Michelle Obama has burned off her date-night meals at Washington’s new generation of acclaimed restaurants by pedaling at SoulCycle. President Obama has shopped for Jonathan Franzen novels with his daughters at local independent bookstores. Obama administration staff members, their barhopping chronicled in the gossip pages, have hit the 14th Street hot spots hard.
Decades ago, Washington was broke and run by a mayor best known for smoking crack with a prostitute on a surveillance tape. Neighborhoods had not fully recovered from the 1968 riots, and an aging Georgetown elite still set the tone. The administrations of two Bushes and a Clinton in between hardly had an effect on the city.
But Mr. Obama’s arrival in 2009 coincided with an urban renaissance. Economic development, federal and private investment, and an influx of highly educated young, gay and diverse professionals gentrified neighborhoods, leading to an explosion in restaurants, bars and cafes. And the Obama family — African-American, youthful, attractive and urbane — were archetypes of a modern city on the upswing.
The podcast that makes sense of the most delirious stretch of the 2016 campaign.
What the effect on Washington will be when Donald J. Trump moves into the White House is hard to predict. But many Washingtonians fear the worst. Among them is Vincent Gray, the city’s mayor during much of the Obama administration.
“I’m worried about people not wanting to come here because of the image they have of the Trump administration,” Mr. Gray said.
Now a member of the City Council, Mr. Gray said the engagement of Mr. Obama and his family with the city has been “tremendously uplifting.”
“Their presence in the city brought a level of dynamism that just wasn’t there before,” he said.
By contrast, Mr. Trump seems unlikely to drop in at Oyamel, the Mexican restaurant and Obama favorite owned by José Andrés, a star chef and devoted Trump critic. For that matter, it is even unclear whether Mr. Trump, who has used his new Trump International Hotel as an outpost here, will spend weekends in the White House or in New York. And he is unlikely to feel a debt of gratitude to a city where Hillary Clinton won 93 percent of the vote.
“D.C. is going to take a really hard hit, culturally, socially, everything. We were really finding our footing; we weren’t second to New York,” said Jazmine Johnson, a graphic designer who said she now planned to move to New York.
Ms. Johnson, 25, was speaking in the Coffee Bar, a fashionable cafe on M Street where Mr. Trump’s pseudo-anthem, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” played in the background. In the aftermath of Mr. Trump’s election victory on Tuesday, she sought solace in caffeine.
Others around town signed up for free tension-relieving sessions at yoga studios, or meditated on emails from their progressive rabbis reminding them of the Jewish mantra “Od lo avda tikvateinu,” or, “We have not yet lost our hope.” Reports abounded of federal workers and nonprofit employees crying at their desks, scanning the web for out-of-town rentals or accepting the free hugs on offer in Farragut Square.
“The world has definitely shifted on its axis, and we’ve taken a step into the abyss,” said Michael Steel, an establishment Republican by virtue of having worked for former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and departed House Speaker John Boehner, and a frequent critic of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Gray said he worried that a Trump administration could set the city back because the federal government still controls its purse strings and could enact abortion restrictions, cut vital investment and relax gun control laws.
But Democrats now in the government and thinking of leaving it, and young people who had hopes of joining it, have a more immediate concern — a job.
Meredith Lightstone, 21, who led the University of Maryland’s Terps for Hillary club, had been preparing her résumé for positions in a Clinton administration. She said she had no interest in a role in the Trump White House. “Do I go into government or politics, or another route? Maybe tech?” she asked. “T.B.D.”
At least some Washington institutions are likely to remain shockproof. The lucrative real estate market seems to be one.
Andrew C. Florance, a Washington resident and founder of CoStar, a provider of data, marketing and analytic services to the commercial real estate industry, said he expected a wave of “glitzier” New Yorkers — “the Delta Shuttle crew” — to join the Trump administration and quickly become part of the city’s lobbying ranks and downtown neighborhoods. “It will be a terrific real estate market,” he said.
Lobbying firms on K Street are already treating Mr. Trump’s election as a bonanza and are gearing up for more work. Conservative think tanks are looking forward to serving up new ideas to Mr. Trump and a Republican Congress.
James Wallner, a vice president for research at the Heritage Foundation, said Mr. Trump’s election was met with high-fives. “Trump is a change agent,” Mr. Wallner said. “As long as everyone is trying to change Washington, that’s all that matters.”
Liberal and environmental groups are determined to stay and fight. Debbie Sease, who heads lobbying for the Sierra Club, presided over a gut-punched office of employees who took silent Metro rides into work last week and hung “free hugs” signs on their desks. She expects an invigorated resistance to come to Washington, bringing moral outrage as well as sophisticated palates.
“I’d be surprised if all the good restaurants disappear or become steakhouses,” she said.
Cork, the wine bar that pioneered 14th Street’s restaurant boom during the Obama years, set up televisions for an election night watch party. It turned into a wine-drenched tragedy with the owner, Diane Gross, telling her mother to calm down or she would have a heart attack.
Jen Psaki, the White House communications director, had her engagement party at Cork, Mrs. Obama dropped in, and Jill Biden became a regular there. Ms. Gross said she hoped that Washington, despite its reputation as a transitory place, had reached a cultural critical mass that would prevent Trump-induced hemorrhaging of the young, fashionable and talented.
Still, she acknowledged, “there’s a real possibility of people going back to wherever they are from to do progressive politics there.”
Mike O’Malley, an owner of the Red Hen, a popular restaurant in the recently gentrified neighborhood of Bloomingdale, said he expected his patrons to stay put.
“There are things that make people want to live here besides government,” he said, as diners commiserated at the bar over Mrs. Clinton’s loss. “People are living here as opposed to working here.”
Mr. Trump must now populate the federal government with new appointees, but some members of his inner circle are already entrenched in Washington. Stephen K. Bannon, whom Mr. Trump named chief strategist and senior counsel on Sunday, lives, works and entertains out of a 14-room townhouse near the Supreme Court. David Bossie, another key aide to Mr. Trump, runs Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group, out of a Capitol Hill townhouse.
And there will be newcomers like Richard B. Spencer, who took a break from reveling with other ecstatic supporters in the lobby bar of the Trump International Hotel on election night to declare the party over for the Washington establishment.
“We are winners and we have displaced them,” said Mr. Spencer, a leader of the “alt-right” movement who champions white identity politics and is currently looking for Beltway headquarters for his movement.
He added, “We want to become the new establishment.”