August 5 – Alley of the Three Horse Heads (ONP #217)

with No Comments

Alley dive, today!  I was feeling a little bit unenthusiastic about my New Place today: I didn’t have much time, so thought I would just duck into this alley while I was down in Dupont Circle, and check the New Place off my list.

Boy, did I get a free attitude adjustment!  This alley (behind Connecticut Avenue between Q and R) turned out to be full of hidden architectural treasures . . . everywhere I turned, it seemed I was gasping “Wow!   

It wasn’t even a straight alley–but opened up into a back court with parking lots and freestanding old, red brick buildings (probably carriage houses and stables) and multiple exits and entrances. The brickwork on the buildings was spectacular, especially this relief of three horse heads, and the intricate gingerbread design around the eaves and windows.

I love how history is laid bare in the alleys, so much more so than in the front, where shop windows and paint and renovations hide all the grit and years and make it seem like “now” is everything. Here you really become aware of how much (and how many) went before you.

My other amusing discovery was all the different varieties of parking (or rather no parking) signs that abounded. . . even in German!  Because when it comes to something important like keeping people out of your parking space, there is no one way to express yourself!