Gallery Place: Where Old Meets New
Emma Ashooh | 12/7/15 11:00pm
| Updated 12/7/15 11:00pm
American Word Magazine
With bright flashing signs and giant jumbotron screens lighting up the sky, Gallery Place is reminiscent of Times Square. Of course, nothing could come close to the magnificence of the New York City wonder, but Gallery Place is the closest D.C. has.
The savory aromas seeping out of the restaurants, like District ChopHouse & Brewery, Fuddruckers, or Jaléo, mask the occasional whiff of garbage. A sugary scent comes from the freshly baked cupcakes at Red Velvet or the pounds and pounds of candy stacked on the pink floors of It’s Sugar.
All around the area, the old is contrasted with the new both architecturally and ideologically. There are aged 1886 brick beauties with gold, waving cats in the windows paralleling fresh, blue-glassed towers. Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Museum detailing the nurse’s work in the 1800’s is just around the corner from the modern, issue-focused Koshland Science Museum. The historic columns of the National Portrait Gallery are just up the street from the red luminescent sign displayed on the Spy Museum building.
Complete with a faded wooden sign and a classic tile exterior, Bakers and Baristas appears to have a certain old-time elegance—both inside and out—when in fact, the local cafe has occupied the space for less than a year.
Whether you like the high-speed and bright lights of the city or the old-time charm of historic D.C., this Metro transfer point has it all. The architecture and historic museums provide an alternative to the city’s own little piece of the New York flashiness embodied by the Gallery Place’s stores, restaurants, and—if you’re lucky—street entertainment.