Loudmouth?

Yes, that was Amy Goodman, author/columnist/host of radio & TV program Democracy Now! in town tonight to release her new book "Breaking the Sound Barrier" at Busboys & Poets. Whether a loudmouth - or loud and clear- this book touches on a broad range of current events and topics that are thought provoking and often controversial.

Holiday Shop Hop Part 1

Holiday happenings and shop-hops galore have been making their way across our desks of late. If you want to get in the spirit and jump start that shopping list, check back often as we tell you the teases from around town. Here's your first taste:

Our go-to spot for shopping in the city, Georgetown, again brings the cheer. The 2nd annual Merriment in Georgetown (Dec. 6 3-6 PM) offers candlelight caroling, horsedrawn carriage rides, tree lighting, and area retailers of course!

At F Street & 7th NW, the 5th annual Downtown Holiday Market (Dec. 23 12-8 PM) combines eco-friendly goods, arts & crafts, holidays accents, sweets and more seasonal surprises. Some of our fave finds at this event... The Sugar Cube (old fashioned candies and speciality sweets) and Thomas Bucci (watercolors of Washington and other picturesque world wonders).

Alexandria wants you to come visit, over the river and through the woods. Ok, no woods. The city's three days of free activities (Dec. 3-5) include holiday luminaries, a Scottish walk and parade (5th, 11:00 - 1:00) and a boat parade of lights. Info on the full calendar of events here.

The District Dish: Ris Lacoste



Four years after she left 1789, Ris Lacoste finally opens the doors of her own restaurant. The BRAND NEW Ris opened today after much excitement. The rustic elements and sophisticated comfort of the new West End neighborhood eatery combine all of Ris's past lives. And we're the first to get inside and show them to you!

We've been waiting to see if any of our favorite dishes from 1789 would make the menu, and it seems Ris won't disappoint. Hear her tell you all about it... www.thedistrictdish.com

LAST CHANCE!

Last dance, last chance... for love? Not quite. But today is important for two reasons.

ONE - Smokers in VA better smoke, er... listen up. Today is your last day to puff freely in the majority of bars/restos across the state. The restricted smoking ban, passed in February, is to be enacted on Tuesday, December 1st.

TWO - Our own last ditch effort. Today is the final day to vote for us in Metromix's "Best of 2009 Awards" in the "Best Local Blog" category. Just to refresh your memory, we promised to throw one of our rockin' parties at KSK sponsor Current if we won, and we've got a strong showing right to the end... so help us get there! Vote here.

SMOKIN'!!

Miss DC USA 2010

We congratulate the city's newest Miss DC USA, McKensie Green, crowned this evening (Sunday) at the J.W. Marriott. McKensie, a statuesque and well spoken beauty, won both the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition in addition to taking home the crown.

Good luck at Miss USA, McKensie!

Bronzed Beauty

I didn't get that sun-kissed look by hanging out at the beach! No, I had an essential sponsor... and we're happy to announce that that sponsor is returning to sponsor us at K Street Kate.

Hollywood Tans did more than help me get a total, all-around glow for the Miss America stage -and look great for appearances all year long. Some of the other benefits of tanning include a boost in metabolism (stimulates the thyroid gland), decreases stress, helps clear skin and gets rid of those "Winter Blues."


No appointment is necessary for their patented stand-up booths in Penn Quarter, and I've never had to wait! We suggest choosing from any of the membership packages, with no sign-up fee, and having a Hollywood Tans employee give you advice on tanning time and lotions depending on your skin type. Tell them you heard about it here!

Of course... we only want what's best for you. We understand that extended exposure to UV rays is not ideal, and would not recommend compromising your health. Hollywood Tans also offers UV Free Spray Tan booths that give you that winter warm look (lasting 5-7 days) without the exposure.

Get that celebrity glow. Hollywood Tans is located at 625 D Street NW.

From Our 'Point of View'

Friday night atop the W Hotel, Grammy nominated jazz artist Ski Johnson played an intimate set for a crowd gathered in support of the American Cancer Society. For many, this was their first opportunity to hear the talented musician play live, although his eight albums had him steadily rise to the top - his latest "New Beginnings" is currently #1 on the billboard jazz charts.

In case you couldn't make it back into town after a Thanksgiving feast with the fam, here's a bit of the smooth styles you missed (video embedded):






Pictures to follow courtesy of McArthur Newell, BoldLifestyle Photography.




Tale of the Turkey

Everyone wants to know how the Thanksgiving bird turned out. I'm a bit confused, a bit embarrassed, but very proud. Here's the turkey tale:

This was my second Thanksgiving to stay in DC, but my first one to actually try to cook my own turkey. Rodrigo and I went to the Giant and bought the smallest turkey we could find. It was a 5 pounder. (I know... my Dad says that turkey was just a baby!) It was pretty small, as you can imagine, but there were just the two of us eating it, and I'm not even that big of a meat-eater.

I downloaded probably five recipes for Thanksgiving turkey online and tried to reconcile all of them into the one best recipe. When I finally got the packaging open and saw the thing, I wasn't sure which way was up. Thank goodness they had already taken the stuff out of the inside, but that was about it. I put it in a roasting dish, gaping hole up, and "seasoned" it with butter, salt, pepper, and my favorite, Tony's (it's a Creole thing) and put it in the oven for the suggested 1.5 hours.

Time was up and it didn't look much different. Certainly not deliciously golden brown. I started to think I had put it in upside down... but can you imagine turning over a roasting turkey halfway through cooking?? I did it. And then I put it in the oven for another 1.5 hours. Surely this thing was going to be dry as heck, but dry was better than undercooked, right?!

Finally the thermometer popped out of the turkey and I knew it was "ready" - not a big, beautiful, browned bird, but it was edible and not a dinnertime disaster either. The funniest part was when Rodrigo came over to eat and asked me right away... "Is the turkey upside down?"
Who knows!!

My favorite part is the pecan pie anyway :)

Jazzin'


TONIGHT (Friday)! Put down the leftover turkey and stuffing. You are invited to attend the #1 Billboard Jazz artist Ski Johnson's benefit concert at the W Hotel. We sponsored this exclusive event because Ski's smooth styles are spectacular... and because a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Ski's 8th Album “New Beginnings” is the #1 Contemporary Jazz Album in the country and is nominated for the Grammys in 3 categories! Hear his and other performances in the POV area. Enjoy cocktails and wines... and overlook the White House!

