Places

The Beatles, as they so often did, said it best:

There are places
I remember
All my life
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some are gone
And some remain
All these places have their moments

I’ve always formed strong attachments to places. The house I grew up in in Connecticut. The house we bought in France across the border from Geneva. My office. Yes, I have a deep love of my office. Because when the company gave me that office, it was as if I’d gotten the winning office Lotto ticket.

For 11 years, I’ve dragged everyone I know up to my office to see the view. I’ve even taken you, my bloggin’ buddies up there a few times, like when the space shuttle flew over on its last lap and when two Supreme Court Justices visited us immediately after the oral argument on Obamacare.

From my three large windows, I can keep my eye on all things Washington. I can see much of official DC and a big hunk of Northern Virginia. Nobody in Our Nation’s Capitol gets on a helicopter without me knowing about it. And I can tell you for a fact that Dubya’s motorcades caused a lot more disruption than Obama’s do.

My pictures all suck.  But this is from the building's own website (Photo credit http://www.rosslynoverlook.com/image-gallery.htm)

My pictures aren’t as good. This is from the building’s own website (Photo credit http://www.rosslynoverlook.com/image-gallery.htm)

 

As you can see, my office overlooks the Lincoln Memorial up the Mall to the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, the Capitol Building. During the Inaugurations, from my office I could see the bunting hanging from the Capitol Building.  I can also see the Jefferson Memorial, the bridges, National Airport (which I will never, ever, ever call “Reagan Airport” while there is life in this body),  Arlington Cemetery.

The Iwo Jima Memorial to the U.S. Marine Corps is one of my favorite places to walk on nice days.  It lists all the major battles the marines have seen. The Iwo Jima doesn’t list the “Civil War,” though. Amusingly to this Connecticut Yankee, it lists “The War Between The States” because, after all, it is located in Virginia.

A picture from last night's walk.

A picture from last night’s walk.

The Pentagon is ahead, just to the right. Folks who were present that day heard the impact as the plane slammed into the side of the building there on the right, although no one actually saw it hit. They smelled the smoke, heard the sirens, saw the fire engines fly from every direction. For a while, when we were all still expecting an imminent attack on Washington, I worried that I might have a window on history to something I would rather not see.

View 4 Pentagon

That’s the Pentagon, behind the Netherland Carillion. Oh, and my window is very dirty. Gonna have to leave this place.

When there was a small earthquake in the middle of the day a few years ago, I watched (from my spot in the doorway) as government helicopters swooped in to inspect the bridges for structural damage before the ground stopped trembling. I’ve often imagined that drivers on the bridges must have felt like they’d suddenly stumbled into the filming of a James Bond movie, as the choppers dipped and spun to get a closer look.

A month after I started working there, a townhouse just down the road went up for sale. The ad highlighted the view from the rooftop terrace of the townhouse, and priced it at $2.25 million. I clipped the ad, taped it to the fridge in the kitchen with a note:

“Hey, we get PAID to look at this view!”

Sadly, today is my last day as an office space lottery winner. Monday, my company will begin the week in new office space.

I’m just not sure how I will be able to keep an eye on Washington for y’all.

Sigh.

 

Sigh.

 

 

90 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Huh?, Virginia

90 responses to “Places

  1. That was a fantastic few you enjoyed.

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  2. You’ll have to take a cue from my mom. She was a high-school teacher, and in the early 1970s the district she worked for opened a new high school …. it was based on some whacky theory that windows were BAD. So, except for the cafeteria, and a couple of hallways in the admin area, the building was windowless. My mom put a big bulletin board up at the back of the classroom, and made it into a “window.” Every month she changed the view .. flowers in the spring, snowy trees in the winter, etc…. 🙂

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  3. I thought you were in New York? Am I nuts or what?

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  4. Wow! Don’t know how your new view will match, but hope it’s still nice.
    I have the Hudson river out the window to my left, and I can see Central Park laid out in all it’s glory from the southern end up when I walk through the office.

