Marriot Stays Help Pay for Mall Restoration

Those who are lucky enough to reside so close to our nation’s “Front Yard” may not feel inclined to take a stroll down the National Mall regularly. However, if you did, you may notice russet lifeless grass, broken dilapidated sidewalks and dirty, green water in the once clear pools. These conditions have raised many eyebrows as more than 30 million people come every year to visit the National Mall and its monuments. To put it simply, the current cost of maintaining the Mall exceeds the existing budget. In order to help rectify this situation, Marriott hotels in the Washington, D.C. area are teaming up with the Trust for the National Mall to help preserve this national treasure. Participating J.W. Marriott, Renaissance, and Marriott hotels in Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland are sponsoring the Check In to Help Out Package. This voluntary package will take a $5 donation from every nightly stay and contribute it to the Trust for the National Mall towards restoration. The package is available now through Sept. 5, 2011. The rates range from $134 to $224 per room, per night, excluding tax and gratuities. Donators will receive a complimentary breakfast for two adults and all children under 12 along with a keepsake Trust for the National Mall viewbook. The participating Marriott hotels combined with the ongoing efforts of The Trust for the National Mall aim to raise $350 million towards revitalization and preservation for future generations. The Trust for the National Mall, a non-profit partner of the National Park Service, has already raised enough money to revitalize the Jefferson Memorial tidal basin and the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool. The Trust has also raised over $2.2 million needed to introduce an interactive visitor signage to the Mall.

Georgetown tops many “Best of D.C. 2011”

Georgetown Business Improvement District announced that 11 “Best of” awards were given to Georgetown businesses from “Best of D.C. 2011” in Washington City Paper. Georgetown won the “Best Neighborhood for Shopping” a second year in a row. Six Reader Picks and four Staff Picks sums the total awards given to Georgetown businesses. Best of D.C. Reader’s Poll 2011 Best Burger: Five Guys Burgers & Fries (http://www.fiveguys.com/) Best Cupcake: Baked and Wired (http://bakedandwired.com/) Best Hair Stylist: Luigi Parasmo at Toka Salon (http://www.tokasalon.com/) Best Jazz/Blues Venue: Blues Alley (http://www.bluesalley.com/) Best Local College of University: Georgetown University (www.georgetown.edu/) Best Place to Buy Fur Handcuffs: Pleasure Place (www.pleasureplace.com/) Best Salad: Sweetgarden (www.thesweetgarden.com/) Best Vintage Clothing Store: Tari Best of D.C. Staff Picks 2011 Best Burger: Bourbon Steak (www.bourbonsteakdc.com) Best Eatery to Attract Lemmings: Georgetown Cupcake (www.georgetowncupcake.com/) Best Place to Buy a Bridesmaid’s Dress: Hitched (http://www.hitchedsalon.com/findus.html) Best Way-Far-Off-The-Beaten-Path Museum: National Pinball Museum (www.nationalpinballmuseum.org/;) “Best of D.C. Readers’ Poll” awards were voted on by readers of the Washington City Paper from Feb. 16 to March 15 online. “Staff Picks” were selected by individual writers of the Washington City Paper, and include wackier categories such as “Best Local Take on Click and Clack” or “Best Use of a Whole Pig.” Check out a full list of 2011 winners at Washington’s City Paper’s website: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/bestofdc/poll

