Best: Hudson News
Terminal A, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
2nd Best: The Newsroom
1803 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 332-1489
The Newsroom on Connecticut Avenue sells empanadas stuffed with Chilean-style ground beef, raisins, hard-boiled egg, onion, and ripe olives; coffees and cigarettes; and 2,000 different magazine titles, ranging in sophistication from Art Forum to Hustler. It even offers free WiFi and tables at the back of the store and encourages patrons to work out of the shop. But walk in on any given day, and it’s almost as if the barista-class doesn’t know it exists. That’s because the Newsroom’s biggest clients are the diplomats who show up every 30 minutes or so in shiny black Caddies to pick up copies of their home country’s newspapers, though Ashraf Hamid, the Newsroom’s owner, says the recession has put a damper on embassy spending and that “customers [who] used to spend $150 now spend half of that amount.” The Newsroom belongs to a wire service that allows it to print out papers in 40 languages from more than 68 countries. The digital papers, combined with physical papers from the United States, Canada, and Britain, mean shoppers can choose from more than 800 newspapers from every continent except the really, really cold one. But all of the above doesn’t mean the Newsroom is without a flaw or two: With so many titles, the magazine racks can get a little messy. I once found two copies of the Atlantic’s fiction issue—already five months old—snuggled behind an old issue of Human Events. Additionally, the fax machine’s unclear instructions may have cost me a part-time fact-checking job when I placed an edited story wrong-side-down and sent five blank pages to the home office of the editor of a political magazine. That incident, along with the ecstatic follow-up e-mail in which I misspelled my own last name, really hurt my chances. I never did hear back.