About Capitol Hill
The borders of the "Capitol Hill" neighborhood are often disputed, but all of Lincoln Towers' buildings are in the heart of any map of the Hill. The central diamond (bordered by the US Capitol on the West, Lincoln Park in the East, Stanton Park in the North, and Seward Square in the South) is the home of most of our buildings.
With its wide, tree lined streets, Capitol Hill is definitely a walking neighborhood. Our three main metro stops are Capitol South, Eastern Market, and Union Station.
• Capitol South: 1st and D Street, SE. Serves the orange, blue, and silver lines.
• Eastern Market: 7th and Pennsylvania, SE. Serves the orange, blue and silver lines
• Union Station: 1st and Massachusetts, NE. Serves the red line.
Union Station is the D.C. hub for Amtrak trains, VRE and the Mark trains for commuters and travelers alike. Public buses service the neighborhood as well. Metro and bus information can be found at www.wmata.com. Train/Union Station information can be found at www.unionstationdc.com.
Zipcar is a great alternative for those of you who do not have a car, but need one on occasion. More info can be found at www.zipcar.com. Our tenants at 121 12th Street have access to two cars on-site and all of our tenants receive free driving credit when signing up. Zipcar also has pickup trucks available for moving furniture into your new apartment.
The city now has ample Cars2Go, electric scooters (Bird, etc.), and electric bikes scattered around the streets for short rentals.
Finally, Capital Bike Share is a great option for getting around town. For more details check out www.capitalbikeshare.com
Shopping on the Hill:
Groceries... Every few blocks has a corner store in which you can find an amazing array of items crammed into a relatively tiny space. Congress Market at 5th and East Capitol is a fine example. Some of these corner stores are unique... check out Union Kitchen at the corner of 3rd and E street NE. They have some of the best handmade sandwiches, good coffee, and an interesting selection of locally made food and gifts.
The Hill now has every large chain grocery store you could want... two Whole Foods, Harris Teeters, and a Trader Joe's at 7th and Pennsylvania Ave SE (plus a variety of Giants and Safeways, in between).
Eastern market at 7th Street and North Carolina, SE offers a fine selection of old fashioned butchers, grocers and an excellent cheese seller. On the weekends, Eastern Market has an open-air farmers market.
Gifts and clothing... Union Station is the closest thing Capitol Hill has to a "shopping mall," but for the most part you can skip the national retailers and head straight to the shops along 7th street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania, SE and then down 8th Street, south of the Eastern Market Metro. The center of activity along this corridor is Eastern Market. On the weekends, the market is a major attraction with its crafts vendors and a flea market. This is also a good starting point for weekend yard sales, as many families post their sales on posts near the market.
All along H Street NE, from 2nd to 15th is a stretch of unparalleled shops.
Union Market at Florida and 6th Street has a great array of food and retail options... our go-to for gits is the lovely "Salt and Sundry".
Finally, 8th Street SE "Barracks Row," is a retail corridor with some interesting shops, and many, many restaurants (MatchBox, Rose's Luxury, Belga, Ted's Bulletin just to name a few). Just south of the Eastern Market Metro is "Hill's Kitchen", truly one of the finest kitchen supply stores in the region. Say "Hi" to Leah if you stop in.
Books: Our family is in the used book business (we own Riverby Books, which used to have a Capitol Hill presence, and can still be found in Fredericksburg)... so we know our stuff! Capitol Hill Books at Eastern Market is one of the few remaining great used bookstores in DC (say "Hi" to Aaron for us). For newer books, check out East City Books (and say "Hi" to Laurie for us).
Hardware... Fragers. Period. This is the best local hardware store any neighborhood could want. Located at 13th and E Streets, SE, Fragers has a central store with the usual hardware supplies, a separate paint store on the corner, and an equipment rental store for larger projects. But, um, please tell us if you are planning any projects in our apartments!
Ok, some shopping has to be done off the Hill. We recognize this, but frown upon those who leave the fold. The shining beacon of all apartment dwellers is Ikea (www.ikea.com). The closest blue box is only a 15-20 minute drive out in College Park, Maryland. For the uninitiated, Ikea is the mecca of cheap, creative Scandanavian furniture and home goods. No apartment is complete without an Ektorp, Ivar, and Meshugennah. They also have good, cheap Scandanavian eats. Mmm, Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce.
In recent years, Capitol Hill has become a foodie mecca. There are so many new options popping up, that it is difficult to keep track.
Breakfast... The competition is fast and furious between "Jimmy T's" and "Market Breakfast" at Eastern Market. On the weekends, both places attract large crowds and long lines, but weekdays serve a loyal crowd of locals. Market breakfast is on the North end of Eastern Market at 7th Street and North Carolina, SE. Jimmy T's is on the corner of East Capitol and 5th Street, SE.
