The District Dish: Jennifer Mascia

Author Jennifer Mascia dishes with us at the Georgetown Ritz's Fahrenheit. Her novel, "Never Tell Our Business to Strangers," details her rather unusual family life with her Father. In her 20's, she came to learn that "Dad" was an "Associate" of an early iteration of the Gambino crime family, but how should she react to this as he was slowly dying from cancer?

The book, an honest recount of Jennifer's emotional rollercoaster is as story of how a daughter deals - with everything that's thrown her way.  Hear about it straight from Jennifer in this episode.

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Kerry Reichs is Expecting: A Boy and Another Book

Just back from L.A. where she helped her Mother, Kathy, to write episodes for the current season of Bones, author Kerry Reichs celebrated the launch of her second novel, "Leaving Unknown," at Gazuza Tuesday night. 

She explains how she wrote a bit of herself into the the book - one girl's road trip to find herself in the middle of nowhere - and dishes on her deadline for completing a third manuscript with a baby boy on the way.

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*A version of this post is available on Niteside.

The Heat is On

Models raising funds to participate in April 10th's Fashion for Paws runway show have up'd the ante on creativity this year.  But perhaps none more so than Queen Bee's Allison Brooks (center, right), who organized a Drag Queen BINGO game last week.  And Tuesday night, she really turned up the heat!

In collaboration with Lana Orloff (far left), Susan Roberts (center, left), McLean Robbins, Andrea Rodgers and Stephanie Green, the "media mavens" brought the new exercise craze, Latin Mix, to Georgetown's City Tavern Club.
Leo Lins (centerand Roberson Magalhaes created this genre of hip swinging steamy - and sweaty - dancing, guaranteed to burn 600 calories or more, and have been teaching at Gold's Gyms around the area.   The Humane Society fundraiser was a rare occasion to move to the Latin Mix music and get caliente for a cause. 

From H Street: Join the Club

If you're looking for a whimsical portrayal of life in DC, join the Club... the H Street Country Club!

Of course you can't really join, since this club is actually a theme restaurant and game spot, but you'll enjoy some quirky DC digs as you tee off with your tequila.  This spot, controversial at first for bringing a new crew to the H Street corridor, is notably open to all and an equally great spot for a date, night out with friends, or catch-up with co-workers.

Before or after crushing some classic Mexican dishes (don't all Country Clubs serve Mexican food?!) sharpen your skills at shuffleboard and skeeball, or head upstairs for the Club's biggest draw... a 9 hole course - the only indoor mini-golf course in the District!

$7 may seem steep for a small crowded course of recreated DC landmarks such as The Awakening and Washington Monument (watch out for the climbing King Kong!), but we'd down one less drink for more time putting around the club anyway.  Coming soon: Watch for an outdoor course on the roof in time for warmer weather.


Consider it a calculated coincidence - M29 (located on M and 29th Streets NW) held its official launch Monday evening, on March 29th.   The "lifestyle" store offers an intense variety of little (and large) luxuries, offering exclusive designers from around the world an introduction to DC's eager market.

It would be wrong to categorize Georgetown's newest neighborhood gem as a gift shop, though it was opened to serve that purpose for the adjacent Four Seasons Hotel.  The boxy industrial space is more of a handpicked wilderness of want.  

Among the sundries for men and women, home furnishings, clothing, and other less easily describable delights, you'll wonder at the jeweled works of former model and Ralph Lauren stylist Carol Workinger (originally from Fairfax, VA, in image, at far left) - on hand to showcase her latest collections through Tuesday, March 30th - and drool over the Jonh Derian decoupage pieces.

M29 Lifestlye is open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday and 12 to 5 PM Sunday.

You're Invited to the Owner's Suite:

Today's Golden Egg

The Easter Bunny gained some experience in new media over the last year.  He's using Twitter and Facebook to give clues on an exclusive adult Easter Egg Hunt... happening Tuesday!  

Washington DC is one of only 9 cities in the U.S. to be a part of the first annual “Golden Egg” hunt, presented by The Joule, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel ( in Dallas.  The award-winning hotel will reward the finders of one “Golden Egg” in each city with a weekend getaway including,

·         $200 American Express gift card to help cover airfare;
·         A lavish stay for two at The Joule, complete with valet, two cocktails from PM Nightlife Lounge, and breakfast in bed
·         Dinner at onsite Charlie Palmer restaurant, world-renowned restaurateur and celebrity chef.

