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Washingtonian Today: Bei Bei Monitor

The 14th-annual "Keep Winter Cold" polar-bear plunge at National Harbor. 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.

For the second day in  a row, President Trump has no public events on his schedule. At least we got a rare on camera White House briefing. (A gentle reminder that the government re-opened yesterday.) And while feds are furloughed no more, many continue to file into José Andrés‘s shutdown kitchen. They’re still in need of volunteers to feed those who have not received back pay, and will be operational until Friday with the possibility of re-opening if funding lapses again in a few weeks. 

As we’re heading into a cold snap this week, we ought to keep our eyes out for people in need of warm shelter. Jot down the DC emergency shelter phone number, 202-399-7093, and flag the city’s night shelter info.

Roger Stone, perhaps the most Scooby-Doo villain–esque character in Trumpworld, will appear before Washington federal court at 11 AM today.

Hello, I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Email me with comments or questions and follow me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

Pandemonium: Today, the National Zoo reopens (hellooooo panda cam!!!!!!!), but not everything is back to normal in the animal kingdom. According to Washington City Paper‘s Laura Hayes, many of the Woodley Park animals get “bummed out” when they don’t witness crowds of eager humans for a long period of time. With this bitter cold weather, the zoo is likely not the first stop on local and tourists itinerary. So what’s going to happen to the animals?

In case you missed it: AOC‘s Big Relatable Energy appears once more. The New York Congresswoman posted her comprehensive skincare routine to Instagram yesterday. She didn’t mention any brands, and it seems pretty straightforward: thoroughly cleanse your face, tone, and moisturize. She also advocates for letting your skin “BREATHE”! Amen to that. I wonder if any other lawmakers will post their own routines. Have you seen Cory Booker‘s skin? I need to know what kind of water that senator is drinking… 

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • Look, you can own a hedgehog in Fairfax County now. I think that’s great. I’m firmly #TeamHedge, because they’re cute yet tough, like a diamond, or beef jerky in a ballgown. But not everyone agrees with me. I present to you the anti-hog manifesto.

Our picks for things to do around town:

DANCE The American Ballet Theatre’s DC premiere of the comedic ballet Harlequinade will run at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. This production is a re-interpretation of the 19th century version by ABT’s artist-in-residence Alexei Ratmansky; this vibrant and slapstick ballet is a love story between a broke young man and a woman whose father has higher standards for her. Through February 3. $39-$199.

BOOKS Author Alexandra Robbins interviewed dozens of current and former fraternity members to look into this college-dominating institution in her upcoming book Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men. It’s not all the same tale of toxic masculinity, though: Her research has found some all-male organizations that are trying to combat the stereotype. Robbins will speak about her work at Politics and Prose on Tuesday; she’ll continue the conversation at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda on Thursday. Both events are free and start at 7 PM.

Good reads:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is hosting a monthly dinner group with the moms of Congress! Welcome, the new sisterhood of the Congressional moms. (Roll Call)

Big events from Washingtonian

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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.