Runaway Spoon

Homeland Gives A Nod to Cafe Milano in Thriller

October 1, 2012

Internationally famous Cafe Milano got a cameo mention on the Emmy decorated Showtime’s Homeland during its TV season premiere this week. But if you weren’t paying sharp attention, you’d have missed it.  Stay alert during the reruns.

In a nutshell, here’s how the story line of Sunday night’s opening season 2 went as pertaining to the Georgetown restaurant:

Middle East journalist and shady operative Roya Hammad sets up a diversionary interview with CIA counterterrorism director David Estes to draw him away from his office during an intelligence briefing with Congressman Sgt. Nicholas Brody.  Brody, a clandestine Muslin and a potential candidate for vice president of the United States, is left alone in the CIA office.

Roya’s scheme is to give Brody time to break into Estes’ safe to steal a list of bombing targets.

When Estes has had enough of the probing interview with Roya in the CIA building's press room, the beautiful “journalist” delays him by inviting him to Cafe Milano for a Saturday night wine and dine date.  Estes accepts, albeit with some hesitation.  Thanks to the little delay, Brody manages to swipe the information from Estes’s safe just in the nick of time as the CIA director returns from the pseudo-interview.

Stay tuned Homeland/Cafe Milano fans. Will that R.S.V.P. be lost on the cutting room floor or will there be inclusion in a later episode? If it’s the latter, does Roya or Estes (a federal employee) pick up the tab? 

Plots do thicken like a good pasta sauce – especially in an election year.



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Japanese Ambassador to Retire

September 20, 2012

The very much respected Japanese ambassador to the United States is retiring after four and a half years in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki and his wife, Yoriko, made the announcement official in a letter to personal friends on Thursday.

“The time has finally come to bid farewell,” the ambassador wrote. “Yoriko and I will be returning to Japan in the beginning of November. I am retiring from government service.”

He continued: “What more can you expect as a public servant than to represent my country in this great and friendly nation!  Every moment was precious and meaningful. 

“The most trying experience was of course the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011. But we were enormously helped by the American government, soldiers, companies, NGOs, schools, churches and the American people, including children.  The Japanese, myself included, will never forget your friendship.

“There were also a countless number of happy events. The cherry blossom centennial was a great success thanks to all those who dedicated themselves to this memorable event.”

He went on to say: “We now truly think of here as our second home.”

The ambassador quietly told friends of his plans to retire at the Points of Light gala tribute at the Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.  on September 7.

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Look Who's Watching Over D.C. Artists

September 14, 2012

The arts awards at historic Lincoln Theatre is D.C.’s version of the Grammy Awards. Thursday night the ceremonies honored local artists, a handful of politicians and an icon of the theater, George Stevens Jr., producer of the Kennedy Honors.

George Stevens Jr., Commission Chair Judith Terra & Commission Member Mary Ann Miller (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) George Stevens Jr., Commission Chair Judith Terra & Commission Member Mary Ann Miller

Afterwards the audience of about 800 walked to the outside tented post-party, a stroll down a U Street alley of fame where beautiful new murals of prominent African Americans, including President Obama, Bill Cosby, Chuck Brown and Donnie Simpson, looked down from an outside wall at Ben’s Chili Bowl.

The 27th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards is supported by the DC Commission on The Arts & Humanities.

Taking home Arts Awards were:

Step Afrika for Excellence in Artistic Discipline;

Virginia E. Hayes Williams outside with the mural of President Obama (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Virginia E. Hayes Williams outside with the mural of President Obama

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education;

Art Enables for Innovation in the Arts;

Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra for Outstanding Emerging Artist;

Atlas Performing Arts Center and the Washington Performing Arts Society for Excellence in Service to the Arts;

Jennifer Sonkin, Kenneth Dickerson and Koye Oyedeji for Arts Teaching.

Besides Stevens, honors went to former DC mayor Anthony A. Williams,  Melvin Deale, executive director of the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers; and lawyer Paul C. Jorgensen, who provides ongoing pro bono legal services for community civic and arts groups.

Lisa Farrell (left) & Commission Member Lavinia Wohlfarth (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Lisa Farrell (left) & Commission Member Lavinia Wohlfarth

In brief remarks, Mayor Vincent Gray praised the new artwork in the alley, and pointed out that one mural was of President Obama. The audience’s cheers prompted Gray to a political high or low note, depending on one’s political persuasion.  “I hope you translate those cheers into votes on November 6th,” he urged.

Other politicians onstage were City Council members Vincent Orange who has oversight over the commission, and Jack Evans.

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