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  5. I know the feeling. My office used to overlook a beautiful lake and the mountains of Vermont. It was so soothing and I felt so fortunate. But I had to retire from that job and now I get to look at Scrappy watching me work at my laptop…not a bad view either!

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  6. My office was my favourite place. It didn’t even have windows but it was the best office in the place with all the comforts of home. It was the place where everyone came for everything. I miss it a lot.
    I hope you can find something to love about your new office. That view is going to be hard to beat.

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  7. At least you knew how lucky you were while you had it. I’ve have friends who took their luck for granted until it was over. That was an amazing view…..

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  8. Paul

    Wow Elyse, that’s an amazing view. It is sad that you have to move on. Maybe you could decorate the aircondiioners outside the window of your new office? One of the other, more modern tricks, is to set up a flat screen on the wall, like a window and hook it into a stream of video from external cameras with great live views like a shoreline or of Earth from a satellite, or from the top of a tall city building, etc.. I was amazed the other day when I was watching Mighty Ships on the Discovery Channel. The US has a new series of powerful coast guard ships that run interdiction in the ocean drug corridors. The suckers are worth close to a billion each. They didn’t want porholes , so they mounted big flatscreens in most of the rooms with a feed from a camera high on the bridge. It is fascinating to watch – continuous action. That’s what you need Elyse – except not necessarily of drug runners. Ha! Although in your job, perhaps that has a different connotation: drug courriers coming and going. Ha! Oh yeah, as an aside, the ship they filmed on had three bridge command shifts and one was all young Coast Guard women. Very neat.

    Anyway, good luck with your move and we will wait with bated breath for stories of your new digs.

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  9. Too bad, you won’t be seeing that glorious view anymore. You were lucky for those 11 years, however. Thanks you for giving me and others those beautiful glimpses. Best of luck in your new “digs.”

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  10. A room with a view – what a gift! I hope your new place has something of equal value.

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  11. I am sorry you won’t have a view, maybe though you will find something else to love. Think, maybe you could add great art?

    I do understand though, what a view.

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    • I actually have some wonderful photos from our time in Europe. They were on the wall in the old one but I didn’t look at them very often. Now I will!

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  12. I envy you your view, and am sorry to read your company is relocating. 😦 It’s good you have the images and memories … those can never be relocated.

    Several years ago B.N. (Before Norway) the little consulting company I worked for in Marriottsville, Maryland loaned me out to an office in downtown Baltimore — their World Trade Center on the Baltimore Harbor, on the side of the building looking down into the Rainforest Exhibit of the National Aquarium. It was only for a few days, but it still ranks at the top of work location experiences!

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    • The view in B’more must have been awesome! I haven’t been there in a long time. I’m due for a trip. And you’re right, I’ll just have to keep those images in my head and heart.

      I’d love to go to Norway. How cool. It’s on my list!

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  13. Dan

    Home office here with a view of the back yard , the beagle treeing squirrels and the back of the neighbors garage. Side note: In My Life is my second favorite song behind Sinatra singing Young at Heart. I like to listen to Durante do it too for a soulful change of style from Sinatra’s sweetly over-produced version.

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    • We seem to have similar musical tastes, although not Durante so much.

      My husband works at home, so his view is similar — and some days I do too. But I need humans (in addition to my husband who is sometimes more human than I’d like). So I go to the office most days.

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      • Dan

        Not too much for Durante’s voice myself, just like the way he does Young at Heart. Sinatra is the best though. Also like Linda Ronstadts covers of torch songs and standards with Nelson Riddle orchestrations on Lush Life and Sentimental Reason. Another interesting standard and torch singer most people are not aware of as such is Toni Tennille on the CD More Than You Know among others she has done.

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        • I have a hard time getting past the before and after Toni! But I love Ronstadt — I used to sing a bit and her songs fit my voice well. Actually, most of my musical preferences are determined by whether I can comfortably sing along!

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          • Dan

            Love Toni’s 1) Guess Who I Saw Today and 2) More Than You Know. Haven’t been able to find Guess Who I Saw Today on Youtube by Toni, darn. Wish I could. I do like this sexy version, though I am not a big Nancy Wilson fan. I like the visuals used in it.

