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The nation's capital has become a definite hot spot since the arrival of the President and First Lady to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Many are even referring to the District as the new New York. Even in the midst of the nation's grim economy, there is a definite blissfulness in that District of Columbia air. With a plethora of hip restaurants and cafes, clubs and lounges and even new television shows in or about D.C., we certainly don't expect this to be a passing trend. So, we caught up with D.C. public relations maven and co-founder of the popular Fashion Fights Poverty charity Kadrieka Maiden to dish on all that is hot and happening in the capital city.
ESSENCE.com: Besides President Obama, why the huge interest in Washington, D.C. now?
KADRIEKA MAIDEN: It's a very powerful city. Everyday there is some sort of celeb in town: they're speaking on the hill, performing for a concert or they may just own homes here. Once Obama got into office, it multiplied times ten.
ESSENCE.com: So spill the beans. Where are the hot go-to places in the District?
MAIDEN: The U Street area is very hot, as is K Street. Bohemian Caverns on U and Lotus is on K - both cool venues. There's also the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown. A lot of celebs hang out in their bar when they're in town. L2 (also in Georgetown) is a very popular lounge. When the W hotel opens in August 2009, it will definitely be a hot spot. They are going to have a rooftop and it should be a really nice atmosphere. People like Love and the Park on Fourteenth as well. The owners are very well connected.
ESSENCE.com: How has the city evolved in recent months beyond the social scene?
MAIDEN: People used to think they had to move to New York City or Los Angeles to work in the fashion or media industries but there are more opportunities now. Five years ago that wasn't the case. There are stylish people here too! People don't just think of D.C. for politics anymore.