Neighborhood Nomads
places we belong

Tag: H St

Living on Capitol Hill: A Tour Guide’s True DC

impromptu block party, northeast dc

Photo Credit: Canden Schwantes

This is one in a series featuring our city neighborhoods and the people who love them. Would you like to participate? Click here for more information about contributing to Neighborhood Nomads.

April 24, 2013, Washington, DC: Washington tour guide Canden Schwantes is living proof that Capitol Hill is not all senators, congressman and politicos. She may spend her days telling stories of great American history on the National Mall, but at the end of the day, she returns home to a neighborhood on the northeast side of the city where the narrative is very much happening in the present day. It’s a place where grills and guitars are dragged out onto the sidewalk for impromptu block parties, where children publish their poetry and adults make music.

Canden is at home among many creative types who live just off the H Street corridor of Capitol Hill; in addition to being a tour guide, she’s also a writer whose first book, “Wicked Georgetown: Scoundrels, Sinner and Spies” is due out next month. I first heard about her when I learned of Literary Hill BookFest, a neighborhood festival coming up May 5th at Eastern Market, where Canden will be debuting her work. Right away, I thought the local authors featured at the festival might make for good additions to Neighborhood Nomads — not only because they’re my neighbors, but because they’re people who know a thing or two about the role a strong setting can play in telling a good story.

Read on for an interview with Canden Schwantes about the neighborhoods of Washington, both past and present.

Map of Mornings: H Street NE

H Street NE, Washington, DC, July 2011 This is one in a series of morning photo essays documenting neighborhoods around town.

January 8, 2012, Washington, DC: A weekend is a good one that includes Taylor Gourmet, Biergartenhaus, Dangerously Delicious Pies and Capital City Diner, all in this part of Washington known as the Atlas District along H Street NE. Who would have guessed it? Several years ago, this was not a part of town I frequented, nor wanted to. I came here once, actually, many years ago. I vowed not to go back.

Years later, H St. NE is a different story. Or rather, we’ve entered a new, optimistic chapter in the story of a neighborhood filled with history.

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