News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Want to Work for Mayor Pete?

Photograph by Evy Mages

Yesterday, it felt as if much of the world slowed down to watch the gut-wrenching fire engulf the roof of Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral. While there are a lot of facts we don’t know yet, DCist reports that the fire might accelerate fire-safety plans at the National Cathedral. James Shepherd, the cathedral’s director of preservation and facilities, told members of the media on Monday that the church hopes to install fire alarms, emergency lighting, and other preventative measures.

Pete-mentum continues: Pete Buttigieg is hiring a political assistant, according to a posting on DC job board District Daybook. Some of the qualifications are pretty zany. The right candidate will “respect the power of what a person with a clipboard can do,” “think house parties are the best parties,” and “eat ambiguity for breakfast and get stuff done.” If you can’t wait until lunch for your ambiguity, Mayor Pete might be your guy. For what it’s worth, Jay Inslee is also hiring political assistants but requires no particular eating preferences. He would, however, like it if you were proficient in Microsoft Office Suite. (Reader, I know you still lie about Excel. Me too.)

Speaking of Mayor Pete, he’s rolled out his entire creative style guide online for precise internet replication. Fast Company’s Elizabeth Segran offers a comprehensive look at the boundaries Buttigieg is breaking with his campaign branding, which reminds me of a story we published a few months ago in which a Washington-based branding expert rates a bunch 2020 campaign logos. I wonder how Buttigieg’s new one would have rated? Do you love it? Hate it? Send me an e-mail and I’ll share some interesting observations later this week.

Oh, silly me, how could I forget…Robert Mueller’s report will (sort of) go wide on Thursday. Is it time to dust off the Mueller prayer candles once more? I always find it more romantic to read redacted investigation summaries by candlelight.

Hello again, it’s your hostess with the mostest Brittany Shepherd. Email me at and follow me on Twitter with thoughts on today’s newsletter. Or if you just need a friend, I’m listening. Kaila Philo ( contributed reporting today. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to this newsletter. What are you waiting for?

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced mid-Monday, and among this year’s honorees was the Capital Gazette. The Annapolis daily was given a special citation after five of their staffers were murdered by a gunman last June. The Washington Post took home a few awards as well, including prizes for criticism and feature photography. We raise a cold glass of Inca Kola to the winners. Cheers!

What’s on my mind: As I’m writing this, Howard University graduate Crystal Waters’s ’90s club hit “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” is playing softly in the background. Did you know that the song was inspired by a woman who stood outside the Mayflower Hotel? (Now that song is stuck in your head too. La da dee.)

And now, something nice: A local Redditor embroidered an image of the cherry blossoms near the Washington Monument and posted it for us all to enjoy. Thank you, u/SandraValen.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • It is with a heavy heart that I must report our beloved Meridian Pint is closing its Columbia Heights doors and moving to Arlington. I hope you can appreciate your new go-to after work spot, Politico and Axios staffers.
  • Ariana Grande concert-goers and Capitals fans need to fuel before screaming their respective hearts out. Here are the best places around Capital One Arena.
  • Navy Yard is the 16th-priciest zip code in DC. I blame that make-your-own-açai-bowl stand at Whole Foods. Here’s a list of the other 99.

Our pick for things to do around town:

MUSEUMS Celebrate Emancipation Day with a two-hour walk through DC to learn about the local history of the Underground Railroad and slavery. The walk will start at the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum and will discuss Underground Railroad participants with ties to our area, such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Free, 6 PM.

Good reads: 

Rachel Donadio watched Notre Dame burn with her own eyes. Her dispatch from Paris is worth the read. (The Atlantic)

• It’s hard to fall in love with a man during a time of mass reckoning. Add a divorce in there, and the task seems near impossible. But that’s not going to stop writer Lyz Lenz from trying. (Glamour)

Big events from Washingtonian:

Sip sip rosé! Join us as we toast to spring at our Rosé Soirée on Thursday, May 16, at Long View Gallery! It will be an evening full of wine from local and national vendors, light bites, and music. Use code brittany for 15 percent off your ticket at

An evening under the sea: We’re celebrating the best restaurants in the Washington area at Best of Washington, presented by Lexus, on Thursday, June 6, at the National Building Museum. Tickets are selling fast to the kick-off party of the summer, so get yours today at Want 20 percent off your tickets? Use code bestofbrittany.

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.