"Hi, folks. Feel free to open the jars and smell." That's how owner Keith Campbell-Rosen and his family greet guests as they enter The Spice & Tea Exchange of Georgetown. And with shelves upon shelves of glass-jarred ingredients making up the cooking apothecary's boutique space—which is actually the 17th store in a franchise of more than 25—it's too tempting to not. Each carefully lined jar cradles a batch of loose-leaf teas, seasoning spices, naturally flavored salts and sugars, cooking herbs, and even smoked powders and meat rubs. Most of their goods are organic and fair-trade, and all are harvested from small distributors and farms around the world. Keith and his team are also on hand to create custom blended bags of the spices and teas as well as guide guests through the store's more than 75 signature blends and rubs, which are hand mixed and blessed by being thrown over just about anyone's shoulder. Amid the shop's wooden shelves, barrels, and crates, guests can also find a wide range of cookware and tea accessories that include stainless-steel tea steepers, contemporary salt and pepper grinders, and glass jar racks.
Books for America’s current campaign focuses on rebuilding the libraries in two DC-area schools, the Takoma Education Campus at Meyer Elementary School and Ballou Senior High School, with two book drives to raise about 2,500 books for each school. A massive fire destroyed most of Takoma on December 22, 2010, leaving its 300 elementary students without a school or adequate learning materials. In Anacostia, Ballou High School’s library contains only one book for each of its 1,100 students, 10 times lower than the minimum national education standard. Books for America has collected 5,300 books to rebuild these schools’ libraries but need many more to reach the national basic education standard. Regular access to reference materials and literary works will give DC schoolchildren a chance to achieve a better education and prosperous life.
Before Comfort One Shoes' sole experts are allowed to fit a single shoe to a customer's foot, they must graduate from Comfort One University and undergo a mentorship process. It's only then that they can help shoppers find their desired footwear, whether it be lace-up Ziera boots, On running shoes with CloudTec technology, or Thierry Rabotin shoes, handmade without uncomfortable, rigid components. Alongside men's and women's footwear, the shop stocks an assortment of bags and accessories such as colorful iPhone cases from Triple C Designs that protect phone exteriors and conceal scratches from the last time you transformed into a werewolf.
Comfort One Shoes also seeks to better the world through creative philanthropic efforts, such as collecting 25,000 shoes for those without and offering their employees half their pay and time off to volunteer in the community. Perhaps such initiatives are part of the reason Comfort One Shoes earned the National Shoe Retailers Association’s Retailer of the Year Award in 2011.
It's a big leap from the bustle of an athletic field to the solitude of a darkroom, but Calumet Photographic made the transition seamlessly more than 70 years ago. From its origins as a Chicago sporting-goods store, the company evolved into a one-stop shop for cameras and darkroom equipment and eventually into an innovator of photographic technology. In the 1960s, Calumet's most brilliant minds were behind the development of the Caltar large-format-lens line and nitrogen burst film.
Today, Calumet Photographic continues to manufacture and sell professional photographic products and software across the globe, boasting more than 25 retail stores throughout the US and Europe. Their shops abound with both new and used high-quality cameras and equipment, rental gear, and knowledgeable technicians eager to help customers find the right equipment for the job. The company’s extensive online catalog enables shoppers to purchase equipment from around the world and have it shipped directly to their home, studio, or mall photo booth they’ve claimed as a studio.
Central Liquors, one of Washington DC's oldest and most established liquor suppliers, employs a staff with encyclopedic knowledge of the shop's multitude of wines and spirits. Seventy-one types of single-malt scotch tumble into glasses and sport peaty or mild flavors that have been aged for years in oak-lined casks or oak-lined halls of a private school. Liqueurs and cordials sweeten cocktails and clear spirits such as vodka and gin provide the basis for many a martini.
The shop's selection of champagne and sparkling wines can fit any budget or occasion, from New Year's Eve festivities to the bathtub christening of a new toy boat. Wednesday through Saturday, Central Liquors hosts in-store wine-tastings, sharing multiple bottles from their international inventory. The staff can also advise party throwers by helping brainstorm appropriate libations their event and recommending an appropriate number of bottles based on the number of guests.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.