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Southeast (SE or S.E.) is the southeastern quadrant of Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, and is located south of East Capitol Street and east of South Capitol Street. It includes the Capitol Hill and Anacostia neighborhoods, the Navy Yard, the U.S. Marine Barracks, the Anacostia River waterfront, Eastern Market, the remains of several Civil War-era forts, historic St. Elizabeths Hospital, RFK Stadium, Nationals Park, and the Congressional Cemetery. It is also contains a landmark known as "The Big Chair," located on Martin Luther King Avenue. The quadrant is bisected by the Anacostia River, with the portion that is west of the river sometimes referred to as "Near Southeast".
The population of Southeast is predominantly African American. However, the African American population is concentrated southeast of the Anacostia River; the areas northwest of the Anacostia River are majority European American. The portions of the quadrant southeast of the Anacostia are known for widespread poverty and an overall high crime rate; basic shopping, dining, entertainment, and cultural facilities are minimal and scanty such that residents must travel either downtown or to the suburbs for such services. Nonetheless, there are black middle class neighborhoods in Southeast as well, such as Hillcrest, Penn Branch, and Fort Dupont. The areas northwest of the Anacostia by contrast contain some of the wealthiest parts of the city, including the southern half of the famous and politically connected Capitol Hill neighborhood. Cultural events/activities include the annual Martin Luther King Birthday parade, the free weekly summer jazz concerts in Fort Dupont Park, the Fort Dupont ice-rink, the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, and the tennis and learning center for youth on Mississippi Avenue. The population of the southeast quadrant is roughly 134,800.
Politically, Southeast includes most of Ward 8, as well as much of Wards 6 and 7. Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C., served as D.C. Council Member for Ward 8 until his death on November 23, 2014.
The quadrant is notoriously known by many Washington, D.C. metropolitan area residents as being plagued by a consistently high crime rate, relative to the rest of the city. Public transit facilities are frequently targeted for vandalism. The Washington Post reported in 2003 that rock attacks on public buses were so common that bus drivers were instructed to wear safety goggles while traversing a few neighborhoods in the quadrant.
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