Saturday, October 29, 2011

In case of spare time

Asian fusion, Cuban fare, upscale sandwiches, an honest burger, vegetarian delights and a cornucopia of U.S. history. There might be as many places to eat and sightsee within walking distance of the Washington Convention Center as there are APHA-ers.

One of this blogger’s favorite places in the universe is the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden, so when the weather clears, head over to Constitution and 7th Street and see what you think. The National Mall itself is 15 minutes away on foot or an easy Metro ride to the Smithsonian station. The National Building Museum is even closer at 5th and G streets.

The National Portrait Gallery at F and 7th streets is another local favorite; the International Spy Museum is across the street at 800 F St.; and the famed Ford’s Theatre is at 511 10th St. Has anybody been to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment at the corner of F and 6th streets?

Foodwise, the closest grocery store is Safeway at 490 L St. Local eateries run from the basic (Five Guys burgers and fries near 9th and L streets) to the entertaining (wear a costume to Cuba Libre’s Mischief Halloween Party tonight at 801 9th St. and receive reduced admission, but the dancing doesn’t start until 11 p.m.). Asia Spice at 8th and H streets near the Chinatown arch has a reputation for great food and their Halloween decorations include a giant, sparkly spiderweb in the front entrance. A local Washingtonian said 901 at 901 Ninth St. has a “nice atmosphere cocktail hour,” and other recommendations include Busboys and Poets at 5th and K streets, where quite a few APHA-related receptions are scheduled this week; the Korean restaurant Mandu, on K Street between 4th and 5th; and for tasty vegetarian options as well as freshly carved turkey sandwiches and salads, CafĂ© Phillips at 7th and K streets.

By the way, did you know two corners of the Washington Convention Center are points one and two of the 17-point Shaw Heritage Trail? Each point features an informational sign delving into the rich history of this part of the city. Consider this excerpt from the sign at point two:

“Over time, the shops of Seventh and Ninth streets became a bargain-rate alternative to downtown’s fancy department stores. There were juke joints, Irish saloons, storefront evangelists, delicatessens, and dozens of schools and houses of worship.”

Those of you who’d like to explore a bit more of the city might consider Capital Bikeshare, which also has a Spotcycle mobile app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices to pinpoint more than 100 stations across the city to pick up and drop off bicycles, and there’s a station just outside the convention center at 7th and M streets. Buy a 24-hour Bikeshare membership for $5 or a five-day membership for $15. Trip costs vary depending on the duration.

One indoor exercise option is The Bar Method D.C. at 750 9th St., NW. Pay $10 for your first, one-hour class, then $24 per class after that. Though Esquire magazine said, “The Bar Method employs killer muscle-building poses,” so one class might suffice.

Anyone else know of some good local spots to visit? Let us know in the comments section!

— D.C.

Above, some very damp Bikeshare bicycles waiting to be taken out for a ride. Photo by Donya Currie


muckraker said...

For really good sandwiches, I recommend Sundevich. It's right near the Convention Center at 9th and N. It's a local place with creative flavors. (I work nearby and go there often.)

Matt Adams said...

Thanks for the information. it should be fun to check some of that stuff out!!