As Covid receded, many of us found that neighbors had gotten to know one another and communities were strengthened. In the high rise condominium of Crystal Gateway, located in what is now National Landing in Arlington, Virginia, newer residents have written a book to record vignettes and memories which tell the story of this international vertical neighborhood.
Stories from Crystal Gateway includes national events which were witnessed from the building's balconies - the crash of a plane into the frozen Potomac River; the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and also the election campaign of John McCain with the Secret Service working out of the building's public rooms. Some stories are more intimate, such as the moments when those who lived on upper floors watched a baby eagle attacked by other birds, or the pleasure of older residents to see a school bus stop, tricycles and baby strollers as younger families moved in. The book also celebrates the international backgrounds of the residents by including recipes from their family's kitchens all over the world.
The Photographs of the book are remarkable recollections of the history over the past 40 years of Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia. They tell the story of how a dangerous airstrip grew to what is now Reagan National Airport; they show changing times as an area of brickyards, cheap motels and vacant lots became a park with playing fields, walkways, an esplanade and aquatic center.
The photos of The Crystal City Underground capture shops built below street level which have remained favorites over 50 years, including Puppet Heaven, Garden Fantasy and shops which now sell women Business Casual, but once sold only more glamorous outfits.
This book documents the history of an urban area in the midst of rapid growth and development.