On New York Social Diary today we take you to the opening night of the Washington Winter Show, formerly known as the Washington Antiques Show. It was at the Katzen Arts Center. Read all about it. Lots and lots of photos, too.
On New York Social Diary today we take you to the opening night of the Washington Winter Show, formerly known as the Washington Antiques Show. It was at the Katzen Arts Center. Read all about it. Lots and lots of photos, too.
Dear Rich People, National Park Service and the DC Government:
Here's a useful "to do" for 2016: get the rotted "Georgetown" barge hauled and replaced by a shiny new model that can be put into service for passengers. It's been too long that this sad relic has sat deteriorating before our eyes. No excuses. It serves visitors, the community and its a charming symbol for the historic village where it resides. This can be done.
This pic is from the "Christmas Without Tears" show produced and hosted by my pals Harry Shearer and Judith Owen (he in the red&green, she in the white), which happened 12/23 at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, the last show of a tour that included New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. All the shows are great, but the NOLA edition takes on special meaning because Harry and Judith are transplanted New Orleanians. They bring together a fine group of talented artists who call NOLA home full time or part time. This year they included, most of them in the pic: Tom McDermott, Debbie Davis, Matt Perrine, John Boutte, Bryan Batt, Aurora Nealand, Nigel Hall, Evan Christopher, Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony, Helen Gillet, Phil deGruy, John Goodman, with David Torkanowsky on piano, John Singleton on bass, and Pedro Segundo handling percussion. It was a swinging show, just one of many high points in 8 days and nights in The Big Easy.
I stopped by to see ChiChie -- and Paris, both of them posing here -- at her new location for ChiChie's Canine Design and Grooming Spa, now at 1742 Wisconsin Avenue, a few doors between Bistro Lepic and Collins Animal Hospital. Still all the same wonderful services for your precious canines, and in an inviting and stylish setting. There's street parking right outside her door and also across the street on S Street. For an appointment, call 202-333-3575. ChiChie has taken loving care of 4 dogs for me over more than 30 years.
Today we welcome Diane Rehm to The Q&A Cafe, taping at 1pm at The George Town Club. She recently announced her retirement from hosting her daily The Diane Rehm Show, after the 2016 election. We'll have lots to discuss about her retirement, her career, her life, her craft, as well as her new book, On My Own.
We're starting later than usual due to her broadcast schedule. Audience seating will begin at 12:30, the show at 1pm. Lunch will be served. The fee is $35. To make last minute reservation, please call the George Town Club directly at 202-333-9330. The GTC address is 1530 Wisconsin Avenue NW, at Volta.
Here's the cover of her new book:
Book a seat today for our first Q&A Cafe of 2016 -- a conversation with two Washington media scions, Washingtonian publisher Cathy Merrill Williams and Graham Holdings board member and former Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth. They are friends, too. The date is Thursday, January 28. We'll tape at lunchtime, with seating at 11:45. The fee is $35 and lunch is served. For reservations please call the George Town Club directly: 202-333-9330.
On New York Social Diary today, charitable gathering of Santas and Elves on behalf of Toys for Tots, sponsored by members of the U.S. Army Special Forces.The transported a sleigh filled with toys from Montrose Park to the Lincoln Memorial!Also, a recap of Bob Woodward's appearance at The Q&A Cafe last week, and a whole lot of photos from the Kennedy Center Honors. Check it all out here.
There are few bar duos as popular as Jacob and Angel were at Citronelle, in Citronelle's heyday. They ran the upstairs bar, which was a clubhouse of sorts for Georgetowners and foodies who loved a good bar. When it closed, the duo split. Angel, for the past couple of years, was at Capella on 31st Street.
Now they are reunited at Fabio and Maria Trabocchi's mothership, the elegant Fiola, at 6th and Indiana, NW, adjacent to the DC Superior Court and DC Police headquarters. Go to say hello. Go to have great drinks. Go to have a delicious dinner.
IN MY LIFE
There are places I remember
all my life, though some have changed.
Some forever, not for better.
And some have gone, and some remain.
All these places have their moments
with lovers and friends I still can't recall.
Some are dead and some are living.
In my life I love them all.
But of all these friends and lovers,
there is no one compares with you.
And these memories lose their meaning
when I think of love as something new.
Though I know I'll never ever lose affection
for people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think about them.
