#THANKS We had an amazing night with you! A very special thanks to our generous sponsors, The New Republic, CampaignGrid and Photox who made the night possible; oh and check out your FamousDC HH photos, you beautiful people;

#NATIONAL Where is Kim Jong Un?; we’re all shellshocked; it’s so sweet when robots tweet to each other; major groundhog coverup; Goodbye Eric Holder; Goodbye Derek Jeter; Goodbye Richard Sarles; your distant cousin is going to have an even tougher time visiting the White House this year; Happy New Year to all our Jewish fans!; Ello?; this isn’t the first time the White House has had a hot mess on its hands; this guy is not a Kardashian fan but THIS guy is definitely not a Kardashian fan; will the Blackberry Passport bend?; seriously guys – seriously; “Frozen” ruins lives; Hey, it’s apple picking season … Here’s where to go!; words journalists write that no one ever says; it’s okay to own up to your (social media) mistakes; what do you want to bet this employee has a red stapler?;

#DISTRICT Why did In-N-Out burger tease us?; All the places in DC where there are fake cellphone towers; CNN’s Erin McPike reveals her food secrets to Hungry Lobbyist; Another Metro concert no one will listen tostreetcars are coming in October (spoiler alert: this will be delayed); Bao Bao falling!; WEINERMOBILE at DCA; hot dog vendors are having a hard time competing with food trucks and they’re going to have an even harder time competing with medical marijuana trucks; Frager’s is coming back to its original location!; police will start wearing body cameras in DC; FALL IS HERE, YOU GUYS –> and this sunset on night one was PERFECT; Holy wow: 125,000+ people attended H Street Festival;  Taqueria Habanero opens in Columbia Heights; Look for Zabver Thai & Asian Cuisine to open in Mount Pleasant next week; Compass Coffee opens in Shaw; Boundary Stone celebrates 3 years; Bertucci’s on Connecticut closes down;  S Street unveils a new Marvin Gaye mural; Mighty Pine —> Second Slate, coming in October; Belga Cafe turns 10; Macon Bistro’s new fall menu looks YUM; This weekend: Petworth Citizen celebrates 1 year in DC + Pleasant Pops celebrates 2; A new whiskey distillery coming soon!; Hell yes: Kansas City’s famous Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ is coming to DC; who will be Top Dog?; we’re going to this sweet photography exhibit next week;

#MEDIAMOVES thanks to @StoryPartners: It’s been a busy week for Washington DC correspondents and the @WashingtonPost bolsters its Pentagon reporting staff with the addition of former Reuters correspondent @missy_ryan.  Meanwhile, New York Times best-selling author @KatiePavlich joins @TheHill as an opinion columnist. Pavlich’s work will appear on Tuesdays biweekly and she will still maintain her popular website www.Townhall.com@CNN’s Rachel Smolkin’s been busy adding to her digital politics staff .. this time she snaps up Stephen Collinson as a senior enterprise reporter from Agence-France Presse where he was White House correspondent. Finally, @theatlantic names Bill Mulvihill associate publisher. In July, The Atlantic announced record growth for newsstand sales and website traffic.

#BYE Excited for Crafty Bastards this weekend at Union Market AND the Barracks Row Street Festival on Saturday? WE ARE. See you there!

Navin Sarma, a regular contributor to FamousDC, is having a grand opening in Washington, D.C. of his best photographs of the city next week in Georgetown. Check out the event details below and go check out his amazing work!

Grand Opening: “DC: Impressions of Urban Nature”
Wednesday, Oct 1, 6PM
L2 Lounge – 3315 Cady’s Alley NW, Washington, DC 20007

  • See the collection of large, fine art works by the award-winning local photographer
  • Meet the artist
  • Enjoy discounted food and drinks
  • First 25 will receive a special gift from the artist

About Navin
Navin Sarma, 31, was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area. His experiences traveling the world in his early 20s prompted him to begin landscape photography. Since then, Sarma has found success producing unique, dramatic, and dreamy landscape photographs from Washington, D.C. and around the globe and teaching photography to artists at all levels.

His main motivation to create images is an appreciation of the beauty, strength, and vastness of our natural environment. His images coax the viewer to feel awe and wonder about how shapes, colors, and contrasts can converge, artfully, into a scene. He strives for the same dramatic effect from his collection of images from Washington, D.C., concentrating on the interaction between the city and nature around it.

