Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chinatown's Gritty History

Modern-day Chinatown
A lot of ink has been spilled on the state of DC's Chinatown: mostly about how gentrification will affect the future of the neighborhood.

But as for its history, we'll bet you didn't know Chinatown was actually centered at 3rd and Pennsylvania in the early part of the 20th century (where the Canadian embassy now stands).  Or that the Washington Post reported that Chinese gunmen were "more daring and cunning than the American gangster and racketeer," leaving "in the wake of their bloody activities a record so weird and tinged with the deep rooted mystery characteristic of the Oriental as to be almost unbelievable" back in 1929.

Ghosts of DC has turned up a lot of this history in their Washington's Chinese Mafia Wars post.  While you're there, also check out their post on a hold up at an opium den in Chinatown in 1909.

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