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"Stuff the Bus" campaign revs up in Georgetown

September 18, 2011

Georgetowners and others revved up their giving spirit Sunday as Venga, the free mobile app and website, collected over 300 pounds of fresh food for D.C. Central Kitchen at Clyde's in Georgetown, the second stop on Venga's “Stuff the Bus” campaign in support of the nonprofit that tackles poverty, hunger and homelessness through job training, meal distribution, and supporting local farms.

The bus heads to 7th and F Sts. NW Monday with Top Chef finalist and Graffiato owner Mike Isabella, and a visit to Chef Geoff's downtown (13th & Penn.) Wednesday with D.C. favorite Geoff Tracy.

Founded by leading D.C.-native media entrepreneur Winston Lord, Venga is spearheading the city-wide tour, which started on H Street Sept. 17 and runs through the end of the month. Venga offers real-time updates and happenings on specials, happy hours, music, and events at over 130 restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues, including Georgetown's 1789, Il Canale, Sea Catch, Clyde’s, Paolo’s, Nicks Riverside Grille, Tony and Joe's and The Tombs.

Venga partnered with Clyde's, led by Sally Davidson and John and Ginger Laytham, for the Georgetown stop on the tour. Patrons can still donate fresh food including canned tomatoes and beans, boxed pasta, granola bars, and canned fruit along the tour -- or write a check to boost the Central Kitchen's programs. 

Isabella, newswoman Cokie Roberts and others are among the celebrities meeting people at the bus. Venga has lined up Jose Andres, Spike Mendelsohn, Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green, ABC's Jonathan Karl, NBC's Luke Russert, and FOX's Ed Henry as supporters. Venga also partnered with Monster to donate a fresh food meal for anyone who registers for Venga (getvenga.com) in September.  "It’s free and takes less than 30 seconds to do,” said Lord.

D.C. Central Kitchen uses over 3000 lbs. of fresh food to prepare almost 5,000 meals every day in anti-hunger and job-training programs, said the Kitchen's CEO Mike Curtin.

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Lost and found: Michaele Salahi

September 15, 2011

After her husband had reported her kidnapped Tuesday, late Wednesday, TMZ reported that Michaele Salahi, The Real Housewives of D.C. star had "run off" with Neal Schon, the lead guitarist for Journey. According to TMZ, "Nobody kidnapped her, and they are in Memphis together," a spokesperson for Scoop Marketing, which reps Journey, told TMZ.

Neal Schon (Photo by: Neal Schon website) Neal Schon

CNN had reported that White House party crasher and "Real Housewives of D.C." star Michaele Salahi has been missing since Tuesday morning and may have been kidnapped,  according to her husband's spokesperson.

"It is our belief as of last night, Michaele Salahi may have been kidnapped or abducted and is being held under duress and forced to tell persons, including authorities, she is OK," talent manager Gina Rodriguez said.

Tareq Salahi contacted the Warren County, Virginia, sheriff about his suspicions, but he is concerned the local authorities are not taking her disappearance seriously, Rodriguez said. Salahi has now contacted the FBI, she said. Salahi last saw his wife at 11 a.m. at their northern Virginia home as she was leaving for a hair stylist appointment and a dance class. She did not keep either appointment, Rodriguez said.

Salahi was known for frequenting Georgetown hair salons including that of Erwin Gomez. Another Georgetown stylist, Christophe Jouenne, sued her for payment of $4,000 to cover the cost of blonde hair extensions she received at the salon, according to a report about the couple in the Washington Post. The Post said the hair stylist "had human hair over-nighted to his Georgetown salon and worked from 7 p.m. until midnigh" on the party crasher's famous locks.

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Georgetown Floorcoverings "slow and steady" since 1954

August 20, 2011

“There was just a flour mill and paper mill here when my grandfather bought this building on K Street under the Whitehurst Freeway in 1962.”

Georgetown Floorcoverings at 3233 K Street (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Georgetown Floorcoverings at 3233 K Street

And Karen Swarthout Ohri wasn’t referring to the Georgetown condominiums bearing those names. After moving the shop from 28th Street, Herbert Swarthout lived upstairs in what he called “the watchman’s tower.”

Wool custom area rugs (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Wool custom area rugs

Now in its third generation as a family owned business, Georgetown Floorcoverings specializes in custom hand-made rugs, but also carries a full line of commercial and residential floor coverings, everything from sisal and wool to synthetics and hardwood.

Karen is the general manager, chief operating officer and treasurer. “Slow and steady,” her dad Ronald Swarthout would always say about how he wanted to grow.  As Karen explained, “Both my parents, Ronald and Judy continue to be devoted to the business that has seen them through good times and bad.”

Natural sisal flooring (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Natural sisal flooring

Fifteen years ago, while still in high school, Karen started by emptying the trash cans. The company’s primary focus was commercial, especially universities and hospitals.

Still 80% of the business today, Karen has grown the residential side with a loyal following that include clients like Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos who were so thrilled with the work Karen did on their Georgetown home, featured in Elle Décor, they’ve kept in touch from Manhatten. Karen did the carpet in their bedroom, George’s office and the rug on the cover, which Ali decorated (after a dog accident) with purple Rit Dye.

Georgetown home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos, floors by Georgetown Floorcoverings (Photo by: Elle Decor magazine) Georgetown home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos, floors by Georgetown Floorcoverings

“When you walk into my showroom, you’re going to get the best product for you, not necessarily the most expensive,” Karen emphasized that it's all about finding what's most practical for her clients' lifestyle.

Natural, sustainable, biodegradable, allergen-free, and bacteria resistant, made from linseed oil pressed from flax, wood flour, pine rosins (resin) and jute.  

Hint: Popular in the 1950’s before being replaced by synthetic vinyl. Popular again for its adaptability and cleanliness, warm under foot like wood and hypo-allergenic enough for hospitals. Yup, it's linoleum.  Karen still has the family's original 1951 catalogue.

1951 linoleum catalogue with current samples (Photo by: Judith Beermann) 1951 linoleum catalogue with current samples












Georgetown Floorcoverings is at 3233 K Street. Tel: 202.965.3200


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