Up until aloof a few years ago, Washington’s cerebral map was reversed: “Outer” was in, the close burghal was out. Developers talked up Georgetown and Old Town, Metro towns and “new towns”; but city D.C. was Deserted City, abnormally afterwards dark. Washington’s poles of ability may accept been the White House and the Capitol, but the arbor of access — Pennsylvania Avenue, active advanced amid them — became a apparition boondocks already the law and antechamber firms bound up. The breadth aloof arctic of the access amid about Fifth and 12th streets NW hadn’t had a cogent residential citizenry for added than a century. Chinatown, already a accepted dining area, was deteriorating; and the scattering of nightclubs and achievement venues that were absorbed to the breadth in the ’80s by ample barn spaces and low rents had accretion adversity acceptable assemblage that the streets were safe. Alike by day the ambience of discouragement became so apparent (and the burghal malls so spiffy by comparison) that such enactment administration aliment as Garfinkel’s, Woodward & Lothrop and Lansburgh’s gradually shuttered their doors.
Now, in what sometimes feels like a development abracadabra! D.C. is City Chic. Penn Quarter, as the adjacency is now called, is arranged with restaurants and nightclubs, confined and brewpubs — all of them abounding at once, it seems, abnormally on nights aback MCI Center at Sixth and F is appointed — additional bookstores, boutiques, art galleries and theaters, high-end spas and salons, fettle centers and a account farmer’s market. It’s such a destination that the Archives/Navy Canonizing Metro base is appointed to add “Penn Quarter” to its appellation by the end of the year. Alike added importantly, what was for a continued time adults-only breadth is now acutely family-friendly.
Actuality are aloof some of Penn Quarter’s added notable addresses, a array of amateur kit for rediscovering the adjacency and its variety. Already you hit the ground, we’re abiding you’ll acquisition affluence to accumulate you advancing back.
1 Bead Museum, 7th and D streets NW. 202-624-4500.
2 FBI, Pennsylvania Access and 10th Artery NW. 202-324-3447.
3Touchstone/Apex/David Adamson/Marninart galleries, 406 Seventh St. NW
4 International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW. 202-393-7798.
5 Marian Koshland Science Museum, Sixth and E streets NW. 202-334-1201.
6 National Architecture Museum, Fourth and F streets NW. 202-272-2448.
7 National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York Avenue, 13th and H streets NW. 202-783-5000.
8 Numark Gallery, 625-27 E St. NW. 202-628-3810.
9 Zenith Gallery, 413 Seventh St. NW. 202-783-2963.
10 U.S. Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-737-2300.
11 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, E amid Fourth and Fifth streets NW.
12 National Law Enforcement Officers Canonizing Visitor Center, 605 E St. NW. 202-737-3213.
13 Petersen’s Boarding House, 516 10th St. NW. 202-426-6924.
14 Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. 202-347-4833.
15 Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. 202-315-1305.
16 Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St. NW. 202-289-1200.
17 Landmark’s E Artery Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. 202-452-7672.
18 Shakespeare Theatre, 450 Seventh St. NW. 202-547-1122.
19 Warner Theatre, 13th and E streets NW. 202-783-4000.
20 Andale, 401 Seventh St. NW. 202-783-3133.
21 Bistro d’Oc, 518 10th St. NW. 202-393-5444.
22 Cafe Atlantico/Minibar, 405 Eighth St. NW. 202-393-0812.
23 Jaleo, 480 Seventh St. NW. 202-628-7949.
24 Le Paradou, 678 Indiana Ave. NW. 202-347-6780.
25 Ortanique, 730 11th St. NW. 202-393-0975.
26 Poste, 555 Eighth St. NW. 202-783-6060.
27 Signatures, 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-628-5900.
28 Ten Penh, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-393-4500.
29 Ristorante Tosca, 1112 F St. NW. 202-367-1990.
30 Zaytinya, 701 Ninth St. NW. 202-638-0800.
31 Zola, 800 F St. NW. 202-654-0999.
32 Coyote Ugly, 717 Sixth St. NW. 202-589-0016.
33 ESPN Zone, 11th and E streets NW. 202-783-3776.
34 Fado, 808 Seventh St. NW. 202-789-0066.
35 Home, 911 F St. NW. 202-638-4663.
36 Platinum, 915 F St. NW. 202-393-3555.
37 Polly Esther’s, 605 12th St. NW. 202-737-1970.
38 RFD, 810 Seventh St. NW. 202-289-2030.
39 Chinatown Friendship Arch, H aloof east of Seventh Artery intersection.
40 City Ancestry Aisle Center Loop, alpha at Archives/Navy Canonizing Metro at Seventh and Pennsylvania.
41 City Ancestry Aisle East Loop, alpha at Judiciary Square Metro at F amid Fourth and Fifth.
42 City Ancestry Aisle West Loop, alpha at Metro Center at 13th and G.
43 Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market, Eighth Artery south of E Street. 202-362-8889.
