Weekends often allow District residents to set aside their worries, pursue their avocations and have fun-filled family outings in parks and backyards. Weekends in Anacostia are no exception.

Though the sun baked their bodies in 98-degree heat, and sticky humidity hung over the asphalt, hundreds of young men crowded basketball courts and played until fatigue overcame them.

Youngsters mounted mopeds, 10-speed bikes and roller skates and eased down Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE and other thoroughfares in this east-of-the-river community, creating their own cool breezes.

More than 1,000 people gathered in Anacostia Park for family picnics and recreation. Kids played on the Anacostia River banks and packed the park's swimming pool as older residents filled the tennis courts and cruised through the park in cars and vans and on motorcycles.

In the park and in many of the neighborhoods among the tranquil and historic hills or far southeast D.C., rhythm and blues from portable component systems and cassette and tape players put a lively bounce in everyone's feet.

As storm clouds gathered Sunday evening, children chased each other in and around the public housing units of Barry Farms. A nearby crowd of weather-conscious baseball fans urged the players to hurry the final inning along.

But, when the clouds finally burst, Anacostians were glad for the cooling rain, a welcome respite from their hot summer fun.