A Temporium for Tourists?
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.