Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Capitol Hill Neighborhood of Washington,D.C.

Sunday morning we attended First Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Washington, D.C.  The Gospel lesson for the day was acted out by the Lifeline Partnership, adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  It is one of several social ministries with which the congregation is actively involved.  First Trinity also has a hostel and housing ministry, as well as a public restaurant which provides job training for the unemployed.  We enjoyed talking with Pastors Wendy Moen and Tom Knoll after the service, as well as other members of the congregation.  The church certainly has an exciting ministry to the community and, unlike other churches we have visited, it has young adults active in its worship and mission activities.  After church our son Dan suggested a trip over to the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill.  It is the second market bearing its name, the first one started in 1805 and lasted until 1872.  In its earliest beginnings it was situated near the Anacostia River.  It was a time when markets relied on river transportation to move goods.
 In 1873 a building was built at its present location, and in that building we found many vendors selling a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and flowers.  Somewhat similar to Soulard Market back in St.Louis.
 Outside the building was a very large flea market.  Strong neighborhood support through the years has kept the market going.  Opened 6 days a week, it is Washington's oldest continuously operating farmer's market.

 Especially on weekends the market is quite active with many craft booths, antique dealers as well as musicians.  While strolling around the market we came upon the Capitol Hillbillies.  The pianist pounded wildly on the keyboard, sometimes even using his forearms, it was amazing that the piano didn't bounce off the little cart upon which it was perched!  The two musicians were very entertaining and the ragtime music was good.  While we were there the pianist asked for help from the audience to play his tambourine.  Daniel was happy to oblige.
From the market we walked through part of the Capitol Hill Neighborhood.  The first city planner for Washington, Pierre L'Enfant, chose this area for the Federal House ( U.S. Capitol).  He ran into some confrontations with local landowners and was relived of further responsibilities.  Once known as Navy Yard, Capitol Hill is the oldest residential area of  Washington city.  Now the Navy yard is no longer the area's major employer, but the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps still anchor this residential community.  It is a mixture of row houses mixed with two-story frame houses.  Many of the small front yards are quite pretty with flower gardens, brick walkways and wrought iron fences.  And we were surprised to accidentally find the house where John Philip Sousa was born in 1854.

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