neighborhood guide: shaw

Shaw is one of those neighborhoods that's been developing for the last ten years. The recession halted most of the construction plans slated for the area.  As cash for building projects started to flow again, construction cranes have sprouted and Shaw has a new look full of restaurants, retail, condos and apartments. SHOP at Darryl Carter and Simon Vintage.  The stores offer completely different furnishings and accessories which is why they're so fun.  Darryl Carter is refined and spare.  Simon Vintage is a riot of vintage furniture that needs a little love. EAT at Table and SUNdeVICH.  Table is one of the few DC restaurants that offers farm to table meals successfully.  SUNdeVICH produces delicious sandwiches and salads made with locally sourced ingredients.  DRINK at A&D and The Columbia Room.  A&D looks and feels like a dive but offers wonderful cocktails and bar food.  The Columbia Room is a small, reservations only bar within a bar, serving innovative classic cocktails.  It's hidden in a back room at The Passenger (another fab place to grab a drink)....
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riveting rooms

I'm always amazed at what new paint and new hardware can do to a kitchen. Look at the before on the One King's Lane blog.  Stunning! photo via One King's...
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teaser

I have a new listing hitting the market next week and here's a little tease.  1 bedroom/1 bath with parking for 350K and it's two blocks from the U St. Metro.  It will be officially listed next Thursday.  Wahoo!  ...
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latest and greatest

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nostalgia

Monday, I was having a coffee across from the Spanish Embassy on 23rd St, NW. I was killing time until I had to drop off condo documents to a buyer.  This coffee shop is one of my favorite haunts because for a brief moment in my day, I can pretend I'm still living in Spain.   It was 1:30 and a bunch of ladies were having a cafecito.  I haven't lived in Spain for years but eavesdropping on their conversation instantly took me back.  The only thing missing was cigarette smoke wafting in my face.  I hope to travel back to Spain this year.  I've never returned because I've always felt I would instantly be elated and sad:  elated to be back and sad I had to leave again. In my grand life plan, I intend to live there again. It's going to happen.  It's just a matter of time....
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hogo

Hogo, the new bar from Tom Brown of The Passenger, is a lively place.  The focus is rum cocktails and the food and chefs revolve each month to showcase chef talent. I went at the end of March.  I sat in the window with my husband and a friend who's a rum connoisseur. We sampled a variety of drinks.  My husband had a rum tasting, our friend was focused on chacaça (Brazilian rum) and I was interested in their mixed drinks.  I was tempted to order one of their punch bowls.  I mean, who doesn't want to drink out of an enormous bowl with two straws?  Unfortunately, I had to work the next day and decided a bunch bowl would definitely induce a hangover.  Instead, I ordered a Jungle Bird which is rum, campari, lime, pineapple and shaved ice.  Yum.  My husband enjoyed his rum tasting.  The rum connoisseur didn't love what he ordered.  He ordered a mid range chacaça, up.  It was not what was he was expecting.  He wanted a sipping rum and it wasn't.  He asked the bar staff to make him a caipirinha with it instead and they obliged. He was very pleased with his new drink and it was a fantastic solution. In March, Chef Ed Hardy was manning the helm and serving Swedish food.  We sampled a couple of items including the Swedish meatballs which rocked.  This month Chef RJ Cooper of Rouge 24 is in the kitchen previewing potential dishes for his new restaurant Gypsy Soul.   My only complaint:  service is excellent but the cocktails are slow to arrive.  The evening we visited, it took 30 minutes to get drinks each round.  I know these are hand crafted cocktails and require attention but that's a long time.    Regardless, Hogo was fun and I'll visit again.  It's time for a punch...
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riveting rooms

I wish my office looked like this one.  Instead, it's strewn with the paper covered in scribbled notes and has piles of stuff everywhere.  Where I'm neat in all the other rooms of the house, the office is a disaster.  It drives me crazy.  It's time to reorganize and this photo will be excellent inspiration. photo via...
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‘hood happenings

links top to bottom:  POP, CJDC, Borderstan, Eater photos top to bottom: glenn zubar, me, borderstan,...
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make over!

It's amazing what reupholstering can achieve.   These chairs were originally my Nana's and covered in pink velvet.  When I moved to the DC, my Mom had them recovered in the cream fabric.  They were in my living room and when we moved into this condo, I placed them in the master bedroom.  I used them to hang laundry (hence the black marks on the chair to the right), chat on the phone, and to stage listings.  As the years passed, they became dingy. It was time for a change.   Todd Ezrin of TOBE Design Group helped me with the process.  (He recently helped revamp our condo building decor and it's stunning.)  Based on the info I provided, he brought over several fabric samples and I picked one. I knew I wanted the chairs to be recovered in a neutral but I was tired of the cream color. Grey is my new favorite neutral.  I thought a silver tone would work best for future rooms and possible staging. I picked a fabric from Pindler & Pindler.  The pattern is Sorrento and the color is silver.     I am thrilled with the change and they look wonderful in the bedroom.  The reupholsterer added a new seat cushion and a tiny lumbar pillow.  All I need now is tiny pillow to add a pop of color or possibly some curtains and my bedroom will finally be completed....
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le diplomate

Le Diplomate, the first Stephen Starr restaurant in DC, officially opened last week and already, it's a hit. My husband and I went last Thursday evening.  First impression:  it's stunning. Starr and his group of architects and designers have done a top notch job of recreating a French brasserie.  The attention to detail is impressive.  The marble topped bar, the outdoor seating, the tile floors and wooden accents, the newspaper rack with French newspapers, the banners on the exterior plus the tables are exactly what you'd see in France. We sat at an interior table next to an open window and I was having flashbacks of our recent trip to Paris.    The food was a treat too.  Not every dish is going to be an exact replica of something you'd find in a French brasserie.  After all, this is DC and the food has to appeal to the masses.  We only sampled a few (above) and Chef Adam Schop has developed a delicious menu.  They make the bread in-house and you can pick up a baguette or a loaf on your way home. (!!!!)  They have a coffee program from Philly's La Columbe.  The pastry chef, Naomi Gallego, has a masters degree from the German culinary school, Konditormeisterschule. The dark chocolate napoléon was the highlight of our meal.  Do not miss dessert.   Le Diplomate is a welcome addition to the DC dining scene and from the crowds opening week, it will be very successful. ps-we had a Stephen Starr sighting while we were there on Thursday and were giddy like small children.  we're such nerds.  also interesting was all the local industry people we saw checking it out.  everyone is curious. *all photos by...
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riveting rooms

Although I love living in a city, sometimes I miss a backyard full of trees.  This dining room, with it's soaring ceilings and lovely view, caught my fancy.  I can imagine lazy Sunday brunches with family and friends with the doors open on a sunny Spring or Fall day.  It's raining again in DC. After a beautiful weekend, it's hard to go back to Spring showers and wet concrete. photo via Residence...
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new listing!

1133 13th St, NW #7E Washington, DC 20005 condo fee $335.64 | yearly taxes $1737 list price: $299,000 Sunny, corner unit that's perfect for an investor or first time home buyer.  Bamboo floors throughout, new windows, view of Mass. Ave. and pets under 25 lbs. allowed.  Short walk to Logan Circle, Whole Foods and 14th St. retail.  95 walk score.  Open House on Sunday 4/14/13 from 1-4pm....
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