Head to Virginia for New Year’s Eve

January 16, 2015

This New Year’s Eve, Virginia towns near and far offer a variety of festivities perfect for kicking off 2015. From wine pairings and Champagne toasts to New Year’s Day brunch, the possibilities are boundless. Here’s a short guide to help you make the most of the holiday.

Salamander Resort & Spa (500 North Pendleton St., Middleburg) will offer couples’ packages as well as options for individuals. The culinary Masterpiece Dinner will allow you to celebrate the New Year with seven delicious courses and perfectly paired wines. Dinner will be followed by live music, a balloon drop and a Champagne toast. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and tickets cost $200 per person.

If your plans don’t include dinner, but rather brunch, Harrimans at Salamander Resort & Spa is serving up a sweet and savory selection along with a Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar. Brunch runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and costs $59 per adult and $25 per child age 12 and under.

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant (36205 Snake Hill Rd., Middleburg) is providing a four-course meal with wine pairings and a midnight champagne toast, with seating as early as 5:30 p.m. and as late as 9:45 p.m. Tickets cost $145 per person.
Laporta’s Restaurant (1600 Duke St., Alexandria wants you to ring in the New Year with their late night buffet and standing cocktail party, running from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., with live jazz playing between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Early dinner seating will run from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., with a three-course meal costing $45.99. A later dinner includes four courses and costs $69.99, by reservation only. Before the midnight Champagne toast, Laporta’s is offering two winter cocktails – the Winter Spice Sangria, which includes fresh-cut mixed fruit marinated in wine, brandy and spices served as a spritzer and the Moscow Mule, consisting of Stoli vodka, Canton ginger liqueur and Goslings ginger beer – and one “mocktail,” the non-alcoholic Blood Orange Lychee Water. For reservations or more information, call 703- 683-6313.

Bastille (1201 North Royal St., Alexandria) is the perfect cozy and intimate space to spend the hours leading up to the New Year.
Bastille will fête New Year’s Eve with its “Reveillon de la Saint Sylvestre” dinner. The first seating from 5 to 6:30pm is a three-course prix fixe for $79, exclusive of taxes and gratuities, with wine pairings upon request. After the market surprise amuse bouche, guests will enjoy menu highlights including butternut squash risotto and parmesan broth; braised lobster in a curried coconut emulsion; bacon-wrapped rabbit loin; and coconut cake with caramelized pumpkin butter and curry ice cream. Taking things to the next level with the second seating from 8 to 10 p.m., guests will enjoy a four-course prix fixe for $99, or $139 with wine pairings, exclusive of taxes and gratuities. After the market surprise amuse bouche, guests may choose from notable dishes including steak tartare; seared foie gras; sautéed Wild Turbot filet; and roasted spiced pineapple marmalade almond cake. This meal will certainly set the bar high for a year of health, wealth and merriment.

American Express Picks P Street Stores for Main Street Makeover

November 20, 2014

There’s no denying the historic appeal of Georgetown and its charming small businesses, such as those on P Street. In fact, the village and stores on the 3200 block of P Street have caught the attention of American Express for its annual Small Business Saturday promotions.

As Small Business Saturday celebrates its fifth anniversary, American Express chose Washington, D.C., along with four other cities to celebrate the businesses that keep these neighborhoods thriving.

On Nov. 29, for the first time, the American Express Main Street Makeover initiative will pair “Main Streets” with a professional designer who will re-do and decorate the door and window fronts of small businesses in time for the holidays and Christmastime.

Interior designer Sheila Bridges will design and execute the makeover for P Street where she will emphasize the following business: Anthony’s Tuxedos & Wedding Creations (3237 P St., NW), upscale consignment boutique Ella-Rue (3231 P St., NW), contemporary art gallery P Street Gallerie (3235 P St., NW), specialty store Just Paper & Tea (3232 P St., NW) and children’s clothing boutique Little Birdies (3236 P St., NW).

“I chose P Street in Georgetown not only because of its obvious historic charm (It is a beautiful tree lined street with cobblestones, trolley tracks and brick sidewalks) but also because of the sense of community that seems to exist amongst all of the small, independent retailers who have businesses on that block,” said Sheila.

“I loved that there were storeowners who had been there for 30 plus years and others who had only been there for a few months. Everyone seemed supportive of one another,” Bridges add.

