“The amount of personal growth we both experienced over those four years, getting involved in the community, being embraced by the fans the way that we were, made us feel so incredibly lucky,” Doolittle says. “We got to make some really special memories and form some really special relationships. D.C. is always going to have a very, very special place in our heart.”
The couple moved to the District from Oakland in a rush in 2017 when Doolittle was traded, so they settled in Navy Yard to be close to the stadium. They later moved to Foggy Bottom, and eventually landed near Gallaudet University this past year. As outspoken personalities on Twitter who support Black Lives Matter, veteran charities, LGBTQ issues and liberal policies, Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) and Dolan (@EireannDolan) quickly found a receptive audience in D.C.
They also explored the city through this column, Dolan says, using other Washingtonians’ dream days to help them find new vegan spots for lunch, bookstores to browse and Black-owned businesses to support.
“It really helped us out a lot over the years,” Dolan says. “Because [baseball players] get so few off days during the season, we kind of have to design our perfect day in D.C. each day.”
“You want to make them count,” Doolittle adds.
Now that the couple have moved to Arizona with their new puppy, Fiadh, as they mull Doolittle’s job prospects, it seemed like an apt opportunity for the pair to reflect on their time in D.C. by mapping out one of those perfect days.
Eireann Dolan: We got super hooked on Bethesda Bagels immediately because it was right up the street when we first moved there. During the playoffs last year, this is going to sound gross — we ate the bagels because it was good luck. You guys didn’t do that well at home in the World Series, but it did work for the wild card and so we had to keep it going. I’m vegan and he’s vegan at home, mostly because I’m not going to cook two meals. Bethesda Bagels has a really good — I think it’s Tofutti — vegan cream cheese spread. I get avocado and red onions and some veggies on sesame. You would get a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.
Sean Doolittle: We got super into biking during the quarantine in Florida. When we came back up to D.C. for the season, Eireann found some really good bike trails. I can’t keep up with her.
Dolan: The trail I really like is the Anacostia River Trail from the ballpark out to College Park. It kind of follows a train line, which is really nice. I would take the Anacostia River Trail up to the Sligo Creek Trail, sort of up north toward Bethesda. And then take the Capital Crescent Trail down through Georgetown along the Potomac and back to the Mall. It’s about 30 miles — two hours if I’m booking it. For Sean, it’s an all-day experience.
Doolittle: I’m trying to take it all in and look around. I still get a workout in for sure, but Eireann has one speed and one gear only, and it’s pedal to the metal. It’s a beautiful way to see the city.
Dolan: I really like NuVegan Cafe, the one on Georgia Avenue. We would probably load up on the sides there. I really like the artichoke, the ginger collards and cornbread. They also have good pies and desserts.
Doolittle: At this point we would probably find a bookstore and wander around. I like Capitol Hill Books. I like going down into the basement. That’s where the science fiction and fantasy section is. It’s three stories floor-to-ceiling books and it’s just so much fun. Our other two go-tos are Solid State Books, which is on H Street, and East City Bookshop, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue. D.C. is absolutely spoiled for choice with independent bookstores.
We really like Miss Pixie’s. That place is awesome. They have a lot of cool furniture and home decor. We furnished a lot of our apartment last year at Miss Pixie’s.
Doolittle: I was kind of like, I don’t want to do this, and she had to pull me out of the store because there’s so much cool stuff in there.
Dolan: There’s a bunch of local, artisan shops in D.C. that we really like. Steadfast Supply in Navy Yard is really cool. It has a bunch of local prints, note cards, journals, candles and jewelry. Nubian Hueman is a Black-owned business in the Anacostia Art Center, so they have more artsy stuff.
Doolittle: Philz Coffee is probably my favorite. It was like a familiar face in a way when we got traded because it’s from the Bay Area. The one in Navy Yard was a place that I would stop a lot on the way to the ballpark and get a Philtered Soul. They’re big Nats fans, and they supported us a lot, so we made sure to rotate through there pretty frequently. There’s a Starbucks on H Street, and it’s a signing Starbucks because it’s close to Gallaudet. We just thought it was awesome how supportive they were of the deaf community and going in there, we had to learn some sign language and it was really cool.
Dolan: I like tea service. Sidamo has a really great hot tea pot service. I also really like Calabash Tea & Tonic in Shaw. They have small home goods and self-care [section]. They have seeds and plants and stuff that you can buy and they have really good, different loose leaf teas.
We’d go to Tattoo Paradise in Adams Morgan. I can’t believe we’re these people, but we got a matching tattoo right before we left D.C. because we wanted to sort of remind ourselves how lucky we were. It looks super corny, but it says “lucky” and it’s a four-leaf clover.
Doolittle: The time we got to spend in D.C. was really special. We don’t ever want to forget that.
Dolan: Now we will probably do dinner. It’s going to be another bookstore. We would do dinner and an author event at Busboys and Poets on 14th Street. We spent hours there sometimes, not even going there necessarily for books, just dinner. They have really good food there. I’ll get the hummus to start or we’ll split the vegan nachos; sometimes vegan cheese is hit or miss, but they have a really good one.
Doolittle: And it’s huge. I usually get the turkey burger. For being mostly vegan, I’ve eaten a lot of meat today.
Dolan: Because we don’t drink alcohol, we have always struggled to find things that are not bars, not wine tasting or other sort of traditional date night ideas. One of things we really love doing is going to movie theaters. We really like the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market, they have really good snacks.
Doolittle: We also gravitated toward it because they had better movies, I thought, some indie stuff, old movies. It was a little bit different.
Dolan: After the movie we would walk around Metropolitan Branch Trail for a bit, maybe walk the dog. It’s an elevated track where you can either ride your bike or go on a walk. And it starts by the REI, which we spent a ton of time at, so we’d walk home on the Metropolitan Branch Trail.