Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Promise Kept

Honoring the Promise

by contributor Donna Shor
Photos courtesy of Susan G. Komen Foundation
Videos by Janet Donovan

Any gala that begins with mezzo soprano Denyce Graves-Montgomery singing the
dramatic “Habanera” from “Carmen,” a role she has made her own, and ends with
Howard University’s Afro Blue Jazz Chorus harmonizing to a hot jazz beat has to be a hit, and it was.

The Honoring the Promise Gala raised $2 million for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation in its struggle to fight breast cancer.

Eye of the Beholder

Sohrob Fatoorechie

by contributor Wendy Gordon

What were you doing when you were 11 years old?  Sure, at that point most of us were beyond Tonka trucks and Barbie dolls, albeit not much.  In this day and age, 11 is apparently the new 40.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ghosts and goblins on the prowl.

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

A Night at the Newseum

The ghosts and goblins were on the prowl when Brightest Young Things gathered a sell-out crowd of more than 4,000 people at the Newseum on Friday for its annual Halloween extravaganza.  The massive crowd of costumed revelers filled the halls of the museum up and down. 

National Champagne Day a holiday? Really.

Wendy Gordon

by contributor Wendy Gordon

October 28th was National Champagne Day.  Yes.  Now you may ask…”Is this an actual holiday???  REALLY?  While our research didn’t find an official creator for this particular celebration, nor did we find any Congressional record or presidential proclamation to support it, we’re all for it.  Why not?  After all, New Year’s Eve is months away and there’s really never a bad time to pop a cork in celebration…right? 

50TH Anniversary of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms

Michael Douglas
Photo credit: Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

The U. S. Department of State honored the Former Secretaries of State and The Patrons of Diplomacy with Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I wanna be a dog.....

Video by Janet Donovan

11th Annual Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Benefit Supporting the Humane Society of New York was hosted by Wendy Diamond, a frequent visitor to DC and frequent guest on The Today Show.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Black List

The National Portrait Gallery
If you're African America, it's a list you want to be on.

"Historically, “blacklist” denotes a group of people marginalized and denied work or social approval. In an effort to redefine the term, these portraits of 50 African Americans reclaim the term “blacklist” to be affirming, influential and powerful."  National Portrait Gallery 

Would you trust THIS man to make your pizza?

Brendan Kownacki

Video by Janet Donovan

Pizzeria Paradiso Turns 20.  Chef & Owner Ruth Gresser asked us if we would like to make a pizza with her to celebrate the occasion.  Hollywood on the Potomac contributor Brendan Kownacki did just that. 

Suspicious package found at The Embassy of Denmark

Photo by Wendy Gordon: Tim Burger Christina Sevilla Tom Toles Bryan Greene

by contributor Wendy Gordon

There was a Suspicious Package at the Embassy of Denmark on Wednesday night.  That’s not to say there were FBI agents and bomb sniffing dogs called to the scene.  It was Nordic Food Day, you see.  I know.  You’re now asking yourself “what does Nordic Food Day have to do with Suspicious Packages''?  Simple.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Get Your Pink On"

 Alan Popovsky Victoria Michael Erika Gutierrez Nicole Siobal Arsalon Tavacoli
by contributor Yoonjeong Oh

Hudson Restaurant and Lounge turned pink for one night in support of breast cancer.

The “Get Your Pink On” party, as the title suggests, encouraged guests to wear pink which would save them 10% of their bill. 

The pink wave didn’t stop there: There were “Pink Drinks,” "Pink" themed small bites that included  “Pink Donuts,” “Pink Bacon Lollipops,” “Pink Cotton Candy” and “Pink S'Mores” roasting out on Hudson's patio! 

Blue Themed Bash Inspires Hope

Michelle Money flanked by Congressman Dan Boren (R)

by contributor Brendan Kownacki
Photos by Megan Podeszwa

It was a message of hope and inspiration on Wednesday evening when supporters and survivors gathered at the Decatur House for the Chris4Life Blue Hope Bash to benefit colon cancer research.

