The Washington Post

Crystal City is ‘Little Provo’ for Mormons

Mormon singles gather at the “23rd Street Chapel” in Crystal City. None of the participants met later at the Crystal City Restaurant, also on 23rd Street. (Marvin Joseph/THE WASHINGTON POST)

But Little Provo has a problem: Too many of its denizens are single. And the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints places a high premium on marriage and, of course, raising children. So the church has formed a “23rd Street Chapel” in Crystal City that is unique in American Mormonism: It is made up exclusively of single people. Eight hundred of them. If you get married, you are right out of there.

The pressure to get married is intense, members told Boorstein. On top of that, many members headed to Duck, N.C., for Memorial Day weekend — what they oddly call “Duck Beach,” which no one else in the Outer Banks does — for a wild beach outing minus the sex, drinking and rock and roll. A documentary crew is filming this.

And when they return to 23rd Street, there’s the Crystal City Restaurant, which features live “dancing;” the enormous Crystal City Sports Pub, which features three floors of booze and perhaps the occasional sports wager; and numerous other bars and restaurants on that strip. That’s a lot of temptation in Little Provo.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.

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