RSVP by e-mail here.

The District Dish: NASA's Mission to Mars



NASA's Karen McBride joins us to talk about the fascinating Mission to Mars! This exciting project may someday result in humans walking on Mars if Karen and other program scientists have their way, but for now, we're learning about the planet through information and pictures transmitted back to Earth via robots.

No, it's not science fiction. It's The District Dish. www.thedistrictdish.com

Happy Thanksgiving

We are thankful for the support of loyal readers like YOU! We're also thankful for a day off!!Happy Thanksgiving and keep your fingers crossed that my *first* attempt to cook a turkey results in a beautiful bird... not a dinnertime disaster. We'll be sure to let you know :)
xo

The District Dish - Miriam's Kitchen



On the newest episode, Chef Steve Badt of Miriam's Kitchen joins us at the not-yet-opened Ris, located in the West End. Why would we have a Chef join us at another Chef's restaurant? Because both are known for their great food and great service to our community!

In fact, Miriam's Kitchen is nothing like Ris'. It's NOT a soup kitchen, but a soup kitchen +++. The mission is to lure 'em in with a hot scrumptious meal and them ask them about other social services they may be needing. Imagine service 250 clients breakfast for only $1.50 a head! Steve dishes that Miriam's Kitchen is going to start serving dinner now as well... for even less!

This Thanksgiving, think about all that you have to be thankful for and consider volunteering - a serious service job - with Miriam's Kitchen. Chef Steve tells you how... www.thedistrictdish.com

Luxury @ Luxxery

How far would you go to see how far you could go? I heard Luxxery was THE BEST, so I drove the 40 minutes to Waldorf to speak with the team myself. It was my first time in a cosmetic surgeon's office. Images of "Nip, Tuck" were in my head. "Tell me what you don't like about yourself," and all of that foolishness. But it wasn't like that at all. Dr. Ayman Hakki explained that he actually thinks he's done his best work when you can't notice any work has been done at all. But no, I wasn't getting that type of work done anyway. From tummy tucks to botox, laser hair treatments to mole removal... the drive will be worth it.

Besides, Dr. Hakki's desk holds a signed picture of (client) Miss America 2004, Erika Dunlap... and who doesn't want to be in company like THAT?!

You hear this all the time, but Luxxery is really a different type of cosmetic treatment center - half surgery, half treatment/spa, all straight talk, simplicity and comfort. Post operation, you are treated to hair/skin/nails pampering... or have a smoothie at the juice bar!
*************************************************************

We're excited that Luxxery has signed on as the newest K Street Kate sponsor, but we also want you to check out the (ok, a bit far, but SO worth the drive) place for yourself. Dr. Hakki has teamed up with #4 billboard jazz sensation Marcus Johnson and famed hair stylist David Palmer for a Luxxery launch on Saturday, December 5, 5 - 8 PM. Enjoy an unforgettable evening of rejuvenation and anti-aging tips, private answers to questions about the latest cosmetic surgery trends and live urban jazz while enjoying passed hors d'oeuvres and wine. A percentage of the proceeds from gift card and product sales will be donated to charity sponsor Zonta International, advancing the status of women worldwide. Just come see... no "work" required. RSVP here.

Tweetsgiving

Tonight at BlackFinn, tweeters from all over the metro area met up, all a-twitter about what they are thankful for this holiday season. We caught up with just a few of our notables to find out some of their bounty and blessings:



Tweetsgiving is a global celebration that seeks to change the world through GRATITUDE. Last year Tweetsgiving raised over $10,000 to build a school in Tanzania. This year, the hope was to contribute funds to implement a technology lab at the primary school where last year’s TweetsGiving classroom was built. For more information please visit here.

A Sad Goodbye

This afternoon we said goodbye to one of DC's most revered men. Abe Pollin shaped most of the Washington sports scene, as former owner of the Capitals, owner of the Washington Wizards and Chair of the Washington Sports & Entertainment Commission. Today at his home, Pollin passed away, leaving his wife Irene and two sons. He was 85.

Though ill for many years, Pollin was generous with his time and money for philanthropic causes - relating to his many interests in and around the city - but may best be remembered and credited for his redevelopment of the Chinatown area when he built the Verizon Center (we hear he said this was his greatest accomplishment as well...).

He leaves a legacy of leadership and service.
(Photo property of the Washington Post)

Betsy's Back!

Just to follow up on the question on everyone's mind yesterday... just who would be filling in when Christine Delargy leaves FishBowl DC?? Betsy Rothstein! The former "The Hill: In the Know" columnist (as well as many other gigs) returns to Washington and signs on with Matt Dornic to give us our daily dish on the newsers.

Welcome back, Betsy!

Where did you get your fir?

The weather outside may not(yet) be frightful, but how better to get in the holiday spirit than a day at the farm?… The Christmas tree farm! Some folks spend the afternoon after their turkey dinner with a tradition of setting up their holiday tree. It's how the Christmas season really gets started! Don't have yours yet? Don't even know where to look? Pull on the flannel and overalls, strap on your boots and embrace your inner lumberjack at one of our top picks…happy chopping!

In Maryland:
Zekiah Farms, 5235 Bryantown Road, Waldorf, Maryland. (240) 216-4065. Also a great place to do arts & crafts with the kids. Open Monday – Thursday 3-7 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Homestead Farm, 15600 Sugarland Road, Poolesville, Maryland (301) 977-3761. This one was one of our favorites for pumpkin picking, too. Such a great atmosphere and selection of all kinds of seasonal goods - we'll go back again and again! Open Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Dec. 5.

In Virginia:
Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm, Route 630 (Unison Road) and Christmas Tree Lane, Middleburg, Virginia. This farm has the Colorado Blue Spruce, a spectacular seasonal selection - and trees up to 16". Awesome. (540) 554-8625. Open weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 21. (Plus, any hard day at the farm requires a stop Upper Crust bakery on the way out...)