In my life I love you more.
Though I know I'll never ever lose affection
for people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think of them.
But in my life I loved you more.
I love you more.
I love you more.
Many of us in Georgetown think of Via Umbria as that fun pop-up that landed on Wisconsin Avenue for a little while, specializing in table top items and some dry goods such as pasta, biscuits and crackers. What a difference a reboot makes. Via Umbria has reopened in the same location at 1525 Wisconsin Avenue NW, but its now so much more: butcher shop, cheeserie, wine purveyor, bread shop, deli, coffee shop, cafe, as well as all the previous staples of pasta, biscuits, crackers and table top items, and classes and travel. We so needed this to happen and we need more like it!!
When it comes to having an abundance of quality markets and restaurants in Georgetown, we who live here should patronize the fine businesses we have, but not be satisfied. Joining Via Umbria, we have Stachowskis, Poupon, Baked & Wired, Leopold, Georgetown Cupcake and Dean & Deluca, but we could use more indigenous crafted food. I visit Union Market often and wish we had our own Georgetown version. (btw, in the 70s we did) It is a need and a mission that is not being met, but it could be. Create a position to recruit markets, restaurants, bistros, cafes and bars for a neighborhood that was once food-vibrant, and to market the appeal of being here to potential owners; in other words, a business-centric food czar. Until then, Via Umbria is a promising step.
Here are some photos from the weekend:
It may look calm and peaceful in this photo, but board room drama at the Kennedy Center has been the talk of the town for about the last year, as the organization transitions from one era to the next of the annual Kennedy Center Honors, which happen this weekend. Here's my view on New York Social Diary today.
What's wrong with this scene? The answer is easy: the Marriott ad, right smack in the middle of one of the best views of the Georgetown ice skating rink, popular for photos. Seriously. I know it is a prime location for just such an ad, but what's next, a rink ringed with similar ads? Couldn't it have been placed somewhere just a little more discreet, not directly in the center of the photographic money shot. It takes some of the sweetness away from the whole operation.
It was an engaging and amusing hour with 94.7 Fresh FM deejay Tommy McFly today at The Q&A Cafe. We covered quite a lot of his life story, starting out in broadcasting at 14 in Scranton, PA., and the path that brought him to his current top-rated success in Washington. Also, his engagement to soon-to-be Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Chrys Kefalas. And I asked, "have you started playing Christmas music?" "No," he said. "No Christmas music." The program airs on Friday 11/27 at 8pm on Comcast channel 16.
And after the taping, Tommy with friends
Elizabeth Thorp on the left, TM and CJ, and to the far right 94.7 Fresh FM co-host Kelly Collis, and Jill Collins.
We called this "two newly unemployed babes" with their "life coach," Tommy. Its true, this week Elizabeth and I had our jobs suddenly "eliminated" by our respective employers, both magazines. Fair? No, not fair at all. Which is why we're both talking to lawyers. The flowers are from my former colleagues, who included a card with thoughtful messages.
I share this because a lot of the "Swimming in Quicksand" readers live in Georgetown. It was sent to me after it appeared on the Georgetown Forum ListServe. It was posted by a woman who described herself as a "mother from Wesley Heights." I'm reprinting it, verbatim:
I want to make everyone aware as I know there are many others with young children in the neighborhood.
I took my young daughter to a music class this morning, near the intersection of Wisconsin and Q Street NW. At around 10:30am, I had just gotten her buckled back into her car seat when a group of what seemed to be teenagers started rushing up on me, trying to surround us and our SUV.
We were parked around 33rd St NW and Wisconsin Ave, NW (close to the A Mano store and Gtwn library). I turned quickly as I saw three additional young men headed quickly towards us and was able to slam the door and lock the car, outmaneuvering them as I raced to the other side. By some miracle I was able to jump into the other side of the car, again locking it behind me and evade one of the teens as he tried to get into the car.
As I tried to get out of the parking spot and get away from them, one grabbed what seemed to be a large rock and jumped up on the car and smashed it through my sun roof. Luckily, the cover on the inside of the roof was still closed and none of the glass rained down on us as it would have otherwise. I blared on the horn and they all ran off and I was able to get away with my daughter, to safety.
For those of you that have young children and must buckle them into car seats, please be extra careful and check your surroundings as you do this. I was digging around in the diaper bag looking for snacks when this happened to me, and I'll never make that mistake again.
