What's to love about Washington? Enough to fill about two mail sacks, to judge from the recent outpouring that has landed on my desk.
So thoroughly has the mail exceeded my expectations that I'm going to exceed my own budget. I had planned to spend one day enumerating the reasons you readers love good old D.C. But now I'm going to spend two--today and tomorrow. Here goes:
* Being so near the ocean, the mountains and the countryside--Rochelle Arkin of Rockville.
* "The Capitol Dome bathed in light with Old Glory flying proudly above it," suggests Richard P. Kelly of Kensington.
* "Watching crew teams practice (or race) on the Potomac River," says an anonymous correspondent from Alexandria.
* "Whee! Three!," says Ruth La Camera of Cheverly. Huh? "Airports available to us--National, Dulles and BWI," she explains.
* The Washington Cathedral, proposes Dorothy S. Hurley of Silver Spring--and who could disagree?
* "The feeling of being in on the joke as the 200-year-long snow job about our beastly summers goes on," writes Helen Pease of Silver Spring. "To think we can make people in places like New Orleans think it's worse here. Hah!"
* The freebies, says Mary McClammy--including, but not limited to, museums, parks, concerts and zoos.
* The magnolias and water lilies in Rollins Park (1800 block of E Street NW), votes Martha Haber of Arlington.
* "Smartly dressed office women striding to work in sneakers"--Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell M. King of Laurel.
* Two from Carol Rabin of Alexandria: Free bridges and Crown Books.
* The pandas--all three of them, votes Leslie Russell of Alexandria.
* While we're on the subject, "A world-renowned newspaper (this one) that can devote half the front page to the mating of the pandas"--Anna Schlenker of Hyattsville.
* Upstairs at the Old Ebbitt Grill--Victoria Duncan of Silver Spring.
* "The answer is all around right now," writes Joanie Hunn of Falls Church--daffodils, crocuses, forsythia, budding cherry trees and all their springtime cousins.
* Circle Theater's $1 movies--Amy Worden of Northwest.
* Takoma Park, suggests Elaina Moore-Kelly of (surprise) Takoma Park.
* A pair from John Galligan of Northwest: Cheap cab rides and helping confused tourists.
* "The Maine Avenue wharf, where seafood is peddled by rusty watermen"--Mary Buena.
* The revitalization of Old Town--Barbara Fitzgerald of Alexandria.
* The free music provided year-round by the military service bands--Gloria Harper of Silver Spring.
* "Riding the escalator up from Metro's Smithsonian station and emerging onto the Mall," says Pam Fountain of Silver Spring.
* The long-running film at the Air and Space Museum, "To Fly," gets a deserving vote from Suzy Wright of Columbia.
* Roller skating downtown on a summer Saturday night, says Lorinda Nichols of Burke.
* Dumbarton Oaks garden, says Carol Cassell of College Park.
* "Sam Donaldson at a White House press briefing," proposes Kathy Matthews of Chantilly.
* Says Jane Lyder: "The C & O Canal and the gold lions on the Memorial Bridge."
* The balloon man at the National Zoo, declares Lesley Ewing of Arlington.
* The lack of industrial smoke--Brian Bourjaily of Bowie.
* The doorman at the Mayflower Hotel--Alice C. Mansfield of Northwest.
* "The odd bits of empty space left by intersecting streets, circles and avenues"--Marion Holland of Chevy Chase.
* And finally for today, the fresh flowers and greens that mysteriously appear each morning in the hand of the Winston Churchill statue near the British Embassy--Mimi Weisel of Alexandria.