Miss VA Wins Miss America

Local viewers of the Miss America pageant on TLC Saturday night followed two DC-metro area girls battle their way to the top - and one eventually win!

Both Miss DC, Jen Corey and Miss VA, Caressa Cameron (Fredericksburg) finished in the top ten, with Cameron continuing all the way to the crown.

Cameron wowed the audience with her rendition of "Listen" from the Dreamgirls' soundtrack and her standout canary gown, sealing the deal with the answer to her onstage question relating to childhood obesity:

"We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little...Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like."

(Image from the Miss America website)


Debbie Sigmund (center left), Founder of Innocents at Risk, returned from her daughter's wedding to send another young twenty-something off on what promises to be the experience of a lifetime.

This girl with a goal to better the world would be Alexandra Robinson, who leaves for Kathmandu, Nepal in February. But first... a little fundraising, a few drinks and a lot of time with friends.

Last Thursday, Sigmund helped Robinson to host an event at a favorite nightspot of recent grads, George, in support of Free the Slaves partnerships in Nepal - organizations with which Robinson will assist in sheltering, counseling and providing legal aid for Nepalese survivors of foreign brothels.

(Right: Volunteers collected close to $4,000 Thursday night for Free the Slaves.)

Brian Mitchell is a Breast Man

"If I don't go for 1,000 pesos, I'm going to be upset," says Matthew Hebert (at left in below photo), Director of Special Events at E. Lund Entertainment and one of the bachelors at the Tigerlily Foundation's benefit date auction Thursday night at Josephine Lounge.

Hebert was one of about a dozen men and women who put themselves on the auction block to benefit the cause of breast cancer. After a bidding war, his date was out $105 and he was planning a night on the town.

Then there was Larrion Dalton, a world traveler who kisses on the first date, and Dr. Alex Naini, a dentist who could whiten your sweet tooth after a romantic rendezvous to one of her favorite spots, Georgetown Cupcake.

Former D.C. United player Domenic Mediate (right in photo at right), "just wanted someone to bid on [him]" although he claimed that this was his last date auction because "some of [his] previous experiences have been pretty scary." He planned to take her to Fogo de Chao.

One of the surprises of the night was the opportunity to bid on Tigerlily founder, Maimah Karmo, who ended up fetching more than the $200 she thought she was worth. "I'm hoping we'll get to have sushi on our date," she said.

And if you stuck around long enough and were wearing your 'Save Second Base' pin, you could join in on the bidding for Brian Mitchell (pictured above). The former Redskin and NFL record holder drew a pretty penny, eventually securing the grand prize of $260 for the night from Robinette S., an extreme football fan.

(Video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIUBozmWwCI)
*A version of this post is available on NBC's Niteside.

Teardrops & Indigestion

Among the things that upset us today:

1) Nickel and Diming We spent ten cents extra today (they had to double bag!) since we forgot our reusables at the grocery, and we're already thinking of the ten cents extra we will be spending on our Metro fare come March 1st when that dime increase is put into effect.

2) Go Mama's Go-ing Away This 14th Street staple for great gifts is forced to close, even as new merchandise continues to arrive. Shed a tear for its final day on March 31st, but until then, get your smiles in as you save 20% (or deeper discounts) on everything in store.

3) Donnie's Done Today marked Donnie Simpson's final signoff after 32 years on the Washington airwaves. A fallout with WPGC-FM caused the morning show personality to pull the plug on his contract early - and end his show late!

The normal four hour show had an extra two hour spillover of phone call farewells, including Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Wyclef Jean and others from the 'way back machine' of Donnie's decades on the radio and as host of BET's "Video Soul."

He played his usual "Jesus is Love" track from Lionel Richie and said, "I feel loved," in closing. Then he treated fans to half smokes at Ben's Chili Bowl in celebration of whatever lies ahead.

Carnival and Comedy

Slipping and sliding at Pentagon Row is one way to bring back the holiday cheer.

Families, friends and music lovers were invited to listen to the easy beats of the band Woodburn Road as they enjoyed festivities surrounding the Pentagon Row Ice Skating Gala Thursday evening.

Braced and bundled for the cold, yet flushed from laps around the ice skating rink, attendees were mesmerized by stilt walkers standing tall in the wind, funny faced mimes playing practical jokes, and savvy skaters turning pirouettes on center ice.

And the gliding was for good! Rental fees for one skate of every pair (50%) were donated to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Victoria Sanders contributed this post.

The District Dish: Jolene, the Trailer Park Queen

On the newest episode of The District Dish, Jolene Sugarbaker, the trailer park queen and host of YouTube's "Cooking with Jolene" comes out of the trailer park to dish with us at Churchkey. No beer, just rootbeer in her new cookie recipe!

Jolene beams about beets and beating out some stiff competition to win the Tasty Award for Best Comedy Series.

(Video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uWYLISIkaM)

Sugar & Champagne

The four-legged and friends lapped up champagne and gourmet desserts from local pastry chefs and top notch restaurants, including Acadiana, Bastille, Trummer's On Main, and Vidalia Wednesday night at the West End Ritz Carlton.

Ellen and Todd Gray (of Equinox) and Salamander Hospitality hosted this 9th annual reception, where canine companions are welcome to honor the animal cruelty crusaders of the Washington Humane Society.

