Speciality Shops, Washington D.C.
The hallmark of a good tailor, aside from quality products, is unparalleled service. I'm not the best-dressed guy, and I walked into Geoffrey Lewis wearing my EMS jacket because it was cold in DC in December. The staff didn't bat an eye. Instead, they were immensely welcoming and professional.
I needed to get final fit measurements for a tux for a wedding. While the measurements I had provided got them close to the right sizes, they needed to perform a few modifications, which they would have done while I waited, but I didn't want to carry the tux around with me all day. No problem.
The other cool aspect of Geoffrey Lewis is the atmosphere. It's not old-wood, old-world style of a British tailor shop that's been in business for 200 years, but it has the right atmosphere.
So, if you need custom threads, or to rent a tux in DC, stop by and see Angelo and Helen Abatzis and I'm sure they'll take good care of you.
What to pay: $100 for the rental.
I love bookstores and specialty bookstores even better. While walking around DC one afternoon we came upon this Travel and Map center. We decided to take a look and see what they had to offer.
They have a large selection of travel books and cd's, maps, and even some hard to find "street finder" maps.
What to buy: I don't recall if we purchased anything, I think that we may have picked up a pocket DC guide.
We actually came in here for the "Free" photo op - you can have your photo taken in a model of the Oval Office, or with a life-size cut-out of Barack &/or Michelle Obama. We opted for the Oval Office - it was cool. The photos (with your own camera) are free with purchase - it was something like 1 free photo with $10 purchase, or 5 free photos with $25 purchase. Most of the souvenirs here are priced the same as elsewhere, so I just finished up my shopping here and got our photos taken - fun!
What to pay: I paid $9 for a Christmas ornament, $10 for a coffee mug, $.30 each for postcards, and $2.99 each for DC magnets.
A very large & varied inventory of spirits, beers, & especially, wines. Not a snobby place, the friendly staff KNOW THEIR STUFF and they won't lead you to only the $$ bottles. Check out their sake selection. They have frequent tastings also. Mail order too.
I enjoy browsing bookstores, and travel bookstores all the better. Candida's is a small place located near Logan Circle. Candida's carries a pretty large selection of travel books considering they are quite small (in bookstore stanadards that is). If you're in the neighborhood, pop on by and peruse their selection of travel related books, assorted best sellers and children's books.
What to buy: Their travel books. Sadly, I've just learned that this book shop has closed.
This neat boutique for infants and children sells designer clothes, shoes, toys and games for your little ones. It can be a bit pricey, but the items they sell are oh-so-cute, and the staff is super friendly. They usually have a clearance rack of last season's fashions at discounted prices. Last time I was there I bought a sage green pair of a sherpa overalls with a froggy turtleneck for my little girl at a discounted price. Everyone thinks it is just adorable!
What to pay: $25-$150
As of 2/15/08 SADLY, Candida's is now CLOSED.
This is an International and Travel Book shop. I love it. Always get something when I go in. A small shop with an ok selection I just enjoy its a neighborhood store and the concept of travel and language only rocks.
This should be a MUST for all VTers.
I'd even like to see it have its own catagory in VT. But we cant have everything.
What to buy: Its a travel book shop. Where are you going next?
What to pay: I am sure you can find things online cheaper. But I dont mind when I am here.
What a terrific little neighborhood bookstore this turned out to be. I went there looking for an Italian CD, unfortunately they were sold out, but they had so much more to offer. This store has books in over 15 languages. They also offer a wide range of language learning tools for adults and children. They specialize in travel information, so if they don't have it, it probably isn't worth having. SE brought me here during our visit to DC over June 16th, 17th and 18th. Before we got here he said this is a hidden treasure of DC and he was right. This is a must visit store for all VT members. Next time you're in DC stop and take a look.
What to buy: Books about travel.
Language learning tools.
Children's books in foreign languages.
There is a one more, small, temporarily set up store or kiosk in a trailer put down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Countless variety of US military badges, plaques, flags, caps, T-shirts and similar stuff related to wars, that the USA was or is involved in, is sold there. Vietnam war dominates there.
What to buy: I paid attention to playing cards which depicted "Iraqi most wanted" terrorists already caught or not yet. I saw them later in Poland as well.
What to pay: From $2 up.
There is a small, temporarily set up store or kiosk in a trailer put down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Countless variety of US military badges, plaques (of various military units of kinds of , identity discs (dog tags), flags and similar stuff is sold there. Well, I easily figured out that the armed forces of the United States of America consist of the
- United States Army
- United States Marine Corps
- United States Navy
- United States Air Force
- United States Coast Guard.
What to buy: Look for some funny badges or choose what you want.
What to pay: From $2 up.
There are several venders selling service patches, medals, badges, belts, shirts, flags and much more and the money made is given to the Vets and families who lost some one. so be sure to contribute if you can.
If you are a fan of discount shops for high end goods, then this is one of the best stores in the city...well actually one of the best of three since there are three locations in Washington DC alone!!
What to buy: You can find all kinds of designer and name-brand clothing for less than the suggested retail price!! You can find all kinds of clothing, accessories, handbags, gifts, etc. You can get whatever your luggage might hold and if it doesn't hold it, you can buy more luggage!!
An interesting phenomenon if anyone cares to undertake is their FAMOUS Bridal Sale event!! (Of course, timing is of the essence since it is only held once a year!) It is an absolute pandemonium of brides that gather to purchase designer wedding dresses priced upto $9000 or more for a ridiculous fraction of that price, at $249 or $499 per gown (some at $699 if they are REALLY expensive)!!!! Many may be past season, special orders, samples, overstocks, etc. It depends I guess on how desperate you want to be a part of the chaos. Although I have only heard of it, I can only imagine the amusement it must add!!
What to pay: Depends on what you are getting, but expect to pay less than retail.
Well located near Dupont Cirlce on Connecticut Ave, the small store is full of Japanese stuff. Even if you do not buy anything, window shopping is a treat.
Photo credited to http://www.ginzaonline.com.
What to buy: Potteries, books, cards, paper products, kimono, room deco, tea, jewelry, etc. Plus fine dolls and antiques or replica of old stuff.
What to pay: Depends upon what you would buy!
Did you know that until 1970, D.C. residents couldn't even vote for president and vice-president? The U.S. is practically the only nation in the world where the residents of teh capital city are not granted the same voting rights as their fellow citizens.
DC Vote is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to securing full voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District of Columbia. They sell gifts and souvineers with their logos and politcal message. They also have an online store.
What to buy: You have to be a District resident to get "Taxation Without Representation" license plates for your car - but anyone can buy them for bikes, or on t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.
Your souvineers could help D.C. residents get the right to vote for representation in Congress and the U.S. Senate and spread the word about the campaign to stop "Taxation Without Representation".
What to pay: $2-25 from stickers-sweatshirts.
With PNG in the offing, I decided that it was time to get myself a decent camera - in those days the Canadian $ was worth as much, if not more than the US $! After looking around a bit, I settled on a brand new Olympus OM-1, a new light-weight camera on the market. With its 50 mm and 200 mm lenses, I was off and running.