Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011


by contributor Marana Moore

Glowing stained glass windows and golden menorahs added light and beauty to an evening with Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg of NPR’s Planet Money. 

The historic Sixth & I Synagogue was first dedicated in 1908 and cost $90,000.  Flash forward to the year 2011: the priceless cultural and historic value of this DC icon now frames the dynamic duo known for editorializing the ins and outs of the financial world in snarky fashion. 

The Mike and Norah Show

Mike Allen and Norah O'Donnell
at the 50 Politicos to Watch party

Friday, July 29, 2011

Politicos Weigh in On the Debt

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The mercury in the thermometer was not the only thing bursting through the roof on Thursday night as members of the media and Washington insiders gathered to toast Politico’s “50 Politicos to Watch.” Tension was plenty high as well with the looming negotiations of the passage of a bill to raise the debt ceiling reaching another impasse.

In a room of such well defined political high rollers, it seemed irresponsible not to have at least a few weigh in.  

50 Politicos to Watch

Fred and Jerri Thompson

Watch the video here:

Is Urban Daddy's Jeff Dufour thinking what we're thinking?

Jeff Dufour and baby Owen

Courtney Cohen reads from "Go the F**K to Sleep"
by Author Adam Mansbach

She's funny, she's accomplished, she's sober. She's UNWASTED.

Author Sacha Scoblic

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Go 'The F**k to Sleep'

                      by contributor Brendan Kownacki

"Gilty" as Charged

Angie Goff and Adora
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was like a scene stolen from the Great Gatsby as friends, fans, and fashionistas gathered to launch the new Gilt City Washington DC. Perched in the garden of the historic Halcyon House in upper Georgetown, people noshed on gourmet bites and beat the stifling summer heat with a collection of drinks that included a frozen mint julep.

DC’s launch marks the 10th city for Gilt, which also has local based deals in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Dallas. As the company describes, ” Gilt City is the key that unlocks the very best your city has to offer for less”—and people are excited. Guests buzzed about their favorite ‘Gilty pleasures’—from designer shoes and dresses, to luxury handbags and travel deals.

Radio talk show host Amy Holmes
Gilt City promises to bring more than just items to eager fans though, with plans to offer unmatched experiences you can’t find anywhere else. Recent offerings from other cities included a behind-the-scenes tour of the hit TV Show Entourage, which fans snapped up as the show enters its final season.
Time's Jay Newton-Small and Yeas & Nays Nikki Schwab
“I buy five dresses at a time” said one avid Gilt user. But really, with such exclusive choices, it’s hard not to find yourself ‘Gilty’ of indulging.

Hollywood on the Potomac: "Gilty" Pleasures

Tommy McFly
Members of Congress could take a few lessons from members of Gilt City on how to balance the budget: The luxury goods online site offers 60% off of retail.  Ironically, it was launched in response to the last economic downturn.  Guests celebrated their guilty pleasures at Halycon House in Georgetown.  Video below.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Sister Searching for a Cure

Ashley Taylor and Nancy Brinker

The World Health Organization's Nancy Brinker -- sister of Susan G. Komen -- toasted the launch of the Komen for the Cure's Young Professional Initiative last night. Brinker reminded us that breast cancer is not only for the old, but that young women and even men are also vulnerable.Watch the video here:

Man Panel Words of Wisdom part II

featuring HOP contributor Brendan Kownacki

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Words of Wisdom from the Man Panel

 HOP contributor Brendan Kownacki in the hot seat!

Stella Artois, Piraat and Chimmay Red

The Ambassador of Belgium and Mrs. Matthysen 
Guests at the beer dinner at the Belgian embassy last night didn't mind that the salmon Napoleon, Rappahannock oysters and venison filet were paired with Stella Artois, Piraat Ale and Chimmay Red beer... nor did they mind the 11 percent alcohol level. Watch the video here:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

French Cuisine with Less Attitude

Robert, Marcel and Bart
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was about more than just food as a cultured crowd gathered at the residence of the Belgian Ambassador on Tuesday evening to celebrate Belgian restaurant week in the run up to Belgium’s Independence Day on July 21st.

Guests were treated to an array of traditional Belgian flavors and refined dishes from Belgian restaurants across the D.C. area including Belga Café, Granville Moore’s, Marcel’s, and Et Voila!, with the team of chefs joined by chef Jan Van Haute of the Belgian Embassy.

