Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Houses and Home
I like to walk in neighborhoods and look at the houses. I like to do this nearly anywhere, including at the beach when I imagine what it might be like to live in the houses I walk by. I imagine what the people who live there are like and what kind of decor they have. It's always nice - their furniture is nicer than mine and they have oriental rugs and wainscoting in the kitchen and interesting architectural details that aren't nuisances.
One thing I haven't done much of yet here in Colonial Williamsburg is walk around the historic district. The times I have started out to do so, I almost never have gotten very far. Often it's because I run into someone and get into a conversation and then my time is up. Or I have an errand to run that puts me in my car instead of on the street. Sometimes I need to get some lunch and the historic area is kind of crowded.
The other night, however, I decided to take a stroll down Duke of Gloucester Street about sunset. By that time, all the venues (except the taverns) are closed and the tourists are pretty much gone. We do have street lights and it's quite safe to wander around after dark. So I walked all the way down DOG Street (as the locals say) and back in the gathering dark.
Without people on the sidewalks, I got a good look at the houses as I walked by. Some of the houses are actual houses that people are living in, while others are used as replicas of colonial shops and the like. It was quite pleasant, both to walk through the neighborhood and to do my usual imagining.
Probably not surprisingly, it was a little different imagining people who might live in these houses. Were they people who wear jeans and flip flops or something more like period dress? Who would live in a house on DOG Street, anyway? Is it weird? Do people have modern furniture in them? (I wondered about my leather couches and chairs and whether they would "go.")
I definitely need to do this more often, to begin to feel more at home here. I am at home in my rental, and I'm at home in my office, but I still don't quite feel connected to Williamsburg itself. I haven't quite embedded myself in the community yet. I think it might be best done on foot.