A La Carte

Happy 235th America!

July 4, 2011

A sneak peek at morning preparations near the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. As the Smithsonian Folklife Festival got underway, VIPs  were inflated and secured for the journey down Constitution Avenue for the annual National Independence Day Parade.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)


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Fire, smoke envelope Hook and Tackle Box

June 29, 2011

Flames enveloped the rear section of Hook restaurant on M Street Georgetown Wednesday at lunch time, filling the street with billowing smoke and fumes that affected nearby shops and passers by.

Over 100 firefighters rushed to the scene as M Street was closed to traffic, causing significant back-ups, and over a dozen emergency vehicles including eight fire trucks filled the street, Constance Chatfield-Taylor, a contributor to The Georgetown Dish, reported.

Fire trucks on M Street as a fire burns at Hook (Photo by: Amy Bridges) Fire trucks on M Street as a fire burns at Hook
"I was having lunch with a client at Clyde's, and the whole thing happened before our very eyes," she said. "It was pretty scary."

Amy Bridges, corporate marketing manager at Clyde's, saw the smoke just after 12 noon and called 911 immediately.

Pete Piringer, spokesman for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, reported no injuries, but said the restaurant suffered significant damage, including upstairs windows that had to be smashed by emergency crews to fight the fire.

Neighboring businesses including Tackle Box and Saloon also were affected by smoke and water damage. Hook and Tackle Box were founded in August of 2006 by Jonathan and Bethany Umbel.

Shortly before 1:00 pm, fireman descending the ladder after the fire was extinguished (Photo by: Amy Bridges) Shortly before 1:00 pm, fireman descending the ladder after the fire was extinguished
Piringer said updates are available on a D.C. FEMS hotline at 202.673.3700.


The cause of today's fire in Georgetown behind Hook and Tackle Box restaurants is yet to be determined. It is believed that the fire started outside of Hook in the loading dock, however there are no official details as of yet. Owner Jonathan Umbel is waiting on an official investigation from the fire department regarding specific details on today's regrettable accident. 

"The most important thing to me is that our patrons and staff are safe and no one was harmed. We want to thank the DC fire department, which was quick and responsive to prevent any injuries to our staff, neighbors and diners. Unfortunately, both Hook and Tackle Box Georgetown are going to be closed for repairs indefinitely. We will be working feverishly to repair the buildings to have them open for business for our loyal patrons. During this difficult time, Tackle Box's Cleveland Park location will be open for business and we ask our fans to support our brand so that we may be back on our feet in Georgetown soon." - Jonathan Umbel, owner of Tackle Box and Hook.


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Things I want you to know about Eva Gabrielsson

June 23, 2011

After one year

I wait for a call that never comes

His number in my cell phone

I wait for a smile I never get

His photo on my wall

I wait for a caress I never feel

His jacket in my closet

But I hear his voice answer me

When my despair is at its worst.

To an audience of 220 assembled at the House of Sweden Wednesday evening, Eva Gabrielsson read those words from her new book, "There Are Things I Want You To Know About Stieg Larsson and Me."

(Photo by: )

National Public Radio host Diane Rehm was invited to talk with the woman who shared her life for 32 years with Swedish journalist and author Stieg Larsson until his untimely death at 50 from a heart attack in 2004.

Gabriella Augustsson, public diplomacy, press and communications counselor at the Embassy of Sweden introducing Eva Gabrielsson and Diane Rehm (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Gabriella Augustsson, public diplomacy, press and communications counselor at the Embassy of Sweden introducing Eva Gabrielsson and Diane Rehm

Not living to see the success of the publication of his crime novel trilogy, "The Millenium" series ("The  Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest"), his longtime partner is now embroiled in an intellectual property fight with Larsson’s father and brother over the commercialization of his work, and for the rights to publish a fourth unfinished book.

NPR host, Diane Rehm (Photo by: Judith Beermann) NPR host, Diane Rehm

Combating social injustice, specifically sexual violence, Sweden’s Neo-Nazis and racists, are themes woven into Larsson’s writings, and the reason he chose to protect Gabrielsson. “We bought rings in 1983. I have the rings. Now I wear both of them. He was trying to protect me by not marrying me. The right to information, for Steig and me, everyone can find out anything. They could find out. We arranged it that we weren’t married.”

Diane: “You’re in this gorgeously created embassy and yet it was that very government that prohibited you from rightfully proclaiming your inheritance. There must be some conflicting feelings.”

Eva: “It’s a personal tragedy. That’s why I wrote a book about co-habitation. It’s a tragedy for the individuals, a tragedy for society. You look at the paper instead of the reality.”

Written as a memoir, Gabrielsson recounts the details of their daily life over three decades, many of which made their way into Larsson’s writings, from their caffeinated talks, to friends and foes. From their first meeting at age 18 at a political rally against the Vietnam war, they were together, as lovers and comrades.

Diane: “What do you think of the Vietnam memorial?”

Eva: “Extreme sadness. … Sweden was one of the countries where Americans came. We knew what this had done to them. You really should think about it when you start a war."

Eva Gabrielsson and Diane Rehm (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Eva Gabrielsson and Diane Rehm

A practicing architect, author, political activist and protector of Larsson’s legacy, Gabrielsson expressed pride over the Spanish government’s posthumous award to Larsson for his work to combat violence against women. "Spain passed a law making it mandatory that perpetrators of crimes had to stand trial within 48 hours. In Sweden it takes a year and a half. The "Millenium" made the Spanish people understand.”

Diane: “I think you’ve also brought Sweden into a different light.  You and Stieg shared similar beginnings, similar respect and understandings for family and yet, he really for quite awhile had no parents … What about you?”

Eva: “My parents were divorced in 1989. My grandparents were next door. He was also raised by an older generation with 19th century values. You are always part of the community. That’s how people survived. Something in the culture was passed on to us, long- time sustainable values.”

Eva Gabrielsson (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Eva Gabrielsson

Diane: You talked about how Sweden changed after Vietnam, how difficult it was for Stieg to speak out about the evolution of Sweden. We in the West have thought of it as a peaceful place. These novels bring out a whole new impression."

Eva: “The "Millenium" books balance out the dream castle fantasy. It’s good for us to know that. We really want justice, to move forward as a country. The extreme right causes us to catch voices of complaint. We find scapegoats for problems that lie somewhere else.

Diane: “The legal case you have between Stieg’s father and brother. They broke off talks? Profits from 45 million copies of the "Millenium" trilogy. Where are the monies going?" 

Eva: “To father and brother.”

Diane: How do you think you’ll be received when you return to Sweden?

Eva: I think I can handle it whatever it is.

In the front row, Bo Jonsson of Bank of Georgetown (Photo by: Judith Beermann) In the front row, Bo Jonsson of Bank of Georgetown

Asked by an audience member about a fourth book, Gabriellson responded,” It’s not a finished book. "Millenium" fans will have to face the fact that I’ve had to. He’s dead.”

Millenium fans Abigail Puskar, Cindy and Annie Goodman (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Millenium fans Abigail Puskar, Cindy and Annie Goodman

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