Arts Desk

A Temporium for Tourists?

Temporium, meet cherry blossom.

In one year, three temporary pop-up shops have opened along D.C.'s commercial corridors, part of the D.C. Office of Planning's larger scheme to harness the development-spawning power of tchotchkes and the young people who love them. The most recent project—Garment District on 7th St. NW—closed on Sunday, but don't put away your glue sticks just yet. Adams Morgan gets its own youthful pop-up this weekend, boostered by the edgy, totally DIY National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Non-profit organization Adams Morgan Mainstreet has joined with the annual traffic-snarling hellfest to open the Very Cherry AdMo Pop Up Shop, opening for 15 days this Sunday at 2421 18th St. NW, the space formerly occupied by Uptowner Cafe and Caribou Coffee. Very Cherry's offerings will be a far cry from the rock bands, man-punching-bear T-shirts, and leather-bound flasks of past grant-funded Temporia; this one should have a decidedly family-friendly atmosphere. So are pop-up shops going Disney?

Lisa Duperier, president of Adams Morgan Mainstreet, says it's all about diversity. The shop will combine local artists with a heavy dose of Cherry Blossom-y entertainment, including kabuki dance and a kimono display. Duperier says the Very Cherry shop—unlike Shaw's Garment District or the Mount Pleasant Temporium—is meant to draw tourists to Adams Morgan. But according to Cherry Blossom Festival publicist Danielle Piacente, the pop-up shop is all about appealing to locals. "We try to expand our events to appeal to residents as much as tourists," she says.

Savvy residents might know what a pop-up shop is, but it's not clear if many out-of-towners will. Duperier recognizes this, and says the shop's rotating themes and flexible hours—seven days a week, unlike past pop-ups—will help it draw in the visor-clad crowd, even if the concept and wares are a little non-traditional. "We have somebody who makes bags out of recycled records," she says, and another who "takes old cloth and used jackets and makes belts out of them." We'll have to wait to see how that stuff goes over with mom and dad, but if the crafts don't reel 'em in, there's always Adams Morgan's best-known tourist attraction: alcohol.

The Very Cherry AdMo Pop-Up Shop is open noon to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday from March 27 to April 10 at 2421 18th St. NW. Feeling left out, cultural class? There's always the sure-to-be-decadent Cherry Blast party, put on by the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Pink Line Project. This year, it takes place April 2 at 8 p.m. at 700 Water St. SW.

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  • Lisa Duperier

    Our PopUp Shop(Mar 27-Apr 16)hopes to attract daytime & early evening & weekday traffic; goals for diversification in Adams Morgan. This is why I said the focus is on BOTH tourists & locals. It is posted on numerous DC NEIGHBORHOOD Listservs. The quote: "We have a fascinating diversity of artists from different ethnic perspectives, plus a special "green" focus on artists using organic or recycled materials." The Cherry Blossom related entertainment is only opening day.

  • Madelyn

    This is one of the most ridiculous pieces I've seen in WCP. The author didn't write an article, she wrote an editorial opinion which bears little relation to facts. She herself manufactured a supposed disagreement about the purpose - a Pop Up Shop is by its nature a trial or an experiment to see what it attracts based on location and transportation options. What a stupid, misleading title! Interesting that City Paper is a sponsor of Mt Pleasant's temporium with a tie-in to the WCP crafters who pay for classified ads and participate in the WCP's for-profit money making entity, Crafty Bastards, and so a glowing article appeared in City Paper.