They are a mosaic of messages, written with a rainbow of colors and languages, about a vision of Washington as seen by men, women and children.
"Think crosswalks for the New Millennium," one urges.
"Move back to DC from MD & VA. You'll thank yourself every day!" suggests another.
And the sentiments of one woman are illustrated with a heart: "D.C. Me Encanta!"
Over the New Year's weekend, hundreds of people penned their thoughts for the "D.C. Millennium Town Hall Wall," which stood at Constitution Avenue and 12th Street NW during the District's two-day street festival. The wall, the creation of Brooklyn, N.Y., participation artist Phyllis Yampolsky, asked passers-by to write what they liked about the District and what they envisioned for its progress.
Their answers, some signed, some pushing for particular improvements, reveal many residents' enthusiastic patriotism about their city and the largely positive impressions of visitors, here for the holiday from as far as California, Mexico and New Zealand. A sampling of their reflections is offered here.
* Tread lightly on Mother Earth! You can't hear her say ouch.
-- Michael Palazzola, Michigan
* Live each day with Love!!
-- A. Ambriz, Mexico
* I like the Monuments and all the different people. Happy New Year.
* 8th and I Streets SE Marine Barracks!!! The Commandant's Own. Feed The Homeless!!!
* Long live Democracy, Capitalism, Freedom & the Foo Fighters.
* I like Washington, D.C. . . . Add a professional baseball team.
-- Brian Neumaier, Calverton
* Everybody needs to know that God is in control, and the city will be O.K.
-- Natosha Smith
* I think it's very cool that we got to see it change to the millennium. I think people need to understand each other better, so we can find solutions to deadly illnesses and hunger and homelessness.
* We wish there would be no language barriers in the millennium!
* Put bathrooms in the Metro Stations!! Happy New Year!
-- Katy Stagl, Arlington
* This is home and we should love where we live. The people here are trying to make this a better place to be. If we work together we could improve everything in this lovely city.
-- Gloria Miller, Washington
* Love, prosperity and health. From the most wonderful place. Saludos de Puerto Rico
-- Lydia Boada Clista, Centreville
* I loved being a tourist here as a kid, a resident for 4 years, & hope to return soon to live here again. It's nice to see things looking up for a change here in the nation's city.
-- Nick Winter, Ann Arbor
* My vision is to come back here in 2099 for the next century.
* What an exciting time to live! How marvelous to celebrate this global celebration in America's capital city! Happy 2000!!!
* Latinos: We need more services: Necesitamos mas Servicios
* DC -- it's all about atmosphere. THE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! Culture. Dupont. The Mall. Adams Morgan. Georgetown.
* Why We Like D.C. . . . Full of Life. Lots of Culture. Great Diversity. Free Museums! Good Variety of Restaurants
-- The Morais Family
* I'm happy to see D.C. turning around and becoming once again a place to feel proud about its being our Nation's Capital.
* Every kid in America should have their own lap top and be able to go to school on it.
* Less Museums. More McDonalds.
* Where dose dollars at?
* A beautiful place that is feared by far too many suburbanites. May our image finally recover.
-- Marcia Litt
* Joshua age 7 was here
* Mr. Mayor, Happy New Year. Please put up street signs in D.C.
* Washington. Really needs to lose the label: "Murder Capital of the USA."
* Thank you Jesus for allowing us to see 2000.
* Help Freedom & Democracy & Happinness in EAST & CENTRAL EUROPE. Happy Y2K!
-- Bozoki Family
* Tried, cried, slaved, Lied. We need to deliver All our Love. So now it works, forever we'll be, Bonded by the Millennium
-- Tim Houlton
* I like D.C. because it is where I met a wonderful girl!
* D.C. is awesome!
-- a former N'Yer
* When all is said & done, more is said than done!
-- Drew Down
* I say get all of homeless people in D.C. a good place to live.
* Do not surround yourself with insipid people. They will drag you down!
* It's great but . . . PARKING! WE NEED MORE PARKING!!
* Lame fire works; Paris was better!
-- From Reno
* Amnesty for all immigrants--who are here working to give us comforts and luxury, while they are so far from home.
* For the new Millennium . . . I would like to offer hot chocolate dreams and marshmallow wishes!
* What I love about D.C. is the diversity. You can get on the subway and sit on a car with people from six different countries.
I wish that people would stop hunting animals.
* Get rid of the fiber optic cable bumps in the road.
* Stop babies from selling newspapers at Metro stations. Children should be studying and not working!!!
* D.C., The most beautiful city in the greatest country on Earth. Peace to all!
-- The Jeffries Family
* It is two cities in One. One city is for the privileged. One city is for the disenfranchised.
-- Sundiata Basir
* HUGS for everyone who needs them
-- Katie Kunin
* VISION: Better chicken wings and peace . . . no global warming.
* I would like to see bathrooms in the Metro stations--and peace on Earth!
* Mike loves Donna, 2000 and beyond.
* Kevin--I love you and hope we can repair things and have a happy 2000! XXXOOO
* I love D.C. . . . It is the hometown of the USA where everyone is made to feel they belong.
