- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2003

Oh the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and the earth below!
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet:
Dancing, flirting, skimming along,
Beautiful snow! It can do nothing wrong.

-John Whittaker Watson (Beautiful Snow, 1869)

Really?
Tell that to the drivers of cars sliding sideways and pedestrians leaning into the wind bearing snowflakes yesterday as they groaned over yet another storm that brought traffic to a standstill and shovels off porches.
"This is terrible. I'm ready to see springtime," said Steve Mitchell, 40, a furniture retailer from Annandale who was escaping the weather in the Union Station Metro Station. "I don't want to see any more snow.
"I thought it wasn't this bad," said Mr. Mitchell, who last year moved to the Washington area from Los Angeles. "Scooping [snow] it was kind of fun the first time I did it."
Not anymore.
Downtown, workers hurried along streets at lunchtime, ducking into delis and coffee shops to escape the cold wind.
"I can't believe this is happening again," said Mary Cruz of Fairfax, a secretary who stopped into Starbucks on K Street in Northwest to grab a latte. "I thought we paid our dues with that last snowstorm."
She then turned to her colleague. "Ready to go back out?" she asked him. He shook his head.
Parking was still a problem in the District, with many spaces still filled with snow from last week's storm.
"I fell trying to climb over the mound to the parking meter," said John Stewart of Bowie. "But my bigger problem are these people who seem to practice 'driving while stupid'."
Some couldn't escape the wind or snow.
"The weather [stinks]," said Larry Frazer, 56, a homeless man sitting on the curb outside Union Station. "I don't like it, but there's nothing I can do about it."
The white-bearded Mr. Frazer sported a donated padded blue jacket that was beginning to collect snowflakes by early afternoon. "It [makes it] hard for me to go looking for work [as a mechanic]," he added.
A lifelong resident of the District, Costello Williams, 60, doesn't like the snow. "I think it's mighty cold," she said. "I'm not a person who likes cold weather."
Mrs. Williams, a nanny, said she would have stayed home yesterday because it was her day off work, but a pressing errand forced her into the weather. "I had an emergency," she said. "I had to go to the bank."
Todd Gray, owner and chef of the Equinox restaurant in Northwest, said he initially welcomed the two-day, cool-down period that the snow provided last week. He has changed his mind since then.
"Around [the District] if you see a flurry, you lose 30 reservations," Mr. Gray said. "I used to love the snow until I owned my own restaurant."
D.C. Council member Adrian M. Fenty's complaint was just the opposite. "My workload triples during the snow," the Ward 4 Democrat joked.
Many echoed Marilynn Crane's lament. "I wouldn't mind the snow if I didn't have to go to work," the 29-year-old program associate said. "And it's not even work that's the problem. It's the hourlong commute from Virginia."
For Dasean Nelson and Ayris Jones, eighth-graders at Hyattsville Middle School, the snow ceased to be fun after school administrators stripped students of their spring break.
They kept busy with snowball fights and shoveling walkways, but getting only a partial day of school yesterday was just too much, they said.
"The more snow days we have, the longer we'll have to stay," said Ayris, 14. "I've had enough."
The teenagers returned to school Monday and to a math and a social studies test after a week of snow days.
"You don't really remember anything you learned for the test," Dasean, 14, said as he and his friend spent yesterday afternoon at Prince George's Plaza.
Not everyone moaned about the dirty slush, the disrupted day care and other inconveniences that came with the snowfall.
"I'm enjoying it because spring is coming in," said Annie Blackwell, an Alexandria resident who in a fur coat was on her way by Metro to a meeting at Union Station.
"I enjoy it," Mrs. Blackwell repeated, then explained, "What else can you do?"
Brian DeBose and Patrick Badgley contributed to this report.


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