Fashion's Night Out Pops Up in Georgetown

Fashion's Night Out - it's an epic evening of fashion and fun returning to Georgetown this September 8th from 6-11 PM.  Over 90 stores, restaurants and salons are staying open late... enticing you to play (and purchase).  It's a night of shopping and style you can't afford to miss!

Among the awesome parties that night will be the Shoshanna Pop-Up Shop at Urban Chic where we'll be hosting Fashion Jeopardy and serving you X-Rated vodka cocktails. Click the image below to find out more.

And two lucky readers will have the chance to be our guest (and bring a guest!) to the official - and exclusive - Georgetown Fashion's Night Out kick-off celebration at L2 Lounge (6:30 - 8:30) that evening.  Want to win? "Like" us on Facebook and share your favorite Fall trend!

Duck, Duck, Grey Goose on the Patio

Grey Goose threw another of their popular patio parties with DC Magazine Tuesday night, this time at the W Hotel's J & G Steakhouse.  Cocktails and conversation flowed as summer drew to a close.

Local Notables Plan Spirited Softball Game Against Amputee Soldiers

"Life without a limb is limitless."  - Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team

This Sunday, September 4th, after the Nationals vs. Mets baseball game, the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball team will take the field to show how they continue to rise above the challenge and push the limits of modern prosthetic technology.

The team, which includes individuals with amputations of the arm, above knee, below knee, bilateral below knee and foot will prove their mettle against a team of participating local 'celebrities' (including our President, Kate Michael) who salute their sacrifice.. but still shamelessly plan to bring it on the field.

*Tickets purchased include a donation to the charitable donation to the team.

The District Dish: Amy Oden, Filmmaker

Filmmaker Amy Oden stops by The District Dish table at TruOrleans to talk about her new documentary, From the Back of the Room.  The hosts learn some things about female underground music - and how the Spice Girls might have stopped the movements momentum!

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How Did DC Socials Handle Irene?

In case you missed it, there was a hurricane happening this weekend.  Sheltered, scared or getting sloshed... local notables shared their reactions on social media. 

Availor Philanthropy's Katherine Kennedy went online to suggest making "shelter grab bags" for homeless friends and Quinn Gillespie & Associates' Chris Brown blew out his birthday candles at Bourbon Steak while the wind was blowing outside. 

According to Real Housewives of DC's Lynda Erkiletian: "Power has officially gone out!  Only thing I'm missing is the air conditioner! Hot flash!  Please tell me this is temporary!

Writes EATS Good Media PR maven Wendy Gordon: "When the going gets tough, the tough make food and have wine.  Riding it out at Casa Gordon with friends."

AP's Mark Hamrick cracked us up with this FB status: "Just realized I don't actually have any hatches to batten down."

And HOT99.5 DJ Toby Knapp summed it all up with this tweet: "Better name for Hurricane Irene: Hurricane Melodrama."

Ukulele Festival Left Wanting World Record

It was the largest Ukefest to date... but a "sleeper attack by the Swedes" kept last weekend's annual Strathmore Ukulele Festival from capturing a Guinness World Record.

With over 21,000 in attendance and some 945 signed up to participate, the arts center was out to grab the Guinness World Record for largest Ukulele Ensemble, set by 851 people in London in 2009.  Yet our local hopefuls found out they fell short to a surprise Swedish showing of 1547 players, who gathered to upend the uke record on August 20th in Helsingbord.

Strathmore contends it can still claim the largest U.S. ensemble.

*Stephanie Coccaro contributed to this post. 

Local Author is Type A...and Then Some

by Casey Valerie Linsey

“I do everything to the extreme!” explained local author Quin Woodward Pu at the launch of her first book, Type A+, at the upscale shoe boutique Simply Soles earlier this week.  From shopping to studying, partying to her professional career, Pu insists that it's her personality that pushes her to the max.

"Living in Washington is the perfect fit because I can finally showcase my personality to its fullest!" shared Pu amidst bites and bubbly, reveling in still more untold stories from her senior year of college (the main focus of her memoir) and beyond.  

*Type A+ is available on or downloadable from Kindle, Nook, or iPad.

