We’re so excited for summer and even more excited for our next stop on our IRL tour, Washington DC. We reached out to Style Gallery siren, Rocky, and asked her to give us the deets on our nation’s capital. This busy Med student was able to sit down between shifts and walk us around all of her fave spots in her adopted home. So grab your sandals and your sunnies and get ready to dive in to DC!
Tell us a little bit about you and your life in DC — we’d love to know more!
I was born and raised in Brooklyn and moved to DC after graduating from college several years ago. Leaving the Big Apple to live on my own was a big step, but I’ve had such a great time discovering the wonderful, vibrant culture that makes the District unique! From the 17th Street High Heel Drag Queen Race to street performers drumming go-go music on a Friday night, you never know what is waiting just around the corner.
I’m currently a medical student so I spend most of my time running around the hospital helping to care for DC’s residents. On days when I’m not in scrubs and comfort clogs I try to add a little bit of personality to my work looks with a fun print, pops of color, or fun accessories. Professional style never has to be boring!
In my free time, I love taking my bike out and about exploring new parts of the city. It’s a great way to get around and save some cash on gym memberships! I also get a chance to show off my vintage-inspired style riding in the annual Seersucker Social in the summer and Tweed Ride in the fall, hosted by DC-based social group Dandies and Quaintrelles. You can check out some outfits from those rides in my Style Gallery!
Obviously, DC is known for politics and museums. What is off the beaten path that you think is a must-see for those visiting America’s capital?
Just a stone’s throw from the halls of Congress is the quiet neighborhood of Capitol Hill in NE DC. The neighborhood is a mix of beautiful row houses in a rainbow of colors and local bars, restaurants, bakeries, and bistros. On the weekends I love exploring the centerpiece of the neighborhood known as Eastern Market, which has been around for over a hundred years! It’s easily accessible via Metro at the Eastern Market station and is open all year round, rain or shine. At the Market you can find everything from local produce, farm fresh eggs and dairy, and craft foods to handmade arts and crafts and antiques. I can never leave without snacking on samples of the fresh fruits on display and picking up a bouquet of sunflowers to brighten my apartment. It’s also a great place to hunt for vintage clothes or the perfect statement jewelry to tie your outfit together!
Is DC known for any culinary creations? Which spot is your go-to when it comes to grub?
Definitely! DC is an international city at heart and draws culinary influences all over the world. Grabbing takeout from the Ethiopian restaurant Meskerem on the way home from work has become a favorite ritual. If I’ve got a craving for tacos, El Centro D.F., District Taco, El Chucho, and Taqueria Nacional all have delicious options. I’m still trying to decide which one serves the best fish tacos in the city! If you like your food with a side of entertainment, Busboys and Poets can’t be beat. The name Busboys and Poets refers to Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy before later gaining recognition as one of America’s great poets. True to its name, the restaurant shares its space with a bookstore and café, art exhibitions, and performance space. It’s perfect for any occasion, from weekend brunches with my girls to date nights with my boyfriend. Busboys is located in the U Street Corridor, also known as Black Broadway, which has long been a center of DC’s cultural and activist scene.
We also know that DC has quite a few green spaces with the Mall perhaps being the most popular. What is your fave public place to promenade?
Hands down, it has got to be Meridian Hill Park! The park sits at the top of a hill about a mile directly north of the White House with some great views of downtown DC. The park is home to some truly beautiful architecture, with cascading fountains, statues of famous figures, and an actual promenade on the upper level. I’m usually in the park on Monday mornings working out with the November Project, a local free fitness group that uses different parts of the city to stay in shape and make new friends. On warm Sunday afternoons at Meridian you can find local families picnic among slack liners and acroyogis, all to the sound of dozens of local musicians who gather to perform in a drum circle that has been held in the park for decades. It’s such a vibrant space, no matter what day of the week or time of the year!
+What’s your favorite spot in your hometown? Let us know in the comments! And if you want more of Rocky’s chic city style and adventures, follow her on Instagram!