Hollywood on the Potomac
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. remembers his childhood as being one of warmth. “I was surrounded by a sea of love,” he told Hollywood on the Potomac, but you probably already knew that. What you probably didn’t know is that his favorite childhood toy was Zippy the Monkey. “My favorite toy was a Monkey called Zip and I talked to him all the time.” Now, why is that important? Because it indicates that his leaning towards story telling began at an early age, even if the conversation was one directional.
“I was raised to be a doctor,” he went on to explain. “All smart little black boys and girls that I knew were raised to be doctors. Doctors were first and then lawyers But for my Mom, God rest her soul, there was Jesus and there were doctors.”
“We’re all really here to celebrate Skip Gates,” said Patricia de Stacy Harrison, CEO of Corporation for Public Broadcasting at an intimate dinner party at Cafe Milano, “the recent recipient of the very competitive Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award. We are all very proud of him for this CPB and PBS WETA supported series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.”
“Skip is an esteemed scholar as you know,” added Sharon Percy Rockefeller, “prolific filmmaker, and a cultural icon. He has ice tea…..oh, I mean beer…….at the White House. My husband I have deep roots with Skip that go back as far as when Skip was about 15 or 16 years old. Jay was running for Secretary of State of West Virginia which is really when you prepare your race to run for Governor. We were touring and I remember Skip distinctly because he stood out in the crowd and we’ve been really good allies and friends ever since.”
What are the odds that Bradley Cooper was your waiter back in the late nineties at Cafe Milano? If you take into consideration all the mathematical possibilities, it’s probably pretty good: Just do the math. The Georgetown University student who graduated in 1997 was also working as a waiter at Cafe Milano which opened in 1992. So Hollywood on the Potomac and other regulars at the Georgetown hotspot since the opening just want to say thank you Bradley for the great service.
Cafe Milano hosted an Oscar watch party to benefit Dog Tag Bakery and to cheer on Oscar nominee Cooper for Best Actor and American Sniper, nominated for Best Picture.
“Welcome to this special Oscar Night,” said Cafe Milano proprietor Franco Nuschese. “I was very privileged to be at the Oscars once and believe it or not it was the year that “La Vita è Bella” won.” That would be “Life is Beautiful” to us, starring Roberto Benigni winning an Oscar® in 1997 and who could forget that? Think Benigni enthusiastically climbing over heads to get to the stage at the 71st Annual Academy Awards® after being introduced by Sofia Loren.
“With JW, every one of our designs is custom. So, we don’t have a room that’s a standard room. Everything is custom,” said Mitzi Gaskins, VP & Global Brand Manager for JW Marriott Hotels. “When you think about DC and the location of this hotel, there’s so much that goes into the business traveler–the men’s very tailored suit, crafted and curated, it fits with the brand too” she added explaining the driving concept behind the renovation for the iconic hotel property on Pennsylvania Ave.
After being built in 1984, the company felt that this was a perfect time to update the look and feel of the hotel with a massive overhaul of the building including more than 90% of the 772 rooms and suites. The update wants to represent the personal and refined aspects of the brand by modernizing the colors and fabrics used in all the rooms, including pops of color and patterns, the same way a pocket square or necktie would brighten up an executive’s suit.
“This is where it all started” emphasized Gaskins about the flagship property in DC. The hotel holds the name of the company’s founder and was established as a tribute to him. “This is a brand that was built out of love.” Media toured the property to see how the updates we taking place and were even invited to swing a hammer or two as part of the demolition of the old rooms. The bright and revitalized rooms are sleek and modern and invite the guest to truly feel comfortable, no matter where they are from. In the king-sized rooms, bathtubs were being replaced with more modern stand up showers, the colors and carpets and flooring all modernized, and even the doors on each room were widened to 36 inches to make each room ADA accessible. No issue is too small to tackle when it comes to comfort for the guest.
Written by Brendan Kownacki