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Rachel: So tell us where you’re from and what brought you to DC?
David: I grew up in Columbia, Maryland, and returned to my hometown a handful of years ago after working as a reporter in New England. I’ve always wanted to live in a major city and had already been falling for D.C. Now that I’m here, those feelings haven’t changed. My long commute is totally worth it to be in such a vibrant place.
Rachel: How long have you been here and what are some of your favorite things to do in the city (besides Gather the Jews Happy Hours of course!)?
David: I’ve been in D.C. since June and have been exploring as much as possible. I love trying new bars and restaurants, going to concerts and sporting events, walking and bicycling and driving to become acquainted with neighborhoods, and searching for places and events that have character. I could even do the touristy stuff over and over again: the zoo, the museums and galleries, the monuments at night. And while I’ve got a handful of friends in the city, I also enjoy meeting new people.
Rachel: What is your day job and what were you doing before that?
David: I work in media relations and communications for Columbia Association, a nonprofit in my hometown that is dedicated to making the community one of the best places to live in the country. Does that sentence make it too obvious that I sometimes act as a spokesman? Before that I was a journalist who covered everything from the presidential primary campaigns in New Hampshire to government and politics, murder trials, homelessness and poverty, and good, old-fashioned community reporting. I still do plenty of writing on the side, mostly about boxing but also a little bit about poker.
Rachel: What are some of your favorite things to write about?
David: I never thought when I started writing about boxing that I’d still be covering the sport 10 years later, but it’s probably where I’ve done some of my best work. The stories that can be told about the fighters themselves and the fights they’re involved in can be dramatic and touching. There is a contrast between the brutal nature of the sport and the prose that describes it, and yet what A.J. Liebling coined “The Sweet Science” has also drawn literary luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer and Joyce Carol Oates.
Beyond that, I’m proud of the work I’ve done covering homelessness and poverty in a handful of communities, and I want to continue to shine a light on the people who are struggling and those who work so hard to help them.
Rachel: YOU’RE GOING TO BE ON JEOPARDY!? Tell us more about that…
David: It’ll be broadcast on Thanksgiving! If you’re in D.C., it’ll be on ABC7 (WJLA) at 7:30 p.m. Otherwise, well, I’ve always wanted to say this: Check your local listings. For my friends and acquaintances who’ve always felt that I’m either a know-it-all or a know-nothing, now we can find out which is truer.
Oh, and I guess I should say that I did my Mike Tyson impression while chatting with Alex Trebek.
Rachel: Since this is our Thanksgiving edition, tell us one thing you’re thankful for this year.
David: Not to get too sappy, but the people in my life. I hope they know I’m always thankful for them. And there I just went and got too sappy. Thanks for that, Rachel.
Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?
David: Do shawarma and falafel count? If not, there’s something about a really good loaf of challah…
Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
David: Jon Stewart, far and away. Jon, if you’re reading this — and I know you are — I’m available as a writer.
Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
David: Sure, why not end on a bad pun? You end up with a Flock of Siegels! (Thanks. I’ll show myself the door…)