Opera Lounge Opens: DC's New "Theatre of Life"

by Casey Valerie Linsey

Opera Ultra Lounge may be located in the heart of downtown DC, but as with any performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly or Verdi’s La Traviata, its dazzling design and opulence offers guests the perfect chance to leave behind the weekday worries and escape into a fantasy: High drama combined with decadent glamour when the nightclub opened its doors for an exclusive VIP Preview Party on Thursday evening.

“People know DC for politics and museums, but we have a great nightlife too,” explained Walid Zeytoun, Opera managing partner in collaboration with John Alexiades, Mood Bacho and Alex Haje at the first-of-a-few preview openings of their 21 table amphitheatre in the round, which hosted such notables in attendance as Will Thomas, Catherine Ommanney, and Jimmy Lynn.

Opera's offerings come complete with better-than-bottle service (you know picking your waitress is just as important as picking your poison!), an eye (in case yours is wandering), a club-driven DJ schedule... and enough more to make the fat lady sing.  Drink, dance and delight in the visuals; the place's renowned Funktion One sound system ensures there won't be any  much talking during the show.

Boasts Bacho, "Nightclubs are about fantasy and mystery... but Opera is not simply a club, it is the theatre of life!"

Spotted and Snapped:  See more picture from the VIP pre-opening here

*Opera, open to the public in early September, is located at 1400 I Street NW.  

1st Victim of Hurricane Irene: Columbia Heights Day

The Columbia Heights Day festival, planned this Saturday from 10 am to 6 PM, has been least partially due to weather concerns.

"It saddens us to say, due to circumstances beyond our control, the 5th Annual Columbia Heights Day Festival is canceled," shared Columbia Heights Day Initiative President Sergio Herrera in a written statement.  "Many of the companies and services that we rely on to present the festival are unable to perform their contracted duties for us, due to the potential of extreme weather."

MLK Opens, DC Dreams Deferred

Conception to ribbon cutting, it took some 15 years to complete, but the day is finally here.  Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opens to the public, with related events continuing all week.

Tuesday was originally a day set aside for D.C. residents to enjoy the monument (named "D.C. Resident's Day, in fact).  But don't start thinking we're special!  Surrounding states started asking us to share our sneak peek - so it's been opened to the general public.  

"The district doesn't even have the authority to limit who would be able to go to the memorial on that day," DC spokeswoman Millicent West said in an interview with WAMU. 

Ah, DC... we'll keep dreaming.

Warrior Premieres in Tysons

Warrior, a Lionsgate Film
by Stephanie Coccaro

Warrior, a film about two brothers facing the fight of a lifetime, premiered with a VIP screening at the AMC Tyson's Corner Thursday evening.  The action drama featuring Joel Edgerton (who plays Brandon, an atypical family man/older brother), Tom Hardy (playing Tommy, an emotionally detached ex-Marine/younger brother), and Nick Nolte (the alcoholic ex-fighting Father/trainer) showcases mixed martial arts at its core -- in fact, it is the first big film to feature MMA. 

Through a strange twist of disruptive family and fate, the two brothers end up against each other in the ring.  But despite a predictable montage of training and fighting scenes (seriously, insert Rocky soundtrack), the film's real drama is in the dark, raw emotion surrounding this broken and abusive family.

Fighting family, fighting circumstance and fighting demons. Warrior opens in theatres on Friday, September 9th.

A Punishment for Not Keeping Fit?

Thursday night at the Crime and Punishment Museum, representatives from Fitness Together dished about their work with the American Diabetes Association at an event to promote involvement in the ADA's annual fundraising run.  The crime of poor health maintenance has very severe potential effects!

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FALL for This: What to Wear Next Season

"The Fall runways were filled with a return to polished sophistication and elegance.  The message: 'Lady Chic.' Color is paramount!  Bordeaux and deep magentas became my inspiration and palette..." - Ken Downing (Fashion Director, Neiman Marcus)
Milly - Sophia Crossbody Bag
Available at Nordstrom ($265)
Say bye-bye to the swimsuits, sandals and sunglasses.  A new season is around the corner and your closet is already screaming for an update.  Whether you're up for a complete overhaul or just adding a few refreshments, for Fall, these are our suggestions for what you've just gotta get!

1- Handbags: Even what you carry exudes cool.  Get savvy with structured handbags...a strong silhouette and clean lines are the ultimate in sophistication.

2- Pumps: Heel heights are dropping like the S&P, but this classic ladies look is always loved. Keep in mind: You can go kitten, but those sky-high pumps still purr.

