Veganism is a more recent development. “When I became vegan in 2016, I did it for a week as a challenge for my friend’s birthday — and I never went back,” she says.
Both now define the Bethesda native’s personal and professional lives. As the senior manager of communications and community engagement at Goodwill of Greater Washington, Becker puts her thrifting skills to use running the organization’s Instagram feeds, including its lifestyle community brand @findingyourgood. “I like to think of it as a place where D.C.’s thrifters can feel comfortable and share their finds,” she says.
She also runs a popular Instagram dedicated to finding the best vegan food D.C. has to offer: @dcveganlife. Since the pandemic started, she’s been using her feed to promote vegan takeout options, letting local restaurants and other D.C. vegan bloggers take over the account for a day. “I built this following, why not use it for good instead of me posting pictures as throwbacks all the time?” Becker says.
On her D.C. dream day, the Woodley Park resident would spend time walking around the city, stopping along the way in search of vintage finds and vegan eats.
I’ll wake up around 6 a.m. on a weekend — there’s a lot to do! There’s something about this time on a weekend, it’s so calm and peaceful, especially in the city. My closet is basically all secondhand, so I’ll get dressed in all of my best, most colorful vintage finds. I’ll make a cup of coffee using what we get from the bulk area of Yes! Organic Market. Maybe I will read a book that I got from our free library in my apartment complex.
I do a lot of DIY, and I’m working on a vintage jacket right now. It’s a nice way to stay calm and focused in the morning. There’s a great place in Alexandria called Upcycle Creative Reuse Center, where you can buy secondhand craft supplies. I have needles, thread and fabric from there, so I will work on that for a little bit, play some music, and then make breakfast. I live with my boyfriend. We usually cook together and a dream breakfast would be pancakes with tofu scramble. I’ll make the tofu — he takes the rest.
We’re going on a mini thrift journey to several Goodwills in Northern Virginia. But before we start shopping, we’ll drop off some donations too. We look for vintage finds because that’s what I love the most. Usually we get pretty hungry, tired and angsty around noon or 1 p.m. so we’ll drive back to Woodley Park, then walk to the Dupont Circle Bethesda Bagels. I’ll get an everything bagel with tofu veggie cream cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles and mustard — it adds some good tang. It’s the best vegan bagel and the sandwich is under $5, which you can’t beat. If the bar top is taken we’ll eat on the curb outside of the shop.
We’re big wanderers. I feel like people know who we are because we’re always walking on Connecticut Avenue. We love to look at the city’s architecture, especially the nooks and crannies and small alleyways that we may not have seen before. We will walk down toward Farragut North and stop at Compass Coffee for a nitro — I’ll sometimes put cinnamon in it — and as a snack, they have Snacklins [vegan pork rinds], which are from D.C. They are my favorite chip thing ever under the sun. Then we’ll go to Little Sesame. They have this tahini soft serve, which is out of this world. So we’d get the chocolate vanilla swirl with the halvah bits and the cacao nibs.
We’ll head to the Mall. We may walk into the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, just to see what’s brewing about but really we like to wander and be outside. When we get hungry again, we’ll walk up toward Adams Morgan. We’ll get even more Compass Coffee in Shaw because why not? We’ll stop in at GoodWood and smell the incense.
We’d also stop in Hana Market and get a matcha iced tea. We love going into this little herbal and wellness spot called Qi Kratom CBD Tea. They have a really great tea assortment from some local blenders here. We’ll stop at Meeps because I get a lot of my vintage pieces for my wardrobe there — I’ve been going for years.
We’ll get dinner at Smoke & Barrel at the top of Adams Morgan. Barbecue is the best, especially the wings, wet. We’re also getting the vegan coleslaw and the fried pickles. The sweet potato doughnuts made vegan are dynamite. Because Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe is next door we would want to pop in there and catch a free concert. I’m hoping it would be funky, neo-R&B music.
After hanging out there for a hot minute, we’d walk to the Streets Market & Cafe in Adams Morgan because we love to hang out at grocery stores and see what’s new. We usually get a new type of vegan chocolate to nibble on for the walk home across the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge. It’s so beautiful in the evening and on a nice day the sky is absolutely majestic.
Once we get home, we’ll have a cup of tea from Calabash Tea & Tonic — love all their blends — and then light some incense. I just got this great incense from Femme Fatale DC that’s handmade. It’s a creative space that has so many great handmade goods from women creatives in D.C. and they do a lot of great events. Probably have some leftover cake from Fare Well, their birthday cake flavor, with my tea while we pop on some Hulu. Right now we’re watching “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is very invigorating and very nerve-racking. Then we’ll fall asleep on the couch and wake up at 3 a.m. and go to regular bed.