Also on hand, the WHS adoption van, to tempt all of the supporters who showed up sans party pooch to leave with a little loved one.

(Video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TASn3Dxqm_8)

Panda Party

Looking for a last chance to wave goodbye to the 4 year old giant panda who captured your heart via webstream while you procrastinated at work? Tai Shan returns to China on February 4th to enter into a breeding program to save giant pandas worldwide.

But on January 30th - from 11AM to 3 PM - talks with zoo specialists, panda interpreters, art activities and commemorative postage stamps are just some of the activities you can enjoy at the National Zoo's fond farewell send off for the cub.

Land-o-Lakes will even have a butterstick tribute showing photos of Tai Shan since birth (appropriate since the cub was born the size of a stick of butter)! Free and open to the public.

Star Studded Soiree

Notable clients, including R&B Artist Ginuwine and his wife Sole, Jazz Musician Marcus Johnson, and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Aymen Hakki, dismissed the State of the Union Address to stay late and enjoy champagne and vegan Sticky Fingers cake with Dannia Hakki and Sherry Moeller at the launch of their new boutique PR company, Moki Media, at Bethesda's Lebanese Taverna Wednesday night.

"It seems everybody here wants to work with them," said Marwan Muasher, vice president of the World Bank, pointing out a list of the young company's accounts, including internationally renowned musicians, luxury medical and spa services and celebrity interior design. "Maybe I should."

"I wouldn't miss it," said Johnson, who flew in from performing overseas just hours earlier with Moki on his mind.

While the dynamic duo proudly scanned the restaurant packed with just the sort of people that rarely leave the confines of the District, they were dissatisfied with just one thing.

"It wasn't our first choice name,' admits Moeller.

"We knew we wanted to use our names together, so we tried every possible combination. Our favorite - DASH - was taken. But Moki was cool. A memorable word that wasn't a word... like Google."

*A version of this post is available on NBC's Niteside.

The District Dish: Boxer Jimmy Lange

You may have seen him on The Contender...local boxer Jimmy Lange stops by to dish with us before heading off to prepare for his next big fight - which you can see on March 6th at the Patriot Center.

Hear about his fighting style, superstitions, and his 32-3-2 record(wins, losses, draws) on this episode. And see me get flustered as Jimmy lets us in on some personal dish!

(video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H18pOnqAnkc)

Drinking on the Job

"Can I drink on the job right now?" Charlie Adler asks as we approach him for this interview. And before he even gets an answer, he has popped a bottle and started swirling a glass of red wine in Adams Morgan's brand new District bar.

The bar is having one of many "grand opening" celebrations while Adler promotes his new book "I Drink on the Job."

"What I think about all day long is eating and drinking," he says. "I love exploring things that make beautiful music in your mouth."

A job like this requires a distinguished palette -- or not.

He likes to sniff corks at such local wine bars as Veritas, Cork and even CoCo Sala, places with small plates that Adler calls "a low commitment date." But he also suggests that "sometimes inexpensive wines or inexpensive foods that may seem a funky pairing taste great together."

"One of my favorites is to pair the Virginia Horton Cab Franc with sechuan beef. It's hot, spicy and sweet, all combos which should not work with ared wine, but it does! Or try this - Chipotle's Niman Ranch Pork with a spicy rustic wine like an Argentinian Malbec or Spanish Tempranillo. "

Anything goes according to the man who admits that wine professionals always disagree.

"Like, bacon," Adler says. "Bacon is a perfect thing. I'm Jewish, so of course I eat bacon," he laughs. "But I'd say anything with bacon needs a Pinot Noir."

*A version of this post is available on NBC's Niteside.

State of Play

Massachusetts? War? Economy? Jobs? Healthcare?? All of these plagues of the President are almost certain to be in tonight's State of the Union Speech, but which one will you choose to be your party favor!?

Tonight at Ventnor Sports Cafe (2411 18th St. NW) you pick a word and when the President says it... $1 shot!

Participate in the talk of the town while the President does his own talking at this unique State of the Union Address Viewing Party. Put a twist on watching while you get in your cheap shots. Bar opens at 5:30 PM, SOTU begins at 9 PM.

Miss DC: Enormous Eats!

Thanks to Jim Cooney of Buca di Beppo in Las Vegas, NV for sending us info on Miss DC while she's out in casino country competing for the Miss America crown.

Clad in her sash and crown she and 52 other contestants dined on family-style Italian cuisine and sampled a preview of the super-sized Brownie Sundae that will be available at all Buca restaurants starting next month.

Here she is with her enormous dessert... before the swimsuit competition!!

(Photo Credit - Ethan Miller, Getty Images)


Two loyal readers joined Kate at sponsor PR @ Partners for a beauty makeover in preparation of the Best Blog Bash last weekend. Lisa Byrne and Nicole Nolte enjoyed beautification and blowouts before the big bash and then made a brilliant entrance.

(video embed)

Remember: You can't win if you don't enter. Look for more contests and other ways to be an active member of the K Street Kate community in 2010!

For Those Who Like Lettuce

Mixt Greens opens its first location in DC today on 19th Street NW with three other locations already scheduled for Spring.

The West Coast green gourmet joins the local mixing bowl of tossed-to-order salad spots previously dominated by Sweetgreen and Chop't.

