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Tudor Place Welcomes BabyLove DC 2010 Carnival

June 7, 2010

Warning: Reading this article may cause pregnancy. More cute kids per square inch of grass than permitted by law were out Saturday for BabyLove DC 2010 Carnival Day at Tudor Place.












  Elmo gets a hug from Louisa Furman

Ali Wentworth, along with BabyLove DC co-founders Sissy Yates, Elizabeth Thorp, Annie Lou Berman, Ana Caskin, and Sarah Cannova organized a day of fun for BabyLove DC.

Duck Pond Managers Kate Tarr, Elliott Stephanopoulos and Laney Tarr

Started a year ago and based on similar charities around the country, including New York's BabyBuggy started by Jessica Seinfeld, Ali told us, “I’m so happy to be doing something charitable that is very hands-on. As a group of women, we take clothes and equipment and actually hand it to people who need it.”  BabyLove DC distributes new and gently used items through a network of community-based organizations including Mary's Center, A Wider Circle, the Hoya Clinic at DC General, and the NW Pregnancy Center.

Ali welcomes BabyLove friends and announces raffle winners below.

Daughter Harper, in pink striped leggings stops by for a photo on her way to the Duck Pond.

Four years ago, Sissy Yates, jewelry designer and Ali's sister, turned a childhood rock collection (ask her mother how many rock necklaces she got for Mother's Day) into Sissy Yates Designs. Inspired by a love of semi-precious stones, Sissy's earrings caught the eye of Oprah and were immediately featured in O magazine. A heart-shaped necklace was created especially for BabyLove.















"Being parents  ourselves, we know how hard it is. We want to help other parents who don’t have access," Annie Lou Berman said, holding son, Teddy as Charlie hugs dad's leg.

Pediatician and childhood friend of Ali, Ana Caskin, of Georgetown University Hospital's KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic Department of Pediatrics, was delighted when Ali contacted her about starting a non-profit for low income families.

Alexandra, Ana, Michael and John Caskin

“Too nice for Goodwill,” Elizabeth Thorp, whose three kids barely wore their clothes and gear, thought Ali had a great idea.

Elizabeth Thorp with Hisaoka Communication's Kate Gibbs











Sassanova co-owner Sarah Cannova with Beatrix

BabyLove DC activities included face painting, a duck pond game, storytime with George Stephanopoulous, singing and playing music with Accelerando Music, jelly bean guess, Capital Movement Dancers, and flowerpot decorating and painting. Refreshments were provided by Design Cuisine, Georgetown Cupcake and Whole Foods.

Harper and George Stephanopoulos get ready for Storytime

Louisa and Henry Furman

Wes and Cash Barentzen

Capital Movement Dancers

Raffles were held for a variety of prizes including a Renaissance Mayflower gift certificate, Sissy Yates necklace (won by Tracey Weil), an Erwin Gomez gift certificate and Volanni Flowers gift certificate. Shopping included Carson Bags, Aminal Dolls, Sissy Yates Designs, Cambodian Bags and TOMS shoes.

Kate Gibbs with Johanna Howe, Annie Lou Berman's sister proudly pictured with Aminal Dolls.  Based on the drawings of founder Ben Luzzatto's children, Aminals are created from organic cotton and certified by Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS) for humane, safe and hygenic working conditions at all stages of production. Plus they're really cute!

Speaking of really cute, this is Molly Donahue

Stephanie Kowal, of Mad Science blows bubbles at a young scientest

Giraffe-guarded duck pond attracts waders















Sissy Yates necklace raffle winner Tracey Weil and Phoebe

Carson Bag designer Patty Smith (shown with daughter Katie Rothwell) tells the Dish how her son, Carson, who parachuted with the 173rd Airborne Brigade into northern Iraq at the beginning of the war was the inspiration for the "Jumper" bag. With Carson now safely back home and a Columbia University graduate, Patty has continued the line, with many fabric designs by Peter Fasano. Will a Katie bag be next?

Patti Cummings with Aminal, Liun

Zoe and Brad Dockser

Harper Stephanopoulos admires Dad's face painting by Kay Kingrea

Freshly painted Allegra poses with mom Stephanie Fateh

Henry Furman takes a break

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Frescoes of Georgetown: A Walking Tour

May 31, 2010

It was waiting for the light to change, driving up Wisconsin the other day that I had an epiphany.  Looking over at the second floor of Pearson’s Wine and Spirits, I suddenly realized the flower boxes AND ALL THREE WINDOWS were painted on, sun shadows included!  Granted, I’m vertically challenged, but as many times as I’ve been there over the years to purchase wine (and spirits) and I hadn’t noticed?? Geez.

