Anthrow Circus

MicroView: Del Ray Neighborhood, Alexandria, Virginia

STORY & PHOTOS BY KAMI L. RICE

In this series, we offer you a little window onto life in one corner of the world or another. Enjoy peeking through the curtains with us! 

Little did we know that this week’s corner of the world would hit international news less than two weeks after this piece was written and scheduled for publication. Now this View from Here serves to offer context for the Washington, D.C., metro-area community in which the sobering news event took place. The day described below stands in stark contrast.


It’s a coffeehouse Saturday in a socially conscious American neighborhood where printed books equal computers at late-morning tables but children outnumber them all. The woman in front of me carts two baby children in a stroller and is interrupted in her ordering by an older, maybe-four-years-old, daughter’s exclamations of joy over the inflated pink guitar she’s found in the toy bin. It’s nearly as tall as she is. She wiggles excitedly in her unbuckled pink Velcro shoes. The barista doesn’t wait until the double stroller rolls away to take my order and ask for payment.

Today I could have waited for that. We all could have waited.


Outdoors, it is a read-in-a-long-sundress day. At 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature has my always-cold self languishing in comfort, while an occasional trickle of sweat between my crossed legs gives me the mildest of sympathies for those who suffer at such degrees. My “light” reading about Syria is interrupted by the conversation of three young women discussing the transformation one of them has undergone in giving up her wild ways—she never did drugs though—in order to live according to her real values. If I were somewhere else in the world today, perhaps I wouldn’t understand them enough be distracted from the printed words before me.

Some little brown birds whose name I should probably know hop occasionally onto my table. I like these birds. In France where I’m supposed to be right now, such fellow patrons would have been pigeons. I didn’t realize that I’ve missed, even if only mildly, these little brown hoppy souls.

Bienvenue, common little birds. À table!


Author profile
Kami L. Rice

Kami Rice, Anthrow Circus’s editor, plies her insatiable curiosity from a base in northern France and from perches in coffeehouses, cafés, and friends' homes the world over. As a freelance journalist, she has reported for the Washington Post, The Telegraph, The Tennessean, Nashville Arts Magazine, and Christianity Today, among many others. Her more creative work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, The High Calling, and Washington Institute's Missio. Her French to English translation has been published by Éditions Beaux-Arts de Paris. She also edits manuscripts and articles for a variety of clients and loves learning about the lives of regular, real people wherever she finds herself.

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