Stop by to examine the edible living wall of seasonal herbs and vegetables, a first in Washington, that suggests a pick-your-own-produce approach to eating out.

And while you're there, we suggest you try The Porky - spiced rubbed pork tenderloin, roast butternut squash, smoked bacon, sliced apple and pistachios, dressed with champagne vinaigrette.

*Photo credit Eco-Asia.info

Sanchez Says...

Author and Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez cautioned female presidential hopefuls not to ruin their chances of getting to the Oval Office by posting unsavory items to the Web.

"First, I would tell her to monitor her imprint on the web," Leslie said when asked Monday night what advice she'd offer to aspiring presidential hopefuls, "because everything is captured."

The conservative author, who penned "You've Come a Long Way, Maybe," invited left-leaning panelists Patti Solis Doyle, Janet Murguia and Rosalind Wiseman to join her for a Q&A on the changing attitudes of women in politics and beyond during her book event at the National Press Club.

Former manager of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign Patti Solis Doyle said aspiring candidates must be prepared to be scrutinized.

"Be thick-skinned because [you] will be under a microscope," she said, adding a not-so-veiled dig at Sarah Palin. "Do your homework. Know what magazines and newspapers you read."

None of the panelists felt it would be much longer before a woman took control of the Oval Office, throwing out such names as Kathleen Sebelius, Janet Napolitano and Claire McCaskill as possible future contenders.

Sanchez also said she believes Obama is setting himself up to be a one-term president.

"Obama is following the path of Jimmy Carter -- on the path to being a one-term President," Sanchez said.

And she suggested that Palin might yet have another opportunity in the next campaign cycle. "Will she do her homework? And will she move to Sunday talk versus Oprah talk? These are the questions," she said.

*A version of this post is published on NBC's Niteside.

Not Over Until it's Under

Passengers at Dulles International will now "proceed to the gate" on sleek, sexy - and swift - underground aerotrains.

Starting today, after 15 years in the making, the new train arrives every two minutes serving the A, B, and C terminals. Those 'on the D list' or the international gates will have to keep using the infamous above ground peoplemovers until Dulles' expansion efforts align with the underground project.

And soon enough you may never even have to see the clouds above until you're right up in them! (Nevermind - this one's overground.) Dulles is, eventually, expected to have a Metrorail Station when the silver line expansion is completed ~2016.

Flip Cup Face-Off

A puck or a bucket of beer - as long it's on ice, these players are game.

Still in town after Saturday night's loss to the Washington Capitals, the Phoenix Coyotes got a chance to show that they can get a win in Washington.

A group of Georgetown University undergraduates came upon the players enjoying the Colts vs. Jets football game while nursing their egos at Georgetown's popular Rhino Bar (3295 M Street NW)

"This is probably the coolest game I've ever seen put together in this place," said Rhino manager Dave Nelson as the collegiates challenged the sports stars to a round of Flip Cup.

The game goes like this: After chugging a full beer, players attempt to completely flip an empty plastic cup off the edge of the table so that it stands upright. A failed flip results in another chug, then rebound and repeat.

The Coyotes accepted the challenge on one condition. "We don't do beer on tap, so it'll have to be Miller Lite bottles," said one of the toothless titans.

Despite their routine and intense studies in the field of flip cup, the students were stunned by the icemen's skills at the toss. And the Coyotes got a rare off-the-ice chance at a hat trick as the students begged to bet on the "best of three."

*A version of this post appears on NBC's Niteside.

The District Dish: Miss Black USA

Miss Black USA, Shayna Rudd, dishes with us on the latest episode, detailing her first of many books offering lessons to the Lady-Diva. "Don't act like a lady, be one," she tells us, although even this diva still has to do the dishes.

(Video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvKuBmxJ_fY)

Change, Change, and Champagne Toast

Congratulations to Erin Hartigan who announced to day that she will be leaving DailyCandy to launch TastingTable D.C., a similar daily e-mail blast about wining and dining around the District.

And best of luck to Annie Lou Bayly Berman will take Erin's place editing the D.C. DailyCandy edition.

Finally, not a Click, but a 'clink' in toast to the nuptials of Patrick Gavin and his new wife Anne Bracken [Gavin], who married Saturday at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. To add to the registry loot - Patrick posted this photo of just some of the packages received on his Twitter page - our gift is a wish for a long and happy life together.

Congrats, all!


To all of our loyal friends and readers:

THANK YOU. Thank you for voting us "Best Local 'Blog'" 2010. While it was a BLAST celebrating our win with all of you who came to our big bash at Current last Friday, we are already hard at work to make this year even more fresh and fab.

Thank you for reading, for sending in your suggestions, for commenting on what you like and dislike and for all of your support in everyway, everyday.

And of course, a huge thank you to the sponsors, who keep us going. Without them, we could not bring you the very best of DC.

What a thrilling time! We were voted best and it's only going to get better!


*The above are a sample of the night's pictures sent in by friends and fans. Feel free to share your photos on our Facebook page!
** Metromix's album of photos is available here.

The District Dish: Julianne Smith Wedding Garters

Find out about the history of this oldest wedding tradition from DC's own "Garter Girl," Julianne Smith. And check out the furry, feathery, fun.. and even eco-friendly garters she has to offer for the upcoming wedding season.

