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Portrait of the City
Images of Washington in the American Century Portrait of the City
   FDR's welcome home after reelection, 1936
(The Washington Post)

Think of ideas of Washington, of notions and sidelong glances, memory snapshots, sounds, smells . . . of this accidental city, this sly encampment with the sad ease, lawns and trees of an old colonial capital – New Delhi, Saigon – a sense that none of us quite belong here, that we're all obituaries waiting to happen; while at the same time the city of Washington feels like a conspiracy we're all in together, and nobody else in America quite understands, even though they pay for it.

read the complete essay by Henry Allen

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© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company