Stir It Up

Tudor Place, neighbors square off at ANC

July 6, 2011

As neighbors of Tudor Place continue to press for changes to the historic site's expansion plans, the Georgetown ANC voted unanimously Tuesday for a resolution that earned praise, unusually, from both sides of the debate.

Commissioner Tom Birch led the discussion, saying “a gentle hand” is needed to meet the valid competing interests.  There is agreement that Tudor Place is an irreplaceable historic site of buildings, grounds and a treasure-trove of documents and artifacts dating back to George and Martha Washington. However, the opponents point to what they see as the negative impacts on views, trees and the historic fabric that will result from the location, size and height proposed for the greenhouse and collection and archives storage building. 

Birch’s unanimously approved resolution commended the Old Georgetown Board for its continued thoughtful review of the project (including a site visit), asked for more detailed architectural drawings and urged early consultations with zoning officials to avoid future conflicts over zoning requirements.

Drawing of Tudor Place's current plans (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Drawing of Tudor Place's current plans
“This is a good resolution,” said Tudor Place Executive Director Leslie Buhler as she stressed the “evolving” nature of their plans.   

Jack Maier, one of the objecting neighbors, also agreed with the ANC position.  “I support the recommendation of the OGB, [and it’s] appropriate to get the [zoning authorities] involved.”

The OGB is the federal advisory body on historic preservation for Georgetown.  The Tudor Place is on the agenda for its regular monthly meeting on Thursday.

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Ever worry about your heart?

July 3, 2011

If so, you might be interested in the University of Maryland Medical Center’s ad on page 1 of Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine – especially if your heart is in the right side of your chest, rather than the traditional left side.

That right side is where the ad shows the heart surgeon marking the imminent cut.  Hope the malpractice insurance is up-to- date.

Not clear if the Medical Center, its ad agency, or the WP’s ad or production folks were responsible for what surely is a reversed photograph.

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Innocent Spouse on the Georgetown casting couch

June 28, 2011

Carol Joynt's page-turner memoir about life after husband Howard Joynt's death is filled with stories of betrayal, survival, re-invention, and a bare-knuckle battle with the IRS that could well keep you up at night. 

Innocent Spouse is a terrific read.

But what about the movie?

Carol’s crystal-clear portrait, roguish-to-A-list characters, and a who's-who cast of friends would make a good flick -- then, a TV series. Howard was the proprietor of Nathans, Georgetown’s once famous saloon, a good backdrop for intrigue, assignations, and political plotting.

The series, “Nathans,” could be like The West Wing, set in Georgetown.

This week,The Georgetown Dish editors sat on a casting couch – just to think, dear readers. Here's what we came up with:

Carol, the innocent-yet-savvy journalist ingénue, could be played by Cate Blanchett (1 vote), Sharon Stone (1 vote) or Gwyneth Paltrow (1 vote). Meg Ryan was an afterthought entry by a friend of the Dish.  A political wag among us wanted to cast former Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a mature Carol Joynt, muttering something about how both learned, later in life – in Ronald Reagan’s words –  to “trust but verify.”

Carol's prince charming in the early years, Howard, who bequeathed her with a few major surprises like a $3 million tax bill, might be played by Alec Baldwin (2 votes) or William Hurt (1 vote), while another editor wanted Tommy Lee Jones.  That rascal Eliot Spitzer, now making intellectual waves on CNN, after a fall from grace in New York, could be a contender, too.

All of the Dish’s editors agree that Bob Woodward and other Washington notables be played by the VIPs themselves.  Sam Elliott could play CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite (who, in the memoir, asks Carol to marry him after a decades-long friendship; she declined).  Wedding Crashers’ Christopher Walken or funny man John Lithgow could play Carol's boss Larry King.  (Speaking of which, Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin is a Washingtonian – having grown up in Bethesda.)

Finally, who would play Carol’s local cracker-jack attorney Sheldon Cohen? There are upwards of twenty-thousand D.C. lawyers who would stand in line for that cameo What about the role of Keith Hernandez, the baseball legend who woos Carol in scenic spots and glittering New York hotspots.  Could it be that former Baltimore Orioles pitcher and now color commentator Jim “Cakes” Palmer is available to travel to Shea Stadium for a few minutes of script reading?   

Dish to Aaron Sorkin: stay tuned…

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