I ask the question in the headline in all serious, because our next Q&A Cafe, on Thursday, May 9, delves into addiction in its many forms. The guest is Christopher Kennedy Lawford, who has written the book "Recover to Live, Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction."
From the book: For most of his early life, Christopher Kennedy Lawford battled life-threatening drug and alcohol addictions. Now in recovery for more than 25 years, he works to effect change and raise global awareness of addiction in nonprofit, private, and government circles, serving as the goodwill ambassador for drug dependence treatment and care for the United Nations.
For the first time, the New York Times bestselling Recover to Live brings together all of the most effective self-care treatments for the seven most toxic compulsions affecting every culture on the planet today-alcohol dependence, drug dependence, eating disorders, gambling, hoarding, smoking, sex, and porn.
Thursday's Q&A will be a chance to explore addiction and also to learn about Lawford and his interesting life as a Lawford, a Kennedy, an author, actor, activist.
The Q&A Cafe tapes at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown hotel. Seating begins at noon. The fee is $38. For reservations please contact Esmaralda Prifold at 202.912.4100 or email email@example.com
We taped this interview with Bill Marriott April 9 at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown hotel. He has interesting observations on subjects such as growing a business, his life story, politics, the Mormon faith, the new DC Marriott Marquis hotel, the return of Hot Shoppes and the "Mighty Mo."
Our next Q&A Cafe is Thursday, May 9, featuring an interview with Christopher Kennedy Lawford. For reservations, please call Esmaralda Prifold at 202.912.4100. Seating begins at noon, the fee is $38, covering lunch, dessert from Georgetown Cupcake, taxes and tip. Please join us.
We're actually taping an episode of The Q&A Cafe today, but it's in studio and without an audience. It's a spring/summer preview of fashion, food and the arts for DC. I'll let you know the air date asap, but it's likely to be this Friday, April 26. The guests are colleagues from Washingtonian, discussing their beats: Kate Bennett on fashion, Sophie Gilbert on the arts, and Jessica Voelker on food and restaurants.
Our next Q&A Cafe taping at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown is on Thursday, May 9, when the guest will be Christopher Kennedy Lawford, grandson nephew of JFK, as well as an actor, author, activist, drug addict and alcoholic, who has been in recovery for more than two decades. He has quite a story to tell.
Seating begins at noon, the fee is $38 covering all costs of lunch, soft beverages, tax, tip and dessert from Georgetown Cupcake. For reservations please call the hotel directly at 202.912.4100 and speak with Esmaralda Prifold or email her directly.
Marriott International chairman J. W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr., will be the guest at our next Q&A Cafe on Tuesday, April 9 at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown hotel. We will discuss his life and business and his new book, "Without Reservations," which will also be available for purchase and signing. Please make a reservation and join us. Seating begins at noon, the fee is $38 -- covering all food, soft beverages, dessert from Georgetown Cupcake, tax and tip. We wrap by 1:3o, at the latest. To make a reservation, please contact the Ritz at 202.912.4100, or email Esmaralda Prifold.
Coming on Thursday, May 9 - Christopher Kennedy Lawford.
When you reach a certain age (and it feels younger all the time) there's only a few degrees of separation from the realities of alcohol and drug abuse, addiction, the struggle for sobriety and recovery. Also, that this illness does kill. In a hard-charging, high-wire town such as Washington, the stresses of public and private life take a toll, exacerbate weaknesses and drive people to make dangerous choices, often hidden. We hear about celebrities and their addictions, but the same lonely, dark cycle happens to regular people, too. There are so many people who need help, and who feel helpless.
The circle is much larger than the user, too. It's the family, the friends, the colleagues.
Christopher Kennedy Lawford, who faced down both drug and alcohol addiction, and is 24 years sober, will be the guest at The Q&A Cafe on Thursday, May 9. We'll discuss the public and personal faces of addiction; also his life, his struggles, his successes and his book, "Recover to Live." One doesn't have to be an addict, or know an addict, to be interested. It's a topic of our times.
Christopher is, of course, a member of the iconic Kennedy family, who have had to cope with the crisis and heartbreak of addiction too many times. His parents were actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy Lawford, sister of President John F. Kennedy.
Please make a reservation and join us. As always, on May 9, seating at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown hotel will begin at noon. The fee is $38, covering all costs of food, including dessert from Georgetown Cupcake, soft beverages, tax and tip. Christopher's book will be available for buying and signing, too. For reservations please call the Ritz Georgetown directly at 202.912.4121. Another number is 202.912.4100. Or, send an email to Esmaralda Prifold.
Reminder: The Q&A Cafe on Tuesday, April 9, features an interview with J.W. "Bill" Marriott. Another must see.
