First Day of School Neighborhood Tips for the Obamas

Mon, January 5, 2009

Moms & Politics

Dear Michelle & Barack,

You must be so excited about Malia and Sasha having their first day of school at Sidwell Friends. Aside from it being a prestigious school, the lower and upper school campuses are really lovely. No, PunditGirl isn’t a Sidwell student, but she’s attended summer camp there, so I know the lay of the land a little bit.

Since neither of you have spent much time in Washington, D.C., I wanted to pass along a couple of tips that I hope will make things easier for your pre-transition transition:

1. Check out the coffee bar on Sidwell’s upper campus. Last summer, when I dropped PunditGirl off for her day at camp, I saw a sign pointing to coffee for the parents. I figured there must be some little coffee cart, so I went to check it out. I kept walking until I got to the coffee building. Yes — I said coffee building. They’ve got a full coffee bar with barrista, juices, and breakfast items in a location that Starbucks would kill for. Did I mention the big, comfy leather chairs in front of the large flat-screen TV? Yeah, I think you and the Secret Service could hang out there for a while, though I’m not sure if they have wifi.

2. Don’t worry about the lunches Malia & Sasha are going to get. Sure, school cafeteria lunch food has a bad rep in our country, but I hear you won’t have anything to worry about. Actually, with the catering they get, you might want to sign up for extra lunchroom duty.

3. I know it’s going to be hard for you all to dine out now that your life situation has changed so much. But Two Amys Pizza does carry out and it’s right on the way back to the Hay Adams after school. Call ahead. I recommend the meatball pizza and get an order of the roasted olives. We think it’s some of the best pizza in town. Nine-year-old PunditGirl gets particularly jealous if she finds out we’ve eaten there on date nites without her.

4. As for Mexican food, which I’ve heard you like, Cactus Cantina is also on your way, right next to Two Amys. I’m sure they could arrange some “to go” plates with a little notice.

5. As for playgrounds, well, I know that’s going to be more problematic, but I know a nice place with a tree house if you’re interested! ;)

I know this isn’t much, but sometimes a little something normal or familiar can help ease the anxiety of so much being new and different in kids’ lives. I’m sure the room service at the Hay Adams is top notch, but there’s nothing like a nice pizza for the kids and a good cup of coffee for the parents to make things feel more like home.

Sincerely yours,


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2 Responses to “First Day of School Neighborhood Tips for the Obamas”

  1. Cynthia Samuels Says:

    That’s just too funny. All excellent recommendations though. I’m sure they’ll appreciate them.

  2. JCK Says:

    You're a good neighbor. ;)

    If you haven't tried it, you need to check out my friend's restaurant(s) in D.C. It's called Matchbox – on Capitol Hill & in Chinatown.

    Happy New Year, Pundit Mom!

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