Weekend Round Up June 30,2011

July 1, 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge. At the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, you will find many exemplary practitioners of diverse, authentic, living traditions—both old and new. The goal of the Festival is to strengthen and preserve these traditions by presenting them on the National Mall. Tradition-bearers and the public can connect with and learn from one another and, in a respectful way, begin to understand cultural differences and similarities. Tel: 202.633.1000 http://www.festival.si.edu/ Address National Mall Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum 35th Anniversary Celebration To see more on this event, Click Here July 2, 2011 National Harbor Plaza Stage and Waterfront Kick-off Independence Day Weekend by celebrating on the waterfront at National Harbor for America's best birthday party! Enjoy five bands including The Wailers, Blind Melon and Pat McGee, three DJs, multiple stages & party areas, and a spectacular fireworks show while overlooking the Potomac River! More information and tickets are available now at: www.TheUncleSamJam.com July 4, 2011 Fireworks cruise on the Odyssey 07:30 am | $179.90 per adult | tel: 866.404.8439 Step aboard the Odyssey this Independence Day for front-row seats to one of the country’s most spectacular firework displays. On Monday, July 4, the Odyssey offers guests a romantic evening under an illuminated night sky, with a dinner cruise featuring live entertainment and dancing. Dinner is priced at $179.90 per adult and includes a premium open bar; sailing from 7:30pm – 11:30pm. All passengers must be 21 or older with ID. To book, call 866.404.8439 or reserve online. Address 600 Water Street Washington, DC 20024 Fireworks cruise on the Spirit of Washington July 4th, 2011 at 07:30 am | $149.90 per adult | tel: 866.404.8439 Step aboard the Spirit of Washington this Independence Day for front-row seats to one of the country’s most spectacular firework displays on Monday, July 4. Guests can dance the night away with the Spirit’s playlist of top dance hits, enjoy a premium bar and the Spirit’s renowned Grande Buffet. Dinner is priced at $149.90 per adult; sailing from 7:30pm – 11:30pm. All passengers must be 21 or older with ID. To book, call 866.404.8439 or reserve online. Address Pier 4 Washington, DC Atlantic City Commemorates Independence Day with the largest Continuous Fireworks Celebration July 4th, 2011 at 09:20 pm | free This 4th of July, one of America's largest fireworks displays gets even bigger. This year, the Atlantic City Fireworks Spectacular will be even greater when two different fireworks displays will be set off within moments of each other for the first time in history. The illuminating display, which will be synced to music playing on 95.1 WAYV FM and inside all the casinos, will be visible from Atlantic City's Marina and the Boardwalk districts. Address Atlantic City, NJ Want to see more events? Click on The Georgetowner's calendar

Weekend Roundup July 7, 2011

Prints In Pieces: Views of South County Opening JULY 8TH, 2011 AT 10:00 AM After capturing the people and places along Maryland’s Western Shore with her camera, Frances Borchadt puts her photographs into mosaic-like pieces to create an intriguing display of repetitions and patterns. Be sure to catch this exhibit at The League Gallery before it closes August 1. 6th Annual HERA Climb4Life JULY 8TH, 2011 AT 06:00 PM From July 8 to 10, HERA Climb4Life invites climbers and hikers of all abilities and ages to participate in the 6th Annual HERA Climb4LifeSM Metro DC weekend. For the first time ever, this event will be held outdoors among the crags of the Potomac River, namely Carderock, Maryland and Great Falls, Virginia. The registration fee is $50 per person which includes an event t-shirt and goodie bag as well as entrance to various social occasions. Event proceeds go to raise funds for ovarian cancer research. Women by Women JULY 8TH, 2011 AT 06:00 PM Please join Heiner Contemporary for the opening reception of Women by Women, Friday, July 8th, 6-8 pm. Women by Women is a group exhibition of work by women portraying women. The exhibition runs from July 8th - August 20th 2011. Art Deck-O: DC Playing Card Originals JULY 8TH, 2011 AT 06:30 PM Fifty-four of Washington DC's finest artists created unusual designs to form a playing card deck exhibit unique to our area. The deck is composed of a fantastic array of genres and mediums, which are a big hit with artists, magicians, game players and art lovers everywhere. Exhibit runs from June 29 - July 29. Havoc in the Harbor JULY 9TH, 2011 AT 07:30 AM M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, will be invaded by Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam® the world’s premier monster truck series, creating “havoc in the harbor” on Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Art & Live Jazz Saturday JULY 9TH, 2011 AT 05:00 PM Join us for an evening of live jazz, wine and the opening of Art-To-Wear Trunk Show by Peggy Russell of iro Design. Live Jazz starts at 5 PM with Ivor Heyman on keyboard, Nathan Garrett on bass and Richard Parrell on tenor sax. Wine tasting by Delaplane Cellars The Quill Cocktail Competition JULY 10TH, 2011 AT 02:00 PM Its inspired mix of classic concoctions and signature drinks has made Quill, the elegant lounge at The Jefferson, Washington, DC, a treasured enclave for those in search of the enlightened cocktail. On July 10, 2011, six of the capital’s finest drink dons will prove their worth with Tequila Ocho Plata Single Estate at the third Quill Cocktail Competition. Tickets are $50 per person, which includes a sample from each competitor’s inspired libation (guests’ votes are tallied with the judges), tastings from Quill’s own signature cocktail menu and an assortment of canapés and cheeses.