Note: While I use a "crime scene" photo to illustrate this post, there's no indication the police were involved.
Here is Derek Brown's recent appearance on The Q&A Cafe. Derek is a Washington restaurant entrepreneur, and recently acclaimed "Bartender of the Year," who has Eat The Rich, Mockingbird Hill and Southern Efficiency in the Shaw neighborhood. He plans to reopen his Columbia Room at the end of the year in Blagden Alley. Its an interesting and wide-ranging conversation about his life and interests and, of course, the anthropology of cocktails.
(Please join me for what should be a lively, interesting and amusing night out in Georgetown, sponsored by the Citizens Association of Georgetown.)
The Notice from the CAG website:
An Evening with Georgetown Authors
Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 7:00pm
Location: St John's Episcopal Church - 3240 O St NW
Join us for an evening of lively conversation led by our own Carol Ross Joynt as she expertly explores the lives and literary projects of best-selling Georgetown authors including; Cathy Alter, Elaine Williams Crockett, Jane Stanton Hitchcock, Dr. Isabel Sawhill, and Leslie Morgan Steiner.
The evening will begin at 7pm with a 30-minute wine & light appetizer reception generously provided by Peacock Cafe. The one-hour program will begin at 7:30pm.
Books to compliment your personal library or for holiday gift giving will be available for sale and personal autograph during the reception period (cash & check sales only, please).
Following the event, meeting attendees can enjoy 30% off bottles of wine at Peacock Cafe (3251 Prospect St NW). There is also a wonderful $39.95 three course prix fixe menu. For reservations call 202.625.2740.
For my New York Social Diary column today, I write about The Ivy Hotel, newly opened in Baltimore, a romantic luxury getaway that is within walking distance of museums, historic sites and interesting architecture. A Baltimore Social Diary seemed ideal for Halloween week, given that this is the city of Edgar Allan Poe and John Waters.
I'm pleased to announce that Bob Woodward will be the December guest at The Q&A Cafe, discussing his new book, The Last of the President's Men. It will be Bob's 4th time on the show, and like his previous appearances will of course be a fascinating conversation. The date is Friday, December 11. Seating begins at noon. For reservations please call 202-333-9330 at The George Town Club. We won't be selling books, so please buy it in advance and bring for Bob to sign.
Also book now for the Friday, November 20 show with awesome morning drive time star Tommy McFly. This show will also be at the George Town Club at lunchtime with noon seating.
DEREK BROWN, CENTER, ON THURSDAY NIGHT AT JULIA CHILD AWARD DINNER WITH PATRICK O'CONNELL, LEFT, AND DANIEL BOULUD, RIGHT.
A reminder that this evening, October 23, we welcome Derek Brown to The Q&A Cafe. He’s been called the “Godfather of Washington Mixology” but he calls himself a businessman, bartender, restaurant entrepreneur. He’s also a sought after lecturer and writer — here, across the country and around the world. Even the White House called Derek to create cocktails at a private party held by President and Mrs. Obama. He founded the Columbia Room speakeasy, the Passenger, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency and Mockingbird Hill. There's more here at Wiki. Check out some of his columns for The Atlantic.
I call him the quintessential 21st Century Washingtonian because of articles such as this one.
Those lucky folks who are at this show will be privy to some very cool news, too.
Derek is fascinating and you’ll want to be at the George Town Club to hear our interview. We'll be talking drinks and mixing drinks, which is why the start time is 5pm, this allows for a couple of drinks for you, (or not, up to you) and some food, and for the all inclusive price of $35. For reservations, please call the GTC at 202-333-9330, or email GTC Reservations. Derek's bringing a bartender with him, who will whip up some new classics while we talk.
Coming to the show on November 20, DC’s popular morning drive-time radio host, Tommy McFly. You’ll want to be there for that, too. Lunchtime.
A crowd of Georgetown's most charitable tonight gathered in a pretty garden to honor Gunther Stern for 25 years of service to the Georgetown Ministry Center as its Executive Director. He was praised for dedicating his professional career "to rebuilding and empowering the lives of people who are homeless," and for his "immense commitment, passion, and experience." Ward 2 City Council Member Jack Evans lauded Stern in off-the-cuff remarks, and then read an account of his accomplishments before he presented him with a gold statue that looked quite like the Oscar. Not bad. "Best performance by a citizen looking out for those who have less or nothing."
