February 10, 2006

SOHO IN DC. Not the SoHo of Manhattan of the 1960's and 1970's when it was filled with galleries. But the SoHo of today along Broadway with its mix of chain stores, movie theaters and restaurants that are forcing the galleries to Brooklyn.

In "Gallery Place" there never were more than a handful of galleries to force out, but we are getting the chain stores anyway and some of the other SoHo's energy. Walk up 7th St. and it feels like Broadway, kinda.

There is a good mix of people: DCists, suburbanites, whites, blacks. It feels a little sanitized but not like downtown Bethesda. And of course this is only the beginning.

Maybe you missed it, but Bed, Bath & Beyond opened this week. Please go into this store and give those poor sales-clerks something to do. We went in this morning and were greeted over and over and over. Two notable aspects: 1. BBB promises same day delivery in DC on all purchases, 2. BBB has a wedding registry featuring Villeroy & Boch, Vera Wang etc. It's definitely not down market.

Its been known for months that Balducci's is coming to 7th St., but finally seeing the "coming soon" signs and the signs of construction are reassuring. Like so many things in DC (waterfront baseball stadium, for instance), we've said countless times "we'll believe it when we see it."

7th St. is not a destination yet, but you can imagine it to be within a few years. Of course, go there for a Verizon Center event, a movie whatever. But by 2008, it will be a place for people who live in DC to hang out on a warm Saturday afternoon the way Georgetown is now for people who live in Virgnia. (Our trips to Georgetown usually only go as far as Meiwah on New Hampshire Ave. and M St.) .... NOW THAT YOU PUT THE CORKS BACK IN THE CHAMPAIGNE BOTTLE, and heard the less than enthusistic comments from Major League Baseball about the lease deal, the spending cap bill is now are out and in the Washington Post.


David said...

Agreed. Gallery Place / Chinatown is really coming along as well as the nearby Penn Quarter. Hot.

Anonymous said...

just curious... aside from license plates, which pedestrians generally don't tote around, how is it possible to tell a DCist from a suburbanite?

Anonymous said...

Is there any news on what's going into the properties between H street and Mass Ave on 7th, e.g., the historic storefront at 7th and I or the retail space under the IBEW bldg?

Anonymous said...

All my new yorker friends enjoy going down to times square (which 7th street reminds me of) but they view it fondly, like a favored step-niece. The wonderful thing about georgetown and dupont is the variety. There's bookstores, history, high end shops, low end shops, and the capability of avoiding the tourists. I hope Penn Quarter does well and I think it'll be an awesome mall destination but it's not yet a neighborhood. And 3 years won't get it there.

dcbubble said...

dunno about gallery place becoming like times square....lots of neon and theater...that's an intensity that is way off the dc scale