National Geographic : 1983 Jan
ALMOST 200 YEARS AGO Congress invented Washington, D. C., to serve as the nation's capital, even though there were perfectly good cities willing to take on the job. The location resulted from a compromise, a famous deal swung by Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton: southern votes on a money bill in exchange for a southern capital city. But living conditions in the then swampy site made it a hardship post and the butt of criticism by resident and visitor alike. In 1842 Charles Dickens described it as "the City of Magnificent Intentions ... Spacious avenues, that begin in nothing, and lead nowhere." The Irish poet Thomas Moore derided those who saw "obelisks in trees." Today Washington is indeed a magnifi cent city, a true world capital. Yet with more written and televised from it and about it than any other place in the country, the real city lies hidden under the media fog. Politicians seeking office decry it as the na tion's crime capital, but of our 30 largest cit ies Washington ranks ninth in overall crime, well below Atlanta, Boston, and St. Louis. Millions of tourists pack Washington's wide, tree-ranked boulevards and malls, its galleries and museums each year, yet few see the living city. In this issue Washington newspaperman and writer Henry Mitchell, a Southerner by birth, and English photog rapher Adam Woolfitt bring us a new image of the city behind the rotundas and the rhetoric. For visitors to the ceremonial city, we in clude a two-sided, six-page foldout map (pages 93-98) with a new binding concept, which permits its easy removal intact from the magazine. With this first issue of our 1983 member ship year we welcome something else new and very important: more than a million new members to the Society. Whether you're a new or long-standing member, we urge you to bring your map and come visit us. The permanent and special exhibits in our Explorers Hall make it one of Washing ton's most popular attractions. Wherever your map or your wanderings lead you, you'll find that Washington's spa cious avenues, which Dickens scorned, now do lead somewhere. EDITOR RAiIDNAL THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICMAGAZINEVOL. 163, NO. 1 COPYRIGHT © 1982 BY NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY WASHINGTON,D. C . INTERNATIONALCOPYRIGHT SECURED January 1983 TROPICAL RAIN FORESTS: Nature's Dwindling Treasures 2 PeterT. White follows the Equatorto assess mounting losses within the world's most complex ecosystems. Politicaland economic pressures cast doubt on the forests' fate, even as scientists begin to comprehend their global significance. Photographsby James P. Blair. Teeming Life of a Rain Forest 49 Lizards that sprint across water, toads gleaming like jewels, ant-repellingwasps, and other survival specialists arefound at home in a Costa Rican rainforest by Caroland David Hughes. What Future for the Wayanas? 66 Movable markers in a borderdispute, tempted by spirits of the modem world, the Wayana Indians of South America searchfor a future with traditionand dignity. Article and photographsby CaroleDevillers. Hometown Washington, D. C. 84 Skirting pomp and politics, Henry Mitchell leads an easy-gaited ramble through the city he calls home, introducinga melange of humanity with viewpoints both on and off the standardcurve. With photographs by Adam Woolfitt. Indonesia Rescues Ancient Borobudur 126 On the island of Java,a team of architectsand engineers has successfully restored a 1,200-year old celebrationin stone-the world's largest Buddhist temple. Text by W. Brown Morton III, with photographs by Dean Conger. COVER: No bigger than a fingertip, a poison arrowfrog perches in a mushroom within Costa Rica's Corcovado NationalPark.Photograph by Carol and David Hughes.