Letter To The Editor 10-12

October 20, 2016

Betsy Cooley to Step Down as CAG Director

In Defense of the National Anthem

September 19, 2016

Today, Sept. 14, is the 202nd anniversary of the song that would become our national anthem. “Defence of Fort McHenry,” the original title of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” became a hit […]

Join Us at Our Oct. 8 Cultural Leadership Breakfast Featuring DC JazzFest Executive Director Sunny Sumter

October 15, 2015

The 11th Annual DC JazzFest will take place June 10 to 16. At this exclusive peek “backstage,” executive director Sunny Sumter will talk about the plans for 2016 and how the festival is building a new audience for jazz through education and partnerships. Be at the George Town Club at 8 a.m. to catch the action.

RSVP to Richard@georgetowner.com.

Gondola is a ‘Bad Idea’

June 22, 2015

To the editor:

The whole gondola thing over Key Bridge is a joke and a bad idea proposed by non-Washingtonians (or Columbians as we called ourselves back in the day). What is its purpose? Tourism, commuter traffic, or to keep themselves relevant, and to keep billing us by running a meter at taxpayer/business/community expense?

Come on, the rendition looks like a bad 1980s theme-park ride. How about a trolley car that runs on a track attached to the existing Key Bridge structure? It could look historic and classic, and it would have a function like the one that was used for decades. The one that opened when the “Free Bridge,” the second version of the Aqueduct Bridge, opened to fireworks, parades and the support of the merchants association (which my family helped found) and residents, in 1889. The bridge’s Georgetown entrance at 36th Street was steps from the old house (now gone) where Francis Scott Key and his family lived on what would be called M Street. That bridge was replaced in 1923 by the Key Bridge, in his honor.

The whole London Eye tourist attraction gondola thing has no historic connection to Georgetown, and what is proposed would be a big eyesore!

Mike Copperthite

To the Editor:

I can’t believe anyone takes seriously the Georgetown Business Improvement District’s proposal to build a gondola across the Potomac, at an estimated cost between $50 and $80 million. There are some much less expensive alternatives, including a water ferry. Or take the Circulator. It costs $1 and runs every ten minutes. Problem solved.

Charles Pinck

Under Armour Reconditioning Old Nathans Space

February 11, 2015

At the Feb. 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting, Anthony Barnes of Barnes Vance Architects showed plans for a rebirth of the building at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street – 3150 M St. NW and 1083 Wisconsin Ave. NW – most famous for housing Nathans Restaurant.

The building dates to 1860. Plans call for it to be renovated to its 1920s heyday with its box windows, Juliet balconies, re-done corner entry and other historic details. “This was when the building was at its most handsome,” Barnes said.

The Heon family owned the place, where family members lived and worked, for 100 years. It was sold to Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank a year ago for just over $12 million.

The design, which includes center stairs for three levels of retail and a top-floor condo with a roof deck, won approval from the commission. As for Under Armour definitely occupying the space, Barnes said it had not yet been decided.

The Georgetown to Embark on Major Renovation

The Georgetown, a 92-unit assisted-living facility at 2512 Q St. NW, will undergo a multi-million-dollar building renovation, expected to begin in May and take about a year to complete.

According to the facility’s owners, Twenty-Five Twelve Q Street Associates, LP, to protect the safety of its residents and to expedite the renovation, The Georgetown will temporarily close and will assist residents and their families in relocation.

Originally an apartment building built in the 1920s, The Georgetown opened as a retirement home in 1978. It was one of the city’s first facilities to address the growing needs of its elderly population, offering both housing and an array of social services.

The renovation will completely transform the interior of the building. Improvements to the common areas include enlarged first-floor amenity spaces, a new fitness center, theater and salon and all new furnishings and fixtures. In addition, individual apartments will be renovated to include enlarged bathrooms with showers instead of tubs, new kitchenettes and new flooring, lighting and electrical upgrades. Major building systems will also be overhauled, with new heating and ventilation systems and replacement of the boiler and chiller, as well as an elevator modernization.