Here's the most recent episode of The Q&A Cafe, my interview with DC Mayor Vincent Gray. Note the comments about CFO Natwar Ghandi, who shortly thereafter handed in his resignation. Note also the comments about whether Gray plans to run for re-election, and reaction to his potential running mates. There's nuance here. And, yes, we discuss the whole DOJ investigation, too. So, there's a lot.
Where has President Obama been for the last four years on behalf of statehood for the city where he lives most of the time? A lot of people would tell you "in hiding." Sure, it's not his hometown, but after a first term here he must notice that it's a real American city with a citizenry denied the privileges that belong to all other Americans: elected representatives in the House and Senate who have votes that count.
For the second term, Obama put the "Taxation Without Representation" license plate on his armored car, but is that as far as it will go? This will be one of the main topics we discuss on Tuesday with Mayor Vincent Gray at The Q&A Cafe. Seating begins at noon at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, the interview will begin between 12:15 and 12:30, and it will be wrapped up by 1:15. The fee is $38, which covers food, soft beverages, tax and tip. For reservations please send an email or phone Esmaralda Prifold at the Ritz. 202.912.4122.
Here's Harry Jaffe's take on the statehood issue for Washingtonian.
Mayor Vincent Gray told me Sunday night at an inauguration party that he has an important news-making announcement which he'll discuss when I interview him next week at The Q&A Cafe. So, please make a reservation to be there. Smiling, he told me it is positive news, but he did not go into the details. He did say he hopes DC Cable will do a quick turn around to air the show, to which I said, "that's up to you. It's your channel." He laughed.
The Q&A Cafe tapes next Tuesday, January 29, at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown Hotel. We begin seating at noon and generally wrap by 1:15. The fee is only $38, and that includes all food, soft beverages, tax and tip. For reservations, please email or phone Esmaralda Prifold 202-912-4121.
What do you think of photo enforcement cameras? Are they safety devices or money makers? Mayor Vincent Gray has adjusted the fine rates, but is that enough? We'll discuss the issue with him at The Q&A CAFE on Tuesday, January 29. That and much more.
Seating begins at noon at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown. The fee is only $38 and that includes lunch, soft beverages, tax and tip. Dessert is courtesy of Georgetown Cupcake. We will be done by 1:15.
Am I begging you? Not exactly, but close. I can't do it without you.
For reservations please write to Esmaralda Prifold. Or phone 202-912-4121.
Come to the Q&A Cafe on Tuesday, January 29, when we put that question to Mayor Vincent Gray. Can he win a name change and get the team back to DC, where it belongs? Or does Dan Snyder have all the power, and do whatever he wants? Does Gray want to burden RGIII with this responsibility, too, as Mike Wise proposed (unfairly, I think)? Among many other questions.
The date is Tuesday January 29. Seating begins at noon. The fee is only $38 and that includes lunch, soft beverages, tax and tip. Dessert is courtesy of Georgetown Cupcake. We will be done by 1:15.
Am I begging you? Not exactly, but close. I can't do it without you.
For reservations please write to Esmaralda Prifold. Or phone 202-912-4121.
We have cancelled this coming Friday's Q&A Cafe at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown. The reasons are many, but include a low number of reservations. We are rescheduling for May, which is timely because it is when the guest, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass, is launching his book.
Sorry about this. Tough time of year and unusually busy week.
What's the future for foreign policy in Barack Obama's second term? That's the focus of The Q&A Cafe for Friday, November 9 at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown. Our guest is Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. You know the group. Robert Rubin is a member of the board. So are David Rubenstein and Madeleine Albright. And Tom Brokaw, Colin Powell, Fred Smith, Pete Peterson, Martin Felstein and David Bradley. Angelina Jolie is a member, too.
How can we not have loads to talk about?
Please make a reservation today. The fee is only $35, and that's all inclusive of food, drinks, tax and tip. It's a deal. To make reservations please contact Esmaralda Prifold. Or phone 202.912.4110.
This will be our first post-election gathering. It will be timely, interesting and, as always, fun.
Here is a recent column Haass wrote for Huffington Post.
This was our very first Q&A Cafe at the new location of the Ritz Carlton Georgetown hotel, an elegant home for the show. For sure, patrons missed Nathans cozy back room, but given all, we were in a good place. At this point we cut the production schedule back from once a week to once a month.
I'm a big fan of Ali's show "Head Case" on STARZ network. I continue to watch the reruns. Clever to the bone. And, as I say at the beginning of the interview, I treasure her witty cookbook, "The WASP Cookbook." She did it as a spoof but, seriously, some of the recipes are keepers.
