Crooning in the Night

Friday I was supposed to go to the Story League event Story League Sings. If you don’t know what Story League is, you should, because it’s awesome, but I’ll pardon you and explain briefly that it runs workshops and contests for oral storytelling. Think This American Life plus The Moth. Amazing.

I didn’t go, because my friend with whom I was supposed to go wanted to eat Polish potato dumplings and watch Frozen. I hadn’t seen Frozen and I’m certainly not one to turn down potato dumplings, so down the street I went and up into one of DC’s less loved apartment buildings, the ancient manual door elevator serving as a case in itself for some evidently long-needed TLC. But, no matter, because when I arrived on the 6th floor I opened the creaky elevator gate to the silky voice of Ella Fitzgerald, who happens, strictly coincidentally, to be my very favorite singer.

It was coming from down the hall, and I followed it of course. And lo and behold, it was coming from the apartment that was my evening destination (I knew this was going to be a good alternative!)! The drab, beige walls and the glorious voice of Ella.

Into the apartment I went! And what a night it was. Frozen, potato dumplings, red wine, a homemade quiche …

And when all had had their fill we lay back on the bed and turned up the volume, filling the room with Sinatra and Ella and Peggy Lee.

This is the best part about living in the city. In the summer when it’s hot and you’re up late and you don’t want to bother with the air conditioning, you can hear all the neighbors from the open windows. You can sit on your bed and lay back and sing at the top of your lungs and your friends are all there around you, talking low with their heads together or crooning with their eyes closed, dangling glasses of wine.

I love apartment living. Everyone else can have their nights on the town. I’ll be up on the sixth floor, sprawled by the window, Ella and me singing into the night.