Thursday, February 2, 2012

On Crystal City

Crystal City. The name conjures up magical visions of glimmering edifices.

Because I've been to Crystal City, my view is somewhat different, though no less magical.

I first visited Crystal City as a teenager, when some of my friends lived in the area. Crystal City is a shopping and business complex in Arlington, Virginia, roughly two miles south of the Pentagon (and not too far from the newer "Pentagon City" shopping center that I've discussed before). I didn't go there all that often - my only memory of being there was eating at some fast food place in the complex.

Later I ran across Crystal City in a virtual way. While Larry King is best known for his long-running television show on CNN, he was previously known for a late-night radio talk show. Imagine hearing Larry King's voice in the middle of the night, over the radio. Well, that show originated in Crystal City, as Jim remembers.

Prior to his move to CNN, The Larry King Show was the #1 show carried on The Mutual Broadcasting System and their studios were in Crystal City, Virginia. They produced a variety of shows including coverage of NBA Basketball on "The Mutual Sports Network" but Larry King was always the KING of that network. Does anyone here remember the "bee-doop" audio switching signals Mutual used?

Larry King's Radio Talk Show was carried across the Nation by other Network Stations including my local 3-way (AM / FM / TV) CBS affiliate KIRO, in Seattle, where I worked in AM Radio Engineering.

I haven't been to Crystal City in years. The last time that I went THROUGH Crystal City was in 2007, when my Metro train passed underneath Crystal City on trips between Alexandria and Washington. I haven't been to the complex in years, but I still hear about it, since the Biometrics Identity Management Agency is based (PDF) in Crystal City.
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