Blink or look at the big box stores in the 3300 block of M Street NW in Georgetown and you’ll miss the entrance to the charming Cady’s Alley. Down the steep steps the alley, paved with Belgian block, it runs parallel to the C&O Canal. Tidily restored original stone row houses line the alley, and now house upscale shelter shops, suppliers, jewelry shops and designer clothing. Not in the market for furniture or cabinetry? I’d take a gander anyway; the stores here are like art installations, beautifully laid out and appointed.
High-end furniture shops and home building suppliers have congregated here, making it a destination for interior designers and other shelter enthusiasts. Without such a budget, I look for ideas to poach, including among the gorgeous displays of Waterworks, an upscale tile purveyor. Likewise with the fashion of Intermix, a NY fashion powerhouse, or the classic men’s clothier from Richmond, VA, Ledbury. The food’s more within reach — there’s nothing like meeting for a ladies lunch in the courtyard outside Leopold’s Kafe Konditorei, whilst sniffing the sweet fragrance of District Doughnuts, frying a dozen varieties daily just down the alley.