love this image from the family archives. It’s a photo of my father running the bases more than 30 years ago in Montreal’s Westmount Park, just across the street from our old apartment.

The stories I’ve heard about Westmount evoke a place that was a great spot to begin raising a young family. I think this picture illustrates that, and reminds me of the role our neighborhood parks play in that equation.

No matter how old we are, playtime’s important.

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The Washington We Know

“Of course there is more than one Washington.”
-David McCullough, 1991, “I Love Washington”

July 26, 2011, Washington, DC: The Washington we know is not the Washington you see at the end of this road. The Washington we know is the Washington you see all along this road and tucked away behind its trees. It is the place we unload our groceries from our cars and go for runs after work and ride down this East Capitol bike lane relieved there is no traffic. The Washington in there, the one that makes people angry, is not the Washington out here where we actually live.

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Then and Now: Overlee Pool

Overlee Pool, Arlington, VA Overlee Pool, Arlington, VA July 23, 2011, Arlington, Va.: After blogging about summertime swims and a bike ride back to my old home, I knew there was one place I’d have to revisit during this project. I would have to return to the one place that mattered most to my family during our time in Arlington in the early 80s, and that place was Overlee pool.

If I didn’t go today, I’d miss the moment. This morning marked the last home swim meet of the season — against Chesterbrook, nonetheless, Overlee’s biggest rivalry back in the 80s. I was curious to see if the rivalry still existed, and to find out if Overlee would live up to the hype I’d created for it in my memory. I’ve long imagined Overlee to be a place of intense spirit and energy, a place with an unwavering sense of community. I wondered if it would feel small thirty years later, maybe less meaningful and more subdued.

I’m proud to say Overlee did not disappoint.
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Prime Places For A Cold Drink

July 22, 2011, Washington, DC: Nomads feel most at home in cities for good reasons. Chief among them, those born with an inkling for exploration and movement repeatedly discover there are far more options in cities than suburbs. We have choices, and those choices are hugely important to us. But even explorers have trouble getting out to exercise the power of choice on sweltering days like today. One hundred and fifteen degree heat slows us down. It puts a damper on our adventures. It makes us lethargic. Lucky for us, our previous explorations have paid off: We know the perfect places for a cold beverage.

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It’s Never This Humid at Nob Hill Cafe

San Francisco Bay, Photo Credit: Marjorie ChildressPhoto Credit: Marjorie Childress

July 21, 2011, Washington, DC: In today’s heat (real feel 110), it’s a valid question: How much does climate play a role in where you choose to live?

I can say with certainty that climate lured me to San Francisco, Brisbane, Australia, and a mountain summer spent in Jackson, Wyoming. On this humid night, I’d give anything for a dry summer evening in the shadow of Grand Teton National Park, perfecting our fly fishing form casting over the backyard. I’d die for an outdoor drink at Brisbane’s Royal Exchange where it’s winter tonight. But I ache most of all for a cozy, pasta dinner at San Francisco’s Nob Hill Café.

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