I would get up and go to The Diner. I live in Southeast D.C., so I’d have to make it all the way to Adams Morgan, but I do like The Diner. Actually, I might just go to IHOP in my neighborhood, because I like to keep my money. My favorite pancakes there are the [Cinn-A-Stack] pancakes. They’ve got that cinnamon icing on top — it’s like eating diabetes. You can feel your arteries clogging up. It’s amazing.
If I had my little boys with me — they are 4 and 6 — we’d go to one of the Smithsonians. They like the Natural History Museum and the Blacksonian — that’s what I call the National Museum of African American History and Culture, because that name’s too long.
I work at the National Gallery of Art, and it’s amazing to be able to walk through a building that’s been designed by I.M. Pei, and to look at a Van Gogh. I love the design of the National Museum of the American Indian, too. All these buildings are works of art in and of themselves, and you can go there and get a little bit of history and a lot of culture. D.C. is a really cool place to be, to have all this stuff offered for free. The city is shaped like a diamond, and to me it’s a gem.
At night I’m usually out late, so one good place that’s open late is Stan’s Restaurant. It’s on Vermont Avenue. It’s like “Cheers” to me. They have all sorts of food — Italian, American — and they have really good drinks and good people, too.
You know what else is good? Horace & Dickie’s, right off of H Street in Northeast. It’s a hole in the wall; you can’t even sit inside. You get your food and get out of there, but they have some of the best fried fish I have had in my life. Yeah, man, that’s good eating.
I also like to take my kids to Canal Park — it’s on New Jersey Avenue in Southeast, and they have a spray park in the spring and summer and they turn it into an ice rink in the winter. I went there to ice-skate one time and they were playing “Welcome to the Jungle,” and, oddly enough, it used to be a jungle over there. They had the strip clubs, the gay clubs — everything they wanted on the outskirts of the city. And now it has a whole family vibe over there. I like that this area seems to be growing as I’ve grown up. I’ve watched this area change and I’ve found more reasons to stay. (As told to Sadie Dingfelder)