Pennsylvania Avenue

Tuesday morning, after taking the oath of office on Abraham Lincoln's Bible outside the U.S. Capitol, President Barack Obama will join the bands and honor guards in parading 16 blocks up Pennsylvania Avenue to the nation's most storied address. The White House, an elegant fortress behind a tall, wrought-iron gate at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., was built largely by freed blacks and slaves; just a generation ago, African-Americans in many states couldn't vote for the man who inhabited it. But march 16 blocks the other way down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the Library of Congress, past a few blocks of boutiques and bars popular with politicos, past the Eastern Market, to where charming, historic row-houses give way to row houses that are still historic but a bit less charming, to a smattering of liquor stores and dingy Chinese takeout joints selling chicken wings from slits in the bullet-proof glass.
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