Snickers Gap Christmas Tree Farm 34350 Williams Gap Rd., Round Hill, Virginia. (540) 554-8323. Ok, the name is what really made us fall in love, but since the farm has been voted Loudoun County ’s “Best Christmas Tree Farm” for four consecutive years, it's nothing to snicker at! Open daily, M-F noon until dark, 9 a.m. to dark every Sat & Sun and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Or are you too lazy to cut your own? We have yet to try this service recently seen in Daily Candy... Green Valley Christmas Trees deliver your holiday tree from North Carolina and Oregon straight to your door. You pick the pine (noble and Frasier Firs available as well) as well as what size you want it. It comes to you in a carton with a pre-drilled trunk and removal kit. (Free shipping!)

Have everyone at your holiday happenings asking you, where did you get your fir??

Writer, Katie Kindelan contributed to this post.

Give Thanks, for the Red Carpet Pass

Just in time for the holidays, something to be thankful for. Movie buffs, the D.C. Film Alliance proudly presents your ticket to the best film festivals in the Washington, D.C. area. The "Red Carpet Pass" allows entry into the opening night screening and party of almost two dozen different film festivals, with new festivals being added every week. From documentaries and short films to foreign and local films - this pass promises something for everyone.

Of course, you'll need to give a little to get those great seats. The Red Carpet Pass is available for a $300.00 donation to the DC Film Alliance (of which $100 is tax deductible!). Show your appreciation for DC film, or start your holiday shopping early, with passes on sale now at the DC Film Alliance Web site.

Make room in your calendar for a year of opening nights with festivals occurring almost every month. Current participating festivals include:

Film Neu
Our City Film Fest
DC Independent Film Festival
Film Fest DC
Heritage Film & Video Festival
Politics on Film
EuroAsia Film Festival
Rosebud Film Festival
Rappahannock Independent Film Festival
DC Shorts
Baltimore Women's Film Festival
DC Labor Film Fest
Reel Affirmations
Arabian Sights Film Festival
Utopia Film Festival
Spooky Movie
American Conservatory Film Festival
Georgetown Film Festival
Washington Jewish Film Festival
Capital Irish Film Festival
Best of the 48-Hour Film Project
VCU International Student Film Fest
Indian Visions Film Series

Enjoy the show!

Self Proclaimed 'Fish Outta Water'

Congrats to our friend Christine Delargy who announced to us today that she is leaving FishBowl DC - a KSK daily read! - due to an increase in responsibilities (read: PROMOTION!!) at CBS. We're thrilled for you Christine, and wish you all the best.

Now... who might be taking that spot at FishBowl with Matt??

The District Dish: DC Roller Girls



On today's new episode, Bawdy Slam of the DC Roller Girls joins us to dish about this new (ish) phenomenon in the capital area. Gaining in popularity due to Drew Barrymore's flick "Whip It," Bawdy Slam - who chose that name because it mixes femininity with fierceness - tells us how the roller league has grown in the last few years.

You can see three area teams battle it out in their glitter and hot pants at the DC Armory. Bawdy Slam tells you more. www.thedistrictdish.com

What to Give? A Personal Present

Getting ready for another Christmas at my own home reminds me of those special holiday traditions I shared with family growing up. One of my favorite things to do before Christmas was choose my personal ornament for the tree. Each of us had one every year that commemorated a significant event or activity. As my brothers and I got older, pulling out that box of ornaments and decorating the tree with them reminded us of years gone by...a nostalgic Noel.

So when choosing what to give this year to friends and special connections around town, I thought ornaments would be an ideal gift to give from the heart. But not just any ornaments... I found the local business Ornaments With Love. These are simple gifts of the season, PLUS every remembered friend will know your thoughtfulness, because they are personalized.



Shop by category with themes like sports, hobbies, professions, weddings, and families. Find just the right decorations to make the season special for someone on your list.

Siren of Sahel Showstoppers

Friday night at Union Station, that section off to the right - the one that always houses interesting African art and artifacts - got more action than it has probably seen all year. The textiles and prints (as well as the talent) of Burkina Faso were the publicized reasons for the ruckus, but those reality show cameras caused their fair share of frenzy.
Presented by the Embassy of Burkina Faso and Netherlands-based textile manufacturer VLISCO, designer Clara Ames Lawson (above at right) was showing her 2010 collection (Siren of Sahel Shines) in a runway event boasting such notables in attendance as BET VP Paxton Baker and Ambassador Ernest Paranga Yonli (Burkina Faso). But spectators - at least in the courtyard - got more of an eyeful of the cast of Real Housewives of DC, including Lynda Erkiletian (whose models served as hangers for Lawson's creations), Ebong Eka, Paul Wharton (whose EvolutionLook modeling agency will be reopening as Paul Wharton Model Management later this month), and... making his first cameo appearance - Councilmember David Catania.



(Top image courtesy of McArthur Newell, BoldLifestyle.com)

The District Dish: Slob Proof!



Let the dirty dishes pile up. Use color as camouflage. And know that white our works wonders. Debbie Wiener, author of "Slob Proof!" joins us on the latest episode of The District Dish to talk about how not being a Type A clean freak can actually save your mind... and maybe your marriage!

www.thedistrictdish.com

Under the C

Fact or fiction... DC has an aquarium?

Fact. But it's a sad fact. Hidden away in the basement of the Commerce Building (bureaucrats being fed to the sharks, what??) and without a budget to create splashy and enticing promo materials, the National Aquarium has been swimming along as best it could since 1903 when the "Fish Commission" became part of the Department of Commerce. While aquariums around the country have gotten attention for their huge spaces and exotic species, DC's National Aquarium maintains a focus on aquatic life found in the regions of the United States and US territories - and particularly habitats protected by our national parks and marine sanctuaries.

Thursday night, a SeaQuest Soiree was held in the old building. Hosted by Discovery Channel's Philippe Cousteau, News4 at Five's Wendy Rieger and Jim Toomey of Sherman's Lagoon, we explored the tanks we never knew existed that hold 250 species of water wonders. You must check out the too cute baby laggerhead sea turtle... and though the snakehead makes you cringe, haven't you always wondered just what one looks like?! The special surprise of the night? The Aquarium is finally getting a much-needed move and a makeover! But until that time, 14th & Constitution is the place to see those feedings... at 2 PM.

