Yenching, Walgreen, Premarital Sex
You all could probably write this post for me: Whenever I come along here to bemoan the passing of some neat old local places, some of you rib me for getting all weepy about vanishing institutions, whether it be Tower Records,
college radio stations, the Lazy Sundae ice cream shop in Clarendon, or the always-imminent closing of AV Ristorante.
(The obit for the AV has been sitting in the can for so long, it's gone through three computer systems at the paper.)
So now that Yenching Palace, the District's oldest and most famous Chinese restaurant, is really closing, I'm sure you'd all like to sing along with me as I marvel at the eatery's staying power Art Deco front, retell the great yarn about the role the place played in the Cuban missile crisis chapter of American diplomatic history, or shed a tear over the increasing corporatization of a lost neighborhood of interesting and unique locally-owned shops (Cleveland Park.) (Some comments from the neighborhood listserv here.)
Yenching Palace will become a Walgreens drug store, and the company says it will keep the wonderful facade of the building. I do love the look of the place, though it's the great neon sign more than the building facade that sends me. And really, it's the inside more than the outside that I love most: The combination of the Art Deco stylings and the Chinese-American mid-century kitsch is a huge loss. The food, not so much. It's a couple of steps up from serviceable, certainly better than most of the quick Chinese takeout places, but no match for the better Chinese places in Chinatown, Rockville or Wheaton. (Speaking of which, Christmas at Bob's Noodle 66 in Rockville was a meal to die for; the chicken-ginger casserole and the Taiwanese hamburger are unrivaled in this region.)
Walgreens, it turns out, is the largest drug store chain in the country. I've never lived anywhere where the company has a significant presence--I've lived in places dominated by CVS, Duane Reade and Eckerd's and this will be Walgreens' first store in Washington--so I've not had the honor of going to one of their stores. I can't comment, therefore, on whether they constitute an improvement over the pestilence known as CVS. But we can at least hope.
As for the rest of the post, you can imagine where I would have gone. So rather than carry on about the loss of Yenching Palace, I'll leave you with this more alluring bit: More than 90 percent of Americans engage in sex before marriage. "Further," according to the journal "Public Health Reports," "contrary to the public perception that premarital sex is much more common now than in the past, the study shows that even among women who were born in the 1940s, nearly nine in 10 had sex before marriage."
"The likelihood that Americans will have sex before marriage has remained virtually unchanged since the 1950s," says study author Dr. Lawrence Finer.
And this: Until recently, the largest number of births in this country happened in mid-September, making this week the primo time to get pregnant. But in the past few years, the #1 time of the year for births has migrated to...this week, meaning that some folks are timing their pregnancies so they can give birth around holiday time, when families are gathered together.
Just thought you'd want to know.
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