North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 

 -   At the Capitol, Pennsylvania Avenue, New Jersey Avenue,
Delaware Avenue, and Maryland Avenue converge.  They come from one
extremity of - Page 4
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At The Capitol, Pennsylvania Avenue, New Jersey Avenue, Delaware Avenue, And Maryland Avenue Converge.

They come from one extremity of the city to the square of the Capitol on one side, and run out from the other side of it to the other extremity of the city.

Pennsylvania Avenue, New York Avenue, Vermont Avenue, and Connecticut Avenue do the same at what is generally called President's Square. In theory, or on paper, this seems to be a clear and intelligible arrangement; but it does not work well. These center depots are large spaces, and consequently one portion of a street is removed a considerable distance from the other. It is as though the same name should be given to two streets, one of which entered St. James's Park at Buckingham Gate, while the other started from the Park at Marlborough, House. To inhabitants the matter probably is not of much moment, as it is well known that this portion of such an avenue and that portion of such another avenue are merely myths - unknown lands away in the wilds. But a stranger finds himself in the position of being sent across the country knee deep into the mud, wading through snipe grounds, looking for civilization where none exists.

All these avenues have a slanting direction. They are so arranged that none of them run north and south, or east and west; but the streets, so called, all run in accordance with the points of the compass. Those from east to west are A Street, B Street, C Street, and so on - counting them away from the Capitol on each side, so that there are two A streets and two B streets. On the map these streets run up to V Street, both right and left - V Street North and V Street South. Those really known to mankind are E, F, G, H, I, and K Streets North. Then those streets which run from north to south are numbered First Street, Second Street, Third Street, and so on, on each front of the Capitol, running to Twenty-fourth or Twenty-fifth Street on each side. Not very many of these have any existence, or, I might perhaps more properly say, any vitality in their existence.

Such is the plan of the city, that being the arrangement and those the dimensions intended by the original architects and founders of Washington; but the inhabitants have hitherto confined themselves to Pennsylvania Avenue West, and to the streets abutting from it or near to it. Whatever address a stranger may receive, however perplexing it may seem to him, he may be sure that the house indicated is near Pennsylvania Avenue. If it be not, I should recommend him to pay no attention to the summons. Even in those streets with which he will become best acquainted, the houses are not continuous. There will be a house, and then a blank; then two houses, and then a double blank. After that a hut or two, and then probably an excellent, roomy, handsome family mansion.

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