You can get a aftertaste of Penn Quarter, not aloof of its aliment but of its cultural book as well, during the 12th anniversary Arts on Bottom anniversary Sept. 18 from 11 to 5. Musicians, dancers, artists, actors, artisans and the neighborhood’s venues themselves will all be on display, while chefs Alison Swope of Andale, Frank Morales of Zola, Rita Garruba of Butterfield 9 and Roberto Santibanez of Rosa Mexicano are amid those on the cooking-demonstration card at F and Seventh streets. And added than 20 adjacency restaurants will ample the block of F amid Eighth and Ninth with sample-size portions of their specialties.
The National Architecture Museum, National Theatre, Bead Museum and alfresco vendors will action children’s activities; the Canadian Embassy on Pennsylvania Access will accept a built-in Canadian cheat on hand; and the Goethe-Institut will awning “Emil and the Detectives.” Washington Improv Amphitheater will be at Flashpoint and the Venus Theatre alternate affiliation at Barn Theater. Galleries will adhere their new abatement exhibits, and a juried appearance of 50 artists will set up on F Artery NW amid Seventh and Ninth. Live applesauce and tap ball will be featured on Center Stage at F and Eighth streets, and added musicians will airing the streets.
For added advice on Arts on Bottom venues and activities go to www.artsonfoot.org.
— Eve Zibart
Aloof walking about Penn Quarter yields all sorts of little pleasures: the trompe l’oeil mural on the aback bank of the Romanesque National Bank Architecture at Seventh and Pennsylvania; the two-story-high gyroscope on the east ancillary of the National Academy of Sciences building; and the 1882 Temperance Fountain at Seventh Artery and Pennsylvania Access — which, ironically, stood for abounding years in advanced of the turreted Apex Liquor store. According to its sign, St. Patrick’s Catholic Abbey at 619 10th St. is the oldest abbey in the “Federal City” (i.e., alfresco “George Towne”), accustomed in 1792.
If you adopt added organized touring, there are three chain actual trails, anniversary demography about an hour to walk, that point out lesser-known sites accompanying to the city’s adventures during the Civilian War and afterwards civilian rights campaigns. The trails are apparent by artery signs with aisle maps, photos and anecdotes, and anniversary of the loops begins a a Metro station. The East Loop can be best up alfresco the Judiciary Square base at F Artery amid Fourth and Fifth streets; the Center Loop at the Archives/Navy Canonizing Base at Seventh Artery and Pennsylvania Avenue; and the West Loop at the Metro Center avenue at 13th and G streets. A accompaniment book, “Civil War to Civilian Rights: City Ancestry Trails” is accessible at the National Architecture Museum and breadth bookstores or online from Cultural Tourism DC at www.culturaltourismdc.org.
— Eve Zibart
Tourists and locals akin are venturing into about abstinent territory, alive their way arctic from the Mall to a new campus of museums. The International Spy Museum, which opened in summer 2002, drew a actor visitors in aloof its aboriginal 18 months; the new Marian Koshland Science Museum at the National Academy of Sciences has additionally angry out to be a hasty hit, admitting the actuality that both allegation admission. The Burghal Museum of Washington, which has adequate the old Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, is alone a few blocks further north, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts is at the western bend of the Quarter at New York Access and 13th Street. The Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, at the affection of the Quarter, are ability advance but are appointed to reopen on July 4, 2006. The accepted exhibits at the FBI address are additionally bankrupt but are appointed to reopen aing year.
And the bang hasn’t slowed. The Shakespeare Theatre is architecture a additional amphitheater at 620 F St. that will be 40 percent beyond than its accepted area (and which will host jazz, dance, blur and alcove music as able-bodied as affected productions); Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s new address on Seventh Street, a courtyard amphitheater that will bifold its Abbey Artery basement capacity, will accessible aing spring. In accession to the eight-screen E Artery Cinema, a 14-screen Regent Cinemas circuitous will accessible in Gallery Abode aing month. The new home of the Newseum, beneath architecture on Pennsylvania Access at Sixth, is appointed to accessible in aboriginal 2007.
Shopping is already afresh a active pastime, with abounding of the top cast names (Benetton, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters) appropriation signs. Woodies and Garfinkel’s may be gone, but H&M is in (and Hecht’s, the loyal, is still activity strong). The Shops at National Abode are ability an all-encompassing facelift and advance to about-face the aforetime alone retail amplitude apparent against F Artery and flush the aliment court.
Odd as it sounds, city may be the District’s aboriginal 21st-century success story.
“Booms,” of course, are consistently exaggerated. The advance to redevelop Pennsylvania Access — beneath the admirable artery of L’Enfant’s eyes conceivably than as a Fifth Avenue-style access of hotels, offices and high-end restaurants — amount added than $1 billion over 20 years. Limited residential architecture began in the backward ’80s, primarily because developers were affected to account appointment architecture with mixed-use construction. The restaurant bang began in the mid-’90s, aggressive by the architecture of MCI Center, which opened at the end of 1997; and there accept been affluence of bootless runs and closings.
But it has absolutely been in the accomplished three years that the Penn Quarter has developed a personality, and a population. By the end of aing year, the New Penn Generation will absorb some 2,000 apartments and condominiums — the condos alignment from about $350,000 to $850,000, and a few costing as abundant as $1 actor — with 1,000 added residences aloof to the east. (And acknowledgment to the affiliation of several Metro lines, abounding association don’t charge cars.)
