Friday, September 30, 2011

"I'm 79. What am I doing here?" Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

"The title derives from a frequently parodied Rumsfeld response to a reporter's question about whether there actually was evidence of any link between Saddam Hussein and terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction. The Defense secretary responded: "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me because, as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know." Tim Rutten, LA Times.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Like a 'Fashion Rave': District Sample Sale Fall 2011

by contributor Brendan Kownacki 
It was a fashionistas paradise at the 11th District Sample Sale when restaurants and retail came together for the seasonal fashion bonanza which included participants such as retailers Urban Chic, Wink, and Julia Farr and food from Black and Orange, Georgetown Cupcake and Barcode, among others.  This season's event raised funds to support WEAVE , a charity that was started in DC in 1996 to stand up against domestic violence. The DSS has raised more than $200,000 in the history of the event with this year primed to break new fundraising records.   Watch the fun:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

They wrote on the walls...

Katherine and David  Bradley

by contributor Donna Shor
Photo credit: "©James R. Brantley

Several million dollars worth of talent took the stage of the Folger Shakespeare Library when the Pen/Faulkner Foundation held its 23rd Annual Gala.

Eleven authors of renown -  prize winning and best selling - had been given the theme,” Writing on the Wall,” as the take-off point for an essay they would compose to read at the gala.

Master of Ceremonies was Roy Blount,Jr. - the Southern humorist who has published twenty-two books - and whose latest is “Alphabetter Juice: or the Joy of Text.”

Innocents at Risk

Board member Shahin Mafi, Chef Mark Timms, Deborah Sigmund, Founder, Innocents at Risk and Ernie Allen

Awareness is Prevention Dinner at The Fairfax at Embassy Row with Executive Chef Mark Timms to Benefit Innocents at Risk was held on Tuesday night with Diplomatic Chairs H.E. Gary Doer, The Ambassador of Canada; H.E. Arturo Sarukhán, The Ambassador of Mexico and Mrs. Sarukhán and Special Guest Speaker Ernie Allen, Founder, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Gala

Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards on Saturday. 

Read the transcript here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Light The Night Against Leukemia

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Pamela Sorensen of Pamela's Punch gathered friends and supporters to kick off support for Light The Night, an inspiring annual walk that raises funds and awareness of the fight against blood cancer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“46 Mommas: Shave for the Brave”

Tommy McFly and Amy Gagle

by contributor Megan Podeszwa
Photos courtesy of Tommy McFly

46 women gathered at Union Station all with one goal - to leave there bald.

Besides a common goal, these women all had another thing in common.  Many have a child whose life has been touched by cancer.  They all came together as part of  “46 Mommas: Shave for the Brave” to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s childhood cancer research.

Philanthropic Fun

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The idea just seemed to make sense when the team from the K Street classic Teatro Goldoni got together and decided they wanted to spice up their Wednesday nights. A recurring party seemed too simple and not enough to entice people out on hump-day as the weekend why not throw in some social good?

And Philanthropia was born.

A sweet night....

ABC 7's Natasha Barrett with Arch Campbell

by contributors Jonathan karl Speckenbach and Peng Ye
Photo credit: Tyrone Spady

Young Washington professionals gathered Tuesday night at One Lounge for the 2nd Annual Cupcakes & Cocktails event benefitting The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. 

Guests joined ABC 7's Natasha Barrett, Alison Starling, Leon Harris and the ever endearing Arch Campbell as well as Fox 5's Steve Chenevey, WUSA 9's Anita Brikman and NBC 4's John Schriffen who judged the cupcake competition from diverse bakeries.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Seeing Red

Photo credit: Daniel Swartz/

Pomp and Circumstance

By contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was a celebration fit for a king on Thursday evening when Virgin Atlantic rolled out the red carpet at Lincoln restaurant to celebrate 15 years of service in the DC area.

