The Girl's Guide to DC
Issue 52: Your DC Hot Takes
Welcome back to The Girl’s Guide to DC! If you missed last week’s issue, find it here.
I want this newsletter to be about you, the ladies of DC, so send me healthy lunch recipes and bad date stories by replying to this email.
DC Hot Takes
I asked y’all to send in your DC hot takes – and boy, were they spicy! Girl’s Guide readers had a lot to say about dating, careers, and of course, brunch. I’m not able to share all of the takes that were sent in, but I am including the best ones below as well as a hot take of my own!
Evie’s hot take: The bigger the words that someone uses, the less they know what they’re talking about.
Yeah, sure, jargon is acceptable if you’re testifying before Congress or talking to someone in a specific niche. But I’ve found that when someone uses ten-dollar words in everyday conversation, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know what they’re talking about. And it definitely doesn’t mean they’re smarter than you.
I think a lot of us arrive in DC terrified that someone will “out” us for not being as smart as everyone else. Maybe we’re afraid we’ll get caught not knowing an intricacy of political theory or the latest development in a news story. My response to that is, so freaking what?
It’s taken me a while to arrive at this eloquent conclusion. I arrived in DC at age 20, assuming that I’d be the least experienced, least intelligent person in the room. But then I realized everyone else in the room was once an inexperienced 20-year-old, too.
It can be intimidating to walk into a meeting or happy hour knowing that you’ll be chatting with people with impressive careers and lots of abbreviations behind their name. But you’re not there to prove you already know everything – who does? Instead, think about how much you can learn from each person you talk to. They won’t assume you already know everything they do. People love talking about themselves, so ask them lots of questions, and you’re sure to walk away feeling good about the conversation.
Every once in a while, you’ll run into a person who uses the fanciest words possible and tries to talk circles around you. They seem pretty smart, but you’re not sure if the points they’re making are any good because it doesn’t even sound like they’re speaking English at this point. You ask them for clarification, and they scoff at you. Forget this person. They’re no fun to be around. No matter how much of a genius they are, you don’t need to worry about winning them over anyway.
Being able to explain a concept in simple terms means that you truly understand that concept. You’ll often find that the smartest (and kindest) person in the room uses layman’s terms even when talking about complicated topics — because it’s effortless for them and they want to get to the heart of the matter, not show off. That’s the person you want to be around and eventually become.
Reader Hot Takes
“I don't think it's that bad to ask what you do for a living. I get that the stereotype comes from people who base your worth on what you do, and I won't say those people don't exist, but I think it's a perfectly valid question to ask when you meet someone for the first time. As someone who doesn't work in politics but stays involved outside of work, I love finding out what people do for a living!” - Jillian Kinder
“Like NY or LA, it will chew you up and spit you out if you don’t learn, fast. Better for people to come here mid-career than to try to get a job right out of college. Many run away, with good reason.” - Andrew Kloster
“If you try hard to ‘network’ you will attract all the wrong people. Just being chill and making friends will get you way farther in wherever you’re trying to go” - Elizabeth S.
“The worst-dressed people on the Hill tend to be the most powerful. And, conversely, the best dressed tend not to be very influential. Mid-fifties guy in the yellow shirt and pleated khakis? Staff director on Armed Services. Tailored three-piece suit with pocket square? Staff Assistant.” - Senior Republican staffer
“People that seem like they are doing very well professionally via their social media probably aren’t. Don’t compare yourself, they are probably considered very cringe by their coworkers.” - Patricia Patnode
“1. The DMV is a lovely place to raise a family. From colonial farms to the Smithsonian museums, the area is studded with historic sites and markers. Cultural sites and events are accessible year round, with rolling countryside and beaches within a two-hour radius. There is community for those who seek it.
2. NoVa has a distinct culture. Northern Virginia is more than traffic and transitory residents! The area is steeped in history and boasts a unique cultural milieu. Sadly, the closest most get to glimpsing this is the odd Civil War site or ethnic restaurant.” - Gabriela Rodriguez
“The Washington monument is underwhelming.” - Audrey Conklin
“DC would be much more efficient if we brought back dueling.” - Nick Solheim
“Le Dip isn’t good, except the shrimp butter salad.” - Anonymous
“No guys in DC are worth dating.” - Anonymous
“DC dinners are better than DC brunches.” - Kayla Panchak
“Too many people act like big fish in a small pond but are small fish in a big pond.” - Gabriella Hoffman
“The Arboretum should be developed for multifamily housing.” - Sam Hammond
Interview with Rose Laoutaris
This week, I’m excited to introduce you all to Rose Laoutaris, a recent American University grad who’s spent the last four years figuring out the best things to do (and not to do) in DC. Give her a follow on Twitter and Instagram.
