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Walking the city with photographer Darrow Montgomery can be a distracting experience.
On a recent winter evening, we were heading down L Street NW towards Connecticut Avenue when I realized that Darrow, who had been sharing his favorite noodle places, was now 20 feet behind me, pulling out his phone to capture the back of the former Washington Post building. It looked more like Beirut than D.C. The picture of the destruction of an iconic place appeared on City Paper’s site the next week, another slice of the District captured by one of its most faithful observers.
Here, Darrow turns his eye to a single block of H Street NW, between 6th and 7th, in Chinatown. The images provide a window onto a population that is walking, running, working, staring, shuffling, primping, and smoking—always smoking—its way through the city. It’s a fascinating collection of characters and proof positive that life is always more interesting if you’ll just stop and look around. —Steve Cavendish