The hill also boasts a large number of coffee places. Check out Pennsylvania Avenue between 2nd and 8th to find your own personal favorite half-caff-decaf-caramel-mochachino. The corner of Pennsylvania and 7th Street, SE boasts both "Peregrine Coffee" and "Le Pain Quotidien"... two fine coffee/breakfast options. Peregrine has free internet access, so you may have to fight one of the ibook toting geeks for a seat.
For a slightly more fancy option, check out "Little Pearl" in the carriage house at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. See below for more info.
H Street has its fair share of options... our favorite is the family-owned and run Sidamo (an ethiopian roastery that has been around for some time).
Lunch and Dinner... the above mentioned Pennsylvania Ave. corridor is a good place to sample a wide variety of lunch and dinner places (check out Beuchert's Saloon or Hanks Oyster Bar), as is 7th Street by Eastern Market (Aqua al 2 has great Italian food). The government crowd tends to hang out among the dozen or so eateries on Massachusetts Avenue from Union Station to 4th Street, NE. “Good Stuff Eatery” has some fantastic burgers, fries and shakes. H Street has some more fancy options as well as some unique places (check out our favorite, Maketto).
We have three upscale pizza places that put us on the map: Matchbox at 521 8th is definitely a scene to check out, We the Pizza at Penn and 3rd is a hit with the govt. crowd, and "7th Hill" at 327 7th St. SE has truly great wood fired pizza. They have a highly used early-bird special ($5 pizza and $3 beer).
Just east of Barracks Row and 9th and Pennsylvania Ave SE is the Hill Center (more below). Their lovely cafe is "Little Pearl" which features not only the best coffee and baked goods in the area but also amazing sandwiches for lunch and a full wine bar at night (and, yes, it is run by chef/owner Aaron Silverman of both Pineapple and Pearls and Rose's Luxury... see below).
Finally, 8th Street, south of Pennsylvania has a number of good restaurants... check out Belga for good Belgian beer and beautifully presented meals and Ted's Bulletin for classic diner fare with a twist ("adult milkshake" anyone?). Barracks Row is also home to both Rose's Luxury (no reservations, but the line for the evening's slots is usually pretty deep by 4:30pm), and their upscale "sister" restaurant Pineapple and Pearls. Go ahead, sell your car for a meal... we hear it is worth it. Both restaurants boast Michelin stars.
Culture and Entertainment:
The obvious choice is the unparalleled collection of free museums on the Mall (just east of the Capitol Building). https://www.si.edu/visit
In addition, the Hill has plays, poetry readings, and medieval music at the Folger Shakespeare Library on East Capitol Street www.folger.edu/indexb.html; free movies and talks at the Library of Congress www.loc.gov/; free band concerts at the Marine Barracks every Friday night in the summers and on the steps of the Capitol (call 202 224-3121 for information).
Barracks Row and H St. NE both have increasing numbers of clubs and restaurants to appeal to a nighttime crowd. On H Street, check out the H Street Coutry Club for a unique dinner/ mini-golf experience: www.hstreetcountryclub.com or the Rock and Roll Hotel for an interesting mix of music: www.rockandrollhoteldc.com The strip of Pennsylvania Ave. between 2nd and 5th has a stretch of bars that cater to the Hill staffer scene, and we'll reserve any editorial comment.
Improving your mind and body... The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) offers a wide array of photography, painting, dance classes, etc. They are located at 7th and G Streets, SE. The Hill Center at 9th and Pennsylvania Ave SE is a neighborhood cultural gem. This beautifully restored "Old Naval Hospital" is now home to a whole host of classes, events, and lectures. Keep an eye on their website for more updates: http://www.hillcenterdc.org. The DC Recreation Department runs an indoor swimming pool, the Natatorium, on North Carolina Street behind Eastern market Folks, this is free for residents. We kind of wanted to advertise our apartments as all having a fee pool, but decided this might be seen as a bit deceptive. It's not really, though... just walk on down to the "William Rumsey Aquatic Center," but we locals all call it the Natatorium.
We have a few private gyms on the hill, as well, including "Sport and Health" which has restored an old school building on D Street, SE, between 3rd and 4th Streets (Gabriella Boston is the best spinning instruction you will find). There are also a ton of boutique fitness places (Biker Barre, anyone?).
Surely you are not going to move to this incredible neighborhood and just sit in your new apartment watching television. Capitol Hill is known for its active, involved neighbors, so get out there! A good place to start is the Capitol Hill Community Foundation Community Foundation (www.capitolhillcommunityfoundation.org). This is a volunteer organization staffed by neighbors that gives grants to local efforts. The CHCF can give you info on all of the volunteer opportunities in the neighborhood. Disclosure: the CHCF operates out of our office, but, again we're completely unbiased. It is an all volunteer community organization, so come on by to lend a hand.