Somewhere in Dorian Gray’s attic, there must have been a painting of Mount Pleasant Street. Though the streetcar installed in 1903 has since been replaced by bicyclists pedaling home for house meetings with their roommates and minivans en route to soccer practice, the commercial thoroughfare has remained nearly identical to its quaint origins.
3118 Mount Pleasant St. NW
Much like a neighborhood garage sale, this vintage shop can be hit-or-miss, primarily because the hours of operation are spotty. If you happen to pass by on a day when owner Willa "Jeff" Logan has the door cracked, seize the chance: You'll be treated to "two floors of goodies," Logan says, which often include framed black-and-white photographs, flashy costume jewelry and old (often somewhat creepy) toys.
If you want to know the true meaning of "dive bar," head to the Raven. Beers are cheap ($3 Natty Bohs), food options are few (regular or barbecue potato chips), and the jukebox is thumping (Sam Cooke would feel at home). The bar has been in operation since 1935, so expect no-frills decor and tattered leather booths.
In lieu of a "Closed" sign, this subterranean hair salon hangs a piece of wood scrawled with "At the Raven" on the door. When they're not reveling across the street, the hip stylists are snipping hair for a mixed bunch (men's start at $45, women's at $55). "Our clients are often young professionals and art types," says owner Ryan Hunter Mitchell, who trained at the Sassoon Academy. "We also see a lot of people who work in the government and live in Mount Pleasant."
There's no shortage of Latino-run markets in the neighborhood, but Each Peach adds a concentration of locally sourced produce and fare to the mix. Fridges hold kimchi from Number 1 Sons, and whoopie pies from Frenchie's Artisan Pastries and Desserts line the shelves. "We know a lot of our customers' names," says Emily Friedberg, who owns the shop with Jeanlouise Conaway. "We know their families and what they like to eat."
Don't judge this discreet fair-trade boutique by its blank façade. Inside, it's stocked with colorful sling purses, dresses, jewelry and table linens produced in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Liberia by women in sewing collectives. This outpost (one of seven in the world) is one of two locations in the United States, giving Mount Pleasant bragging rights. Proceeds go to marginalized women in Africa and to peace-building efforts.
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