Last night I was thinking of where I am now versus where I was ten years ago. The difference is staggering, even to me. In honor of my nearly six years on The Shore (and nearly six years away from D.C.), I’ve come up with a list of what I miss about the Nation’s Capital, and what I love about where I am now.
What I miss about D.C. (and its surrounding locale):
1) Accessibility. Shopping, food, great medical care–all right there.
2) Diversity. An international cornucopia of heritages, faiths and culture.
3) Free Museums, especially the Freer/Sackler galleries with their vast collection of religious icons.
4) The Uptown. An historic movie theatre with a twenty-foot curved screen, a huge balcony and velvet curtains that roll back before the show.
5) Alternative music doesn’t mean Green Day–real shows, awesome bands, great venues and spectacular attendees (this applies more to Baltimore than conservative D.C.).
6) Proper county fairs. You’d think a rural county like Wicomico would corner the market on this agrarian tradition. Not so. You have to hike fifty miles north to the Delaware State Fair if you want to see a goat (and I love me some goats).
7) Commander Salamander (although I hear it has gone mainstream. Sigh).
8) Thai food. Korean food. Vietnamese food.
9) Armand’s pizza in Silver Spring. Heaven on a crust.
10) MOBY DICK HOUSE OF KABOB. Yeah, losing access to a tiny little carryout place is the biggest regret I carry with me. It’s was a splurge back in the day, which is why I particularly crave it for my birthday, our anniversary, any special event. Kabob E-Chehjeh over rice, Mast-o Kheyar (cucumber yogurt sauce), herb salad, flat bread and the house Doojh (fizzy yogurt drink) to wash it all down. A planet of “Yums,” couldn’t cover my adoration for this place.
What I love about the Eastern Shore:
1) Maryland Blue Crabs. And not the crap they charge you an arm and a leg for in Baltimore, but locally harvested, giant, succulent crabs.
2) Assateague Island National Seashore, with its massive white beaches, nature trails and wild ponies.
3) The towering pine trees ensure there’s always a little green edging the horizon, even in the depths of winter.
4) For better (usually) or worse (one stellar example), I actually know my neighbors.
5) The ocean is twenty minutes away.
6) On nights with a celestial or lunar event, all I have to do is drive ten minutes in any direction to find myself standing in a cornfield under a velvet black sky.
7) I can drive my 1977, belt-squealing, engine-growling, eight-foot-bedded beast of a pickup and the stares I get are ones of approval, not horror.
8) Farmland is not a mythological entity.
9) Thrasher’s French Fries and Anthony’s Carryout roast beef sandwiches.
10) I can afford my house.
So, six years later, I’ve reached a happy compromise. When the yearning for city life grabs me, I jump in my car, indulge in some of my most longed-for entertainments, then I climb back in the car, and let the sparkling silvery waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries guide me, bridge-by-bridge, back home.