Three More Stars are Lost

When someone makes us laugh, when someone - as a member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band said once - “sets your feet to tapping,” then the passing of that someone, famous, infamous, well-known or just a little known, is felt by strangers as a loss. It’s a keen kind of feeling in celebrity-adoring, star-struck, time-tossed America where nostalgia does battle with a minute ago on a regular basis. With the passing of Clarence Clemons, the man responsible for Bruce Springsteen’s signature sound with his soaring sax, and Ryan Dunn, the insanely anarchic sidekick to Johnny Knoxville who together made up the spirit of “Jackass,” that dichotomy split apart. Knoxville and a host of media types and buddies showed up at a memorial service for the 34-year-old Dunn who was killed (along with a buddy and passenger) when he lost control of his sports car on a road in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. Wikipedia says “he died after receiving injuries” in the crash, which doesn’t begin to imagine what could happen when a car blows up at over a hundred miles an hour. He was 34 years old. Clemons died of complications from a stroke he had suffered. He was 69. There is a story that goes around—both the man known as The Boss and Clemons told it, apparently—that when they met, Clemons walked into a restaurant framed by storm and lightning. Musically and otherwise, it was deep friendship and love at first sight. Clemons—who had a career separate from the inimitable E Street Band and Springsteen—provided something that most big and popular rock bands lacked, a signature character, a sax sound, a horn. You might have heard one every now and then—Sly and the Family Stone should have had one even if they didn’t since they had everything else and there was Bill Haley and the early tuxedo saxes of just-before Elvis rock and of course a guy named King Curtis who was with the Coasters and produced a record called “Yakety Sax.” But the skinny kid named Bruce and the black guy from New Jersey—and former very large 6 foot 6 inch football player —made an odd match on the surface, but also a hopeful one because it was clear they had each other’s back. Springsteen acknowledged cheerfully that Clemons’ playing and his very presence gave the band’s music a deeper meaning, a kind of American potential story as rock and roll, high powered poem. Dunn and the Jackass crew—they did other movies, had other ambitions—specialized in making film and video in which they jumped off bridges, got on skateboards, bycicles, golf carts and collided with things, to the sound of sometimes breaking bones. They were the gang that couldn’t fly straight, land safely, stand up move in a straight line and everything they did managed to produce some sort of physical pain. And everybody laughed: this is slapstick with real blood and scabs. Look at a collection of Jackass stunts and you will laugh and feel a little funny doing it. I suspect there will be mourning for both, roses at the crash site, music and eloquent words and saxophone music played for keepsakes and memories. Clemons’ death is a loss like the last notes of a song. Dunn’s death is a tragedy that says too much about everybody. Born and died in the U.S.A. Oh, there's just one more thing. That would be the death of Peter Falk, who had a rich and varied acting career on stage, screen and television, but who will always be “Columbo,” the stogie-chewing homicide detective who wore a rejected-by-Good-Will trench coat, and, with the murderer just about to let out a sigh of relief, would inevitably turn around and say: “Oh, there’s just on more thing.” That one more thing was the end for the killer, the man or woman who thought they’d committed the perfect crime, it was finis, stick a fork in them, the end of the end because: There was just one more thing. Falk’s Columbo became him—he won several Emmys for the role—and in the end, he became Columbo to anyone who had watched television the last three decades of the 20th century. It was an ingenious impersonation of a man who was a bag of ticks, that rumpled hair, the distracted manner, the endless curiosity about things that didn’t seem to manner, even the affection for some of the suspects, not to mention a Peugeot that barely made it out of the drive way. There’s some irony in Falk’s enduring fame as a rumpled cop. He was always considered something of a serious actor and got a breakout Oscar nomination for playing a stone-cold killer in “Murder Inc.” about a much-feared mobster organization which specialized in killing. There were also his great performances in the late director-actor John Cassavettes’ docu-style cinema verite in your-face dramas like “Husbands” and “Woman Under the Influence” opposite Gena Rowland, and numerous appearances in the live drama series that constituted television’s “golden age of drama.” He and Alan Arkin starred in “The In Laws,” a riotous comedy whose luster a remake starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks could not dim. Mostly, this one-eyed son of Jewish New Yorkers, appealed not so much because he could play killers, but because he had a mensch quality about him that no matter what he showed on screen big and small, there was a generous soul inside. One of his later films was “The Princess Bride,” in which Falk played a grandpa type reading to a reluctant boy the saga of a would-be prince, an avenging swordsman, a cruel tyrant and a princess in need of rescue. The boy finally was persuaded to listen to a story in which, also, there was always “just one more thing.” Peter Falk was 83. He suffered from Alzheimer’s. [gallery ids="100160,100161,100162" nav="thumbs"]

