Finding Urban Beauty
She commented last week that there are a lot of neighborhoods of Washington that she hasn’t explored and I suggested a “field trip” to the refurbished U Street area, remembering the charm that I had found the couple of times I had visited recently.
Having eaten only at Busboys and Poets, I asked a couple of people who know the area well for recommendations and came up with at least a half dozen possibilities. We read menus and checked them out as we wandered around the streets near 14th and U. We finally decided on Simply Home, offered by Richard, the hair stylist extraordinaire from Axis who cuts my hair (and does other things to it from time to time.) When I’m getting my hair done, we talk mainly of food and I’m convinced that Richard knows his DC restaurants.
We were delighted to find succulent Thai food in what sounded like a down-home southern restaurant. Not only was the food superb, but it was beautifully arranged on the plate. My chicken with basil had just the right amount of spiciness and Kris’s shrimp dish was loaded with pieces of ginger.
The best thing was the adjacent store that contained unnecessary but beautiful objects that would look good in just about any home.
But then that was the story of many of the small stores we explored. There was RCKNDY (known as Rock Candy), GoMamaGo, and Home Rule, just to name a few. In each of these stores, you could buy something of beauty which was well designed for under $5. But you could also spend $1,500. Quality and good design were high on the buyers’ list of things to look for.
I realized that I didn’t even have to buy anything much just to feel happy about seeing all these beautiful things. At one point I jokingly said to Kris, “What would you buy if someone gave you $1,000 right now?” It didn’t take long in Simply Home to find several possibilities.
We saved perhaps the best for last. After our Thai lunch we wandered down the street to CakeLove, suggested by Kris’s daughter. When you open the door, you are met by the smell of freshly baked cakes of all flavors that are made in the store. A sign offers you a free cupcake if it’s your birthday (with proof of course). We settled on a variety of cupcakes, which we reluctantly took home to share with family members who hadn’t come on the field trip. What a sweet ending to a great day!