20 Jan 2011

Things We Take For Granted: Outdoor Spaces

Orginially Uploaded to Flickr by Madam Meow

If you have children you surely understand what it means to have cabin fever—the kind of condition that leaves children with boundless energy while homes and parents suffer the consequences of said boundless energy.

As far as a work-life balance goes, I’d say I have it pretty good. I spend three days a week in an office using my brain and interacting with other adults. The other four days of the week I am the primary caretaker of one precocious two-year-old girl. She is delightful, almost always picks up her toys and has a way with please and thank you. But come Friday the effects of a week spent indoors—whether at home, in music class, or at the library—begins to take its toll. She’s tired of playing with the same toys and I’m tired of her endless pleas to watch “Spout,” otherwise known as Sprout, the cable channel brought to you by PBS. It’s also about the same time when I start to realize just how much I take the outdoor spaces on the Hill for granted.

For the other nine months of the year my daughter and I are happy to step outside and make our way to any one of the four parks within a one mile radius of our home. And let’s not forgot that one spot that we all seem to gravitate to on weekends: Eastern Market. As soon as the weather begins to break in March all the way through October, you can bet that our family is walking to and around the market on the weekend. And, if I’m so lucky to get a warm, sunny afternoon to myself, you’ll find me sitting on my favorite park bench on the Capitol grounds watching the world (and the squirrels) walk by.

So while I struggle to get my daughter into her car seat so we can drive to some big box store in Virginia where we can both expend some energy while I spend too much money, I will dream of the warmer days to come when she will hop into her stroller while I pack some snacks for a picnic in Lincoln Park followed by a turn on the slide and a game of catch in the grass.

Whether it is sipping coffee on the patio watching people walk by or playing fetch with your pooch, tell us your favorite outdoor spaces on the Hill.

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7 responses to “Things We Take For Granted: Outdoor Spaces”

  1. h says:

    Odd time of year to be mentioning this! For most of us it’s dark when we leave the house for work, and dark when we return home.

  2. Kyra says:

    Really H?

    During the colder months of winter it is the frigid temps, and not the level of light, that keeps many people indoors. If it were 80 degrees outside, I bet those of us who could would be walking, biking all over the Hill until exhaustion set in–no matter how light or dark it is outside–because there are so many great outdoor spaces on the Hill, like Lincoln Park, Eastern Market and the patio at the Argo.

    I’m sincere (not snarky) when I say I’m sorry you have to work a traditional 9 to 5. Hopefully you don’t work all weekend. Life’s too short to work too hard.

  3. Caroline says:

    Well, I know I’m more likely to utilize the Hill’s outdoor spaces during daylight when it’s cold than after dark, regardless of temperature. And a lot of us do actually prefer DC’s winters to its summers. I don’t think you can really blame it on temperature– yesterday was pretty mild but what activities besides walking are appealing when it’s dark out?

  4. Kyra says:

    I like to sit outside and sip tea at PCJ and chat with friends. I like to take my daughter to the park. I like to picnic in the park with my family. I’d be more inclined to stay an mingle with fellow dog owners, if I owned a dog and took walks with her. I’d go for a nice bike ride. And I’d regularly eat dinner outside, whether at home or at any of the number of restaurants with outdoor seating.

  5. Sharee Lawler Sharee Lawler says:

    I find that continuing to walk for my errands, as long as isn’t too bitterly cold, is a good way to keep away the cabin fever. I feel less cooped up and it seems to make the darkness less relevant. It can actually be quite pretty walking through the neighborhood in the evenings, as long as you’re comfortable with your environment.

  6. Mark says:

    Bike commuting gets me outside twice daily 🙂

    If it’s not too cold, Marvelous Market patio is a great place to sit and sip a warm beverage, the building shields you from the wind.

  7. Jill says:

    Strolling through Eastern Market on weekends.

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