Two weeks ago, I waxed lyrical about Washington's beauty and wondered in print if others enjoyed it as I do. To my astonishment, that item evoked a small flood of letters and numerous telephone calls. I'll share a few samples:

From Patricia Styig-Heine of Potomac: "Oh, how I loved reading something by someone who loves Gorgeous Washington, D.C., as much as I do. I was born in Alexandria and . . . I've never seen or visited any place I'd rather live. I still get goosebumps whenever I drive into D.C. . . . . "

From William H. Bolden of Exeter, N.H., who spends much time here: "I have visited Paris, Rome and Geneva but none . . . measures up to the beauty of monumental Washington. . . . In addition to the tourist portions, though, Washington also has beautiful neighborhoods. I particularly enjoy walking through the Brookland-Woodbridge area . . . .Thank you for reminding me . . .that Washington is indeed a gorgeous city."

From Gloria Harper of Silver Spring, wife of a retired Air Force careerist: "Every time I wander and come home, my eyes are filled with tears as I fly over this lovely city. There's more beauty per square mile than anyone can dream of."

From Ellen McRyan, a summer intern in Washington (she didn't say where she is from): "The atmosphere here is invigorating--the sense of human politics in motion is all around, and the constant convergence of nationalities and viewpoints keep the city alive in every way. I, too, believe that being in Washington is a privilege."

From Barbara Flagg of Alexandria: "I moved here in 1966 and have been hooked ever since. It's hard to think of moving away when you're playing softball in the shadow of the beautiful Lincoln Memorial."

From Elizabeth A. Gordan, a former New Englander now also of Alexandria, whose letter abounds with the Postal Service's two-letter state abbreviations: "Traveled in England, Denmark, Japan, Sweden, E&W Germany, Turkey, Libya, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands; lived in the states of CT, NY, NJ, AK, MA, VA, MD, OK, TX, CA, AZ and GA . . . .There simply is no treasure like the city of Washington, D.C.