If you want to shop at Pulp, the popular gift shop at 1803 14th St., N.W., you better hurry — the store, a funky staple of the area since 2002, will close for good at 6 p.m. Sunday.
“The decision to close the store has not been easy, and wasn’t made without a great deal of thought and consultation,” says Anthony Boykins, owner since 2011. The late Ron Henderson, who was gay and died in 2009, was the original owner.
General Manager Meryl Hooker cites “a change in priorities for the owner” as the main reason the “difficult decision” was made to close.
“Our landlords are great and our rent is very affordable,” she said in an e-mail. “Target, Amazon and big box (stores) are of no consequence. This was an internal decision.”
Marcus D. Conway worked there part time for the past five years. He started in 2009 and was looking for something to do on the side after his former roommate moved. Conway worked as a floor assistant stocking shelves, running errands for the owners and more.
Conway says the shop had a lot to offer and will be missed.
“Yes, I’m very, very sad about it,” the 51-year-old Chicago native says. “I really loved all the cards we have here and the candles. The baby onesies were really cute too. Oh wow, there was a lot here that caught my eye.”
He says all the change on 14th Street overall is good, though.
“When you think back how it used to be, oh man, it was really too much,” he says. “But all the new condos and restaurants, it’s great for the economy.”
Conway came to Washington 24 years ago and has been active in HIV support group work over the years. He’s single and lives in the Dupont Circle area. He enjoys sports, movies and spending time with his dog, LeRoy, in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve been out all of my life so it wasn’t hard to tell anyone. Everyone is very supportive.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Tracks, back in the day. Bachelor’s Mill today.
Describe your dream wedding.
I don’t have one.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
HIV education, especially through my support group.
What historical outcome would you change?
I would have had Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. live.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Going to see Patti LaBelle at Constitution Hall in 2000. She was amazing.
On what do you insist?
Keeping God first.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I don’t use Facebook or Twitter.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Marcus’ Lifetime Stories”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Nothing. I like my life the way it is.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I believe in life after death. Once we leave this earth, we do have someplace else to go.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Hold your head up and stay strong. Stay positive and keep on doing what you’re doing for all of us.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
An armored car full of money.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That we are dishonest.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Manners are important so I’m not sure social customs can be overrated.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I’d like to be recognized for the work I’ve done with my HIV support group for over 20 years.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
How to give better head.
I just love living here.