A La Carte
As Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy president, Rebecca Trafton says,
"We're starting with a Signature Project covering two acres of the park, but we're also planning ahead." What she means is that everyone should have a chance to experience Georgetown's enchanting 'Valley of Eden.'
"We must envision a restoration of the entire 27-acre park, in a way that is both environmentally sustainable and will capture the spirit of Beatrix Farrand's original design."
In the meantime, perhaps it's time you see for yourself how enchanting this naturalistic landscape- a magical combination of woodland, meadows, and a stream with many small waterfalls, bridges, and terraces- really is, even while beset by invasive plants and stormwater runoff.
Access is from one of three spots:
1) Lovers' Lane from R Street in north Georgetown 200 feet east of R and 31st Streets. There's a green-on-white wooden plaque pointing the way to “Dumbarton Oaks Park.” It descends to the Park entrance on the left at the bottom of the hill.
2) Off Massachusetts Avenue from Whitehaven Street near the Danish Embassy, down the dirt path.
3) From Wisconsin Avenue, on Whitehaven Street past the British School and a Georgetown University building. Turn right onto a dirt path and continue down the hill until you enter the park.
As part of the 3100-acre Rock Creek Park, Dumbarton Oaks Park is connected to trails throughout the city. But as a rare designed landscape, created as the "wild garden" component of the original 53-acre Dumbarton Oaks estate, this Park is unique. Deteriorated cultural artifacts- grottoes and a pebble path, a long stone bench overlooking the stream, an old stone pump house- tell the story of a much-loved landscape that once was. Now, once again, the Park is beginning to receive the love and attention it deserves.
With the support of the Georgetown community, this magical oasis can be saved, to reward visitors for years to come.
For more information, visit Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy.
He was visiting Stockholm on business in 2006 with his new camera when a make-up artist asked if he would mind taking a few photos of three Swedish models. Mind?! Walter Grio eagerly agreed and when it came time to be paid, they asked how much? He hadn't planned on charging them, and said,"Rather than pay me, please support your favorite charity."
Thus began an accidental career as a philanthropist/fashiontographer. Walter had been traveling around the world as a software engineer for Oracle and it was time to settle in one place. In late 2009, that place was Washington, D.C.
The Georgetown Dish caught up with Walter at Peacock Cafe, coincidentally two years to the day where he had his first D.C. show, a charity event for Children's Law Center.
Walter's promise: "All the money from every photo shoot that I do will go to a nonprofit organization.” He bought the domain name, created a website, and registered “Shoot for Change” at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. His vision is that “Shoot for Change” will take on a life of its own and will become a kaleidoscope of highly skilled photographers, models, designers, stylists, and a creative community with one thing in mind: to shoot for change and inspire the world one click at a time."
Shoot for Change reached the $100K mark in 2011. Not a bad start.
Walter's love of the arts inspired him to start the first Shoot for Change Scholarship at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. In August of this year, the first recipient will be announced.
And whom would Walter most like to shoot? "I'd love to photograph the First Family," he said. " I've set it up already in my head ... The President taking a photo of Michelle while I'm photographing him and his family."
For more information about this remarkable photographer, visit Shoot For Change.
As The Georgetown Inn celebrates half a century, and welcomes its new chief executive officer, Nayan Patel of Your DC Hotels, it’s also a good time to recall the tenure of Collins Bird, its beloved general manager for 30 years. His widow, Mary Bird reminisced in The Georgetowner recently about a time when The Georgetown Inn “welcomed many notables, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Charles and Ann Morrow Lindberg, Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum, many Kennedys and the cast of the film, "The Exorcist.
Wednesday evening was a chance to see old friends and look forward to “restoring the inn’s old-world elegance but with fresh and new public areas,” said Patel. “Making it a legendary hotel starts with customer service, but even before that we have infrastructure issues to address.”
It was love at first sight for this enthusiastic hotelier. After a call from his broker, Patel walked over from his West End residence to check it out. After seeing a room, the former Best Western International Inc. chairman walked out of the hotel and said, “I’m going to buy this place.” Purchased late last year, planned renovations are expected to be completed in the next few years.
Over champagne and lavishly served hors d’oeuvres and buffet that included scallops, crab cakes and margarita flatbread, courtesy of restaurant-in-residence The Daily Grill, guests celebrated a new chapter for the historic inn. “It’s wonderful to see someone take interest in the hotel and give it the loving care it needs,” said Bird.