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Georgetown University Student Explores the History of Ben's Chili Bowl

May 18, 2020

Georgetown University student, Sonali Mirpuri (C’20) explored the history of Ben’s Chili Bowl in her college thesis.


Mirpuri was interested in studying how first-generation Indian students such as herself navigated the intersections of race, identity and community at Georgetown University. After meeting with the family that started the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl chain in Washington, D.C., Mirpuri gained rare insights that helped her complete a thesis on the micro-history of this community staple.


Through conversations with the Ali family (Mahaboob Ben Ali, the founder of the restaurant, passed away in 2009), Mirpuri learned about the changes in the community over the years and the struggles that the Ali family overcame. 

(Photo by: benschilibowl.com)

“I was fascinated by how Ali’s ideas of race and ethnicity helped him settle into a black community, and how this affected his other identities of being Muslim of Indian descent,” says Mirpuri.


Ben Ali’s grandparents, originally from India, were sent to Trinidad as indentured laborers. He was raised in the town of San Juan, the first child of seven in a Muslim, Indo-Caribbean family.  In 1945, Ali immigrated to the U.S. as a student, living in Nebraska and Pennsylvania before attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he fell in love with the U-Street community.


The U Street Corridor, colloquially referred to during this time as Black Broadway due to the thriving black-owned entertainment venues and businesses, contained the nation’s largest urban black community.


When he and his wife Virginia Ali, a black woman from Washington, opened their restaurant in this vibrant community in 1958, Ali chose to call it Ben’s Chili Bowl as a nod to the American community he was now a part of in D.C.


Read more here.


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WFP Lists Spectacular Georgetown Colonial

April 26, 2020

Washington Fine Properties has listed a spectacular fully-detached colonial home in Georgetown offered at $2,895,000.

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

Akseizer Residential does it again with this circa 1908 immaculate renovation at 1639 35th Street NW, reimagined for modern living with no detail spared. 


The lush gated garden with herringbone brick walkway leads to a charming covered front porch and into an expansive parlor. 

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

White oak herringbone wood floors flow throughout the open living space including the living room with a marble gas fireplace flanked by custom built-ins, dining room, and eat-in kitchen with waterfall edge island, top-of-the-line Thermador appliances, Waterworks fixtures. 

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

The walkout features a professionally-landscaped private rear garden. 

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

Four bedrooms offer generous storage, and three and-a-half bathrooms feature gorgeous Waterworks fixtures and marble finishes. 

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

Added convenience with laundry on both the upper and lower levels. 

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

Smart home features include wifi-connected integrated audio, video, lighting, thermostats, security, appliances, and more. 

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

All complete with gated parking in a prime Georgetown location.

(Photo by: HomeVisit)

For more information, contact: 


Robert Hryniewicki 




Adam T. Rackliffe 




Christopher R. Leary 




For a virtual tour, click here.

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Shirt Compatible With All Video Conferencing Platforms

April 14, 2020

Because José Andrés is our hero and Stephen Colbert helps us survive so so many things, this commercial is worth sharing:


"As announced by Stephen Colbert this Monday on The Late Show, we're proud to offer you this fashionable "United We Stand" t-shirt as a way to show solidarity with all of humanity during this very unusual time.


You may have noticed that Stephen was at home, and you should stay home, too. That's why we're offering it online, direct from the CBS.com store.


100% of the proceeds* from this shirt will benefit World Central Kitchen and GiveDirectly to help those in need. We recommend buying one in your current size, and one for the size you will be after all your stress-eating. This shirt is compatible with Zoom, FaceTime, House Party, and most other video conferencing platforms.


Looking for other ways you can help out without leaving your couch? Here are some wonderful charities helping with the COVID-19 relief efforts.


*No less than $4.65 per t-shirt sold will go to each of World Central Kitchen and GiveDirectly, respectively."

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