Somehow July 4th already seems like a lifetime ago, but I hope you had a good one. I did. My husband and I returned to Arlington, Virginia, our hometown, which feels so quiet and quaint compared to Brooklyn. I knew it wasn't the most bustling place in the world, but I never considered it bucolic, either. After all, I've lived in far smaller places and visited even smaller ones. At one point, I even lived in Grinnell, Iowa, if you can believe it (I barely can.) During cross-country RV trips with my family, I passed through more than one town whose posted population was under 10. But there really is no place like Brooklyn. That's not to say Brooklyn is better than Arlington, or anywhere else. It's simply different. That's what makes every place special—its unique character and history. I wouldn't want Arlington and Brooklyn to be the same. Suburban Washington, D.C. and New York City's second biggest borough are meant to be different.
Going to my hometown for July 4th reminded me of its special gifts. First off, Arlington is lush and green. The whole Washington, D.C. area is full of trees. Even when you go to downtown D.C., you're surrounded by trees. In New York, you don't see such a sheer volume of foliage unless you're in a site specifically meant for it, like Central Park or Prospect Park. But in Arlington, plants are everywhere. My husband and I took a walk around his childhood neighborhood and I was astounded by how many trees and gardens there were.
Then there's the architecture. Arlington has a great mix of post-World War II homes, Antebellum buildings, and modern condos. I'm less a fan of some of the McMansions that have popped up as of late, but factoring historic preservation into urban planning is a challenge many communities face. There's still enough of old Arlington to go around. And I hope to see more of that on my next visit home.
Outfit: Vintage velvet top, skirt from a Garment District wholesaler, Franco Sarto sandals.
By day, I am Christine Stoddard, a New York-based magazine writer. By night I am the founding editor of the bewitching Quail Bell Magazine and a Brooklyn bohème who adores art, magic, and revolution. Really, those two personas are not all that different—at least if you're paying attention. This is where I dream, dabble, and muse. From time to time, you'll find me promoting the fairy punk lifestyle, too. And why not? It's addictive. Learn more about me.