 Lobster salad, salsify, raspberry Lambic dressing served with Piraat ale
Chef Van Haute shared that Belgian cuisine is a special one; “the French cook with wine, and we cook with beer.”, he said, referring to the importance of Belgium’s beer in their meals, both for pairing as well as an ingredient in the creation of stews and sauces. “It’s like French cuisine with German portions,” he quipped. Chef Bart Vandaele of Belga Café added that Belgian food is similar in style to French food, but with “less attitude. 

Hay smoked mussels, heirloom tomato salad served with Premium St. Louis
Ambassador Jan Matthysen greeted guests throughout the residence and thanked everyone in brief remarks before dinner, proclaiming love for his native land and explaining that Belgium “is on the friction lines in Europe and we picked the best from all our neighbors and added a little something ourselves” –explaining the diverse cultural and culinary history of the country.

Straffe Hendrik Quadruple Ale chocolate caramel cake served with Straffe
Dinner was a relaxed affair that included lobster, mussels and venison as well as beer pairings with each course to truly highlight the tastes of Belgium. Attitude or not, each dish certainly transported everyone off to thoughts of the European countryside.

Belgian Beer Dinner at the residence of Amb. and Mrs. Matthysen


If you are in this photo taken at the Belgian Beer Dinner and couldn't handle the 11 percent
alcohol level, we know who you are. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Crime After Crime

Yoav Potash
In 1983 Debbie Peagler was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, despite many factors indicating that she should not have been charged with the crime in the first place. Director/producer Yoav Potash takes us inside this haunting film that is too close for comfort.  Click on video below.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Andy Warhol was like some really weird dad." author Glenn O'Brien

Photo by Paul Morigi
Robert Finfer and Michael Yo of E! News hosted a private reception at Neyla with GQ and Rémy Martin® for Glenn O'Brien - author of "How to be a Man." O'Brien talks about his first boss Andy Warhol and shares his man secrets.  Watch the video here:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Huffington and Armstrong on New Media at National Press Club

Arianna Huffington

by contributor Marana Moore

Arianna Huffington was serenaded by a hundred or so members of the DC media at the National Press Club on Friday, July 15th.   After a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday”, Huffington’s good-natured, tongue-in-cheek statement that there was no way that she’d rather spend her birthday than with a room full of Washington DC journalists evoked hearty laughter.  

Guests tucked into a savory luncheon while enjoying an interesting commentary from Huffington on media in general being in an “incredible state of transition”. The comments are particularly salient in the face of some of the acutely felt furor between the ranks of “traditional media” and those of “new media”, now that members of “new media” are frequently the forerunners in breaking stories and thus playing a much more central role.  
While taking great care to note that Huffington Post has nothing but respect for traditional media--highlighting the recent retention of several well respected journalists to augment their ranks--Arianna went on to say that the argument of old versus new media is “old fashioned” and “incredibly irrelevant”.

Huffington then sited some of the ways that new media has forever altered the face of society and in some cases effects big changes by “doing what new media does best, which is obsessively staying on a story”.  

Tim Armstrong and Marana Moore          Photo by Robert Devaney

Huffington was joined by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who followed her comments by reiterating the idea that journalism is, and will continue to be, inevitably redefined by technology--asking the question, “What is journalism to 4 million people with smart phones?”

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Finding out What’s In Style with GQ

Michael Yo from E! News

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Style was the name of the game when GQ Magazine’s resident “style guy” Glenn O’Brien stopped at Georgetown eatery Neyla late last week to fete his new book How to Be a Man.

Co-hosts Robert Finfer and Michael Yo of E! News warmed up the crowd as O’Brien mingled around discussing the book and espousing some of his classic sartorial wisdom. 

O’Brien, who attended Georgetown University, shared that he “loves D.C.” even if he doesn’t get into the city much—but this was the simple and elegant approach O’Brien seemed to offer to most questions posed to him.
Author Glenn O'Brien
Preferring a black ballpoint to a marker as he worked the room and signed copies of his latest tome, O’Brien espoused that style is more about effort for a man and not so much about following a certain set of rules, even saying that his own advice is more closely labeled as guidelines.