Each of Sarma’s images is created for large format, fine art presentation. He meticulously crafts and refines his final work products to be as perfect as the scenes he photographs. L2’s vast walls represent a unique opportunity for the viewer to witness 15 of Sarma’s large format, fine art works from his collection: “DC: Impressions of Urban Nature.”

See more at http://navinsarmaphotography.com


Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Hawk ’n’ Dove last night for the FamousDC Final Push Toward November Happy Hour! It was fitting to celebrate 100 Years of the New Republic, with 100 days left in 2014, with well over one hundred of FamousDC’s beltway celebs.

A very special thanks to our generous sponsors, The New Republic, CampaignGrid and Photox who made the night possible.

A BIG thank you to Randy at Hawk ’n’ Dove and uber-talented photographer Tim Causa, who caught the great moments.

Also, the invite list wouldn’t have been complete (or packed with great people) if it wasn’t for our hosts: Bob Brennan, Sara Diaz Croom, Louisa Imperiale, Tom Dunn and Catherine Gatewood.

Spotted at the event:

Kelsey Jones with Jeremy Art, Justin Herman, Marie Formica, Abby Matousek, Keith Beardslee, Caroline Taylor, Alex Bond, Steph Fontenot, Brian Easley, Nathan Imperiale, Mike Lurie, Nika Nour, Ben Cantrell, Chase Burgess, Andrew Earl, James Walsh, Richard and Allison Cunningham (Capitol Hill’s prom king & queen), Ed Mullen, Mick Kaplan, Emily Mueller, Steven Luckett, Erin Kirkpatrick, Shannon Rickett, Joel Graves, Amy Reagan, Austin Ford, Margaret Spicer, Kelly Cohen, Stefanie Petropoulos, Stewart Barber, Joby Young & Lauren Stockwell.

And now, compliments of the one and only Tim Causa, you can relive the all the Famous fun.

In order not to miss anyone at the next event, sign up below to get party invites. We never want to leave anyone out.

If you watch the news, or have even been in a lobby on K Street waiting for someone long enough, chances are you’ve seen Erin McPike on CNN. Or perhaps you thought it was Jennifer Aniston. Regardless if you’ve seen her or not on television, I can assure she’s as funny and charming as she is intelligent and fierce on the tube. But don’t fret; she undercooks shrimp and chows down on Chef Geoff burgers just like the rest of us.

[end clip, cue music]…our own Brian Johnson has the story.

Growing up in the Midwest, Ohio to be exact, and attending college at DC’s American University, Erin’s transplanted D.C. roots are like many of ours. While they started somewhere distant, they have taken hold in and truly embraced D.C. I asked Erin where, in her college days, she liked to and hang out, or grab a bite to eat. “Chef Geoff’s,” she immediately said with a smile, “because that’s where I worked for three years and met my good friend Nora O’Donnell.” I thought supermugs of beer and $5 cheeseburgers drew her to their Monday night happy hours, but actually, she said her favorite thing to order there is, “The cashew curry humus. But I am not sure if it’s on the menu anymore. Hopefully it comes and goes.”

You heard it here Geoff, bring back the curry humus – the people have spoken.

Don’t fret; she undercooks shrimp and chows down on Chef Geoff burgers just like the rest of us.

We D.C. transplants all find ourselves longing for food that reminds us of home, and our backgrounds. Where does Erin turn when she is craving something from home? She thought for a minute and said, laughing, “Um, I think I would embarrass my parents if I answered that totally truthfully. But I loved going to Don Pablos, there was one around the corner from my house in Ohio. But, I do not try to capture Ohio here in DC, I can say. Well, other than I do love Skyline Chili.” Uh-oh, here comes the crazy chili rant, I think to myself.  She continues, “And I wish everyone would stop knocking it and just try it. And I love also the BBQ sauce from Montgomery Inn, which is world famous and all these Southern boys need to get off their high horses and try some Cincinnati BBQ sauce.” Double-punch! When I remind her that I am Southern, and ask if I should get off my vinegar-based high horse and try it, she responds, “Precisely.” I said I’d take her word for it. To date I have yet to obtain some, however, if said sauce was procured, yours truly would happily make Cincinnati BBQ sauce ribs (Carolina sauce on the side, of course).

