Torie Partridge at Cherry Blossom Creative (Farhan Syed)

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 NPR’s Ari Shapiro, the Hirshhorn’s Melissa Chiuindie rocker Hamilton Leithauser and more.


There’s a piece of Torie Partridge in homes across the District. The local artist, who runs the design studio and shop Cherry Blossom Creative in Shaw, is best known for her colorful, mosaic-like painted maps of D.C. neighborhoods. While Partridge, 32, still does plenty of her work at Cherry Blossom Creative, her storefront, which reopened in September after a brief renovation, has a new focus on hosting events and retail items from D.C.’s creative community. But she’s not celebrating the new direction with a particularly extravagant day. “My dream day is just like a very beautiful, relaxed day doing the things I do pretty regularly in the city,” Partridge says.

My first stop after waking up is probably going to meet a friend at Royal for a really lovely, relaxed breakfast to catch up. Will definitely get the hearts of palm arepa — it has just enough pickled things in it to make it really briny and delicious — and maybe a matcha latte for breakfast.

I live really close to Malcolm X Park, which is my second destination. Malcolm X is probably my favorite place in all of D.C. — I actually got married there this summer. I would grab a big thermos of tea and take my hammock to the park with a good book. I might bring my sketch pad too.

I might hit up Colony Club for coffee. Every time I go in there it’s such a soothing atmosphere. If I’m gonna do a teensy bit of work on this perfect day of mine, I’ll probably hang out there to do that.

It’d be great if I could go get acupuncture on this perfect day. I have an awesome acupuncturist: Paul Robison at Capital Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness. When I was first introduced to it, I thought it was like fringe science, but it’s enormously helpful. Every time I’m having a stressed-out day, it’s the best possible thing. It balances out my whole body.

I would do a little shopping on 14th Street. Redeem is my favorite clothing store in the whole city. It’s owned by this amazing woman, Lori Parkerson. It’s like she delved into my dreams and found the clothing I would fantasize about wearing and stocked an entire shop with it. Everything is drapey and a little witchy with all these interesting fabrics.

Farhan [Syed, my husband] and I always think about doing fancier or different stuff, but we always end up at Haikan in Shaw. Farhan is the best possible dinner date. We are strategic: figure out the two things on the menu we want the most, order both of them and go solid splitsies. The add-ons at Haikan are pretty clutch: The bamboo that’s been stewed in the broth is the tastiest thing you can put in ramen. I would never have been like, “Oh, yeah, let’s get bamboo for sure.” But it’s so f—ing good.

Then I’m going to 5Rhythms [held at Church of the Holy City] on 16th Street. It is a form of conscious dance where you just do a totally free-form moving practice. There’s no real instruction, but you’re led through five different tempos of music, and each one has an emotion attached to it. There’s an awesome community of people who do it in D.C. It’s definitely some hippie s—, but it is the best thing I do for my mind and body every week.

If I still have energy, I will head out with some friends. Tropicalia is one of my favorite places to dance. The crowd is always so mixed, there’s always really good DJs — it’s the most unpretentious club in D.C.