Where to begin. Today the buzz was about a brunch up the hill in Georgetown at the mansion fomerly owned by Katharine Graham, when actually the place to be was Cafe Milano. When we first arrived at Milano we saw our friend Tina Brown, who had been at the brunch. "I realized I didn't want to eat standing and holding a plate," she said. TINA BROWN, KATHY O'HEARN AND HARRY EVANS AT LUNCH AT CAFE MILANO
Cafe Milano felt as buzzy as any party (as it often does). There was Tina and her husband, Harry Evans, and Tina's colleague Kathy O'Hearn, but also the foreign minister of Jordan; philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, having lunch with the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa; Francesca Zambello, artistic director of the Washington National Opera; MC Hammer with Raul Fernandez and a group of friends, and, at the table adjacent to ours, Ron Dozoretz and Nnamdi Asomugha, who just signed with the San Francisco 49ers. The difference between here and elsewhere was quiet quality versus mosh pit. Charlie Rose found respite at Milano, too.
But Nnamdi was the man of the hour, with group after group of people stopping by his table to pay respects. No surprise, read about him. An incredible professional football career as well as a remarkable pattern of philanthropy and commitment to causes.
For a moment, but in broad daylight, Milano felt like Rao's.
(deleted. hahaha. sometimes i write crazy s**t)
I expect Charlie Rose to be dancing Gangnam Style tonight at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. That's because, at least as of late last night, his designated dinner partner is the pop music sensation PSY. Charlie was not concerned, except about one thing: "I'm happy to sit by him but I've told CBS I plan to leave the dinner early." Charlie will head over to the Vanity Fair party at the French Ambassador's Kalorama residence. I think he should just invite PSY along, (he's already on the VF list) and the two of them can gallop Gangnam Style up Connecticut Avenue. That might rob the President or Conan O'Brien of making a PSY joke, though.
Last night at the Bradley dinner, where news spread of PSY's 11th hour addition to the CBS News dinner guest list, the questions were how did they get him and was he traveling to Washington from Korea? They got him courtesy of Jennifer Maguire, wife of CBS News Washington bureau chief Chris Isham. Maguire is an executive with the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. On Friday, the Festival honored Psy for his transcultural success by presenting him with the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award.
It was at the awards event at New York University where Maguire suggested to PSY that he come to Washington for the big media dinner. Done and done. All he asked was for a hotel room where he could smoke cigarettes. Done and done.
My prediction is he'll be the celebrity sensation of the weekend, as Ozzy Osbourne was a few years ago, and the Jonas Brothers a while back, and Lindsay Lohan last year.
Last night at the Bradley dinner, upon hearing the news, otherwise gray-humored members of the DC elite exclaimed, "I want to get my picture taken with him."
Notably, CBS sent me this message that lists their other WHCA dinner guests: U.S. Marine General John Allen, former Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan; Chef José Andrés, Gen. John F. Campbell, the Army's vice chief of staff; Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas); Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations;Actor Daniel Dae Kim from the CBS hit, “Hawaii Five-0;” Emmy and Golden Globe winner Claire Danes from the Showtime hit, “Homeland;” Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Reginald L. Love, former special assistant and personal aide to President Obama; Lisa Monaco, White House Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor; Retired Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Samantha Power, Former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council; Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals’ third baseman. The line under Zimm is my doing. That's who I'd want for a dinner partner, with PSY on my other side.
It's almost here, the annual social ritual known as the White House Correspondents' Association weekend, which is a four-day wraparound to a Saturday night dinner. So many parties are compressed into these four days that we've come up with a handy guide, useful to those who are invited, hope to be invited, or will pretend they are invited: An A Lister's List of WHCA Parties
We're a relatively small village here in Georgetown and when we buzz it's about a few different topics, but chiefly real estate. The buzz the past few weeks has been that Conrad Cafritz bought the Roth house at the corner of 30th and O Streets. I've heard it several times. I do know the house sold and the price was $8.7 million. (The asking price was $9.2 mml) I also know that Conrad was "looking."
