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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.

What a Shutdown Might Look Like Around Here: About 420,000 federal employees will have to work without pay if the government partially shuts down this week, NPR reports. You’ll still be able to fly, for instance. The TSA will still be at work, as will the DEA, and FBI—albeit without pay. Other agencies, like NASA and the EPA, will be shut. So plan your holiday space walk accordingly.

Are You There Foodgod? It’s Me, Brittany: Many of you may not know Jonathan Cheban, known publicly as the “Foodgod.” Cheban, the best friend of Kim Kardashian West, has made an entire career of eating out 365 days a year and sharing his meals on Instagram. Cheban was spotted at Farmers & Distillers and Filomena a few days ago—but according to the Washington Post, he’s here for more than just nonsense. Sarah Polus reports he’s here to plan “a potential food program for the needy.”

Hi, good morning, and happy Tuesday. I’m Brittany Shepherd, the author of this morning newsletter. Feel free to contact me at or find me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

Nothing but Respect for My Rat Queen: Say hey, what’s up, hello to the National Zoo’s new naked mole-rat queen, who ascended to the top by way of inter-colony carnage.

Deck the Biden With Boughs of Holly: This university student has made a cut-out of Joe Biden into the dorm room’s Christmas tree. Speaking of politically themed trees, have you guys see the “Pelos-Tree” outside Floriana? Yes, there is a tree near Dupont Circle dedicated to the next House speaker and the rest of the women who won office in the midterm elections.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

THEATER The Kennedy Center presents The Play That Goes Wrong, a play-within-a-play style comedy that follows a theater group that attempts to put on a murder mystery. Unfortunately for the group, their production faces mishap after mishap, from an unstable set to forgotten lines and actors who break character. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Through January 6. $49-$149.

Good reads:

DC public schools are still segregated, reports Jenny Abamu, both by race and by ethnicity. (DCist)

Big events from Washingtonian

Every year, Washingtonian hosts several photo contests, and we’re looking to you to help determine which contest we host in 2019. Vote for the photo contest you’d like to participate in.

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Jonathan Cheban dined a few days ago, not last night like originally printed.

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.