"Under Gunther's remarkable leadership, GMC has grown from a small outreach center to a warm and welcoming clubhouse that provides people with a sense of respect and community," said the program. "His work doesn't stop there. Gunther has used his expertise and passion to advocate for those without a voice." He graduated from George Washington University and the University of Maryland.
Also speaking at the party, hosted by Ellen Charles in her home and garden, were Georgetown Ministry Center board president Patricia Davies and benefit committee member Outerbridge Horsey. They gave flowers to Ellen to thank her for donating her home and also to the event's co-chairs, Jocelyn Dyer and Page Evans (in the photo just above). Everyone seemed to be enjoying the catering -- including crab cakes, spiced shrimp, ham biscuits -- from Broad Branch Market.
The weather was gorgeous. But in embracing the balmy air it was a reminder that it won't be this pleasant for long. When the winter comes with its brutal cold and biting winds, think of the people who have no home to go to and keep warm. That's when you go to this website, Georgetown Ministry Center, to see how you can help Gunther. Bookmark it!
Way back in the 80s I had the privilege of producing a live TV show about food and the star guest was Paul Prudhomme. Charlie Rose was the host. I recall the experience in my New York Social Diary column today.
The Tadich Grill DC is now open for dinner and will open for lunch, also, in another couple of weeks. A longer version of this story, about the opening party for the San Francisco transplant, previously appeared on New York Social Diary.
|TADICH GRILL OPENS
Please be my guest as we squeeze our way into the opening party for the Tadich Grill, which has been declared by the media to be the new DC power spot — without having yet opened for business. Clearly, Washington is eager for a new power spot, or was the mosh pit turnout the Trump effect?
Tadich, a landmark in San Francisco, planted its flag on Pennsylvania Avenue, in an empty office building space that last was an Asian restaurant. It is across the street from the looming, and under construction, Trump Hotel. By looming I mean as only the Trump name can loom. Whatever, the party was a ratings winner.
It was a sensation, too, even if at times it felt like a running take-off. What do you do if your VIP guests, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a San Franciscan, arrive at 6 PM and you just got your liquor license at 5 PM, which is what happened.
|Knowing that 800 were invited, we perched on a barstool near the front door, to not get lost in the crush, and it was an epic crush. A friend, who was game to venture to the back room, and into the main dining room, said, “If I’m not back soon send a search party.” When he returned, wide-eyed and thirsty, he could only gasp, “you need skills to get through that.”
I’m not sure the barstool on which I was perched is the “David Rubenstein barstool,” but it provided the best view. Rubenstein is one of the founding partners of the elite private equity firm The Carlyle Group. Tadich is in Carlyle’s building, and it’s expected that when it officially opens on October 8 Tadich will also be Carlyle’s unofficial lunchroom. Thus, the owners said they plan to name a barstool after Rubenstein. He doesn’t strike me as the barstool type, but then David is a man of many fascinating parts.
|If Rubenstein is concerned he’s being singled out. He’s not. A Tadich investor said Ivanka Trump, who is overseeing the hotel development, is getting a barstool, too. (Is this the next elite status symbol, comparable to a picture on the wall at The Palm?)
Will someone please let me know the day David and Ivanka are there at the same time, possibly on side-by-side barstools, so I can see this with my own eyes?
With its location in the hub of the lobby and legal swarm and in view of Capitol Hill, and close, too, to the White House, there will be many provocative pairings, no doubt. Politically, expect it to lean left. Why? Many of the investors are big D Democrats — Hunter Biden among them, and he was at the party — and the Pelosi factor. Besides, Republicans pull rank up the street at the Capital Grille, also on Pennsylvania, four blocks closer to the Capitol.
|It has been a long time coming for Tadich in Washington. It was first announced in the spring of 2013, and then months of delays followed. There were rumors of architect, builder and permit approvals complications, which are not unusual for DC. Also, this is the first expansion of Tadich in its 165 years. Owners Gerard Centioli and Mike Buich, familiar with longevity, could take their time to get it right.
