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.
Sarah Pekkanen and co-author Greer Hendricks’ latest collaboration hasn’t even hit bookshelves yet, and it’s already poised to be one of the biggest thrillers of 2019. “An Anonymous Girl,” out Tuesday, has been optioned for TV by production company eOne, with Pekkanen and Hendricks as executive producers. If it feels like deja vu, it’s because their first joint project, the thriller “The Wife Between Us,” was a big hit last January. Pekkanen, 51, who grew up in Bethesda and has lived in Chevy Chase, Md., for 18 years, will discuss the new book at a talk this week (Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW; Fri., 7 p.m., free). She did plenty of the writing for both books, as well as for her previous solo titles, at her favorite local haunts, and her perfect D.C. day would include plugging away on her next novel — balanced with some serious relaxation.
First, as a mom of three (ages 10, 17 and 19), I would sleep late. There would be no school bus run or lunches made, and I’d stay in bed until the crazy hour of 8 a.m.
Then would be the fun brunch. There’s a local couple who are filmmakers, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine — they’ve done some incredible documentaries and won an Academy Award. I’d love to invite them to Bread Furst on Connecticut Avenue, where you can watch the chefs at work behind big glass windows, creating pastries and cakes and delicious salads. I’d like to meet the Fines because Greer and I are getting much more into the film side of things, and it would be fun to talk to people who are local and have been in that world.
Then I would zip down to the Mandarin Oriental hotel and get a massage. I’ve never been, but as a writer, my wrists, shoulders and neck could use it. I’m always hunched over the computer, so getting a massage would be amazing.
Once I had all the kinks worked out, I would go to this coffee shop on Connecticut Avenue, Bread & Chocolate, to write for a little bit. I’d get my table by the window, order a big latte and write a few pages, and I’d be on the phone with Greer, because we write every line together. So I’d try not to annoy the other customers as I talked with her.
Then I’d walk up the street to the Avalon Theatre, which is this great, historic movie theater. It has a wonderful small-town feeling to it — I just saw “A Star Is Born” there.
After the movie, I would take my new rescue dog, Lola Blu, for a long walk on the Capital Crescent Trail. We found her through Petfinder; she had been pulled out of a high-kill shelter in West Virginia. She’s about 2 years old and really great.
After we finished our walk, I’d take my kids and friends to a restaurant called Millie’s on Massachusetts Avenue. They let you bring your dog, and the indoor part flows into the outdoors. In the spring and summer, there’s a million dogs hanging out on the patio, the food is great and it’s a really fun place. I’d get the fish tacos — and ice cream, of course.
Then I’d go home and play board games with my kids. My youngest loves the classics, like Trouble and Uno and Sorry. My older kids wouldn’t be as into it, but they’d probably indulge us for a couple games.