Hollywood on the Potomac

Hathaway & Biden

September 20, 2018

"I'm pretty shell shocked by what I see every day, what I hear every day," said actress Anne Hathaway at the Human Rights Campaign Gala where she received the 2018 National Equality Award spearheaded by HRC President Chad Griffin, “and I really don’t like to admit this, but I get scared.”  She isn’t the only one – the 3,000 guests that showed up at The Convention Center probably felt the same way.  Coming together though dissipated the scare factor, at least in the moment. “There is enough room for all of us,” she added. “PERIOD.”

Prior to the dinner & award presentation, Senator Cory Booker (Dem. NJ) addressed the media and the thousand of guests in front of The White Carpet, which means he had to shout his remarks…..like really shout them.  “We are having a party with a purpose. We are here united in love and faith and a willingness to fight for what is right. I am so grateful to see all of us here investing in an organization that continues year after year to make a change for the cause of justice, of love for LGBTQ rights. We still have work to do, but tonight let’s embrace each other. Let’s nurture and nourish each other. Let’s celebrate love. But most importantly, in a time where hate and bigotry are being elevated from the highest offices in the land, it’s time that we double down and say the truth of America is patriotism. Patriotism is love of country and you can not love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women. Love one another. Know that we must truly be one nation under God, indivisible with the confidence that gives you the right to go free [from the land.] Tonight let us continue to march forward; a march that started with my ancestors; a march that’s united in others for our freedom. From Selma, Stonewall, to Seneca tonight we celebrate and pause and recognize so many heroes. But tomorrow, lets’ get rolling and keep marching towards victory. God Bless everyone.”  (Insert thunderous applause)

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Since 1933

September 17, 2018

In the 1950’s as a Representative, then Senator, JFK lived 2 blocks down N Street and sat in Martin’s Tavern Booth # 1 “The Rumble Seat” reading the Sunday papers with his breakfast after Mass at Holy Trinity.  He later moved on to Booth #3 a.k.a. “The Proposal Booth.”  JFK and Jackie frequently dined there. On Wednesday, June 24, 1953, having returned from covering the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth for the Washington Times Herald, Jack popped the question in their favorite booth.


Harry Truman, then Senator from Missouri, his wife Bess and daughter Margaret often dined at Martin’s while Margaret attended George Washington University. Margaret wrote 14 mystery novels set in Washington, many mentioning Martin’s Tavern.

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29 Years

September 10, 2018

David Manning, (British) Ambassador between 2003 and 2007, remembers the day he realized quite what his place was in American social order. He said to me, emailed to me, I found out who really counted in this city and who didn’t when Amanda was invited to Bush 41’s 80th birthday party and I wasn’t,” said current British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch who hosted a farewell party with his wife Lady Vanessa Darroch for the Embassy’s long time Social Secretary Amanda Downes.

“October 1989: This was a tumultuous year in history,” Amb. Darroch noted.  “The Communist regime in Hungary had collapsed; East Germany [opened the Berlin Wall];  but most of all, Amanda Downes arrived in Washington. The intention was just to stay two years and it’s now almost three decades – three decades of lunches, brunches, afternoon teas, conferences, dinners and receptions; three decades of scones and chips. We hold about 700 events a year at present, which means Amanda has presided over, I calculate, more than 20,000 events.  When she started, there were no spreadsheets, no email invitations, no iPads. I’m told that when she first arrived she hand wrote every invitation and licked every envelope and she was also in charge of all flower arrangements. Over her almost 29 years here there have been five presidents, six prime ministers – each of whom has stayed in this residence – not to mention royals, countless ministers and even a few rock stars and perhaps most testing of all no less than eight ambassadors. And let me tell you, all of us can be very different characters; each brought very different challenges for Amanda, though we probably have one consistent feature, which is we all took ourselves rather too seriously. I’ve been in touch with all of them and perhaps most telling is that they’ve all replied, all saying how brilliant Amanda was and how much they relied on her.”

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