Starting Tuesday, March 30, the Easter Bunny will be Twittering (@thejoule) using #JouleHunt and revealing clues on Facebook pointing to well-known, local DC hotspots where the “Golden Egg” will be waiting to be discovered.  

Happy hunting! 
(Egg above not a likeness of the actual "Golden Egg.")

The District Dish: Redskins Cheerleader Abby Dymond

We're dishing with a gal who has the. best. seats. at the Redskins games. Abby Dymond is one of the Redskins Cheerleader Captains. She's traveled to India, been featured in the calendar, and gotten her signature pinky ring. And she's got your dish on the upcoming auditions!

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Miss Black DC USA: Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On

It was hard to miss Allison Hill, Miss Black DC USA 2010, at Sunday's 7th annual Capital Blue Jeans Ball.  The Beauty Queen got into the spirit for the Capital Food Bank, donning her dungarees and crown for a taste test fest to benefit the organization's many programs.

"At first I was surprised [to wear jeans], but I like it because everyone is more comfortable, and I don't have to worry if someone spills something!"  she said.

But putting on her favorite pair wasn't as easy as you'd expect.

"I have to be honest - I don't really have a favorite anymore.  I haven't gotten  to wear jeans much this year.  But I used to love Express jeans.  They fit everybody!"

*A version of this post is available on Niteside.

Flying High

The 44th flying of the Smithsonian Kite Festival was held Saturday on the grounds of the Washington Monument.  Festival flyers this year were challenged to construct their kites out of environmentally friendly materials. The sky was the limit!

Check out this embedded video ( of images from the day submitted by K Street Kate readers.

Chelsea LATEly

The never ending line of fans didn't care that Chelsea Handler was almost an hour late to her book signing at Borders on Saturday afternoon.  Some had waited in line since 10:00 for the 3:00 PM signing, and they were heading over to her show later that evening.

The witty and sarcastic comedic star of "Chelsea Lately" didn't offer any media interviews, but did get right down to signing - claiming time to autograph only 300 copies of her new book Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.

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Michel Richard is a busy bee!

Earlier this week, we reported on Michel Richard's new air fare partnership with Open Skies. And Thursday night at Central, we learned that the savvy Chef will be opening yet another "upscale casual restaurant" in the Tyson's Ritz.

The space formerly occupied by Maestro will become Michel - or another name yet to be determined - in early Fall of 2010.  The name and menu are "a work in progress," but we do know that Richard/Ritz partnership venture will be open seven days a week, three meals per day, with a full Sunday brunch.

*Image courtesy of

Love Re-Opens, New Ownership Expected Soon?

In DC's nightlife scene, it seems that everyone but everyone knows that the best way to bring your crushed club back as a trendy top spot is to shut down, put up a new coat of paint, change the furniture, and knight it with a new name.

But not Marc Barnes.  It seems he would rather dump a dud and put the spotlight on greener pastures.

Love Nightclub, one of Barnes' two large properties, is set to re-open on Saturday.  The largest nightclub in DC, Love was closed in January due to a string of violent incidents, including a non-fatal stabbing.  P. Diddy, Wale, Ludacris and Gilbert Arenas can expect increased security from now on.

See lesson above.  Ignored.

But that doesn't mean Barnes won't cut and run.  Despite the re-opening celebrations, rumor has it that he is currently in negotiations to sell the plagued party room.

*Our attempts to reach him for comment remain unanswered.

The District Dish: Summer Whitford

The Food and Wine Diva, Summer Whitford, dishes with us on the latest episode of The District Dish.  Find out how to create your own culinary travelogue through her latest book "Join Us at the Embassy" and hear about the international etiquette mistakes you're probably already making!

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Alicia Keys Gets "Massive Love" from DC

DC isn't just another stop on her multi city tour for Alicia Keys.

The talented young songstress brought Melanie Fiona and Robin Thicke along to play the Verizon Center for some special fans - including First Lady Michelle Obama.

