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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), on DC during this epic winter:

A city that was designed for travel by foot and horses loses some of its charm with modern traffic congestion. A deep snowfall is the perfect antidote, as it adds beauty, muffles sounds and discourages automobiles. The broad streets and sidewalks reveal their grandeur when covered with snow instead of cars

Saturday evening at dusk, just after the week’s first gargantuan snowstorm had abated, my wife and two kids and I had a magical walk down Connecticut Avenue to eat dinner at our friends’ place. Only a handful of cars came by. Dogs were cavorting off-leash. Without engine noises, you could hear the pleasant patter of other pedestrians. People paused to watch the sunset.

Other old-fashioned niceties have emerged, too: impromptu visits from neighbors, meals lingered over because there’s no place else to go, an ephemeral sense of community that passes even between strangers on the street. As the accessible world has shrunk, it’s also become more pleasant.

I’ll be fine if the thaw doesn’t come right away.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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