The other day I saw Mr. Roth on the street, as he was packing up some furniture, and asked if he had sold the house and was moving. "Yes," he said. "At the end of the month." The Roths are moving across the river, leaving behind for the new owner a home with 9 bedrooms, 7 full baths, 12 fireplaces, swimming pool and a three-car garage, and almost $50K in annual property taxes.
Conrad, who is a developer, and who uses email quite a lot, did not respond when I wrote to ask him about the purchase, which probably means I was on to something.
Conrad's brother, Calvin Cafritz, also lives in Georgetown, in an art-filled house near the mansion that formerly belonged to Katharine Graham but is now owned by Mark Ein.
Just down the street, Rick Rickertsten reportedly sold his really sweet house for $7.6 million.
In recent history, the Roth house is best known as the home of Hugh and Janet Auchincloss, during the time when her daughter, Jackie Kennedy, lived at the White House. Later, Mrs. Auchincloss moved to Volta, to a house bought for her by her by Jackie and her other daugher, Lee Radziwill, or so it goes according to Georgetown real estate legend.
The Roth house also later belonged to Jennifer Phillips, an ex-wife of Conrad Cafritz.
So, again, if the rumors are true, and the question is asked, that's the house. As a landmark, it is directly across the street from Christ Episcopal Church. That particular interesection has a remarkable structure on each corner. George and Dina Perry on one corner, Steve Rales on another corner, the church on the other. It's why that intersection, or any real estate nearby, is considered the most prized in Georgetown.
Thank God for Mondays with friends! Right? I needed a triple dose this Monday night and I got it at Bourbon Steak, with Daren Thomas, Rachel Pearson and Roger Whyte, The occasion was to celebrate Roger's leaving the Washington Performing Arts Society to go out on his own as an event production mastermind. Also, he's director of events for the newly rehabbed Power House in Georgetown. This is a powerful event space.
I first became acquainted with it when PR impresario Robert Keith Gray had his offices there, and christened the building the Power House. Later, it was the offices of Herb Miller's Western Development Corporation. It langored recently but apparently has been rescued by Roger and his team. If you are a party person, then expect to enter its Grace Street doors sometime this year. And if you want to reach Roger to book it for a whatever, his number is 202-584-0062.
Geez, I don't know whether I have permission to post his phone number, but then he did give me his card and he didn't say it was "off the record." And he is in business!
Daren is head of development for the WPAS, Rachel is on the board. These three get together and it's nothing but drink, yack, drink, yack, drink, yack. In other words, a good time with serious dish.
When we parted I headed home but they each went off in different directions for various liaisons. MPTT.
Free live streaming by UstreamFor Washington's animal lovers (and many more) the week started sadly with the death of the baby giant Panda at the National Zoo. Here's an antidote for that: kittens, live streaming, courtesy of the Washington Animal Rescue League and Animal Planet. It's to promote the new season of Too Cute, but it also calms general, random human angst on a Friday afternoon.
NOTE: If they are sleeping when you tune in, just wait 15 minutes and revisit.
It's that time of year again, when all the presidential level candidates, and their spouses, get code names to be used by the Secret Service. Now, in truth, those in office already have these code names, as do their high level staff, but added to the roster are the challengers. We couldn't resist making a pop quiz, which is posted on The Washingtonian. Some of you may already know the answers - so, no spoilers - but take the quiz and have fun. Secret Service Pop Quiz.
It was the virgin flight of new Virgin America non-stop service between DCA and SFO. Of course, there were Obama and Romney impersonators on the flight. (Aren't there always in an election year). But here's the best part, a regular passenger, who coincidentally took the flight, looked like a clone of Paul Ryan ... at least in our eyes.
