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Washington, D.C.'s Emerging MidCity

Whitney Lawson The oldest restaurant on U Street, open since 1958, has catered to the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bill Cosby.

Photo: Whitney Lawson

As D.C.’s inner city blossoms, roughly six contiguous areas north of downtown are being grouped as MidCity. At its heart, Logan Circle and the U Street Corridor have been among the city’s most embattled neighborhoods. Now there’s an influx of artists, students, and professionals, and businesses are opening in a collaborative spirit—with one eye toward the global village and the other very much on the local scene—showing what can happen when fashion, art, and food mix with politics.

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Inspired by: Up-And-Coming Washington, D.C. — by Meeghan Truelove, Published Oct. 2006

Restaurants (6)

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    Etete

    Brothers Yared and Henock Tesfaye, Ethiopian transplants, opened Etete in 2004. The restaurant, a gift for their mother, serves traditional Ethiopi

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    Viridian

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    Creme Cafe

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    Busboys & Poets

    Part restaurant and part community gathering spot, Busboys & Poets is a socially-conscious restaurant founded in 2005 by Iraqi-American activist an

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    Ben's Chili Bowl

    Up until very recently, the only VIP deemed worthy of a free meal at the Ali family chili shrine was longtime devotee Bill Cosby, who made the venu

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    Café Saint-Ex

    Inspired by owner Mike Benson’s affinity for flying and the works of French author-pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Café Saint-Ex is a neighborhood

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Activities (11)

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    Muléh

    Founded by Christopher Reiter following a four-year stay in Asia, Muléh is a unique lifestyle store blending home furnishings and fashion. The home

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    HR-57

    The city’s coolest jazz plays day and night at this groovy, dim-lit classic. The name, Washington geek-speak for House Resolution 57, refers to the

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    Gate 54/Saint-Ex

    A boisterous thirtysomething crowd fills both floors of this popular watering hole: the ground-floor bistro has seats for dinner or an alt-sceney d

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    Candida's World of Books

    Candida’s World of Books leaves bookstore travel sections far behind, and stocks cookbooks, coffee-table tomes, and fiction in 15 languages from 40

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    Lettie Gooch

    This trendy boutique, located in the U Street Corridor sells fashion-forward, offbeat apparel and accessories for women. The store has an inventory

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    Carbon

    Located on Connecticut Avenue in Woodley Park, Carbon is known for its selection of stylish, eco-friendly shoes, clothing, and accessories. The sto

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    Wild Women Wear Red

    Wild Women Wear Red sells sexy but practical shoes, such as puzzle-patterned suede boots by Camper and Lisa Nading loafers with kittenish heels.

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    Nana, Washington, D.C.

    Opened in 2003, Nana is a locally minded women’s clothing boutique that showcases independent American designers, many of whom use sustainable, org

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    Project 4

    This bi-level gallery is located at the intersection of 14th and U Streets in the U Street Corridor. The 1,000-square-foot Project 4 displays inter

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    Irvine Contemporary

    Irvine Contemporary, founded by Georgetown professor Dr. Martin Irvine, showcases works by emerging and mid-career artists. Past exhibits have incl

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    Nevin Kelly Gallery

    Half of the artists represented by Nevin Kelly Gallery live in Poland, the rest are in D.C.: a delightful hybrid of old-world skillfulness and new-

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Similar Trips (8)

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  • Washington, D.C. Hot Spots

    The Mall, White House/Downtown, Penn Quarter, Georgetown, Dupont Circle

    The capital city that John F. Kennedy once panned for its “Southern efficiency and Northern charm” continues to rebuild itself into the world-class cultural and culinary capital it was always meant

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  • Cultural Family Trip to D.C.

    The Mall, Georgetown, Dupont Circle, U Street, Chinatown/Convention Center

    Visiting Washington, D.C., can feel like the school trip from hell: no matter who you are, no matter what you’re interested in, you’re stuck with the same obligatory sights. We say, Table that noti

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  • Green Travel in Washington, D.C.

    White House/Downtown, Capitol Hill, Chinatown/Convention Center, Foggy Bottom

    Eco-minded travelers can tour the capital city in an electric roadster, book a treatment at the country's first LEED-certified spa, and shack up at a wind-powered hotel.

  • Mini Trip: Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

    Penn Quarter, Dupont Circle, Gold Coast, Chinatown/Convention Center, Foggy Bottom

    Catch a performance at the Kennedy Center's free Open House Arts Festival, wine and dine, and go undercover at the International Spy Museum.

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    London, Mayfair, Clerkenwell, Hyde Park/Green Park, Bloomsbury

    Once considered a backwater of crusty Old Master dealers, London is now a contemporary art powerhouse, with more creative and commercial artistic clout than anywhere outside New York.

  • Discovering India's Resplendent Textiles

    Maryland, Mumbai, Gujarat + Western India, Dupont Circle

    Since ancient times, textiles have been associated with important rituals and social occasions in India. In fact, India’s history is so interwoven with textiles that it is hard to separate the two.

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  • Dining in Washington, D.C.

    Arlington, McLean, White House/Downtown, Penn Quarter, Georgetown

    Where do political heavyweights head to seal the deal?From Capitol Hill to the Penn Quarter—and just beyond the Beltway—Washington's dining scene has come of age. Actually, D.C. today is reaping th...

  • Washington D.C. for the Budget-Conscious Family

    Mount Vernon, The Mall, White House/Downtown, Penn Quarter, Georgetown

    It costs absolutely nothing to visit all 14 museums of the Smithsonian Institution. You'll find the best hotel rates on the weekends, when the movers and shakers skip town. Don't be shy about askin

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