Oh man, I actually have a lot of history with this block; my good friends lived right next door to this place for six years, back in the early 2000s, and I visited all the time. I know that at this point, saying “whoa, DC sure is gentrifying!” is like saying that smoking might be bad for you, but still. When I used to come to this block, it was the type of place where you’d come outside after an hour and your bike would be gone – but you could ask the dudes on the corner if they could get it back for you, and within a half-hour, someone would wheel it up to the door and return it for a finder’s fee of, say, fifty dollars. (It was probably the guy who stole it in the first place. The whole thing was so civilized.) Now it’s the sort of place where if you come outside and your bike is gone, it’s because someone called the city to haul it away because they literally thought it was trash.
Of course, I’m not one of those “gentrification is evil” types; my friends’ place also had a toilet that was somehow not fastened to the floor, so if you shifted your weight while sitting on it, it would tip over. This house’s toilet looked very sturdy, though admittedly I didn’t sit on it and start rocking back and forth. (I tried, but before I could even get my pants down, the agent pepper sprayed me.) Like a lot of new places these days, this one has a sort of open, loft-y feel to it – sky-high ceilings, open floor plan, exposed brick. Personally I don’t know what took so long for people to come around to lofts; it’s not like it’s just a fad, and pretty soon “cramped, airless, low-ceilinged” living spaces will be “in” again. On this initial main level, there’s a big bright living area, a dining area, and an awesome vertically-oriented kitchen; the cabinets go so far up that you’ll need one of those rolling library ladders to reach the top shelves. I’d recommend putting your junk food up there, since you’ll probably eat fewer chips if every time you crack open a new bag there’s a 30% chance of breaking your ankle. There are also stainless steel appliances (of course) and a really cool “marble waterfall island,” which sounds like something you’d find in the backyard of the Playboy Mansion, but is actually just something you can eat a bagel and read the paper on.
Up the incredible floating staircase (one of the tallest I’ve ever seen) are the bedrooms. The master bedroom is mostly exposed brick, with a ton of light streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows. Off the bedroom is a fantastic, multi-tiered closet that will probably not get you to give up your present method of clothes organization i.e. “piling them in corners until silverfish nest in them.” The master bath is super luxe, with twin basins so you and your significant other can simultaneously brush your teeth in the morning while thinking about your respective office crushes, and a glass-walled shower. When I dated a girl with a glass-walled shower, I’d write stuff on the glass so that the next time she showered, and the walls fogged up, my messages would magically appear. In retrospect, I really should’ve broken up with her like that. (Come on, it’d be a great story for us both!)
Further on, there’s a really spacious roof deck; again, not sure why it took so long for roof decks to catch on. I don’t think there was ever any conscious decision where people were like, “what, the roof? No, let’s let that potentially wonderful living space go to waste.” Were they just too lazy, or what? From up there you can see most of Shaw, which between the 7th Street strip and the Rhode Island Avenue/First Street strip, is fast becoming one of the more enjoyable neighborhoods this side of U Street, especially if you count Bloomingdale as part of Shaw, which it isn’t, but which I do anyway.
1523 3rd Street NW #2
2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths