NC Senator Richard Burr...True Story.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
After last Sunday I have to say I'm impressed. We have six new faces around the table at Liberty Tavern in Arlington. It's no coincidence the restaurants we're picking for brunch also happen to be on the 100 best list, so it was no surprise the food here was awesome.
The Tavern was a great spot (inexpensive, easy to find, and my foodie soul is torn between the Pursuit of Happiness cocktail, hand cut fries, and gourmet grilled cheese.)
The book we discussed was Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered, Smartass, or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office. LOVED this book - It's hilarious and there were about six episodes I swear she stole from my life. I could write a review but this pretty much sums it up."This is the story of how a haughty former sorority gal went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment in less than two years. It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected."In other words? The bitch had it coming. "
Friday, July 17, 2009
Starbucks Experiments with New Name, Adding Alcohol to its Menu
Don't expect grande wines or venti beers anytime soon at your local Starbucks. (SBUX) But in a move to attract hard-to-find evening business, the struggling coffeehouse chain is about to test the addition of wine and beer to the menu at one of its
stores, which it has even given a new name. The store, opening next week, is called " Seattle 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea inspired by Starbucks" — a reflection of the neighborhood in which it's located. Starbucks plans to create two more similar stores in the area at locations that aren't currently Starbucks stores. And if the concept works, it could be tested in other cities, says Major Cohen, senior project manager at Starbucks. For Starbucks, which has suffered a humbling mix of closed stores, employee layoffs and same-store sales declines during the recession, the move is an attempt to extend the brand into the evening, when business is typically at its slowest. The first store, which will look very different from a typical Starbucks, will serve a half-dozen kinds of beers and wines — most with connections to the Northwest. A bottle of beer or a glass of wine will sell for $4 to $7, Cohen says. Beer and wine will not be sold to go because of state law, he says. "We'll be equally as proud of our beer and wine as we are of our coffee," Cohen says. He says he didn't yet know if this concept would be incorporated into all Starbucks stores if it's successful. "If you stop innovating, you're dead," says Scott Bedbury, CEO of consulting firm Brandstream and former marketing chief at Starbucks. While Bedbury likes the move — which he says is common for European coffeehouses — it also could twist the chain's hard-earned image, he warns. "The reason Starbucks became the number one place to go for a blind date is because women are comfortable there — and the men aren't drunk." The test move to sell alcohol is clearly an attempt to fight off growing competition from McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts, says Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a restaurant consulting firm. "But if I were sitting in Seattle , I'd go after the evening snack and dessert business, not alcoholic beverages." Seattle
What a blast. Work Jen and play Jen are two different people so I expected there to be a little disconnect but the big mixing bowl went well. It was refreshing to see work friends when we're not pushing an agenda and bring in old friends to catch up with. We all get so busy, gchat is our only outlet. Well two Margs and a pitcher of Sangria (so not Mexican) I was not surprised to see that a few of my colleagues may have submitted applications into the good old chez copa club last night.
If you missed last nights Marg fest, fear not....I'm planning another one soon.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In honor of our three year roommate anniversary (don't judge), Linds and I thought we would celebrate with a little dinner and a show. Linds being the theater aficionado, she picked Spring Awakening. Theater is like the movies to me - I have no idea what's out nor what's good, so she gets to pick. And good thing she did, she scored us $25 tickets through the Kennedy Center's Attend student tickets program. (Even collegians need a govt. handout.)
Washingtonian's 100 best restaurants checklist in hand I did a little research on our foggy bottom selections, being that the Kennedy Center is all of 5 blocks from our old GW stomping grounds. I came to find not only is Circle Bistro one of the areas acclaimed digs, they also have a pre-theater pre-fix menu. So if you are able to sneak in before 7 pm, you can snag an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $35. Not too shabby considering an entree goes for $29 alone. Now we blew that cork out of the bottle by adding on wine. Not the point.
Now onto the show. I was expecting a story of teen angst in a High School Musical fashion, Boppy and light with a rock concert feel. But this production hit it all: abuse, teen pregnancy, suicide, abortion, and death. Not to mention a little on stage nudity. Whoops - wasn't expecting that. But it worked. Between the highly explosive dance sequences using literally all available stage space, and the charged rock and roll dialogue the show had yours truly crying, laughing, clapping and swooning - sometimes simultaneously.
