Site Of A D.C. Chinese Restaurant Has A Dark Past
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
The boarding house she owned still stands in the nation's capital, and we dispatched NPR's Art Silverman to take a look.
ART SILVERMAN: I was going to go see the movie but, luckily, I heard clips from the film first.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE CONSPIRATOR")
ROBIN WRIGHT: (as Mary Surratt) Yes, my son hated the north. We all did. How can a Southerner feel anything but bitterness toward your side? But my son did not conspire to kill your president.
SILVERMAN: No way I was going to spend 10 bucks on this. But I had the assignment, so I did a little research. Actually, I had interns Abby Sykes and Jinae West do a little research on the boarding house.
H S: Unidentified Woman #2: It got renovated so it could accommodate a commercial space on the first floor.
SILVERMAN: Unidentified Woman #1: It's actually a Wok and Roll Chinese restaurant.
(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)
SILVERMAN: And right here is Wok and Roll Restaurant.
JENNIFER PYLE: During the Civil War, this modest brick house was occupied by a Maryland-born widow, Mary Surratt.
SILVERMAN: For the record, there is a modest plaque in front of three-story structure. Visitor Jennifer Pyle of Clinton, New Jersey reads it to her family.
PYLE: She had a son in the Confederate Army. Another son, John, had become friends with the famous actor John Wilkes Booth.
SILVERMAN: Unidentified Woman #4: And maybe we'll see a ghost. This is where it all was, huh?
NORRIS: I had no idea. That's really funny.
MIKE JONES: Yeah, it's a pretty cool place. We came up to get some sushi.
SILVERMAN: Mike Jones of Annapolis, Zoe Reeves of Tucson and Elaine Smart of Clinton, Maryland, shrug off the way this restaurant ignores the marketing possibilities of a major motion picture, one playing just around the corner, in fact, at a multiplex.
ALEJANDRO AVILES: You're saying that if I eat eggrolls here, I can also enjoy the historic site and watch the movie and have a full-circle experience.
SILVERMAN: Art Silverman, NPR News.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NORRIS: You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
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