Hey there! You are not seeing double: There are two gift guide posts (or there will be once I publish the other one). We live in a pretty big neighborhood and I am just trying to highlight as many shopping options as I can before it’s too late. Are New Year’s gifts a thing? You still have about 10 shopping days, because of course some of us are just getting around to writing a gift guide on December 15 and that can only mean that if I’m a procrastinator, I’m not alone. There, that was a gift from me: the gift of commiseration/Schadenfreude. Enjoy!
By the way, if you haven’t entered our contest, you still have time! Just make sure that you take either a selfie or an artistic photo of your purchases, upload it to Instagram and tag it with #ShopCapitolHill and #TheHillisHome. Voilà!
Eastern Market Area
You can get me anything with a DC Flag on it.
Well, not just anything: if you’re looking for a DC flag statement, you could buy a Jackson Collins original. The artist, who drives up most days of the week from his home in Richmond, VA, to paint at Eastern Market, has many iterations of the familiar two-bar-three-star design, although my favorite pieces of his are his primitive scenes from around the market. They are filled with life and whimsy, and give you that feeling of, “hey, I know where that is!” that only the Coldwell Banker holiday display can rival. Collins paints on pallets, so one of his pieces could be a dramatic piece to hang either outdoors or indoors. Mr. Collins is on 7th Street SE most days, including weekends. His stall is near the northwestern corner of 7th and C Streets SE. As a gentle reminder, your favorite local artists will be providing their wares to you this Saturday and Sunday outside Eastern Market, starting at 9 a.m. Support the DC arts and buy local!
You could also get me a t-shirt upon which to display my DC pride. Sneekis has some very cute ones, like the DC Brunch one. I also like District of Clothing‘s offerings, though if I wear the DC DOPE t-shirt, it’s more like how I feel after 10 attempts at parallel-parking on my street. But thanks for trying to lift my spirits up, guys!
In my other post I mentioned Labyrinth, 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, the fun store with a cult following, as a must-stop for me. I have children, so there is no better place to add to our collection of LEGO or Keva planks anywhere else –and there is no better place to stop in right before a birthday party. But! There are many great things at Labyrinth for adults, other than peace of mind and getting you out of pickles. For instance, you can get into a card game like Magic the Gathering and use your imagination to travel to distant lands where sorcery is real and where you can use it to defeat evil overlords. Ahem. But if gloom and doom are more your thing, you can always go for Cards Against Humanity or any other dark humor card games. Kathleen pointed out Gloom, a game where you make your family as miserable as possible before you kill them. Sounds like a winner, especially right after your politics discussion! (You’re so welcome.)
What can be said about Hill’s Kitchen that hasn’t been already said? The store is a landmark in tourist maps in Australia! (True story.) There, you can find pots and pans and any and all kinds of kitchenwares to make even the most can’t-boil-water type wish they could take a cooking class at the Hill Center (hint, hint). But if you really aren’t into cooking, there are clever coasters by local photog Amir Lowery, and chocolates with DC-inspired art, and dishtowels with fun facts about every single state AND the District of Columbia, and we’re back to the fact that pretty much anything with a DC flag makes a great gift. (For me.)
Anything at Sapore, 660 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, is so lovely and delicious, I think you could walk in there and point blindly and still score something exciting. Yes. That was lazy, but have you ever stepped foot in the place? Every single oil they carry is so good you could actually drink it.
Recently I went to a special event at Pitango Gelato, 660 Pennsylvania Avenue SE (entrance on 7th street), that highlighted their quest for finding really, really, really, ridiculously GOOD chocolate for their gelato, sorbets and their sipping chocolate. They absolutely lucked out when they found Turin-based company DOMORI. Their chocolate is rich and pure and anything chocolate you get there will make incredible presents that may leave people talking about just how chic and worldly you are for a long time coming.
I finish up this round-up of the area with the rookie of the area, East City Book Shop. In this little magical space, at 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, you can find actual books (BOOKS!) that you can read and give as gifts. I know, it’s a crazy concept. If books aren’t your thing, then you can find notebooks and coloring books and notecards for hours and hours of…. Cards. Paper? You use them with pencils and pens? Wow. I see we have a lot of work to do.
Although Barracks Row is mostly restaurant row these days, there are several spots worthy of your attention and dollars:
Summit to Soul, 727 8th Street SE is the rookie, yet they’ve already become a neighborhood Mecca, with yoga classes and a running club and all manner of events to support fitness in the neighborhood. But the products, so well selected and made with so much ethics, are just amazing. My The Hill is OM tank top is soft and delightful and, well, makes me extra happy 😉
The scarves by Alternative Earth are amazingly soft and light, which means that you can go nab one to keep warm while you shop and then give another one as a present.
DCanter Wines, 545 8th Street SE, has wine and recommendations, and a wine club– shopping for your snooty wine drinking friend is over.
Frame of Mine, same address as DCanter but next door, can take any memento and make it really special. Take one of those adorable crafts your kid made for the holiday and turn it over to their capable hands so you can send a beautiful present to pop-pop and memaw. They don’t care that you sent it late: they just care that you thought of them!
East Capitol Street
Where else am I going to tell you about Riverby Books, 417 East Capitol Street SE, and their pun pencils? For $10, you can make the day of a nerdy pencil lover (they exist). With titles such as Erasin’ in the Sun and Sketcher in the Rye, you know you’re in pundamentally good company.
The bottom line: Do yourself a year-round favor and patron our small businesses. Support your neighbors, save yourself a long drive, keep your dollars in our tax base, and discover the joy of shopping with friends who look out for you.