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.
JC Smith wears his love for the District on his sleeve — in fact, it’s all over the whole shirt. Smith, 38, moved to D.C. from Ohio a decade ago and in 2016 started Bailiwick, a clothing company that specializes in D.C.-inspired designs, with his brother Jeff. Bailiwick is still a side hustle for Smith, who designs the company’s apparel (available online and at pop-ups) and works full time as a sales manager in the electrical industry, but he has dreams of opening his own shop. With two gigs to juggle, Smith has a simple idea for a perfect day in D.C. “I want to just take my time,” he says. “I feel like I’m always rushing.” And as a small-business owner, Smith would spend that time supporting local shops and restaurants. “A lot of the places that I like to frequent and patronize are small businesses, because that’s the engine that makes the city go.”
I would start the day with a really nice long jog. When I run, a place that always makes me happy is the U.S. Capitol Building. I live in the Navy Yard area, so I love running to Capitol Hill and up to the Capitol itself and just taking it all in.
Then I’m getting some doughnuts. I’m a doughnut fiend. District Doughnut on Barracks Row is my favorite spot for doughnuts. The Nutella S’more — that doughnut is the best doughnut in the world. I love that they’re local. I love supporting other small-business owners in D.C. that are doing awesome things, living their dream and impacting the community in positive ways.
I’d like to go to Capitol Hill and meet the new congresswomen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar. They’re so inspiring and they’re shaking up Congress. I’d love to have coffee with them, talk about their vision, the Green New Deal and what they can do for D.C. Hopefully they would be advocates for D.C. statehood. I’d wear Bailiwick’s 51st State shirt.
I’d go to the different retailers that we sell our products at and take time to visit them and buy things. Steadfast Supply in Navy Yard is a retail shop that works with small-business owners and it’s got a little bit of everything in there. I go and I drop off product but I never really hang out there, shop and actually enjoy myself.
I would probably be getting lunch now. Due South is great. I think their burgers — especially the bacon pimento cheeseburger — are pretty damn good. I’d get a cold beer, maybe a DC Brau.
I’d go to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, but I would take my time and see everything that I haven’t seen. You’re gonna see something new every time.
I get inspired by the people and the scenes of D.C., so I’d go to the middle of Dupont Circle and start making designs. That’s the type of thing that inspires me, just looking at architecture, different statues and signs and city life. I’d try to let my mind be free and come up with new designs.
I’ve never been to Rose’s Luxury. There’d be no line, I’d just walk right in, meet up with my people and have a big meal.
Then I’d probably take in a show at The Anthem. I saw Wu-Tang there. Every view is a good view; it’s brand- new, so it’s hard not to like; and the acoustics are great.