We're excited to kick off our new SHARE YOUR CITY blog series with Kim Anderson, aka @HowToKim. She's contributed some seriously amazing imagery to the #aCreativeDC feed over the last few months; we were already fans of her city perspective when, in May, she was one of the first to respond to our just-launched SHARE YOUR CITY pop quiz. It was a great excuse for us to meet her IRL, and to spend an evening exploring her answer.
THE QUESTION What's your favorite D.C. street to walk down?
THE ANSWER Georgia Avenue from Petworth to Shaw! I love how it varies and changes so much from block to block. It feels authentic.
Hidden gems in the city? Crispus Attucks Park in Bloomingdale is hidden and SO cool and quiet and zen. Also, the Aqueduct Abutment in Georgetown. All of the textures and layers of paint and this one leftover piece of the old bridge overlooking the Potomac. I'm 100% here for it. Metropolitan Branch Trail is also amazing for the murals alone, and Nomad Yard...yeah...I'm just slowly trying to move in there.
You know we're obsessed with your Instagram feed – you're constantly exploring. I literally am snapping photos everywhere! I'm the reigning queen of drained batteries. I particularly love candids/street photography and street art. I also love just observing. Something capture-worthy always comes along. I'm really great at standing my ground and waiting for that moment. Although cool stuff always seems to find me, too.
Favorite Instagram accounts to follow? Oh wow...well besides A Creative DC (obvi) I love @Tamon_'s account, is always so crisp! So dapper. I stalk. Love @dcmetromoments – such a cool idea and feed! It satisfies my people-watching side. @withthelocals gives me insight on all of these cities I want to visit and photograph...some I didn't even know I wanted to but do now! My "to visit" list is sooo long! @nomadyard –every single image is beautiful! Every one. Effortlessly. I can't. @apartmentf15 – I want my apartment to look like every bit of hers! Amazing eye. @bunchmagazine expertly curates images from their favorite tagged accounts. Such a rich and clean feed. This list could end up very long...I'll quit while I'm ahead.
And when you're NOT Instagramming? When I'm not?? When is that? I bartend at Costa Brava in Bloomingdale. I also do content creation/development + social media for Costa Brava & Coleman's Classics, which does prepared meals for crossfit and yoga facilities, and a few other local small businesses. I'm a freelance photographer and a professional wanderer. So they kinda go hand in hand. I just want to get paid to do exactly those things! I'm also working on my blog How to Kim, which is really everything that I see and do and think is awesome...you know the run-over of my IG account.
We loved your comment about Georgia Ave feeling "authentic." Can you talk a little bit about that? I love the ebb and flow of the area. It's perfect for wandering with my cam, and watching the people. The texture of the aging buildings, the mixed bag of vacant storefronts juxtaposed with artists' studios and the neighborhood-friendly restaurants & businesses – all of this in little pockets up and down the corridor. I like watching the slow, but sure, development of the area and enjoy the community vibe as well...I think it's overlooked as an area to explore, but you can find a little bit of everything up and down that corridor. It's sometimes gritty. It's sometimes polished. Honey & sandpaper. I love it.
Woodland's Vegan Bistro because EVERYTHING is fire there! Please go for brunch...get the biscuit and then thank me AND be mad at me later. Thinking about it makes me tingle. The Petworth Farmer's Market between Georgia & Upshur (not really ON Georgia...but honorable mention). Blue Nile Botanicals is where I get my incense, sage, and any herbs for facial steams, tea blends, etc. More than anything I just love people watching and wandering down side streets because something interesting has caught my attention.
Must-hit spots on Georgia Ave? Harrar Coffee ~ the coffee is fantastic. They roast their own beans. The french press is so strong! Also...ladies and gentlemen, they offer Almond Milk! I love that! They also do a dope Ethiopian coffee roasting ceremony on Saturdays....and they serve a small portion of it in fancy glasses. *swoon* Mom'n'Pop Antiques is one of those gems I love. I enjoy going in and perusing the abundance of vintage goodies! It appeals to my inner magpie [and] the owners are such a sweet folks.
Our theme for June is WELLNESS - you're vegan and you walk EVERYWHERE, we know! Beyond the physical, what is your tried and true for staying mentally calm + clear in the city? I meditate. Seriously. Daily. For about 15-20 minutes. Not guided...just silence and calm. It helps with the mind chatter and gets me centered. I like to do it outside whenever possible. Grounding is important. Practicing mindfulness...I keep a gratitude journal. I also vision board like my life depends on it....and it does. I'm quite "mystic crystal revelations" that way.
Any other fave vegan/vegan-friendly spots? Yes! Evolve in Takoma is so SO good! Woodland's also has a food truck and they tweet where they are going to be daily. DC Noodles is veg-friendly and ridiculously good. OMG and Provision No.14!!! The Vegetable Gebeta is next level. Reminds me of Ethiopian cuisine. The Brussels Sprouts are life-altering. Sticky Fingers vegan desserts are riiiiiiiidic! So good! Two words: Cowvin Cookie. Do NOT eat that whole thing! Also, &pizza has great vegan pizza options...for the low-low. Such reasonable prices!
And what are you looking forward to this Summer in the city? I'm so excited about the outdoor movies and festivals! Flashdance is playing in NoMa and my tribe and I may just have to go in full theme costume! Also, boats on the Potomac...yes please..going this Saturday! Outdoor dining...just every outdoor thing I can do really. Oh, and the Summer Spirit Festival...and anything that catches my attention along the way. Also, I'm really excited to see what the Barbies in the Barbie grotto will be wearing.