Capitol Hill will always have a fondness for me because it was the neighborhood where I lived when I was first married. My husband and I rented an apartment directly across the street from the Supreme Court.
The neighborhood was a fun place, filled with young families, long term residents, Hill interns and staffers, Senators, Congressmen.
The Folger Library and Theater was just around the block, on East Capitol Street. I purchased season tickets and felt very special because I was able to walk to this wonderful historic theater.
Capitol and Supreme Court Grounds
This was also a time when anyone could just walk on the Capitol grounds. My husband and I would walk our dog Duffy on the grounds. It was a wonderful place for my dog to romp and stretch his legs. This was the time when government buildings and streets were not closed or blocked. I actually walked up to the Capitol on the day President Carter was inaugurated and was able to watch the ceremony without a ticket or security.
My apartment was so close to the Supreme Court, that one day I just stood on my front steps and watched the demonstration during the historic reverse discrimination case, University of California vs. Bakke which upheld affirmative action.
Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Pennsylvania Avenue was not developed as it is today. Commercial business seemed to end at 7th and Pennsylvania-where the Eastern Market is located, except for original Frager’s Hardware. Pennsylvania Avenue had a few unique and well known restaurants and bars. Jenkins Hill, was the well-known watering hole that Hill staffers, Senators, Congressmen, and residents would frequent. Hawk N’ Dove was another such place
There was also the famous Tune Inn which exists today. This establishment was a bar but the atmosphere was and still is so unique. I loved this place! The Tune Inn was a pub and restaurant, but its distinction was all the stuffed animal heads displayed on the walls. To me it was fun and creepy with great food.
Then there was Sherrils restaurant. It was a well know eating establishment that was not a bar or pub. Rather, you went there to eat breakfast and be insulted. I loved going there for breakfast or Sunday brunch. It was not so much the food that drew me to this place but the atmosphere and people who worked there. The waitresses appeared from another time era (mainly the 1950’s). And they never cracked a smile. It was pure joy to eat here, notice the other people being served, watch the waitresses work, and fill my stomach.
Eastern Market and Market Lunch
My most favorite place back in the day and today as well is Market Lunch in the Eastern Market I think their crab cakes are the best in the city. There is nothing more satisfying to me then to eat their crab cakes with green fried tomatoes and sit at the long counter table with stools. It is fun to people watch while eating. I have met many interesting people who are enjoying their lunch at this communal eating counter. On beautiful warm days, I sit outside at one of the picnic benches to eat and people watch.
Yes, things have changed on Capitol Hill but at the same time, they remain the same. I will never tire of this historic beautiful neighborhood.