A quick plot snapshot: the Tony award winning musical, based on the play by Frank Wedekind's literary masterpiece, follows eight German teens on the trail of self discovery. Although the play is set in 1891 the issues are just as relevant today. Wrapped in Dunken Shieks' rock lyrics, it's easy to see why this story of rebellion and understanding made waves on the Broadway scene two years ago. Interesting side note, this is one of the first instances in over 100 years that the entire story line was used because it was so controversial.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
We've been expecting this day to come for sometime now, but Joynt gave it a solid effort to keep the eatery on life support just a few years past it's expiration date.
After 40 years of serving millions of happy and loyal customers, and opening its doors 365 days of every year, Nathans will close at last call on Sunday, July 12. This ends an era of delicious, interesting and often outrageous moments at what Zagat called "the quintessential Georgetown saloon."
We hope over the next week you will find the time to come in and enjoy a last drink and meal with us, especially "Last Call" on July 12. We wish we could give it away, but economic reality is that we need your dollars. Also, if I may, I urge you to please be generous with the staff.
With a heavy heart and much gratitude,
"You gotta know when to hold 'em
know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away ...."
We host our last Q & A Cafe at Nathans tomorrow. A bittersweet occasion, of course. The Q&A Cafe was created in October 2001 as a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. From there it took on a life of its own, giving me an opportunity to stay in journalism, giving Georgetown a fixture in the city's chief industries - politics, media, policy, law - and gave a wonderful group of regulars the opportunity to enjoy a unique weekday lunchtime salon.
I mean, Nathans may be the Titanic, but The Q&A Cafe - proudly - lifts off the deck a certified success, and a legitimate TV show on DC Cable. I may have failed with Nathans but I succeeded with my little show and want very much for it to find a new home and to remain on television. After my book is done, I could see the program as my future. Plus other stuff. Some people suggest I become a marketing consultant, others a dominatrix. I could be happy running a marina, smuggling rum, hanging with pirates. We'll see.
Couldn't be happier that our last Q&A Cafe at Nathans features a good friend, and Georgetowner, author Jane Stanton Hitchcock. Many of you were at my last interview with Jane at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. You know she's loaded with amusing dish, an interesting life story, and practical understanding of the publishing industry. This will be a goody. I hope you have your reservations. Please reconfirm or book with Jon Moss at 202.338.2000. Georgetown Cupcake is making a special "Mortal Friends" GC. Yum. Think gold and dangerous.
We welcome all the town's strippers, too, since they are prominent in the book. One prominent character, Jim Kimsey, will be among us. Another, Catherine Reynolds, has not responded to my invite. I'm a character, too, Joy Croft. Haha. All good fun. Some of you are probably in there and don't know it. We will have books for sale and Jane will gladly sign.
You've been a great audience. I'm grateful. I'll have a new website in a week where you can keep track of The Q&A Cafe, and me, and more. A lot of you ask how I'm doing. Thank you. I'm fine. I'm mellow. Eager for what's next.