Am I right or am I right? Dude was totally surprised, but was a good sport about posing with his running mate, fake Mitt Romney. Read about him, his identity and the rest of the story tomorrow at washingtonian.com.
This interview with Simon van Kempen of "The Real Housewives of New York City" was taped just before the launch of "Real Housewives of Washington DC." Bravo forbid any of the RHODC cast from doing interviews, but Simon -- who I contacted through Facebook -- was totally game to come down from Manhattan and have a lunchtime chat, my first foray into the topic of reality TV. The next would be with the by then notorious Tareq and Michaele Salahi - who filled the house.
The audience turnout for Simon was quite strong, also, including a couple of castmembers from RHODC.
I remained friendly with Simon and his wife, Alex McCord, seeing them in New York and having dinner together once here at Cafe Milano (where, of course, they turned heads). Best of all, I think, was when they invited me up to NYC to tag along on a RHONY shoot, so I could see what it was like behind the scenes. It was almost a whole day, a trek to Governor's Island with a lot of their "friends," and a birthday party there for Alex, and the literal convergence in one spot of three housewives (Alex, Kelly Bensimon, Cindy Barshop) and their individual crews. On the air it was about a 3 minute segment.
Alas, Alex, Simon, Kelly and Cindy are no longer in the New York cast, but I do communicate with Simon. My interest in the "Housewives" shows has waned quite a lot. I rarely watch. The new New York cast members, particularly Carole and Aviva, are buzzkills, in my opinion. Radziwill is a Debbie Downer. Heather could last, though. But ... does anyone care?
In that vein, I consider this interview a good dose of pop culture, circa winter, 2010.
For those of you who don't partake of this sort of thing, let me clue you in on a behind the scenes detail of so-called "events" in Washington: attending them as a labeled member of the "media" can often be humiliating and frustrating -- but, most of all, humiliating. The organizers treat people who write and shoot pictures for a living as an alien race who must be controlled and segregated, at all times, from the superior humans, which often, in addition to assorted A, B and C entertainment and business celebrities plus tax-payer paid public servants, include fellow members of the Washington media, who want to be celebrities. Oh, Lord. You know who they are. Reporters on one side of the rope are expected to interview and photograph reporters on the other side. It's a bizarre phenomenon of DC.
That's just the beginning of the whackness. I've been to events where even media spawn are presented as celebrities for the "scrum" to report upon -- and, sadly, they do.
So, what does that have to do with tonight's otherwise honorable dinner on behalf of AIDS, embodied by amfAR? Not much, except it was celebrity studded (STUDDED!!!) and there were, at the outset, lots of rules for the branded and segregated media (really, the PR abuse has reached a level where slapping an "M" on reporters' clothing would accurately reflect the discrimination doled out). Nothing to do with the amfAR people exactly. The funny thing was they managed the evening in a loosey-goosey manner, and I was appreciative. For every rule they enforced they let another be forgotten. Here's a funny contrast: working photographers, with serious camera muscle, got pushed back by handlers protecting Bill Gates and Anderson Cooper, while those of us with our iPhones were able to move in close.
What knots my knickers? Getting kitted out on a Saturday night, schlepping to an "event," and then finding my seat is with other writers, who (btw) feel the same as I do. We may get along but we didn't come out on a Saturday night to sit at a round table and stare at each other. Dear Event Planner: How, oh, how, do we write about your givers and believers and awesome staff and great accomplishments if we're seated on the sidelines at a table of people who have nothing to do with your cause? I've never, ever understood this logic and generally just get up and leave. I didn't tonight, because ... who knows why. Maybe because it was early. Maybe because that hot man item, Bill Gates, was in the room.
But seriously. Dear Event Planners, do you think this is anything but work for me? It's not. It's work. I enjoy the work, or I wouldn't be there, and especially when I'm given the privilege of experiencing the event, but If you want interesting and useful coverage you will seat me in the warm, moist center of your cause....because that is the story. This is not my social life. It's your social life, and the social life of your guests arrayed around the room, the paying customers, the folks who would like to talk about why they are there. Mix me up with them. Unless, of course, you want me to write a story about The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Washington Life, Capitol File, Bloomberg, Agence France Presse, Associated Press....etc. In other words, my table mates.
