News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Half an HQ2 Is Better Than None

Crystal City at night. Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Happy Crystal City Is Officially Cooler Than DC Day, people, and welcome to Tuesday. It’s likely that you’ve seen the big news: The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Amazon will indeed divvy up HQ2 between Long Island City, New York and Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood. For all the months of build-up surrounding this announcement. I wonder if half of a headquarters is even a headquarters at all. Marisa Kashino put that question to GMU professor Stephen Fuller, who, while acknowledging the importance of HQ2 and the now-25,000 jobs it will bring, asks, “Did you notice the 50,000 jobs we added last year?” Meanwhile, our editor wonders what we should call HQ2/2.

Crystal City is a curious place in Northern Virginia. Less than a year ago, before Amazon was even in the picture, Washingtonian staff spent the entire day writing about a neighborhood that may now be a tech epicenter. Thinking of heading over before the techies come to town? Eat breakfast at the local strip joint like we did, take a tour of adult dorm WeLive, and end your evening in the area’s only revolving restaurant. If that all sounds pointless, we urge you to reconsider.

SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Beto O’Rourke is getting a lot of attention online after his narrow win in the Texas Senate race. One very eager tweet from Leah McElrath, in particular, rocked the internet last night. However, since it’s not even noon yet, and I am worried about these things we call “spam” filters, I will link to a thread of particular Beto tweets and I am confident you can figure out which one went, ahem, viral.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

• Our editorial fellows put on their tasting berets and ranked all the poutine at Air Canada’s fries-and-cheese-curds pop-up.

•Further proving that DC is the land of adult children, a huge “millennial oriented” grown-up playground is opening soon in Ballston.

• Dim all the lights and take a look inside this retro-inspired Union Market home that has a disco ball.

• Being alone in Washington is difficult. I know I struggle with it often. Here are tips from  7 locals who have mastered the craft of going solo.

Our picks for things to do around town:

BOOKS Flight Wine Bar is hosting author Jordan Mackay and sommelier/winemaker Rajat Parr to speak about their new book, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste, in which they describe and analyze how wines from different regions of Europe should taste. Following the discussion, sample some of the wines mentioned in the book. $75 (includes discussion, tasting, and signed book), 8 PM.

LECTURE We’ve had a week to let the results of midterm elections sink in, but its implications are seemingly endless. The political staff from The Atlantic, including McKay Coppins, Vann R. Newkirk III, and Elaina Plott, plus editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, will reflect on the results at Sixth & I. Hear their expert opinions on the election’s impact on the current administration and what the results could mean for 2020. $15 in advance or $18 at the door, 7 PM.

Good reads:

• Not totally convinced that New York and Virginia are the best spots to plant Amazon hubs? (I’m now labeling fans of Amazon’s new venture HQuties.)  Richard Florida argues why you may be wrong. (CityLab)

Big events from Washingtonian

Your dog is the most adorable dog and you should submit it for DC’s cutest dog contest.

Alcohol! On! Tap! Our annual Whiskey & Fine Spirits is Thursday, November 15. Head to Union Market’s Dock 5 for a festive evening of tasting whiskey, bourbon, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and more. Tickets are selling fast, but you can still score some here. For the loyal Washingtonian Today readers, here’s a 10 percent discount code just for you: POURITUP

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Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.