The Charm of the DMV in the Summer

Photo by Cia Gould.

How are you doing?

I’m back in my hometown (living with my parents 🏆), and Vienna has been happily waiting for me. I love my hometown this time of year. There are so many trees- it’s paradise. The town has changed a bit, especially Tyson’s corner. Every time I come home to Vienna, it feels a bit more like Great Falls and McLean, which I don’t like. It just feels more corporate, more plastic. Vienna used to have all the tacky charm and character, all the decades of Black history, the Vienna Inn feel, and small town community. Now it’s more gated fancy houses and every other car is a beamer. Nothing wrong with building a nice new house, but there was nothing wrong with the older smaller houses either, in my opinion. It’s still glorious and perfect and filled with sunshine and trees and neighborhoods and (closed) pools and (not practicing) swim teams, but the only place better than Vienna is the old Vienna.

I have been driving and wandering around to discover blissful spots. The other day I stumbled on a place called Montgomery Sycamore Island Club in Maryland. Here is an instagram picture of it (thank you, Lisa) and here is a Washington Post article about it. It looks like so much fun.

The club started in 1885. To get to it, first you have to be a member, second you have to ring a cowbell, and third you take a hand-pulled ferry ride, pictured below. There are more trees on the other side of the river now, but the ropes haven’t changed. It looks just like the picture below.

The ferry to get back and forth is that little dock-looking thing on the far side of the river. It floats back and forth to the rustic little island.

The ferry isn’t running, because of the pandemic (I wouldn’t be able to take it anyway because I’m not a member), but it was fun to discover this old secret little gem in DC. I love the local, tiny bits of history in this part of the world.

Here is the google search of the club, which includes a link to an article about buying and selling islands on the Potomac.

Hope you are taking good care of yourself and your loved ones in this bizarre, hot time.

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