News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Shutdown That Never Ends

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.

More like Furlough, am I right?: DC Redditors are attempting to make a most of the government shutdown that will likely last into the New Year by posting photos and memes of their pets out and about. Every dog is the very best dog and every cat there is purr-ific. Please, take your mind off the craziness and spend some time this morning checking out these fluff monsters.

Hi, good morning, and happy New Year’s Eve. Did you miss me? Fortunately the glowing blue light over New York didn’t abduct me, and I’m back in DC, baby. (Sorry, I forgot to bring you bagels.) 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.

A lot happened while I was gone. Trump said some stuff to a 7-year-old about Santa not being real, we riffed on the horribleness that is dating in DC, White House reporters took a surprise trip to Afghanistan, and so much more. But today, we reflect on some of the crazy, life-changing, funny, and sometimes sad things that happened to us over the past year—in fact, you can take our quiz on it right here.

Yet, instead of taking the time looking back, I’d like to chat about goals for the new year. (If you’re one of those people who thinks resolutions are silly, skip to the next section or listen to “Baby Shark” on Spotify or something.) Now that the humbugs have left, here are a few things things I’d like to do in 2019: stop apologizing for being assertive, spend more time out in Washington on my own, turn my Instant Pot into more than a counter ornament, tell my friends I love them more frequently, and, I guess, make it to a few Solidcore classes a week. Who am I kidding? Maybe just one a week.

What are your goals for the new year? I’d love for you to share them with me via Twitter or email.  At the bottom of the newsletter you can see some of my colleagues’ resolutions for 2019.

Something you may have missed: Did you know Trump attorney Jay Sekulow is in a band with a former member of Kansas? Me neither. They performed last week.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our picks for things to do around town:

GAMES There are always bars or nightclubs for New Year’s Eve, but how about some board games? DC9 is hosting a Monopoly tournament all night, and the event will still feature many of the things that you’d expect from a New Year’s Eve party: DJs, an open bar, and a midnight champagne toast. 21+ only. $50-$85, 9 PM.

FIRST NIGHT If you’re trying to avoid the New Year’s Eve bar scene, head over to Alexandria’s family-friendly First Night celebration, a series of all-evening events that includes everything from three Kids Karnivals (with clowns and face painting) to a Fun Hunt to live music and spoken word throughout Alexandria. The event concludes with fireworks over the Potomac River at midnight. Tickets can be purchased for individual events ($5-$10) or as an all-venue pass ($30-$35), 6 PM to midnight.

Good reads:

2018 was the year of the Daddy. Sorry, I don’t make the rules here.  (New York Times)

Big events from Washingtonian

Here are some resolutions to steal from my coworkers:

Kim Olsen, Health and Fitness Editor: Run my first half-marathon in more than five years and beat my personal best (1:53:18)!

Hayley Phillips, Associate Editor: My resolution for 2019 is probably to be better about food waste— To plan my meals a little more thoughtfully and be better about reviving leftovers!

Adia Robinson, Editorial Fellow: My resolution is to pay better attention to my health! (Both in the eating better and exercising sense and making sure I do doctors’ stuff when I’m supposed to. I’ve been putting off a root canal for an embarrassingly long time).

Amy Moeller, Editor-in-Chief, Washingtonian Weddings:   In 2019 I’m resolving to spend even less time on my phone when I’m hanging out with my kids (I’ve been working on this one for a while!) and to be on time more—I am perpetually trying to squeeze in “one more thing” before I leave for any kind of appointment or engagement and it ALWAYS puts me 15-20 minutes behind.

Michael Schaffer, Editor of Washingtonian: I waste too much money buying myself lunch because I don’t bring it from home. New year’s resolution is to change that.

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.