Thursday, August 12, 2010

Embassies of Washington, Part 5 (Embassy Row)

The historic heart of DC's embassy district is Massachusetts Avenue from the Naval Observatory to Sheridan Circle and onward to Dupont Circle - "Embassy Row." There are a fair number of old historic embassy buildings, as well as more modern and high-security showcases of the type that has populated International Drive in Van Ness, a latter-day Embassy Row. I live four blocks from Observatory Circle, so I often walk to the Dupont Circle area through this inspiring international avenue. So today, we're eschewing the usual alphabetical ordering in favor of a simulation of walking southeast, towards Dupont: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Cote d'Ivoire, Luxembourg, and Indonesia. These are the big beasts of the block, but there are at least 30 or so other embassies on the walk. I was a little surprised at the grandeur of the Cote d'Ivoire embassy, but love their elephant. Brazil has a more interesting, arty building on their complex, but it's under construction. Turkey's old embassy is one of the prettiest in the city, but it's just the residence now, as the chancery has moved to this imposing castle. Winston Churchill waves to passersby from a bed of flowers at the south end of the long British complex. Towards Dupont Circle, Gandhi stands tall by the surprisingly small Indian embassy (they have several buildings, and one further north has some lovely elephant sculptures as well). It's a nice walk, I highly recommend it.

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