Hollywood on the Potomac

Architects & Panic Rooms

January 21, 2016

“I think I spoke way more than I usually do at dinners like this,” said Claudio Bisogniero at a seated dinner at Firenze House,  “but I really have to explain what this is all about.”  The Ambassador of Italy then went on to describe “Introducing the XXI ‘Triennale’ International Exhibition Milan 2016: 21st Century, Design after Design,” a new international exhibition that will open the door to the 21st session on April 2nd in the traditional and historic location of Milan’s Palazzo dell’Arte that will last until the 12th of September. “This will be truly the hub of a dialog and discussion on many, many multi-disciplinary events, exhibitions, conferences, performances, training and even summer schools.”

“The 21st international exhibition will take place just a few months after the resounding success of another event you may heard about – Expo Milan 2015,” he added.  “It was just closed a few months ago – 22 million visitors by the way. Like the Expo, the Triennale is a not to be missed event, and what better place than Italy to meet and to enjoy art, design, and discuss the very essence and the transformation that you can experience – not that you really need another reason to visit Italy.”

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Trump vs. Trump

January 18, 2016

“I expect that the one of the first people that he’ll invite to the White House is Megyn Kelly,” Ron Kessler told Hollywood on the Potomac when we sat down with him prior to the South Carolina Republican debate  to get his personal take on The Donald. “He’s just a very happy, happy guy. He’s not someone who broods and holds grudges, you know, unless someone really takes him on. A lot of this is for show to get attention.”

Kessler should know. “I first got to know Donald Trump when I did a book on Palm Beach called The Season: Inside Palm Beach and America’s Richest Society in 1999,” Kessler recounted.  “I first met him for the research on the book in 1998. I’d been introduced to him through a mutual friend. He called me and chatted for about 20 minutes to get an idea of what I was up to, and to size me up, and then he agreed to fly my wife Pam Kessler and I down to Mar-A-Lago and spend the weekend with him. On the way down on the plane, he imitated the nasal-constricted sounds of the old guard – the WASP Society – that condemned his club at Mar-A-Lago because it admits blacks and Jews. To this day, some clubs in Palm Beach still do not admit blacks and Jews, so I could not be a member. My friend Juan Williams could not be a member. This is just a little peek at what Donald is really like. He’s not prejudice. He’s not a nut. There’s a reason that he’s amassed 10 billion dollars and employs 34,500 people, and that is that he’s very competent and he knows how to brand his properties.”

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'Broad Influence'

January 14, 2016

“The book is dedicated to my mother who actually died five years ago,” author Jay Newton-Small of  Broad Influencetold Hollywood on the Potomac at a book party in her honor at Cafe Milano in Georgetown hosted by Juleanna Glover, Giovanna Lockhart, Chris & Kathleen Matthews, Franco Nuschese, Heather Podesta, Michael Sherer, Kimball Stroud and Brian Wolff.

“I wish that she’d been here to see the book because to some degree it is the reason why I wrote it – because of her experiences. She was a very highly educated woman who had degrees from Oxford and Cambridge and Columbia, but she had a really, really hard time in the workforce,” she added. “She had men who wouldn’t look at her. She worked in the United Nations so she had Middle Eastern men who wouldn’t look at her and wouldn’t touch her, wouldn’t shake her hand, wouldn’t take orders from her. She had Latin American men who she worked with who thought it was part of her job description to sleep with them. She had a really hard time in her career, and part of that is why she didn’t actually want me to have a career when I was first entering the workforce. She just wanted me to get married and have kids, because she wanted my life to be easier than hers was.”

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