U Street and 14th Street: Energy and Charm | The American Word

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U Street and 14th Street: Energy and Charm

Swati Guin | 12/7/15 10:54pm
| Updated 12/7/15 10:54pm

Jaclyn Merica /
American Word Magazine

The U Street Metro stop plants you right in the heart of the U Street corridor and the intersection with 14th Street. Up until the riots of 1968, U Street was a major center for African American culture. It wasn’t uncommon to see Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong around the area, and the Lincoln Theater frequently hosted jazz artists like Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington.

Next to the Lincoln Theater is the 1958 family-run restaurant and Washington landmark, Ben’s Chili Bowl. The street is surrounded by a Victorian-era neighborhood, built before the 20th century. Though U Street is still bubbling with its history and culture, since the sixties, the larger Shaw neighborhood has been reborn into a very modern and thriving community.

A prime example of this is the U Street Music Hall, right next to the metro stop. The popular, DJ-owned dance club and live music venue recently opened in 2010. DJs and musicians play beats that spans the spectrum of electronic music.

14th Street intersects U Street and has a very cool, modern vibe. One local favorite is the Wydown coffee shop, which plays songs like “Sweet Home Alabama” and pours hearts into your mochas. Creative artwork made from coffee stains hang on the walls.

14th Street houses D.C. eating favorites, such as Amsterdam Falafel and &pizza. Le Diplomate is a classic French café with something everyone will love. Scattered across the street are art studios and vintage clothing stores. The Black Cat is a popular venue for the underground alternative music scene in D.C. Day or night, this street is not to be missed!