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” a guided painting class paired with wine. In the basement is the adult playground

Time:2018-04-16 08:31Shoes websites Click:

travel distinction

Long the destination of school field trips and historic tours, D.C. is now a place of art, music, food and surprise.

WASHINGTON | There is no music, yet people are dancing, some in sync and others not, their headphones lit up red or purple, blue or yellow, as they tune in to any of four songs being played simultaneously by the deejay.

Two people begin the familiar steps of the electric slide, and some guests who were grinding to hip-hop or spinning to disco poke a button on their headset and join the line. Some dance alone, looking down at the lights of the city or the reflection of the moon in the rooftop pool. Some slip off their headphones and hold a conversation without shouting.

It’s silent disco, here on the rooftop of The Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle, a fashionable residential district long a bastion for gay culture and people looking for the cool and funky. The funkiness has given way to gentrification, and now 14th Street, which spokes off the Circle, is known as Restaurant Row, with 60 or more spots serving a panoply of treats that reflect the neighborhood’s cultural mix.

The hotel, which gets its name from the embassies in the area, has leaned into the changing nature of the community.



On warm mornings, and some sunsets, there is yoga up on the rooftop. There’s Splash Cycle, a spin class with the bikes submerged in the pool, and afternoon “paint and pinot,” a guided painting class paired with wine. In the basement is the adult playground, the graffitied walls surrounding tables for foosball and air hockey and pingpong. There’s a human-sized pair of Colette Miller angel wings painted on the outdoor wall, a perfect opportunity to click and post to Instagram. See, Mom! I told you I’m an angel! A drag queen in perfect makeup poses there, as locals stream by with their NPR tote bags bulging with flowers and fruit and fresh greens from the corner farmers market.

This is not the D.C. of your middle school field trip. The space shuttle and petrified dinosaur bones and Dorothy’s ruby slippers are still here, four Metro stops away, but D.C. is not just the National Mall. It is a city of artful innovation, of architecture and music and food, much of it surprising. The Embassy Row Hotel is the perfect location, whether you want easy access to the Smithsonian or a launching pad to the new and unusual.

Peer down from the hotel’s rooftop, over European-styled houses topped with tile and slate, and you can almost see the entry to the Dupont Underground, a long-abandoned trolley station turned into an art gallery and performance space. The stop opened in 1949, the only underground trolley station in the city, and closed in 1962, in anticipation of the modern subway system.

It was used in the ’60s as a fallout shelter, but then was again abandoned. But its bones are solid and its acoustics exceptional, so in the past few years it has been transformed into a space where the cool gather, their clicking heels echoing through the 15,000 square feet of tiled tunnel. Music caroms around curves and corners as visitors gape at everything from the vibrant tagging (the space’s first art) to human-sized photos of sea turtles and flowers frozen midbloom, of children cavorting and the perfect turn of a woman’s thigh.


XX_Washington DC Daytrip for Distinction Magazine

Mike Morgan

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