He was quick to waver though on the sometime stigma that Washington D.C. is ‘Hollywood for ugly people’—offering that he wouldn’t necessarily agree, but then countering with the claim that, “the two hottest girls you went to high school with, one moved to New York, and one to LA, the 5th hottest girl, she moved to D.C.” 

He did offer though that men in Washington could be more “adventurous” when it comes to their fashion choices, and that wearing a suit every day does not preclude being fashionable.

Two secrets on "How to Be a Man"

Party was co-hosted by Michael Yo and Robert Finfer

photo credit: Paul Morigi

Guests poured into Neyla in Georgetown to celebrate the publication of Glenn O'Brien's latest book: How to be a Man: A Guide To Style and Behavior For The Modern Gentleman.  He's written so many books he's not exactly sure what number this one is, but thinks it's his 6th full on book, but there maybe 50 others.  O'Brien is the "GQ Style Guy" who got his start from Andy Warhol.

Robert Finfer 
Michael Yo Glenn O'Brien Robert Finfer

"The two secrets on how to be a man are: 1) never lie unless it's for world peace and 2) always dress as if you are going somewhere better later."  author O'Brien

A political page turner by Keli Goff.

Pamela Sorensen and Victoria Michael
Friends of Huffington Post contributor Keli Goff hosted a book party in her honor at Blue Duck Tavern for her latest tome: "The GQ Candidate." She assures us it's a novel, although the storyline is eerily realistic.  Watch the video here:

Friday, July 15, 2011

"The GQ Candidate"

"The GQ Candidate"


Rep. Carolyn Maloney, T.H. Artur Davis, Christine Delargy, Tanya Lombard, Jamal Simmons, Pamela Sorensen, Kimball Stroud and David Sutphen hosted a book party for Keli Goff at Blue Duck Tavern at The Park Hyatt.  

"The CQ Candidate" is Goff's first novel and a political page turner.  Expect the unexpected.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Life in A Day"

by contributor Marana Moore
Joe Sterne Photography

The crowd laughed, cried and identified with the people all over the world at National Geographic's Private Screening of "Life In A Day" by Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald. Lisa Truitt, President of National Geographic Cinema Ventures, comments on the positive impact they hope the film may have on society as a whole. Will Edelson, an 11 year old, gives his own take and Milinda Jefferson - Gold Star Family Member and Life in a Day Film finalist - talks about how her piece made the final 100 hour cut.  Watch the trailer here:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Taking lunch up a notch.

Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Make Our Day

Guests attending the luncheon hosted by Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer for new Gibralter Associates partner Kelley McCormick at The Jefferson Hotel could have cared less about the weather.  View photo gallery here:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting Susur-licious

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Internationally acclaimed Chef Susur Lee stopped in at his DC restaurant Zentan for the weekend to premiere a fun summer menu that he named "Susur-licious".

We chatted with Chef Lee - popular to fans for his appearances on Iron Chef and as the runner up on Bravo's Top Chef Masters - who shared some thoughts on cooking and his favorite dishes for the season. 

Lee appeared at a happy hour thrown by local radio station 94.7 Fresh FM where he prepared his famous Singapore Slaw LIVE in front of an anxious crowd who were chomping at the bit for a taste.

Susur - who also has restaurants in Toronto, New York and Singapore - greeted guests, posed for pictures and joked that he would  reveal the recipe to some of his famous dishes as long as diners agreed not to try them at home, but keep coming back. We happily agreed. 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

"Hollywood on the Potomac" - Checking in with The TOMMY Show

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

A few weeks back we reported a new addition to DC's morning radio schedule when Tommy Mcfly officially shifted his popular afternoon program into the morning drive time slot on 94.7 Fresh FM. We caught up with the team from "The TOMMY Show" this week as they closed down their third week on the air and got their thoughts on getting to work at 4 AM, how they feel the team is meshing together and what is coming up in the weeks ahead.

Below the Beltway: Behind the scenes of Washington Politics

Private screening at L2
by contributor Marana Moore

Guests attending the private sneak preview of “Below the Beltway” -  a new DC insider film hosted by John Hanshaw of The Washington Film Institute - enjoyed the sophisticated environment and solicitous service of L2 located in Cady’s Alley in Georgetown. 

It was an intimate gathering for students, film buffs, socialites and media and a chance to ask the film's producer Jim Wareck (a 10 year politico vet) and director Claudia Myers to go through the process of making the film.  