Soothing in Secret

I don't frequently treat myself to facials, but when Alchimie Forever offered me a chance to test out their esthetician's room (the purpose of which is to teach those signature facials), I couldn't get in the treatment room fast enough. Add the fact that Alchimie Forever products are almost entirely all natural (and smell scrumptious enough to eat) to a facial's soothing effect and you'll see why this treatment has become intensely popular since the flagship's Georgetown opening last July.

But it wasn't supposed to be that way.

Ada Polla, Founder of Alchimie Forever, explained that the Georgetown store's purpose is really to sell AF products, but that any number of spas in the area carrying those products could perform signature spa treatments. But when we pressed her further (and fawned over how wonderful our face felt) Ada let us in on a little secret. Don't worry, we'll tell you, too!

With a minimum product purchase, you can enjoy 60 (other versions available) minutes of supreme relaxation and facial rejuvenation at the capable and calming hands of Rosario. Tell 'em you heard about it from K Street Kate and then go stock up on your serums, creams, balms, masks and gels. Thanksgiving is coming... and your face will surely thank you.

Fighting in Fuschia

Breast cancer is making headlines for all sorts of reasons these days! Whether you believe in the new guidelines suggested for self-testing and mammography or not, we can all agree that finding an end to this epidemic is preferable.

On that NOTE - PinkJams! uses musical performance to enhance awareness of the cause and promote philanthropy and fun.

This start-up organization came into being in a big way this year, and held its first musical meetup at the Clarendon Ballroom last night. Hundreds came to support founder Christa Floresca, hear two hot local bands, and win silent auction prizes. As for the Jams - Memphis 59 kicked off the performances with their rock-meets-alternative-country sound - a huge hit. Then, the Justin Trawick Group picked up the play with crowds dancing along until the very last song. Ted Garber, another local favorite, even joined Trawick on stage during the final tribute "Life."

Congrats to Christa for raising thousands in this inaugural fundrasing event for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Photo credit Tim Lundin - TDLphoto.com. Ashley Estill contributed to this post.

Dynasty Dig: The Terra Cotta Warriors



With a touch of marketing genius, National Geographic opened its Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit a night early in a special preview for online writers Wednesday evening. We were one of the 55 lucky history/mystery buffs who jumped at the opportunity for an hour alone with the clay figures, premium artifacts, and revealed secrets of the Qin Dynasty.

Buried for more than 2,000 years, these lifesize figures are one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world - and certainly one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century! Farmers digging near a well near Xi'an in China first uncovered these figures, an army of clay men built under the rule of China's first Emperor.

The Nat Geo exhibit contains the largest number of these clay figures ever to travel to the U.S. for a single exhibition. 15 figures, all from the tomb of Qin Shihuangdi (Emperor 221 BC to 210 BC) is more than just infantrymen - you'll see a chariot driver, military officers, court officials... indeed everything the Emperor would need to continue his rule in the afterlife - and find out how this Dynasty shaped life today.

Check out our preview video of the exhibit (music credit: Kevin MacLeod), then visit for yourself. The ticketed display is open daily from 10-6 PM. *Extended hours Wednesday as the PIMCO Foundation presents 250 FREE tickets between 6 and 9 PM.

You Might Have Missed This... We Did!

If you don't plan to talk to a reporter, Perez, don't talk to a reporter! Trashtalking Blogger Perez Hilton now seems to want to take on the Washington Times - reporter Stephanie Green specifically - for running a story he originally wanted to collaborate on... then suddenly changed his mind.

Stephanie claimed that Perez's rep called her with information on his new book "Perez Hilton's True Bloggywood Stories - The Glamorous Life of Beating, Cheating and Overdosing," but that after working out the details of the interview with the PR rep, Perez backed out of his participation. Soooo... she ran what she knew.

And he came back with this: "You are a pathetic journalist and I will never work with you again. I am letting all my PR colleagues know that you are shady and not to be trusted."

Ouch! This from a guy who usually prints rumors?!

FREE Turkey Chili Day!

California Tortilla wants you to give thanks... a little early. The popular Cal-Mex 'quick-casual' chain is holding a FREE TURKEY CHILI DAY - today - THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19.

All customers making any purchase today will receive a free 4. oz cup of Turkey Chili, a year-round favorite... as well as a coupon for a free 8 oz. portion on their next visit for an extra-long Thanksgiving celebration. One sample per customer.

WHAT: FREE Turkey Chili Day at California Tortilla!
WHERE: Every single California Tortilla location
WHEN: Thursday November 19, 2009 (store hours may vary)
WHY: Gobble Gobble Gobble
WHO: EVERYONE!

Now we know where to find you at lunchtime!

Spotted: Fekkai!

We were on hand in Saks today at the Galleria at Tyson's Corner where internationally renowned hairstylist Frederic Fekkai took appointments to personally advise DC fashionistas on how to style that Merry Christmas mane during the holiday party season... and all year long.

According to Saks employees, he was "so, so nice..." and "more approachable that we thought he would be!" Sounds like Frederic's new nickname should be "Good Guy Fekkai."

The District Dish: Grammy Nominee Ski Johnson



Grammy Nominated Jazz Musician Ski Johnson joins us with his 26 year old saxophone for a dish session at Mio Restaurant. Since he was a teenager at Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts - and saved up his earnings from summer jobs to pay for his saxophone - Ski has been dedicated to being a musician.

He tells us about the lessons he's learned, how he feels about his chances going into the Grammys, and why he thinks this latest album has surpassed all others in his career. Oh yeah.. and we also dish about those Bentleys and his chauffeur!

Don't miss a minute! www.thedistrictdish.com

On The Passenger Side

Brothers Derek (The Gibson) and Tom (Cork) Brown will be opening their first collaborative project today... and you'll be happy to let them take you for a ride. Named The Passenger, perhaps because you won't want to be in the driver's seat after spending time at this laid-back drinking destination, the new hip place for hops - or equally a Hendrick's - is located at 1021 7th Street NW.

The space, formerly the Warehouse Theater's bar (Warehouse Theater is moving its entrance around the corner) is - obvi - transportation themed, most notably in the decor and the dining car dining room. On the one hand its very saloon. On the other, its like a resi-suggested transit treasure.

While Derek wants to steer you into the fast lane with a selection of brews and beerslinging behind the bar, Tom (maybe took a cue from our friends at the Jefferson) puts you on cruise control in the Columbia Room. There, the mixologist - most days that'll be Tom - makes drinks to taste. Just tell him the liquor and how you like it!

