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Guide to

Arts District / U Street / Shaw

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What it's like

The birthplace of Duke Ellington and the center of Washington's African American nightlife for much of the 20th century is once again thriving. On weekend nights, U Street rivals Adams Morgan for crowds, though with a slightly older vibe. "The cutting edge of what this city is and can be," U Street is also equally intriguing by day, home to the African American Civil War Memorial, Lincoln Theatre and Howard University. Designer home-furnishings stores, boutiques and music clubs abound near the junction of 14th and U streets.

The birthplace of Duke Ellington and the center of Washington's African American nightlife for much of the 20th century is once again thriving. On weekend nights, U Street rivals Adams Morgan for crowds, though with a slightly older vibe. "The...
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Where to find it

North of M Street NW and south of Florida Avenue NW, between 11th Street and New Jersey Avenue NW; a small western portion stretches to 16th Street NW. Rhode Island and Vermont Avenues meet 13th and P Streets NW at Logan Circle.

North of M Street NW and south of Florida Avenue NW, between 11th Street and New Jersey Avenue NW; a small western portion stretches to 16th Street NW. Rhode Island and Vermont Avenues meet 13th and P Streets NW at Logan Circle.
What to do

Pay a late-night visit to Ben's Chili Bowl, home of DC’s signature dish, the chili half-smoke. Order some doro wat and tibi to share in Little Ethiopia. Groove to a live show at the newly restored Howard Theatre or Bohemian Caverns or see for yourself why the 9:30 Club is considered the best live music venue in the country. Shop for vintage clothing at Nana or funky home furnishings at Go Mama Go! Take in an edgy production at The Studio Theatre.

Pay a late-night visit to Ben's Chili Bowl, home of DC’s signature dish, the chili half-smoke. Order some doro wat and tibi to share in Little Ethiopia. Groove to a live show at the newly restored Howard Theatre or Bohemian Caverns or see for...
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What's in a name
Singer Pearl Bailey coined the term "Black Broadway" for U Street back in its cultural heyday when it hosted many famous African American singers and performers. Shaw was named after Civil War Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who famously commanded the...

Singer Pearl Bailey coined the term "Black Broadway" for U Street back in its cultural heyday when it hosted many famous African American singers and performers. Shaw was named after Civil War Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who famously commanded the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry featured in the movie “Glory.”

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How to get there
Take Metro to U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo or the Circulator’s Woodley Park – Adams Morgan – McPherson Square route.
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