Discovering DC: Dupont Circle


This week we head to Dupont Circle with Becky from Diamonds in the Library!

What's your history with Dupont Circle? 
I’m a local! (We really do exist.)

When I was 14, I thought Dupont Circle was the coolest place in the world. My friend and I would go out to eat at Thaiphoon – after being lectured by my dad on the proper way to respond to being mugged – and then browsing at Kramerbooks. When it came time to find my first grown-up apartment, it was a no-brainer to decide where I wanted to be. I found a spot in a great condo right off the South Dupont metro and packed my bags.

My city and I were both adults and we were together at last; I set about exploring and investigating, checking out new neighborhoods, new parks, and new bars whenever I had the chance. My boyfriend and I made it our mission to try reading at every coffee shop in the city, and we did pretty well. I started my blog, Diamonds in the Library, and really started making inroads getting to know the local jewelry community.

I live in Van Ness now with said wonderful boyfriend; it’s more of a quiet home base, rather than a perch in the middle of everything, the way Dupont was. It’s green and spacious and peaceful; I love to go for long walks with the boy and chat with people watering their lawns and walking their dogs.

Discovering DC - what are your favourite places to shop/eat/go with friends/people watch?
I’m especially fond of looking for quirky and unusual stores – tiny but fabulous boutiques, shops with excellently curated vintage sections, that kind of thing. The U Street Corridor is winning at this, currently. For basic shopping, I’m a huge fan of “discount row” in Friendship Heights – more than a few of my wardrobe staples came from Loehmann’s or Nordie’s Rack.

One of my go-to’s is Mandu in North Dupont – their HH dumplings are affordable and amazing. I recently had Ethiopian for the first time and I just loved it. St. Arnold’s is one of my favorite places to hang out with friends; it’s hard to beat their laid back atmosphere and Belgian beer selection. For date night, you can’t fail to find great seafood and a romantic atmosphere on King Street in Old Town. I’ll try anywhere once!

As a jewelry nerd, one of my favorite hobbies is searching for and seeking out new places to buy jewelry, the more obscure the better – especially if it’s vintage/antique. Some hot spots: Legendary Beast on U Street, The Antique Guild in Old Town Alexandria, and Jantiques in Kensington. I can spend hours in places like that, trying on the jewels and gossiping with the owners about the way garnets are set or the difference in English and American goldsmiths’ marks.

Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Dupont Circle?
I’m a farmer’s market addict, my favorite being the one in my old neighborhood, Dupont Circle. I visit the market whenever I can, and love to park myself on a bench in the circle to read or people watch afterwards while I chow down on an almond croissant from the French bakery stand. I’d love to start out like, take a nice long walk, and then meet up with my girls for lunch at some fabulous little place with excellent cheese boards. “Lunch” with the ladies, of course, is a 5 or 6 hour affair that always involves multiple locations; we’d probably move to a bench outside somewhere or to a patio with a good view and decent iced tea.

Afterwards, I’d go home, change, and head out for dinner at Rasika and a show at the Shakespeare Theater with my boyfriend. (STC offers an amazing deal on season tickets if you’re under 30, I highly recommend it if you’re into theater.) Post-show, we’d head home, take a bottle of wine and a blanket up to the roof deck, and curl up under the stars.

Diamonds in the Library

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