DC Fears Setback to Cultural Renaissance as Obama Era Comes to an End

President Obama and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, purchased books at Politics and Prose in Washington. (Pool photo by Dennis Brack)

The New York Times

A Newly Vibrant Washington Fears That Trump Will Drain Its Culture

WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama has burned off her date-night meals at Washington’s new generation of acclaimed restaurants by pedaling at SoulCycle. President Obama has shopped for Jonathan Franzen novels with his daughters at local independent bookstores. Obama administration staff members, their barhopping chronicled in the gossip pages, have hit the 14th Street hot spots hard.

Decades ago, Washington was broke and run by a mayor best known for smoking crack with a prostitute on a surveillance tape. Neighborhoods had not fully recovered from the 1968 riots, and an aging Georgetown elite still set the tone. The administrations of two Bushes and a Clinton in between hardly had an effect on the city.

But Mr. Obama’s arrival in 2009 coincided with an urban renaissance…And the Obama family — African-American, youthful, attractive and urbane — were archetypes of a modern city on the upswing. What the effect on Washington will be when Donald J. Trump moves into the White House is hard to predict. But many Washingtonians fear the worst. Among them is Vincent Gray, the city’s mayor during much of the Obama administration.

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