As the party reached its peak, I was thankful for a solid seat near the front door. Otherwise, the current of human bodies might have carried me away. Who was there? Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and his wife, who were greeted by Centioli and Buich; that reluctant party goer, ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser, with his son Michael Kornheiser, a high school English teacher, and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Hardwick, and best friend Alan Bubes; Christopher Ullman, managing director of communications for Carlyle, investors Gerry Harrington and James Beaty; Erik Huey, musician and SVP of the Entertainment Software Association; Dave Grimaldi, head of public affairs for Pandora, and Washington veteran Bob Crowe; also, taking in the scene, Lyndon Boozer and The Washington Post’s Manuel Roig-Franzia, author of The Rise of Marco Rubio.
|We asked one of the investors if Vice President Joe Biden might make an appearance. He has been known to drop in at DC parties, and this one seemed a natural since it involved his son. “Probably not, not with the campaign,” he said, with a wink. “The campaign?” I shot back. “Yes, the campaign.”
The party was hot, steamy and a mosh pit but no one seemed to mind. We’ll be craving warmth soon enough as winter creeps in. It was a “hail fellow” reunion, the first big party of the city’s influence set since getting back to business after the summer holidays. A crowd not big on bold face names, but then this is a city where in certain jobs it’s better to be lower case in public and bold face behind the scenes.
|They swarmed the food buffets, resplendent with oysters, clams and shrimp, or lobster, shrimp or crab rolls, or hand carved beef, and helpings of the restaurant’s signature cioppino, a classic San Francisco fish stew. In their crisp white jackets, the newly recruited waiters and bartenders, some from here, some from San Francisco, some from New York, were as busy greeting friends as they were passing food and pouring drinks.
Still, in a crowd of VIPs, the dude who pulled rank as MVP was the young air-conditioning repair man, hard at work, trying to ice down the room at the same rate as the servers tried to ice down the Champagne and replenish the booze. Work gloves on, tools at the ready, he was a busy man.
|For the record, Tadich has a great look, clean and bright, with just enough old-school touches (private booths in the back) to appeal to many tastes, and while the look conjures a steakhouse, don’t make that mistake. Boozer, a friend of the house, was still miffed that Politico would call Tadich a “steakhouse,” and admonished me to steer clear of the meat route. “It is a seafood restaurant. Make that clear, please — a seafood restaurant.” Okay. Got it.
I have not tried the food, yet, but a check of the online menu confirms it is heavy with fish and shellfish. It does have a small section offering red meat, however.
Boozer had another observation, too. He pointed to the Trump hotel across the street, which recently suffered the loss of its signature restaurant, when Chef Jose Andrés pulled out of the deal in protest of Trump’s rantings on immigration. Lyndon said, “Tadich will be Trump’s restaurant, too, since they don’t have one.”
Friday, October 23rd, 5pm: The art of the cocktail is the theme when we welcome bartender & restaurateur Derek Brown, the godfather of Washington mixology. He is an expert on the anthropology of spirits and drinks. He travels the globe lecturing on the subject. Here in Washington, he is the founder of the landmark speakeasy The Columbia Room (now closed), as well as The Passenger, Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency. He has written for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Punch and Bon Appetite.
We'll tape this show at the cocktail hour, and for good reason. At The George Town Club, $35 all inclusive of cocktails & canapés. Bring a drinking buddy. LBD's and double breasted blazers welcome.
Friday, November 20. Lunchtime. Come and meet Tommy McFly while DC still has him. One wag joked that Ryan Seacrest ought to watch his career because Tommy might get a piece of it. He is that multi-talented. He's the host of the Tommy Show, weekdays from 5 to 9 am on 94.7 Fresh FM.
The Washington Business Journal included Tommy in its “40 Under 40” roster. He takes an active role in every segment of Washington and sets service as a high priority. He’s the chairman of the Washington Humane Society’s marquee event, Fashion for Paws, which has raised more than $2.2 million in just six years.
Additionally, Tommy works with Best Buddies, GW University Mobile Mammography Unit, The American Red Cross, Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation, The Alzheimer’s Association, and many other organizations on projects throughout the year. His charitable engagement scored him an invitation to a small lunch with President Barack Obama to discuss the Affordable Care Act. From The Washington Post: “Yes, of course,” the president had said when Tommy introduced himself. “You’re the DJ.”
Also at The George Town Club, $35 all inclusive of lunch, soft beverages, tax and tip.