"I love being in DC," she said.  "The crowd is great, the people are amazing.  Everyone has a great zone and attitude."

She added, "Every time I come here there is massive, massive love."

*Special thanks to tour sponsor Fuze, for providing our access to Alicia - and if you were wondering, she claims her fave flavor is Black Green Tea.

**A version of this post is available on Niteside

How to be Cherry

With our recent bout of warmer weather, peak blooming for DC's Cherry Blossoms has been moved to April 1st - 4th, yet this weekend's National Cherry Blossom Festival opening festivities are sure to bring a cherry blast -- well, actually, that's next Friday!

Plan your weekend with some of these most popular of the Cherry Blossom Festival activities:

National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day (3-27-10)
Kick off cherry blossom season with lots of crafty, kid-friendly activities, music, food and more at the National Building Museum 
Smithsonian Kite Festival (3-27-10)
One of the opening events of the annual Cherry Blossom, the kite festival is an annual rite of Spring near the Washington Monument
2010 Cherry Blossom Soccer Tournament (3-27/28-10)
Cheer for your favorite of 32 co-ed teams competing for the Cherry Blossom Cup in West Potomac Park

Cherry Blast (4-2-10)
A true explosion!  Live music, DJs, graphic design, dance, video installations and performance art in one of the city's up-and-coming areas (1701 Florida Ave. NW)

National Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks Show (4-3-10)
Pink fireworks over the Southwest Waterfront light up the skies for the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Lantern Lighting Ceremony (4-4-10)
This formal traditional ceremony features the lighting of a 359-year old stone lantern with Japanese performers, Washington dignitaries, and the Cherry Blossom Princesses.
National Conference of State Societies Grand Ball (4-9-10)
Formal black-tie sushi reception and dinner introducing the Cherry Blossom Princesses and showcasing the selection of the U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen, with entertainment and dancing.
National Cherry Blossom Parade (4-10-10)
Floats, giant balloons, marching bands and other entertainers take part in this parade,  running along Constitution Avenue from Seventh to 17th streets.

Coo Coo for Cocao Puffs?

Attention all college students, freelance writers, telecommuters, six year olds... and everyone else - grab a spoon and dig in!  

From Fruity Pebbles to Cookie Crisp, hot oatmeal to chilled fruit and yogurt parfait, The Cereal Bowl (3420 Connecticut Ave.) is DC's newest nosh spot. 30+ cereals and toppings, a mix of healthier habits and sweet treats, make this more than a casual breakfast joint amped up with WiFi.  

PJ's encouraged (the staff is wearing 'em!), just don't spill the milk as you settle in to watch your fave cartoons.

Ivan Carter Kicks the Soccer Ball

While the adults flocked to Bryan Namoff and other DC United players in attendance, the kids at Thursday night's DC SCORES Soccer Ball rushed to the stage to meet the man serving as emcee. They just knew he was a "famous soccer player." He looked familiar and they had seen him on TV.

Ironically, Ivan Carter, a well known sports show host, played many sports, but never soccer -- unless you use the European term for the sport.

"Football was really my sport," Carter admitted. "I was a wide receiver."

The mistake didn't deter the young fans, all members of the nation's largest afterschool soccer and literacy program, from adopting Carter as their crush of the evening.  "It's all for the kids," he said, suggesting that they might persuade him to kick around a bit after his duties were done.

*A version of this post is available on Niteside. 

Cocktails and.. Controversy?

In advance of this Saturday's ARTINI, an annual event at the Corcoran featuring the creations of 12 mixology masters inspired by current works of art on display at the museum, we previewed The Gibson's Forbidden Kiss Tuesday evening.  

Tiffany Short's combination of Gin, sparkling wine, egg whites and apple shrub (we have no idea what that is either!) come together in a taste that is at first as rude as The Gibson's doorman, but settles into a tart sweetness.  

It doesn't seem as shy as Rodin's "Eve," (image, at right, courtesy of The Liverpool Museums) the piece from which it was inspired, but artistic taste is individual.

See here to attend the main event,  vote for your favorite, and support the Corcoran's community programs.  

Flight of Fancy

Either DC is a destination for culinary excellence or it's flying away fast. 

