News & Politics

We Ranked the Most Millennial Moments of 2018

From boutique toast to "wellness activations," it was the year of millennial buzz words in DC.

Photograph courtesy of Ron Gilbert via Flickr.

It was the year millennials murdered canned tunaAmerican cheese, and mayo. The social media generation has become full-grown adults with purchasing power, meaning what millennials love matters in the marketplace—even if you love to hate them. Below, 2018 in DC’s most millennial moments:

Avocado Toast Got a Gourmet Makeover  

If 2017 was the year avocado toast cost millennials their mortgages, then 2018 was determined to give us a variety of pricey toasts to further destroy our 401Ks and credit scores. Toastique (a portmanteau of toast and boutique) opened at the Wharf, describing its gourmet toast and juice bar as a “fresh, chic, rustic experience that perfectly transitions from early on-the-go breakfast to corporate lunch to post sweat session fuel up.” Hey, you might not be able to afford a luxury vacation, but diving into a $14 Italian-inspired toast by the Potomac River is almost the same as a trip to Cinque Terre.

A Sunrise Dance Party Raised the Roof at the Watergate Hotel

Why break into the Watergate Hotel when you can breakdance? Daybreaker, a group that organizes sunrise dance parties, started with rooftop yoga at 6 AM and then transitioned into a cold brew-fueled silent disco where dancers donned headphones for music rather than using traditional speakers. There were instructions to “dress in nautical navies and whites (sailor stripes work too),” invoking flashbacks of flash mobs, the gateway drug to dancing in coordinated outfits.

Young Conservatives Wanted to Make Dating Great Again

Speaking of parties, Washingtonian’s Mimi Montgomery reported young conservatives are struggling to cross party lines when it comes to the District’s dating rituals. Apparently, even mobile apps like Tinder and Bumble are succumbing to partisanship pressures: Many of the progressives Montgomery spoke to said you can spot signs that point to a potential boo being right-winged (and therefore right-swiped). Hints included hunting gear, beachy frat party photos, and—the cherry on top—a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Hot Lattes Chilled Out with CBD at Gregorys Coffee

Apparently, using cannabidiol (CBD) in food will be one of the most talked-about foodie trends of 2019, but Gregulars (another snappy word mutation) are already ahead of the curve. The coffee shop added a CBD latte at all of its DC locations alongside trendy turmeric and matcha drinks. CBD gives the relaxing properties of cannabis minus the psychoactive effects, meaning you won’t catch a case of the munchies in your cubicle.

Photogenic Museum Exhibits Attracted #Artsy Instagrams

Just search the Instagram geotag for No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, and you’ll find no shortage of pensive “candid” shots in the Renwick’s exhibit (so much for no spectators). Artechouse, a fusion of art, tech, and house (are you sensing a trend here?), drew in eager patrons ready to strike a pose in front of the colorful, interactive displays. The National Building Museum’s Fun House, a trove of minimalist, interactive environments, included an iteration of the Beach, the pool of clear, recyclable balls that originally made the museum an Instagram destination.

A Roommate Résumé Landed the Job and the Likes  

Emma Sarappo reported Sam Alhadeff, a newly minted University of Wisconsin-Madison alum, created a housing résumé to maneuver the veritable Tetris that is the DC housing game. The document extolled his “roommate perks,” like taking calls from his mother into another room, and language skills—he’s a natural at “reading the room.” Alhadeff successfully secured a home and 15 minutes of Washington, D.C. Housing, Rooms, Apartments, Sublets Facebook fame: His post now has over 1,600 likes and almost 200 comments.

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Millennial-Oriented Hotels Were All About Activations

Hospitality’s opaque focus on millennial culture sometimes felt like an experiential MadLib. The Marriott’s Moxy Hotel is using pop-ups like spontaneous tattoo sessions and DC Rollergirls fitness bootcamps to lure in the multi-tasking generation. Meanwhile, Eaton hotel owner Katherine Lo (a bona fide living, breathing millennial) created an experience with ethos, where socially conscious values are the new pillow chocolates. The hotel doubled up on its trendy buzz words with “wellness activations” inspired by consciousness-expanding practices found at retreats like Burning Man —perhaps a visit to the Renwick Gallery is in store.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.