-- Sarah Morris
* We were 10-year residents of D.C. and were heartbroken when we had to move to the 'burbs for work-related reasons. We will always remain Washingtonians at heart. D.C. is such a vibrant, exciting town, and we think you, Mayor Williams, are doing a phenomenal job!
-- Karmela LeJarde, Fairfax
* Make all of D.C. a nice place, not only the downtown area.
* As a new D.C. homeowner, I just want more young black women to join me--Buy a house in D.C.! . . . And more cute guys to move in next door!
* That JVO finally makes an honest woman of me
* I am returning (buying a house) to the city of my birth and my father's birth, where my grandfather came in 1910 to be free, build a business and raise a family. I only regret I will have no voting representative in Congress. Give D.C. statehood.
-- Deborah Ziska
* You are how U spend. Think about your values.
* I've read all the wall. The majority call is for improved roads, full voting rights and representation in Congress, and good schools. The Washington Monument looks just like a giant crystal. I love it. Let's keep it this way. It's a New Age symbol.
-- George Ripley, Meridian Hill
* See the world outside of DC/USA to get a better appreciation of what we have.
-- A Traveler
* Wash the graffiti off the walls.
-- Megan Tipton, Washington
* For those with homes and jobs: longer museum hours.
* VIPs have no place in a democracy. We are all the best and the brightest.
-- Pam Mundell, Piney Point, Md.
* D.C. is cool, but we need more snow days. Also, it would be nice to see a left turn light at Porter Street and Connecticut Avenue.
-- Atiya K.
* I wish the Red Line was a complete circle.
* Great city; bad traffic.
* Washington, D.C.: America's Last Colony.
* I love Washington, D.C., because of the fireworks they shoot out.
* DMV registration by appointments, reduce wait time.
* Less racial divisions! And may the Wizards become a winning team.
* While many are benefiting from the economic boom, we must not forget those who are losing their homes through the process of redevelopment.
* Peace & more bicycle trails.
* I wish all the students in DC schools had better playgrounds, more books, better heat and safe walks home.
* Let the new millennium mark the re-emergence of citizen action and citizen control!
* May the future be fueled by creativity, charity and individuality for all people.
* From the mom of a gay son--Please know that we should love and cherish all God's children.
* We need our District government employees to understand they are in the business of service!! They need serious lessons in professionalism & customer service.
* Happy New Year to all the real Washingtonians! We know who we are!!
* I love D.C. but it needs more peace, meaning stop the killing and the raping.
* Great city. Unfortunately, also has potholes. Fix the streets.
* We are entering a pothole free New Year. Thank you D.C. Public Works!
* Let's have more fun & make more MONEY!
* I am moving back to the city because I believe it can work for us if we work for it!
* I wish that the politicians would treat this city like a HOME, not a rest stop.
-- Golper, Silver Spring
* Please fix the traffic light at "D" Street and New Jersey NE (by Capitol). It switches from green to red w/no yellow. Dangerous! Thanks.
* Mark Plotkin for Mayor!
* Washington, D.C. is not a city. It is just buildings and working people and also museums, but there is no life. New York, Boston, Algiers -- these are cities.
* I come from Japan. I hope good friendship between Japan and USA in new Millennium. And I wish peace of world and my family.
* Develop the waterfront. . . . As the nation's capital we should have a better harbor than Baltimore!!
* My vision is to be a rich, famous actress/poet/rapper/singer/dancer who uses my money to help children grow and have a better future. Remember the name Christine Shari Walley.
-- Christine S. Walley, Virginia
* Honor the whistleblowers!
-- Claire, Washington
* The best thing about being alive in the new millennium is Pokemon! My favorite Pokemon is Gyrudos. He attacks with dragon rage. He is almost the longest Pokemon. I have captured 13 Pokemon.
-- Sam, Fort Wayne, Ind.
* Let the next 2,000 be wonderful.
* Hire theatre teachers for high schools. The arts are important!
* Resolve to make strangers smile.
* Let's end the divides of race, sexual orientation, religion and class. Let's find ways for us to express true peace among us. . . . May all of us begin with ourselves and let the ripple of love embrace us all.
-- Gabriel Green, Washington
* D.C. is the best place to live on the East Coast. A lot better than Boston or Pittsburgh. Even better than Gaithersburg.
* We need to spend less money on the Wizards and more money in the hood.
* I hope the fighting will stop. And people will stop making fun of other people. And follow the Golden Rule.
-- Tess Sneeringer, child
* Happy New Year D.C. from New Zealand friends.
* I'm a teacher for DCPS--Fix OUR schools!!
* Make the words on the monuments live! Give DC citizens representation in Congress.
* Hold your breath for a year. Fumigate the White House when they leave. Hope like hell that the next occupants are adults and don't disgrace the house.
* Don't let these pieces of paper be in vain!! Do something!!
* Where is my car?
* Women's rights are human rights. Recognize--and work to end--violence against women.
* Please don't forget this is home to a lot of people as well as the nation's capital.
* It's not the millennium yet! Wait until next year. Happy almost millennium.
CAPTION: The hundreds of messages written on the "D.C. Millennium Town Hall Wall," which stood at Constitution Avenue and 12th Street NW, were filled with praise for Washington-- and pleas for statehood, racial harmony and pothole-free roads.