News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: What We’re Thankful For

Photograph by Evy Mages

Good morning and welcome to the special pre-Thanksgiving edition of Washingtonian TodayThis has been a particularly sticky year for me—tremendous career highs were met with some personal lows. So what am I thankful for? For the countless people who keep me alive and functioning; for accessible mental health treatment in Washington, DC; for the strangers who have been vulnerable and open with me about their struggles; and for several new colleagues and co-workers who add color and joy to my life. Also: the egg sandwiches at GW Deli in Foggy Bottom.

At the bottom of today’s email you can read about what some of my Washingtonian coworkers are thankful for. From our entire Washingtonian Today family to you: a happy and safe holiday. Also, it’s now officially acceptable to listen to “All I Want for Christmas Is You” on repeat (because I’m not aware of any good music about Thanksgiving and you should let yourself be merry). A reminder that you can always reach me, Brittany Shepherd, at or find me on TwitterSign your work spouse up for this newsletter here.

Something you may have missed: Did you know that Mark Twain was briefly a Hill staffer in 1867?! I didn’t. Hope to interns everywhere.

And now for something completely different: Ivanka Trump’s Holiday Party Spotify playlist, first spotted by HuffPost’s Ashley Feinberg. It features the certified Nick Jonas bop “Levels”.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

• Last minute cooking? We gotchu: Here’s 20 easy and quick Thanksgiving recipes we adore.
• Ditch the turkey and go to one of more than 200 area bars serving drinks until 4 am tonight.
• The only White House I plan on talking about is this one made completely of Legos.
• Buy your bougie friends gifts from our 2018 gift guide! If you’re thinking of getting me a little something, may I suggest the “private dinner for 12 at Fiola Mare in Georgetown, with pre-dinner pickup in an Aston Martin plus caviar and cocktails aboard a private yacht”? Yeah, that’s a real thing.

Our pick for things to do around town:

KIDS The Kennedy Center presents its world premiere of How to Catch a Star, a play based on Oliver Jeffers‘s book about chasing your dreams. The play follows a boy who climbs trees in hopes of catching a star. It runs at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater through December 16; best for ages 3 and up. $20.

Good reads:

• The only person I’ll allow to also write pun headlines is CNN’s Betsy Klein, who managed to sneak the phrase “baste appeal” into her turkey-pardon write up. (CNN)

What we’re thankful for:

Andrew Beaujon, senior editor: I’m thankful for my colleagues and our new office coffee machine. I miss the “espresso” function of the old Flavia, but the new Mars Drinks machine offers a “small” pour of unremarkable coffee, which is pretty much the same thing. It’s free, it’s hot, and, well, that’s as much as I can say about it.

Kristen Hinman, articles editor: A daffy kids’ album called Snacktime! by the Barenaked Ladies that I listen to with my daughter.

Benjamin Wofford, staff writer: As a new employee of Washingtonian, I cannot overstate the value of dental insurance.

Sophia Pizzi, marketing communications associate: After a pretty serious auto-related accident, 2018 has made me especially thankful for many people: my loving DC family and family from home, roommates who never fail to put a smile on my face, the AMAZING Pure Barre crew at DuPont Circle who have encouraged me to keep up my strength, and of course my upbeat + thoughtful Washingtonian colleagues (especially James [Byles], who waited an hour in the ER just to visit).

Elliot Williams, assistant editor: I’m just thankful to live in a city as vibrant, diverse, and interesting as DC. There’s always something to do, and I’m never bored. Ok, sometimes I’m bored— but that’s usually my own fault (or my wallet’s).

Mimi Montgomery, assistant editor: Family, best friends, and a significant other who always pick up the phone; the French bulldog puppy named Klaus I met last week; and that I don’t have to make anything on Thanksgiving day (besides the cheeseboard—I make a mean cheeseboard).

Samantha Simmons, assistant to the president: I am thankful for Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat for giving me the two best cake recipes I’ve ever found and making everyone think that I’m an impressive baker.

Marisa Kashino, senior editor: I am enormously thankful for my husband, my animals (#AdoptDontShop), and my yoga studio. Without them, I would’ve lost my grip on sanity a long, long time ago.

Noma Maluzo, marketing designer: I’m thankful for Russell, who hands out the paper at Columbia Heights Metro station every morning with excitement and enthusiasm, even in 30-degree weather.

Laura Mullen, events director: I’m thankful for my f(r)amily unit—they keep me sane, smiling, and supported through the crazy that is me. 🙂

Kim Olson, health editor: 1) my boyfriend, who’s stuck it out with me for 8.5 years now, which also means he’s done—by my best math—700 loads of laundry and cooked around 1,500 dinners; 2) the crystalline air of Shenandoah National Park; and 3) the free wine samples at Trader Joe’s.

Kelly Poole, events coordinator: I am thankful for friends that I’ve been able to travel with! This year we’ve been to Costa Rica, Nashville, and Charleston.

Rosa Cartagena, web producer/writer: Despite its problematic origins, Thanksgiving is a holiday after my heart because it centers on my favorite thing in the universe: FOOD. This year, I’m grateful for my Instant Pot. It’s been turning cooking amateurs into pressure-cooking amateurs all around our office (we’ve even got a Slack channel devoted to it) and I, too, am now a convert.

Bill O’Sullivan, senior managing editor: The half-hour walk to work (and back); the meditative buses to NYC (and back!); audiobooks (which five years ago I never gave a second glance, but they’re mostly amazing); the beginning of fall, the beginning of winter, the beginning of spring, and the beginning of summer (the best part of each season); and sensible people, who do exist.

Hayley Phillips, associate editor: This year I have been thinking a lot about family, and how grateful I am to my grandparents in particular. My grandfather passed earlier this month at the age of 92. He’s always been the moral compass for our family, the guiding light whenever anyone was trying to figure out their way through one of life’s curveballs. I’m grateful I got to spend so many years under his quiet guidance.

Adia Robinson, editorial fellow: I’m grateful to have a group of really supportive and caring people around me to help me be less of a flaming hot mess in early adulthood.

Daniella Byck, editorial fellow: I’m thankful for the all-you-can-eat specials, buffets, and smorgasbords that inspire me to see a world with no limits, a world where anything is possible.

Lautaro Grinspan, editorial fellow: I’m thankful for the fact that I’m living in the same city as my sister for the first time since our high school days. Even as foreigners, I think we’ll really enjoy getting to spend Thanksgiving together this year.

Kaila Philo, editorial fellow: That my bookshop lets employees get comped tickets to the local symphony orchestra, so I get to see CeCe Winans with my dad this Christmas!

Regina Park, editorial fellow: Spotify’s Discover Weekly, my crock pot, and Instagram memes.

Helen Carefoot, editorial fellow: All the friends I’ve made since moving to DC this January who’ve helped me miss California a little less. I’m also thankful for my family and friends in California who make coming home so great and leaving so hard.


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.