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.
Jennifer Schwed does a little bit of everything. Her company, Through the 4th Wall, produces immersive theatrical and film “stories,” as well as digital art. She also created the narrative-fiction podcast “Jules & James,” about two artists who connect via a wrong number and fall in love. Schwed, 47, is currently working on “19,” an original musical about women’s suffrage (you can see concert-version performances at the Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, Md., on Saturday and DAR Museum on March 23). For her dream day, the Old Town Alexandria resident is making time for visits to old favorites and new adventures. She even found that laying out her ideal day affected her real life. “Inspired by this, I applied for my Library of Congress reader ID card,” she says. “I’m regretting my life decisions that I’m not doing these things every day.”
I would definitely start off eating. It just recently came to my attention that there is a place down on Georgia Avenue called Call Your Mother, a deli which apparently has almost New York-grade bagels. My whole family is from the New York area, so I’m very excited for that bagel.
There’s a lot of research that comes with a historical story like [“19”]. I would love to take some time and actually go to the Library of Congress and look at what they’ve collected. It’s one thing to look at this material online, but it’s another thing to have this tangible experience. I love libraries and this is the ultimate library — and a gorgeous building on top of it.
I’m going with Le Diplomate for lunch. I’ve been there for brunch, I’ve been there for dinner, but I haven’t had lunch there and that feels somehow decadent and laid-back at the same time. I haven’t had it, but I’ll just go with the assumption that their steak frites would be my top choice.
I have to stop into Kramerbooks to check out the latest releases. I’ve gone from being a “I will only read physical books” to everything being on my iPad. I miss being able to look at all the book covers and just read the first page of a dozen different books and pick out my next read.
At the National Portrait Gallery they do performances sometimes in the Kogod Courtyard. Dana Tai Soon Burgess’ dance company did a piece on Sylvia Plath to go along with an exhibit there. I got to see a sneak peek of it and I was so looking forward to seeing the whole production, but I ended up missing it.
I think it’s time to eat again. One of my favorite places is DBGB Kitchen and Bar. This is terrible — I just had steak frites for lunch — but I love their hamburger, the Frenchie. Every time I’ve been there it’s so consistently good that I have to go back. But I wouldn’t stay there for dessert — though their desserts are spectacular — because I am having a doughnut moment. I don’t know when this hit me, but suddenly I want doughnuts. I’ve only heard about District Doughnut, but I would have to try them.
I lament my lack of late-night activity, so there are places I haven’t even tried. But The Gibson — that speak-easy period is the same period we’re covering in the musical, so I might as well. It thematically ties into my life right now.