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. See previous dream days from Mayor Muriel Bowser, BYT’s Svetlana Legetic, D.C. United’s Steve Birnbaum and more.
Since her hiring as the director of the Anacostia Arts Center last year, Camille Kashaka has embraced a couple of challenges: leading the center’s day-to-day operations and helping to dispel misconceptions about the center’s Anacostia neighborhood, an area burdened by its crime-ridden past. Kashaka, 33, never had a doubt about the facility’s potential. “On my first visit, I absolutely fell in love with the space,” she says. Since she took over, the center has become a thriving venue where local artists of color can showcase their work. Paying it forward, Kashaka would spend her dream day supporting black-owned businesses that share her mission of championing marginalized communities.
The first thing I’d do is go for a run. I used to live in Brookland and would run up 13th Street NE all the way from Fort Totten Metro to Rhode Island Avenue NE. It was just beautiful. The houses are so nice and it looks like nowhere else in D.C. There are also all these floral gardens that are just really pleasant.
After going on a nice run, I would head to Sankofa Video Books & Cafe and get coffee and a little snack. Sankofa is a black-owned bookstore and cafe. I love this place so much because they absolutely have a vibe that reflects my personality: books, food and blackness. I would spend time and relax with one of their books.
I’d then head over to the Anacostia Community Museum. They have an exhibit right now called “A Right to the City” that I have not seen yet, but it talks about gentrification in D.C. It also discusses the history of the city and the residents who have made a home here that were not displaced or voluntarily left.
I would also drop by the Anacostia Arts Center, because I never get to see it as a visitor, just as a staff member. I would spend my time shopping at the different stores that are there and enjoying the artwork from a curatorial standpoint. I would also relax in our lounge with some of the really cool and amazing visitors there.
For lunch, I would go to my favorite Indian restaurant in the entire city, Aatish on the Hill. They have a really great lunch buffet and it’s also really affordable. The restaurant is really nice inside, and it’s also pink! It’s just a nice environment to be in while I have lunch.
Once I’m done with lunch, I would go downtown to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I’ve been there twice already, and I still haven’t gotten through the whole thing yet! I would try to visit the bottom floor of the museum again, where it starts with the Middle Passage. As a person of color, it’s hard to really immerse myself in that, so I would go and take the time to honor it the way it should be honored — sitting with the artifacts and reading the narratives.
I would end my day at Smith Public Trust in Brookland and treat myself to dinner. I just went there a couple weeks ago for a friend’s birthday. They have the most amazing shrimp tacos I have ever had in my life! And there’s usually live music.