Life: Women’s March in DC, where to stay, eat, drink

by anneMoore on February 7, 2017

Three friends and I headed to Washington, D.C. mid January to be a part of the Women’s March. I have a fear of crowds, but I had to do “something” about DT’s presidency. Shortly after the election, my dearest friends found a hotel room in Du Pont Circle and reasonable air fares to D.C. In their embrace, I can do anything, so I latched on to their plan. In return, I offered to book restaurants for dinner.

As I left, I thanked my husband for sending me in style. I know many women, men, children who rode buses to and from the march, the largest in U.S. history.

Four of us stayed in a spacious room at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar, a hip place with friendly help at the front door, front desk, bell hop. Highly recommend.

For breakfast, we found Emissary, a brick-walled, light-filled lower-level space serving pressed coffees, pastries, egg dishes. It was our go-to spot daily.

I’d been to D.C. many times; this was the first I’d stayed in DuPont Circle. It’s a neighborhood much like mine in Chicago, with an easy 20 minute walk to the Washington Mall.

We were wise to pre-book dinners. Not because we’d have been shut out — the area is filled with restaurants and bars — but because we had a plan. There was no “what should we eat, where should we go” at the witching hour. Thank you Open Table, and reviewers, for making it easy to make reservations within a specific area.

First, we dined at Firefly, a funky chic place built around a thick tree. The food — upscale American — was good but not great, the wine list was pricey.

Next night, we ate at a seafood spot, Pesce. Don’t be put off by modest storefront entry; inside is bright white, fresh and clean. Wide variety of dishes, excellent service.

Finally, after a long, thrilling, exhausting day at the March, we found ourselves in good hands at Ankara, a stylish place that puts out delicious Middle Eastern food. Attentive service. Don’t miss their hummus or citrus salad.

For drinks, skip the Dupont Circle Hotel bar; it could be anywhere and the service is so so. A better choice is the bar inside Carlyle Hotel, elegant and cozy. Sophisticated.

On the plane ride to D.C., we sat with a fellow marcher from Chicago who shared a project worth looking into: 12 for 12, a video collection of 12 iconic Chicago brands.

On the way home I finally had a chance to dive into Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, which starts with a bang and never lets up. About adults and children in fractured families. Sweet, funny, smart. That book was my companion for the next week, and at its close I was sorry to give up her characters.

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