Hays Family Honored With Lifetime Award From Georgetown Business Association

The Hays family -- and their store, The Phoenix, on Wisconsin Avenue since 1955 -- was given the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Georgetown Business Association at its Senior Advisory Luncheon on June 15. The business, founded by Bill and Betty Hays, has been continued by John and Sharon Hays -- and now their Samantha. Presenters, including Brad Altman, Jim Wheeler and Sonya Bernhardt, publisher of the Georgetowner, speaking for last year's awardee, retired publisher David Roffman, told stories about the Hays family, the neighborhood and the Phoenix, "more than a store." [gallery ids="100070,100071,100072" nav="thumbs"]

President and Daughters Get Ice Cream in Georgetown on Father’s Day

First father, President Barack Obama, treated daughters Malia and Sasha, along with his niece and nephew, to ice cream at Georgetown's Thomas Sweet Ice Cream at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street, N.W., June 19. (The first daughters will accompany the first lady on their trip to Africa.) Obama and his daughters had already visited Georgetown within the last two weeks: he, at 1789 restaurant; the girls, at Georgetown Cupcake. Among the presidential gawkers along Wisconsin Avenue was chef Ris Lacoste on her day off -- and Bridget Berry, a computer technician from Red Bay, Alabama, visiting D.C. with her husband Chris and their daughters Carlee and Mattee. (Berry provided one of the photos of the scene at Thomas Sweet.) She and her family, visiting friends Robert and Sharon Shoffner, have already been to the National Zoo, Cactus Cantina, Dean & Deluca and, of course, Georgetown Cupcake. [gallery ids="100073,100074,100075" nav="thumbs"]

While Waterfront Reopens, Some Messes Still Need Cleaning Up

The Georgetown Waterfront continues to recover from its April 18 soaking, with both Tony and Joe’s and Nick’s outdoor dining reopening and the indoor restaurants continuing with renovations. Visitors to the area are trickling back, drawn in by events such as last weekend’s Dragon Boat Race and next Sunday’s Georgetown Waterfront Summer Celebration. The festival, hosted by the Georgetown BID and Washington Harbor, will feature a steel drum band, food catered by the area’s restaurants, face painting and a water balloon toss at 2 p.m. which is endorsed by the Washington Post’s “Going Out Guide.” Despite all the revelry that is returning to the Georgetown Waterfront, it is difficult to ignore that fact that many windows are still boarded shut and employees who have been out of work since the flood are awaiting the outcome of a $5 million class action lawsuit against MRP Realty. Why weren’t the floodwalls raised? This question appeared in almost all media coverage of the waterfront flooding which filled restaurants and businesses with as much as 12 feet of water. When the National Weather Service issues a flood warning, based on the water levels measured by a gauge at Harper’s Ferry, Washington Harbour and surrounding areas have about a day and a half to raise the floodwalls. This process takes about five hours to complete and costs approximately $15,000. The responsibility of this undertaking rests with the property owners. MRP Realty bought the Washington Harbor from Prudential Real Estate Investors in June 2010 for about $240 million. MRP’s property management unit now oversees the waterfront area, a job previously managed for ten years by John Wilson until 1998, followed by Larry McCulley through Sept. 2010, neither of whom faced flooding problems of this scale. MRP has not provided explanation as to why the floodwalls were only partially raised or in some places, not raised at all. A few days after the flood, Gary Mason of Mason LLP, a D.C. law firm, filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court on behalf of Charles Holcomb of Alexandria, a bartender at Farmers and Fishers. The federal court dismissed the initial complaint, but Mason filed a second complaint in the D.C. Superior Court on behalf of what is now 43 plaintiffs who are “persons and entities who have lost or will lose income as a result of the flooding.” The complaint alleges that MRP had sufficient time to raise the floodwalls and should have been aware of the risk posed to the Washington Harbour businesses, and was negligent in its failure to respond to that risk. There have been no further developments in the case, but Mason hopes to settle with MRP and avoid a trial. A representative from MRP could not comment on the progression of the lawsuit. The reconstruction of the affected establishments continues almost three months after the storm, but the National Flood Insurance generally covers property damage on the Washington Harbour. The claim could become complicated in light of the complaint filed against MRP, according to the Washington Business Journal, not to mention that the insurance does not account for the tens of thousands of dollars in revenue lost by those businesses each day or the loss of income for their employees.