The Passenger. No back seat drivers here.

The Icing on the Cake

We couldn't resist the Sweets & Tweets discussion at Baked & Wired last night, featuring our good friend and new media master Mark Drapeau. Shake your finger at us for forgetting our camera memory card, but praise us for bringing you the best points of the techy talk.

The point of the discussion (that centered around gov/tech though City Girl's Blog and I got just as much out of it!) was to prove that new media tools have a professional purpose, even in the world of politics, and that though social networking may seem a dirty phrase to those that believe these tools are fashionable and fun, their usefulness has yet to be measured. But what about those of you who have already jumped on the bandwagon?... I mean, you ARE reading K Street Kate's online magazine, have joined our facebook group, and are following us on twitter!

Mark stresses that it's not "who you know, but who knows you" and while you're at it, numbers mean nothing. How many of those Facebook friends/Twitter followers/Blog readers are engaged in a meaningful community or conversation with you? Do you even incite those who disagree to confront you/RT in disagreement, or comment on your posts? It's about developing a loyal community who trust your tweets and rely on you as a resource... and sometimes share their dissenting opinions.

Building a new media brand is about using innovations to reach those who most want/need to hear your message. All the rest of the fun? That's just the icing on the cake.

Foxiness @ FedEx

HogsHaven.com, a place to share your love for pigskin and (Red)Skins stories, has recently created a home game competition amongst the female fans of FedEx Field. Each (home game) week, a new sexy Skins fan is chosen and interviewed for reader polling on who should advance as "Miss FedEx Field 2009."

Two great things came out of this week's win. First, the angry mob heading to the owner's box to tar and feather Snyder has been subdued... sort of. And second, our good friend Dannia came into the running for "Miss FedEx Field!" Aside from the fact that she's mistaken about who Jason Campbell is dating (our *also* good friend Mercedes Lindsay is Miss DC USA 2006, not Miss DC 2007), we think she's hot-to-trot and definitely more of a Skins fan than the "reigning" Sabrina.

Our prediction is that a vote for Dannia will keep the Ws on our side. So Snyder - and you - should get on it. Vote here!

Another Way to Give... and Get Back!

In this town, we know well how to party for a purpose or have cocktails for a cause. I am constantly being approached by friends and readers who wonder if this is the best way to make an impact - and want to make sure their dollars are being used most purposefully. There is something to be said for building a community of philanthropy, and making it fun! There are also many other options.

Kiva.org is a microlending site that works so well, a loan is transferred every 18 seconds.

What is Kiva and how does it work? Kiva is a lending site where individuals like you and me give small loan amounts (think, two/three cocktails) to deserving individuals with businesses around the world. It's not charity - it's believing in someone and giving them the confidence in themselves to have pride in their work and the dignity to repay that assistance.

Partners in the field (such as local lending institutions) approve and disburse a microloan to an entrepreneur in the community. They take a picture of the entrepreneur and not the individual's (or group's) story. They then share this story in a profile on Kiva.org. Lenders - like you and me! - browse the profiles and chose someone they also feel is worth lending to. Kiva sends the funds to those field partners (aggregating small loans from many individuals) to backfill the loan already put in place. Over time, the entrepreneur repays the loan (but those trusty field partners are in place to let Kiva know if repayments are late or if looks like the loan will default). When lenders (that's you and me again) get their money back from Kiva, they can choose to re-lend it to another worthy entrepreneur, donate their funds to Kiva (everyone's got operational expenses!), or keep them... I know I'll be asking you for a suggested donation at the door for some cause in the future :)

Think about Kiva.org to help Isham, a 33 year old married man who operates a small autoshop in Palestine. He has raised $3,000 (78%) of the amount he needs, and your $25 helps buy the tools necessary to improve his shop. Or consider lending to Tully, in Tanzania. She's been running a rice selling business since 1997. Customs and traditions in Tanzania make it difficult for women to own land and assets, thus they are often not credit worthy to lending institutions. Microloans make her business possible!

And if you wanted to give to charity in someone's name for the holidays, why not give to commerce and also let them chose who they would like to help? Kiva now offers "gift certificates!"

Silenced (by shortage of sponsorship)

Creative Loafing Atlanta first reported the closure, which has been confirmed by representatives of the Washington Blade. The Blade is but one part of the largest gay and lesbian newspaper publisher, Windows/Unite Media LLC, which also included the South Florida Blade, 411 Magazine, Genre Magazine & Southern Voice.

And now all are closed.

Though no reason was specifically cited for the previously unannounced closure of the media group, it is speculated that a general decline in advertising is to blame - a plague from which all media are suffering. It is rumored that the Washington Blade's 21 terminated employees may start their own venture.

Ironically, the Blade just celebrated its 40th anniversary last month.

The District Dish: JLW's A Capital Collection



Just in time to get ALL of your holiday shopping done, the Junior League brings back the area's oldest and best holiday markets - 51 years young. While you are perusing and purchasing, the Junior League is making money for its literacy programs around the District. Everybody wins!

Just what is the Junior League? As Kimberly Linson will tell you on this episode, its the largest women only service (and social!) organization in the capital area, providing trained volunteers for projects around the city... with a focus on literacy.

A Capital Collection of holiday shops features vendors from across the country with treats and temptations you'll want under your tree! Don't miss that caramel cake Kimberly tells us about - one of our favorites from past years as well!

www.thedistrictdish.com

Operation Rising Star

Thanks to Milinda Jefferson for sending this one in!

Twelve semi-finalists from around the globe will sing their hearts out in a televised contest series with celebrity judges and audience voting for a chance for a recording contract. Sound like American Idol? These contestants are American Idols... our military servicemen and women! But they are competing for the 2009 Operation Rising Star (that's right, also know as Military Idol).

Here's your chance to support the next Rising Star and secure your spot as a TV extra! The general public is invited to attend the taping tonight, November 16th, at the Wallace Theatre in Fort Belvoir, VA (8 PM). Last year, VIPs in attendance included NAVY's own Nashville Star, Fireman Tommy Stanley and LT Andy Baldwin.