(Video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L80zBtSBDhM)

*Your ad could introduce our next episode. E-mail for rates and information.

Books & Benchmarks

Author, CNN contributor, and fantastically fabulous Leslie Sanchez will be talking about her new book "You've Come a Long Way, Maybe" on January 25th at the National Press Club, 6:30 - 9 PM. Stop by for drinks and a discussion of the role of women in politics & beyond with a Q & A session featuring Patti Solis Doyle, Janet Murguia and Rosalind Wiseman.

Though event is free, reservations are required (opus@press.org). Copies of the book available for purchase and signing, $25.

"It Girl" Overnight

The definition of 'socialite' is more than nebulous around the Beltway.

"I don't think DC has a definition," asserts Katherine Kennedy, on hand to co-host Bridie Clarke's book signing of The Overnight Socialite at Bethesda's Ginger Boutique Thursday night.

"I can't really see this book taking place anywhere but New York, since that's where the socialites are in my opinion," Kennedy added, "But a lot of women want to be socialites, so the book's 'lessons' are pretty interesting."

According to Kennedy, the plot of Clarke's novel reads like a mix between the popular movies "She's All That" and "The Princess Diaries." To become an overnight social sensation, the main character learns how to hold her carriage, walk the right way, and even pose for pictures.

And Clarke's definition of a socialite is more manipulative than just "someone who conducts their social life in a public way." She includes that her socialite is "someone who has an agenda and is hoping to gain from the notoriety, not just to be out and have fun."

Even so, her term doesn't have a negative connotation.

"There are countless women - socialites - after whom I would shape my life," Clarke admits. "I look at women who have turned their presence into a social empire to do great things, and I wouldn't mind being like them."

But is it possible to do that overnight? "Yes," Clarke affirms, "although I don't know the DC scene well enough to know if it could happen here."

(Images: Top, Author Bridie Clarke. Middle, Candance Randle, Sia Rose and Paula Whyman. Bottom, Jewelry designer Suzanne Somersall with FW's Betsy Lowther.)

*A version of this post appears on NBC's Niteside site.

Why Go to Sundance?

You knew it was coming (or have you not been listening to me for the last three+ years?). Our favorite online sharing site is dabbling in pay-per-view.

YouTube, which has struggled (like the rest of us) to figure out how to monetize its free services, is for the first time charging for some content. And judging from the masses that head out to Sundance to get a glimpse of these indies, this is content you'll want to see! No need to travel to Utah, five Sundance films* will be offered, starting today, at $3.99 each with a viewing window of 48 hours.

More movies and TV shows are rumored to be in the lineup within months, making Youtube a rental force to reckoned with. However, it is unclear how YouTube will compete with Hulu, which has already been in this space and may also soon ask viewers to shell out to see its content.

*Sundance movies available: The Cove, One Too Many Mornings, Homewrecker, Children of Invention and Bass Ackwards.

Control the Borders

More than one book signing was taking place last night around town, but some were more organized than others. That's what happens when you're on the D-List.

Comedian Kathy Griffin, scheduled to sign copies of her new Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin at "some Barnes and Noble, I'm not sure which," ended up throwing together a signing at Borders where she promised to "unlike Palin, sign every book" and pose for pictures.

The unplugged and uncensored author - yes, she really dropped the F-bomb during the New Year's Eve ball drop - will be live Friday and Saturday at the DAR.


"Hi and help, do you know of any cute lounges or restaurant venues in DC or MD to host a baby shower? Thanks!" a Twitter follower wrote in to us.
Here are K Street Kate's top picks for hosting that baby bundle bash this year:

Georgetown's RitzCarlton
. We love hotel bars, and this luxe lobby - complete with fireplace - is a great spot to get a group together for a warm celebration. If you need a private room, consider renting the smokestack.

CoCo Sala. Toast the new little sweet thing with some little sweet things. CoCo has sweets and savories for every taste and an atmosphere that can't be beat.

Tabard Inn. Looking to congratulate The Expecting over a baby brunch? Look no further than one of DC's oldest inns. The restaurant offers a delightful menu perfect for any season. And you'll go goo-goo-ga-ga for Tabard's fresh out of the fryer donuts.

Ping Pong Dim Sum
. This is our current favorite for small group gatherings. The small plates are spectacular for sharing, and everyone will enjoy testing out the specialties and dumplings... The ordering method is a conversation starter for a group that may not already know each other well and at the same time, a perfect party for a group of close friends.

Pink Fashion ROCKS

K Street Kate is the online media sponsor of Pink Fashion ROCKS, a runway show to benefit PINK JAMS. At Long View Gallery on February 24th, local designers will join fashion favorite Betsey Johnson to put together a pink fashion show, strutting to the music of Charm City Devils (who just got off tour with Motley Crue!) .

You won't want to miss the chance to bid on exclusive pink fashion creations and watch friends get rosy on the runway. Tickets available now (G/A $50, VIP seated $150)

Because fashion ROCKS.

An Artistic Expression

The heavy political guest list read more like a human rights rally than a historic Chinese dance performance.

Ambassador Dick Swett and Congressman Michael Bilirakis were among those mingling on the rooftop terrace of the Kennedy Center with principal performers from the Shen Yun Performing Arts company and those who supported its mission to present the cultural heritage of old-world China through song and dance.

