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Georgetown Dish by Beth Solomon

First-time author discusses the global brand of Georgetown.

At Carol Joynt's Q&A Cafe Tuesday, seasoned journalist, Beth Solomon regaled guests with stories from her new book, Georgetown Dish, a collection of essays.

The sold-out luncheon talk at The GeorgeTown Club began with Carol asking Beth about her Georgetown origins. “I was a teenager growing up in Bethesda in the 70s and my parents wouldn’t let me go to Montgomery Mall but they would let me get on the T2 bus and come to Georgetown. At 15 with friends, we pretended we were cool.”

Beth Solomon
Photo by Judith Beermann

Georgetown's magnetic pull, she explained, continues. “From the Bush girls going to Smith Point or the Obama daughters enjoying a Georgetown Cupcake birthday, it’s an iconic place.”

In 2009, Beth engaged a group of “collaborators in an adventure that was kind of a lifeboat during the recession. If you could write, you had a byline.” Her creative endeavor, an online magazine called The Georgetown Dish attracted readers from all over. “We couldn’t pay anyone but we all had business cards and an identity.”

Marilyn Smith, Jack Evans, Kimberly Casey and Kara Krause
Marilyn Smith, Jack Evans, Kimberly Casey and Kara Krause  Photo by Judith Beermann

Covering what was going on in “the world’s most important neighborhood” meant being there.

It was political powerhouses and their parties and residents digging out from snow storms. Confronting the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration Board on its policies, reporting live as an earthquake hit the city, or applauding Nancy Pelosi leading Congress across the finish line of health care reform. The author captured these moments in witty prose with razor sharp precision and zeal.

Bill Rice, Beth Solomon and Peter Rosenstein
Bill Rice, Beth Solomon and Peter Rosenstein  Photo by Judith Beermann

And yes, there was time for travel too: Simply Sensational Saigon, Gelato for Breakfast in Rome, A French Trip to the Beach… Omaha, that is. And so much more.

Beth Solomon, Vickie Olafson and Katherine Duncan
Beth Solomon, Vickie Olafson and Katherine Duncan   Photo by Judith Beermann

A lively discussion ensued with Carol about the effects of the pandemic, a flood of tourists here on weekends, and the commercial district losing its charm. “Everybody’s paradise gets destroyed but I don’t think that’s going to happen here,” said Beth. “There’s something real here. It’s an absolutely beautiful urban environment. People will always want to live here.” Adding with a smile, “It’s quite healthy now with all these bakeries.”

Jennifer Romm and Beth Solomon
Jennifer Romm and Beth Solomon  Photo by Judith Beermann

From Georgetown then and now to Beth’s next book out in November, From Fired to Fabulous. “I’ve been fired more than anyone I know,” Beth announced with pride. The audience laughed and the frequent firee was quick to illustrate. She had been the CEO of a small trade association, hired by a board of directors to fix, well, everything.

The minute-by-minute recounting of the fateful morning ended with “We’ve decided to go in a different direction. Your team has left the building. Pack up your desk.” 

“I got a lawyer, 6 months severance for an 18 month assignment. Getting fired was the best thing that happened to me.”

From fired to fabulous, indeed!

Beth Solomon
Beth signing books with Bill and Myrna Rice  Photo by Judith Beermann

Georgetown Dish is available on Amazon.