We always knew we’d be back.
My husband and I lived in the District pre-kids. First on the Hill, and then Adams Morgan, and while we spent 20 years in the suburbs to raise our kids–where we landed after moving ever-further north and west in a quest to find a home we could afford and raise children in–we always knew we would eventually move back into the city.
We loved our time in Bethesda, made wonderful friends, and our sons received a terrific education in Montgomery County public schools. But when our youngest enrolled in college, we began flirting with the idea of moving back. We visited many open houses around 14th St and Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan, as well as Cleveland Park. Soon, we knew that CP was the best for us: plenty of trees and green space to enjoy with the dog, and a parking situation that wouldn’t scare away our suburban friends.
Within a minute of stepping foot into the house that would soon be ours, we knew it was the right one. Serendipitously it was across the street from good friends. And on a street we had both loved for decades. And in great condition and would not require us to do any renovations. So we jumped, and haven’t looked back since.
We knew we’d enjoy the street and the house, and being close in to easily metro or walk or drive to all the things in DC we like to do. What we didn’t expect was the neighbor-part of the neighborhood. The simple act of walking around, sitting on porches, running errands by foot rather than by car, and easily grabbing a meal within a block or two of the house meant that we ran into people all the time. Neighbors and familiar faces quickly became friends.
Finding Tregaron was another wonderful surprise. This amazing hidden gem–right across the street–provides the most amazing respite from city living with its trails, pond, creeks, green open space, and cool urban forest. Rock Creek is a known and appreciated destination, but Tregaron is a haven that often seems like ours alone.
And then there is the activism, and the volunteer spirit, and the shared quest to make Cleveland Park even better than it already is. Linking arms and effort with neighbors who get involved, share a common hope, and want to have fun doing it has affirmed so many of my hopes I had for this newly empty nest stage of my life.
Now when I walk the dog or head over to Connecticut Avenue I enjoy running into people I know, along the street, in the shops and restaurants, and at the cash registers. In less than three years I feel like we belong, and are part of something bigger than ourselves. We loved our house the minute we stepped into it. We found a home in Cleveland Park.
Susie Zimmermann is a freelance marketing communications specialist who works out of her home in Cleveland Park. She also volunteers for Tregaron and the revitalization activities of the Cleveland Park Business Association.