Bridges traveled to Georgetown last week to talk with business owners and to get a better understanding of her canvas. Once she was able to see her vision, she talked to shop owners and began her planning.

“We were just flattered to even be chosen,” said Krista Johnson, owner of Ella-Rue. “So, I think most of us just let Sheila do her thing.”

Bridges went with a reindeer theme for all five stores, each varying in style. For Little Birdies, the children’s clothing boutique, the reindeers will have more of a whimsical feel, contrasting with Ella-Rue and Anthony’s Tuxedos which will have a more mature look.

In recognition of the holidays and Small Business Saturday, most of the shops will offer holiday-themed merchandise and discounts. Ella-Rue is taking 10 percent off all American Express purchases. With refreshed storefronts and window displays, American Express and retailers hope to attract consumers to shop at these local businesses this holiday season.
Also, if customers register their American Express card on its website, they become eligible for its “Spend $10, Receive $10” sweepstakes. Spend $10 or more on Nov. 29, and receive a statement credit for each qualifying transaction within 90 days thereafter.

Georgetown University Touts Its Community Ties

November 19, 2014

Georgetown University touts its community connections with the release of its 2014 community engagement annual report, “Georgetown University in the District of Columbia.”

“As an anchor institution in the District and a Catholic and Jesuit university, Georgetown University has a strong commitment to advancing the common good, and we seek to do that as a driver of the economy, a community partner and a good neighbor,” said Lauralyn Lee, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives.

The university invites its neighbors to review the report – and to learn about the wide range of ways Georgetown University is at work in the District. The list is impressive and, in some places, unexpected. The university is continuing its expansion with a Downtown campus and plans include other places farther to the east side of the city.

For more detailed information regarding these and other initiatives, visit communityengagement.georgetown.edu/annual-report .
[gallery ids="101903,136426" nav="thumbs"]

Washington Design Center Celebrates New Digs, New Energy

Guests attending the Nov. 12 opening of Washington Design Center at its new location at 1099 14th St., NW, experienced nothing less than a rebirth of the city’s design and decoration cooperative. The change in locale at the three-floor regional trade market place from its former Southwest D.C. spot was evident. Equipped with 21 charmingly designed showrooms, attendees perused each section, admiring works from such designers as Holly Hunt, Robert Allen and Scalamandré, to name a few.

The Franklin Court Building was chosen for its proximity to the stylish 14th Street neighborhood, which is ideal, as it is quickly becoming known as the D.C.’s design district. “We wanted to be more visible and more accessible,” Ann Lambeth, co-owner of the J. Lambeth & Co. showroom, told the Washington Post.

The design center encourages consumers to stop by and browse the showrooms, while accompanied by a representative of the Franklin Court Management Office. Although purchasing onsite isn’t an option, the WDC management will be more than willing to give referrals.

Ultimately, party-goers and designers alike were very pleased with the new digs. “The energy level is just so different. It feels younger and more vibrant,” David Herchik, president of Washington’s JDS Designs, told the Washington Post.

Expect Concert for Valor Traffic Downtown Tuesday

November 17, 2014

Travelers can expect delays and heavy congestion on their Tuesday morning commute in preparation for the massive Concert for Valor on the National Mall.

As most know, November 11 is Veterans Day, a day off for those lucky few but for the rest of us trying to make it into work on time, it might take a little strategic navigating.

Since there will be a number of road closures find the list of closures here, taking Metrorail will be a better bet than trying to drive in downtown Washington. All stations will be open except Smithsonian, and additional Yellow Line trains will replace Blue Line service between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt.

For those commuting to work via bus, routes traveling across or near the National Mall will be detoured or shortened. However, all Metrobus service will run similar to a Saturday schedule with added trips earlier and later in the day for commuters.

“Despite the holiday, we are mindful that many of our regular riders still need to get to work, and we have developed a service plan that balances the needs of concertgoers with those of regular riders,” said Metro Assistant General Manager Lynn Bowersox
For concert-goers’ convenience, selected Metro stations near the Mall will remain open after midnight, if needed. Riders must be in line by midnight in order to take advantage of the late night lift. The stations with late service are Metro Center, Federal Triangle, L’Enfant Plaza, Archives, Gallery Place, Federal Center SW, Union Station, Judiciary Square and Capitol South.

Comings and Goings on Halloween

November 3, 2014

Halloween is here, and that can only mean mounds of candy, elaborate costumes and over-the-top parties. While there is the annual sidewalk display of costumed adults wandering around Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, the popular, scary holiday offers more.