The elegant affair treated guests to more than dinner.  Stories of survival to help those currently battling colon cancer or those whose families had dealt with the condition captivated the audience.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"ART is LoVe"

Robin Bronk Alan Cumming and Brian Smith

by contributor Chantal Botana

"ART is LoVe," so says filmmaker Spike Lee. Though not in attendance, Lee's presence was known as his scribe graced every T-shirt given to those willing to chalk a saying of their own on a blackboard for the make-shift photo booth. Fun stuff!

About 200 guests were in attendance for the evening celebrating "Art & Soul. The Stars Unite to Celebrate and Support the Arts," a coffee-table book photographed by Pulitzer Prize-winner Brian Smith & edited by Robin Bronk of The Creative Coalition (TCC).

Quidam Drifts Into the District

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The energy was palpable on Tuesday when a small crowd was treated to a preview of the upcoming show Quidam at the Renaissance Hotel in Dupont Circle.  Quidam, the latest installment from Cirque du Soleil to drift into the District, is a mix of dance, acrobatics, skipping rope and the usual fantasy and freedom that all Cirque shows embody.

The show is a Cirque classic revamped for today's audience and will feature a live band on stage in addition to many traditional favorites for old fans and new alike.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DC Ramps up for Celebrity Chefs

Gina Gersavani of PS7s, Michel Richard, PS7 chef Peter Smith, and Owen Thomson of Jose Andres' ThinkFoodGroup.

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The chatter has begun for the upcoming Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, set to land in D.C. on November 5-6 with a host of special guests. 

Event founder Denise Medved announced on Monday that alongside high profile chefs Paula Deen, Guy Fieri and a host of other James Beard winners and nominees, the event will also play host for more than 2,500 military spouses as a part of a program called “Project Home Cooking.”  Expected to appear will be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, as well as Dr. Jill Biden.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Did you hear the one about?

Mark Twain
It was like the beginning of a really good joke....

Or that's how it felt when Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Tim Meadows and several other comedy stars flocked to Washington DC to celebrate Will Ferrell receiving the Kennedy Center's 14th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Couture Steps Out Against Cancer

by contributor Brendan Kownacki
Photo courtesy of Pink Rocks the Runway

Designer Christian Siriano dazzled the DC scene last night showing off his Spring 2012 collection at the Ronald Reagan building in a special show to benefit breast cancer research on Friday in partnership with PinkJams!

Accompanied by live music from the Charm City Devils, the event included both fashions shown by cancer survivors who made their way down the catwalk as well as a viewing of Siriano's upcoming collection.

The Annapolis native was happy to breeze back into town to showcase his new designs and raise awareness for this great cause that presented a check to the Capital Breast Care Center for $30,000. Catch up with Christian here:

Countdown to Elisir........week 12

Chef Enzo Fargione

Wolfe! on Wolfe

Tom Wolfe

by contributor Donna Shor
Photo credit: Bruce Guthrie

 The audience at the Newseum was delighted to hear a reading excerpted from Wolfe! the unfinished play about the author Tom Wolfe—and so was Wolfe himself who came down from New York for the event.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flipping out. Someone's got to do it.

Photo credit:

Worried you have a hangover and not seeing straight?  It's your lucky's not you ...... that’s Wyclf Jean breaking things up at the 100th Anniversary Gala for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants at the Mellon auditorium where the Grammy Award winning artist performed. 

BizBash New York Event Style. Don't try it yourself.

Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan

Anxiety planning a dinner for eight? Imagine your mental state if you have to plan an event for hundreds or thousands.  Enter David Adler, founder and C.E.O. of BizBash Media, the source for event planning and business entertaining in all major cities.