I'm always somewhat intimidated when interviewing genuinely funny people. I don't have that natural humor and the challenge is to find a stride that helps set up the funny person to be funny, while also doing a legit interview. That's what was going through my head as I talked with Ali. It's a fun interview.
Back in February 2010, I found Ken Gormley's book riveting. The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs Starr was an exhaustive review and analysis of everything "Clinton scandals," from Whitewater to Monica Lewinsky, and then some. Gormley interviewed all the principals, including President Clinton, Kenneth Starr and Lewinsky, and they were candid. The Susan McDougal parts are especially interesting. So, I was excited to have the chance to interview Gormley about the book.
This was not a "household name," interview, but then some of my favorite interviews are with people who are not necessarily household names. Gormley had a good story to tell. That's what matters.
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.
DOUBLE CLICK TO VIEW IN FULL
This interview with MSNBC's Howard Fineman was taped Thursday, July 26, at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown. Our next show is Friday, August 17, when the subject will be national security and national intelligence, with "The Watchers" author, and Washingtonian senior writer, Shane Harris.
Gwen was such a good guest, and had such a good personal story to tell. This particular show has proved to be very popular with audiences. I hear about it more than most. I think we taped this in 2010. It was among the first at the new location, the Ritz Carlton-Georgetown.
Another favorite from the archives. We taped this show in 2008 at Nathans right after The Washington Post, on Leonard Downie's watch, scored big with the Pulitzers. As executive editor he was on a roll and in a good mood. I look back on it now and wonder if it marked the end of an era for the newspaper. At the end of the interview, we talk about a novel-in-progress. "The Rules of the Game" was published by Random House after he left the Post.
Watch this and you'll think he should get back in the daily journalism game.
This interview is a good example of why I love to do The Q&A Cafe. Ted Sorensen was someone I knew of since childhood, who I studied in school, read about in countless histories of the Kennedy presidency, but I never thought I would meet him or, especially, have the chance to interview him. The Q&A Cafe brought me that opportunity. He died almost two years ago. This interview happened in 2008, when "Counselor: A Life at The Edge Of History" was published. His eyesight had become very poor, but his mind was sharp and every word was interesting.
What's not to like about time spent with chef Eric Ripert, chef extraordinaire of New York's Le Bernardin. It was a treat. You'll enjoy it. It will leave you with your appetite ready to be satisfied by a good meal.
This is another one of the oldies but goodies, recorded in Nathans back room, the original home of The Q&A Cafe. Enjoy.
Howard Fineman, one of the nation's top political reporters and analysts, will be the guest at The Q&A Cafe on Thursday, July 26th at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown. This is a special "summertime" Q&A to mark the election year and to preview the presidential nominating conventions. Howard is the editorial director and chief political reporter for Huffington Post and a regular contributor to MSNBC.
For the show, seating begins at noon. The fee is $35, all inclusive (a new low price), and for reservations please phone the hotel directly at 202.912.4110 or email Ozan Yalcindag.
While we're on the subject of Huffington Post, please check out my Washingtonian story of yesterday that reveals the entertaining Huffington Post email chain on the day the staff learned one of their own won the Pulitzer. Clearly they've got team spirit, and a gift for profanity and a tinge of superstition. Don't ask how I got it cause I won't tell.
The folks at DC Cable have posted two more Q&A Cafe greatest hits on the YouTube. One is with Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn and their son Quinn Bradlee. This is a rare interview with the family all together. They are candid, intimate and interesting and reveal the family dynamic. It was taped at Nathans.
The other Q&A Cafe episode that went up on YouTube last week is my interview with Tareq and Michaele Salahi. It's been highly controversial. A) because I interviewed them and B) because I interviewed them. Well, that's how interview programs work. The goal is to book the guest or guests who are most compelling at the moment, and at this moment -- between the White House gatecrashing episode and the debut of "Real Housewives of Washington DC" -- the Salahis were compelling. No apologies for this interview. In 11 years of shows, it was our most overbooked. In the smaller clips that were earlier on YouTube (this version is the whole show) there were thousands of views. This was taped at our new location, the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Georgetown.
I'm proud of both of these interviews. Can you tell how nervous I am? Ha! In both, I was quite nervous. Usually, ten minutes in, the nerves begin to calm.
Please book a seat at our next show: talking politics and political conventions with Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post and MSNBC, on Thursday, July 26,
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.
Here's my interview with Jack Abramoff, taped at The Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown in the fall of 2011, now up on YouTube. Our next show is July 26 with Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post and MSNBC.
The summer is a good time to catch up with past episodes of The Q&A Cafe from the archives, including the above interview with Ben Bradlee, Quinn Bradlee & Sally Quinn, available on the YouTube link below. We will tape new shows, too. Watch on Friday evenings at 8 o'clock on Comcast channel 16, DCN.
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