3- Booties: Our other footwear fetish.  Fall's best finds hit just at or above the ankle for an attractive - and leg lengthening - look.
Nicole Miller Lace Dress
Available at Saks ($400)

4- Bordeaux: What woman doesn't love wine and roses? As Downing professed above, this season is drunk with beautiful burgundy shades.

5- Lace: Lovely and ladylike, no women's closet is complete without a lace dress this season.  Or add boudoir accents to any of your favorite Fall pieces.

6- Leather: Think past leather pants to other stylish seasonal lusts like skirts and dresses.  This look can be tough - or it can be timeless.

7- Fur:  Fall is aflurry with fur... even if it's faux... from statement pieces to subtle trims.  Warm and wonderful, heavy coats make a comeback with colder weather, or give new life to that older fur by repurposing it into a vest - they are very in.

Mixed-Pearl Shag Bracelet
Available at Neiman Marcus ($130)
8- Capes:  Not just for Superman - for the stylish super woman, too!  The season's capes - and those who are crushing on them - are chic, cozy and fairytale fashionable.

9- Denim:  The leaves are turning pretty colors and so should your pants. Bright colored denim is all the rage, especially in colors like red, orange and bordeaux.

10- Gold:  Its periodic table symbol is Au... and it's Autumn.  Enough said.

Freeze Fete

The event industry convened at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Arlington Wednesday night for a FREEZE: a night of iced libations and lite bites to chill out - and check out the newly available event space.

Sampling from local caterers and enjoying snowcones and ice luge chilled sips, attendees relaxed to the tunes of a jazz trio and imagined their own future spectacular events in the space.

At left: Elease Dennis, Irene Dennis and Donna Ware admire an ice sculpture centerpiece after Donna was named the evening's big winner -- her name was drawn to win a free event in the space, worth $5,000!

Spotted & Snapped: Check out more photos from the event here.

The Latest Obsession: Live Band Karaoke

So you're loud... and proud.  Even if your crooning sounds more like crowing.  But even the King of Karaoke will tell you that singing on stage - backed up by a real band - is the trendiest way to share your song.  
Hill Country Live Band Karaoke
Photo credit: Michael Woestehoff

Three local venues offer city songbirds a shot at Live Band Karaoke, the newest awesome audience-made entertainment fad. takes their instruments, and Gong Show, to Wonderland Ballroom every Tuesday, to rock with regulars livin' on a prayer.  (If the tunes are terrible, a gong and they're gone!)  Follow the same band to Whitlow's on Wilson every first Wednesday of the month.

And now in DC, mouths from the South can have fun that beats the brisket (and that's hard to do!) at Hill Country BBQ on Wednesday evenings.  Reserve a spot at the basement bar to belt out your favorite tunes with your own live back-up band.

Live, loud and rockstar ready.  You don't even have to learn your own lyrics.

Taking in a "Tequila Sunset"

Dozens of DCers joined LivingSocial on an adventure tour around Roosevelt Island Tuesday evening, participating in one of several Potomac kayaking tours the company has arranged throughout the summer. But the water workout didn't finish with a spectacular sunset -- tequila sunrises awaited at a nearby watering hole!

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Bobby's Burgers

The empire strikes back.  Bobby Flay's empire that is. The chef, restauranteur, author and TV personality finally noticed how much DC was loving our Good Stuff and brought his own burgers into the city for battle.

"At any time of the year, my favorite thing to eat is a cheeseburger," said Flay, in town Tuesday to open his newest Bobby's Burger Palace, (2121 K Street NW) the 6th of its kind with locations already in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  

Flay throws down ten signature burgers and an equal number of accompanying milkshakes/malts, made to order, at an honestly "old-fashioned" burger bar -- definitely dated in looks, though not in service.

Ask for 'em topless if you're still in on the anti-carb craze.  Or order 'em crunchified if you like 'em Flay's way:  "My side of chips always ended up in my burger!"  And in a couple of weeks, when the liquor license is finalized, order 'em the best way possible... with a beer.

Local Filmmakers Told to "Step Up Game" for Upcoming DC Shorts Film Festival

by Jordana Merran

We’re still wading through the dog days of August, but September’s right around the corner and now’s the time to get your tickets for DC’s renowned DC Shorts Film Festival. Meeting popular demand, this year’s festival has been extended to eleven days (running from September 8-18) and will showcase a record 145 short films selected by DC-area residents from among more than a thousand submissions.