Don't miss these shows! All are welcome. Phone 202-333-9330 for reservations.
As a former restaurant owner I can testify that it is a blessing and burden when a menu item is beloved by the patrons. Mostly it is a blessing, though. It means you serve something they love and most likely, for them, it is attached to happy memories. At Nathans, it was the Fettuccine Alfredo, prepared with delicate noodles that were hand made fresh in-house every day by Chef Loredonna Luhrs. At one point, when I switched the menu from Italian to American, and briefly considered removing the pasta, well, there was hell to pay. Pasta remained on the menu for all the years I owned the restaurant.
For Washington chef Eric Ziebold it is his version of classic Parker House rolls. He served them -- to much fanfare -- for the decade he was executive chef at CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. He closed CityZen last December so that he and his wife, Celia, could open their own restaurants this coming winter. Will they serve the Parker House rolls? That question is at the heart of my New York Social Diary column today.
We were out in the Virginia horse country over the weekend to visit the new Red Truck Rural Bakery owned by Brian Noyes, in Marshall, and also to attend a polo match hosted by the National Sporting Library & Museum in Upperville. Actor Robert Duvall appeared at both. We report the details on New York Social Diary. In the photo above, Duvall and poses with women polo stars for an iPhone photo shot by his wife, Luciana Pedraza.
THE AFTER HUNT DINNER
Each year at the annual Citizens Association of Georgetown the auction items include one that has scored three years of popularity: The Georgetown Scavenger Hunt. As the name indicates, it is a scavenger hunt to the east, west, north and south of Georgetown, and many points in between. All kinds of stops, tasks, and "pieces of evidence" that must be benevolently purloined. The lucky bidders gather for the challenge, and tonight was the night, though the 2015 edition, sadly, is the last of this fun game. I got to experience it, thankfully. Constance Chatfield-Taylor, one of the organizers, enlisted me at the last minute to be a clue and a judge. Here are some photos from the evening.
The Hunt began at 5:30 in Constance's garden, where the five teams were handed their clue sheets (beer, wine and snacks, too) and instructions on protocol and timing. There were a lot of stops they had to make and they had to be done by 8:30 on the dot.
And then every body was off.
I was asked to post the full scavenger list, and here it is as it was written. The numbers are somewhat scrambled, but I gather that's part of the adventure.
1) I’m not that old, but I AM the first hotel in Georgetown. Can you find Charnee? She’ll have the key to success! 5 points
2) Built in 1765, I’m the oldest standing building in Washington. Look under the steps for rock solid evidence and bring it with you. 5 points
3) shhhhh…..Tonight is Light the City Georgetown from 6:30 – 8:00, and 13 churches in Georgetown will participate in this the open church candlelight tour, to pray as a community for peace and unity. 3 of the 13 will be featuring gospel music. Record 30 seconds of video of gospel music. 15 points
4) One of the best parks in Georgetown, I’m named for a flower. There is something wonderful going on tonight there. Can you find me? I’m the featured guest and I’ll be within 20 feet of home base. Look high and low! 15 points
5) ‘Oh, say can you see’ a tribute to me and my song? I was certainly the rage last year, with the big anniversary and all. Is there proof in the night? We think so… 10 points
**6) In 1576, the Republic of Venice publicly condemned this sport, punishing those who played with fines and imprisonment. YOUR TEAM, however, can be strikingly good! Ask for Ben ** 7:00 – 8:30 ** ALL HANDS 20 points
7) Is it worth it, my sweet? Bring me back a cupcake – 5 point
8) I’m a restaurant that is named after the year the constitution was adopted, and I must say, I’m a cozy nod to America's romanticized past. Care to comment? Ask the bartender downstairs for a card… 10 points
9) This townhouse was John F. Kennedy’s fifth, and last, Georgetown home. He left from this house to take his oath of office at the Capitol, and give his “ask not what your country can do for you…” speech on that cold January day in 1961. A neighbor’s house was known to reporters as having the best vantage point for viewing the happenings at the house. There is a plaque (clearly visible from the sidewalk) on the neighbor’s house.