The good event planners and hosts understand, but the good are few.
Further, if you want good pictures, stop with those assinine backdrops. Stop fencing in the photogs. I can tell you, the public are weary of the tedious & endless same-same and boring photos shot before a "step and repeat." Be the first to kill it. You would get such better shots of your paying principals if you invited the photogs, the good ones, to roam during the cocktail hour and the seating of dinner. People look better in candids. For one thing, they look alive. The reading and viewing public are drawn to "real" moments. A backdrop photo is just about as original and fresh and unique as last night's lap dance.
So, I hope you've enjoyned my guerilla pics from tonight, in which Bill Gates mostly seemed to want to talk to Anderson Cooper, but politely got up as needed to be honored, to be photographed, and to wrap his arm around Sharon Stone. He did not wrap his arm around Nancy Pelosi, who smartly moved in for a prime photo at a prime moment. I know this because I got up from my table on the outer border of the dinner and walked over to where the action was, the Gates-Cooper-Stone table, to observe the goings on with my own two eyes. That's what made the amfAR people cool. They didn't deck check me.
Funny observation: When Bill and Sharon got up to talk and moved elsewhere, and Anderson was left with no one on his immediate left or right, he had only William Cohen, and they did their best to hit it off in the same way as Coop and Gates and Gates and Stone. At least Sharon's jacket was still there on the chair between them, suggesting something ... but what?
Before the political speeches began -- meaning the speeches by politicians -- I drifted from the big dinner only a few steps to a much smaller party nearby. It was for ONE, another foundation, created by Bono and supported by Bill and Melinda Gates, and where my friend Michael Elliott is CEO and President.
I ran into Michael almost immediately. He's an O.G. We met long ago over dinner at the N Street home of Trish and Mark Malloch Brown, another O.G. Mike was with Time at the time, and we had that in common, but now he's with Gates and Bono, two more O.G.'s. You choose. Also at the smaller ONE party was Barbara Bush, looking summery and comfortable in a tomato red dress. That small group were soon off to an AIDS concert at the Eisenhower Theater, joned by the folks from the larger Gates-Stone-Cooper dinner, which also included a bearded John Corbett.... and other celebs too numerous to get into right now. This will all be covered in full on washingtonian.com on Monday! You betcha.
This is one of my favorites from The Q&A Cafe archives - the men of "Spinal Tap," Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. I know Harry very well, and Chris and Michael sorta well. Thanks to Harry, we all cross paths from time to time. This interview had been a long-time coming. The guys were game, I just needed them to all be in Washington at the same time, which a "Spinal Tap Unplugged" concert made possible.
Enjoy the conversation. Also, it's a glimpse into the old location, Nathans. For long-timers of The Q&A Cafe, that will be sentimental.
Some clever writer in the Sidwell Friends community -- my guess a senior or seniors -- pulled off a very funny prank today, sending a fake email to the upper school parents mailing list saying that sex on campus was a problem and soon condoms would be available, well, everywhere. We have the scoop here: Condom Prank at Sidwell Friends School.
It's 3am and I'm too tired to write meaningful analysis. For now, here are some photos from the Vanity Fair party after the White House Correspondents Association dinner. The only camera I used all weekend was my iPhone4S, so the pics look like phone pics. Sorry.
The party was at the residence of the French Ambassador on Kalorama Road. For all the heightened security, guests found it fairly easy to get in. Some said they breezed right through the gates and weren't asked to show the barcodes that had been sent to invitees via email. On the other hand, a highly recognizable Barbara Walters did have to go through an I.D. check. Oh, well.
