Marcella Kriebel (Victoria Milko)

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, the BYT’s Svetlana LegeticStory District’s Amy Saidman and more.


Marcella Kriebel knows a thing or two about snacks. The watercolor artist specializes in paintings of food for her “Illustrated Feast” collection of prints that she sells online, at area craft festivals and markets, and at her studio in Brookland. She bases her work on foods that are in season, foods she’s craving and foods that are trending right now. “The ramen design is certainly one of the most popular ones these days,” says Kriebel, 32. She has also collected plenty of illustrated recipes in her two cookbooks, “Mi Comida Latina” and “Comida Cubana,” both based on her travels in Latin America. Her dream day revolves around — what else? — plenty of stops for bites to eat. “Snacks are key in an ideal day,” she says.

Right away, I would have a little snack. In my fridge I always try to keep some whitefish from Neopol Savory Smokery. I would have a slice of bread from Seylou Bakery with some whitefish — just like an open-face. I’d follow that up with a walk around the McMillan Reservoir. Our window looks out onto the grassy knoll that leads out the reservoir. It’s awesome — it’s a nice loop.

I would hop on my bike and go over to the Brookland Arts Walk, which is where my studio is, and get an espresso and a taco over at Fox Loves Taco. My favorite one is the Wham!, which is a poached egg taco. So I’d have one of those — thinking snacks here! Certainly I would say hello to my neighbors, like Stitch & Rivet, Rachel Pfeffer jewelry and Latela Art Gallery. I love the community here.

After having tacos and coffee (that was second breakfast), I would bike down the Metropolitan Branch Trail. It’s a nice way to get from Brookland down to the edge of NoMa, or east of Rhode Island Ave.

From there, I would hop back over to Eckington and go to Yang Market to grab some sandwiches. I’d get a few, of course — and would definitely make sure they’re cut in half so I could share ’em. Then I’d head to Crispus Attucks Park. I’d meet up with a bunch of friends and we’d have a draw date. Sometimes I’ll do blind contour drawings, where you don’t look at your page for a few minutes and you’re drawing and observing something and making marks on a page but not looking at the paper. I’ll do not just food-related things, but I’ll do observation drawings and color studies and more human forms. Someone from the draw date can bring something from RareSweets to the picnic, too.

Moving on to early dinner: I love to check out new places. And I’ve been meaning to check out The Salt Line, because I’ve heard such great things. That would be the precursor to an evening in [Navy Yard], and I would go with my boyfriend, Christopher Graham. After that we’d head to a play at Arena Stage. We just went to this great play there about Nina Simone [“Nina Simone: Four Women”]. It was awesome. I went to a theater school when I was a kid. That’s not my art personally, but I love to go to theater.

After that, I would go to The Hamilton and get their late-night sushi and a nightcap at their loft bar. They have a really amazing lineup of music down on the lower level, but they also book live music in this little annex bar. I love it. I don’t think a lot of people know about it, but it’s certainly like old D.C. And definitely we’d catch some live music there, for sure. Music’s important, too.