Five days until Christmas. You still have shopping to do. You don’t own a car. You hate malls. You want this to be simple. This is a good time to remember why you live where you do: walkability and local retail. (We don’t live here because the rent is cheap, do we?)
As a longer-than-I-want-to-admit resident of the area, I have some tips for last-minute shopping. I also asked our contributors for a few of their own.
Shopping on Foot: My Quick List
This is not a comprehensive list, just my own personal one for last-minute holiday shopping in the neighborhood, whether it’s gifts or last-minute supplies.
The 1400 block of P Street: I love this block; it’s my own mini-village for the daily necessities (food, dry cleaner, liquor, drug store, take-out, etc.). You’ve got fancy groceries and food-items-for-gifts at Whole Foods… and liquor at Best-In Liquors (they’ve been there for a while, when times were tough). For the yoga-enthusiast, there is Lululemon on the north side of the block. Transformer gallery (south side) has some affordable pieces of art for sale right now, too.
For tree stuff, Christmas lights, overall supplies, last-minute stocking stuffers and more, remember Logan Hardware on P Street. Whoever is putting all those little items on the racks near the checkout line, I say Stop! We now have four pairs of thermal-fleece socks in our household and a reindeer-antler-headdress for the dog.
West side of 14th Street: I love 14th Street for Christmas shopping. I have a line up of stores I depend on for gifts, holiday decorations, cards, etc. On the west side there is Cork & Fork (wine and nibbley bits), Flowers on Fourteenth (north of R Street and a store I love) and Garden District at the corner of S Street (you’re out of luck this week; they closed yesterday and will reopen in March). And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention gallery plan b (north of Church) — they have their Year End Show with 36 artists. Show an artist some love and buy something.
That reminds me: Project 4 Gallery at 1353 U Street NW has art from $10 to $1,000. The gallery’s The “Yuletide exhibition features a selection of small works by artists who frequently collaborate with Project 4.
East side of 14th Street: There is a row of stores north of S Street where I shop for cards, ornaments, do-dads, gift bags and gifts: PULP, Home Rule, Cork Market and go mama go! PULP is the classic gift and card store, with many fun items, a huge card selection, good ornaments and a wonderful staff…
Home Rule has an amazing number of very nice items for the home in a very small space (and some great Christmas ornaments)… go mama go! is still open and while the selection is less than in previous years (the store will close at some point), Jonathan still has a nice selection of home items from around the world, especially glass and ceramics at very reasonable prices (I always buy tree ornaments there).
Ideas from Borderstan’s Writers
Michelle: The housewares section of TrueValue Hardware on 17th Street (it’s upstairs, 1600 block, east side) was where I got all my ornaments and extra hangers the last few years. It’s still the only place in DC that will spot you .27 cents for picture hangars and remember you when you go back to pay them back a quarter!
Luis: Remember FedEx/Staples on 14th Street (between Church and Q) for shipping supplies. Remember the practical side! And they have evening hours.
Tom: I am dying for Santa to bring me one of the Ecosmart Fireplaces that they have at Vastu at 1829 14th… great way to warm up on these cold winter nights. Also, Well Built on 14th Street (at Q) has these unglazed ceramic “origami” parrots in their window display… you hang them on a vase, ice bucket or glass… almost art like… a unique gift idea and they are very affordable.
Cecile: Aveda Salon on 14th Street (south of Rhode Island) has a variety of beauty products for your favorite girly girl. For the runners in your life, head to P Street and check out Pacers (across from Whole Foods) selection of clothing and other running gear.
Alejandra: Nothing says happy holidays like time…time with friends and loved ones. With so many restaurants along 14th Street, U Street and Connecticut Avenue, and many of them offering gift certificates, there’s a gift that’s just right for anyone you know. Or for the food lover in your life check out Cork Market for jams, spreads, wines, cheeses and baked goods to fill a basket!
If you’re looking for fun, off-beat, but still elegant jewelry for a special woman I’d hit up tabletop in Dupont circle. In addition to having fun, funky housewares, they have a really lovely selection of necklaces and earrings.
Not that I don’t love me some KramerBooks (Connecticut north of Dupont Circle) for book giving, but head further North on Connecticut Avenue a little bit and try out Kulturas secondhand books. You’ll remember that Kulturas left Dupont a few years ago, but they’re back and I love them with a vengeance! Unique biographies for the politico/wonky-type in your life or killer, hard to find cookbooks for the foodie. Seriously, you won’t regret purchasing a slightly loved book when you see their great selection!
Need a stocking stuffer for mom? Or maybe that woman without whom you could not get your job done? Try Mimosa (Connecticut and R Street) salon for a mani-pedi gift certificate. The place is clean and the service is great!