Speakers Table

Bye Bye Betsey with Boomerang Tours

May 30, 2012

 From left to right:  Rachel Schoonover Rubin, David Nelson, Abigail Adams Greenway, Bill Starrels, Jim Wilcox, Clarisa Ringlien, Chris Ringlien (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) From left to right: Rachel Schoonover Rubin, David Nelson, Abigail Adams Greenway, Bill Starrels, Jim Wilcox, Clarisa Ringlien, Chris Ringlien

Wednesday evening was the goodbye party for the beloved Betsey Johnson Georgetown store and the welcome party for the new Boomerang Boat.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and the water views from the rooftop deck of the Boomerang Boat prior to the rain bringing everyone inside the boat cabin.  Many of the female guests were wearing Betsey Johnson clothing as a tribute to the store and their friendship over the years with Jenny Zinn, who has worked at the Georgetown location for over 10 years.  Fond stories of shopping at the shop and the good karma the outfits brought to their owners provided the cocktail fodder and forged new friendships.  Proudly wearing their Betsey dresses, shoes, jewelry, handbags and goodness know what else were Lolly Amons, Sherie Gabriel, Rachel Schoonover and Abigail Adams Greenway to name a few.  Business and community leaders in attendance included Bill Starrels, Jim Wilcox and Dave Nelson.  

Nikki and Dave DuBois (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Nikki and Dave DuBois

Nikki and Dave DuBois provided their signature boomerang hospitality with Dave serving up cocktails and Nikki chatting up the party guests.  As Georgetown residents and business owners for the past ten years, they started Boomerang Tours with the infamous Boomerang Bus well-known for its fun times. The Boomerang Boat is their new venture providing an afternoon or evening out on the water departing from the Georgetown Waterfront and taking guests over to Old Town, Alexandria and then back to Georgetown.  Inside the main cabin is a seating area, built-in bar, DJ booth, flat screen TV, and wrap around windows providing views of the monuments and Kennedy Center.  Private parties may also be booked.

With the news that Tony & Joe's and Nick's Riverside Grill plan to have their restaurants fully open and operational within the next 4-6 weeks, the Georgetown Waterfront will be the happening place this summer to sit outside or take a Boomerang Boat ride.  Summer weather is here and the party guests demonstrated the whimsy of Betsey Johnson will live on.  What better excuse to play hookey and go out on the water for a fun escape? 

Ticket and departure information can be found at Ride The Boomerang.

By Janine Schoonover, Co-Chair Economic Development + Small Business, Georgetown Business Association

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Filming "The Upside of Iris" in Georgetown

May 1, 2012

In front of Pie Sisters on M Street Jennifer Schwed gives direction to Charlie Tan, leading lady from the film The Upside of Iris. (Photo by: Doug Bradshaw) In front of Pie Sisters on M Street Jennifer Schwed gives direction to Charlie Tan, leading lady from the film The Upside of Iris.

D.C. is widely heralded as the home of government, power, influence, and (occasionally) a good sports team or two, but certainly not film. However, local filmmaker Jennifer Schwed is trying to change that.

Jennifer Schwed (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jennifer Schwed

On Monday, writer, director and producer Jennifer Schwed started shooting her feature length film, The Upside of Iris at the Pie Sisters shop in Georgetown. It is a quirky and loveable tale about Iris (a hopelessly romantic woman who sees the world upside-down) and how she uses her unique perspective to reconnect with her childhood love, and change the lives of those around her. The film that Iris has most been compared to is the French classic, Amélie.

Mr. Stanislav (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mr. Stanislav

In one of the more humorous (and touching) scenes filmed at the Pie Sisters shop on Monday, Iris gives her magical “perspective-enhancing glasses” to Mrs. Stanislav (the shop owner) and urges her to gaze upon her husband. After about 50 years of marriage (apparently the last couple decades of which have been spent constantly bickering) the last thing Mrs. Stanislav wants to see is see is Mr. Stanislav. However, under the pleasant pressure from dear Iris she gives in, dons the glasses and is absolutely floored! Through the specs she sees her husband, but not the crotchety old grouch she was expecting, but she sees him as the young, strapping man that she fell in love with so many years ago. She remembers what things were like, and the flame of love is reignited.