“DC audiences have a certain aesthetic ,” said festival founder Jon Gann at a media preview at Matchbox in Chinatown. “This year we’ve got a lot of food films, films about jilted lovers, soldiers returning from war...” he went on. “We don’t do well with crunchy granola films.”

We do do well with foreign films, it seems. More than a third of this year’s entries are foreign productions, representing twenty-three different countries. And though Gann says he strives to include local work, only a handful made it into this year’s festival.

“When I started the festival eight years ago,” said Gann, “I saw a need to build a community for filmmakers.” The DC film community needs to step up its game, he says.

*Showings generally last about 90 minutes and feature a mix of eight to ten short films. Tickets $12 in advance and $15 at the door. 

The District Dish: Grant Harris

Grant Harris, Men's Stylist at Image Granted not only dishes on what men need to be stylish in the city... he teaches the hosts about his concept of "ear-hustling."  Want to know more?  Watch the episode here!

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It's Restaurant Week: Here are the Hardest to Find Reservations

It's summer Restaurant Week - that glorious time of year when foodies feast on three course meals* from hundreds of the city's most delicious places to dine out.  Think if you've waited this long you're out of luck to land the most coveted reservations?  We've got the goods on some of the hardest seats to score.

Remember, there are so many incredible options all week long.  But the restaurants below have all but filled up on each listed day. Make those reserations HERE immediately so you don't miss out!

What's most popular on Tuesday:
Bastille (Alexandria)
Capital Grille
El Centro
The Oval Room

Hardest places to get into on Wednesday:
Art & Soul
Birch & Barley
CoCo Sala
Sushi Taro
West End Bistro

Just a few tables remain on Thursday:
Art & Soul
Capital Grille
Todd Gray's Watershed

These are still (barely) available on Friday:
Charlie Palmer Steak
DC Coast
La Tasca
The Oval Room
Smith Commons

S/He'll be so impressed you got into these on Saturday:
Capital Grille
DC Coast
J & G Steakhouse
The Palm

*Lunch $20.11; Dinner $35.11

Beer Week Starts with Official Booze Cruise

DC kicked off its annual Beer Week celebration with a Craft Beer Cruise aboard the Odyssey, hosted by Chef Teddy Folkman. Attendees enjoyed over 20 types of craft beer - some not even yet available in DC -dinner, a DJ and dancing on a three hour Potomac tour. 
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Bachata Beats

by Baille Gelwicks

It may be August, but Congress is in session... that is, DC's 3rd Annual Bachata Congress hosted by Lee Smith.  Dance teams from across the Nation got into the rhythm at the Washington Hilton Friday night, performing in one of the nation's hottest Bacahata scenes. 

One of the most popular performaces was DC's own DNC:2BEAT (video embed performance below).

This festival for a dance style originating in the Dominican Republic lasts from August 11-August 15, featuring workshops, lively performances, concerts and parties.

It's Beer Week!

Beer Week is back! August 14 – 21 hops enthusiasts will enjoy special events, cask nights, beer dinners, tastings, and much more! 
“The beer community in the DC region is a vibrant motley crew of amazingly talented brewers, bartenders and distributors that are passionate about the craft of beer,” says DC Beer Week co-founder and organizer Teddy Folkman. “This week is our chance to share this passion with those out there who aren’t so lucky to have it be such a prominent part of their daily lives, and maybe introduce a new brewery or ale to Washington.”
Restaurants, bars and local breweries throughout DC and the surrounding area have events planned throughout the week, culminating in a special DC Homebrewers Club competition to be held August 20th at the Red Palace on H Street. * A full calendar of events is listed on the DC Beer Week website. 

Being Cheesy.. at the Social Safeway

Georgetown's "Social Safeway" dealt with the dog days of summer by throwing a special celebration of spanish wine and cheese Thursday evening.  Between the aisles, guests delighted in cheeses from the grocery's display and tasted red and white sangrias made by Mio Restaurant's visiting Juan Jimenez.

Want to see how he makes his Spanish Sangria?  Check out the video here!

We didn't just linger... le learned!  The "Social" Fromager (THE one and only from 1600+ Safeways nationwide!) Treva Stose answered our cheesy questions. How do you pick for pairings? To dine (or not) on the rind? And how do you know if bleu's for you?

