Have you ever walked around Washington at night? You should. It's very pretty. At least the parts around the White House and Pennsylvania Avenue. I'm sure there are parts of the city that are a bit more unsavory, but that can be said of anywhere. Moving on.
This was my first visit to downtown Washington in four and a half years. Last time I was there, it was January 1998, and there were TV cameras everywhere to cover the newly-hatched Monica Lewinsky scandal. This weekend there were only a few protesters camped out in fromt of the White House to mar the scenery, but I suppose you can't fault them too much for that.
The monumental buildings are fairly impressive in the daylight, but at night they're all lit up and quite pretty. And the Metro in DC kicks the New York subway's butt as far as aesthetics and safety go, so it's all right to stick around that particular part of the District after hours. Not a lot of pedestrians, but lots and lots of cops and official-type people about.
Try to stop by the Old Ebbitt Grill as well. The menu changes every day, and it's quite reasonable. That's my recommendation for the day.