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Up, Up and Away!

We are tremendously excited to bring you TheGeorgetownDish. Our mission is to inform, entertain, and amuse. On these pages, you’ll find dispatches from and photos of the social scene, community news in Georgetown, local politics, and a platform to express and exchange ideas -- in other words, to dish. TheGeorgetownDish launches at a certain moment in our history. Many people have been terribly hurt in this country in the economic downturn. They have been fired, forced to resign, furloughed and laid off. (See the knockout George Clooney film Up in the Air, right here in Georgetown.) I, for one, suddenly had vast expanses of time on my hands, some terrible wounds, and fear for my future as summer turned to fall. When I was abruptly cut loose, untethered from gravity or security, my friend Sonya Bernhardt was kind enough to offer a desk and a phone at The Georgetowner, her fine newspaper. Thanks to Sonya, I was able to get my bearings and touch solid ground. Patty Ivey put the next planks of a floor underneath my feet by offering a daily yoga practice that offered structure in the midst of chaos. "We meet challenge with our steady gaze and our calm breath," said a teacher. Repeat, repeat, I told myself. "Follow your instincts," said Patty. "Whatever it is, just do it." I had begun to realize that there was a gaping hole in the media landscape: no one was capturing the vibrancy of Georgetown online. It wasn't a matter of translating existing publications to a new medium. The new medium demanded a new idea -- an online community to exchange, to share, to present personalities with verve. But could I do it? TheGeorgetownDish was just an idea floated like a fragile balloon among friends. Janet Donovan and her inimitable Wednesday night Salonistas surrounded me with confidence and offers of help. "Great idea," they said. Fran Berk lit up the phones and delivered a true gem, Judith Beermann. Marilyn Thompson offered her time and legal advice. Jodi Schneider, going through her own chrysalis, was a stalwart backer and friend. Juleanna Glover threw me a knowing look that said, "You can do it." A little snowball was inching downhill. Yoga teacher and writer Peggy Mulqueen introduced Robb Hoffheins, the brilliant media composer, product developer and designer without whom TheGeorgetownDish would simply not exist. Robb brought on John Divney, chief architect, builder, and masterful technologist, and Doug Hummer, a superb designer whose work makes our site, literally, sparkle. Mary Bird, with her golden heart, offered to do some writing and revive Bird's Eye View, a beloved column that had been lost. Mary introduced Frida Burling, the youngest 94-year-old on the planet, who held my hand as she walked me through her Georgetown home. "You can fill a need here," she said softly. Frida encouraged me with love and kindness. Jeff Malet and Neshan Naltchayan valiantly offered to contribute photos, deflecting slings and arrows along the way. Things really started to pick up steam when Wendy Gordon of Hisaoka Communications got involved, contributing her confidence, her writing skill, and her unparalleled media and online savvy. Wendy introduced the Dish to Jonathan and Bethany Umbel, our founding advertisers. They have made groundbreaking contributions in Georgetown through their restaurants Hook and Tackle Box. Now, they extend their energy and sense of community one step further for our launch party, with Robert Hall, Simon Stillwell and Heather Chittum standing shoulder to shoulder with our merry band of writers, photographers and other creative rebels. Bonnie Cain and Bill Rice offered their brains, their time, and their unending generosity. Better friends don't exist. As managing editor, Bonnie is now a captain of this ship. I would be nowhere without my family. My parents Howard and Dee Solomon, my brother Harris, and Ginny and Roger Rosenblatt have stood behind me at every small step of this journey. This never would have happened without the love of Alex Ruttenberg and Lynly Boor. Finally, Roger Andelin, Michael Meehan, Jeff Trandahl, Dan Solomon, Peter Lundquist, Andy Alexander, Andy Glass, Carol Joynt, Tina Brown, Nancy Jacobson, Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, Maureen Agron, Lori Yates, Abigail Lewis, Donna Gann, Goli Sheikholeslami, The Prince of Petworth Dan Silverman, dear friends the Mahdi Leroy Thorpes, Richard Rogers, John McCaslin and Mollie Gregory offered unflagging wisdom, support, ideas and encouragement. So with no further ado, allow me to introduce our stellar line-up of founding contributors and invite you to embark on this joyous adventure with us. In this holiday season, TheGeorgetownDish is evidence that community, kindness, caring and love really do exist -- in a village called Georgetown.

TheGeorgetownDish Contributors:

Dr. Tina Alster The Face of Georgetown A prominent physician talks about beauty Mary Bird Bird's Eye View Dispatches from the social scene Quinn Bradlee Friends of Quinn Unique insights from a new Georgetown generation Frida Burling Frida's Fifty Years in Georgetown Memories and musings from the quintessential Georgetowner Janet Donovan Hollywood on the Potomac "Celebrities and politicians spring from the same DNA." -- Jack Valenti Katherine Duncan The Fishbowl Life on and off the Georgetown University campus Wendy Gordon Today I'm Outraged About... She doesn't rant, but she does get mad Patty Ivey What's in your dish? A Georgetown yogi invites you to stretch Beth Koralia The Latest News and information from Georgetown Topher Mathews Georgetown Metropolitan Politics, news and neighborhood issues Emily Miller Emily's Post 20007 The place to dish on gossip and scandal

TheGeorgetownDish Executive Team:

Beth Solomon Publisher Robb Hoffheins Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Cain Managing Editor Judith Beermann Associate Publisher John Divney Chief Software Engineer Doug Hummer Art Director Beth Koralia News and Photo Intern