The Georgetown’s owners have engaged Hord Coplan Macht, a Baltimore-based architectural firm that specializes in housing for seniors.

Weekend Roundup January 29, 2015

February 5, 2015

International Spy Museum’s Spy Fest

January 30, 2015, 6-9 p.m. | $14 | kthomas@spymuseum.org | Tel: 202-654-2852 | Event Website

Through interactive, spy-related activities and booths, attendees will learn how to think like real secret agents as they assume new identities, decipher coded messages, analyze hand-written and satellite images, and detect liars by polygraph — all directly from experts in the field. Ages 5 and up.

Address: International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW Washington, DC.

Sugarloaf Craft Festivals

January 30-February 1, 2015 | Free | sugarloafinfo@SugarloafFest.com | Tel: 301-990-1400 | Event Business

Enjoy the crafts of 500 artists, including jewelry, wood, leather, clothing, sculpture, glass and more. Watch live entertainment and feast on a variety of foods.

Address: Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Place Center, Chantilly, VA

Weekend Mindfulness Retreat

January 30th, 2015 at 6-8 p.m. | $80 | monicadorhoi@yahoo.com | Tel: 202-407-4265

World Bank/IMF Staff Meditation Club you to a Mindfulness Meditation Retreat Led by the Meditation Teachers from the World Bank. No prior experience with meditation needed. All levels welcome. A ticket price is $80. No one will be turned away because of lack of funds.

There will be a second session on January 31st, 2015 at 10:00 a.m

Address: Courtyard Mariott, 20th Street & F Street, Washington DC, 20006

Chapter Two by Neil Simon

January 30th/31st, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. | $14-17 | Thunderous_Productions@hotmail.com | Tel: 301-937-4532 | Event Website

Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical Chapter Two offers the quick wit & humor Simon fans expect, but is often raw & downright tragic. It tells the stories of George-a novelist & recent widower-and Jennie, an actress & divorcee. The two are set up by their respective best friends, Leo & Faye. They play matchmakers to George & Jennie, while also planning trysts of their own. Will George & Jennie be able to deal with their pasts & keep up their new exuberant relationship?

Address: Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Rd SE Washington, DC 20020

Jazz Masters with John Eaton: Richard Rodgers

January 31st, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. | $5-10 | evelyn.hill@fairfaxcounty.gov | Tel: 703-790-0123 | Event Website

Jazz pianist, musicologist, and humorist John Eaton brings his popular continuing education program to The Alden. Jazz Masters with John Eaton is an entertaining and insightful afternoon that combines Eaton’s peerless knowledge of the Great American Songbook, hilarious commentary, and elegant renditions of jazz standards, both popular and obscure.

Whether it was with Lorenz Hart or Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rogers made beautiful music. Come discover the man behind “Oklahoma!”

Address:The Alden, 1234 Ingleside Ave, McLean, VA 22101

It’s Not Too Late to Ring in 2015 With Panache and Fun

January 29, 2015

Still not sure where to go or what to do for New Year’s Eve? Or even what to wear?

Before you step out for the evening, why not check out Rent the Runway’s promotion for New Year’s Eve in its new store at 3336 M St., NW? For $50, rent a dress and an accessory for an order placed in-store only (some restrictions apply). Hurry.

All right, now it’s time to decide. Herewith is an extended list of places in and around town to ring in MMXV a/k/a A.D. 2015 on Dec. 31:

Malmaison (3401 K St., NW) at the Georgetown waterfront, will host a New Year’s Eve Supper Club prepared by Michelin two-starred chef Gerard Pangaud. NYE dinner includes a three- ($69) or four- ($89) course dinner menu with optional open bar pairing; seating limited to two hours. Also available: all-you-want drinks and dancing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m; call 202-817–3340 for more details.

Peacock Caféat 3251 Prospect St., NW, will offer two seatings with a special prix fixe menu. The first seating ($57) runs from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. The second seating ($69) begins at 8 p.m. and includes a glass of Champagne at midnight. For details, call 202-965-8990 ext 127.

