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, Story District’s Amy Saidman and more.
Since 2012, D.C.’s answer to the question “Where am I going to get that gift for my friend who’s way cooler than I am?” has been Salt & Sundry. Owner Amanda McClements stocks the shelves with pantry goods, tableware, candles, jewelry, toys and textiles, all products of small businesses. “Not everything is local, but we’re always looking for something with a good story,” says McClements, 39. With three shops — Salt & Sundry’s locations in Union Market and near Logan Circle, and a sister store for plants, Little Leaf, just off 14th Street NW — in her purview, McClements’ job most days is the behind-the-scenes work of budgets and strategy, “the not-sexy part.” It’s a good thing her dream day is plenty fun.
I take a lot of long walkabouts around the city — I try to go 5 or 6 miles. My favorite walks are either through Montrose Park into Dumbarton Oaks where it connects into Rock Creek; or I love walking in the National Arboretum for plant inspiration, or maybe a bald eagle sighting. Last spring there was a nest with little babies peeping out of it, which was awesome.
I’d head over to my neighborhood and beeline for a raspberry rose scone, which is my absolute favorite, at The Wydown, and some coffee. Floral flavors can be off-putting in food, but the pastry chef there, whenever she mixes floral flavors or herbs inside of the pastries, I know the combination is gonna work.
As a small-business owner, I love to spread the love to my fellow local indie shops. I’d like to pop into Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot and GoodWood to make sure I’m not missing the perfect vintage piece I didn’t know I needed until I saw it.
One of my favorite lunch spots is Taqueria Nacional. The chef and owner, Ann Cashion, who has done so much for the food scene in D.C. in the past couple decades, sources ingredients with a lot of care, which I love. I’d go for carnitas tacos, chips and queso and a peach margarita with salt.
After lunch, I’ll head over to the Key Bridge Boathouse for a little stand-up paddleboarding session on the water. I swear, if you try it, it’s not as hard as it looks. I love how you have a higher vantage point than when you’re kayaking or canoeing, so you can see a little differently on the surface of the water. Then I’d probably need a nap, and that could happen on a rock at Theodore Roosevelt Island.
One of my favorite things to do is meet friends for oysters and fries and champagne at Le Diplomate, and sit outside on the patio, which has such great people-watching. Then I’d walk north up to the bar at Maydan. I’d get a bunch of dips — definitely the muhamarra, definitely the beet borani. And I’d get a za’atar martini. It’s like a Middle Eastern spin on a martini. And it comes with a side of olives, which, if you couldn’t tell, I like salt.
I’d probably end the night dancing at the 9:30 Club. Either at a DJ Dredd Prince dance party or maybe a Brian Billion “No Scrubs” show. I love to dance and get a group of friends to go and end the night.