When Kish and I first moved to Washington, D.C. in February 1981, we lived on the third floor of a brownstone at 1019 East Capitol Street.
It wasn’t a roomy place. There was one bedroom and a bathroom, a narrow living room and a tiny kitchen. But it was in Washington, D.C., and you could walk outside our front door, look down the street, and see the dome of the U.S. Capitol. It had a neat little eating area where light would stream in through the windows in the morning.
We subscribed to the Washington Post and read the paper before work while we drank our coffee. We had a car with a valid D.C. permit — no small feat given the byzantine D.C. bureaucracy — but we hardly ever drove. We walked everywhere or took the Metro. On pretty weekend days we often strolled down to the National Mall, bought croissants and coffee, and sat on a bench reading our paper as the joggers moved past and the tourists gawked and the shadow of the Washington Monument drifted across the green lawn.
Kish worked in the Senate and I worked in the House. We walked down the street in the morning and parted ways at the corner next to the Library of Congress. She turned right to go to her office; I turned left to go to mine. We worked hard and paid our taxes. Kish moved on to other jobs after a while, and I moved on to law school, and then we moved to a larger place in Foggy Bottom.
I will always remember with great fondness our little space on East Capitol Street, however. We loved it there — and, in retrospect, I think it is where I first started to understand what it meant to be an adult.