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Rocking the Red(Bull)

The first Austrian summer happy hour rocked the rooftop of the Donovan Hotel Thursday evening treating those in attendance to some of the best Austria as to offer: Red Bull and Austrian Steigel Beer!  Guests sipped as the sun went down, lounged to blaring beats and gazed over the city with wiiings.
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RIOT in Penn Quarter!!

by Keyana Corliss

Riots in London?  Soooo not funny.  DC's new Riot Act Comedy Theater opening?  A hilarious happening.

On Wednesday night, a crowd of DC’s favorite fun lovers hit Penn Quarter to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Riot Act Comedy Theater. Attracting such local VIPs as WJLA’s Arch Campbell, Pink Line Project’s Philippa Hughes, and Fox 5’s Tony Perkins to get a first look at the town's newest laugh factory, the opening night not only featured a sneak peak of the venue and samples from the theater menu... but also side stitching comedy.

Guests laughed out loud to DC’s own Charles Fleischer (scheduled to headline opening week!), Big Al Goodwin, and local King of Comedy Tony Woods while looking forward to the club's future theme nights, weekly open mics and School of Comedy classes. 

This Riot Act is only setting the funny on fire.

B-52s Rock and Roar

There are party animals and then there are party animals.

Wednesday night at the National Zoo, quirky party band extraordinaire -- The B-52s -- headlined the first-ever Rock’n’Roar concert fundraiser for the Friends of the National Zoo.  

Singing “Love Shack” and other wildly popular tunes, but sporting no beehives to rile up the bears, concert proceeds supported animal care, conservation science, education, and sustainability programs at the Zoo. 

*Photos credit Tim Lundin, TDL

Fashion's Night Out Committee Shares Their Fall Craves

Host committee members of the upcoming Georgetown Fashion's Night Out met the media at Cusp Wednesday evening for a preview of the big night of fashion and fun and shared their most wanted items from Fall wishlists with K Street Kate... 

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Hometown Beauty Queen Celebrates Big Birthday at National Competition

Not everybody gets the chance to compete for a national pageant title on their 25th birthday. 

"At first [I was] disappointed, because on your birthday you expect to have an unforgettable celebration!" Katori Brown, Miss Black DC USA told K Street Kate.  "But then I realized that I could never forget my 25th birthday -- the birthday when I competed for the title of Miss Black USA."

At the National Competition last Sunday, held in DC at the Lincoln Theatre, Brown a Mass Communications and Media Studies major from Howard University, joined black beauties representing states across the nation for a final night of competition and crowning.

"I didn't really have time to get nervous.  Everything seemed to happen so quickly! Before I knew it, we were doing the final walk."  And being called in the Top 15 was an extra special birthday gift.  "I'm sure people in the very back row could see me cheesing on stage when they called me forward."

But Brown didn't quite get everything she wished for on her birthday candles... Ocielia Gibson (Texas) took home the title.  "Of course, I wish it was me, but I know [Ocielia] will do a fantastic job." 

Getting Goosed... at Buddha Bar

A goose chase.

DC Magazine and Grey Goose threw a summer soiree at Buddha Bar Tuesday night.  Too sizzling to confine the party to the patio, socials sought shelter (and cold sips!) indoors as well, with spirits flowing under the gaze of one giant Spiritual Guide.

Among those sipping cocktails and making social connections were Dining Out Magazine's Tanisha Carden and Janice Dodd, Bendure Communications' Scott Stephens and Kate Kuhlman, THE Artist Agency's Sondra Ortagus and Microsoft's Mark Drapeau where conversations overheard included timely political - and other far less practical  - words of wisdom.   

What's good for the goose...

Macchu Pisco!

DCers delighted in Peru Monday at a pisco-inspired happy hour at Lincoln Restaurant featuring Macchu Pisco cocktails and finger foods to support the Esperanza Education Fund.

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Ping Pong Celebrates New Location with 'Bubbly'

Ping Pong Dim Sum opens a new location in Dupont Circle this month, and they're bringing in the bubbly to celebrate.  But don't expect popped champagne bottles... this time you're toasting with tea.

