Bubble on the Potomac

The new affluence flooding the nation's capital sets it a world apart from the country it governs

Andrew Cutraro / Redux for TIME

Sweet Ride. Uber D.C.'s Rachel Holt in one of her company's digitally dispatched luxury sedans. Some riders use them to get groceries.

The passenger bar, about 12 blocks from the White House, is just beginning the first seating of the night in its Columbia Room, a semisecret speakeasy behind an unmarked door in the back. Speakeasies are very fashionable in Washington at the moment--bars within bars, inner sanctums set aside for the most discriminating palates. But the Columbia Room is a particularly hot ticket. If you're lucky, you'll get a reservation a few days in advance. For $67 a head, an expert bartender serves a three-course tasting of cocktails. He carves a thick slice of lemon rind, places his hands slightly above and...

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