Some bus riders read or daydream or try to remember their schedules for the day. But others actually try to sightsee, without always knowing what sights they're seeing, and thus often miss the delicate stained-glass windows, the obscure historic sites, or the stately church spires that give this city its own special character. For these bus riders, a local historic-preservation group called Don't Tear It Down has just come up with a self-conducted sightseeing tour. What DTID has produced is a tour brochure available free from the Take-One racks on the bus. Beginning this week, the G-2 bus has been offering the first in a series of "Take Our Tours" being planned by the group. Their brochure gives both the history and the flavor of the areas on the G-2 route: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Shaw, LeDroit Park and Howard University.

With the help of grants from several foundations, Don't Tear It Down has developed a clear and easy-to-read guide that highlights specific landmarks (Georgetown Visitation Convent, Shiloh Baptist Church, among others) and little-known facts (the reason for so many red brick row houses in the city, the way to determine the age of some of the older row houses.) All of the points of interest can be easily seen from the bus window - and the brochure can be put into purse or pocket and used again. It sounds like a pleasant way to pass the time as well as a good way to learn about the city.