Usual mixed-bag swell crowd (reality star-stylist Rachel Zoe standing a few yards from CIA Director David Petreaus), usual flowing good champagne, Dom Ruinart and Henriot, and tasty little snacks that ranged from savory to sweet. Everyone from rocker Patti Smith to Uggie the dog from "The Artist," though honestly - as an animal lover - I'm not too keen on dogs at crowded parties. Uggie seemed okay with it, and even tried to grab a snack off a passing tray of canapes. Those Hollywood dogs.
As in recent years, Vanity Fair deployed an army of event planners and catering staff to make sure there was plenty of plenty plus interesting decor (the French move out most of their own furniture). Sofas were padded with pillows that had the WHCA, VF and Bloomberg logos plus sayings. See below:
George Clooney arrived and was descended upon by a horde. It took him a half hour to get from the front door to the center of the main entry hall. He didn't mind. He said "this is my kind of party." He talked serious stuff with various guests, but also willingly posed for photos. He did not head back to his hotel until 3:30 in the morning. (But then he was probably on L.A. or Lake Como time). No Stacy Kiebler in sight. Clooney arrived with Ariana Huffington, who seemed quite aware of the impact of walking in the door with him. Clooney and Jimmy Kimmel were among the few who stayed till nearly the end of the party. It was impossible to walk a few feet without bumping into a celebrity, whether it was low or medium level, such as Piers Morgan and Kelly Ripa or high level like Reese Witherspoon, Daniel Radcliffe, and Kevin Spacey. Imagine yourself as the bowling ball and a batch of celebrities as 12-pins. That's what it was like. Over time one became immune to spotting them.
To send to my son, to show him I was at a cool party, I got bold and asked to take pictures of three women. One was Rosario Dawson, who wore a dress with the kind of cleavage we just don't typically see in DC. The other was Kate Upton, this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model. And then, just before she departed, Patti Smith. Each couldn't have been nicer. Isn't this what every mother does for her son? He was appreciative and couldn't believe I stayed up past midnight.
A peculiar but interesting aspect of the party was that each of the waiters wore make-up, particularly eyeliner, rouge, mascara and lipstick. All the waiters, per Vanity Fair, had to pass through hair and make-up before the party began. Should this become a Washington catering trend?
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVER MODEL KATE UPTON, SMILING FOR MY SON
I stayed until about 2 a.m, heading out the door at the same time as the co-hosts, Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair and Mayor Mike Bloomberg of Bloomberg. I was keeping up with my ride -- John Fox Sullivan and Elizabeth Keffer of Atlantic Media -- who were on their way home, too. The rain was fairly steady and it was cold. For the first time in years this party had tents but most people stayed inside rather than go outside. Thanks to the rain, Bloomberg gave out umbrellas. They have excellent umbrellas. Five or six years ago, just as the WHCA dinner ended at the Hilton, there was a powerful and drenching thunderstorm. Bloomberg gave out umbrellas at the entrances to the hotel. I still have that umbrella. Now it has a friend.
In the end it was amusing to see all the movie stars at the Vanity Fair party. Movie stars and TV stars. More women stars than men. Unfortunately I didn't get a snap of Charlize Theron, who looked lovely. And Bo Derek and John Corbett (who told me how much they miss Nathans, where they would hang out late when in DC), and Sophia Vergara and Claire Danes. Even though there was an MSNBC party, Chris Matthews spent the evening at Vanity Fair. There weren't as many bonafide celebs as in earlier years. Most of the guests were denizens of Washington - media, politocal types, party boys and girls, friends of Vanity Fair or Ambassador Delattre and his wife, Sophie.
Let's not pretend this evening has anything to do with Washington journalism. (haha, oxymoron). This is a Hollywood party transported to DC. Period. VF says they may give it a break next year. I don't blame them. They've done that before. The whole weekend needs a reboot. It won't happen, because too many egos are invested in the status quo, but it should happen.
