There’s a certain grit to the H Street corridor, within Northeast Washington, that’s comforting and charming. It was once a commercial area for the city’s working class, and many of the buildings were destroyed during the 1968 race riots. Fast-forward a few decades, and it’s where old D.C. meets new. Old bodegas stand next to new coffee shops. Native Washingtonians order pancakes from Tony’s, while transplants enjoy a chocolate croissant from Maketto.
Meet your local
Austin has lived in Washington since 2007. He grew up as an American in Russia, attended boarding school in Germany, has lived in Kazakhstan and China and has traveled to more than 60 countries.
Where I live: Fairlawn, considered the first suburb of the city now formally part of it. It’s a neighborhood where most people were born and raised in the same house they live in now and where porch culture is strong.
Best way to get around the city: Capital Bikeshare, one of the first bike-sharing programs in the United States.
Don’t leave without having: A conversation with a native Washingtonian to hear stories of a city in transition.
But the local favorite is really: Baked & Wired. Don’t get distracted by the TV glam of Georgetown Cupcake.
If I moved, I’d most miss: Congressional Cemetery. It represents all facets of D.C., encompassing history and politics, yoga and wine.
Beneath the Underdog Alley
A small community art gallery with no website, phone number or address. Simply go to the alley off H Street between Seventh and Eighth streets on a weekend and knock on the door with the mosaic of the person with spiky blond hair.
Between Seventh and Eighth streets, off H Street NE
Melina is a Washington Post photographer based in the District and spends her free time climbing, skiing, traveling and exploring. Her work is inspired by memories of her father, a CBS cameraman, and her passionate and loving Italian mother.