Dear Readers:

Last fall, the New York Times ran a story saying that Washington was too provincial, swamplike and didn't have enough good restaurants to be the nation's capital. This incensed Brian Haave, who lives a few days each week in both New York and in the District and loves Washington. He suggested that Valentine's Day week would be the perfect time for District Extra to print some valentines to our fair city.

Here's one, written by a colleague with a tendency toward doggerel:

A Valentine to D.C.

From L'Enfant Plaza to Parks like Glover

From Takoma to Marshall Heights

Your Population Free Fall is Over

You're my Paris, my City of Lights.

Music and theater, you got 'em

Plus mysteries out the gazoo,

Like why it is called Foggy Bottom

And where that ol' J Street went to?

So please be mine, capital city,

I promise to be yours as well,

(And excuse us this sappy old ditty,

We've got us a contest to sell.)

As Valentine's Day approaches, please pen your Valentine to D.C. We'll publish the best ones. Be specific and personal. Poetry is not necessary. We can only print about 100 words. The deadline is Feb. 7. Please send with name, neighborhood and telephone number to dcextra@washpost.com, or to District Extra, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. -- Judy Havemann

editor, D.C. Extra