If you live in Washington D.C. and have been affected by the government shutdown (and who in the District hasn’t) now would actually be a great time to take advantage of your newfound time off. Since day one of Sam’s hiatus, and for as long as he stays shutdown, the city’s finest proprietors and purveyors are offering all sorts of cool deals and events for those who have been furloughed. Here’s a look at a few ways you can take advantage of the government shutdown.
Always Be Networking
You didn’t honestly think that just because the District is by and large at a standstill that it excused you from practicing your ABNs, did you? In fact, the opposite is true. You should be practicing now more than ever. This is the perfect opportunity to get around town and meet some like-minded folks. There are now several events being set up through MeetUp.com that call for fellow out-of-work employees interested in trying new hobbies and exploring the city during “Furlough Fun Days.” And in fact, there’s an official Facebook page with that name that gives out dates and times for upcoming events and meetings. In many ways, it’s far more easier now to network than it is when everything is functioning normally by virtue of more people now being more accessible. But this won’t last so take advantage of it while you still can.
You probably remember our list of cheap eats in the District, but it’s worth mentioning that many of those same places are now rising up to meet the challenge of the shutdown. For example, at the Daily Dish in Silver Springs, any customer can get a free cup of regular coffee throughout the shutdown, while members of Congress have to pay double (go ahead and laugh). Not to be outdone by this, the cupcake hub Sprinkles in Georgetown, gave anyone with a valid federal ID a free cupcake on the first day of the shutdown, and they may do it again soon. (Check with them daily for details!). Here are a few other establishments showing a little love to those out of work.
- Taylor Gourmet – Furloughed workers with government ID get 10-percent off and a free cookie with the purchase of any hoagie or salad. The deal will last as long as the shutdown at all of their locations.
- West End Cinema -2301 M St. NW, Half-price popcorn and sodas for federal employees with ID during the government shutdown.
- Bread & Chocolate – 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, get a free tall coffee at the location at the Topedo Factory with a federal government ID.
- Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe – 412 18th St. NW, get 20-percent off the entire menu and drinks during the shutdown.
There are also a number of other bars and restaurants that are offering happy hour or discounted prices for the duration of the shutdown. Be sure to look them up to find out who’s offering what – and for how long.
If you’re really trying to figure out how to spend your free time these days, you might consider Sixth & I – aka the self-proclaimed “Shutdown Central”. There you will find Political Ping Pong, board games and a host of other activities. It was specifically opened to “affected employees and anyone else who needs a place to hang out until an agreement is reached.” And if that’s not enough, they will also be streaming episodes of The West Wing so you might get a glimpse of what a functioning government actually looks like. At least according to Aaron Sorkin.
As our elected officials continue to hash out an agreement (read: squabble) that will reopen the government for business, that doesn’t mean you have to be shutdown as well. Take this opportunity to network, meet new people and try new things. You owe it to yourself to do it.