Photo by GBA
Teodora Dimitrova, Joe Farruggio, Brett Greene, David Harrison, Terry Lynch
Teodora Dimitrova, Joe Farruggio, Brett Greene, David Harrison, Terry Lynch

il Canale Interior Designer Barbara Hawthorn & Francisco Mautarelli, Italian Embassy carbinieri (Photo by: GBA) il Canale Interior Designer Barbara Hawthorn & Francisco Mautarelli, Italian Embassy carbinieri

Baby, it was cold outside.

Inside, the pizza was hot and the ambiance warm as 110 members of the Georgetown Business Association and others gathered at the newly expanded il Canale on 31st Street for the GBA’s monthly reception on Wednesday.

Janice Dodd of Esential Media Partners & singing great Joe Coleman (Photo by: GBA) Janice Dodd of Esential Media Partners & singing great Joe Coleman

Although Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser had an unavoidable conflict elsewhere in town, three of her representatives attended, including Logan Circle resident and ANC Commissioner John Fanning, her newly designated Ward 2 liaison. The others were political activist Terry Lynch and Teodora Dimitrova, whose specialty is sports planning. 

Fanning was a mayoral appointee in three administrations from 1995 to 2000 and again in 2007 – 2010, working in both the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations & Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Greg Terry (left) & Joe Farruggio (Photo by: GBA) Greg Terry (left) & Joe Farruggio

There, too, was major political player Brett O. Greene, CEO & president of American Management Corporation, a premier government relations and consulting firm for non-profit and government entities in the DC metropolitan area. He was an early supporter of Bowser’s winning candidacy. 

Il Canale owner Joe Farruggio and GBA president Riyad Said welcomed the packed house as guests dined on salmon & beef pastas, pizzas Napoletana, antipasti, and cannoli.

What occurred next was a notable isn’t-this-a-small-world moment.

ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels (left) & Joe Sternlieb, CEO of the Georgetown BID (Photo by: GBA) ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels (left) & Joe Sternlieb, CEO of the Georgetown BID

At one table sat professional entertainer Joe Coleman, who once sang with the famous musical group The Platters, and his wife, Vanessa Weaver, both friends of Farruggio.  At the next table was Italian-American blogger Oscar Bartoli, his wife Franca, and their friend Italian Melo Cicala, a builder who helped construct the il Canale expansion project.  

GBA President Riyad Said welcomes all. (Photo by: GBA) GBA President Riyad Said welcomes all.

Finally, the Italians were introduced to Coleman and Weaver by this Georgetown Dish blogger. 

Immediately, Bartoli and Coleman broke out in an impromptu, very robust Italian song.  Cicala then related that in a previous life as a booker, he brought the original Platters to Italy to perform. Now let’s see: how many degrees of separation is that?