Buying materials at a regular hardware store when you are a puppeteer is a process that can be awkward and frustrating. The fact is that you are often buying items which you are going to use in an unconventional fashion, and occasionally it is hard for hardware store people to accept that. Add to that the fact that I’m a woman, which apparently makes the employees of some places (cough, Logan Hardware, cough) automatically assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve gotten strange looks in many different hardware stores around the city, except for one.
That is Fragers Hardware, a landmark of Eastern Market that has been in business since 1920. They are located at 1115 Pennsylvania Ave SE and occupy three distinct buildings–a hardware store, paint store and equipment rental store. Whenever I go to Fragers, there is always someone free to answer questions or give advice and when I explain that I am a puppeteer looking for materials, they nod and say “Oh, cool!” They always have what I am looking for, or are able to order it easily. If you appreciate stores where everyone is given time and consideration, make this your source for hardware in D.C.