Enjoy an all-inclusive five-course prix fixe menu with a midnight toast at Café Milano (3251 Prospect St., NW). Guests can also dance to music performed by Manolito the Gypsy and other surprise entertainers. Early seating is from 4 to 7 p.m., with the regular a la carte dinner menu available.

If you’ve “got a crush on wine” like the folks at Eno Wine Bar, you’ve met your match. From 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., at 2810 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, next to the Four Seasons Hotel, $55 (advanced purchase on Eventbrite) or $66 (at the door) gets you passed hors d’oeuvres and wine and bubbly by the glass at $9 (20 percent off bottles of Champagne); deejay and just before midnight a glass of bubbly and a chocolate treat. For details, email Sabrina@EnoDC.com.

The Capella Hotel at 1050 31st St., NW, will offer its New Year’s Eve Celebration Package at $350 per person: Taittinger Champagne drinks accompanied by canapés in the Rye Bar, a four-course dinner in the Grill Room, live music and dancing in the heated Taittinger Rooftop Lounge and a midnight toast (special room rate is available for those staying the night).

Chez Billy Sud at 1039 31st St., NW, will offer a four-course tasting menu at $90 with optional wine pairing. For details, call 202-965-2606.

For making the scene and dressing to impress, check out River Bash 2015 at Washington Harbour, put on by Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place (3000 K St., NW) and Nick’s Riverside Grill (3050 K St., NW), starting at 9 p.m.; $110 per person (group of ten, $100 per person). It includes eight bars, two heavy appetizer buffets, heated party tents, Josh Burgess Band (DJ Myra at Nick’s and DJ Dermont aka “Blac Pearl” at Tony and Joe’s). Call 202-342-3764 and ask for Brett.

Fiola Mare (3050 K St. NW, Suite 101) will offer a New Year’s Eve Chef’s Tasting Menu of five courses for $175; a la carte menu options available from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; live music past midnight. For details, call 202-268-0065.

Cozy up to the big, roaring fire at La Chaumiere (2813 M St., NW) and delight in fine French dining in Georgetown. The chef has prepared a special New Year’s Eve menu with everything from baked onion soup and escargots to sautéed sea scallops, beef tenderloin medallions and veal piccata.

Cafe Bonaparte at 1522 Wisconsin Ave., NW, will offer an NYE menu at $65 that includes risotto of wild mushrooms and arugula or boudin of shellfish with tarragon lobster sauce and sauteed spinach as well as beef tenderloin or organic salmon. For reservations, call 202-333-8830.

Bistrot Lepic at 1736 Wisconsin Ave., NW, has organized a jazzy New Year’s Eve celebration with a three-course menu at $65 and loads of live jazz performed by Natalie Jean. For details, call 202-333-0111.

Martin’s Tavern in the heart of Georgetown at 1264 Wisconsin Ave., NW, adds sparkle to its annual soiree with festive holiday garlands and dazzling décor. The full dinner menu starts at 4 p.m., and the chef will feature four “Farewell 2014” dinner specials, hats, noisemakers included.

If you’re looking for a classic D.C. institution to ring in 2015, look no further than 1789. The historic restaurant at 1226 36th St., NW, near Georgetown University will offer a prix fixe menu ($125) and a prix fixe menu with wine pairing ($175) in addition to its popular a la carte menu; 202-965-1789.

Soak in one of the best views of Washington on New Year’s Eve at the W Hotel’s POV rooftop lounge0 at 515 15th St., NW. Amidst a stunning D.C. backdrop, some of the city’s most sought-after deejays will be spinning tunes throughout the night as the Champagne flows. Limited seating is available for bottle service. Contact POVEvents@Whotels.com for pricing.

Treat yourself and indulge in caviar, oysters and lobster at Plume in the Jefferson Hotel at 1200 16th St., NW. New executive chef Ralf Schlegel has organized a decadent seven-course New Year’s Eve dinner. The first seating ($165) is between 5 and 6 p.m. The second seating ($225), between 9 and 9:45 p.m., includes a glass of premium Champagne.

