”For the first time in my life I was finding Washington beautiful. When I was a very small child I used to hear my elders talk about the beauty of Washington and never could figure it out. There had been, to my childish mind, a certain cosy dilapidation about Georgetown, vinegrown brick walling in little lives of elderly female relatives sitting in parlors behind drawn shades; there’d been the stately degradation of Alexandria, ‘the deserted city,’ the colored people used to call it; there’d been Rock Creek and the false feeling of being in the mountains it gave you; and green swampy meadows and the haze over the mudcolored Potomac. My parents used to talk about the beauty of Washington. To me it seemed stifling and hideous. Now I was discovering that I was old enough to find Washington beautiful. Maybe it was the city that had gotten old enough.
John Dos Passos, State of the Nation