In Washington, we know him as Mr. Dossier, the magazine he founded with his mother Sonia in 1975 and as the son of prolific author Warren Adler whose credits include War of the Roses and Random Hearts, both of which have been made into major motion pictures.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"One Revolution": A journey of courage inspiring hope.

Chris Waddell

 by contributor Megan Podeszwa

“One Revolution” is a story about a man, Chris Waddell, a paraplegic who broke his back in a skiing accident and subsequent journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro without being pushed pulled, or carried.   The film was shown Wednesday night at the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University with Chris present. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bottles Pop for Good Cause

by contributor Brendan Kownacki
Photos by Yoongeong Oh

Painting the town red....

The lights were dim and the bottles popping as DC nightlife institution Josephine debuted back onto the scene with a bold new look. The long time favorite for late night energy reopened with a new back room, revamped features and lighting built to respond to the music.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Breast Cancer Bites! with 94.7 Fresh FM

By contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was a gourmet effort by all when the on-air team from 94.7 Fresh FM gathered more than 20 local restaurants to raise money for the prevent cancer foundation. The event drew several hundred guests from throughout the metro area to sample lush treats from eateries. 

Also on hand was singer and songwriter Rachel Platten who shared that breast cancer had touched her own family and so she was glad to be a part of such an event.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Amateur Chef dishes it out.

Caren and faux chef Barry Glassman

by contributor Donna Shor
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan

To his clients, Barry Glassman is their financial manager, (Glassman Wealth Services); but they also know him as a wine-and-food buff, an amateur chef who once each year takes over a restaurant kitchen, producing a sumptuous dinner pro chefs could envy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Merrymaking at Meridan

Steny Hoyer Susanna and Jack Quinn
by contributor Donna Shor
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

Meridian House President emeritus Walter Cutler and his photographer/artist wife Didi pulled a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astair number on the dance floor at the 43rd Annual Meridian Ball.  Hands down, they were the smoothest matched-set. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pups, Cupcakes and Models

by contributor Yoonjeong Oh

Fashion for Paws must be gearing up for their annual Spring gala because their paw prints are everywhere. Their upcoming Rooftop Howl-O-Ween Bash was preceded by Passport to Fashion night at The Shops at Wisconsin Place.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Korean Delegation Welcomed at White House

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

A little (or a lot) of rain was not going to stop The White House on Thursday from rolling out a red carpet with a whole host of ruffles and flourishes to celebrate the arrival of Lee Myung-bak, The President of the Republic of Korea. 

Dirty Girl shows up at GW

It's not every day you get an invite to interview someone associated with a dirty girl and at a university to boot.

Such was the case, however, when a movie of the same name arrived at George Washington University.  The Weinstein production held it's opening night screening at Lisner Auditorium with director Abe Sylvia in tow.

It's All About the Dress

Fashion designer and author Vicky Tiel just can't stop her creative impulses.  At a book party this week at the Palisades home of Sandi Hoffman she signed every book with a signature dress.

The "It's All About the Dress: What I Learned in 40 Years about Men, Women, Sex, and Fashion" author hails from Chevy Chase, Md, and began designing clothes 40 years ago.  She got her first lesson about life and men from her dad.

Paralyzed Veterans of America Gala

Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

The 2011 Paralyzed Veterans Americana Gala is an inspirational fundraising event celebrating individuals, corporate and public sector friends who have supported the organization, 25 million courageous veterans, 54 million people with disabilities and 12,000 new spinal cord injured individuals annually.

Countdown to Elisir..........week 11

Enzo Fargione

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

He's Back!!

For those of you who have been in Washington long enough, we're sure you miss the former Senator from Wyoming - the colorful Alan Simpson.   Well, he's back like a pack of crayola, language and all.

A Clandestine Affair....

Interview by Janet Donovan

"The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father" by filmmaker Carl Colby has all the twists and turns of a spy novel.  That is, of course, exactly what it is - just not a novel.   Colby is the son of William Colby, former director of the CIA, who not only lived a mysterious life but died a mysterious death. 