In an attempt to redeem herself, she continues, “And I’ll tell you one other thing, so Cincinnati is a pretty lard-tastic town. We’re famous for Montgomery Inn, Skyline, and then ice cream. Oprah talks about Graeter’s, but no, Aglamesis Brother’s is the best ice cream in the mid west.” She schools Oprah and coins my new favorite word, “lard-tastic,” all in one sentence.  Redemption granted.

I remind her that I am Southern and ask if I should get off my vinegar-based high horse. She responds, “Precisely.”

Erin is currently attempting to broaden her culinary repertoire. However she admits her strengths on camera well outweigh her expertise in the kitchen. Does she cook? “I try a little bit. I am just beginning to learn. I used to bake when I was in high school, you know, for comfort I guess, but I can barely cook. I try to use the slow cooker. I am really trying to learn, but I am not great.”

She handles her kitchen escapes with great humor and patience. She said recently she cooked an amazing meal, and everything was perfect…except the shrimp. “I did a really good job making everything else, it was my first attempt and making dinner, and my boyfriend could not even eat the shrimp. So my mom sent me a baking sheet and a grate and said ‘better luck next time’.”

Before you go sending her online gift certificates for The Palm, never fear, she isn’t going hungry. Her boyfriend grills, and is pretty good at it too. “He grills a lot,” she said. “He has a Big Green Egg [hey, so does Amos!] and a Webber and he just made a pork shoulder and he just made a brisket last week. He is really pretty damn good at it I guess!” I decline to mention the benefits of a proper vinegar sauce on pork in the smoker and we move on – because brisket is amazing and I want an invite.

Aside from a variety of what sounds like amazing smoked meat options, her culinary preferences are really a bit of a mixed bag – much like DC. So when asked what her favorite type of food to eat is, she replies, “That’s a hard question for me to answer because I basically like everything at diff times. I love Italian food like lasagna, but I also like sausage, egg and cheese biscuits in the morning. And I really like Thai food. ThaiX-ing is one of my favorite places. I also really like Rice as well, over on 14th Street, plus it’s one of the original 14th Street restaurants. So, yeah, I think that’s where I would go first: Italian or Thai.” I think Italian-Thai fusion is the one genre that is not on 14th Street.

Cincinnati is a pretty lard-tastic town. We’re famous for Montgomery Inn, Skyline, and then ice cream. Oprah talks about Graeter’s, but no, Aglamesis Brother’s is the best ice cream in the mid west.

Erin loves the DC food scene and even has a great idea for an Americana-fusion inspired place. On her thoughts on the DC food scene, she said, “I think it’s exploded in the last 5 years. I do think they need to revitalize Dupont Circle and Georgetown because there is so much new on 14th Street now and so much on H Street now, and on 8th Street Southeast in Eastern Market now that I think anyone who is crabbing about that [DC not being as good a food city a New York] now is well in the past.” I agree about Dupont and Georgetown falling a bit behind some of the recent trends.

She continued with a vision, “One thing that I would like to see is – and I think this is right place for me to say this publically – you have people in DC from all over America, and maybe this goes on 14th Street, but there should be some sort of restaurant that brings together all the local American cuisine. Like the famous green chilies from New Mexico and buffalo wings from Buffalo, New York. And, this may be my way of getting Cincinnati chili somewhere, but you have staffers on the Hill from every state in the country. So I think we should have something that brings together all parts of America; and DC is the only place you could have it.” Erin could really have something here. Think about it, a different region of the country each week. You could literally go to the same place, once a week, for a month, and have something totally different. You’d never get tired of the menu, and with seasonal ingredients changing; the menu could stay remarkably interesting.

“An American bistro is one thing, but they don’t drill down and get local stuff that I would like to see,” she added.

“If I’m going all out,” she said, “I want a cocktail that’s made with whipped eggwhites.”

Until her Americana mecca is conceived, she does have some favorites. “I live near Le Diplomate (however she recently sold her condo to our pal and former Feasting Famously interviewee, Jenna Golden), so I don’t need to give them anymore attention than they have already gotten in the past year. However I do know the best times to walk over and sit at the bar, so that’s good. I really like Hank’s Oyster Bar, the original one. I have not yet tried Rose’s Luxury, sadly. But I really am pretty partial to Chef Geoff’s, but I don’t get to eat there that much anymore. Talk about something that reminds you of home, I think Chef Geoff’s is just a great place like that. The food is good, Geoff is there a lot, it’s a friendly atmosphere, and so if I could only answer one thing it’d be that one.” If you think about it, Chef Geoff’s likely comes closest to the all-American transient place she spoke of creating earlier. They have a bit of everything, representing various cuisines or regions. Maybe Geoff Tracy should look into this regional mega restaurant concept.