Over the next few days, Ping Pong hosts a free Popup Tea Shop at the new location (1 Dupont Circle) and all are invited to sample their specialty bubble teas (raspberry or black pepper) and enter for a chance to win parties at the new restaurant. 
When to get the goods?  Tuesday, August 9 from 11AM-1 PM and Wednesday, August 10 from 11AM-1 PM ... Tell 'em K Street Kate sent ya!

*Did you know?: The bubbles in "Bubble Tea" are actually large tapioca pearls.

The District Dish: Director/Producer Karim Chrobog

18th Street Films' Director/Producer Karim Chrobog stops by to dish before heading off to start filming on another documentary project.  Find out about some of his most recent works - and why audiences are so eager for this type educational entertainment.

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A "Christmas" Fiesta

by Casey Valerie Linsey

It's still sweltering summer in DC.. but that doesn't mean it's too early to get into the Christmas spirit! "It is Christmas all year long!” says an enthusiastic Stephanie Wiggins, President of the DC chapter of the Twelve Days of Christmas Organization, committed to spreading Christmas cheer every season.

Thursday evening’s “La Fiesta del Sol,” an annual summer benefit to raise funds for back-to-school supplies, not only surpassed goals, but doubled last year’s total proceeds. The event enabled the women of the Twelve Days of Christmas to help 2 schools, 15 families, and 40 children in DC stock up on necessary items to start the 2011-2012 school year.

While attendees enjoyed the cocktails and music at Mio Restaurant & Lounge, Twelve Days of Christmas member Sharon McDonald Johnson confessed that she was especially tickled by some of the kids’ fun requests for the latest video games and robot puppies. Nevertheless, she noted that the majority of money raised goes to “giving kids the basic necessities – book bags, pencils, and pens. They are so excited to receive the ordinary things we take for granted.”

The Skinny: Morton's Spa-Tini Soiree

In an effort to beat the sweltering DC heat, Georgetown's Morton's gathered a social set Thursday evening to sample the steakhouse's new Spa-Tini cocktails

The patio pampering featured Morton’s new <200 calorie cocktails ("Skynny Blood Orange," "Red Velvet," "Skinny Rita," "Antioxidant Me," and "Lean and Green") made from Ty Ku, a Japanese vodka(esque), that boasts half the calories of most other vodkas.  The popular pours will be a semi-permanent addition to the Morton's menu.

Spa/soiree-goers sipped, sat for chair massages, and scored gift certificates and services from Georgetown area spas and businesses in a refreshing raffle.  

Hey... Is That?!?

Yep.  Cate Blanchett.

She's in town (with her husband and three kids) to perform in the Sydney Theater Company's Uncle Vanya, an Anton Chekhov tragicomedy, now on view at the Kennedy Center.  The play opened Saturday and continues until August 27th.

Tickets here: because seeing her live on stage is so much cooler than the screen.

Tennis Players Talk Politics

Bosnian born tennis pro, Amer Delic, and his coach, Cary Franklin, have been hitting more than the tennis courts while in the city for the Legg Mason Tennis Classic this week. K  Street Kate caught up with the pair and friends while out on a rare night on the town Wednesday evening to find out about their stay.

"We have been paying attention to the politics, how could you not!" admitted Franklin, discussing the budget talks which had been reminscent of tennis balls volleying back and forth cross the net. "In fact I got so sick of hearing about the debt ceiling I wanted the concierge to remove the television!"

Despite the rackets coming to rest, Delic's as well as that made by the politicos, Franklin did have some advice for both sides about strengthening their serve.

"I think everyone in this county is sick of the postering and childish behavior from our elected officials. Everyone in this country has real life challenges and issues and it would be nice if our elected officials could take this into consideration before their summer vacation. It's a complicated debate but you would hope someone would rise to the challenge... But, enough of the coaches rant!!"

*Also available on Niteside.

A Beacon Toast to Dress for Success

DC's chapter of Dress for Success held a rooftop happy hour fundraiser Tuesday evening at the Beacon Hotel Skybar.  Attendees not only enjoyed networking and cocktails - but also an impressive raffle from supporting businesses. 

To further support the cause, which promotes economic independence of disadvantaged women, ladies' professional clothing was available for purchase and donation.  At right Board Members Dianne Daley, Kate Perrin, Kate Carr and Kathy Steekman stand by a rack provided by Ann Taylor

Phillips After 5

Art, entertainment, food and libations.... the Phillips Collection's extended hour Phillips After Five evening programs are back!

