New Women’s Boutique Opens on Seventh Street

Union Veterinary Clinic Expanding

Small whimsical sculpture like this small reindeer act as both artistic touches and mounts for displaying pieces such as this delicate jewelry.

New Women’s Boutique Opens on Seventh Street
Paris Bleu Has Feel of Attic Atelier
Sunlight streams into the Paris Bleu Boutique (321 Seventh St. SE, Second Floor), illuminating the sparkling jewelry and the sheen on the leather handbags that line the walls of this Parisian-sourced accessory and gift boutique.

Paris Bleu feels like a Parisian attic atelier. A Parisian urban-scape dominates one wall around which objects are arranged with curated care, interspersed with floral bouquets and small whimsical sculpture which act as both artistic touches and mounts for displaying pieces.

The shop has only been open for a month, but owner Christine Arnold has already had to re-order many items selected for the Oct. 2 shop opening. She and friend and associate Adele Sheehan are constantly restocking the artistically patterned wool gloves, and the French-designed Italian leather hand bags she carefully selected in Paris. The shop stocks accessories such as bags, gloves, scarves and jewelry as well as gifts appropriate for hosts such as candles, fine soaps and towels. Items are found in New York, San Francisco and Italy; but most of the pieces, like the proprietor, come from France.

Printed tea towels described by Arnold as ‘soft and easy,’ come from Lille; Sheehan said people have been buying them to wrap holiday bread. Wide, cloud-soft scarves printed with the works of impressionist painters turn customers into warm, walking masterpieces. Small, almond-eye earrings are trendy in France. “In Paris right now, it’s very big,” she said.

Arnold brings her knowledge of trends and tastes Parisian as well as her connections with the city’s designers and suppliers to the shop. In September she made a trip home to Paris, where she selected many of the carefully-curated items now on display, visiting suppliers located on the very same street where her own mother used to run a market. Arnold says she feels like she has come full circle. After years working in fashion retail in Europe and in the District, she has now opened her own shop.

She and Sheehan had been talking about opening a boutique together for some time, so when Sheehan learned over a glass of wine that the space above Groovy was becoming available they jumped at the chance. The two are women of refined tastes already known throughout the Hill for their work in other District shops.

Prices range from $8 for a pear-shaped candle, gift wrapped in a small bag and tied with delicate ribbon and sprigs of flowers, up to a few hundred dollars for an Italian leather handbag.

Well-known for their beautiful wrapping, Arnold and Sheehan offer free gift-wrapping with purchase and plan to offer gift-wrapping services for any package for a nominal fee when wrapping is purchased downstairs at Groovy DC.

Arnold said that she plans to have an official grand opening, and men’s shopping nights in advance of Christmas, now less than sixty days away. She plans to take advantage of her French attic-boutique by hosting French Salons, bringing people together for intellectual discourse. Already, guests are welcome to join Arnold and Sheehan any evening after 5 p.m. to partake in a glass and a conversation.

The shop is located on the second floor of Groovy DC Cards and Gifts (321 Seventh Street SE) and is open Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Mondays.


Self-promoted “chief of sampling” and co-owner with his wife, Monica Thomas promoting the real nature of our smoothies & wraps!

Smoothies, Wraps and Salads Now at Sport & Health
XSIVE Smoothies, a locally-owned café has infused new life to the abandoned eatery in the entrance of Sport & Health Capitol Hill. Monica Thomas and her husband Wycliffe opened up the restaurant this fall featuring their famous smoothies.

“We use real fruit (mostly organic) and greens, we keep the calories low and the nutrition high and all of our smoothies are gluten free. We use almond milk for those drinks that require ‘milk,” said Monica, who has a background in fitness. “All of our fruit smoothies are enhanced with B-12, which can increase energy and muscle recovery. We also have soy-free, dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free smoothies.”

XSIVE Café also offers freshly-made sandwiches and wraps that are created with nutrition, balance and flavor in mind, said Monica.

XSIVE Smoothies on Capitol Hill is its second location. About three years ago one opened at One Life Fitness in Stafford, VA. When the owners of the Café in Stafford were asked to come to Sport & Health Capitol Hill, they asked Monica and her husband to partner with them and run the city location. “I have a passion for making healthy food taste good and 13 years as a personal trainer and wellness coach so it was a no-brainer match-up. We are excited to be a part of the Capitol Hill community and neighborhood.”

You don’t have to be a member of the gym in order to enjoy the XSIVE Smoothies and Café food offerings. – Pattie Cinelli


Part owner and Clinic Manager Ry Huegel says the addition is not necessarily intended to help the clinic grow, but rather to help provide faster and better service to current clients. Photo_ E. O’Gorek

Union Veterinary Clinic Expanding
Addition Will Double Size, Cut Wait Times
In September 2018 Union Veterinary Clinic (609 Second St. NE) broke ground on an addition that will nearly double the square footage. The addition, expected to be completed in Fall 2019, will add 1300 square feet to the rear of the building, allowing the clinic to provide faster service to their clients, said manager and part owner Ry Huegel.

Union Vet was opened 17 years ago by Huegel’s father Bruce Herwald and Dr. Julie Giles, who was a well-known and well-loved veterinarian. When Dr. Giles passed away in 2009 due to complications of multiple sclerosis, veterinarian Allison Gross took over as hospital director. She and Huegel met at Union Vet, where he was working as a veterinarian technician, four years earlier. The rest, as they say, is history.

Clinic services include regular preventative appointments, dental and surgical care as well as laser therapy and a fully-stocked pharmacy. Open seven days a week, the clinic will see walk-in clients without appointment. “Sometimes, it means things run less smoothly, but it means pets have the attention they might not otherwise get,” he said.

The addition will facilitate faster and better care of clients. “Our goal isn’t necessarily to grow our business any more, as it is to improve how we’re taking care of our clients now,” Huegel said.

The addition will double the number of exam and treatment rooms, allowing more pets to receive care simultaneously and helping to cut down on wait times moving forward. The addition also includes a new doctor’s office and four new dog runs.

All the exam rooms will be equipped with wireless point of sale machines so that patients can check out there independently, rather than having to wait for a cashier after they are seen.

The only part of the clinic that won’t be expanded is the front desk, Huegel said, adding that the complications surrounding such work were considerable. Instead, the clinic has added a separate telephone reception area, freeing front desk staff to focus on the clients that are right in front of them.

Upon completion, the addition will be celebrated with a grand opening open house, and clients will be able to tour the new space and attend a Union Vet Yappy Hour celebration, with treats and drinks for pets and pet families alike.

The addition has been in the works for more than five years, and Huegel said the staff is very excited. “We’ll be able to see more people, more quickly. We’re a small family owned business and it’s exciting to be growing and taking better care of our clients.”

Learn more about Union Veterinarian Clinic and its services by visiting their website at, by calling 202-544-2500, by emailing or by walking in at 609 Second St. NE.