Jim and I drove over to Kensington to drop off our cleaning. I stopped to take a look around - to appreciate the familiar territory. Kensington is only a short drive from our house but it could be a world away. It is a bit of memory a block off Connecticut Avenue, a jammed traffic artery into Washington, DC.
Howard Avenue is the main street. One side is a line of small shops in old buildings. This line-up of shops - called collectively Antiques Row - faces active train tracks where freight and passenger trains rumble past frequently night and day. People travel from all around the area and further to browse the treasures. They stroll these several blocks and wander in and out of the small stores hoping for a find.
Mixed in with the Antiques shops are a small cleaners where a woman sits at an old Singer with her German Shepherd at her feet, a shoe repair shop which is ripe with the pungent smells of glue and leather, an inviting second hand book store where you are welcome to sit in a rocker and sample the books and a former art gallery that is now GIG, a guitar studio - offering lessons and instruments.
Many of the antiques shops set up sidewalk still life arrangements to lure buyers inside.
I was intrigued by this set-up, particularly the antique wooden cigar box.
Two turn of the century beauties tempt folks into Elizabeth's.
Storytelling tip: Look, notice the details, remember the world around you. It is the stuff of story.