Some highlights of this summer’s events include:
  • Aug. 4: Chair yoga class with Kimberly Wilson of Tranquil Space.
  • Aug. 11: Artist Richard Chartier discusses the role of music in Kandinsky’s art.
  • Aug.18: Dance company Step Afrika! reprises excerpts from its hit performance series, The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence.
  • Aug. 25: D.C. food truck favorites, including Carnivore BBQ and Red Hook Lobster Pound, surround the Phillips with deals for visitors.
  • Sept. 1: Screening of this year’s five Oscar-nominated Short Films in Animation.
Thursdays, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, and Sept. 1, 5−8:30 PM.  For a complete list of programs, download the August and September calendars.

*$12 for adults, $10 for visitors 62 and over and students, free for members and visitors 18 and under.

Puerto Rican Rum.. and Tennis Players

by Jordana Merran

For golfers, it’s the Arnold Palmer or John Daly; as of last night, tennis is all about the Puerto Rican rum. In its third year sponsoring the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Rums of Puerto Rico hosted a Chef Challenge at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park “to showcase the versatility of our rums,” according to Rums of Puerto Rico director Nicole Rodriguez.

“In Puerto Rico we’re known as the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean,” she said; and last night’s challenge, which pitted Lima executive chef Raynold Mendizabal against Mio executive chef Roger Villalobos, put that title to the test.

Each was tasked with preparing an appetizer, entrée, and dessert, paired with cocktails, all using a different Puerto Rican rum. While a panel of five judges (that included Rums of Puerto Rico ambassador Ariel Otero, Puerto Rican International Tennis Hall of Famer Gigi Fernandez, and Washington-based food writer Mary Beth Albright) evaluated the dishes, guests at the event (including Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez, straight out of a tennis match!) tasted samples as well, churned out by caterers armed with the chefs’ recipes.

Ultimately, the judges dubbed Lima’s Raymond Mendizabal the winner—his rum-guava glazed pork spare ribs were a hit; but if Villalobos’ sweet potato-wrapped prawns with Bacardi orange sauce make it on the Mio menu, head over there for happy hour soon!

Spotted & Snapped: See more photos from the event here.

Squashed: Oyamel's Edible Flower Festival

by Keyana Corliss

Monday night, in-the-now noshers gathered at popular José Andrés restaurant, Oyamel, to kick off the Cocina Mexicana’s annual Squash Blossom Festival. Now in its fourth year, the two week festival showcases dishes using the edible flower -- additions to Oyamel’s traditional menu of small plates inspired by the classic street food of Mexico.

Washington’s favorite foodies got to try the squash blossom or "flor de calabaza," a definitive ingredient in Mexican cooking, often used in everything from soups to quesadillas. An estimated 10,000 squash blossoms (acquired locally from Good Fortune Farm in Brandywine, MD) will be used by Oyamel in the festival, incorporated alongside traditional Mexican flavors. 

Guests of the preview dinner tried a variety of dishes, and drinks, from the festival menu  -- like the creative cocktail concoctions Honeydew Punch, a refreshing cocktail served over cucumber ice, and Maria Bruja, a unique spin on the classic Bloody Mary.

Oyamel’s Squash Blossom Festival runs through August 15th.

The District Dish: Bitches Who Brunch

Cori Sue Morris, co-Founder of Bitches Who Brunch, dishes about her online site for local mid-day food and fun... and some of the best places to brunch in the city!

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HAMMing It Up: Celebrity Soccer Challenge

"Playing soccer with half the U.S. Women's Soccer team along with Kobe Bryant was a very humbling experience," wrote Pamela Brown on her facebook page.

One of the local media personalities chosen to participate in the annual Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge, Brown joined U.S. Women’s National Team players Alex Morgan and Ali Krieger, NBA star Jeff Green, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, Former DC United and Hall of Famer Eddie Pope, FC Barcelona's John Harkes, legendary goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta and coach Pep Guardiola, and even more notables Sunday in a 7 on 7 soccer match to support the Mia Hamm Foundation.

Held at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf, Sunday's match was played in the nation's capital for the first time in the Challenge's history.

""My family is from Northern Virginia... my Father lives here... so it feels good to be back," said Hamm while signing autographs after the match.  "And we're doing a lot of good here."

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