Dear Readers, there's a light at the end of the tunnel (clap your hands and sing along). Instead of cooling his heels in Chicago, Barack Obama just arrived in Washington weeks ahead of the inauguration so that cutie pies Sasha and Malia could start school at Sidwell Friends. Before inauguration the President Elect normally moves into Blair House, the President's guest house, but the Bushes told the Obamas that Blair House is just plum full up and there's no room at the inn for them. Golly jeez, what's a concerned parent preparing to birth a presidency to do? Why, move into the historic Hay-Adams Manger Hotel within striking distance of the White House, that's what.
Is it just me, or is the White House looking rather, er, excited at the prospect of a change in executive power? While waiting to take the reins, Obama can lunch at the lookout and make sure no one tries any funny business. You gotta keep your eye on those beezies -- there's still time to steal this election, too.
So, besides spying, what's this Hay-Adams Hotel all about, anyway? Is it good enough for our future President?
Well, if Obama has time to eat in between all that exercising and smoking, the Hay-Adams has got him covered. This dining area seems suspiciously reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy's redesigned Diplomatic Room in The White House. Or maybe Washington is just crazy for murals... all the better to hide those peeping eye holes.
Then there's the Off the Record bar at the hotel. I must say that I love the hot red tufted banquettes and swank plaster ceiling, but this place certainly looks like a down and dirty lobbyists' lair. All it lacks is a stripper pole. Maybe Obama better stay out of here.
Not sure what this restaurant is called, but it looks like a dark wood paneled nightmare out of The Shining. Verdict: too dark, not enough security, possibility of Redrum. Avoid.
Next stop: retire to the suite to draft an emergency economic stimulus package. Dear President Elect Obama, please make out the check to Erin Williamson -- I'm sure you already know my address and social security number. Please do not send those curtains, the truly bilious pea green office chairs, or that bizarre table setting, in lieu of cash.
Sweet dreams, Prezzy. Avoid entangling yourself in the copious amounts of fabric tied at the sides of the bed. Actually, it might be safest if you removed all the covers and pillows, to diminish the possibility of accidental asphyxiation. And that fireplace does not look safe to operate, at all. Dude, you have to make it until the 20th. Have to.
Would he be any better off in the Blair House, where Bush's frenemies are currently in residence?
Yes, the Blair House is miniature, obviously used as a stage for puppet theater presidencies, and it seems to be covered in a square pox. Just kidding -- I did manage to wrangle up a few life sized pictures.
Apparently the Blair House used to suffer from a bad case of structural instability -- something about a chandelier almost falling on a guest. Ooops. Inquiring minds will be verrrry interested to learn that the Prince of Chintz Mario Buatta (and Mark Hampton) did the renovations in the 80's. You may remember Buatta from hits such as:
(not the Blair House)
Ok, this is the Blair House, and it looks like Hampton put the whammy on Buatta and got him to cool it on the chintz. This rooms looks perfectly... federal, yet chill enough for the Obamas to hang out and fist bump their way to the White House. Yizzow!
Seems like everyone pitched in on renovations. During the Kennedy administration, some of the rooms were updated, including this dining room which was outfitted with new chairs. The wives of the cabinet secretaries did the needlepoint for the chair covers, and even Lady Bird Johnson pitched in. My, how times have changed... could you imagine Hilary Clinton sitting around and embroidering? Oh wait -- she will be a cabinet secretary herself! Maybe Bill could handle the petit point?
Now we know that Kelly Wearstler has been taking style cues from 80's Mario Buatta. Fascinating.
Note to Obama: don't walk under the chandeliers! You heard about what almost happened to that poor bloke a few years back...
This is not my personal taste, but my gag reflex isn't kicking up any sand over it. I think that's about the best you can hope for in stodgy Washington.
Gratuitous ship picture, because I like ships. Who doesn't?
Finally, the real reason the Obamas can't stay at the Blair House: Mother, Daddy and Jeb-Jeb are most likely holed up together, plotting the rise of the Bush Dynasty once again, like a phoenix from the ashes -- lots, and lots, and LOTS of ashes. Did you hear that Daddy Bush wants Jebby to run for president? Did you? Did you?
Watch your back, President Elect Obama. Stay at the Hay-Adams Hotel, far away from the faint waft of brimstone. You're gonna need a mighty powerful cleaning crew to take care of that for you.