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In a city where national history plays out in the oddest of places, it’s worth noting that the nasty men’s room on Union Station’s Amtrak concourse is under renovation. Why? That’s the venue where then-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican, was accused of engaging in oral sex with another man in 2004.
While blogger Mike Rogers first published the Union Station allegations back in 2006, it wasn’t until 2007—following Craig’s infamous arrest in a men’s room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport—that the Idaho Statesman newspaper published its own investigation into the allegations involving Craig’s personal life. The Statesman reported a 40-year-old “professional man with close ties to Republican officials” had oral sex with the senator at Union Station.
Craig denied the allegations: “I am not gay and I have never been in a restroom in Union Station having sex with anybody. There’s a very clear bottom line here. I don’t do that kind of thing. I am not gay, and I never have been,” the senator told the Statesman.
As Washington City Paper‘s Jason Cherkis investigated, hanging out in the Union Station men’s room is no fun, considering the sanitary conditions, Big Brother security and general discomfort of waiting around for a rendezvous:
The reportorial overkill has amped up the romance factor at Union Station. Imagine the thrill of it—getting off in a nearly 100-year-old historic building with its 96-foot-high barrel-vaulted, coffered ceilings adorned with 70 pounds of 22-karat gold leaf. There’s fast food too, so you get a blowjob and Sbarro. Sexy.
Wrong. There are other places to take up Craig’s legacy. Safer places. Cleaner places. Places with just as much historic significance. We’re talking park land. Go wide-stance it in the great outdoors.
In any regard, the conditions in the men’s room in question should stand to improve when the renovations are completed. Still, it’s no place to get a blowjob. There are better places. Try the Internet? An app like Grindr? Or City Paper‘s classified ads?
While Union Station goers won’t be able to visit the infamous Craig restroom until the spruce-up is done, don’t worry. The senator, according to allegations, also visited another restroom in Union Station, which we assume would be the one on the food court level. Go visit an obscure place in D.C. history! Just don’t linger. That’s plain creepy.