What does this plaque say? 10 points
10) I’m new, and I’m cool, and here you will find a different kind of pleasure. Think Garden and Gun comes to Georgetown. Deer, antelope, zebra, water buffalo (good thing I’m right next to the canal). See Elise – she has a game for you. Onward! ALL HANDS 20 POINTS
13) George and Pierre designed the layout of Washington here, with drawings spread out on a large table on my second floor. I’m still around today as a private club, and many dignitaries and locals grace my curved stairway leading to the front door. I’m fairly exclusive, but see Joseph - he will help you solve the mystery Q&A! ALL HANDS 20 POINTS
14) We might not have social security if not for Frances Perkins, who lived in Georgetown and signed the social security act. There are warmongers, ironmongers, fishmongers, cheesemongers and ?? Go to this local student hangout and find Pria – and The Woman behind the New Deal. Check out page 163 and proceed to this nearby house! This is where the social security act was sealed with a bottle of whisky. ALL HANDS 20 POINTS
15) Feeling like a little adventure? On the East side of one block of Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, you can shop in China, Italy, India, the Spice Islands, Lebanon, Japan, America and the UK. Bring back proof of your travel from any one of the international destinations… 10 POINTS
16) There are three of us with the same first name, who were all democratic senators, and we all ran for president. Oddly enough, we all lived in the 3300 blocks of N, O and P. Who are we, and can you give us the street address of any one of the houses on N, O or P __________________________10 POINTS
**17) There is one of me in Alexandria, too. I smell GREAT and feature jars of Backwoods Hickory Rub, Jamaica Jerk, Onion Obsession, Tailgater’s Blend. Cumin, Coriander, Curry. Mmmm…. But wait! There are 3 types of flowers, the only flowers, all together. What are they
____________, ____________, and ____________.
Ah, sweet smell of success. 15 POINTS
18) Sing us a song you're the piano man. Sing us a song tonight. Well we're all in the mood for a melody . And you've got us feeling alright --- Find Gene!
*not on K street ALL HANDS – 20 points
18) OMG! I really need an exorcist as everybody is scared of me. Starting at the bottom, what numbers are my landings? _________________ 10 points
19) This bank has won a gazillion awards, and was one of 150 companies in the Greater Washington area to be named a Washington Post Top Workplace in 2014 and 2015. Find this bank, it has a view of the FOUNTAIN on the waterfront, and bring back a photo of the logo! 10 points
20) In 1745, I was the first real commodity in Georgetown. I was brought in by the wagon load from Maryland and Virginia and inspected, and ships would pick me up at the waterfront and sail me away. I’m still sold HERE in this smokin’ hot town. Don’t forget your tokin’… Walter, Theresa, Chris or Seth can help.
20) Talk about history! Truman, LBJ, Nixon, JFK - wow! I’ve dished out lots of stories over the years. JFK proposed to Jackie in booth 3, but see Claire for your 'carry out’. Who was the meat loaf lover? __________________ 10 points
The full list numbered 25, with bonus questions.
My assignment was to be at The George Town Club, where I host The Q&A Cafe, with a new one coming up, and the Scavengers were to approach me, sitting at the bar, with these clues:
I produced a Charlie Rose interview with Charles Manson at Saint Quentin prison for CBS News, and also had dinner with Albrecht Muth and Viola Drath at their home around the corner from the GTC. Muth was convicted of the murder of Drath, and is now in prison. The Oscar-winning actor who will play him in the movie is Cristoph Walz. The costume Muth liked to wear as he walked around Georgetown was an Iraqi general's uniform. Once they got the clues, they left with GTC cocktail napkins ... to prove they were there.
Four of the teams made it but it was becoming a long wait for the fifth. It's lonely being a clue, sitting by myself at an empty bar. YES, A SELFIE
I had promised a friend, Larry Calvert, that I would stop by the annual end-of-summer pool party he hosts with his husband, Mike Mitchell, at their home, which is about a half block from the GTC. When it seemed that maybe the 5th group might not make my stop I left a note with the maitre' d, giving Larry and Mike's address, should they appear. My instructions were they could come find me at the party ... like a clue. And that's what they did. When they walked in, Larry said, "you must be the Scavengers." He offered them beers and lobster rolls, and I took a photo of the group. I said the "task" was them jumping in the pool.
Larry was such a good sport about the Scavengers. It turned out he knew some of them. But they couldn't stay long. They had to find a gospel choir, which they did at Mt. Zion Church, just as evening services ended. No problem, several members of the choir sang to them on the street.