In this show alone, half of the finalists will be eliminated! No tickets are required for general admission seating...and there are plenty of seats. Seating is on a first come first seated basis. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Ski's Society


Join us as we celebrate and give thanks for the work of the American Cancer Society with some smooth and soulful jazz and Grammy nominee Ski Johnson on Friday, November 28th at the POV rooftop of the W Hotel.

BvB: Brunette Domination



One of the hottest rivalries in the DC area doesn't involve party politics, but rather a takedown between the tresses... Blond vs. Brunette, that is! At the 5th annual BvB charity (flag) football game to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, dozens of area philanthropic females came together - and fought it out on the field - to raise tens of thousands toward a million dollar goal amongst BvB matches across the country this year.

Despite the valiant efforts of the Blond team, the Brunettes emerged victorious for the 5th year in a row, in a total shutout that ended in a score of 13-0. Team Captains Samantha Dredge and Taryn Fielder tell us the result makes the stakes just that much higher for next's years scrimmage.

More photos from the event available on Facebook.

(Embedded video courtesy of Comcast/Ruben Najera)

Runway en Releve Redux

Bloomies loves the Ballet.

Last Friday night at the Chevy Chase Bloomingdales, Washington Ballet company members, current and past Presidents, and friends of the ballet took to the runway in Fall/Winter styles and furs from Bloomie's Maximilian salon.

Styles from the store were fashioned by Barbara McConaghy, who hosted along with Staci Capuano. I strutted my stuff in a a black one shoulder mini with oversized pearl accessories and black platform peep toe heels. But if I hadn't worn my signature short skirt, I would have opted for the look at right - one of my absolute favorites in the show.

Bloomingdales (that's Marketing Director Heather Guay with Fashion for Paw's Tara deNicolas at left) donated 10% of purchases on November 13th and 14th to TWB.

Check here for other upcoming events to benefit the Washington Ballet.

For a Limited Time...

Those words always seem to catch our attention - a sales strategy that may well have been adapted from love/life considerations! Nicole Williams agrees (you'll recognize her from The Today Show or MSN). Nicole is a career expert and best selling author who has written an insightful book, "Girl on Top," that suggests we turn our dating rules into career strategies.

As part of Nicole's nationwide "Girl on Top" book tour (sponsored by - oh so appropriately - The Limited and Elle Magazine, Nicole is hosting networking parties/runway shows in 15 cities across the United States...and is coming to DC!

K Street Kate wants to encourage our female readers to be Girls on Top so we've arranged for exclusive spots to be reserved for KSK readers to:

- Chat with the women in the area you need to have on speed dial (fun and fearless females... Fab!)
- Get an amazing gift bag (while supplies last!)
- Enjoy an exclusive 40% discount on The Limited's brand new business-chic attire (try it out for that next big meeting or interview)
- Drink free-flowing Girl On Top Cocktails (you had us at.. Drink)
- AND secure career advice from Nicole Williams (who couldn’t use that at a time like this?)

Date: 11.23.09
Location: The Limited at Pentagon
1100 South Hayes St.
Arlington, VA 22202
Time: 6-9pm
Click here to RSVP!

Trending Tweed

Feeling guilty because you thought you’d never wear those, “but they were on sale,” tweed pants again? Well, consider yourself saved because it’s not too late to register for what is being deemed the city’s first ever “Tweed Ride” this Sunday, November 15. The low-impact ride, organized by the folks at Dandies and Quaintrelles, begins at 11:00am on 8th and H Street NE and ends on 14th and U at Marvin, where raffles, awards, drinks and general merriment await!

Still not sure about the tweeds? Today’s New York Times says they're back in trend, and all proceeds from the ride will benefit “Arts for the Aging”, a local non-profit that provides arts outreach programs to seniors. So, come on, dandy, strap on your tweeds and cycle away! Who knows, perhaps you’ll see D.C.’s very own fedora-wearing, cycling-loving Mayor pedaling right next to you!

Writer, Katie Kindelan contributed this post.

The District Dish: Justin Trawick



We all know what its like to come to a fork in the road and be forced to make a decision. The 'musical gods' chose to let Justin Trawick dedicate himself to his singing/songwriting when he was laid off from his database entry job about a year ago - a veiled blessing!

"Starting over" is Justin's latest EP, an urban folk rock compilation just released this year. Tell us which song is your favorite for a chance to win an autographed copy!

*And don't miss this "breast man" as he headlines the PinkJams concert of November 18th to raise money for breast cancer research... more details in the interview.

www.thedistrictdish.com

CompuCocktails

The greater Washington technorati celebrated the grand opening of Microsoft's new Chevy Chase location yesterday afternoon with a digi-fête ribbon cutting ceremony. The rest of Montgomery County celebrated the 500 jobs the industry giant brought to the area with its move - literally feet across the DC/MD border.

On floor 7, and with a Seven & Seven ("The Windows") in hand, attendees toasted the launch of (you guessed it!) the new Windows 7 in the unveiled office space. Microsoft Vice President (Federal), Teresa Carlson, - who reads K Street Kate - boasted about the greenness of the new and progressive digs (and how much better employee health and performance will be as a result!) before addressing the crowd and tackling a resistant ribbon. (Video of ribbon cutting below)
video
Pictured: Top Left - Goldy Kamali (Founder of FedScoop), Teresa Carlson (VP, MS Federal), Mark Drapeau (Behavior Scientist/Writer). Top Right - Tanya Klause (MS Public Sector), Jared Adams (Merritt Group)

Carrie Prejeans Next Media Stunt

Carrie Prejean, first runner-up in the 2009 Miss USA Pageant, was supposed to be in town to discuss her new book, "Still Standing", at the Luce Policy Institute’s Afternoon with an Author event today at the Capitol Hill Club.

Just an hour before the event, organizers personally called attendees to explain that the event had been cancelled. Carrie would not be in town, however her publicist may be on hand to answer questions.

Cancellation of the fully registered event was the latest in a string of media mishaps (or manipulation!) that have brought the beauty Queen/model such acute attention. Her absence is rumored to have something to do with last night's Larry King debacle.

* Carrie Prejean is perhaps best known as the Miss California contestant who answered Perez Hilton's controversial question at the Miss USA Pageant. She wrote “Still Standing” in response to the hate, gossip and personal attacks that ensued.