OpenSkies announced today that local eats (and world renowned) celebrity Chef Michel Richard will be creating an exclusive menu for customers traveling on the airline's new route between Washington D.C.-Dulles and Paris-Orly for two months beginning in June.

Plane food is no longer plain food. 

The District Dish: Josh Sundquist

Josh Sundquist is no ordinary amputee.  No, he's a Paralympic Athlete - a ski racer.  And he's got an amazing story.  Don't miss it on this latest episode of The District Dish.

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Birthday BINGO

It was a double Aries birthday bash Tuesday night at the new golf themed 19th (19th and I Streets NW), as the venue's Reese Gardner and Constellation Brands' Jessica Gibson enjoyed a round... of drinks and BINGO! 

Gibson pulled Gardner in on her birthday tradition of defying age and reliving childhood fun.  In recent past years, she has spent birthdays skating, singing karaoke, and now, BINGO.

"We love BINGO almost as much as we love golf... and the 19th hole!"  said Gardner.  "And actually, we'll be playing BINGO here every Tuesday."

Free drinks were offered for special squares (I, 19 was an obvious favorite, and worth a free shot!) while BINGO board winners took home bottles of wine courtesy of Constellation Brands, and a complete blackout won one lucky winner a $100 bar tab.

*A version of this post is available on Niteside.

Kay Unger: What Washington Women Want

What are three pieces that every Washington woman must have in her wardrobe?

We caught up with Kay Unger before a Spring seminar at Saks in Tysons to hear from the designer known best for her dresses.  After showing off her bangles and bright shoes (Kay loves all pops of red!), she admitted that Washington women don't always dress the part when it comes to a party.

She coined the phrase "short black tie"  and created embellished fancy - but cocktail length - party frocks (see examples below) to address DC's tendency to dismiss Gala gowns for a length with some leg.

Tossed & Found

These days, when it's more important than ever to stretch every penny, garage sale gurus everyone is looking to shop savvy and secondhand.  Locals in DC knows they'll fall into some fabulous finds at the Junior League of Washington's 18th Annual Tossed and Found Sale. 
March 26-28, 2010, at the Crystal City Shops, find everything from gently-used furniture and bedding to jewelry and antiques to kitchenware and electronics... everything at bargain prices.  And - all of the remarkable rummage was donated by members of the Junior League of Washington, with full proceeds to benefit the Junior League’s literacy programs.  

This morning, we were some the first to "shop" the sale (see our models above), putting together off the rack outfits for a spot with Fox 5's Holly Morris.  Check out Joy (next to Holly at left) - whom I decked out as a power player in a trendy animal print jacket - for about $80.  Fox 5 video embed.


Fine Dining - Where Your Server Wears Sneakers

The hottest table in DC might actually be... in Frederick.

Surrounded by fanatics of Bravo's Top Chef at Volt on Sunday evening, it was clear that local foodies and visiting gourmands just can't get enough of Bryan Voltaggio's (the by-the-book brother on Season Six) American cuisine.  It took two months to secure a reservation!

Delighting in the details, Volt offers an experience not quite unmatched in DC, though refreshingly refined.  The food, presentation, atmosphere and staff were remarkable.  A seasonal menu, divided into four courses, offers complicated plates* featuring a variety of tastes and special touches - right down to perhaps the best cup of coffee ever to polish off the meal.

Those particularly taken with the Top Chef contender may attempt the kitchen's infamous Table 21, which boasts 21 courses of Voltaggio's best.  But while you may not be able to find your own feet after such a major meal, you probably won't miss noticing your server's sneakers.  All suits are worn with signature brown and white Chuck Taylors - very Voltaggio.

*We recommend the potato-leek soup, venison and goat cheese cake.  

The District Dish: Celebrity Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ayman Hakki

Celebrity Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ayman Hakki dishes with us at the Lebanese Taverna about botox, fillers, and why none of his clients want to look like Nicole Kidman.

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Evan Bliss Dishes on DC's Best Places to Play

Evan Bliss, singer/songwriter for Evan Bliss and the Welchers, dishes on his favorite places to play in DC just moments before the band's first gig at DC's Hard Rock Cafe, mixing in a little sarcasm for his friend and Holster Project Collaborator, (and the guy who got him the gig!) Justin Fishkin.