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  14. This was a great view – but it does look better on the website’s professional photo. Much closer, too.
    Me, I just get a view of a padded cell they call a cubicle. I’m looking forward to spring when I can work wirelessly from the office balcony with a view of a lake and a forest behind it. I’m not looking forward to summer, because it would be too hot to be outside, and I’ll be back in my cubicle.

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  15. DC really is beautiful. I’m sorry your losing your space. That does suck. But maybe the new place will offer something new and different that you didn’t expect. 🙂

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  16. Ohhhh, darn it, Elyse … sorry you are losing your lottery-worthy view. I’m sure you’ll find your own ways to be inspired, even while looking at brick walls and AC units. You’ll just have to come up with creative ways to bring a little Capitol beauty into your not-so-beautiful space. Hey, you could always add a mirror! That would do it! (notwithstanding your current healing period, of course, although surely you know we think you are beautiful with or without the scar from your surgery) 🙂

    I once spent almost eight years in a windowless office. Out of desperation, I would sometimes prop open the door, willing to fight the mosquitoes of Texas (and those are SERIOUS mosquitoes), just for the chance to have a slice of anything but wall to look at. You saw helicopters; I saw bugs nearly as big as helicopters. Practically the same. Almost.

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    • Oh dear 99, that sounds way worse than what I will be facing! It will be fine. I am sad to have to give back my lottery winnings! Easy come …

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  17. Luanne

    Omigosh, you have been sooooooooooooo lucky!!! Well, I trust you’ll grow to love your new space. But without you watching over Washington, I hate to see what will happen.

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  18. What an amazing space you’ve had. I hope your new office space has something equally amazing to offer, even if the view isn’t as good.

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    • I do love the parking lot. Seriously. I love it. It has no pillars for me to hit. Hopefully there will be something else to love.

      But I do love my job — and the folks I work with. So I need to not grumble!

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  19. Wow, I’d be sad to leave that view too. Getting a window is a real plus, but that view is really special. Is that your new view at the bottom? Maybe you can get binoculars?

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    • The view at the bottom is from my actual current window — last year when there was a double rainbow. That ugly red building shows up in all of my pictures, but in real life it is easy to overlook. The nice picture above is a professional on from a few floors up. I an ‘t believe my iPhone camera couldn’t compete!

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  20. My sister-in-law lives in Arlington. We get down there quite a bit. Lovely area but, my GOD, the traffic! It’s rough stuff. Last time we were down we attended the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I though it would be jingoistic melodrama but I found myself unexpectedly moved.

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    • The traffic is one of the main reasons we’re moving. Arlington Cemetery is a lovely place — we ‘Mericans do the best graveyards! Seriously, it is particularly beautiful to wander in the spring when everything is in bloom. In the winter I can see the headstones from my window. Sigh.

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  21. Twindaddy

    Awwww….that sucks! At least you still have your job, though. Sigh….

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  22. Gorgeous view. So sorry you have to leave it. You’re like a sentinel Olivia Pope in there! Hopefully your new one won’t face a brick wall. That would suck.

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  23. With such pricey real estate, the view should convey.

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  24. It is a great view. My daughter lived and worked in Arlington for several years, so I think I can picture the location exactly. Rosemarie

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  25. Great view … and hopefully your view in the new gigs won’t be a dumpster.

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  26. I only spent a single weekend in DC a few years back (The Rally to Restore Sanity, which fell on my birthday), but it’s amazing how powerfully these images take me back! How did I miss the prior office view posts? I’m glad I caught this one, but sorry you’re on to a new building now . . .

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  27. Wow, what a view. Sorry you guys are moving, but thanks for the photos. Haven’t spent much time in Washington before.

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  28. Moving is hard no matter when or where. You will certainly miss these views.

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  29. 1jaded1

    What a beautiful view. I’m an office space lottery winner. Not sure how long it will last. I hope your new office has a decent view.

    Like

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