Capitol Hill | Eastern Market
About Capitol Hill
“I’m just a Bill, yes, I’m only a Bill and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill…” This chorus from a Schoolhouse Rock episode of yore, still sung by children throughout the country, conjures an image of the Capitol Building and those who walk its hallowed halls creating the laws of the land. But, Capitol Hill lays claim to more than just the brilliant white dome that is home to the American legislature. It is a diverse, vibrant area of Washington, D.C. and the largest historic neighborhood of the city.
Capitol Hill still shines as one of the most loved areas in Washington, D.C. This old neighborhood continues to be one of the most densely populated in the city and is home to two branches of the American government – the Congress and the Supreme Court. The Federal townhouses of yesteryear still stand in magnificence. Eclectic shops and fine restaurants serve the neighborhood as they have done for years. Residents of the neighborhood have the convenience of all their needs right outside their door. Hair salons, custom frame shops, unique boutiques, specialty shops, home wares stores are all here. And, the community is strong and one that loves the neighborhood.
Barracks Row and Pennsylvania Avenue are hotbeds of retail and restaurant activity. As is Eastern Market, the oldest functioning market in the city. And, for peaceful afternoon strolls, many folks head over to the United States Botanic Gardens, which proudly displays fauna and flora, including those in the National Garden, to great effect. If not the Gardens, strolling along the quaint streets of the neighborhood is a pastime greatly enjoyed as well.
About Eastern Market
In operation for more than 125 years, Eastern Market is a block-long interior public space lined with grocers and purveyors selling everything from local seafood and thick cuts of meat to homemade pastas and fresh-baked breads. Outposts like Capitol Hill Produce, Southern Maryland Seafood, Blue Iris Flowers, and the always crowded Market Lunch are neighborhood staples. They’re also public meeting spaces for friends and neighbors. Then there’s the popular Sunday Flea Market, which has been in operation for over 30 years. Originally located across the street from Eastern Market, the weekly gathering of nearly 70 vendors selling crafts, antiques, and curios has had to move operations to 7th Street SE in the wake of the current construction.
When originally outlining plans for America’s federal city, Pierre L’Enfant made room for several public markets: a western market, a centrally located market, and an eastern market, which was finished in 1873. The Eastern Market neighborhood itself grew around the market and like other parts of Capitol Hill brought in an influx of federal government workers who wanted a short commute to their offices – and who stayed longer than people in other DC neighborhoods. Stemming perhaps from the public market, Eastern Market has a reputation as a pocket of permanence in a sea of transience.
Stroll along the streets of Eastern Market and you’ll see a bounty of row homes: Victorian rowhomes, Federal-style rowhomes, porch front rowhomes, many of them with well-tended front gardens that people will occasionally stop and admire. Restaurants and boutiques dot the neighborhood streets which are local favorites.
This neighborhood, one of the oldest in the District, is still one of its most favorite. Residents take pride in Eastern Market and it shows.