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A Snow's Sodden Fall From Grace

By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 25, 2005; Page C01

What a pain, yesterday's snow.

Started in the morning, pestered us all day long. We slip-slid along sidewalks and fishtailed cars up slush-slathered hills. There was just enough to be obstructionist but not enough to be delightful. Some places closed early; others never opened.

Such a snowfall can be especially hard on Washingtonians. We pride ourselves on efficiency and control.

As pedestrians scurry by, the Lone Sailor at the U.S. Navy Memorial faces up to the storm. (Photos Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)

_____More on Wilson Bridge_____
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Bridge Q&A
Clickable Map: Beltway Changes
Graphic: Bridge Bucks
Graphic: Building a Better Bridge
Graphic: Building the Foundations
Review: Forgey on the Design
_____Wilson Bridge Report_____
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Next Phase of Wilson Bridge Project Poses Big Challenges (The Washington Post, Feb 20, 2005)
At Wilson Bridge, Pain to Get Worse (The Washington Post, Feb 20, 2005)
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"I hate snow," said Jewell Barber. It was a little after noon and the 19-year-old was brushing the stuff off her windshield at Eighth Street and Florida Avenue NE. "I'm trying to get to work."

Barber sees nothing lovely or lyrical about snow.

To the focused and the fine-tuned, bad weather can be adversarial. "If weather's keeping me from doing something I want to do, it's not friendly," said John White, 24, at the customerless Washington Nationals Team Store in the RFK Stadium parking lot.

We rail against the weather as if it were a raised Woodrow Wilson Bridge or a stalled commuter on I-270. And we forget its beauty as it drifts across the Mall.

Call us the neonaturalists.

We worry what the weather will do to us. We have gone to great lengths to build airtight offices and heavy metal Metro station bonnets as shields against nature's wicked weaponry. We wear Thinsulated coats and drive snow-tired cars, but we still seem to be losing the war against the weather.

Bicycle courier Matthew Folan, 27, doesn't like snow at all. He was tired of sliding around downtown streets. "It makes me want to move somewhere warm."

The snow, said Lamont Crawford, 31, as he dutifully delivered beer on Capitol Hill, "makes it harder to work." But, he added philosophically, "that's part of nature -- it has to snow."

And we have to deal with it. As gracefully as possible, though we can never be as graceful as the snow itself.

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