"I was told that I would see something I've never seen before," said Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who attended with his wife, Elizabeth. "And that we're seeing it in the Kennedy Center is perfect, because it was President Kennedy who spoke about human rights... and behind this performance is the elevation of the human condition."

Even performers, shed of their brilliant stage costumes, stayed on message at the afterparty.

"Five-thousand years of Chinese culture is divinely inspired," Kelly Wen, one of the show's onstage hosts, recounted.

Referring to China's ongoing conflict with followers of the Falun Dafa movement, Wen added, "These dances talk about China's past and remind us of things happening in the country today."

"We have been practicing so many hours," shared another performer. "We are honored to perform for the great city of Washington, D.C." (Yet she also shared that they wouldn't get to see any of DC while they were here... how's that for a human rights violation?!)

The Shen Yun Performing Arts company will perform in DC through until Jan. 24, then continue on to Fort Lauderdale, FL.

*Check out this post and other tales of DC after dark on NBC's new Niteside.

Fashion Landing

With over a fundraiser a month for the last year, Luke's Wings has put together some pretty memorable moments in aid of our wounded military men and women. Wednesday night's Fashion Takes Flight is among the signature soirees of the organization... a night when DC designers dress locals who agree to walk the runway for the cause.

And the buzz has an interesting way of spreading.

We showed up to the afterparty to find even VIP ticketholders and sponsors queuing in the cold while absent attendees (that would be those that admitted to purchasing a ticket, yet skipping the main event!) were already pounding the Patron inside. That's one way to be first in line for fashion!

Reminder: Best Blog Bash @ Current

We're looking forward to celebrating with you tomorrow night, Friday, January 22nd at Current. Come raise a glass to the "DC's Best Blog" and meet other K Street Kate readers and friends. 8-11 PM. RSVP suggested, but not required.

New Gig!

For those who didn't yet know about my new news for the New Year, we've picked up another new gig that we expect to help us bring you even more of the best of DC... fresher and faster. We've signed on as contributors to NBC's new Niteside site, which was just launched today!

Niteside plans to "shed light on life after dark" and will feature coverage of the many events, parties and other functions happening around the city after dark. You'll get to see me in a way you've never seen me before - edited :)

Other contributors include Janet Donovan, president of Creative Enterprises, Int'l; and Joi Marie McKenzie, creator of TheFabEmpire.com.

Keep reading K Street Kate for all of the best lifestyle buzz, but check out Niteside for an added fix on DC after dark.

Mixing It Up

We caught up with mixologist Erik Holzherr for the splash on Wisdom, his one year old bar in Southeast that is gaining in popularity. Though you'll have to trek almost all the way out to RFK to enjoy his creations, Erik has hit on the right mix of "gypsy eclectic" (his own description!) to make guests feel right at home.

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The District Dish: Washingtonian's Garrett Graff

Washingtonian Editor Garrett Graff dishes with us about the best of DC - particularly the new restaurant issue - and his take on why Washington lifestyle is now taking off. The magazine has an online strategy, and a new young Editor... see what is making Washington "vastly cooler" on this episode of The District Dish.

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*Want to advertise your business on this show? Contact me for rates and demographic information.

On Tap: Help for Haiti

Countless fundraisers have been held over the last few days to assist efforts for struggling victims of the earthquake in Haiti, which tragically experienced another catastrophic aftershock just hours ago. It's inspiring to see the DC community come together to help those in need - and remarkable to witness how a young social set uses nightspots to raise money and awareness.

Last night, among other worthy fundraisers around town, a large majority of DC's bar owners and promoters worked together on a successful Haitian Happy Hour event at Current. Requesting a mere $5 at the door (almost everyone gave more) and committing 10% of bar proceeds to Oxfam, supporters packed the place on an otherwise typical Tuesday night.

"People are going to go out," one guest said, "and they want to do some good, too. So nightclub events are the perfect way to do both. Plus, they probably give more after a few drinks."

By the end of the night, thousands were raised toward drinking water needs in the ravaged country, and the trend of behavioral "sins" becoming "saintly" acts continued.

(Image: Marielle Walter, Ashley Lowe and Saybah Kolako collect door donations.)


Sunday evening's Art Soiree - a bi-weekly event - turned out to be more than an opportunity to check out the gaffes of Obama's green first year in office as depicted by cartoonists from The Economist, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and other news organizations.

We saddled up to the bar with The Economist cartoonist Kevin Kallaugher, who gave us some juicy tidbits about just how he has come up with his material for those creative covers and other features for the last 33 years.

"At first, drawing Obama wasn't so easy," he said." You get a lot of practice drawing these figures over time. I've actually probably drawn Putin more times than Biden over the past months ... but some of my favorites have been Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush since they gave us so much fodder."

We asked him if it was hard to create a satirical cartoon about policies with which the cartoonist agrees, noting his political leanings. Not really, he told us. While he does consider his cartoon more like a political column, he's willing to joke even about figures he admires... which explained why a lot of his prints on display that evening were more about Obama himself than his political office.

(Image taken of one Obama cartoon on display at Art Soiree.)

DC Shorts, Best Of

The DC Shorts Film Festival turns the spotlight on truly independent short films... of every genre and niche - but with a special focus on films created by metropolitan Washington, DC-based directors and writers.