The long time connection between Dulles airport and London's Heathrow has been a fantastic venture for the airline and provided a critical international link to the DC.   Senior Vice President of Virgin for North America, Chris Rossi, said “In the service industry its about your people, and we have the best people,” reflecting on the anniversary.  He mentioned that in 15 years the DC flight has served nearly 2 million passengers and has amounted around $315 million in local revenue for the DC area. 

Virgin Atlantic shakes things up at Lincoln

by contributor Donna Shor
Photo credit: Daniel S. Swartz/

That the innovative airline Virgin Atlantic hosted a smashing party Thursday night was no surprise - the company’s founder, imaginative Sir Richard Branson, has always shaken up the industry as the bad-boy Great Innovator of the Airways.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bob Schieffer on how he got his job at CBS and "crush?" on Gwyneth Paltrow

Bob Schieffer and Senator John McCain
Photo credit: Chris Usher
Bob Schieffer celebrated a colorful career at CBS and 20 Years With Face the Nation at a party hosted by Jeff Fager and David Rhodes at The St. Regis Hotel.  Find out how he REALLY got his job at CBS and what's REALLY up with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Beau Bridges receives The Lone Sailor Award

Award winners: C-Span founder Brian Lamb, Jerry Coleman and Beau Bridges
Photo credit: Ralph Alswang Photography

The Lone Sailor Award is given to Sea Service veterans who have excelled with distinction in their respective civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.

The 2011 award recipients given out at the Navy Memorial awards gala joined an impressive list of men and women who have distinguished themselves by drawing upon their military experience to become successful in their subsequent careers and lives, while exemplifying the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.

Beau Bridges

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Last Kiss of Summer

Photo by Neshan H. Naltchayan
The Last Kiss of Summer raises funds to support Second Chance Employment Services that provide free employment placement and training services for battered and abused women and their children in the Washington metropolitan area.  The organization was founded by Ludy Green.

"In the Hive" with director Robert Townsend and Vivica Fox

Vivica Fox

Photos and commentary by contributor Megan Podeszwa
Videos and Collage by Janet Donovan

AT+T's Tanya Lombard hosted a special screening of IN THE HIVE with Director Robert Townsend and cast members Vivica Fox, Loretta Devine, and newcomer Jonathan McDaniel.   
Robert Townsend’s movie, In the Hive, tells the story a young gangbanger (Xtra), who tries to get his life on the right track for his family.  After being court ordered to attend Hive Academy, a school for “at risk” boys and originally resenting being there, he sees how his life is being changed for the better.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Decked out in Pink

Kimberly Robinson and Wendy Gordon
by contributor Brendan Kownacki
Photo credit: Vithaya Phongsavan

The attire, the lighting, even the cocktails…pink. Pink. PINK.

Friends and well-wishers gathered Tuesday night at Washington’s chic new cocktail lounge Dirty Bar for the official pre-party launch for Pink Rocks the Runway. The annual breast cancer awareness fashion event will take place this year on October 21st and will be headlined by the spring 2012 collection of designer Christian Siriano.

40th Anniversary of Wolf Trap

Wolf Trap celebrated their 40th Anniversay
to a rousing musical evening.
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Global Party: The ultimate party....the ultimate hangover

An Affair to Remember

 Gala Corporate Chair Paul G. Stern with Event Chair Grace Bender
By contributor Donna Shor
Photos credit: Eli Turner

At Friday night’s stunning gala benefiting the lung cancer research of the LUNGevity Foundation, every detail was perfect - whether the décor, the food, the music or the flowers.

Magnificent floral arrangements of white and apple green with masses of delicate purple orchids were matched in the veiling of colored lights bathing the columns of the ballroom. Even the table service and glasses were of especially fine quality as well.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

When Gallatin came to Jefferson

Gallatin stand-in

By contributor Donna Shor
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan

A seldom-celebrated American statesman (who was both ally and occasionally antagonist of Thomas Jefferson) finally got his due Thursday night when the Swiss Embassy and the Jefferson Hotel brought their doubles together.

