I read Larry Rosen's Aug. 7 Close to Home piece, "Summer in the City, '40s Style," with interest because I remember those days.
I frequented all the theaters, clubs and restaurants he mentioned. The old, glorious, huge theaters such as the Capitol, the Earle, the Metropolitan and the Palace are things of the past, but the memories linger on. I related to seeing the stars in person at the Capitol and listening to the great orchestra of Sam Jack Kaufman rising from the belly of the theater on a pedestal. Also, I ate many times at the many Little Taverns, which is the one fault I found with Mr. Rosen's remembrance.
He was right that the Little Tavern slogan was "Buy 'Em By the Bag," but the burgers cost just a nickel, not 25 cents. That explains the slogan.
I used to watch the grill man slice through a row of buns; insert the small burger, mustard and slice of pickle; add the top row of the buns; and then place the burgers neatly in a holding container where each one was individually wrapped when ordered.
I am no longer a meat eater, but I do remember those burgers. Great!
I enjoyed Larry Rosen's memories of downtown Washington in the 1940s. I read it just before I headed downtown recently to see a foreign film at the E Street Cinema.
Before the movie I had brunch at a brew pub located in a landmark early 20th-century building at Ninth and F streets NW, once a branch of Riggs Bank. I also toured a condo for sale in a nearby 1910 office building that had been converted into loft apartments. I noted how much the apartments had appreciated since they went on the market in 2002.
On my way to the theater, I passed numerous construction projects that are incorporating elements of 19th- and 20th-century Washington and that will be devoted to residential, entertainment and other commercial uses.
I agree that Washington in the 1940s must have been wonderful, but Washington in the 21st century is exciting too.
EDWARD F. GERBER