News & Politics

Washingtonian’s Best Longreads of 2020

14 great feature stories we published this year

Oh, 2020. For everyone in Washington who needed an escape from you, we had many a longread to share. And for everyone who wanted an inside look at how others were managing, we had that covered, too. Here are some of our favorites, in no particular order, from one all-too-memorable year.

Cheating Spouses, Secret Addictions and Identities—Marriages Are Buckling Under Covid Quarantine

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

“Some people are using their car like they did in high school.”

“It Was ‘The Office’ Does Major League Baseball”: An Oral History of the Nats’ First Year

Photograph by AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta.

Ryan Zimmerman, Chad Cordero, Jim Bowden, the first Screech, and others remember the behind-the-scenes bloopers, mishaps, and live-to-tell-it tales from when baseball came back to town.

It’s November 4. Hillary Clinton Has Lost a Second Term. A Completely Serious Parody About a Completely Ridiculous 2020.

Photo-illustration by Lauren Bulbin

Where would we be if Donald Trump hadn’t won the White House four years ago?

Inside the Mind of the MAGA Bomber, the Trump Superfan Who Tried to Wreak Havoc on the Last National Election

Photograph courtesy of United States v. Cesar Altieri Sayoc.

Cesar Sayoc turned his loyalty toward Donald Trump into a literal assault on the President’s Democratic enemies in 2018. His story is a cautionary tale about right-wing fanaticism.

Super-Concierge Doctors, High-Design Home Classrooms, and Catered Backyard Dinners: Lifestyles of the Rich and Quarantined

Illustration by Jenny Rosenberg.

This is what a luxe lockdown in Washington looks like.

Woolly Mammoth’s New Leader Wants to Run the Most Woke Theater in Washington

Photograph by Lauren Bulbin

Maria Manuela Goyanes is pushing Woolly to become an artistic standard bearer for the #MeToo, anti-racist era. It’s making some people uncomfortable.

The Naval Academy’s War With a Professor Who Sends Shirtless Pics, Offends Women and Minorities—and Somehow Came Out on Top

Photograph by April Greer.

From ivory-tower faculty lounges to the Pentagon, Bruce Fleming is known for being a chauvinistic, egoistic loudmouth. Also, one hardened warrior.

Between Pandemic and Politics, Lots of People Who Never, Ever Wanted to Leave DC Are Moving Out

Photo-Illustration by Lauren Bulbin

“I barely told anyone I was doing this because I felt so bad, you know?”

Meet the Millennial Investors Funding DC’s Dining Future

Photograph by April Greer.

They’ve got money, opinions, and the best table in the house.

He’s 32. He’s Joe Biden’s Press Secretary. And He Has Stage 4 Cancer.

Photograph by Adam Schultz/Biden for President.

TJ Ducklo found out what it’s like to work a presidential campaign while you’re battling a devastating personal health crisis.

What Happened After I Tried to Adopt an Opioid-Dependent Baby. Twice.

Photograph by Lauren Bulbin

Carrie Brady, a longtime employee at Google, was 40 and single when she decided to adopt a baby. Because of America’s opioid crisis, her chances of finding a match were better if she agreed to accept the child of someone addicted to drugs. A harrowing story of birth in the 21st century.

A 29-Year-Old’s Strange, Unforgettable Trip Into a Covid Coma and Back

Law-school student Francis Wilson went right up to the brink of death and survived. Now if only he could forget what happened while his body went to war with the virus.

Todd Hitt’s Shameless Con: How Washington Society Got Scammed by One of Its Own

Photograph by PRNewsFoto/Kiddar Capital.

He’s a son of the Hitt construction dynasty, the family who built landmarks all over town. And he made sure everyone knew it.

The Wild Story of Two Online Poker Stars Who Traded the High-Roller Life for the Unglamorous World of Restaurants

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Brothers Di and Hac Dang know what it’s like to lose a million dollars in a day. Now they just have to get through a pandemic.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.