Cortney Palmiero (Ian Palmiero)

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.


When Cortney Palmiero and her husband set out to open a salon, they wanted to find a place that would make stylists feel at home and inspired to experiment. Takoma Park, Md., turned out to be just the right spot for their now 3-year-old Scissor & Comb Salon. “It’s a beautiful neighborhood. Tree-lined streets, family-friendly,” says Palmiero, 34. “It just feels comfortable here.” Comfortable is an apt word for the breezy, white-tiled salon, where Palmiero says the latest trend in hair is simple, low-maintenance looks. “People just want really wearable hair these days,” she says. “Lived-in, not like they’ve spent seven hours on it with tons of hair spray and product.” That gives Palmiero more time to explore Takoma Park and D.C. on her dream day, along with husband Ian and their three kids, who range in age from 3 months to 6 years old.

I would wake up, wrangle my husband and three children, and I would go to Takoma Beverage Company. They have a great breakfast, pastries, coffee, an awesome beer menu, small plates for lunch and dinner. I’d get the breakfast bowl, which is this chorizo-patatas bravas-sweet pepper bowl. It’s delicious.

We’re gonna hit the Takoma Park Farmers Market. We do our produce: Our kids are picking out exactly what they want, and we’re threatening them that they have to eat it so it doesn’t go bad. We got really lucky — they’re amazing eaters. We’re probably picking up some cheese and meat and eggs too, and definitely fresh flowers.

I would ditch everyone and go get a massage at The Still Point, which is in Takoma Park. It’s just a really nice, quiet atmosphere, and it’s in a house, so you just feel comfortable when you walk in. It feels like a wellness center.

My favorite place to eat in the city, if my husband’s like, “Let’s go anywhere you want for your birthday,” or whatever, is Meats & Foods. The kids call it the hot dog store. They’re not wrong. I would have a salt and pepper half-smoke and a chilito. Their chilitos are life-changing.

I would probably take the kids to the toy store. I think the best toy store in this area — and I’ve done the legwork — is Barstons Child’s Play on Connecticut Avenue NW. It is a gem. They’ve got games, stuffed animals, an awesome setup of Legos, hula hoops, books, stickers. You go in and it’s magical, because there’s so much stuff. Parenting is hard, but it’s pretty rewarding to not tell your children where you’re going and then they know when you get to the neighborhood exactly where they’re going. It’s just excitement.

For dinner, we’re going to Seoul Food D.C., a Korean barbecue restaurant in Takoma Park. It’s fresh and delicious — we love going in there. I get the seasonal taco, or they’ve got this Lotus Buddha Bowl that’s got this curried rice with cauliflower and cabbage and some tahini.

I’m putting the kids to bed and going to Tattoo Paradise. My husband and I like getting tattooed. We’d get what we call a “funsie,” which is a little tattoo, quick and easy. We’re definitely spontaneous, so it’s a figure-it-out-on-the-way-there thing. Then we’d go get beers at Quarry House Tavern [in Silver Spring]. There’s something about drinking in a dark dungeon basement that’s really calming.