The 2009 DC Shorts Film Festival was held this past September, with winners chosen by peer filmmakers, audience members and the Festival director. Many went on to play (and win awards!) at other festivals and theatres around the world. But now the Festival is offering an encore of the best films from the 2009 festival, shown February 5 and 6, 2010 at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. (710 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW), 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Juried Award Winners from the 2009 DC Shorts Film Festival

Michael Goldberg (Filmmaker’s Favorite)
Answering the door on Halloween, Kari realizes that the trick-or-treating the ‘ghost kid’ may actually be supernatural.

William’s Christening:
Joshua Hume (Outstanding Cinematography – Presented by Fujifilm)
A sleepwalking mother and her husband must make a choice when their newborn child disappears.

The Response;
Adam Rodgers (Outstanding Local Film)
Military judges must decide the fate of a suspected enemy combatant in this courtroom drama. (LOCAL FILMMAKER)

The Mouse That Soared:
Kyle Bell (Outstanding First-Time Director)
A famous flying circus mouse reflects on his humble beginnings in this high-altitude adventure in aerodynamics.

Funky Prairie Boy:
Mike Schultz (Diversity Award – Presented by Verizon)
A young boy living in a small prairie town during the early 1980s befriends the only black kid at his school.

And What Remains:
Marc Havener (Festival Director’s Choice)
The complexities of a father's relationship with his son uncovers the essential desire of wanting to leave behind something great.

Audience Award Winners from the 2009 DC Shorts Film Festival:

Forever’s Not So Long:
Shawn Morrison
George discovers that the end of the world is the perfect time to lose everything.

In The Name Of The Son:
Harun Mehmedinovic
After escaping execution, a Bosnian prisoner of war looks to leave his past behind. (LOCAL FILMMAKER)

Armin Miladi
A young man faces the stark void that is his existence. Will he go forward into the void?

David Green
Last night’s leftovers are presented with a cold reality.

Henry Prince
Moving from one college town to the next, Derek buys over the counter pills and resells them as prescription medication.

Clam Pie:
Dan Boylan, Guy Taylor
After gorging on a classic Cape Cod delicacy, a curious older woman finds herself launched into a radical encounter with heaven!

Pigeon: Impossible:
Lucas Martell
Walter, a rookie secret service agent is faced with a pigeon trapped inside of a multi-million dollar, government issued nuclear briefcase.

Tickets:$15/show, available here or at the door (cash)
And don't forget the festival will be back September 9-16, 2010 and submissions are already being accepted at http://www.dcshorts.com.

Hair Dare

Are you ready for K Street Kate's "Best Local Blog Bash" at Current this Friday? We aren't either! No gal (or guy...) can make a grand entrance without a brilliant blowout.

We'll be prepping for the party at KSK sponsor, PR @ Partners. And two lucky readers have the chance to join me for a complete make-up application and blowout session to render us "red carpet ready" for the big bash!

To win one of those two complimentary appointments to primp with me at PR's Mazza Gallery location, we want to hear about hideous cuts, botched color corrections and spoiled styles. No need to mention salon names... PR @ Partners just wants to make it all better!

Share your scariest salon story in the comments below (Be sure to add your contact info so we can contact you if you win. Don't worry, it will be redacted before publishing!) to win the hair and make-up session on Friday, January 22nd.

Dr. Digital Director

Congratulations to our good friend, Dr. Mark Drapeau who officially announced today (although anyone saw it coming!) that he has joined Microsoft as their new Director of Innovative Social Engagement.

What exactly is that? "I think of it as 'public diplomacy' for a corporate unit," he tells us. "This role differs in many ways from traditional public relations or public affairs, which despite a recent influx of new technologies still mainly involves 'providing information for the public' at its core. Corporate public diplomacy, on the other hand, involves actively shaping the communications environment within which corporate activities are performed, and reducing the degree to which misperceptions complicate relations between the company and its customers."

We look forward to Mark making things a lot less complicated - or more complicated and more interesting!? - as he takes on this new role and pushes Microsoft's corporate brand.

Do I see Microsoft sponsored TweetUps in our future?

Cycles and Stunts

In addition to the NBC4 Fitness Expo, the CycleWorld International Motorcycle show was also taking place this weekend at the Washington Convention Center.

Tens of thousands of serious enthusiasts and new riders just getting geared up came to see and shop for the best the industry has to offer.

There were Hondas, Kawasakis, Yamahas, BMWs... and all of the latest models from my family for the three day exhibition, Ducati.

My favorite job over the course of the expo? Serving as a Ducati Umbrella Girl before the recurring stunt show by national stunt champion, Nick "Apex" Brocha. And testing out all of the product models for myself, of course!

If you missed the expo while it was in town, it moves North to New York this weekend - or check it out next year!

(Images credit: Brian Manabat, Duc Pond MotorSports)

The District Dish: Shen Yun Performance

New Tang Dynasty Television Executive Director Dong Xiang dishes with us about Shen Yen Performing Arts show currently at the Kennedy Center Opera House. This show, which bridges the gap between East and West with colorful costumes, dance and culture has visited over 70 cities around the world. Xiang promises your jaw will drop as the curtain opens...

(video embed or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmVj-DovHsc)

Back Yard Bash for Front Yard Funds

If the Mall is the Nation's front yard, K Street might be its back patio - a place to eat, drink and be merry, day or night, away from neighbor's prying eyes.

