Morale is running high in the "While You're Here, Comrade" department in the wake of our latest display of influence. Tuesday morning we suggested the Gorbachevs should visit the Albert Einstein Memorial, and voila`, hours later Raisa Gorbachev was bound for the site. Granted, she glimpsed the statue from the back seat of a speeding limousine, but this is no time to split hairs.
Emboldened by this affirmation, our tour guides present a final round of sightseeing suggestions intended for those who will be leaving as well as for those who will be sticking around.
Tour Guide: Phyllis Theroux, Washington essayist. Destination: Value Village, a secondhand store at 525 Rhode Island Ave. NE.
"Value Village is not esthetically uplifting. There is a rank, dank, no-frills ambiance that does not make for good photo opportunities. And surely Comrade Gorbachev would be shocked, as am I, at what our affluent citizens think unusable. But other citizens routinely profit from this misjudgment, and it is these Washingtonians, who rarely appear upon the diplomatic circuit within which Comrade Gorbachev is so tightly bound, that he would have an opportunity to observe.
"Rebellious teen-agers looking for something to wear that will simultaneously mirror their Marxist convictions and offend their parents shop alongside Washington's large population of not-so-legal Hispanic aliens. Tired mothers, with more children than money, pick through Fisher-Price toys. Among the staff, snatches of conversation about who just went into jail or got out of a drug rehab program can be heard.
"Yet, 'The Village' ... is hardly a dismal meeting ground ... An undercurrent of exuberance -- the product of need and greed meeting without pain -- fills the air. And if Comrade Gorbachev wished to see how in a capitalist society wealth is redistributed, he could not find a better laboratory. He might also find a perfectly good Brooks Brothers sport coat, going for a song."
Tour Guide: Gail Rabin, a Washington designer. Destination: Mr. L and Son Restaurant, 5818 Connecticut Ave. NW.
"Every year they used to have a senior citizens' New Year's Eve party where people were eating matzo ball soup. I figured that was our answer to the Dannon commercial where they show the old Russian people eating yogurt. It looks like a normal restaurant until you see what looks like a fairly peaceful coexistance between chopsticks and chopped liver."
Guide: Mary Witt, Bethesda. Destination: The Frederick Douglass Home at 14th and W streets SE.
"I think that Frederick Douglass is kind of neglected by Americans as a hero. He was born a slave and raised himself up to incredible accomplishments. He was not only for civil rights, but for women's rights. And the home, Cedar Hills, is so beautifully maintained by the Park Service. It's very inspiring to go there and learn about him."
Guide: Barbara Piontkowski, McLean. Destination: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
"Since time is of the essence for summiteers, why not combine business and sightseeing? Schedule one of the morning arms talks at the Vietnam Memorial. Arrange tables on a grassy area within sight of the memorial and let the power of 'the Wall' pervade the discussions. Break for coffee and soft pretzels from a nearby vendor."
Guide: Janice S. Moglen, a technical writer from Reston. Destination: A chessboard at the Reston Community Center, or, weather permitting, Dupont Circle.
"Isn't a chessboard a better place to meet than the White House conference table? When I was a little girl growing up in New York City, I'd wait for my father, a chess player, to return home from his games with the Russians at the United Nations.
"It is my dream to hold an international chess tournament in Washington, D.C., where outstanding Russian players can play opposite world-class American competitors."
Guide: Robert Squier, political consultant. Destination: A TV studio.
"I'd like to film him watching one of the networks give the election returns. I think it is a concept that is frightening to them. I'm pulling for Reagan to win this summit because dictators don't hire political consultants."