Hang Like a Local in Washington, D.C.’s Hippest Neighborhood
Inside D.C.'s North End Shaw Neighborhood
Boutique retailers with big names have recently moved into North End Shaw, (including Warby Parker and Kit and Ace) but one storefront that stands out is a local name: Read Wall. Launched in 2011 by its eponymous owner, Read Wall aims to “redefine the way men shop,” according to retail director Jake Shields. This modern haberdashery offers custom-tailored menswear in a classic American style that suits the neighborhood’s young professionals looking for an update on traditional office clothing. The shopping experience is also more fun here: Customers who come in for a consultation are offered a beer or a cocktail while they go over their wardrobe needs. And for girlfriends or wives in tow, Lettie Gooch is a popular womenswear boutique right next door.
Washington Project for the Arts
Washington’s art scene has been fragmented in recent years as the 14th Street Gallery District has given way to condos and a restaurant boom. But one short stretch of North End Shaw has emerged as a miniature arts row, with the Washington Project for the Arts as its anchor. After a couple nomadic decades of supporting local artists from any space it could find, last year the 40-year-old organization opened a permanent gallery space in the Atlantic Plumbing building. WPA director Peter Nesbett was intrigued by the opportunity to open in a neighborhood packed with legendary performing arts venues. “It’s an exciting convergence of these different creative cultures.” The organization is joined on this strip of 8th Street by galleries and design studios like the Cherry Blossom Collective, which sells design supplies and their popular neighborhood map prints. WPA hosts a number of artist events—workshops, talks, and collaborations—as well as bigger projects like an upcoming 300-foot street mural planned for the summer.