All the teams showed up on time at the Scavenger Hunt Dinner at Frank Marshall's, where Charlie and Constance began to tally scores.
But mostly everyone was interested in the Tex-Mex buffet from Guano's and the margarita machine, and who can blame them? These folks were hungry and thirsty.
Not a scavenger item, but a house party is not complete without a dog!
When I booked Ron Kessler for the first show of the new season of The Q&A Cafe it was for his expertise on the U.S. Secret Service. I wanted to talk about the "Secret Service in campaign mode" as we embark on the 2016 campaign in earnest. He has written a number of books about the USSS, and the FBI, and the CIA. That was a couple of months ago. In the interim, Donald Trump has entered the campaign picture in a big way, and Kessler also claims expertise on Trump. He wrote a piece for The Washington Times, "The Real Donald Trump," based on his relationship with the Republican nominee wannabe.
So, we will talk about Trump -- because he has dominated the political landscape this summer-- and we will also talk about the Secret Service, when Ron joins us at lunchtime on Friday, September 25, at the George Town Club. It should be lively because Kessler, like Trump, is not shy about stirring it up. He is controversial, and often criticized, but he also breaks a lot of stories. We first met when he was an investigative reporter for The Washington Post, which he left to pursue book writing.
Please make your reservations early for this Q&A Cafe, the first of our 14th season. To do so, phone Austin Mason at 202-333-9330 or send an email to GTC Reservations. The fee is $35 for the lunch, all inclusive. Seating begins at noon, the program at 12:30.
It was good to see The Georgetown Current newspaper give prominent play to the recent power outage that hit the residents in and around Thirty First and P Streets, Dumbarton, O Street, and a few other Georgetown streets. As I said to neighbors, it was "deja vu all over again." And you get that, right? Right. If you've lived here long enough you have vivid memories of manhole cover explosions, followed by power outages, week after week.
One thing that did not come across in the story -- and it would be hard for a reporter to grasp this without being on the scene -- was the dedication of the Pepco street crews and the support they got from Georgetown residents. Maybe it was because we had no power, no TV or internet, and so the entertainment became standing in the street and to watch the work get done. But bonds were formed. We learned that the Pepco website and Pepco emergency number -- while basically useful -- was no match for the information we could get from the techs down in the manholes and digging up the street.
The best example of this was the second night of the power outage, when a half dozen of us stood there, toes practically at the edge of excavation, watching every little maneuver of pulling out old cable, feeding in new cable, splicing together new cable coming from opposite ends of the street. This was an arduous process, especially on an airless, hot, and humid night. We stood there and served as a cheerleading squad, and I think the Pepco workers appreciated our involvement.
According to the Current, Pepco officials called some higher up Georgetown residents to keep them posted, but for the rest of us -- who did not receive those kinds of calls -- it was street level information that was the most valuable currency. In the end, everything they told us played out as truth. And we were grateful.
I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of this moment, but as the second night wore on, the heat bearing down, we kept asking the crew if they wanted water. "No, thank you," they said. My guess is that's what they have to say. One of the neighbors on O Street went off to Safeway and returned with bags of frosty cold tall bottles of water. The workers twisted off the caps, upended the bottles, and gulped down the refreshing cold water.
Let's hope this doesn't happen again, or at least not anytime soon. The street crews told us there's still old and damaged cable down there. They are replacing as much as they can, but often it takes a crisis to get the attention needed. Let's hope, also, that Pepco gets its website more in gear with actual real time information. But failing that, go out in the street and support the work at hand. Talk to the workers. They were responsive. At one point I offered to help splice cable. Hehehe. No takers.
It has been a strong winter/spring season at The Q&A Cafe with guests NPR host Diane Rehm, ABC News correspondent John Donvan, Astronaut Scott Altman, Publishers Katharine Weymouth and Cathy Merrill Williams, authors Kate Andersen Brower and Julia Reed. More shows to come as we celebrate our 15th anniversary in October. Almost 400 people have appeared for interviews in that time. We're proud of this small community lunch, the only talk show in a bar, that is open to everyone.
Visit this link to view our archive of broadcasts: The Q&A Cafe on YouTube
Emmy-winning CBS News producer, talk show guest wrangler, published author, host of The Q&A Cafe, print & digital journalist, filmmaker, photog, and former saloon owner. Read more...
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