Washington, D.C. – from monuments to meetings

February 25, 2015

Miguel McKelvey. REUTERS/Handout

It’s not all politics and no play in Washington, D.C. For business travelers like WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey, the nation’s capital has plenty to offer the professional-on-the-go. McKelvey frequently makes the train trip from New York City to D.C. to visit the company’s two locations, both of which opened in 2014. WeWork provides creative office and meeting spaces for professionals to collaborate, but that doesn’t stop McKelvey from venturing out to make the most of a fortnight among the nation’s forefathers.

Cup of Joe and power breakfast: My idea of awesome coffee is melted Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. I like a lot of cream and a lot of sugar. There’s a place near our WeWork Wonder Bread factory location in the U street area: Blind Dog Café. They make it strong there, but it’s got a selection that is good for all kinds of coffee drinkers. For breakfast, try the spin on the typical NYC egg and cheese – but with sausage and potato on a croissant. It’s amazing.

The White House is seen after snow hit the Washington area

The White House is seen after snow. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Lunch break site-seeing: In business, it’s so much about decision making and power systems. The White House has a lot of symbolism with regards to where history is created. Also, you could lose yourself in the cool stuff at The Smithsonian. Even if you have just a couple hours between meetings, it’s a cool place.

Back to the office: Uber is pretty awesome in D.C. Sometimes, they are there within two minutes. The cabs often don’t take credit cards, which is a hassle.

Dinner with colleagues: Every time I am in D.C., I go to Five Guys for dinner. It calls my name. The D.C. location has been there for so long. It’s casual, great food. But it’s not so business-y. It’s more fun.

Nightcap before the hotel: I’m not a big drinker, and that’s why I like Tryst in Adams Morgan. It’s a cool coffee house, bar and lounge. I can drink a cup of coffee while someone else has a glass of wine. There’s live music, people on dates. Something is going on any time of the day there.

Rest up: I’m a design guy, so to me, a good hotel for any purpose is if it’s designed in a cool way. You feel productive because you are inspired by your surroundings. The Graham Hotel Georgetown has spacious rooms with a sofa area adjacent to the bedroom. If you have people with you, it’s nice to be able to meet there so they don’t have to sit on your bed.

Morning stroll: When I am in a new place, I try to make a trek across the city. D.C. is great for that because you could have a long walk from one monument to the other monument. One of the interesting walks is to go from Georgetown through downtown and into Chinatown. When I leave the Graham Hotel, I like to walk to Union Station and get on the train at the end of my visit.

Panda cub Bao Bao gnaws on snow covered bamboo at National Zoo after  storm in Washington

Panda cub Bao Bao. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Off-site meeting: I love Le Pain Quotidien because they have these great long communal tables. It’s not that easy to find a place for a big group, but they are always able to accommodate.

Where to kill extra time: D.C. is a very planned city, but the Smithsonian National Zoo is up on this hillside. It feels like a forest. It’s really nice to feel detached from the city in just a short drive.

Eat and run: The last time I wanted take-away so I’d have it on the train, I was on a mission to go to ShopHouse.  The pork and chicken meatballs topped with charred corn, green beans with roasted chili jam and peanut sauce is crazy good.







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