It was also the 250th year of Gallatin’s birth and his actor stand-in at the celebration had the fun of unveiling Gallatin’s portrait in dedicating the Jefferson Hotel’s Gallatin Room.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Hangover felt 'round the world!

Hayden Panettiere
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Some might call it the hangover felt 'round the world after guests united Friday night in a simultaneous global charity party. The Global Party, which was inspired by the lead character in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days took place in 80 venues ranging in location from Paris to Dubai.  

The 33rd Annual Ambassadors Ball

CBS' Norah O'Donnell and Senator Mark Warner
By contributor Donna Shor
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan

It was a busy stage at the Ritz Carlton ballroom when diplomats were honored at the Ambassadors Ball to benefit the National Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Norah O’Donnell ably emceed, the ARPAN Kathak Dance Academy and the Kardelen Turkish Dance Ensemble performed and awards were bestowed. Legislative leaders, philanthropists and leaders of the business community made up the audience, and were good customers of the silent auction audience.

Noche de Gala takes over The Mayflower

 "American Idol"competitor David Archuleta
hits up the keyboard at The Annual Noche de Gala!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Diplomats gather for a Heart-Healthy Lunch

Interior designer Aniko Gaal Schott and Elizabeth Kucinich

By contributor Donna Shor
Photos by James H. Brantley

Dieticians tell us to avoid white potatoes―especially it they’re loaded with sour cream, cheese and butter―but surprise, sweet potatoes are okay! Their high fiber content drags cholesterol from the body, and makes them a fine food for a weight-loss diet. Who knew?

Glee star Charlotte Ross takes the Chimp Challenge

Charlotte Ross - Photo by Neshan H. Naltchayan

Actress Charlotte Ross was in town to lobby for The Great Ape Protection and Coast Saving Act and was hosted by lobbying firm Hogan Lovells at a luncheon at The City Tavern Club on Thursday.  As a fan of Jane Goodall since childhood, she explained why this is her big cause and has joined The Humane Society of the United States in promoting it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Benda Bilili! Masters of Survival

by contributor Megan Podeszwa

Benda Bilili! is an uplifting story about a group of Congolese street musicians, many who are stricken with polio. The National Geographic Society hosted a private screening on Wednesday night.

The documentary starts out by introducing the group, Staff Benda Bilili, and their founders who they refer to as “Papa Ricky” and “Coco.”  A majority of the members are stricken with polio and are equipped with customized tricycles.  During the film, they are introduced to Roger, a teenaged boy who is also a street musician, playing a one stringed instrument made from a tin can.  Adding this boy to the group gives their music a unique sound.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lacing up to Celebrate

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Every gala in DC has limos, fancy dresses and tuxedos; the Greater Washington Sports Alliance’s SneakerBall adds a little something extra into the mix. The annual event celebrating sports in the District filled the National Building Museum Tuesday night for dinner, drinks and dancing, and gave everyone the chance to pair their favorite black tie fashion with their most stylish kicks. 

Jazzing it up on Tuesdays..

Lena Seikaly
"Last night, I went to go see a group called The Pete Muldoon Band at One Lounge and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm not even a huge jazz guy, but the young lady who sang had a voice I'd only describe as lovely. If you like jazz on Tuesdays, you might want to check them out." The Lunchline with Clinton Yates. (The Washington Post)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kastles Get (Spare) Key to City…Kind of

Mayor Vincent Gray and Kastles owner Mark Ein
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The champion Washington Kastles were all smiles Tuesday afternoon as they prepared to be honored by the District of the Columbia for their undefeated 2011 season. The gathered crowd of fans and supporters chatted, wondering if the Mayor would bestow a 2nd key to the city to the tennis team who received the honor in 2009 after winning their first World Team Tennis Championship.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Countdown to Elisir..........week 7

The Ghost in the WHITE HOUSE Halls

by contributor Donna Shor

Distinguished journalist and scholar Marvin Kalb and his daughter Deborah, an author in her own right, discussed Haunting Legacy at a recent Women’s National Democratic Club luncheon, the book they wrote in a first time collaboration.

