Monday, March 22, 2010

This Old House

I ventured out on a short run around the neighborhood where my daughter takes acting. This is a detour from my usual "meet my friend for coffee" time. It was so beautiful out. This neighborhood, with origins in the late 18th century, like a lot of other post world war I and II neighborhoods has morphed under the guise of land development and modernization. Tree lined, well-kempt streets of tidy brick colonials and Arts and Craft bungalows from Sears are a few blocks from a major interstate, a hospital, the metro, an urban citiscape complete with mall, restaurants, parking garages, and several bustling four lane arteries that spider web their way to and from our nation's capital.

Today on foot I had a different view. To my surprise there are also historical markers that dot pieces of American history on more than a few corners. The church where the acting class is held has quite a history.

Running across a bridge to the citified section I passed the W O & D Trail, formerly the Washington and Old Dominion RR. This 100 foot by 45 mile park has multi-use trails, bridle paths, and wildlife. I've been on parts of this trail but, much further west. I didn't realize I could take it this far in. It was fully occupied with people on wheel and foot.

My next stop surprised me the most. I took a little turn down a street with tiny houses. At the end of the street, atop a hill and across a sprawling lawn, sat a majestic white mansion complete with an octagon house so popular in the mid 1800s. It was the Glebe House. Originally built in 1770, this latest conversion is a privately owned, beautifully refurbished, National Historic landmark. I don't know how I missed this.
I've decided to make these excursions a regular part of driving to acting class. Next trip- I'm packing my bike, a drink and heading out.


Josie said...

Wow, I had no idea either! These excursions match your adventurous spirit. I'd probably be sitting in the coffee shop reading your blog. : )

Bonnie K said...

This great. I just read a Slice that came with music to ride to...and now photos that document your run. Wonderful, Blink,
Thanks, It's raining here,

Letterpress said...

I used to haunt the old cemetery across the street from where we lived on my husband's sabbatical in Washington DC. I loved walking down the streets lined with row houses--all different colors--in Alexandria Virgina. So I really enjoyed this post, with all its startling and enjoyable discoveries.


Mary said...

It was fun to read about your little adventure and see so many places I'm familiar with. I read an article in The Post a few years back about the couple who bought The Glebe House and how they were renovating it with the original features in mind.
I spend a lot of time on the W O & D trail on my bike.
I've lived in Arlington for about 23 years now and continually find new places of interest.

Blink said...

@ mary- I read that article too. They were something to put that beautiful place back on the map in all its old finery! It's beautiful and now also has a swing set on the lawn!