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.
When Alison Alleva isn’t busy running Georgetown Massage and Bodywork, the Falls Church resident uses her arms in a different way: drumming in her cover band, Diplomatic Immunity. “Being a massage therapist, drumming has always felt like a really nice way to work out my arms,” Alleva says. Diplomatic Immunity played its first gig in 2014 — at her wedding to the band’s bassist, Steve McGovern. “Instead of having a first dance, we had a first song and our band played” Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” she says. The 46-year-old has been doing massage in D.C. since 2004, when she opened Georgetown Massage and Bodywork as a small practice. It moved to its current location in 2017 and now includes an in-house herbalist and retail shop with CBD products. Naturally, wellness and music work their way into her perfect D.C. day.
I would get up and get a really delicious coffee from Via Umbria, an Italian specialty store in Georgetown. They have amazing croissants, the best ones I’ve had in D.C. so far. I would get a cappuccino and an almond croissant.
I love to be active. I take a lot of walks in Georgetown just because it’s close to where I am all the time. I would rent a kayak or a bike and head out to Great Falls Park. It’s beautiful and we’ve spotted many bald eagles there. I love to try to find bald eagles — they are all over this area.
I might be inclined to picnic in Rock Creek Park. I would probably bring baguette, cheese and some rosé. I grew up in New Jersey, so I’m really picky about Italian food. Pâtisserie Poupon has delicious baguettes and cheese.
The fact that you can just pop into a Smithsonian is such an amazing thing. I love the National Portrait Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the United States Botanic Garden, which is really pretty just to walk through. I would try to get to those three.
It would be nice to fit in a massage at Georgetown Massage and Bodywork. Thai yoga massage is my favorite. It’s a little different; it’s done on a mat and you wear clothes and it’s almost like passive yoga — they call it “the lazy man’s yoga.” The practitioner massages you, does a lot of stretching and they put you in these crazy yoga poses. It feels really good.
I also love flotation. I’ve only done it in Alexandria at Synergy Float Center. Basically, you just float and it’s super relaxing — I actually fell asleep. It’s like being in a big bathtub.
If I was in the city, I would probably go home and freshen up and say hi to my three cats. I love Olivia restaurant. The thing that stands out the most is they have a semolina cake that is drenched in rosewater and rose cream. It is so delicious. I think because of my aromatherapy background and love of essential oils, it speaks to me — it’s really floral and aromatic.
I love Blues Alley. I think it’s a D.C. treasure. It’s tiny and it reminds me of New York’s little jazz dive-y clubs. I saw Steve Gadd there not that long ago. He’s a very famous drummer. It was amazing having him in that tiny club, because we were sitting right behind him. We always pick the seats where we can see the drummer.