So it was fitting that members of the young professional group of the Trust for the National Mall, the L'Enfant Society, would throw their first fundraiser of the year on K Street, and at K Street Lounge!

They're not asking everyone to keep off the green, but instead suggesting that everyone donate a little of it if they want to keep the Mall presentable enough to welcome the hundreds of thousands of visitors that each year come to call.

Monies raised will help to fund some of the Trust's wish list projects on its honey-do list... maintenance and restoration for the "front yard" and tidal basin.

It's a national treasure and a great cause, but it's also good practice for when these city slickers - most of whom own condos or live in apartments - may finally have a front yard of their own to take care of!

(Images courtesy of the L'Enfant Society. Top: Chip Akridge, Dave Pollin, Kirsten Pollin, Event Co-chair George Chopivsky. Middle: Tara Lewis and guest. Bottom: Veronica Valenica, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, George Chopivsky, Clara Brillembourg.)

Pretty, poised... perfect!

People often ask us how we stay so "put together" while always on the go. It's easy with the right tools! Remove deodorant, foundation marks and similar spots with a Smudge-Sponge (also available for men!) or use Chic Apparel Tape to keep plunging necklines in place.

These and other ingenious fashion fixes were once the secrets of stylists and celebs, but now Go Girl is available for us all! This line of must have problem solvers is so useful, Go Girl has been featured on The Daily 10, The Insider and The TV Guide Network!

Tuesday and Wednesday (1/19-1/20), Go Girl partners with K Street Kate to offer readers 15% off online purchases when you use the code KSK at checkout. Just in time to order oodles of nice necessities for your Valentine... the Pucker Up Lip Balm and Heart Shaped Hot/Cold Gel Packs are some of our favorites. (Click here or on Go Girl's logo in our sidebar.)

I Like the Way You Move

Last night the Capital Movement Project hosted Redskins cheerleaders and ambassadors, local dancers, studio owners and supporters for their 5th Annual Winter Fundraiser and Cocktail Reception at (K Street Kate sponsor) The Reserve.

Raising money for the Fifth Annual CMP Dance Concert, and efforts to bring dance to underprivileged youth and underserved citizens, the packed house chomped on fried shrimp, butternut squash soup, and steak & chips while fighting for the highest bid on silent auctions. Who wouldn’t want to duke it out for an autographed Gilbert Arenas jersey (keep watching the news to see how rare this item might become!)? A VIP U.S. Open Tennis package, and an opportunity to dance with the Rockettes were some of our other favorites.

*Marae White contributed this post.

The District Dish: "The Blue Dress"

"The Blue Dress"... everyone in Washington knows what this movie will be about. Or do they? Screenwriter (and Whig Man!) Daniel Vovak joins us to dish about the project... and give us a present. You won't want to miss us wig-ing out!

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The Secret's in the Swirl

While we were sucking it in to model the runway, we sent Khaleelah to cover a sweet shindig at HelloCupcake where bloggers and foodies came together to learn the art of cupcake decorating... Apparently this was more of a spy operation than was bargained for - a local loco barged in during the demo and threatened to call the CIA!!

To kickoff Hello's new holiday cupcake decorating classes, Executive pastry chef, Todd Miller (previously of Spezie and Agraria), directed Gregslist's Anita Hattiangadi, ModernDomestic Blog's Jenna Huntsberger, Washingtonian Magazine's Kyle Jameson (seen at left decorating a bear cupcake), and other sweet tooths on the art of the fondant, the swirl and other special designs (bear faces, daisies, and the infamous HelloCupcake carrot!).

Even with Valentine's around the corner, we're kind of looking forward to the Guiness beer cupcake with Irish Bailey Cream Icing for St. Patty's Day! (Check out the calendar of classes on HelloCupcake's website.) But will HelloCupcake be moving to a new location before the next novelty night? Owner Penny Karas let slip that Hello is actively searching for a new home - one with a larger kitchen!

*Khaleelah Po Rome contributed to this post.

An Enchanted Evening

The first annual MODUS UNION raised the bar on DC's growing number of annual art and fashion show fundraisers Thursday night. An oversold, standing-room only crowd poured into the grand ballroom of the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel to bid on design items from locals such as the young Lolly Amons, daughter of event organizer and Labels for Love Founder, Mary Amons.

But the highlight of the evening, as ever, was the 2010 Spring Collection of fashion favorite, Lela Rose who accompanied her wardrobe samples to DC to help the cause - the Center for Heart, Lung and Kidney Disease of the Children's Hospital, and her good friend, Ted Gibson, who coiffed the event's 14 models and most of the other boldfaced names participating or in attendance.

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The Language of Love

Cupid's arrow struck us early this year and we're in love.

Well, we've always loved food and wine (and not necessarily in that order!), but we're in love with the chance to sip 600 wines from vineyards around the world while sampling delicious dishes from top chefs... and attend an Opening Night Celebration at one of our local fave's, Equinox Restaurant! Love may be blind, but it definitely has tastebuds!

*UPDATE* Due to renovation delays at Equinox, the opening reception will now be held at the spectacular PS7 Restaurant. Still a must not miss!