Discjocking, Drinks and Debbie Gibson

Thanks to all who came out to our fundraiser to benefit Interstages last night! Despite the drizzle and down temps, we raised a considerable amount for a great middle school female after school program in Anacostia.

Some of the giveaways included gift certificates to 1201 Salon, Tuscana West, JoElle Skin Care, Hela Spa, and The City Club of Washington; a Chartered Boat Ride Down the Potomac with a Private Captain; a private/semi private yoga session; an hour deep tissue massage therapy session; and more. Drawings were held all night.

Thanks for getting in the spirit, spraying through a whole bottle of hairspray, and digging through the closet for those neon legwarmers. We went Back to Old School - and Interstages afterschool program is that much better for it!

May Day, May Day...

It’s a date! The 2010 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner will be held on Saturday, May 1, our friends at FishbowlDC and TVNewser report. Always one of D.C.’s splashiest events, it’s also a night of dreams: a chance for wonks and journos to ditch their Ann Taylor and tweed for red-carpet finery, and for starlets to dwell in their inner-wonkiness.

No official word yet on who will follow the fearless Wanda Sykes as host of the black-tie event, but ComedyNews.org is reporting that Joe Wong has been booked. (We know, Joe who?) Our guess is all eyes will be on Michelle Obama anyways - will she go sleeveless? Wear Jason or Isabel?

And this year the WHCA is raising the ante a bit, announcing they’ll raise the cost of a ticket from $200 to $225/person, all in the name of raising more money for the college scholarships that are the (often forgotten?) reason for the event. In the name of attendance, may the box office be good and the journalism industry saved!

Writer, Katie Kindelan contributed this post.

"Italian for Beginners"

We stopped by the book launch celebration of Kristin Harmel's newest novel "Italian for Beginners" at Paolo's last night to chat about her popular prose. Her first four novels, HOW TO SLEEP WITH A MOVIE STAR, THE BLONDE THEORY, THE ART OF FRENCH KISSING and WHEN YOU WISH have been translated into numerous languages and are sold all around the world - so we had lots to learn!

But the theme of the night, from the table to the page turner was italian so we asked some of those in attendance, "What words do you know in Italian?"

Bonjourno spouts CityGirlBlogs. Caio Bella says Zena Polin (pictured here with author Kristin Harmel). And Barbara Martin asks on her way out the door, "Does Prada count?"

The District Dish: Hand Analyst Peggie Arvidson



Give her a hand!

Peggie Arvidson
, Certified Professional Hand Analyst dishes about what your hands are "pointing out" about you and the way you live your life. In this episode, filmed at Firefly in the Hotel Madera, get the scoop on life lines, laugh lines and reading between the lines! Peggie even analyzes Sonya's hands - you tell us whether you think her analysis deserves a thumbs up.

It's not about predicting the future, it's about giving individuals a "hand" with what their palms say about the life they live.

www.thedistrictdish.com

Next Big Musical Thing Playing Here Locally

You'll think back on this post when Nneka is a full-fledged singing/songwriting STAR and (hopefully!) remember that you heard about her here first. This girl is already well known in Europe and Africa, but she's releasing her first US album in February and playing here locally at Jammin Java on November 14th.

Nigerian Nneka has been compared to artists like Erykah Badu, Mos Def, and Lauryn Hill (who is already a big fan!)... Rolling Stone and Spin are rumored to be planing profiles on her for early next year to coincide with her 'next big thing' status.

Not only is she beautiful, but she sings (and raps!) with unmeasured raw emotion and soul. Be prepared for some unapologetic political lyrics as well! Get a taste of her talent by watching this video of her song "Heartbeat". Then check her out in Vienna at Jammin Java for the late show this Saturday.

TEN9Eight: Shoot for the Moon

They took a page out of the playbook of "Paranormal Activity" and "Hannah Montana" for this one... but thankfully the topic isn't reminiscent of either one. What this does tell us is that the method for movie releases is changing - and entrepreneurs have taken notice!

Available for one week only (H
annah...) exclusively at 15 AMC locations in only 8 cities (Paranormal...) award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio's documentary "TEN9Eight: Shoot for the Moon" is starting this Friday, November 13th.

The documentary
chronicles the inspirational stories of several teens from low-income communities, many of whom are very potential dropout risks... or worse. Then, the students enter a nationwide business plan competition run by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) - you've heard us rave on this program before. We're told that in the US, a kid drops out of school every 9 seconds. Through this program, their lives are changed.

Tickets are on sale now; for "TEN9Eight" showing at:
District of Columbia Washington D.C. AMC Loews Georgetown 14 District of Columbia Washington D.C. AMC MJ Capital Center 12

*AMC will also offer a free (first come-first serve) screening at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12 at all participating theatres for interested teachers and students. To attend, please present a valid teacher or student I.D. at the box office.

Reminder: Tonight @ L2

Don't forget to join us tonight at L2 Lounge for our "Back to Old School" bash to benefit Interstages. It's 80s night!

Ladies, fish out the fishnets and legwarmers, let us see those shoulder pads and be bold in your blue eyeshadow. Men, how tight can you tightroll? This is better than your Junior Prom... this time you can drink! Cocktail specials all night from the L2 staff, drawings for fun prizes AND a crazy costume competition. Doors open at 8 PM with "rolling" admissions: $10 for the first 100 people, $15 for the next 100 people and $20 for the last 100 people... Come early!!!!!!

Let this get you in the mood:


*Interstages is an afterschool program that offers structured, age-appropriate afterschool activities to middle school girls in DC's Anacostia neighborhood.

What Dancers Wear. What Women Want.

When the bourées, fouettés, and pliés are over, the Washington Ballet TWB) still keeps you on your toes.

Friday night, November 13th, Bloomingdale’s Chevy Chase will host the annual fashion show to benefit the Washington Ballet - Runway en Relevé Redux - and yours truly will be taking the runway (and rumor has it, maybe even opening the show)!

Who else will be prancing in their pointe shoes to the Bloomingdale's stylings of DC show producer Barbara McConaghy (sadly, we don't actually think pointe shoes are a part of the program)? “Models” ranging from the Women’s Committee of the Washington Ballet, to Board members, to the Jeté Society Executive Committee, and many of the dancers in the company.

