Up Connecticut Avenue
I was attending the monthly meeting of the Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. That evening I was invited to a dinner party—they still have such things in D.C., a civilized place—by Aviva Kempner, a documentary film-maker (Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg). I would have taken the Metro, but it was raining, and her house is some distance from the station, so I hailed a cab. I’m glad I did. The traffic was as bad as anything I’ve ever seen outside Mexico City, and it took us about an hour to travel five miles, but it gave me a chance to see a part of the city I hadn’t seen before. We travelled northwest up Connecticut Avenue, almost to the edge of the District. What was impressive was that the street was active, crowded with shops and restaurants, and full of people, all the way up. I kept waiting for the density to drop-off to a more suburban level, but the rich mixture of dense housing and 6-8 storey apartment buildings continued. With Washington’s cap on building height, and the active street life, I might have been in a pre-war European city.