For four days (2/11 - 2/14) everyone from novice to connoisseur will be able to savor the flavor and take part in the Mid-Atlantic region's premier presentation of wine, cuisine and culture - the 11th Annual Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival. Events, like Friday's TastePost Wine & Cheese pairing seminar and Sunday's Champagne Brunch to benefit DC Central Kitchen, will also give you little lessons - and an extra helping - to let your love grow.

Speaking of little lessons, leave 'em at home. This event is strictly for 21 and over.

The Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival is a special sponsor of K Street Kate. Please click the sidebar link at right for complete information. And remember, a little cherub told us... tickets* are a perfect Valentine's Day gift!

*Tickets Purchased before February 6
Saturday only - $85
Saturday & Sunday - $140
Sunday only - $75

*Tickets Purchased after February 6
Saturday only - $95
Saturday & Sunday - $160
Sunday only - $85

You're Invited: Superbowl Owner's Suite

Join us and fellow Host Committee members (Bosoq, Johnny Raih, Dan Castle, Ivan Carter, Philippe Cousteau, Bianca Grimaldi, Ski Henderson, Barbara Merola, Tricia Lilly, Michael Clarke, Victoria Michael, Nick Assad, Alexia Levine, Lana Orloff, Pamela Sorensen, Richard Strauss, Ryan Triplette, Katherine Kennedy, Martin A. Bashir and Alan Popovsky) at Hudson to see the SuperBowl the way it should be seen.. from the Owner's Suite.

February 7th, Kickoff at 5 PM. Drink specials by the quarter, so don't wait for the second half!
*Proceeds benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

A SINGular Send-Off

Supporters of Miss DC 2009, Jen Corey, gathered at the Institute for World Politics Wednesday night to get a glimpse of the gorgeous young lady that's been going-going-going nonstop since she was crowned last July. With just some last minute fittings and primpings to take care of, Jen leaves for Miss America next week.

While hundreds of her well wishers will be traveling to Las Vegas to cheer in person, others came anticipating a fashion show of her competition wardrobe - an annual tradition at the Send-Off that seems to get more spectacular with each year.

In attendance were Miss DC's of past years, Jen's court (1st - 4th Runner-Ups), costumers from the Washington National Opera who designed and made Jen's talent gown, and staff from Goodwill of Greater Washington who have worked with Jen on her platform of "Let's Talk Trash" this year.
*Still image credit, Vithaya Photography

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Fresh Bubbly

It's hard to resist new dresses and tops, even when your wallet screams recession, but this little gem off the beaten path in Georgetown has the remedy! Fresh never fails to deliver fab frocks and other frills at a very friendly pricetag. This Sunday, all items $59 or less!
*Sponsored listing.

The District Dish: DC Greenworks

Ever heard of a rain barrel? How about a green roof? Jim Epstein, Chair of DC Greenworks dishes with us about these tools to alleviate DC stormwater issues. Find out how you can do your part to clean-up the second most polluted river in the country - our own Anacostia River - by watching this episode!

Previous episodes available on www.thedistrictdish.com
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MODUS & Models

Models lined up at the Mayflower Hotel this afternoon in hopes of landing a coveted spot on the runway for tomorrow's upcoming MODUS UNION 2010, a cohesion of the fashion, art and philanthropy that is so prevalent in the Nation's Capital.

The inaugural event, tomorrow evening (7 - 10 PM), also held at the signature hotel property, will benefit the Center for Heart, Lung and Kidney Disease of the Children's Hospital, chosen by event organizer Mary Amons (Labels for Love).

Kathleen Matthews will emcee the showings and auction by notable area artists followed by Lela Rose's presentation of her 2010 collection.

Tix available here.

Exercise Expo

New Year, New You? Or is it only halfway through January and you've already neglected your new gym membership? Health and fitness is not all about donning that new workout gear!

Check out other options for wellness, take free (and potentially life saving!) health tests and screenings, and participate in interactive sports and activities for the whole family at the 17th Annual NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, January 16th & 17th at the Washington Convention Center.

A few of our favorite highlights are the cooking classes, the rock climbing wall, and the indoor track!
Free and open to the public.

The 'F' Word

It was probably just a coincidence that Dee Dee Myers used a rather masculine football analogy to describe the challenges for Sarah Palin in the 2008 campaign, but the crowd took notice. Would a reference to cooking or housekeeping have carried the same weight? Could she be bold enough to drop the F-bomb: Feminism?

Just hours before Palin made her cable pundit debut Tuesday night and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Pacific Rim, Myers joined Nicolle Wallace and Kathleen Parker at a panel discussion moderated by Anne Kornblut, columnist and author of the new "Notes from the Cracked Ceiling," to consider gender's role in future elections.

This session on the "year of the woman that wasn't" ranged from winks and wardrobe splurges to how the "first dude" should look, and - like the book - was "troubling for the first half and inspirational in the second" (Wallace). "Young woman think the revolution is over, the war's been won, and they can go about their business," Dee Dee reflected. But could it instead be as Kornblut suggests, that "2008 may have been an abysmal failure that has setback the cause of the woman for decades to come."

Will cracks in the glass ceiling only make it harder to see a woman's way to the top?

Crowns & Sashes

Join us as we send-off the lovely and talented Jen Corey, Miss DC 2009, to the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas. The secret of these send-offs is that you get to preview her competition wardrobe before anyone sees it on stage - so come and sash-ay (!) with us.
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