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Scene in D.C.: Oprah Opening, Bikini Drinks, Bike Rides

August Recess
Kari Kant, an assistant in the government relations office of Goldman Sachs, and Alex Vartanian, a principal at Peninsula Advisory Services. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- While the congressional recess of August marks a mass exodus from Washington, the town doesn’t shut down altogether.

Last Wednesday film director Lee Daniels was in flip-flops at the AMC Loews Georgetown 14 for the Washington premier of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.

The movie’s producer Sheila Johnson, chief executive officer of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, was in the crowd.

On Monday morning Tom Meyer, the president of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, celebrated its 50th anniversary by serving up free eggs benedict and omelets to hundreds of patrons. Mayor Vincent Gray was one of them.

“It’s not the graveyard it was,” said Meyer about the August dog days. “I remember what it was like in the early ’80s.” He enjoys riding his bike along the canal to baseball games during the final days of summer.

“It’s nice and peaceful,” said Kari Kant, 30, an assistant in the government-relations office of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Earlier this month, Kant, 31, and her boyfriend, Alex Vartanian, who’s 30 and a principal in a private-equity firm, dined at Wolfgang Puck’s famed The Source -- without a reservation.

The president and Michelle Obama took advantage of the quiet month to celebrate his Aug. 4 birthday at Rasika on Aug. 8. Rock star Dave Grohl was seen at Serendipity 3 last Saturday.

“I’m here in August,” said Chrissy Faessen, Rock the Vote’s vice president of marketing and communications. “It’s a great time to get plans together for the fall.”

Pool Party

Earlier in the month Kant sipped cocktails in a bikini top and shorts on the roof of the Embassy Row Hotel, where Rock the Vote and South Moon Under hosted a pool party.

The eclectic August-in-the-city crowd included a mathematician from Johns Hopkins, a Georgetown public relations executive, and an emerging jewelry designer. Rum cocktails were served along with cupcakes.

Amanda Williams, the creative director of Asia After Dark, a series of parties supporting the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries, is planning a soiree this Saturday.

She expects 1,000 attendees to enjoy the Asian-inspired decor, dance troupes and martial arts. Tickets include one free drink and can be bought at the door or in advance online.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff and Daniel Billy on dining, Mark Beech on music.

To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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