Young Mr. Stanislav (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Young Mr. Stanislav

This is a truly local, indy film, and nearly the entire production team is from the D.C. area. The beautiful young woman playing the lead (Ms. Charley Tan) was actually “discovered” walking on M Street!

Schwed admitted, “Charley is absolutely perfect for the role of Iris. When I saw her walking in Georgetown, I literally said out loud, ‘That’s Iris. That’s our girl…’ The only problem on-set we’ve had is that her romantic interest in the film, well, his character’s name is ‘Charlie,’ so when I say, ‘Hey Charley, I need you to do this or that,’ two people turn and say, ‘Okay!’”

Hanna Levy (Photo by: Doug Bradshaw) Hanna Levy

Having written, directed or produced 12 short art films that have played at over a dozen international film festivals, Schwed was asked, “What is the biggest challenge so far in making a feature length film?” Her response? “Raising money.”

Although her team has not yet reached their budget goal, they are forging ahead, but are keeping a keen eye out for those who can help. “We are definitely interested in talking with patrons of the arts, film investors and even local companies regarding sponsorship or some type of ‘tasteful’ product placement.”

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Doug Bradshaw)

You can see an earlier promotional shoot and get more information on the film and how you can help support The Upside of Iris here.

Doug Bradshaw (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Doug Bradshaw


By Doug Bradshaw, associate producer of The Upside of Iris




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Foggy Bottom Raises the Bar on Outdoor Sculpture

April 23, 2012

The award-winning Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit opened for its third season in the Foggy Bottom Historic District on Saturday afternoon. Sculpting Outside the Lines, this year’s theme, is the inspiration of curator, Laura Roulet, who worked with founders and co-directors of the exhibit, Jackie Lemire, Jill Nevius and Mary Kay Shaw to create another distinctive display of public art for the neighborhood.

Founders Mary Kay Shaw, Jill Nevius and Jackie Lemire (Photo by: Robin Jones) Founders Mary Kay Shaw, Jill Nevius and Jackie Lemire

What began in 2008 as an effort to introduce sculpture into the community and bring neighbors together has evolved into a professional production with self-guided cell phone tours, artist-guided tours, maps, and more. Now in its third cycle with eight sculptures designed exclusively for the event, the show has the ability to match each sculpture with an appropriate outdoor space.

Sculpting Outside the Lines showcases 13 sculptures by 15 artists, most of whom are nationally recognized. The exhibit is the showcase for cast concrete angels by Dan Steinhilber who has had solo exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Barbara Liotta, who recently showed at the Phillips Gallery as part of Intersections, will create a large-scale site-specific work. For the first time, new media is included such as a projection by Jefferson Pinder, whose exhibits include the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and the Studio Museum of Harlem. Joseph and John Dumbacher, locally renowned for their solo exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, will install a 13’ aluminum abstract sculpture. Dalya Luttwak’s recent solo exhibitions include the Kreeger Museum, Washington DC. She will create a site-specific suspended “root work.” The other artists featured are Linda Hesh, EH-CO, Yukiko Nakashima, Foon Sham, Lina Vargas de la Hoz, and local graduate students Patrick McGowan, Adam Nelson, Blake Turner, and Peter Lee who will present three new media works.

Curator, Laura Roulet, with Joseph and John Dumbacher in front of their sculpture, #286. (Photo by: Robin Jones) Curator, Laura Roulet, with Joseph and John Dumbacher in front of their sculpture, #286.

Sculpting Outside the Lines engages the community by expanding the boundaries of traditional outdoor sculpture, exploring the discourse between public and private in an active social space.

The exhibit can be seen in the yards of homes and businesses between 24th and 26th streets NW and H and K Streets. Self-guided tours are available on the web site or by picking up brochures that will be available at each of the sculpture sites. Artist-guided tours will be held on the third Saturday of each month at 11:00 am originating at the corner New Hampshire Avenue and Eye Street NW.

Arts in Foggy Bottom with its inaugural outdoor sculpture exhibit won the Mayor’s Arts Awards for “Innovation in the Arts” in 2009. It is funded by The Foggy Bottom Association Defense and Improvement Corporation. For more information, visit Foggy Bottom Association

By Robin Jones, a marketing and style consultant.


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