At the extraordinarily crowded Google party, Google founder Eric Schmidt stood against the wall near the entrance. "Do you like crowds?" I asked. "No," he said, emphatically. I'm with Eric. It was too crowded. Almost impossible to move through the rooms in the basement of the W Hotel. But guests were smiling, laughing, shouting to be heard, and apparently having fun. Like any prom, these events are best for catching up with friends. Read my preview story on washingtonian.com
I saw some dear friends from across the years, friends I don't see often enough, so foraging into the mosh was worthwhile. Heidi Berenson, who worked with me at CBS News and now has her own media company; Britt Kahn, who worked with me at Larry King Live and is now one of Conan O'Brien's producers, and Stephanie Ruhle, with whom I go way back, to when she was working on Wall Street, and now covers Wall Street for Bloomberg. (And her handsome husband, Andy Hubbard, who still works on Wall Street). Crushed in with us was Dave Grimaldi of the FCC, who have their own issues with Google.
Up on the W's rooftop, The New Yorker party was less crowded, and of course there is that spectacular view, and they had food. I spent most of my time sitting with Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast, catching up and talking about our children. His daughter, Camilla, went to high school with my son, and his son, Julian, worked summers in the office at Nathans. Also joining us was another good friend, Francesca Craig, social secretary at the French Embassy, meaning everyone wanted to lobby her to get on the list for the Vanity Fair party at the ambassador's residence tonight. She was handed enough cards to fill a rolodex.
The most civilized event of the evening, and reliably so, was the dinner party earlier at the home of Atlantic Media founder David Bradley and his wife, Katherine Bradley. It was just right, featuring an African-themed menu with steak and sweet potatoes and spices. If the whole weekend could be like that!
Yes, there were movie stars all over the place, but spotting them is not the reason to dive into this weekend's events. I like to see old friends.
I don't do brunches, so I'll skip those today. Besides, I wouldn't want anyone to see me in the daylight. Too scary. Gotta get more sleep and then go out and haunt the night.
PERFECT MOTHER'S DAY GIFTS:
Elizabeth Gage Red Truck Bakery Harry Winston Kron Truffles Cartier Georgetown Cupcake Graff Fleurir Chocolate Bars Hermes Osetra Caviar Tiffany Edward Marc Chocolates Bulgari William Greenberg Jean Schlumberger Baked & Wired Everything
I would add that a note which begins,
"whatever you want, and wherever," is
usually the best gift. My answer typically
begins with "make your bed" followed by
"don't make me too gray, too fast." Ha.
Remember the Salahis? Of course you do. They will be back in court on Monday for another hearing in an ongoing nasty divorce case. We talked with Tareq Salahi, who says he's turned his life around since splitting with Michaele. He also says he's developing a cooking show. Read it here: Tareq Salahi Interview With Washingtonian.
On New York Social Diary a return to what I consider the most memorable columns of the last 12 months, including social life, travel, restaurants and rants.
I hope I represented Washington well. fyi, NYSD has more than 600,000 unique visitors a month, and the readership is global in a strong way. I receive reader messages from all over the world and I appreciate every one. Please give this compilation a read: Washington Social Diary's 2011 Memorabe Moments.
Hohoho. Christmas presents take all forms. So, this afternoon at a festive holiday party I could not resist aiming my camera at the feet of Dr. Tina Alster, wearing her new Christmas kicks. Fresh off the lasts at Lanvin, these are serious stilettoes. I'm not one, (I prefer to own shoes rather than fondle them) but I offer this up on behalf of foot fetishists everywhere. These are not Georgetown heels nor are they sensible Washington pumps. These are kick ass, kiss my feet, know your place, serious business shoes. Three cheers for Dr. Tina, and Merry Christmas.
