Day 106

Downtown (October 19, 2020)

We were downtown again today and were struck by how empty it is. We passed by many closed restaurants that would normally be bustling.

Even those that had terraces open for business were empty.

We have to assume that the big old hotels like the St. Regis and the Hamilton are also suffering.

The National Geographic Headquarters were still boarded up from the riots, adding to the desolate feel.

Across from the National Geographic headquarters was an empty lot and the largest BLM sign we have seen so far, taking up the whole side of a building.

There are a number of political signs throughout the downtown area. We liked this tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Another normally bustling place is Lafayette Square directly across from the White House. It has now been completely fenced off.

Among the often nondescript concrete and glass boxes that dominate downtown we liked this building as being somewhat different.

Also standing among the buildings was the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. Built in 1886, it is the oldest continuously black-owned property in Washington D.C.

We found ourselves briefly on Massachusetts Avenue, just enough time to pass one of the embassies that line the avenue. This time it was the Embassy of Peru.

Washington D.C. is a city full of statues but this is the first one we have come across honoring a poet.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet living from 1807 to 1882. He is known for such classic American poems as “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “The Song of Hiawatha.” The statue is by William Couper and Thomas Ball and was dedicated on May 7, 1909.

Standing across the street and above the Chase bank was the iconic Eighteenth Street Lounge.

Stepping through an unmarked door next to the bank, you walked up a long staircase and entered, in our opinion, the District’s best club. The ESL opened in 1995 and for twenty five years was hugely popular, offering world class DJs, as well as live music. It took up two floors and consisted of several rooms containing shabby chic furniture, velvet couches and fireplaces. It drew a diverse crowd of all ages to dance and enjoy the music which had a definite international vibe. Unfortunately, it is another victim of the pandemic and recently closed its doors. We will miss it immensely.

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