Bloomie's will be donating a generous 10% of purchases back to TWB on both Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th... that's right, you can return on Saturday to pick up everything you saw in the show Friday night (with an additional 20% savings!!) - except for my little number, because I've already got it on hold!

Show starts at 7, so don't be late to get your seat! Ticket info here.

More FILES for the Files...

And as you may have read today in FishBowlDC or in Yeas and Nays, Capitol File publisher Susan Nixon has announced she'll be stepping down from the local lifestyle glossy. Her resignation is the latest change at the magazine, which announced new Editor in Chief Sarah Schaffer just months ago.

No word yet on future plans for Susan, but we wish her the very best!

DistrictFile

Unless you're somehow affiliated with the political world - and believe it or not, there are some people in DC that aren't - you may not have yet heard about DistrictFile. This site, small and exclusive by design, might remind you of A Small World (ASW). And according to Founder Amir Oveissi, that would be a compliment.

"DistrictFile is online and offline," he says after their grand redesign party at the Canadian Embassy tonight. "We recognize that what gets work done is close personal relationships, and we want to provide the forum for political professionals to connect as well as the events to help them get to know each other outside of work."

The site, which may in the end seem more like a " worldwide professional club" than a social network, draws members of all ages, as shown from the attendance at the event, which included such notables as Venable's Tom Quinn and Robert Babayi, Homeland Security Capital Corp.'s Tom McMillen, PAAIA's Morad Ghorban, Anne-Marie Kelly of the SEC and Fox News' Katy Adams.

DistrictFile's redesigned site, released November 11th, will be available by invitation only.

You Had Me at... Cupcake

Our good friend Mark Drapeau (@Cheeky_Geeky for those on Twitter) just told us about Sweets and Tweets, a private, after-hours event at the original sweet spot in Georgetown, Baked & Wired.

These events usually feature boldfaced-named brainiacs from DC's diverse technology community who come to talk about the use of social media by the public and private sector... from the White House and federal agencies to local startups. The event series is produced and hosted by author and social media consultant Debbie Weil. You may have heard about previous 'Sweet and Tweet-ups' with special guests Mark Walsh on crowdsourcing and Andrew P. Wilson, who runs Flu.gov.

This time it's Mark's turn to teach us a thing or two (or twenty) about social sourcing - and how it can be used to improve the government! - on Tuesday, November 17th from 7 - 8:15 PM. Devour delicious cupcakes, mingle with DC's digerati and hear Mark Drapeau, behaviour scientist turned Gov 2.0 guru, talk about the hot topic of the year *social networking*.

Event info is here.

Fall Fringe Festival

In what is often the first opportunity for emerging artists to present their work, the Capital Fringe Festival connects these exploratory artists with adventurous audiences by creating outlets for contemporary performance in the District.

Here's your chance to get involved with the Fall Fringe (November 11 -22), a taste of the larger Festival that will aid in fundraising for the 5th annual Capital Fringe Festival to come in summer 2010. Fall Fringe includes the performance offerings below:

The Terrorism Of Everyday Life
Written/Performed by Ed Hamell
60 minutes
Nov. 11 – 9pm; Nov. 12 – 10pm; Nov. 13 – 10pm; Nov. 14 – 10pm; Nov. 15 – 10pm; Nov. 18 – 9pm; Nov. 19 – 10pm; Nov. 20 – 10pm; Nov. 21 – 10pm; Nov. 22 – 10pm
Tickets: $20
Returning bold and victorious as the Winner of the 2009 Capital Fringe Directors' Award, Artist Ed Hamell brings his terror-ist threat back to DC "...a one-man punk band-- and by punk we mean (mostly) loud, fast music informed by politics, passion, energy and intelligence, played by a guy with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of humor," Winner of the prestigious Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Anyone who witnessed the raw energy of “The Terrorism of Everyday Life” at this past year’s Capital Fringe Festival show knows that live performance is where Ed is at his irrefutable best.

Fool for a Client
Written/Performed by Mark Whitney
90 minutes
Nov. 11 - 6:30pm; Nov. 12 - 7:30pm; Nov. 13 - 7pm; Nov. 14 - 2pm & 8pm; Nov. 15 - 2pm & 7:30pm; Nov. 18 - 6:30pm; Nov. 19 - 7:30pm; Nov. 20 - 7pm; Nov. 21 - 2pm & 8pm; Nov. 22 - 2pm & 7:30pm
Tickets: $20
From California, Master Story Teller and 2008 Pick of the Fringe - Best Solo Performer Mark Whitney returns to set the record straight. A story as powerful and relevant as it is true, Fool For A Client, Mark Whitney's high-energy, award-winning, political dramedy, deftly and hilariously explores the inherent tension between the Golden Rule and the Rule of Law, tolerance and zero tolerance, fear and freedom.

Splitting the Difference
Written/Performed by Kelly Bond
30 minutes
Nov. 13 - 9pm; Nov. 14 - 4pm; Nov. 15 - 4pm; Nov. 20 - 9pm; Nov. 21 - 4pm; Nov. 22 - 9:30pm
Tickets: $15
Kelly presented “SILL” in the 2006 Inaugural Capital Fringe Festival. Her most recent endeavors include her solo performance work, “Splitting the Difference” and the co-curation of the In-Presentable Festival in Madrid with the other members of 6Months1Location–an artistic, educational, and social experiment which incorporated the program ex.e.r.ce 08 and took place at the Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier in 2008. “Splitting the Difference” addresses Hans Bellmer’s idea of the body as an anagram, using a fragmented framework to present the body through the lens of spectacle and image. It exposes an alien body whose history plays a clear role in the creation of a contemporary self. The work uses physical sensation and text to connect to its spectator empathetically, creating an opening through which the viewers can identify themselves in the other.

The District Dish: Leslie Sanchez



On the newest episode of K Street Kate's The District Dish, Political Analyst and Author Leslie Sanchez dishes with us about political chicks. Leslie's book, "You've Come a Long Way, Maybe" details how three females in politics (Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama) are reshaping the role of women in this career area today - and how far we've yet to go.

Leslie is a frequent contributor to CNN and now she dishes with us on political topics and more!
www.thedistrictdish.com
K Street Kate - Voted "Best Local Online Magazine" by Metromix!