When hungry, she’s grabbing her dream burger with jalepenos, gouda, bacon, and chipotle mayo (no veggies on this burger for her)! After a bad day, she’s heading for a craft cocktail bar like The Gibson and whipping it up. “If I’m going all out,” she said, “I want a cocktail that’s made with whipped eggwhites.”

Good day or bad, everyone likes to play with their food. We’re laughing and I ask if Erin was to get into a food fight with anyone, who would it be. “It would be Matt Dornic from CNN,” she said, laughing, “because it would be the most raucous food fight I could possibly imagine. And I’d want to throw spaghetti covered in tomato cream sauce,” she said – still laughing. She added, “You know, because it sticks!”

We ended our interview with what came easily to a seasoned anchorwoman like Erin – the Feasting Famously Fast Five rapid-fire questions. I tossed out five words and she responded with the first thing that came to her mind:

Chef Geoffs – Favorite Restaurant

Champagne – favorite drink

Ohio State – gross

K Street – good times

MSNBC – uuummmmmmm……just leave it at that

If you don’t catch her on CNN, you just may see her waiting in the ever-growing line at Rose’s Luxury soon. As for presents and flowers from fans…I think a few cans of Skyline Chili may be better received. Stay hungry Erin, and keep up the great work!

Continue Reading

#FAMOUSDCHAPPYHOUR You waited. We delivered. It’s a FamousDC Happy Hour! Celebrate 100 Years of The New Republic and get to the Final Push to November Happy Hour next Thursday.

#NATIONAL First person on the planet to buy an iPhone in stores drops it on the sidewalk, on live TV; The NFL dissed Rhianna; will Boston beat DC for the Olympic bid?; Esquire wrote the new rules of 21st century style; China takes this joke seriously; who knew – Whole Foods is struggling; Do not watch after eating – giant squid dissection; don’t buy your legal weed Friday at 5PM; there’s 96 days until Christmas and the retailers of America want you to know it; no more Clearchannel; if you’re visiting San Fran, don’t go in these buildings; this guy loves his dog; American spaceflight is back; what happened to Twitter?; throw everything out; Japan has a real superhero; great balls of Russian fire; the Patriots’ Tom Brady found his old resume; Scotland says . . . NO – turns out the pre-polling was bad; Facebook is pissing at least one group off with its real name policy; your grandma = Grandmaster Flash; Goodbye net neutrality?; Did you celebrate Constitution Day with rap?;

#DISTRICT “Nothing good happens after 10PM”; You probably already know the Senate has some weird rules; we’re rude and speedy; Here’s Jake Tapper‘s morning; Nikki Schwab reminded us of the old Capitol Cats video; POV open again; the US Patent office is shocked, shocked their employees commit telework fraud; #BeltwaySeries; why does anyone go to the Hard Rock Cafe in DC?; UFOs in the District; goodbye, current Potomac riverbanks; are you in the newest Capitol Hill rat race?; if you want to make your workplace a literal rat race; Twitter getting into the 2014 campaigns and elections gig; stay classy, Braves; photos on the House floor!?!; Sen. Barbara Boxer has the cutest pet on the Hill; seamstress left the country and locked brides’ dresses in her DC area apartment; brand-new Rosslyn elevators trap commuters; New York Ave is about to get huge; good advice from Cathy McMorris Rodgers; sneaky Star Wars reference in this bill; National Harbor MGM full speed ahead; Spike Mendelsohn is un-ball-ievable;

#BIRTHDAY  Famous birthday week wishes to Morgan Gress, Georgette Spanjich, Reid Porter, Scott MacFarlane, Margaret Burge, Max Gigle, and Sienna Girgenti; Emily Mueller got the cutest happy birthday wish ever;