New singles available here.

*A version of this post is available on Niteside.

Alliance Francaise Goes Postal

Air mail alert... a francophile party goes postal!

Friday night, the Alliance Francaise turned the National Postal Museum into a veritable European Discotheque, complete with Parisian electro-House mix music and an unbelievable open bar steal ($30 admission and drinks!).  Make the Girl Dance (see video embed below) rocked their first performance of a U.S Tour with the ubiquitous "Baby, Baby, Baby," remixed at least three times throughout the night.

This largest event of the DC Francophonie Festival gathered hundreds of culture clubbers to experience current trends in French language and lifestyle.  Seminars, films and more French fun continue, as the festival ends April 11th.

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On Tap

You sit down at the restaurant and you order a water. Probably not because it's best for you.  Probably because it's free.  What if it were not free?  What if it were not even available?

UNICEF's Tap Water Project began in 2007 with a few restaurants asking patrons to donate $1 for the tap water they usually drank for free.  These funds would support UNICEF's efforts to bring clean and accessible water to millions around the world.

That pipe dream is now a powerful national movement.

Local supporters met Saturday at Local 16 to to kick off World Water Week.  During this week, March 21-27, they ask you to pass on the soda, but pay for the spring water.  Around town, local restaurants will gladly collect your donations toward ultimate refreshment.

Reclaiming a Marathon Monopoly

The 5th annual Suntrust National Marathon took race enthusiasts through 6 of DC's 8 wards on Saturday.

12,000 registrants coming from 49 states and seven countries, and including seven contestants on past seasons of NBC's "The Biggest Loser,"  couldn't keep Arlington's Michael Wardian from being the first to cross the finish line... again.

Only once in the race's five year history has the local marathoner missed a gold medal.  In 2009, Patrick Moulton, who placed second this year, beat Wardian to the finish.

Let the Games Begin Again!

Vancouver is getting a double dose of Olympic action this year.  After dispersing the Winter Olympics crowds, the International Paralympics' athletes have descended on the town with equal ambition and competitive spirit.

And the Canadian Embassy in DC is giving us a second helping of their now famed sports-night soirees as well. 

Ambassador Gary Doer, gracious host of viewing parties for the Olympic Winter Games, invited guests to kick-off the Paralympics with a party for the Canadian sledge hockey game Thursday night at the Embassy.  

Huge viewing screens, Wii consoles, and cheering for the able disabled athletes will continue with periodic viewing parties throughout the games' 64 scheduled events. 

*Khaleelah Po Rome contributed to this post. 

The District Dish: Christopher Boutlier

We're dishing on design with local interior designer Christopher Boutlier.  Hear the top trends, where to go around town to buy the perfect rug, and even... why Ebong might not have been invited to Sonya's latest party!

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Donald Syriani's Artistic Experiment

Modernism and minimalism were on display Thursday night at L2 Lounge as creative expressionist Donald Syriani debuted his first photographic installation, "Art Within Photography, the Red and Black Exhibit."

A year and a half in the making, these self proclaimed "photographic experiments" have the potential to end up in some of Washington's famous spaces.

"They are hypnotic images," Syriani says of his photographs, which seem to double as abstract paintings.  "They blur the line between imaginary and ordinary."

It's a line Syriani blurs as well - career professional by day, this modern artist and renaissance man can even boast White House DJ on his resume by night.

*A version of this post is available on Niteside.

Beauty in DC: Green and Diamond Encrusted's Marilyn Thompson (center of photo at left) helped to organize a pretty and pampered event Thursday evening at Mervis Diamond Importers to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In addition to lovely ladies and gents around town, Thompson told us one of the most beautiful things about DC was its green spaces.

"I love Dumbarton Park, near where I live," she said.  "It's so serene and special."

Also special - and sparkly - was the diamond encrusted iPad rendering Mervis' son Jonathan was showing.  At a currently suggested retail price of $19,999, that's a beautiful gadget that would cost some green as well.

I do!

The flowers are in bloom and the brides are bugging out... it's wedding season in Washington!  Whether you know someone walking down the aisle - or are headed to the alter yourself - we found it interesting to compile some of 2010's biggest trends for the Big Day.

