Monday, May 9, 2011

A field trip to Embassy Row(s)

Today, I made a little field trip to Embassy Row in NW Washington, near the UDC, off Van Ness Street, where the old National Bureau of Standards was located in 1963 for my first paid job.
International Avenue is bifurcated by Van Ness.

 The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan faces back onto it immediately north, behind the UDC.  If you walk up the street, in a dead-end loop, you pass the back of the Nigerian embassy;

then you encounter the Arab Republic of Egypt, then the United Arab Emirates, and then come back and see the front of Nigeria and Pakistan, as well as Malaysia. Across Van Ness, the really big embassy is, of course,

 China; as I walked on the North side, the automatic gate opened (I don’t think it was supposed to); I went on, and overheard a protest being broadcast through a bull horn from the Ethiopian embassy.  There is a high hill (closed to the highest point in DC, a little under 500 feet), with a Greek statute on it, and a view of the company Intelsat. The embassy of Singapore is also nearby.

I then rode down to the Dupont Circle Metro, with a long stop at Cleveland Park, when a woman running the Metro Red Line train announced she was getting off. We waited ten minutes without further explanation. 

From Dupont Circle, I walked up to S Street, across Florida Ave., and toward the Woodrow Wilson Museum. I encountered a protestor across the street from the Myanmar (Burma) embassy.

  I also saw the Ireland Embassy residence, with its harp drawing. 

I finally came to the address of concern.  What I had once reported as the “Embassy of Pakistan” on S Street is a residence belonging to the embassy (it is far too small to be the entire embassy of a major country). It may in fact not be sovereign territory, but be ordinary residential property belonging to the country to house it diplomats. Many embassies maintain residences at other locations in DC.

  Next to it is the embassy of Mauritania, a much less populous country.  Matt Damon’s documentary “Running the Sahara” goes through this country (after starting in Senegal), my movies blog, Nov. 23, 2010.

Here is a quick clip of the "protest" at the Ethiopian embassy:

Update: May 11

The Washington Blade reports on a demonstration Tuesday at the Uganda Embassy, on N 16th Street (not in the areas I visited), over draconian anti-gay legislation, here.

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