I, like 99.999 percent of the world’s population, love to hate Gwyneth Paltrow, and hate to love her.
Her lifestyle brand, Goop, with its vaginal steaming and jade eggs and moon dust supplements, is the trippiest of trips. As is she! If her recent assertion that she basically invented yoga doesn’t ruffle your feathers, maybe think about the time she said she’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a can. Or the time she tried to sell Goop readers a $15,000 vibrator (yeehaw!). Or the time she stated that personal negativity can change the molecular structure of water. Yes—the molecular structure of water.
All of this is strong evidence that Paltrow is, in fact, an alien being. An alien being whose toned arms and dewy complexion I will envy until my subpar, very human, non-Goop-certified body ceases existing.
So it only stands to reason that the GP-certified travel guides on Goop would be downright extraterrestrial in their removed-from-this-world-ness. Her Los Angeles guide recommends a vegan restaurant where each dish’s name is an affirmation (I’ll have the “I Am Cleansed,” extra hempseeds, please), and her Tokyo guide encourages you to stop by a spa where you can eat an egg boiled in pure spring water and wash it down with a cup of apple vinegar (leave room for seconds!).
So what’s on the DC guide? A colonic inspired by Mother Theresa‘s chakras? Cocktails made with Dalai Lama-blessed wheatgrass?
No. Apparently because we are a boring bog of brutalist boxes and Brooks Brothers blazers—a “swamp,” if you will—we get a travel guide that’s as exciting as reading the ingredient list on a box of saltine crackers.
Cases in point:
GP’s recommendation of sights to see includes Dupont Circle, where she encourages you to “simply relax by the fountain in the circle and enjoy the aspiring musicians and prime people watching.”
jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj Oh, sorry, that was a typo due to my head hitting my keyboard after I died of boredom. Like, any suburban shopping mall has a fountain where you can sit and watch people ramble about. And at least they have Dippin’ Dots there! Also, between the two of us, there is no way GP would sit next to a half-dead pigeon on a public park bench just to stare at a drained fountain. She also calls the Mall “a great place to stroll.” Unfortunately, no one has alerted GP that this is not a 19th-century promenade dotted with parasols—here on Earth, we creatures just call that “walking,” Gwynnie.
GP’s recommendation of places to eat reads like a ten-year-old greatest hits record you found hiding under your childhood bed. Sure, it has some solid DC spots on it—Little Serow, Minibar, Rasika—but it’s also woefully outdated. I mean, Taylor Gourmet? (Moment of silence, please.) That’s just a slap in the face to sandwich mourners everywhere! And, please—I think we all know GP would never dive face-first into a bed of carbs piled high with processed meat products.
For a woman who flew in a chef from Chile to cook for her second wedding, the rest of the list is yawningly bland. Restaurant Nora? Closed. Jaleo? Good, but not the absolute-must-go-to I’d recommend to an out-of-towner. Gwynnie, my plea to you: Hire a researcher. Update this page. (Then tell me how you get your arms to look like that.)
GP’s recommendation of places to grab a drink is mockingly, cruelly, woefully short. Four! That’s the number of bars she recommends in a town that has more watering holes than a sprinkler. For a city that loves to grab a cocktail after work, that’s a cold slap to a slightly-tipsy face.
And, yes, the Gibson, Columbia Room, Jack Rose, and Off the Record are all great places to grab a drink, but not one of them is the kind of pop-in-at-2 PM-on-a-Saturday-for-a-beer kinda place a list like this needs. When giving bar recommendations, there has to be at least one spot where you’ll be afraid you’ll die of tetanus in the bar bathroom and never be seen again. Plus, no tourist parent wants to drag their hyped-up caravan of tweens into the Columbia Room for a very necessary post-Madam Tussaud’s drink. (I mean, good lord, you stare at a drooping wax replica of J. Edgar Hoover for three hours and tell me you don’t need a beer afterwards.)
GP’s recommendation of places to stay would obliterate my monthly budget into an atomic mushroom cloud of debt. Granted, I’ve chosen a monastic life of simple pursuits (read: a journalist’s income), so my perspective probably varies from those more engaged in the earth’s pleasures (read: have a sustainable salary). But three nights at one of her recommended hotels, the Four Seasons, would equate to one month of my rent, plus cash to spare. Just remember that, GP, as you snuggle down into your Egyptian cotton sheets, the room-climate controlled and perfect as you drift off into a slumber filled with dreams of eco-friendly face oils and macrobiotic seaweed wraps. Meanwhile, if any DC visitors want to rent out my windowless bedroom, let me know—I have a Keurig and enough Costco-brand paper towels to last you for life. You can find me on Venmo.