Who needs a bouquet?:  Sure, brides are still clutching their Calla lilies as they do the wedding march, but this year's most popular gowns are featuring embellished flowers and rosettes.

The cuckoo's nest: Birdcage veils, hat veils and fascinators are all the rage.  These sleek, simple give off an old Hollywood Glamor vibe... which is probably why Katherine Heigl wore one on her wedding day!

Mismatched maids:  For some time now, brides have offered a variety of dress options to bridesmaids - as long as they were made in the same fabric and of the same color.  This year, expect to be told dressiness and color, and get creative as you shop for your own style.

DIY takehome treats:  Homemade wedding favors not only help cut costs, but add an intimate and personal touch to your token of thanks.  (DIY photo coasters, for example, are a fun and functional idea!)

Local destination weddings:  A backyard BBQ to National Cathedral nuptials, make your wedding the main event, even if you can't transport your guests to the sands of St. Barths.  Gather your guests and provide a sightseeing itinerary of the local landmarks and other activities of interest before you say, "I do."

If you're looking for more products, services and advice from experts on this year's wedding trends and topics, be sure to attend A Chic Affair at Longview Gallery on Sunday, March 21st from 11 - 3:30 PM.  K Street Kate readers use code: 'TRES CHIC' for a $10 discount on the $35 advance ticket price.

Soccer Ball!

Join us as we co-host the DC SCORES Soccer Ball - an annual fundraising gala featuring music, cocktails, and a silent auction boasting a variety of items from jewelry to sports memorabilia, trips and dining experiences.  100% of the proceeds from the Soccer Ball directly support DC SCORES programming.
DC SCORES is an after-school program for 700 students at 23 DC public and public charter elementary and middle schools. The core values of teamwork, leadership, and commitment are carried out daily in a program model where students participate in soccer, poetry, service-learning and homework help.
Date: March 24, 2010
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Union State (East Hall)
Attire: Cocktail
Ticket/Pricing Information:  $95 per ticket, available here.

A Hack & Flack St. Patrick's Birthday Bash

A Hack and a Flack, Tim Burger (at left with girlfriend Kiki Ryan) and Jill Collins found some gold at the end of their birthday rainbow Wednesday night.  The duo celebrated their big day Irish style at the Passenger - with no bagpipes, but plenty of beer.

"I absolutely wear green every day on my birthday," Burger, a former Bloomberg reporter, affirmed.  "I'm a quarter Irish!"

The shamrock side of the family, Burger's Father, even came down from New Jersey to raise a pint to his son - and buy him several rounds - but wouldn't tell us what he was giving Burger for his birthday.

"I'm keeping it a surprise," he said, as someone else shouted "Free Beer!"

*A version of this post is available on Niteside.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Tuesday evening at the Georgetown Club, Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph and Innocents at Risk Founder Deborah Sigmund put out an alert on issues hidden in plain site: Haiti's current relief situation and child trafficking.

"Some people who call themselves humanitarians came to Haiti and started grabbing kids right and left," the Ambassador said, adding that Haiti's focus should be on rebuilding a more decentralized nation.

Innocents at Risk, working with their Airline Ambassadors, plans to assist individual rebuilding projects in cities other than Port-au-Prince to support the nation's rehabilitation and deter incidences of child trafficking.

"No politician could do what nature did," the Ambassador declared.  "Now, in unity there is strength."

The District Dish: Willie Jolley

On the latest episode of The District Dish, Author/Motivational Speaker Willie Jolley stops by to dish with us about his latest book, "Turning Setbacks into Greenbacks."

Whether you're having a hard time, or just want to know how to react to today's challenging atmosphere - and turn it into a profit - Willie's got ways to see you through.  And some jingles, too!

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District Sample Sale

Tuesday's biannual District Sample Sale started with lines down the block and ended with overfilled shopping bags.  Attendees shopped dozens of local boutiques at remarkable discounts to benefit CityDance Early Arts.  

"I did some preview shopping while the vendors were setting up," event co-Founder Mary Amons told us.  "I set aside quite a few things I'll be going back for.  There were some great finds this year!"

*A version of this post and video are available on Niteside.

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