City Paper is not for tourists
National Endowment for the Arts employees who work in the Old Post Office Pavilion have to pool their money to pay for the treated water in the office water cooler—their budget is that tight. Yes, there’s also a free water fountain, but according to Maryrose Flanigan, a “Do not drink” sign hung over the fountain for Flanigan’s first three years at the NEA.
So while members of Congress enjoy all kinds of perks and benefits—including water fountains that don’t stay broken for years running—the rule at the NEA is this: If you want coffee, you get your own, and if you want potable water, you buy it.
Reporting by Andrew Beaujon