The swanky Blue Duck Tavern in the West End at 1201 24th St., NW, has two events on New Year’s Eve. The restaurant will serve a special four-course menu ($120), including a Champagne toast, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. In the lounge, a New Year’s Eve party ($185) will run from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The party will feature a premium open bar, small plates, a dessert table and live music by Karla Chisholm.

Wherever you decide to go on New Years’ Eve, the Georgetowner wishes you the best as you celebrate bringing in 2015!

Taxicab Commissioner Steps Down

D.C. Taxicab Commissioner Ron Linton resigned from his post after three years of work on updating outdated regulations. Under his post, taxis were mandated to install credit card readers and, in March, the city will test its own app for hailing cabs. Mayor Muriel Bowser has appointed former administrator for the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Eric Rogers to fill the position.

Weekend Round Up January 22, 2015

The Widow Lincoln

January 23, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. | Starting at $20 | tel: 202-347-4833 | Event Website

Veteran stage, screen and television actress Mary Bacon embodies the life and spirit of a grieving Mary Todd Lincoln in a new play by James Still, who wrote the dazzling “The Heavens Hung in Black” (which re-opened the renovated Ford’s in 2009). Directed by Stephen Rayne with an all-female cast. At Ford’s Theatre, Jan. 23–Feb. 22.

Address: 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC 20004

E-Reader Rescue Weekend

January 24, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. | Free | julia.strusienski@dc.gov | tel: 202-727-0232 | Event Website

Did you get a new e-reader, tablet, or other digital device over the holidays? Want to use it to access library e-books, e-audiobooks, popular magazines, and more?
Then join us for a special extended instructional session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where library staff will provide one-on-one assistance with all of your library digital resource needs.

Address: 3260 R St. NW, Washington, DC 20007

Burns Night Supper at Oatlands

January 24, 2015 at 06:30 p.m.| $100 per person | lkimball@oatlands.org | tel: 7037773174 x.103 | Event Website

Snow date: January 25, 2015 – 6:30 p.m.

Join Becky and Scott Harris, owners of Catoctin Creek Distillery, to celebrate the birthday of poet, Robert Burns. A traditional Scottish dinner of local lamb, neeps, tatties, and trifle will be served. And, of course, there will be haggis!
Advance reservations are required. Cash bar featuring local wines and Catoctin Creek Distillery whiskey.

Address: 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA 20175

Exhibition Opening: HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation

January 24, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. | efilar@nbm.org | tel: 202-272-2448 | Event Website

After the resounding success of their BIG Maze last summer, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group’s HOT TO COLD focuses on how local culture and climate shapes the firm’s design solutions. More than sixty three-dimensional models will be suspended from the second floor balconies of the Museum’s historic Great Hall in an unprecedented use of this public space. Featured projects from across Europe and the United States will draw from the firm’s extensive archive of process material. Through August 30, 2015.

Address: 401 F Street, NW, DC 20001

SOUP-er Bowl at Waterfront Station

January 24, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. | Free | shelby@brandlinkdc.com | tel: 202-733-5223 | Event Website

Soup for you! Waterfront Station launches first-ever SOUP-er bowl in DC. A championship soup competition and taste-off, SOUP-er Bowl will feature: Soup and chili samplings from the region’s top restaurants, a beer garden with complimentary football lounge streaming some of the greatest Super Bowl highlights, live music from Motown band The Original Moonlighters, DJs and more.

Address: 425 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

The DUMC Winter Festival

January 25, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.| mdoan96@yahoo.com| Event Website

Fun for all ages: youth, children and adults. There will be board games, life-size games, a snowball fight, arts & crafts, bolo toss game, a hunt for hidden penguins and food.

Address: Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 3133 Dumbarton St. NW.

2028 Georgetown BID Meeting

January 26, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. | Free | events@georgetowndc.com | Event Website

The Georgetown BID invites you to a community meeting to celebrate accomplishments, discuss future goals, and mark one year of progress toward 2028 and a better Georgetown. The event will take place at House of Sweden from 6 to 8 p.m.

Address: 2900 K St. NW, Washington D.C. 20007