Weekend Round Up June 16, 2011

CLICK HERE for more calendar listings! Author Paul Moylan Book Signing June 17th, 2011 at 04:00 PM | Free Author of Camino De Santiago: Fingerprints of God, a story about a group of very well-to-do people who travel to Spain and walk the ancient pilgrimage trail which forever changes their lives, will be signing books at the Bourbon Cafe. Bourbon Cafe 2101 L Street NW Washington, DC 20037 Georgetown Pet Adoption Event June 18th, 2011 at 12:00 PM | Tel: 202-333-6100 The Georgetown Office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage joins forces with Washington Humane Society to host a pet adoption day at the Washington Harbour in Georgetown. You save a life and enrich your own when you adopt a homeless pet. Adults, children and families are encouraged to come and meet the pets as well as members of the Washington Humane Society and a group of our very own pet friendly Coldwell Banker agents and volunteers. 3000 K Street, N.W., Suite 101 Washington Harbour - Georgetown Washington, DC 20007 NOW at the Corcoran-Chris Martin June 18th, 2011 at 10:00 AM Chris Martin’s paintings are tactile and stitched-together, incorporating found objects and collage into their abstract geometries and rhythmic patterns. His works relate to the physical world as much as to his own internal landscape of memories and experiences, which draw from music, literature, and the human relationship to the natural world. Corcoran College of Art + Design 500 Seventeenth St. NW Washington DC 20006 A FATHER’S DAY CELEBRATION FIT FOR A KING Treat Dad to a BBQ-Style Buffet at Roof Terrace Restaurant June 19th, 2011 at 10:00 AM | $36.95 for adults $20.00 for children 12 and younger | Tel: 202- 416-8555 The way to his heart this Father’s Day is with Roof Terrace Restaurant’s endless Kitchen Brunch Buffet -- barbeque style! On Sunday, June 19, fathers and their families can fill up on an array of summer-time favorites and enter for a chance to win an “Everything but the Grill” set. Roof Terrace Restaurant can accommodate families of 2 up to 40. Seatings begin at 10:00am and reservations are required. Roof Terrace Restaurant The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 2700 F Street Washington, DC www.roofterracerestaurant.com Daryl Hall & John Oates June 20th, 2011 at 08:00 PM With more than 40 career hits, including “Do It for Love,” “Private Eyes,” and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” these multiplatinum legends have been declared the most successful duo in rock history. Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA

Sasha Obama’s Georgetown Birthday Bash

Sasha Obama, youngest of the Obama family, was spotted outside the famous Georgetown Cupcakes, Friday, with big sister Malia. The First Daughters arrived in style to celebrate Sasha’s 10th birthday amidst friends, flowers and birthday balloons. Author and photographer Carol Joynt got the scoop when she sensed “discreet Secret Service activity.” Joynt followed her intuition and hung around watching men “only discernible from the average male Georgetown tourist by having focus and flat abs while still clothed in generic tourist mufti - cargo shorts.” The tourist-esque Secret Service preceded a hot pink GCC Range Rover. The Range Rover pulled up at the old bakery shop, which now acts as the studio for the infamous “DC Cupcakes.” A caravan of black cars and a single black van followed the Range Rover, onto Potomac Street and parked out front. A group of about 10 young ladies were escorted from the van, including Sasha and Malia. Secret Service continued clearing the sidewalk and ushering cars on. The party was hosted by Georgetown Cupcake’s owners, Katherine Kallins and Sophie LaMontagne and included several “DC Cupcakes” stars. While there, the girls decorated their own DC cupcakes and enjoyed a specially made presidential pastry. The girls met President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and their grandmother, Marian Robinson, at Camp David on Saturday, so the family could continue their celebration together.