For better or worse, it remains the definitive interview with Michaele and Tareq Salahi:
We know commercial M Street is going through changes, trending toward more mall stores. Still, I burst out laughing at the sight of this mannequin in the window at Calvin Klein. The Georgetown of Dorcas Hardin is gone, baby, gone. Is this what the rebranding campaign means with the slogan, "Come out and play in Georgetown?" Hahaha. More hahaha. The complete package? An Anthony Weiner homage? CK's bf? Wishful thinking?
Better be careful, it could scare the little children (and some adults).
I got this habit from my friend Topher Mathews at The Georgetown Metropolitan. He cries foul on businesses, especially realtors, when they stretch Georgetown's borders to improbable lengths, sometimes practically into Cleveland Park, routinely into Foggy Bottom and also Burleith and Glover Park.
Today I noticed a good example in a neighborhood that is unequivocally West End. The Westin Hotel there has a sign that says "Westin Hotel - Georgetown." Unh? No, it is not in Georgetown. Not at all.
West End is actually a fine neighborhood and has worked hard to define itself when once upon a time it was just a dreary stretch of road linking Georgetown to downtown. It deserves credit. Besides, Westin West End has a decided ring to it.
Okay, here's a tabloid moment, but interesting because it connects to our city.
Did you know that Jennifer Aniston's latest BF is a native of Washington? Yep. Actor and writer Justin Theroux was born and raised here and went to one of the city's most interesting schools, The Field School on Foxhall Road. According to his IMDB profile he chose Bennington for college. He's related to all those other Therouxs, including Paul, who is his uncle. If you believe Wiki, his parents live here; she's a journalist and he's a lawyer. Interesting, eh?
This from IMDB: Academy Award-nominee (documentaries) Rachel Grady and her friend, Brooke Jones, took Justin Theroux to his first prom in Washington, D.C. and Justin's journalist mother, Phyllis Theroux, reported on their date in the June 5, 1985 New York Times.
I'm sure you already know of the other actor and emerging star from our neighborhood? Olivia Wilde, whose latest film is "Cowboys and Aliens." She grew up in Georgetown, along with an older sister and younger brother, and I believe attended Georgetown Day School before heading off to boarding school. Not positive about GDS. Her parents are the journalists and documentary filmmakers Leslie and Andrew Cockburn, long-time friends. One evening a while back I bumped into Andrew, Leslie and Olivia, walking along N Street ... just a young woman out with her parents. Like her parents she's smart and intuitive and it is fun to watch her career bloom.
Hmmm. Maybe Justin and Olivia should co-star in something??
NOTE: I saw "Cowboys and Aliens" this weekend. It's fun. Olivia and Daniel Craig carry the film, though in respect to Daniel Craig it his mostly his buff butt.
I have no idea whether the owners of the house are thrilled, and can't help but wonder the nature of the provocation, but regardless this TP prank on 31st Street is oddly beautiful. Maybe it's the way the streams of 2-ply hang from the tree and catch the hot breeze, making it seem a degree cooler. Maybe it's the artful wrapping of the fence. I swear, there's a hint of Christo.
First of all, I don't want the job. Second, it doesn't exist. Third, I'd have to be paid. Therefore this is one of those fun hypothetical blogs one writes on a summer night. That said, here's some of what I'd do if I became mayor of Georgetown. (For better or worse, this is where the mind goes during a day of jury duty!)
1. Create a restaurant and bar committee/commission/bureau. Whatever you want to call it. This would not be about liquor licenses, it would be about food, about wooing entrepreneurial chefs and owners who want to open statement restaurants and bistros, markets and bakeries, charcuteries and produce emporiums, food ideas we haven't even experienced yet. They would start here. Not chains. Maybe they'd be so hot they would become a chain (like Georgetown Cupcake), but Georgetown would be famous as their birth place. It would be the culinary hub of Washington and, ultimately, the mid-Atlantic.
As for liquor licenses, issue them on the basis of creative invention, enhancing the community, not necessarily who is standing first in line. They need to be a lure for premium enterprises.
