In D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District.
“Not a great decision,” Czyzewski says. “When I decided to go back [into the business workforce], I didn’t want to go back into corporate. So I mixed my love for the arts and business and went into arts management.”
Singing that new tune, Czyzewski in 2016 became the executive director of Washington’s Choral Arts. Founded in 1965, the Grammy-winning organization boasts a rich history of collaborating with elite artists. The latest such endeavor: the East Coast premiere of “An African American Requiem,” composer Damien Geter’s symphonic response to violence against Black Americans, which Choral Arts will perform May 23 at the Kennedy Center.
Although Czyzewski has been a D.C. resident for over a decade, he says his recent relocation to NoMa has left him discovering the city anew. On his perfect day in the District, Czyzewski finds time for sturdy standbys, new discoveries and everything in between.
I would love to start off with a coffee and bagel on the Spanish Steps in Kalorama. They’re hidden behind the embassy residences and no one knows about them, but there’s a fountain, loads of flowers, and it’s just a great place to spend time. And I’d grab my coffee from Dolcezza, which does a great dulce de leche latte.
I’m a really big supporter of animal rescue, so after breakfast, I’d take some dogs out on an adoption excursion for City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue. Then I’d head to the National Building Museum — I saw an exhibit they did on concrete several years ago, and it sounds so boring, but it truly was one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever seen in a museum. I know there are lots of rooms and galleries that the public never gets to go into, so I’d have a private wander through those things to see what happens behind the scenes.
I recently moved to the H Street area just a few months ago, and right at the end of my block is this amazing Indian place called Indigo. So I’d get lunch there — they just have amazing butter chicken — then spend a lot of the afternoon shopping at Nordstrom Rack off 18th Street. I never like to pay full price for anything, and I can spend hours and hours in there, in every aisle, looking for deals.
I’m a member of the Stonewall Bocce league, and every week several hundred of us descend onto Logan Circle and play bocce for a couple of hours. On my dream day, my team would win the championship — I don’t think that’s going to happen because we’re a little bit inconsistent, but I’m going to include it anyway.
For dinner, I would love to cook with “Top Chef” contestant Carla Hall, who lives here in town. But first, we would meet at Fancy Radish for drinks and have their vegan fondue — I have no idea how they make it, but you would think you’re eating melted cheese. Then we’d head to my apartment, crack open the kitchen and see what we come up with. I have a pretty loud laugh — my friends call it my “opera laugh” — and I can only imagine my neighbors hearing the two of us cackle about things while we cook dinner.
A great, fun part of my job is that most days I’m going out to events to meet with donors or artists, but it means I never have time to finish anything. Right now, I have a stack of New York magazines on my coffee table, and I also have the book “Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Last Interview,” which I’m halfway through. So my dream day would end with me sitting down and finishing all of those things that are unread in my apartment.