The subtitle, Vietnam and the American Presidency Presidency from Ford to Obama, sums up the extent to which the “lost war” in Vietnam has shadowed presidential military decisions since 1975. The Kalb’s five years of joint research and hundreds of interviews resulted in this brilliantly written narrative.  It illustrates how deeply Vietnam has influenced our leaders and their advisers. “It is in their DNA,” said Kalb.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Staying Dry is the New Black

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was quite possible that an umbrella was the most stylist item of the night as droves of trend setters and fashionistas descended on Georgetown for the annual Fashion's Night Out.

The torrential downpours hardly scared off crowds who braved the weather to mingle, shop and fete the latest styles for the fall season.

Citronelle hosted a runway fashion show, L2 Lounge partnered with Capitol File Magazine to host one of the main parties of the evening, and favorite stores across M street such as Rag and Bone, All Saints, Intermix and even Dean and Deluca joined in the fun with special events.

Take a look:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9.11 at The Newseum

Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

9.11 Commission's 10th Anniversary Report Card

by contributor Donna Shor

Cooperation―and the lack of it―was the theme of the Center for National Policy’s presentation of the 9/11 Commission’s status report that outlines how much progress has been made and what must still be done for our safety. The report card for Congress, alas, would have been mostly F’s.  The panel was part of a “Remembrance, Renewal and Resilience” event at the Newseum commemorating not only those lost in 9/11 and Katrina but also ensuing acts of heroism.

Newsman Steve Coll, president of the New America Foundation, moderated the discussion led by the Commission’s chairman. former Republican New Jersey governor Tom Kean, and vice chairman  Democrat Lee Hamilton.   Hamilton said that nonetheless, he and Kean quickly reached non-partisan consensus in deciding the commission’s goals, with the echo that non-partisan consensus in Congress is badly needed today.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

ONE WATER: “We are all in this together.”

Most photos Courtesy of Knight Center for International Media
by contributor Marana Moore

At a special green screening and rooftop reception for the film One Water held by the Washington Film Institute, viewers experienced a worldwide view on a basic resource.  In the words of one of the wise women in the film: “It is not for nothing that the world is more than 70% water.  It is not for nothing that we are more than 70% water.”

The film highlights the incredible contrast between what some might be familiar with:  daily access to clean water as effortlessly as the turn of a tap handle, versus the incredible struggle to obtain this vital liquid resource faced by much of humanity.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Art After Dark


 by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The name said it all with this enigmatic soiree hosted in the garden of the Organization of American States. An eclectic crowd mixed around the dark and imposing courtyard and shared in a variety of art forms, all of which left some asking if the guests themselves were a part of the art. 

Lifehouse Performs at Nationals Park

 by contributor Brendan Kownacki

Saturday after the hometown Nationals made a fantastic comeback win against the Mets, the stadium played host to the veteran rock band Lifehouse.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Jason Binn and Colin Cowie extravaganza for Kris and Kim

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian
Photos by contributor Neshan Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

Kardashian - Humphries bash............

If you are in this collage, you probably have a hangover.

Photos by contributor Neshan H. Naltchayan

Friday, September 02, 2011

Evidence of History

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have made many people across the country and the world stop and pause to reflect on just what that moment meant and where we are today. The FBI was no different in this regard and they have taken the time to look at their own change and growth since the infamous day and just how institutionally their role has changed in society because of new ever-present terrorist threat against the US.

Washington D.C.’s popular Newseum is opening a new exhibit this week to reflect on the tragic events and present never before seen artifacts surrounding the attacks and the FBI’s investigations into the terrorist suspects.

Apres wedding bash for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Jason Binn Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries Colin Cowie

According to Foursquare, at least 35 Washingtonians hit up NYC
for a night of style and glamour
including Cheryl Masri, Mark Ein and Neshan Naltchayan,
Greta van Susteren and John Coales