Carl takes us inside that world from his idyllic childhood in Italy, to the realization that his dad was a CIA operative, to the halls of Congress, to the destruction of his family fabric via divorce and ultimately to the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of his father.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Treats On America’s Main Street

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was a treat for all the senses when the Taste of DC descended on Pennsylvania Avenue this weekend. Hosting a cornucopia of local restaurants, music from the likes of Styx and Big and Rich and some of the most picture perfect weather DC has seen in months, Taste of DC had people excited.

The festival which highlights local food and beverages was always a fan favorite to many, but it suddenly disappeared several years ago.  Now this year, Steuart Martens, local entrepreneur and former contestant on NBC’s The Apprentice brought it back in all its glory. 

Sweet Dee:Top Dog In Town

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was a night truly for the dogs as pups from across the region gathered to bark, bow and show off to see which would be chosen as the Top Dog to represent the Residence Inn Capital View.  FRESH FM Morning Show Host Tommy McFly kept the evening moving as host with a panel of judges that included Fox 5 Anchor Steve Chenevey, Dr. Katy Nelson and Bark Busters Trainer Lee Trimble.

The idea came about “while stuck in traffic,” said Denise Durgin, Director of Sales & Marketing for Renaissance Arlington Capital View. She described how traveling guests at the (pet friendly) hotel have amazing bonds with their animals and this is why they take them places, so why not look at the perspective of the animal and everything it would encounter when traveling.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Building hope one home at a time.

Katie Couric

by contributor Donna Shor

Television’s Katie Couric was not just a celebrity figure at the Habitat for Humanity dinner at the National Building Museum where Haiti’s needs were a focus, Katie has actually walked the walk. Who can forget the hellish scene after the earthquake last year with Katie on the ground—amidst the squalor and misery—comforting a wounded Haitian child who clung to her hand, screaming “Why, why, why?"

Washingtonians are having a fit!

Mary Amons

by contributor Yoonjeong Oh

It's all the rage these days - getting the perfect fit.  First came "The Bra Whisperer", aka Susan Nethero, who told us back in June to "Just say no to the Uni Boob."  Last week Brooks Brothers, the king of prep, opened their flagship Georgetown store - a perfect fit for the buttoned down crowd.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Get your Kitty Litter out!!!!

The October 28th release of "Puss in Boots" is headed our way via DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.  starring Antonio Banderas, the voice of the legendary hero Puss In Boots, Cat Blanchett, Don Cheetah, Leonardo di Catrio, Zach Galifurnakis, the Real Housecats of Beverly Hills, Kitty Perry and Justin Timberlynx. 

We're hoping the kitties in the above photo are stuffed.

Friday, October 07, 2011

2011 USO Gala

Miss USA Alyssa Campanella
Photos courtesy of The USO
Video by Janet Donovan

Special tribute to our men and women in uniform.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

"Palace of Prep" lands in Georgetown

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

"It's almost more like the club house of an ivy league fraternity than a retail store" said one guest as she perused the monumental 20,000 square foot space of the new Brooks Brothers store on historic M Street in Georgetown.

The “palace of prep” as she called it, included a pool table and a patio for the undeniably buttoned-down crowd who toured and shopped the three floor titan with a portion of the proceeds from the event’s sales donated to The Trust for the National Mall, one of many non-profit organizations the retailer supports. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Lotsa, Lotsa Everything!

Meredith Fineman and Matt Friedson

by contributor Donna Shor
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

Abbondanza was the word for the over the top party Carmine's hosted for The Trust for the National Mall.  Free-flowing bars that included specialty beers on tap, tons of food and happy eaters made the scene feel like an evening in old Napoli.

The Penn Quarter restaurant celebrated its first year anniversary in Washington by hosting a party for the charity by holding a fundraiser there.  It was a generous gift with almost 300 in attendance, opening the fundraising season for the L’Enfant society whose financial support aids the Trust’s project of repair and restoring the Mall to match Pierre L’Enfant’s vision for the layout of the new city.