See you tomorrow,
Here's who has appeared at The Q&A Cafe:
LETITIA BALDRIGE, BOB WOODWARD, COKIE ROBERTS, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, TOM BROKAW, DEB JOHNS, DAVID VISE, JACK EVANS, DAN TANGHERLINI, JOHN RIGGINS, FRED SMITH, LESLIE COCKBURN, CHRIS MATTHEWS, DR. TINA ALSTER, MPDC CAPT. PETER NEWSHAM, SALLY QUINN, MAYOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS, ADRIAN HIGGINS, CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, C. DAVID HEYMANN, SOPHY BURNHAM, SKIP NEWCOMB, HARRY SHEARER, BOB BALABAN, MICHAEL McKEAN, MARK PLOTKIN, ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, KATHLEEN MATTHEWS, CHRIS WALLACE, ANA MARIE COX, DR. RICK LEVY, BILL PLANTE, SEPTIME WEBRE, DR. WAYNE CALLAWAY, AMBASSADOR H.E. DEVINDA SUBASINGHE, DAVID HUME KENNERLY, TONY TAVARES, FRIDA BURLING, EDITH SCHAFER, MICHAEL ISIKOFF, DR. WILLIAM HASELTINE, MATT COOPER, KENNETH FEINBERG, BARBARA CHILDS-PAIR, DAVID GREGORY, CRAIG CRAWFORD, TORIE CLARKE, SANFORD AIN, ERICA JONG, MARION BARRY, ROXANNE ROBERTS, GEN. BERNARD E. TRAINOR, KATHERINE (KATIE) TARBOX, DAVID PATRICK COLUMBIA, FRED THOMPSON, GEORGE STEVENS, JR., SUSAN ISAACS, GORDON PETERSON, DR. MICHAEL HOCKSTEIN, ANN HAND, DC Police Chief CATHY LANIER, JEFF GANNON, HARLAN K. ULLMAN, DEBORAH JEANE PALFREY, MARK SHIELDS
DAVID BURD, DAN RATHER, HOWARD FINEMAN, MARK WARNER, SHEILA JOHNSON, MICHAEL HERRRALD, AMY HOLMES, SAM DONALDSON, CARL CANNON, JONATHAN ALTER, PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, STAN KASTEN, SCOTT SIMON, DOUGLAS FEITH, THEODORE SORENSEN, CHUCK TODD, MICHELLE RHEE, ROBERT BENNETT, BRENT GLASS, ROBIN GIVHAN, CHRISTOPHER GUEST, C.Z.GUEST, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, MALCOLM “MIKE” PEABODY, ANDREA MITCHELL,WALTER ISAACSON, EPISCOPAL BISHOP JOHN CHANE, MICHEL RICHARD, DAVID CORN, TERRENCE SMITH, BOB SCHIEFFER, JACK VALENTI, LLOYD GROVE, DR. MARILYN BENOIT, HELEN THOMAS, ANDREW COCKBURN, ELLEN SANFORD, DAVID KELLER, MARK BUSCAINO, CHUCK VANCE, ADEL AL-JUBEIR, AMBASSADOR JAN ELIASSON, RABBI BARRY FREUNDEL, MPDC LT. PAT BURKE, JANE LYNCH, JOHN ZOGBY, JOHN MICHAEL HIGGINS, DAN SNYDER, SALLY BEDELL SMITH, TINA BROWN, BOB COLACELLO, JOSEPH WILSON, FRED GRAHAM, KITTY KELLEY, TIM RUSSERT, AMBASSADOR H.E. KASIT PIROMYA, ARUN GANDHI, NANCY TAYLOR BUBES, SHELDON COHEN, JOHN DEGIOIA, MARSHA J. EVANS, ANTHONY LANIER, JANE STANTON HITCHCOCK, ANDREW KOHUT, RICK KAPLAN, CAROLE RADZIWILL, PATRICIA DUFF, DAVID C. LEVY, LINDA FAIRSTEIN, NEIL LIVINGSTONE, JAMES CANNON, MAURY POVICH, CONNIE CHUNG, AMY ARGETSINGER, VERNON E. JORDAN, JIM ARSENEAULT, CHARLIE COOK, JIM LEHRER, CARLY FIORINA, JIM VANCE, DR. PETER LEVIT, KENNETH ADELMAN, GEORGE MICHAEL, JONATHAN TISCH, JOHN F. HARRIS, MONTGOMERY BLAIR SIBLEY, PETER GREENBERG, FRED GRANDY, CONNIE SCHULTZ, ROBERT FRANK, VALERIE PLAME WILSON, ROBERT NOVAK, AMB. PIERRE VIMONT, DAN GLICKMAN, MARTHA JOYNT KUMAR, DAVID BALDACCI, BOB RYAN, DR. MICHAEL JACOBSON, LEONARD DOWNIE, JR., RICHARD MOE, TUCKER CARLSON, MARK PENN, TED LEONSIS, LT. ANDREW BALDWIN, QUINN BRADLEE, JONATHAN CAPEHART, HUGH NEWELL JACOBSEN