Home Fashion glasses A totally nostalgic, not quite practical vintage DC gift guide

A totally nostalgic, not quite practical vintage DC gift guide


If you’ve been in Washington for over a decade, you’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go. And if you’ve been here longer, you’ve seen local bookstores, department stores, and restaurants get swallowed up or kicked out by national chains. Maybe these are all espresso martinis, but I was nostalgic for the good old days, when you went to Olsson’s and Kemp Mill, not Amazon.

So a gift guide for longtime enthusiasts and natives. Will everyone want a stash of People’s Drug pencils in their stocking (or uh, 70-year-old lumps of sugar)? Probably not! But Ebay is full of relics of all kinds, from Woodie’s, Jhoon Rhee and other institutions.

Sans Souci ashtray, $ 64.99

This black glass ashtray from what was once DC’s hottest dining room has seen things. A porcelain version from Paul Young will cost you less. I keep an eye on one of the Yenching Palace.

People’s drug poker cards, $ 4.99

Before CVS came to town, there was People’s, a local drugstore chain that started in Alexandria. Get some “Say No to Drugs” pencils for the kids.

Commander Salamander button, prices vary
Georgetown punk rock / rave children’s clothing store pin buttons abound.

Sutton Place Gourmet cutting board, $ 62.99

DC’s old fancy food stores – folded into the Balducci’s brand in the early years – sold French cheeses and honey and mustard sandwiches and apparently a cute waffle maple cutting board.

Hogate Sugar Cubes, $ 4.99

We’d rather have the rum rolls recipe, but apparently these two wrapped cubes, possibly from the 1950s, were found in a tribute album to the long-defunct Southwest Waterfront institution. There are also a lot of cups, menus and matchbooks.

Woodward & Lothrop Christmas Ornament, $ 49.99

The DC department store Christmas displays were epic.

WHFS T-shirt, $ 199

Unique Alternative Rock Station HFStival t-shirts sell for $ 100 and up. Shit.

by Garfinckel umbrellas, $ 69.99

This pair of beige tasseled umbrellas from the opulent DC department store are apparently from the 1920s. Cool 70s Christmas glasses too (and a ton of clothes and bags).

Jhoon Rhee child size martial arts equipment, $ 50

No one will disturb the tough guy who shows up to class in those gloves and towels (and a few of the taekwondo schools still exist).

Swizzle sticks, prices vary

Set your home bar with swordfish sticks from Bish Thompson’s, golf clubs from O’Donnell’s or red spoons from Duke Zeibert’s.

Old restaurant postcards, prices vary

Particularly supervised: those of Duke’s, Hot Shoppes, Reeves Coffee Shoppe and Rive Gauche.

Anne Limpert

Editor-in-chief / food critic

Ann Limpert has joined Washingtonian at the end of 2003. She was previously editorial assistant at Weekly entertainment and cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

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