2. To achieve No.1 I would ask that landlords be given a significant property tax break for offering good deals to these same chefs and owners. These same owners would be offered subsidies from the city. Everyone who got involved would benefit. It's been said before but: build it and they will come.
3. One night a week -- Thursday or Sunday -- cars would be banned from M Street between 29th and 33rd Streets and on Wisconsin between M and N Streets. There would be dance bands and dancing, shopping and game stalls. It would be the village square as boulevard.
4. On that same "Georgetown Night," I would offer free or deeply discounted parking at all the garages. (Don't scoff. It would bring a lot of retail business in general).
5. Parking meters would be free in Georgetown after 6:30 every night of the week. The city may balk, but the money lost on meters would be more than recouped in sales tax from restaurants and shops, and income tax on employment. Non-punitive parking would bring people back to Georgetown.
4. Once a month a First Night-like restaurant extravaganza that was about deals and discounts for patrons. Maybe it would be the first Monday of the month. If the first Monday in October works for the Supreme Court why wouldn't the First Monday of the month work for Georgetown? It would.
5. Create a Georgetown podcast that featured interviews with chefs and shop owners, especially the businesses that are sole proprietor, where customers can actually MEET THE OWNER. What a concept! This podcast would highlight the best of the Georgetown websites: the Dish, the Metropolitan, the Patch, the Georgetowner, Vox Populi ... and so on. Those publishers would be regular guests, in addition to anybody of interest who happened to be in the village. Instead of The Sports Junkies (which I download like a junkie), it could be The George Junkies ... or whatevs. By all means pull in the people who live and work here who are under the age of 45! It's their Georgetown, too. Comparable to the Division of Food (see item #1) also have a Division of Social Media and exploit it in every way.
6. Honor the BUSINESS OF THE MONTH. Balloons, confetti, a marching band...and no city audits for a whole year! Also, I would not let a business like Furin's close. I would work hard to relocate, because some businesses are worth extra effort in preserving.
7. Work with Vornado to transform the Georgetown Park Mall into shopping delight similar to the Chelsea Market. Have them inaugurate it with Washington's first Dîner en Blanc. (Also a good spot for re-invented Furin's, Nathans, Garretts, French Market, Hudson Brothers ... a virtual memory lane of Gtown classics).
8. Provide food trucks a permanent residence along K and Water Streets, fronting the Georgetown Waterfront Park. Wow, would the tourists love it, not to mention the locals.
9. Yes, I would have an ice rink at the Georgetown Waterfront Park, and it would have a food concession with hot dogs and hot chocolate on winters nights, and music, and strings of white lights.
10. I don't have a 10th idea. That's for YOU to fill in ... if YOU became mayor of Georgetown.
The Secret Service arrived quietly at Georgetown's Thomas Sweet Ice Cream shop at approximately 7:30 Sunday evening, asked the customers just to go about their business, and then President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia walked in to grab some Father's Day scoops of cookie dough and vanilla.
I was nearby, walking the dog, and noticed the motorcade. For the President, it was a discreet motorcade; as lengthy as usual but without sirens or flashing lights -- a caravan of black SUVS, one that had a video cameraman perched through the top hatch, a few DC police cars, an EMS vehicle. As I said, the usual. After the ice cream stop they cruised P Street toward Dupont Circle, which is an easy route back to the White House.
Thomas Sweet is one of Washington's most popular ice cream parlors. It is located at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and P Streets and is almost always packed on warm days and evenings.
Are the Obamas falling for Georgetown? Just a week ago Sasha and Malia and friends were at Georgetown Cupcake's Potomac Street studio for a private birthday party for Sasha. At the very least, they seem to like our sweets.
The Q&A Cafe interview with Christopher Kennedy Lawford will air on Friday May 17 at 8 pm on DCN, channel 16. We discuss his life, his addictions, his recovery and it's all good. Please tune in.
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