#MEDIAMOVES thanks to @StoryPartners: Get ready… lots of moving and shaking in our nation’s capital this week…NBC News promoted Frank Thorp to Senate producer and off-air reporter, Kristin Donnelly to the White House producing team, Alex Moe to House of Representatives producer andAbigail Williams to the State Department beat. Big news over at POLITICO: Susan Glasser has been named editor. POLITICO also promoted Miki King to EVP of operations and Danielle Jones to EVP of expansion and named Bobby Moran VP of business development and Dari Gessner managing editor. CQ Roll Call announced the following promotions: Megan Sowder-Staley to VP for product strategy, Connor O’Brien to defense policy reporter, Jamisha Ford to CQ Now special products editor,Hannah Hess to the leadership team, Noella Kertes to editor of BillTrack, Elham Khatami to editor of CQ Schedules and the Roll Call Daybook, Charlene Carter to deputy editor for CQ Now, and Clayton Hanson to assistant managing editor of Legislative Information. CQ Roll Call also hired Todd Ruger as legal affairs writer,Rachel Oswald as defense reporter, Gillian Roberts as a breaking news editor,Jennifer Koons as deputy policy editor, Bridget Bowman as campus reporter, Chris Williams as a multimedia and online developer, and Daniel Bloom as an energy analyst for the CQ legal and regulatory team. The New Republic named its first CEO, Guy Vidra. Ashley Codianni moves from Mashable over to CNN as senior producer and digital correspondent for Politics Digital. Michelle Fields joins FOX News as a paid contributor. National Journal’s Marin Cogan moves to New York magazine as a contributing editor. Nia-Malika Henderson joins Washington Post’s “The Fix.” Dana Liebelson joins Huffington Post to cover tech policy and politics. Congrats on all of the promotions and new gigs!

 #BYE Have a good weekend, see you in the marinara sauce dunk tank.

On Thursday night, the Animal Health Institute (AHI) announced the winners of the Cutest Pets Contest at its annual Celebrity Pet Night on Capitol Hill, which celebrates the bond between people and their pets. It was a lively event – complete with barks – and included appearances by celebrity pets; the adorable dog named Marti who portrays “Sandy” in the urban remake of “Annie” and Orion the cat, who plays “Buttercup” in the “Hunger Games” series.

The night began with the unveiling of the Cutest Pets winners in the Dog, Cat and Exotic pets categories. Every year, members of Congress and their staff submit photos of their pets and winners are picked by the set of judges which often include popular DC bloggers and journalists.

This year, the winners came from Senator Boxer’s office (Dog), Representative Mike Honda’s office (Cat) and a rabbit (Exotic) from Senator Warren’s office. If you doubt their cuteness, see the pics below for proof or check out this link that has ALL of the nominated pets.

The panel of celebrity judges included NBC Washington’s Angie Goff, The Hill’s Judy Kurtz, POLITICO’s Helena Bottemiller Evich, FishbowlDC’s Nick Massella and WJLA/WTOP’s Dr. Katy Nelson. The judges narrowed down the competitive field of hundreds of furry, feathered and fuzzy entries to the top five cutest pets in each category. Then, in the spirit of true democracy, the voting public determined the overall winners through online voting via Facebook.

U.S. Representative Jeff Denham, – whose dog “Lily” was a 2013 Cutest Pets Contest winner – unveiled this year’s winners.

AHI’s President, Alex Mathews, provided opening remarks to kick off the night’s festivities.

“The Cutest Pet’s Contest is held in conjunction with AHI’s Pet Night, a longstanding favorite event on the Hill where we celebrate the bond between people and their pets. The availability of medicines to keep animals healthy plays an important role in promoting the human- animal bond. Increased awareness about the relationship between human and animal health helps to prevent disease transmission and helps protect public health,” said Mathews.

Famously spotted in the crowd:
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), AHI’s Alex Mathews, Ron Phillips, Rich Carnevale, Brigid Zeller, Annie Drinkard, Story Partners: Amos Snead, Trudi Boyd, Jen Voss, Elyse Petroni, Lauren Culbertson, CQ-Roll Call’s Tom Williams, Edith Zimmerman


Today is Constitution Day, so why not celebrate by … enjoying a constitutional rap.

ThanksUSA, a non-profit that provides scholarships to the children and spouses of active duty military personnel, is currently sponsoring a music video contest.

In honor of Constitution Day on September 17, 2014, we challenge teachers and students across the country to get involved by creating their own music videos about the Bill of Rights and the freedoms it provides to all Americans.

The co-founders of ThanksUSA, teenaged sisters Rachel and Kelsi Okun of McLean, VA., recently co-wrote and performed an educational music video called “Con Rap” – rapping the Bill of Rights, literally.

h/t ThanksUSA