Two dozen restaurants, both big-name chains and bounded independents, accept opened in the Quarter back 2000, and there are several others in the blocks aloof west against the White House. Already you can accept from Catalonian and Cantonese, barbecue and Burmese, Thai, Indian, Tex-Mex, Mongolian, fusion, mezze and tapas, dim sum and Sichuan, Japanese and Jamaican, ability confined and wood-fired pizza, chophouses, angle houses, coffeehouses and Teaism, not to acknowledgment the sandwich shops, sub stops and artery vendors. And advancing anon are IndeBleu, a French-Indian restaurant from a above chef and administrator of the Inn at Little Washington, on G Artery amid Seventh and Eighth; a Clyde’s, this one with article of a Victorian alehouse flavor, in the Gallery Abode development; and Oya, an island-fusion restaurant on Ninth. (What with Ceiba on 14th, Ortanique on 11th, Cafe Atlantico on Eighth and Ginger Reef on E, Penn Quarter is accepting a audible nuevo Latino accent.)
On the third Thursday of anniversary month, the neighborhood’s art galleries break accessible until 8, and Starbucks at Seventh and H hosts balladry readings.
The adjacency alike has a warm-weather market, the FreshFarm Market, which sets up Thursdays from 3 to 7 on Eighth Artery aloof south of E through Oct. 28; the stalls are abounding with locally aloft produce, flowers and herbs; handmade soaps; eggs and cheese; alike sandwiches and ready-to-eat soups.
Everything old is new again, and that’s decidedly accurate of Penn Quarter. The Auberge Monaco at 700 F St. NW was advised in the aboriginal 1840s as the Accepted Post Appointment by Robert Mills, who based the architecture on the Temple of Jupiter in Rome; it was admired for its adorableness by Charles Dickens, who begin little to adore in the basic in general. (Intriguingly, there was a auberge on the armpit originally, Blodgett’s, area Congress met afterwards the afire of the Capitol in 1814.) Mills additionally advised the Old Patent Appointment Architecture (now the American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery), as able-bodied as the Washington Monument and the Treasury Building.
The National Architecture Museum was originally the U.S. Pension Bureau, accustomed in the 1880s to serve and account Union veterans; it bears a frieze of boot soldiers about the top. The Italianate LeDroit Architecture aing to the Monaco, which now houses Zola, was congenital in 1875. The National Museum of Women in the Arts was aforetime a Masonic temple, as was what is now McCormick & Schmick’s at Ninth and F.
The aboriginal recorded acknowledgment of the nation’s Capital Artery actuality called Pennsylvania Access seems to be in a letter accounting by Thomas Jefferson in 1791, the year afore architecture of the artery began. It was the aboriginal capital artery in added means as well, area the aboriginal hotels and boarding houses, lawyers’ offices, tailors and taverns and alike newspapers set up boutique (the old Evening Star architecture is at 1101 Pennsylvania). The city’s aboriginal Center Bazaar was congenital at the bottom of Seventh Artery — about area the Navy Canonizing is now, and not far from area the FreshFarm Bazaar sets up — and was such a basic bartering circuitous that at times the vendors, stalls and lean-tos advance as far as 10th or alike 11th.
Daniel Webster lived and accomplished law at 503 D St., aural afterimage of the courthouses. Gen. “Fighting Joe” Hooker bivouacked actuality (and according to some accounts, gave the bounded prostitutes a new nickname). Abraham Lincoln died actuality (in Petersen’s Boarding House, beyond the artery from Ford’s Theatre). The buyer of Ford’s was the better contributor to the Lincoln canonizing on D amid Fourth and Fifth streets; committed alone three years afterwards his assassination, it’s the oldest Lincoln canonizing in the country. Walt Whitman nursed the Civilian War casualties at the Portrait Gallery (then the Patent Office), which was put to use as a wartime hospital; he may able-bodied accept met up with Clara Barton, who additionally formed and nursed there. (For added Civilian War sites, see accompanying adventure on ancestry trails.)
But about alluring its history, it’s the new activity that has been breathed into Penn Quarter its boosters are touting these days. It’s the abode to see — political assemblage and celebrity drop-ins are commonly appear by media-savvy maitre d’s — and to be seen. And increasingly, it’s scenery, for flat films (most afresh “Head of State,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” Nicolas Cage’s accessible “National Treasure,” and the 2005 releases “Syriana” with George Clooney and “The Wedding Crashers” with Owen Wilson); made-for-TV movies (HBO’s “Path to War”) and alternation (“K Street” and “The District”). By the end of this decade, what was one of Washington’s best alone neighborhoods is accepted to be congenital to capacity, and that raises a accomplished new hipness issue: overexposure.
“We may accept to acquisition a new bar,” an Armani-clad Zaytinya angel empiric to his acquaintance a few weeks ago. “Everybody in Washington charge be at this one.”
Eve Zibart is a agents biographer for Weekend.
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