During the Q and A, guests got unscripted responses straight from the creators of the snarky satire shot here in DC and which is currently available on the Movie Channel and Showtime.

When asked about the challenges and inspiration behind bringing the film to life, Wareck laughed and said that after 10 years here in DC and on The Hill he knew he had to make this film, whatever the odds and whatever the cost…“even if I had to do it with sock puppets”. 

The plot centers around a disgraced lobbyist trying to manipulate information in order to get back into his former power position, played by Tate Donovan (of The O.C.).  

While purposely striving to be “A-political” (if that is possible with such subject matter), the witty, tongue-in-cheek repartee and dizzying plot twists as reporters, lobbyists, and politicians try to suppress, spin, or capitalize on a scandal offers a revealing look at what life in DC’s political fast lane is really like.

The result of his dedication and determination speak for themselves.  The movie struck that wonderful balance between satire and truth—as delicately nuanced as the glass of Riesling we enjoyed along with it.

Cameraman: The Life & Work of Jack Cardiff

Courtesy of Craig McCall
Legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) comes to the other side of the screen in "Cameraman," as director/producer Craig McCall takes us on a walk through his life. We asked Craig  to comment on those aspects of his life that affected his work.

Cardiff jokingly said he "went to a different school every week." How do you think that experience affected him personally and professionally?  Read full column here:

Friday, July 08, 2011

Inside MSNBC's 15th Anniversary Party

Rep. Donna Edwards with Chris Matthews.  Photo by Neshan Naltchayan
At MSNBC's 15th anniversary party last night, the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart (also an MSNBC contributor) explained the meaning behind their new branding: "Lean Forward." And no, it has nothing to do with overindulging.

 Watch the video here:

Monday, July 04, 2011

How cool is this? She runs her business in Jakarta on Skype.

Rosa Djalal- Photo by Marana Moore
Nothing is stopping Rosa Djalal from running a successful business in Jakarta.  The wife of The Ambassador of Indonesia checks in with her staff and runs her dental practice via Skype.  Watch the video here:

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Katy Adams

All photos taken prior to third drink!

Lessons on Angklung… And World Harmony

The Ambassador of Indonesia
by contributor Marana Moore

Washington notables, executives and media personalities oohed, ahhed and laughed while making beautiful music together on Angklungs.  Each instrument resonates in only one single note—but together, the group created (almost) perfect harmony at the stunning residence of Ambassador Dr. Dino Patti Djalal.

Learning to play the Angklung
Guests were handed the traditional bamboo instruments while enjoying fragrant Indonesian dishes, music and hospitality in celebration of the upcoming 2011 Indonesian Festival on July 9th on the grounds of The Washington Monument.

Paxton K. Baker, Executive VP and General Manager of BET, kicked off the celebration by announcing that the affair would be MC’d by Cynne Simpson of Channel 7, WJLA.  We caught up with Cynne after her speech who said she was “incredibly excited” to be a part of such a positive event promoting cultural harmony.   

Rosa Djalal
Rosa Djalal will host an Indonesian ladies tea and traditional dance on July 5th--including yet another private Angklung practice session leading up to the big day.

Sadly, the Angklung Maestro told us that if we wanted our own Angklung we would have to wait until the 9th—and to be sure to bring “at least 8 friends”, since you can never play a song with just one note alone.  Too true, Maestro.  Perhaps one day the world may yet learn to sing along.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Calling all wannabe rock stars: The Amb. of Indonesia wants you!


Ambassador of Indonesia and Mrs. Djalal

The Ambassador of Indonesia has an instrument with your name on it waiting for you at the Washington Monument grounds on July 9th where he hopes to break the Guinness World Record for the most Angklung players. Watch the video here:

Travel Torture. Decode it! says author

Tired of being morphed into your airline seat? Tired of high prices? Author Nicholas Kralev's "Decoding Air Travel" may have the solution. The Arts Club hosted a book party in his honor, where he suggested you 'learn the codes.' Kralev's traveled around the world with four U.S. secretaries of state, flown almost two million miles and visited more than 80 countries. He should know.

Frogs Legs and Swamp Baskets

In case you weren't into the Crawfish Boil at the Cajun Experience, Chef Thomas Schoborg cooked up spicy frog legs in the kitchen and prepared a "Swamp Basket" to go.  Watch video here: