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'The List'

February 21, 2013

I recognized Elsa on page 11 of The List, the author’s thinly disguised real best friend in her breakout first novel. Eight years ago at Café Milano, a bright young contemporary art dealer had brought her writer friend Karin Tanabe along to meet me. We were all there to network. I was at Capitol File magazine at the time (two years before Politico was launched), and knew immediately I was in the company of the best talent around. A wickedly funny, Vassar grad with expensive taste and exotic travel habits, Karin was already mulling over the theme for her first book.

(Photo by: Karin Tanabe via Facebook)

Expecting a fun ride, I was delighted to discover that The List is also a tautly woven, witty tale of rising to the top in a field where nimble tweeting fingers are as important as recognizing senators from obscure western states and standing out in a room full of policy wonks. I knew Karin had those skills, but I was thrilled to see she doesn’t take herself too seriously and can write a ‘whydunnit’ as well as the best of ‘em.

It’s a stylishly haute romp between D.C. and Middleburg (where Adrienne Brown is currently living in her parents' horse barn while she tries to survive her first year as a gossip columnist at Capitolist, known to insiders as The List). She soon finds herself sleuthing around for photographic proof of what she hopes will be her ticket out of 14-hour cubicle-filled days in the publication’s Style department.

It’s a juicy story alright, one with plenty of self-deprecating irony and lustful drooling to keep you turning the pages till the end. A tale as much about situational ethics and coming of age as it as about the rigors of the modern media world, The List is a must-read.

Brava Karin!

Meet the author Saturday, February 23 at Politics and Prose.

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Hotel Monticello to Become The Graham Georgetown

February 20, 2013

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."  

Alexander Graham Bell

After a multi-million dollar makeover, look for Hotel Monticello to reopen in April as The Graham Georgetown. That makes two Georgetown buildings named after the inventor of the telephone. Bell's art deco Volta Laboratory and Bureau (now known as the Georgetown Heating Plant) is currently being sold.

Graphic representation of unnamed indoor cocktail lounge (Photo by: The Graham Georgetown) Graphic representation of unnamed indoor cocktail lounge

Florida-based Mast Capital acquired the property in November 2011. CEO Camilo Miguel Jr. explained his company's interest, "DC is one of the most exclusive hospitality markets in the country. It's a rare acquisition opportunity, and Georgetown in particular has extremely high barriers to entry." He added, "The cultural climate of historic Georgetown also proved inspiring. The people, the energy and the sophistication of the clientele all contribute to the uniqueness of this location."

Graphic representation of the Obeservatory roof-top lounge (Photo by: The Graham Georgetown) Graphic representation of the Obeservatory roof-top lounge

The hotel will feature a 3,000 square-foot rooftop bar called The Observatory, a 1,000 square-foot cocktail lounge and in-room dining. Hotel Monticello did not have a restaurant or room service.

From the rooftop, guests will have a panaoramic view of Georgetown, the Waterfront, Kennedy Center and Washington Monument.

Graphic representation of a refurbished suite (Photo by: The Graham Georgetown) Graphic representation of a refurbished suite

The seven-floor hotel will include 30 guest rooms and 27 suites (Monticello had 38 guest quarters) "decorated with chromatic accents and cozy, modern furnishings. In the oversized suite bathrooms, guests will bask in classical lighting amidst white marble and stone-tile mosaic decor. Dark wood vanities, fine Bvlgari products, and plush robes and slippers complete the spa-like experience."

Another amenity not offered by Hotel Monticello: a 24-hour fitness center.

The Graham Georgetown is located at 1075 Thomas Jefferson Street. Tel: 202.337.0900.

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Add Billy Reid to Fashion Retailers Flocking to Georgetown

February 18, 2013

Last year saw the arrival of Dutch-based Suitsupply for men, Spanish designer Massimo Dutti and Muleh. In 2011, Georgetown welcomed J. Crew's Madewell, Jack Wills, Rag & Bone, Jack Spade, Calvin Klein Underwear, Athleta, and Brook Brothers.

(Photo by: billyreid.com)

On the heels of the announcement by Frye Boot Company that they'll be opening later this year (in the historic firehouse where Papa-Razzi Restaurant operated) comes news that Alabama-based American fashion designer, Billy Reid, known for "low-fi Southern-bred luxury" will soon be taking over Uno Chicago Grill's spot at 3211 M Street.

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