all photos: Jeff Martin
all words: Svetlana Legetic
REAL TALK: You have but one weekend left before Christmas. YEAH. So, you better get that last minute holiday shopping ball rolling. So, as seasonal addition to our WINTER GUIDES week and in the spirit of solidarity (and realistic expectations) Jeff and I packed into a car and drove around town one Sunday to see what we could find in several different neighborhoods, in locally owned stores and for as many different types of people you may know. We stopped by: 14th and U Streets, Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria and Barracks Row on Capitol Hill and here’s what we found (some more recommendations we couldn’t squeeze in but would have definitely gone to – below).
location: 1626 14th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009 who are you shopping for: your most awesome coworker for a SECRET SANTA thing, your bestest gayest friend who loves to entertain, someone random and awesome you just want to surprise. Or, if you’re me-yourself. our suggestions: There are plenty of “real gift” options in here: we LOVED the “ENTER THE FAERIE LAND” sign that’s just waiting to hang in someone’s boudoir or the awesome horseback riding paraphenalia (ranging from $85 for a saddle to a $22 for an adorable plastic horse) for the pony lover in your life, but it is the back room that hides a treasure trove of stocking stuffers for everyone: all books are $2 (we found kick ass biographies on Burt Reynolds, a tell-all about Menendez Brother Lyle, some perfect-condition Donna Tartt), as are the records (lots of classics, standards and musicals) and there is a whole shelf of 1980/90s comics for the taking for only $1 each. You’re welcome.
location: 1807 14th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009 who are you shopping for: your first-condo purchasing friend who keeps sending you links to FAB.COM and COOLHUNTER and considers APARTMENT THERAPY internet porn. our suggestions: ZOKU’s POPSICLE making kits, the adorable Babushka Wine Caraffe (only $19.95) and, of course, the JESUS TOAST stamp as the ultimate Happy Birthday Jesus stocking stuffer.
location: 2529 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon, 1009 King Street in Old Town and 1809 14th Street, NW (where we went) who are you shopping for: your sister who looks up to you, your cousins who are finally getting into accessories, yourself in a “the party is tonight!” pinch our suggestions: Now, as we all know, we’re big fans of everything that sparkles and the CURRENT sequined party dress collection (and the shiny vintage shoe collection, and the statement necklace collection) is both plentiful and very reasonably priced (all dresses are under $100, necklaces around $30 or so…). Get ready to be a human discoball.
location: 1803 14th street NW, Washington DC 20009 who are you shopping for: the gag gift that also says you care. our suggestions: for the man in your life who REALLY LOVED Movember, a whole selection of mustaches for any occasion. DC Flag flasks. Glow in the dark party rats for your “night blogging friend”. Bacon everything. A Michelle Obama reusable shopping bag. EVERYTHING UNDER OR AROUND $20.
location: 3235 P Street NW, Washington DC 20007 who are you shopping for: someone special. a foodie friend with a sweet tooth. yourself (every day) our suggestions: FIRST OF ALL-the second we walked into FLEURIR is the second we fell in love with both the place and the chocolates themselves. We want to move in. For real. But-when it comes to present giving, their delicious chocolate bars (georgraphically themed for those either nostalgic of places they came from or places where their loved ones are), the softest marshmellow packs and/or custom chocolate boxes are all to die for. ADDED BONUS: they ship ANYWHERE.
location: 3231 P Street NW, Washington DC 20007 who are you shopping for: someone very glamorous. VERY GLAMOROUS. our suggestions: Ella Rue does not mess around. The store has one of the most wonderful selections of designer vintage we’ve seen in a while – from Oscar De La Renta Russian inspired gowns to Alaxander Wang warrior heels, if you have money to spend, you could almost start a museum exhibit out of here.
location: 108 N Patrick St, Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 who are you shopping for: your very best friend in the world. a girl that you really want to be your girlfriend. our suggestions: Everything at Pretty People vintage is immaculately edited and surprisingly affordable. Jewelry starts at as low as $15, the cute hats are REALLY cute, and the party dress selection is out of control (and some pieces can be found for as low as, say, $35). All of this makes it very hard to walk away. In fact, that red sequined 1980s Oleg Cassini dress you see below-it is hanging in my closet right now.
location: 1015 King Street, Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 who are you shopping for: your friend who takes entertaining very seriously. our suggestions: When Dan Searing of ROOM 11 did our featured punch for FALL FOOD GUIDE, he mentioned THE HOUR as “the placet to buy the best looking punchbowls and cups in the area” and we have to agree. Best of all-their immaculately stocked collection features something for every pocket: from under $30 to beautiful, perfectly kept 60s cocktailware which goes up into the $300s. Add Dan’s book “THE PUNCH BOWL” into the mix, and you’re good to go.
location: 1511 King Street, Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 who are you shopping for: anyone with immaculate taste and an appreciation for rituals involved with actually hand writing something in 2011. our suggestions: aside from meeting all your wrapping and note writing needs in style, 1511 also carries some fun gifts for crafters (including a “all you need” box to get someone started in their hobby) and home cooks (like that perfectly appointed recipe book you see below) , as well as books and magazines. They’re not just selling you paper-they’re selling you a lifestyle.
location: 407 8th Street SE & 508 H Street NE, Washington DC 20002 who are you shopping for: your dog. your friend’s dog. our suggestions: the toys are cute, the food is necessary, but we think that it is the holiday colored sweaters that will be a hit among all the well walked dogs in Capitol hill.
location: 715 8th Street SE, Washington DC 20002 who are you shopping for: your friend who carries DWELL Magazine around everywhere. Newlyweds. our suggestions: While there is some cross-over between HOMEBODY and the above mentioned HOME RULE, this Barracks Row shop covers a little more ground: whether you’re looking for those cute gifts (we loved all the music inspired kitchen stuff-from PET ROCKS MUGS to MIX STIX which are a combo between drumming sticks and wooden spoons) or looking to invest in something a little more substantial (HOMEBODY is the only story in DC that carries GUS furnishings) they have you covered. Plus, for that first baby that’s about to call you an aunt or an uncle-the cutest and most practical bibs we’ve ever seen. Can you feel your nesting instinct kicking in yet? OTHER SUGGESTIONS, WE DIDN’T GET A CHANCE TO STOP BY (HEY, WE’RE ONLY HUMAN):
- GINGER ROOT – for locally designed jewelry and those lady ties of their’s.
- BIG PLANET COMICS – self-explanatory.
- SECOND STORY BOOKS – the best rare vintage children’s book selection we’ve seen in a while.
- FOUNDRY – for all of you that like Anthropology but hate that it’s a chain.
- LEGENDARY BEAST – for the most intense (in a good way) jewelry collection on U Street, and beyond. Prepare to dig.
- SOM RECORDS – for good music sold to you by good people.
- CROOKED BEAT-ditto
- TREASURY – gorgeously edited vintage clothes and edgy yet feminine accessories.
- SMASH – for that teen punk popper in you and everyone you know.
- MILLENIUM – mid-century furniture and witty things to hang on any wall.
- TABLETOP – perfectly edited iconic decorations: Jonathan Adler pottery, Marimekko mugs and more
- GINZA – for adorable asian knick-knackery that’s surprisingly useful.