Hollywood on the Potomac

Stranger's Guide

March 25, 2019

Did you know that architecture was once an Olympic sport? According to Stranger’s Guide Magazine: “International Olympic Committee founder Pierre de Coubertin, a historian with a love for ancient Greece, considered art an essential part of the competition. In 1912, he finally succeeded in his efforts to include art categories in the games, and they enjoyed a long run in the competition before being pulled after the 1948 competition. (Olympic officials eventually defined artists as professionals, who thus shouldn’t compete in events designed for amateurs at the time.)”

Did you know or do you even want to know that an 1852 edition of John Milton’s Poetical Works was bound in the skin of a murderer, George Cudmore. “The practice of binding books in human skin—known as anthropodermic bibliopegy—wasn’t as unusual as you might imagine. The Anthropodermic Book Project (yes, it’s a real thing), has so far identified 18 books globally that were bound that way. During the French Revolution, there were rumors that a tannery for human skin existed just outside Paris for this purpose.”

Publisher Abby Rapoport was honored at a party in Washington, DC for the latest issue at The Russia House on Connecticut Avenue. Guests soaked up Russian cocktails and vodka. The feature story took a deep dive into Russia’s capital city with reporting and commentary from some of Moscow’s best writers and photographers.  “Moscow is in the headlines—but how much do you know about Russia’s capital? This issue offers a fascinating look at the city, from its Soviet past to the current rule of Vladimir Putin, from rap battles and night life to political repression and rapid change, featuring work by Dmitry Bykov, Ludmila Ulitskaya, Michael Idov, Lara Vapnyar and many other great writers on what’s happening to the city that everyone’s talking about.”


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Gridiron Wrap

March 18, 2019

“This is our second year of hosting this Gridiron Club event,” said T. Dean Reed at a brunch at The Four Seasons in Washington, DC co-hosted by The Embassy of the State of Qatar. “Gridiron, as you know, has nothing to do with football.  It’s a news organization that had its 134th dinner last night. It originated in 1885 when Grover Cleveland was President. I am privileged to be a senior member but it’s not true that I’ve been to all the dinners.”

 

The dinner draws about 1,000 guests every year made up of journalists, lawmakers, administration folks and lots of boldface names that congregate in White Tie and are actually cordial to each other despite the political barbs that fly in numerous skits.  Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota Democrat now running for President claimed: “My speech will be shorter than a Robert Kraft visit to Orchid’s Day Spa.”  After a bite back about the New York Times story on how she treats her staff and the eating her salad with a comb incident she hit back: “I’m telling you. You guys haven’t lived until you’ve toasted a bagel with a blow dryer or ironed a grilled cheese sandwich on an ironing board.”

 

Ivanka Trump on being born into a life of luxury: “The press seems to think it is ironic that I, born of great privilege, think people want to work for what they are given,” she said, “as if being Donald Trump’s daughter isn’t the hardest job in the world.”

The Club’s motto is “singe, not burn.”


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40th Anniversary!

March 13, 2019

If any scandals birthed at The Four Seasons in Georgetown, DC since it opened forty years ago, the walls weren’t talking; nor were the many managers both past and present that showed up to celebrate the 40th Anniversary. There have been no Eliot Spitzer-like hookups as in Room 871 at The Mayflower, no toe sucking presidential advisors like Dick Morris at The Jefferson – at least that we know of, but then again, the walls weren’t talking.

Here’s what we do know: Around 500 guests showed up and plucked Champagne from a model’s dress, food stations were abundant and overflowing, artists sketched enthusiastically, the entire lower floor was taken over for the event and everyone had a blast.


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