Mapping Georgetown: The Big Red Reveal

So there we were greeting guests at Rose Park Farmers Market a few weekends ago, chatting with those we knew about the Mapping Georgetown project and trailing into folks’ remarkable Georgetown stories, when who/what should pull up to the curb right in front of us?

THE Red Vespa and its jaunty driver, Jere de Michaelis! Yes, that Red Vespa. Forever parked on N Street, the sporty vehicle always tethered to the wrought iron banister of its home has now been identified! Jere de Michaelis went from stranger to friend in a flash. And he soon gave us his story:

“It had been a challenging year for this landlord who had rented out a house on 33rd Street for decades to a series of Georgetown University Seniors. This latest year had seen the timing cycle of demand vs. supply for this house go out of sync so that the house was left substantially vacant for a year…. The house was desirable enough to be sure, but with real estate, as we know, it’s all about location and timing.”

“So, imagine my relief when a group of Georgetown University women, having seen my 33rd Street rental house, called to say those welcome words, “We’ll take it.” I told them I would begin forthwith to draft a lease and we should meet at my N Street home, where I lived since 1974, for the signing…. I confess to some level of understandable anxiousness that caused me to decide to go out and wait….”

“Suddenly, I see, down by what used to be Jonathan Adler, a group of women walking East with a sense of purpose. As they get closer, I begin to see changes in their collective facial expressions. Their eyes grew larger and smiles began to emerge until they arrived right in front of me….”

To be continued at


Hey Georgetowners, now that we’re on about flashy red vehicles, can anyone please help us with a story about that Red Ferrari?

By the way, the Red Vespa has about 3,000 likes on DCCitygirl’s Instagram (see below).


The Red Vespa, a notable feature on N Street. (Photo from DCCitygirl on Insta.)

If this story brings to mind a Georgetown story of your own, please contact Marilyn Butler at or download a blank map at  This is a community project and our collection is not complete without yours!

For The Georgetowner’s profile of Marilyn Butler and the Mapping Georgetown project, see




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