How To Be a 20-Something In the Obama Administration
TheNew York Times did some super-excellent journalism in Sunday's magazine: an honest to God 14-page article (complete with an interactive map!) that details the eating, drinking, fornicating, and even religious habits of the 20-somethings who work in the Obama administration. As it is our job to tell you what to do in DC, as service-y journalists we've plucked the highlights from this masterpiece by Ashley Parker -- it’s her first feature for the magazine! -- so you can know how to experience DC just like these young staffers.
Obama's post-tweens are a rare breed: They work hard at demanding jobs, and they occasionally like to go out on the town. Parker has concluded that these 20-somethings effectively run the government, which is no different than finals week in college. But there are problems, too!
The Obama Kids could not imagine all the "unseen difficulties that would await them — everything from a cratering economy and an attempt at a Christmas Day terrorist attack to plummeting poll numbers.
Governing is hard, especially the "bringing David Axelrod his morning tea" part, as Eric Lesser learns in the process of keeping our nation safe from terrorists.
These youths are worried about their image, too: Staffers are “nervous about upholding the Obama creed of modesty and discretion." And this is why they were all interviewed for a Sunday magazine article about their lifestyles in the New York Times.
But where do you eat, where do you drink and how do you experience DC just like the Obama 20-somethings?
- Live in Dupont, Logan Circle or Columbia Heights and spend your evenings at bars and restaurants on U Street. The area may still be “gritty” (read: not fully gentrified as in black people still live in there), but it's nonetheless where the nightlight is best in DC.
- Eat at the following places: J and G Steakhouse in the W Hotel, Cork Wine Bar, Café Dupont, L’Enfant Cafe and Poste. Then soothe your hangover at, of course, Ben’s Chili Bowl.
- Drinking should occur at Local 16, “a hangout for Democrats and Republicans,” Stoney’s, a “bar’s bar,” the Gibson, and especially at Marvin as it does have that mural of Shepard Fairey's “Hope” on its exterior brick wall.
- Work out at Vida Fitness in Logan Circle. You may run into your co-workers during your early morning workout, but that’s a good thing as it builds character when you lift together.
- Play basketball at Stead Park, but be careful not to hurt yourself. And do let that nice homeless man who shoots hoops there all day long play with you.
- Finally, throw parties in your apartment where you blast Jay-Z and bounce up and down; always allow people to cut in front of you to get beer as this adds to your humble appeal; and gather your friends for Shabbat dinner on Friday night before venturing out onto “campus,” what these 20-somethings call the area where they live, lest they grow up and realize that they're not longer in college, especially seeing as how they are running the free world.
A big thanks to the New York Times Magazine for this article, as it's not every day in DC you meet a 20-something who works long hours at a demanding job, likes to drink and eat at restaurants in Dupont and Logan Circle, hangs out with friends in the U Street Corridor, and worships HaShem.