Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two Things Challenge: Noisy / Peaceful

Looking west/southwest along I-395. Traffic on the right is coming off
of I-295 and headed into Virginia. Traffic on the left is coming off the
14th Street Bridge and heading east into Washington.

This week's Two Things Challenge was Noisy / Peaceful. My interpretation of Noisy: Traffic. Washington, D.C., ranks second in the nation for worst commute. Commuters from all over the region spend an average of 29.3 minutes per day traveling to and from work. We rank fifth for road rage and general discourteousness.

Looking east along 1-295. Traffic on the right is heading into southeast Washington,
traffic on the left is westbound headed toward Virginia.

These two photos show I-395, an artery that feeds into Virginia and I-295, an artery that feeds into southeast D.C. and Maryland. They meet at the point where I took these pictures--the top of L'Enfant Plaza. I should have taken these photos at the height of the commute hours to emphasize my statistics, but that would have put me in crappy traffic and might have made me angry and who needs that, right?!

The Sonoma Coast in springtime, Sonoma, California

My interpretation for Peaceful comes from my archives. These pictures are actually four or five years old, but they represent this second part of the challenge perfectly for me. One of the biggest things I miss about living in the East is the beach.

Patrick's Point State Park, Humboldt County, California

I moved back to D.C. from northern California and, for me, the beach was the place I went to re-energize and center myself. There's nothing more bracing than a good, stiff coastal wind to blow the cobwebs out of your cluttered mind and soothe your soul. D.C. sucks you dry and spits you out and offers few spaces and places to regroup. At least, that's the case for me. When I think of peaceful, I think of the coast.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential


Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

These series you do are very interesting, Janet. Also, I've been meaning to tell you that I really like the way you've designed your page. It shows beautifully on my wide screen. :)

lacochran said...

East coast waves don't cut it, eh?

Nice interpretation.

The Artful Eye said...

Wonderful interpretation!
Have you driven in big city CA? I know D.C. is bad for traffic and rage but I think CA has every state beat especially big city LA and here eight lanes of traffic day and night.

I lived in Napa and Sonoma for 9 years. I love Northern CA for all it's beauty.

Thanks for your description of Rock Creek.

Bev said...

I like the blurry line abstract traffic and the beautiful beach photos.

We have friends who have been to Florida to Disney World and say that the traffic is scary on the way there too.

D.C. Confidential said...

Fénix: The 2 Challenge is always fun! You should join in; you'd be great at it. And thanks for the feedback on my page design. I work on a laptop and have a tiny screen, so I'm never sure how it looks in a larger format.

Lacochran: Nope. I certainly enjoy Rehoboth and the Outer Banks, but they're crowded and sometimes too warm. I miss the cold, crashing northern California beaches.

Andrea: I have driven in L.A. It's awful! D.C. is almost as bad, but not yet the 24/7 that L.A. is. And S.F. traffic could be bad, but I rarely drove in it because the BART system was so great (and, honestly, far superior to Metro. Ironically, though, Metro carries more passengers per day than BART. Go figure.) Northern California is fabulous! I honestly don't know why I moved away.

Bev: Thanks! I have friends who drive down to Disney World in Orlando every summer, too, and I honestly can't understand why. Yuck. I've driven I-95 as far south as Savannah and that was more than enough for me.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Ahhh, the beach. Calming and soothing and peaceful. Couldn't agree more! I love the beach and this is the first time I've lived so far away from a decent stretch of sand with waves. I grew up 'on the water' and miss it alot.
Your noisy entry looks exactly that. A little noxious too...but then cities tend to be like that! Even small ones like ours.

D.C. Confidential said...

Lisa: There's just something about a beach, isn't there? Although, oddly enough, I have friends who don't like the beach and prefer to hike in the mountains or rock climb. Weird, huh? ;-) Seriously, though, I miss the beach and have yet to find an adequate substitute for it.

Part of the problem, ironically, is traffic in these parts. First off, the beach is four hours away on a good day. On a bad traffic day, it's six! Yuck.