There will be a plethora of activities for all ages to enjoy, such as the Book Hill Trick or Treating Walk, presented by Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Georgetown Business Improvement District. Book Hill merchants with signs posted in their windows will be getting in the not-so-spooky spirit and handing out candy to all who want some.

You can head down Embassy Row for an international twist on your typical trick-or-treating style. A wide range of countries will be opening their doors to trick-or-treaters for a tour of each building and light refreshments – between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

After taking the kiddies from door to door, you can head on over to Fantom comics in Dupont Circle for a family-friendly Halloween party with bag designing, party games and much more. Maybe if you’re lucky enough to find a sitter for after hours stick around the comic store, as it kicks off its adults-only portion of the night.

Do you enjoy the adrenaline rush of a good scary movie? Well, Angelika Pop-Up partners with chef Spike Mendelsohn to create a snack-and-film evening. Hitchcock’s “Psycho” will be shown, coupled with a one-of-a-kind goodie bag that will include sushi popcorn and chocolate bacon.

If costume contests and creepy Halloween inspired cocktails are more your thing, the W Hotel and Penn Social will both be hosting costume parties with the chance to win some great prizes.

For all of the music buffs, both Tropicalia and Black Cat will have some great stage performances late into the evening. Jonny Grave & the Tombstones, Rocky and the Pressers and a burlesque show will take the stage at the Black Cat. As for Tropicalia, expect to see an eight-piece, ska-infused brass band, Black Massala and the Japanese funk band Osaka Monaurail.

So, there’s no excuse not to go out and celebrate. With all this Halloween has to offer, it’s impossible not to find something to do.

Antibiotics Given to Students in Close Contact with Meningitis Victim

October 28, 2014

Health officials have confirmed that a strain of bacterial meningitis is the cause of Georgetown University sophomore Andrea Jaime’s death. Jamie’s close friends have been treated with an antibiotic as a precaution; no one else is infected.

As the student body mourns a classmate, the university sent students an email warning against sharing drinks, cigarettes and food with friends to avoid exposure.

Also, the university is working closely with the D.C. Department of Health and Center for Disease Control to prepare itself in case this isolated event evolves into something more severe. The CDC does not recommend that the entire student body be treated because there are no signs of a larger outbreak.

Early Voting Begins in D.C.

This morning marked the opening day for early voting in the 2014 General Election. As of now, the only poll open is located at One Judiciary Square. However, on Saturday, Oct. 25, all nine early voting locations will open across the District of Columbia. Voting hours run from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will remain open until November 1 – excluding Sundays. For your convenience, the District of Columbia Board of Elections offers a webpage that will show current wait times of each Early Voting Center. For more details, including directions and contact information for each voting site, click here.

Rape in Georgetown on Sunday Morning

On Sunday Oct. 19, 2014 at approximately 6:00 a.m., an adult female was sexually assaulted in the 3300 block of Prospect Place NW.

The Metropolitan Police Department is requesting help from the public in the search for the assailant.

The victim describes the suspect as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’7″ in height, in his twenties, clean shaven, last seen wearing a black leather jacket.

Anyone with information regarding the assault can help solve the case by texting the tip line at 50411 or calling the police at (202) 727-9099.

Also, DC Crime Solvers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the assault.

Outpouring of Support for GWU Student Who Attempted Suicide

Sean Thompson is expressing gratitude at the George Washington University community’s outpouring of financial and emotional support in the wake of his sister’s suicide attempt.

Last Thursday, Sean’s sister, Emily, attempted suicide by jumping nine floors from Shenkman Residence Hall. Though Emily’s fall was not fatal, she was severely injured by the impact.

Emily broke her feet, femurs, kneecap, right arm and cracked her spine. She has undergone a fourth surgery at George Washington Hospital and her nerves are recovering quickly allowing increased mobility in her arm, according to Sean’s update on his GoFundMe.com account.

Recently, Sean launched the GoFundMe campaign to subsidize some of the costs of medical expenses his family will incur. He set what he believed to be a sufficient goal of $10,000 to pay for his sister’s care.

To his surprise, within the last five days, over 500 people have donated nearly $24,000 and his cause has been shared 2.2k times on social media.

“I want people to be helped by this and not scared or hurt or worried. I want whatever good that can come from it to come from it,” Sean Thompson told The Hatchet.