They say “Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder”

I’ve spent most of this week in Los Angeles working a conference with long hours, hard work, and we’re all pretty near exhaustion. I can’t think of one of us who wouldn’t rather be in DC right now, sleeping in our own beds, riding the Metro, getting a half-smoke at one of the ubiquitous downtown hotdog stands, wandering the wide boulevards that run throughout town.

LA is a constant mélange; strip malls, odd apartment buildings, hotels, offices, it all runs together in some sort of constant urban noise. I miss the lines of DC, the grid of the District and the familiar street names. Even the sunshine here and the warm weather, and the incredible sunsets, there’s something to be said for our distinctive neighborhoods, for our business districts, for our homey neighborhoods, or lovely, large parks.

I didn’t think I’d ever miss DC. I’m a California-native, born and raised in the fertile country between Sacramento and San Francisco and every inch a Californian at heart. I still root hard for the 49ers, and hard for the Oakland A’s, but I find myself following the Nationals, the Redskins, and even reading the occasional box score for the Caps. DC is a city full of transplants, with rare natives around to keep us all honest in claiming our adoptive city as home. Yet, I find myself desirous of seeing the Jefferson Memorial on the drive home, or gazing down Pennsylvania Avenue at lunch to see the Capitol.

Some things even California cannot offer, and that is the dignity and presence of Washington’s stately streets. The new West does not do stately, or majesty, in ways that the East can recognize. For that, I will always love my adopted home in DC.

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