Carmines' Anniversary in DC with the L'Enfant Society

Photo by Neshan H. Naltchayan
by contributor Brendan Kownacki

It was a feast fit for a king when Carmine's celebrated its one year anniversary being open in Washington DC with the L'Enfant Society, benefiting the trust for the National Mall. Guests ate, drank and were merry toasting everyone's favorite family style Italian restaurant.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Countdown to Elisir..........week 10

Chef Enzo Fargione

So just what is a YAMM?

Fresh FM's Tommy and Darik sample wine at the Tasting Room

 by contributor Brendan Kownacki

There was no stopping the drive of this group, even through the cold and rain of the past weekend as autumn officially blew its way into Washington DC, which would be out of character for this group. 

What’s a YAMM?  Young. Ambitious. Media Marvels…that’s what the team from the National Harbor and 94.7 Fresh FM called them anyhow when they pulled together this select group of writers, bloggers, producers and personalities for a mini stay-cation to explore the fun in our own backyards.

Monday, October 03, 2011

If you're hungry, don't read this.

Chef Brian McBride

by contributor Donna Shor

Two genuine talents converged recently at the Park Hyatt Hotel’s Masters of Food and Wine event at the elegant Blue Duck Tavern: Jed Steele of Steele wines and Brian McBride, the Tavern’s executive chef.  Guests arrived from New York and as far as from California and Chicago for the intimate dinner, here's why.

McBride created imaginative dishes to pair with Steele wines which added up to five sumptuous courses. Brian takes traditional food apart, reconstructs it and accompanies it with an unexpected but satisfying element.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Human Rights Campaign Dinner

Cyndi Lauper

by contributor Donna Shor
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan

President Obama strode to the podium at the Human Rights Campaign Gala at the Convention Center, saluted the crowd celebrating progress in human rights and the recent New York gay-rights decrees, then broke into a broad grin.

“I appreciate the chance to join you tonight.   I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga.   She was wearing 16-inch heels.  She was eight feet tall.  It was a little intimidating.”  Full transcript here.

"Runway Moms for a Cause"

hosted by Maureen Umeh
Emmy Award winning anchor/reporter of Fox 5 DC
Photos by Neshan H. Naltchayan
Video by Janet Donovan

DC Power Moms participated in the inaugural black-tie event at the Embassy of Nigeria to raise funds for orphans through the United for Kids Foundation (UKF) -  a 501c3 organization committed to fighting poverty and illiteracy through education and social welfare programs in Nigeria.  RMFAC is recognized by the Embassy of Nigeria as a prelude to the Nigerian Independence Day.  

Saturday, October 01, 2011

How to decode body language.

by contributor Megan Podeszwa

"I studied Tot Mom, Casey Anthony's body language during her recent court appearance for the Nancy Grace show. She demonstrated several comfort cues such as holding her own hand and bringing her hand up to her mouth which showed her high level of anxiety. She is also seen obsessively adjusting her drink on a napkin, adjusting the band on her ponytail and other behavior that reveals her desire to control what she can control." body language and communication expert, Patti Wood

So what was Patti Wood doing at Affinia’s The Liason Capitol Hill adjacent to Art and Soul? 

Sinfully decadent!

The Odyssey

by contributor Donna Shor

Champagne in hand was just the beginning of a double-header evening: A dining cruise aboard The Odyssey on the Potomac followed by Arena Stage’s OKLAHOMA.

The glass-enclosed modern ship, built low to clear the many bridges that bisect the water, proved a comfortable seat for dining, checking the scenery and the dance floor.

Dinner offered attractive entrees of Seafood Ravioli topped with bay shrimp and scallops; Roasted Vegetable Napoleon; Maple-Glazed Chipotle Chicken; marinated Argentine Salmon with mashed yucca cake and posole (well-sauced hominy).