What do you love about your neighborhood?
I’ve lived in downtown DC for the past two years. I love where I live now because there are so many things to do within walking distance. I’m close to Dupont and Logan Circle, which both have so many great restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. I’m also a 10 minute walk from the White House and about 25 minutes from the National Mall. I’m likely moving to Arlington in a few months, so I’m really going to miss being so close to everything.
What does your life look like right now?
I just graduated from American University with my BA in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG), but I will be returning in the fall to complete my Master of Public Policy, which I will finish next fall.
This month, I will also be starting a new job at the American Legislative Exchange Council as a policy coordinator. I first moved to DC almost four years ago when I was 17, and I’ve done a bunch of internships since, but this is my first full-time job here, so I’m really excited to start!
What's your favorite place to take friends or family who are visiting DC?
It definitely depends on who is visiting! If a friend or family member that has never been to DC before (or wants to do more tourist-y activities) is visiting, I like to show them the White House, the National Mall, and some museums. Because I live so close, it’s easy to walk there if they’re staying with me. I also like to take them to my favorite brunch spots, like Ted’s Bulletin, The Smith, The Hamilton, and Commissary (I love brunch if that wasn’t obvious).
I love to take them to the Wharf or Georgetown Waterfront if the weather is nice. There are some great restaurants in those areas as well. You can’t really go wrong there.
What's something you wish you had known when you first moved to DC?
Having confidence is key. It’s so easy to have imposter syndrome here, especially moving here as a young woman, but every time I’ve been too nervous to apply for something or introduce myself to someone, I’ve always regretted it.
You should also be confident and proud of your achievements. No one wants to be the overly-confident, full-of-themselves stereotype a lot of people think of when they think of a young person in politics. However, you shouldn’t have to downplay your accomplishments and abilities. People can sense when you’re confident in yourself, and it goes a long way. Don’t let your inner thoughts telling you you’re too young or inexperienced hold you back.
What’s your beauty routine like?
I love makeup! I have been using the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation for years. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to keep up with the Kardashians, so I obviously have some Kylie Cosmetics products. I love matte lipsticks, and hers were what introduced me to them. I also use her eyeshadow palettes, the burgundy palette and the bronze palette. Another lipstick I swear by is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro Last 2-step lipstick. It’s my mom’s favorite, and now I wear it all the time and have gotten a lot of compliments on it.
How do you unwind after a long week?
I love to spend time with my friends after a long week, whether it’s going out to a bar or restaurant or just hanging out at one of their apartments. I enjoy being around people and going out and exploring the city. I find 14th Street a lot of fun! Plus, it’s walking distance for me, which helps me save on Ubers that can add up so fast here.
I also really enjoy the themed “dance parties” at Union Stage lately, especially their Taylor Swift nights. There are also so many opportunities to hear all types of live music in the DMV. Over the past year, I’ve seen Rex Orange County, Surfaces, Zedd, and more.
If I’m looking to do something more chill, I love going to my favorite coffee shops and exploring new ones. Some of my favorites are Emissary in Dupont Circle, Tryst in Adams Morgan, Ebenezers by Union Station, and Colada Shop on 14th Street (there are multiple locations, but this one has a rooftop). I also enjoy going for walks around the city.
Run, DC, Run
DC is the seventh best city in the nation for runners, according to a new survey from Lawn Love. The survey looked at factors including “access to parks and running trails, trail difficulty, and environmental conditions.” DC also ranked second in the subcategory “Most running events and races.” So which city ranked best overall? That would be San Francisco, California!
I hope you guys enjoyed the book recommendations in last week’s Girl’s Guide — I know a lot of you are avid readers! If those recs weren’t enough for you, Evie Magazine has a great list of 14 summer reads, from classics to contemporary. Read it by clicking here!
MARY MARGARET OLOHAN celebrates her birthday on June 7 — wish her a happy birthday on Twitter!
Congrats to JACQUELINE JUFFER on her promotion to Chief Operating Officer at ACG Advocacy!
Congrats to GABRIELLA HOFFMAN on her promotion to Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum! Congratulate Gabriella on Twitter.
HOUSING AVAILABLE: Harvest Prude, Erin Kondak, and Erin’s Bernadoodle Bean (the world’s sweetest puppy) are looking for one or two girls to join their townhouse in Alexandria in September. Super safe and quiet neighborhood. Rent is competitive. Email email@example.com for more info. (Fun fact: I interviewed Harvest in the first issue of Girl’s Guide — read it here!).