News & Politics

The Blogger Beat: K Street Kate

This week, we get pageant-fied with former Miss District of Columbia Kate Michael.

Kate Michael looking fabulous. Photograph by Chris Leaman

In 2006, Kate Michael started a blog to chronicle her yearlong reign as Miss DC, but when the gig was up, she wanted to keep blogging. She asked her readers to come up with a new name and, drawing on a Washington Post article titled “Rename K Street to Kate Street,” they offered “From K Street to Kate Street.”

Kate liked the idea but shortened the name to K Street Kate. “K Street is a recognizable street all over the world, and it has a variety of restaurants, boutiques, and nightlife that showcase the city’s sophistication,” she says. “That’s what my blog is about—quintessential DC. I like to think I’m quintessential DC as well.”

Raised in New Orleans and Atlanta, Kate moved to DC when she was 21. She started competing in pageants a year later as an effort to win scholarship money for graduate school at Johns Hopkins. “I also missed the stage,” she says.

Kate has always been a performer. One of her favorite jobs: dancing in the Christmas show at Disney World. She performed a ballet solo in front of 50,000 spectators five times a day.

Kate’s Disney days are behind her, but she keeps herself busy hosting a talk show, working as a program anaylst for the DC Department of Employment Services, modeling, and promoting literacy efforts. We caught up with the Foggy Bottom pageant queen to quiz her on pageant life, Washington socialites, and more.

Number of pageant crowns you own:
“Two local crowns (Miss Thunder Road and Miss Gwinnett County, both from local pageants in Georgia) and one state crown (Miss District of Columbia).”

Where you keep your Miss District of Columbia crown:
“In a wooden box on a shelf in my condo. Before I moved, I used to keep it under my bed.”

Three things that happen behind the scenes at the Miss America pageant that people would be surprised to learn:
“The girls get dressed in a tent behind the auditorium. Everyone teases their hair—even the ones that look normal on stage. There’s a lot of sharing of ‘butt glue,’ adhesive to keep clothes in place, because no one wants to be showing their ‘cheeks’ on the stage. And breast-enhancement cups come in several shapes and even more sizes.”

Three things people would be surprised to learn about you:
“I have five jobs: DC government employee, owner of Consignment Cocktails, talk-show host, writer, and model. The only TV I own is the same set I’ve had (with an inset VCR!) since I was 12. It’s a 12-incher! I can bake, but I can’t cook at all, so I’d rather live on cupcakes and brownies.”

Your pick for a pageant win: Marion Barry or Jim Graham?
“Jim Graham. Those bow ties give him a personal sense of style.”

Adrian Fenty or Barack Obama?
“Obama. In The Hill’s Most Beautiful on the Hill contest in 2006, Barack came in second . . . right behind me. So, I think it’d only be right to pass him my crown.”

Michelle Obama or Jill Biden?
“Jill Biden. Miss America keeps claiming to want the fresh-faced, girl-next-door types to win each year. Those knee-high boots she wore to the inaugural were about as fresh, young, and contemporary as you can get!”

What you would do for the talent competition if you couldn’t dance:
“Um . . . finish a crossword puzzle? I’m kidding—I’m bad at those, so it’s a good thing I can dance.”

Three ways you’re working to improve literacy for Washington students:
“I continue to work with First Book and the Heart of America Foundation to help build libraries in underserved areas, give children their first books for home libraries, and serve as a reading mentor for children in elementary and middle schools. I have volunteered for the National Book Festival for the past four years, helping librarians from across the country in the festival’s Pavilion of States. But it’s not just about the kids, and it’s not just about reading books. I’m involved in efforts with the Junior League to promote adult literacy and financial and nutritional literacy as well.”

Favorite local charity:
“There are too many. But currently, Heart of America.”

Where to go to spot Washington socialites:
“When I’m not out at events, my favorite place to relax and enjoy being social is L2 in Georgetown.”

Favorite place to shop:
“Lately, I love Reiss, We One You Two, Club Monaco, Cusp, and shopping online at Gilt Group.”

Where you go to get away from the spotlight:
“I recently took a relaxing trip to the Eastern Shore to spend the weekend in a quiet bed-and-breakfast. Otherwise, I might go visit my parents in Atlanta.”

Favorite local blog besides your own:
“No fair! Too hard! I love reading about where to go on Pamela’s Punch or what to wear on the Glamazon Diaries or Project Beltway. A Not So Capitol Idea always gives me something to think about, and Ask Miss A keeps it real.”

Next week in the Blogger Beat, we give a shout-out to Washingtonians across the river with And Now, Anacostia blogger David Garber. He tells what he loves about the neighborhood and what needs improving, how historic preservation is taking shape in Southeast DC, and much more. Check back next week for the interview!

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