It’s a rare sight to see a mural (sale signs don’t count) much less trompe l’oeil, but I did find a total of seven tour-worthy frescoes around The Village. From north to south, here they are:

1. 2436 Wisconsin Avenue

Originally a pharmacy, where alcoholic beverages were sold by prescription during Prohibition, this family owned business was established in 1933.

2. 1826 Wisconsin Avenue

Park your car and stretch. You’re at Georgetown’s first yoga studio, Spiral Flight and Wellness Center.

3. 1564 Wisconsin Avenue

You’ll be pumped. Fill the tank at Washington Gas and smile.

4. 3143 N Street

You’re not alone. Look up next time you’re on the patio of Paolo’s Ristorante.

5. 3139 M Street

After a few brews at Old Glory American Bar-B-Que, you may have stumbled onto this scene.

6. 1039 33rd Street

This field of poppies was originally designed in 2005 by Miki Yoshimoto for Chez Mama-san, her family’s Japanese Restaurant. Same family, now art at Gallery Chez M upstairs.

7. 1036 33rd Street

Big wheel bike. Literally.  It’s Big Wheel Bikes.

 Mural, mural on the wall have I found them all?  Take a walk, give me a call.

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Ray of Hope For D.C.?

May 25, 2010

As guest of my friend Janet Staihar, I had the pleasure Monday of attending a fund-raising evening for Clark Ray, candidate for DC City Council. Physician, businessman, new father of triplets, and oh so gracious host, Dr. James D’Orta (shown left below) welcomed 150 friends and supporters of Clark Ray to his elegant home, the former Georgetown residence of Ambassador Averell and Pamela Harriman. As Dr. D’Orta told us, “It’s a gathering place for great people.”  A great gathering place!

“Who am I, and why am I here?” With that, very special guest of honor, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright opened with a recent travel story. On her way back from China, while emptying her carry-on bag onto the security conveyor belt in Chicago, a fellow traveler was impressed. “Where did you get all those screw-top bottles?” By now, security had recognized her, lavishing praise for work done during her tenure on behalf of the people of war-torn Bosnia. Crowds gathered and photos snapped before the Secretary had a chance to call out, “The Container Store.” The woman now wanted to know what all the fuss was about. “Well, I used to be Secretary of State.”  “Of Bosnia?” the woman asked. 

As the laughter subsided, she continued.  “I normally don’t get involved in primaries,” she told the attentive crowd, but "DC desperately needs vision, and freshness of views.”

Earlier in the evening I asked Peter Rosenstein (shown above with Dr. James D'Orta), chief strategist and Ray friend how he was able to get the Secretary to come. “Dog parks”, he answered. Turns out, Kathy Silva, Secretary Albright’s sister, (pictured at right) in addition to being a Ray friend and supporter, is a grateful dog lover. As director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, Clark Ray constructed the city’s first official dog park.

Former first lady of the District, Cora Masters Barry began her introduction with a quote from Maya Angelou. “The most important virtue is courage.” She went on, “This is a courageous man. We need someone on the city council who will care and represent the people.” 

Clark Ray, Kathy Silva and Cora Masters Barry

After thanking his host, supporters and “rock, his partner Aubrey Dubra (shown below), candidate Clark Ray told his supporters, “We deserve transparency. The city council is not a place to recycle politicians. Sixteen years is too long.” He always carries a photo of incumbent Phil Mendelson with him on his door-to-door campaigning. “Is that your dad they often ask?” It’s Ray’s way of underscoring his own commitment while introducing himself.

Aubrey Dubra and Cora Masters Barry

“Come with me to Ward 8 where the streets are full of people looking for work.” Ray invited his supporters to walk with him around the city as he outlined his platform that starts with education reform and access to quality education.

First thing he would do is create a public ombudsman. “Math and science are important, but so are music and art. “It’s unacceptable that high school graduates in this world-class city haven't been to the Smithsonian.” He continued. “Crime is everybody’s business.  Adrian Fenty agrees that all is not right with the juvenile justice system."

Kathy Silva, Clark Ray and Secretary Albright

Conceding the need for more than friends and votes, the candidate encouraged what he calls “the wince factor. “Give till you wince.” he asked the gathering.

Christine and Rokas Beresniovas

Clark Ray and Judith Terra

Judith Terra and Dorothy Ford

Mary Ann Williamson

Lars Etzkorn, Judith Terra, Terry Lynch and Gregory Hoss

Supporters Amanda Greenleaf, Courtney Daley, Alcira Groomes, Sonali Devarajan, Tessa McGee and Jesse Greenblatt

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