It’s about time I introduced you. Blog, meet Logan Circle. Logan Circle, meet Blog.
I live in Logan Circle, a popular residential neighbourhood in north-west DC named in honour of John A. Logan, a soldier and political leader in the 1800’s whose statue graces the main roundabout in the area. Roundabouts, incidentally, are called ‘circles’ here and pelican crossings are ‘crosswalks’. Try explaining a pelican or zebra crossing to an American without sounding like a complete twat. Did you know that in the UK we also have panda, puffin, toucan and pegasus crossings? Animals and birds I can sort of understand, but a mythical winged creature sired by Poseidon?
Back to Logan Circle. A no-go area in the 1980’s and 1990’s due to the crack epidemic and resulting criminal activity, the area benefitted from the growing economy in the last decade and is now mainly populated by young white professionals. Restaurants and bars line the 14th Street corridor. Two in particular stand out, Thai-tanic (unsurprisingly a thai restaurant) and Tsunami, a sushi bar. “What next?” asked my sister “the Holocaust Grill?”
Dogs are a big deal here. You can’t swing a small clutch bag in the street without backhanding a poodle. Dogs, especially wee ones, are the accessory of choice for hipster Loganites, and are equally well dressed. Neck ties, scarves, coats … apparently there is a Great Dane in the area who wears a bowler hat.
Pet ownership in the US is a $50 billion industry. According to a recent survey, 45 million households own a dog. And they love their dogs. Walking down 14th Street one afternoon, I passed one of the very expensive furniture shops. There was a table outside, beautifully dressed with a white linen tablecloth, upon which were bottles of water and plates of biscuits. For dogs. Treats for dogs. Meanwhile the homeless guy who lives on the corner opposite was boiling in the sun in his ten layers and digging in the rubbish bin for a wee snack.
The living room in my apartment looks out on to a busy road off 14th Street. Being a bit of a nosey bastard, there’s nothing I like better than to sit at my desk by the window with a glass of red wine and watch Logan Circle life go by. Here’s a typical 7pm viewing:
- male, 40’s, violently picking knickers out of arse. Would have been classed as a serious assault had it not been his own arse.
- female, 30’s, walking cat on a lead. Cat fairly chilled.
- male, 20’s, talking very loudly on mobile phone. Just failed his exams but no way is he telling his mom.
- sparrows, gang. Attempted assault on discarded baguette.
- two couples, late 30’s, double date. One male eyeing up female with large bosom across road.
- couple, 30’s, gay. Discussing recently opened bar “awesome! tight jeans everywhere and reading glasses that nobody needs”.
- female, early 20’s, large bosom. Rolling eyes as if to say “yeah, fuck you, old man“.
- female, 30’s, attempting to walk reluctant terrier. Sit down protest ongoing.
- male, 20’s, wearing standard male DC uniform of beige slacks, white shirt and navy blazer.
Unless you are a prefect at a school for the colour-blind or employed in a naval establishment, you should never, ever wear beige slacks with a navy blazer. This is just wrong, like wearing a denim two-piece.
My bedroom at the back of the apartment overlooks a wide alley with a few parking spaces. It’s generally quiet out there. You get the occasional dog walker, or someone sneakily dumping rubbish. But the peace was shattered in the early hours a few months ago when I was woken by a strange pounding sound, like someone hammering a piece of steak with a baseball bat. I looked out the window, and saw a couple going at it over the back of the neighbour’s car. She was on her i-phone the entire time he was banging her from behind. She was actually googling something. And he just looked mildly disappointed.
Rear window, my arse. Well, her arse actually.