The heat goes up when the sun comes down on H Street NE, a 12-block strip of action east of Union Station near the Capitol in Washington.
Once dominated by drugs and prostitutes, the street is now dotted with bars, lounges, restaurants and cultural spaces.
At night, the sidewalks are crowded and corner establishments throw their doors open and put tables outside. Neon signs flash on the low-rise storefronts.
A trolley line along H Street will take visitors into the heart of the neighborhood. Metro blogs buzz with updates about its maiden voyage, anticipated late in the year. Then it will be even easier to flock to this latest city hot spot.
Vendetta: This new Italian restaurant has two bocce courts, so you can chug a beer while playing or score a match after your fritto misto and before your nero di seppia. On the second floor, two Vespas hang from the ceiling and 36 vintage cameras adorn one wall.
1212 H Street NE. 202-399-3201. Vendettadc.com.
Atlas Performing Arts Center: The biggest cultural draw in the neighborhood, the Atlas engages audiences with music, dance, plays, film and multimedia performances. 1333 H Street NE. 202-399-7993. Atlasarts.org.
The Daily Rider: For the urban cyclist, this bike and accessories shop sells stylish bags you can lift off the handlebars and carry to the office. You can also find lilac, yellow, green and blue wire baskets, as well as fabric-covered helmets that look like cool hats.
1108 H Street NE. 202-396-0704. Thedailyriderdc.com.
Randall Scott Projects: This bright, contemporary gallery on the second floor of a converted storefront overlooks H Street. Originally an apartment, it has been open since January.
"The remodeled space still carries a domestic feel that's great for showing work in an intimate setting," the owner, Randall Scott, says.
1326 H Street NE. 202-396-0300. Randallscottprojects.com.
The New York Times