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And That’s the Way it Was for Peter Simon

February 9, 2014

Donning the same knitted cap pictured on the cover of his new DVD, an easily recognizable Peter Simon walked in with a broad smile Friday evening. Featured photojournalist at the opening reception of Georgetown's newest music store and gallery, Hill & Dale, he greeted guests, sharing personal stories behind the permanent collection of his iconic photographs of musicians.

Peter Simon at Hill & Dale (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Peter Simon at Hill & Dale

You know the family name and his work, but perhaps not the man. Son of publisher Richard Simon (founder of Simon & Schuster) and sister of singer Carly, Peter has been chronicling the life of his family and this nation for the past fifty years. From the March on Washington to Occupy Wall Street, Simon has been there.

“All I had was my camera,” he explains. By his own admission a mediocre student, Simon photographed his way through Boston University and into a photojournalism career. From urban street life through anti-war demonstrations and hippie communes, Simon captured his spiritual journey through the 60’s and 70’s, meeting his wife, Ronnie, and the places he’s called home along the way, including New York City, Boston, Vermont and Martha’s Vineyard.

Within minutes of meeting, he asks, “I noticed walking down Wisconsin Avenue so many homeless on the street asking for money. Is that always the case here?” For this political activist, yet another example of the disparity between the haves and have nots, this time here in tony Georgetown.  

After listening to Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver a speech in his hometown of Riverdale, New York, a moved 17-year old who went up to the civil rights leader and said, “Your speech tonight has changed my life.”

(Photo by: Judith Beermann) "Awesome Threesome' Peter Simon photo of Keith Richard, Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh

It was September 11, 2001 when Simon was scheduled to release I and Eye: Pictures of My Generation, a book he spent five years compiling. The nation’s tragedy and unexpected setback for his career triggered depression followed by alcoholism, sending Simon's personal life into a tailspin. After decades following the sex, drugs and rock and roll life of musicians, the photographer was now focused on his own recovery, and his post 9/11 work reflects a heightened sensitivity to the effects of addiction.

Peter Simon’s Through the Lens: Celebrating 50 Years of Personalized Photojournalism ends with enchanting, sun-filled shots of Martha’s Vineyard and the gallery there he shares with his wife.

Paraphrasing family friend and legendary broadcaster, Walter Cronkite’s nightly sign-off, “And that’s the way it is” Simon ends his two-volume DVD tour of his life's work with “And that’s the way it was.”

For more on Peter Simon, visit Hill & Dale at 1054 31st Street or Peter Simon Photography.


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A Brief Encounter with Hannah Yelland

February 5, 2014

“I gravitated to Georgetown because it has a British feel,” English stage actress Hannah Yelland told The Georgetown Dish. “Moving anywhere from where you’ve spent 33 years is difficult. Falling in love is the only reason to be away from your family and friends.”

Hannah Yelland in Kneehigh's UK tour of Brief Encounter (Photo by: Steve Tanner) Hannah Yelland in Kneehigh's UK tour of Brief Encounter

Three years ago at a chance meeting attending a friend’s wedding in Scotland, Yelland met and fell in love with her husband, Michael Bahar, a Harvard-trained lawyer from New York, who is currently General Counsel for the Minority Staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence here in D.C.

The Cambridge University-educated Yelland has appeared with her father, British actor, David Yelland, in a 2007/08 revival of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Her other stage work includes starring as Laura in the Broadway production of Brief Encounter, for which she was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play.

In April 2012, she played the title and leading role in My Cousin Rachel in Dublin, after having made her Dublin debut in 2005 playing Nora in Ibsen's A Doll House. Recently she played Hermione in the critically acclaimed production of The Winter's Tale in Princeton, New Jersey and the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.

Hannah Yelland with 'Hannah' POSTES (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Hannah Yelland with 'Hannah' POSTES

The lovely 37-year old accomplished thespian, a fan of POSTES, the French postman-inspired handbags launched this week on The Dish, was wearing the ‘Hannah’ bag named for her when she sat down for this interview.

“It’s wonderful to work where I live,” says Yelland about looking forward to commuting from her Georgetown residence to reprise her role of Laura in the Kneehigh Theatre Company production taking place the Lansburgh Theatre in D.C. of Brief Encounter later this spring.  With kind words for author, Noel Coward, she continued, “At core, it's about the relationship between married people and what it's like to fall in love. If you take care of his script, it allows you to act on so many levels.  It’s a passionate and beautiful piece.”

For Brief Encounter ticket information, visit Shakespeare Theatre Company.


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EXCLUSIVE: First Look at the 2014 POSTES Collection

February 4, 2014

Amore City POSTES (Photo by: claudinesorel.com) Amore City POSTES

We first introduced you to Claudine Sorel in 2012 as she began to launch her line of designer handbags, POSTES, a chic interpretation of the traditional leather mailbag worn for more than a 100 years by members of the French postal service.

As Claudine told The Georgetown Dish, “The seductive part of these bags was their purpose. As all communication was done by mail, they carried many secret letters for professionals ... and lovers. The postman’s bag was not only strong but romantic.”

Vintage French Postman Bag (Photo by: claudinesorel.com) Vintage French Postman Bag

How fitting that the 2014 POSTES Collection, entirely handmade in New York City, comes out just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Here's a sneak peek at the new line by this multi-talented French designer who lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Mark Bloomfield and French cocker spaniel, Antoine Bloomfield. Incidentally, Antoine is also a Dish contributor.

The new POSTES Collection is characterized by its luscious, limited edition color palette of sea green, sky blue, clay and amber, as well as vivid scarlet, night black, emerald green, and saffron. All bags are offered in unique combinations of alligator, fur, lambskin and calfskin leathers.

(Photo by: claudinesorel.com)

"POSTES" is embossed on the large size (City Collection) bag, a nostalgic homage to the bag's original purpose. A smaller (Mini Collection) version is currently available in fur and alligator. Claudine's signature hardware, in polished palladium, polished gold or vintage brass, is hand-selected to harmonize with each bag's colorway.

Positano Alligator Mini POSTES  (Photo by: claudinesorel.com) Positano Alligator Mini POSTES

One of the special features of the City POSTES design is the unique way the wearer can adjust the strap length. ‘Bethesda Clips’ (yes, a nod to the Maryland suburb) are elegantly located under the shoulder straps allow the wearer to adjust the chain to be worn on the shoulder or short on the arm.

Crystal City POSTES (Photo by: claudinesorel.com) Crystal City POSTES

And now, the entire POSTES Collection, 100% made in Manhattan, is available exclusively online here.

Hannah Yelland with Hannah City POSTES (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Hannah Yelland with Hannah City POSTES

Sweet Pea City POSTES (Photo by: claudinesorel.com) Sweet Pea City POSTES


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