A La Carte

Ultra Violet's cutting edge

September 1, 2011

Before the floral shears are passed to Fabio Ripoli next New Year’s Day, meet the woman who created Ultra Violet Flowers.

Fabio Ripoli creates an arrangement (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fabio Ripoli creates an arrangement

“I thought owning a flower shop would be rosy, and that the neighborhood would smile in scent.” Affirmative on both counts. Inspired by European travels that taught her to “embrace and nurture nature’s essence,” after 12 years, Robin Sutliff continues to delight in every season, “so chock full of glorious varieties … of sweet peas, fabulous funky tulips, and this year, anemones have stolen my heart.” Without missing a petal, “and a nod to hyacinth, poppies, lotus pods, monkey balls, snow berries, toad lilies, Siamese callas ...”.

Robin Sutliff art photography hanging in Ultra Violet (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Robin Sutliff art photography hanging in Ultra Violet

“I guess the reasons I enjoy designing through the wee hours of the night is because then it's me and the flowers, doing what we do best, headphones on, and in the best, best zone.” As Robin explained, “I'm an artist and that's what I crave.”

Robin also discovered that running a flower shop is “a 100% on your feet job! It's not at all easy to answer phones, assist walk-in customers, make daily arrangements for delivery, sometimes making the deliveries, write enclosure cards, clean the flowers, fill the buckets, unpack the vases, buy the flowers from markets worldwide (being careful not to over buy),ring credit cards, meet with brides, draw up event proposals, answer emails,  and feed ShopCat  …” But Robin loves every bit of it. Come high spring, “It is roses all the time but there are plenty of broken vases too!” 

(Photo by: Robin Sutliff)

ShopCat, the lucky shelter feline who calls Ultra Violet home (Photo by: Judith Beermann) ShopCat, the lucky shelter feline who calls Ultra Violet home

Continuing on as design director, Robin will have more time to meet with brides and create special events. “Headphones on and in the zone, but maybe not all night long with time to market my flower photographs. Flowers are just my really great friends.”

“He is so talented and his heart is top notch.  Ultra Violet Flowers can only be in the hands of one other and that’s Fabio Ripoli,”says Robin.  Arriving in Georgetown from Peru 10 years ago looking for work, Fabio started as an Ultra Violet driver. One day, after routinely processing orders from Holland, he tried his hand at arranging. And after five years (he’s being much too modest), Fabio discovered, “I’m really good.”

The magical arrangement Fabio created, shown in process above (Photo by: Judith Beermann) The magical arrangement Fabio created, shown in process above

Bridal arrangement (Photo by: Robin Sutliff) Bridal arrangement

Lush floral designs in signature square glass vases. Sounds simple but have you ever seen an arrangement this exquisite elsewhere?

Sharing Robin’s passion for creating awe-inspiring magical arrangements, Fabio points out, “People like the "wow, come again, what the heck is that factor that we showcase.”  Unusual varieties, unique specimens, unexpected combinations of color and texture, and no fillers.

Ultra Violet Flowers is at 1218 31st Street. Tel: 202.333.3002

Fabio wraps up his creation (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fabio wraps up his creation

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)


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DSK Beach 2.0

August 31, 2011

The cameras had been in position for over four hours when a blonde woman emerged from Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Georgetown home shortly before 1 pm. She returned a half hour later ... with lunch?

Returning to DSK home (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Returning to DSK home

"It’s just an amazing story … he was well on his way to becoming president,” said Thierry Arnaud. For him and other, mainly French news reporters camped out in front of DSK's Georgetown home Tuesday, it's been a long summer covering the incident that derailed the career of  ex-International Monetary Fund chief and French socialist presidential nominee, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Natalia Mendoza from TF1 TV agreed."It's a political earthquake."

In town to visit IMF headquarters and meet his successor, Christine Lagard, DSK and his wife Anne Sinclair returned to their Georgetown home Monday, as reported earlier today by Euro News.

Mattieu Verlaine ITV, Natalia Mendoza, TF1, Thierry Arnaud, BFM TV (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mattieu Verlaine ITV, Natalia Mendoza, TF1, Thierry Arnaud, BFM TV

Baptiste Muchenstrum, i>Télé and Thierry Arnaud, BFM TV (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Baptiste Muchenstrum, i>Télé and Thierry Arnaud, BFM TV

"For two month, since May 14, I've been sitting on the sidewalk in front of DSK's house." World news reporter for i>Télé, Baptiste Muchensturm, accustomed to covering stories in the Middle East said, "It's not very exciting." Dubbing Georgetown, "DSK Beach 2.0," Baptiste was enjoying a change of venue from the sidewalk on Franklin Street in Tribeca, before DSK's release from house arrest last month.

Fabien Ortiz, TF1 TV, Stratis Zervos, Zervos Video Productions, and Mattieu Verlaine, ITV (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fabien Ortiz, TF1 TV, Stratis Zervos, Zervos Video Productions, and Mattieu Verlaine, ITV

"We were shell-shocked." Fabien Ortiz from TF1 TV explained. "It's been a marathon." Thanks to a very understanding neighbor, the reporters charged batteries and enjoyed front row seats across the street for the second day.

Asked whether DSK has a chance of resurrecting his career, Fabien said, " Absolutely not. Perhaps as a godfather figure or king-maker, in an advisory capacity, but he's lost all popularity in France, especially with women." On Anne Sinclair,  "At TF1, Anne Sinclair is the star journalist. She's like Barbara Walters." Anne Sinclair, a French television and radio interviewer hosted a popular political show for more than 13 years on TF1, the largest European private TV channel. On their marriage, Fabian said, "The relationship is true affection. It's love."

When DSK leaves Washington, for Fabien, it's on to other states, covering American politics. "The French people love President Obama, so they're not so much interested in the Republican primaries, but there's always something interesting ..."

Thierry Arnaud, BFM TV reports to France from Georgetown (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Thierry Arnaud, BFM TV reports to France from Georgetown

While DSK appeared to remain home all day, visitors were seen coming and going, starting in the morning with, as the reporters speculated, three groups of real estate representatives arriving and leaving separately. 

Late afternoon, shortly before 5 pm, two men arrived by limousine and stayed for about an hour.

Late afternoon visitors (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Late afternoon visitors

Anne Sinclair, in a white jacket and jeans left the home at 5:24 pm with the blonde woman seen earlier in the day, drove away in a black Audi, and returned at 6:40 pm carrying several bags including one from Whole Foods.

The black Audi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) The black Audi

Tomorrow is another day.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)


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Irene lands at Dent Place

August 28, 2011

The winds slowed as Georgetowners made their way outside following Hurricane Irene's visit through the nation's capital. A tree fell on this Dent Place home owned by Margaret E. Cheney, according to D.C. government records. She is a cousin of former Vice President Dick Cheney, according to The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club by C. David Heymann. Neighbors said the house has not been occupied for some time.

Dick Cheney's memoir "In My Time" was reviewed by another Georgetowner, Maureen Dowd, in Sunday's New York Times.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)


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