A New Kind Of W In D.C.
When the President and First Lady went to Washington, D.C.’s Blue Duck Tavern a couple of weekends ago, they made the place impossible to book for months to come. A restaurant with an airtight reservations book? Sounds New York-ish. Sounds like a city with heat—or at least one that’s not afraid to show it. In the words of one D.C. socialite who showed up last week to fête the new W Hotel in the nation’s capital, the Tastemakers-in-Chief (and certain Middle Eastern ambassadors’ wives) have “made it OK to wear Manolos.” The hotel chain itself is tapping into the fresh energy of young Obama aides and youngish powerbrokers with a $100 million revamp of the old Washington Hotel, which occupies a prime plot of real estate a few blocks from the White House. The look of it is a hybrid of the Beaux Arts building and the W’s slick modern sensibility. Think LED strips on original crystal chandeliers. The opening party’s headliner was John Legend, performing for a crowd that included the President’s personal aide, Reggie Love, and his personal secretary, Katie Johnson. Is it really that silly to imagine one of them passing party intel directly to the Commander-in-Chief?
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