Speakers Table

Bling, Punk and Light: A New York Staycation

July 15, 2013

We decided to spend the July 4th holiday in my hometown of New York.

The heat was oppressive, and after a walk through Central Park and lunch in the Plaza Food Court, we headed for the Museum of Arts and Design to see Fashion Jewelry: the Collection of Barbara Berger. So extraordinary is this exhibition that Assouline has published a book on the subject - 450 pieces of vintage Chanel, YSL, Balenciaga, and Dior, among pieces from contemporary jewelry designers. My friend, David McFadden curated this exquisite collection from 4,000 bijoux de couture from 40 years of international flea market finds.

(Photo by: metmuseum.org)

The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum is showing PUNK - Chaos to Couture, an exhibit  that mixes safety pins, bugle beads and strategically placed holes and tears. Featuring designs for men and women, iconic punk garments from the mid-1970s are juxtaposed with recent haute couture and ready-to-wear. Exploring the relationship between the punk concept of 'do-it-yourself' (DIY) and the couture concept of 'made-to-measure,' the show is organized around the materials, techniques, and embellishments associated with the anti-establishment style.

James Turrell’s Guggenheim exhibit, his first in a New York museum since 1980, explores light, color and space. Aten Reign, viewed from the museum's rotunda, is an ambitious project of shifting artificial and natural light. With its 60's love-in vibe and spiritual allure, it's the perfect antidote to PUNK. The crowds are literally lying on the floor staring up at the changing 'sky.'

From Jamees Turrell's (Photo by: Bonni Braverman) From Jamees Turrell's "Aten Reign"

The Spotted Pig in the West Village lives up to it's claim of having the best burgers in the city. Fatty Fish on the Upper East  serves wonderful Asian-style dishes including a sushi pizza .At Birdland Jazz Club in the West 40's, we listened to the American jazz guitarist, Dave Stryker and his amazing band.

In the rain, we walked the High Line at night, that verdant mile-long linear park built on a section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad. Then on to Hudson River Park in the morning, and to Battery Park by water taxi.

Loaded with great memories of seeing friends and enjoying the greatest city on earth, heading back now to Georgetown, my other hometown.

Written by Bonni Braverman of Bonni Braverman Interiors, LLC.

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My BRCA Story

May 16, 2013

I am writing this as a catharsis and to save lives. Since Angelina Jolie's brave admission, I wanted to tell my story.

I was tested positive for BRCA 2 and decided to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy. Like Ms Jolie, I was told I had an 87% chance of getting breast cancer.

The decision is very difficult for aesthetic reasons because breasts are so much a part of our femininity and sexuality. I too had a loving and supportive husband throughout this process even when I had nipple-less Barbie Doll breasts.

I have just finished my reconstruction, coincidentally on the morning Ms Jolie made her announcement. An amazing medical tattoo artist named Melany Whitney completed my transformation and I am whole again!

The reality is that I was whole the entire time. Breasts do not make us women, strength and compassion do. It was a hard lesson but one I needed to share.

Do not be afraid!


Written by Bonni Braverman of Bonni Braverman Interiors LLC, Georgetown-based interior designer

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Parks Partnership Event Becomes a Big Announcement

April 25, 2013

An exploration of the value of public/private partnership as it can benefit parks here in Georgetown became, suddenly, an exciting announcement:  The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with American Express, announced Wednesday morning that $1 million will be awarded to deserving preservation projects in the DC/MD/VA region.

Dina Curtis, Board of DOPC and John Lever, Friends of Volta Park (Photo by: Dina Curtis) Dina Curtis, Board of DOPC and John Lever, Friends of Volta Park

Partners in Preservation, a preservation initiative that has benefited historic sites in 5 major cities around the United States, has come to Washington!  Both Dumbarton Oaks Park and Meridian Hill Park, each small parks under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service’s Rock Creek Park, are being honored as one of 24 chosen sites.

For more information , visit Partners in Preservation and discover how you and your friends--- over the next 16 days--- can help choose which of the 24 sites will win up to $100,000 through votes on FaceBook and other social media platforms.

Joe Sternlieb and Rebecca Trafton (Photo by: Dina Curtis) Joe Sternlieb and Rebecca Trafton

Last night, at a meeting held at the British School of Washington, 5 “friends groups,” representing 5 parks, met to present their accomplishments to date, and inspire others with their plans for the future. The parks represented were Montrose Park, Rose Park, Dumbarton Oaks Park, Volta Park, and Rock Creek Park.  A welcome was given by Joe Sternlieb, CEO of the Georgetown BID. “We’re a great believer in public/private partnerships,” said Sternlieb. He spoke of the value of parks for life in the city, “both from a physical perspective and a programming perspective.”

Georgetown’s parks do so much to enhance the quality of life in our community. We look forward to profiling the plans of each of these friends groups, and welcome your ideas about what resources you would like to see here in Georgetown.

Written by Rebecca Trafton, Co-Founder and Board President, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy

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