Many of the rooms in President Lincoln's Cottage resound with the voices of Lincoln and his houseguests, in the form of actor-interpreted recordings broadcast through audio speakers. Though not all rooms are accessible to the public, daily tours through this Gothic Revival home use interactive multimedia to tell the stories of Abraham Lincoln's ideas, struggles in passing emancipation, and family during the three summers they spent here during the Civil War. Knowledgeable guides divulge facts about the president's meditations and meetings, often tailoring tours to their areas of personal expertise, such as war or politics. They showcase video screens populated by images about Lincoln's life, and a replica of the president's desk scrawled with the words "Log Cabins 4eva." Guides also invite visitors to engage in conversation throughout the tour while welcoming them to sit on furniture.
The adjacent Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center, built in 1905 and restored as a LEED-certified building, houses a range of both permanent and temporary exhibits. Visitors engage with interactive displays, photos, and manuscripts revealing the presidential Cabinet's feelings on emancipation, life in Washington DC during the Civil War, and the president's role as commander in chief. The cottage also hosts a lecture series with guests that have included historians, Lincoln experts, and an artist who sculpted a life-size statue of the president and his horse, which today stands watch over the cottage.
“Made in USA” is the mantra of this popular Los Angeles-based clothing chain specializing in casual and fashionable basics. The petite Georgetown outpost of this national retailer pops with color, from the leggy mannequins in a multitude of tights hanging against a back wall to the sweaters, t-shirts and dailywear items that crowd the main walkway. You can find a range of jeans for him and her, colorful accessories and workout outfits, and a wide selection of soft, unadorned clothing for local college kids, nearby teenagers and anyone looking to dress a little hipper. You can also find sleepwear, lingerie, accessories like belts and hats, a wide selection of leggings, and, as befits a store located near a college campus, a full supply of backpacks.
One of Maryland's top mattress retailers, Casa Furniture, Inc. has spent a decade perfecting a business model that allows for a well-stocked inventory of high-quality furniture at low prices. The masterminds behind the furniture emporium scour the world for well-crafted furnishings for the living, dining, and bedrooms, and arrange to directly import the best pieces they discover on the back of their highly trained, ginormous eagle. Additionally, two factories produce furniture exclusively for the store, driving costs down further. Once customers select their new piece, Casa schedules a prompt delivery time to which its professional staff takes pride in adhering.
A native Washingtonian and graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Oliver Friendly founded the company three years ago by offering in-home cooking lessons. If you opt for the personal cooking lessons, the knowledgeable Friendly will show up at your kitchen bearing all the essentials (tools, local produce, and meat) and know-how necessary to whip up a wonderful meal.
The Blue Banana Sports & Rock Bar dishes out an eclectic variety of brews that flow from both the tap and bottle. Parched patrons can feast on the frothy sustenance of 12 tap suds including Ommegang Hennepin ($6), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($6), and Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA ($8). Bottles filled with brews including Woodchuck ($5) and Yuengling ($5) deliver additional varieties of fizzy fruits, and double as vessels for water-born messages and electric-bill payments.
Sala Thai's multitalented chefs prepare fresh sushi rolls that share billing on the menu with traditional Thai cuisine. Meals begin with zesty appetizers such as Pinky in the Blanket—deep-fried shrimp swaddled in an egg-roll wrapper ($6.95). In a split second, the entire table vanishes and reappears in a cloud of curry-scented smoke, revealing sizzling entrees such as chicken lemongrass ($8.95–$12.95) and scallop pad phed with spicy hot chili, garlic, and bamboo shoots ($10.95–$14.95). The diner with the quickest chopstick draw will enjoy the first bite of sushi offerings that include the smoked-salmon-cream-cheese roll ($6).