October 16 – Eaton Hotel (ONP # 289)

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How seldom New Places come naturally into the course of my day. This is a disturbing truth I have realized in the course of this ONP year. Usually I have to make a deliberate attempt to go out and find them. Thus, it’s always a relief when my schedule naturally involves a visit to a New Place. On those days, I can sigh and relax, say “It’s taken care of,” even if “it” is something as unexciting as a new podiatrist’s office.

Today’s New Place, however, was both new AND considerably more exciting than a podiatrist’s office! While location scouting for an event, I got to explore the beautiful new Eaton Hotel in downtown DC with a special tour from the Events Director.

All I can say is Wow!  This is not your regular Ramada….nor even your regular upscale Hyatt. In fact, using the word hotel does the Eaton no justice at all—it’s mission is much broader and more unique: to build a community and provide a space for artists and activists.

So in addition to all the expected hotel things, like restaurant, coffee shop, bar (a cool, speakeasy-style pocket bar), event spaces, etc.—all of which are beautifully designed, by the way—the Eaton also boasts a “radical” library, radio station, gorgeous Japanese-themed well-ness area with acupuncture and yoga rooms, 57-seat movie theater, rooftop deck and garden, transgender bathrooms. Even the little things (complementary notepads, event bars) are decorated with arts and social justice themes. Cool new place!  After my tour, I didn’t even want to leave, so I sat in the coffee shop for a while with a nice pot of tea and coffee-cake (gluten-free!)Eaton in-house radio station