Passport Concierge: Michael Chase Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC

by Jimmy Im
Michael Chase Four Seasons DC The Kennedy Center Honors

“The best thing about my job is that no two days are alike and they never goes as expected,” Chase says.

Where can someone go at 3 A.M. for a good meal?
Look no further than your room service menu here at the Four Seasons. We have a chef on staff all night long to take care of those late night urges; at your door in 20 minutes or less. No need to dress for the occasion; just slip into your luxurious bathrobe. I recommend our burger or pizza. They are tried, true, and always served hot and delicious. Either will certainly help absorb the alcohol from earlier in the evening.

The Old Ebbitt Grill (675 15th Street, Tel: 202-347-4800. www.ebbitt.com) is a classic DC restaurant in the shadows of the Department of Treasury and enjoyed by many White House and Treasury staffers during the day. Be sure to slurp down some oysters or enjoy their worldfamous jumbo lump crab cake before you go back to your room. Sit in the main bar or club like dining room.

The Diner (2453 18th Street, Tel: 202- 232-8800. www.dinerdc.com) in Adams Morgan is also a super choice for a late-night bite. You may even feel like you are in New York City’s Greenwich Village. It’s close by LGBTQ venues Pitchers Bar, A League of Her Own, and the Duplex.

Cherry Blossoms Along The Tidal Basin | Four Seasons Washington DC | The Kennedy Center Honors

Cherry Blossoms Along The Tidal Basin
Photo: Sean Pavone

What are some popular annual events that are LGBTQ or very LGBTQ–friendly?
We are a capital city with capital-worthy events, and something is happening each and every month. In March, come to DC for our National Cherry Blossom Festival (www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org) and enjoy the stunning gift of 3000 trees to the city of Washington from the mayor of Tokyo 110 years ago. The very vast majority of these trees line the Tidal Basin adjacent to the Jefferson, FDR and MLK memorials. The blooms are a subtle pink, and when they fall it’s like floral snowflakes!

Smithsonian Craft Show (www.smithsoniancraftshow.org) in April brings celebrates American artistry in the world famous Pension Building with its soaring columns and regal facade. The artists display and sell ceramics, decorative fibers and basketry, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather and metal, mixed media and paper, wearable art and wood. Many of these artists are featured in museums in the USA and abroad.

Capital Pride (www.capitalpride.org) happens every June and is fun for all. We celebrate our pride of who we are, who we love, and how far we have come. The street fair is right in eyesight of the Capitol building, and we have a parade, parties, and food. It’ can’t get much better than that. Be sure to dress down and cool as it’s usually HOT in June.

Reel Affirmations (www.reelaffirmations.eventive.org) is Washington’s LGBTQ+ international film festival that happens each October in venues around town. It is one of the largest gay film festivals in attendance and shows new and exciting international, documentary, short and feature films from all over the world. All of these films “highlight the humor, the humanity, and the struggles that we all have in common.”

The High Heel Race (www.facebook.com/17thstreethighheelrace) is the last Tuesday before Halloween where about 100 drag queens show off their elaborate costumes and then race down 17th Street, NW. The race is a more like a sprint to the finish line and thousands enjoy the show. It is one of our most celebrated and unique LGBTQ events in DC.

The Miss Adams Morgan pageant (www.missadamsmorganpageant.com) also around Halloween is a fund raiser beyond compare and hosted in one of the biggest party rooms in DC. This one of a kind spectacle provides over the top entertainment and celebrates our community. The pageant has raised more than $400,000 for local LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS organizations.

The Kennedy Center Honors (www.kennedy-center.org) is an annual honor given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. These events are held each December starting at the at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, followed by the State Department, White House, and back again to the Kennedy Center. Be sure to check out their rainbow-colored ribbon representing a spectrum of many skills. Hold your horses, this is invitation only, but a must see on CBS TV. It’s DC’s grandest weekend and thanks to one of my most lovely guests, this concierge has had the good fortune to go three times.

What is the iconic tourist souvenir, and where will we find it?
A sweatshirt from Georgetown University (campus store 3700 O Street, www.georgetown.edu); a Washington Nationals Pride baseball cap at Nationals Park (1500 S Capital Street, Tel: 202-675-6287. www.mlb.com/nationals/ballpark); or any museum’s chachka.

Please finish this sentence: Don’t leave the city without…
…seeing Black Lives Matter Plaza, the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, and tasting our cupcakes.

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