The old German neighborhood of D.C. gave way to the Chinese neighborhood, which gave way to urban blight. This was neither a fun nor safe place to hang out in the early ’80s when your correspondent last lived in D.C. and the original 9:30 Club was just around the corner. Nowadays, it’s a hopping area with the Verizon Center, numerous bars and restaurants (including a block worth of Chinese restaurants), a multiscreen movie theater, and, of course, the Goethe Institut.
From Wikipedia: “In 1986, the city dedicated the Friendship Archway, a traditional Chinese gate designed by local architect Alfred H. Liu. The colorful, $1 million work of public art includes 7 roofs up to 60 feet high, 7000 tiles, and 272 painted dragons in the style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Erected to celebrate friendship with Washington’s sister city of Beijing, it was hoped the arch would reinforce the neighborhood’s Chinese character. According to the plaque next to the arch, it is the largest such single-span archway in the world.”
In related news, “China expands export quotas of rare earth metals.”
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