Monday, November 2, 2015

Washington Social Diary: Halloween in Georgetown

Halloween in residential Georgetown — parades of families and a block party, as James Assey passes out candy.
by Carol Joynt

Halloween in Georgetown is still a thing. It has been for years, drawing people in costume from all over the region to parade along the streets near the intersection of Wisconsin and M Streets. Happening this year on a Saturday night made it into a bigger thing, and for that reason police were out in large numbers, warning of “a high volume of robberies.” And they were right. There were holdups at several locations, some physical, one with a gun, but fortunately no one was injured. Contrast that scene, though, with Georgetown’s residential area, and it's a different picture. Families, lots of them, parading with their little ones, and then of course Bill “Gatsby” Dean’s annual Halloween party at his home, the Dodge Mansion. 
The Dodge Mansion, done up for Halloween.
It was a block party on my street, with music, dancing, some wine and cocktails, Halloween-related canapés, and most residents out on their stoops with bowls of candy. To one side, James and Gwen Assey were passing out candy with their little Peacock, Eleanor. This year, for the first time in ages, I did myself up as something – a ghoulish “Doctor Death” in skeleton kit and a skull face.
Gwen, Eleanor, and James Assey.
I got a lot of attention, mostly from children, who either were intrigued and came closer, staring, or so freaked out they leapt into their parents arms in tears. Gwen and I spent a lot of time trying to convince Eleanor I was Carol, not a ghoul. She wasn’t buying.

I’m not accustomed to scaring anyone. It was a pleasure, for a change.
One look at CJ, and this little darling dropped his basket of candy. CJ as Doctor Death. Looking into the face of "Doctor Death," this girl didn't know whether to smile or run away.
Parades of families ...
This whole family gets in the costume act.
They were doing "Mark Zuckerberg."
When the handsome Polish Ambassador, Ryszard Schnepf, came by with his children and wife, broadcast journalist Dorothy Wysocka-Schnepf, they were startled when I recalled being at a dinner with them not too long ago. They gaped at “Doctor Death,” and like Eleanor, had a hard time recognizing the human inside the black and white paint.

My neighbor John Garrett, a doctor in real life who also loves to cook, was “Chef John.” His wife, Mary Garrett, also a doctor in real life, was Julia Child. Another friend, Rory Veevers-Carter, who just moved to his new home and had no costume because he’s still unpacking, so we declared him to be Julia’s cousin. In their sweaters, Rory and Mary were a matched pair.
Mary Garrett, John Garrett, "Lara Croft," and Rory Veevers-Carter at Bill Dean's.
Off the four of us went to Bill Dean’s party, which this year had a theme of Game of Thrones, complete with a throne and a whole roasted pig brought in on a platter. Rather than the guests pulling off the meat by hand, though, it was nicely carved by chef Frederik de Pue. 
In full Game of Thrones regalia.
Costumed "Chef John" Garrett w/ real life chef Frederik De Pue.
Given the theme, the costumes were entertaining, with women (and some men) in little or no clothing, plenty of Medieval swagger, hints of magic, and gore. Spotted, also, were sexy maidens, sexy gladiators, sexy school girls, sexy fighter pilots, sexy pirates and prize fighters, a Lara Croft, a bride, a sexy ax murderer, cheerleaders, sexy Abe Lincoln (?) Kim Kardashian’s augmented rear end, sexy special forces, and one man who appeared to be riffing on the trope of the nouveau Russian billionaire in head-to-toe Versace. The many men dressed as security and bodyguards, were, however, just that and not in costume.
Sexy Abe Lincoln (?) You be the judge. With an assortment of friends.
Bill, and his best friend, Michael Saylor, each took their turns on the throne – Michael posed alone. Bill, on the other hand, posed with his two dogs, because you can be King, have the palace and all the land and money, but there’s still no friend as loyal as your dogs.
Bill Dean on the throne, with his most loyal friends.
The Lord of the Manor, Bill Dean, with two of his guests.
Julia Child and a, hmmm, pirate? On the right, Michael Saylor.
In Bill Dean's basement pub, Julia Child, Chef John, Doctor Death and Julia's cousin, Rory.
The party "glassware" kept to the Medieval theme.
The gore, but the "fingers" were carrots and the eyeballs cake.
The "King," Halloween host Bill Dean.
Enough party?

Who’s the Washington “socialite” looking for a ghostwriter to do her memoir? The search is on. An agent at CAA in NY is shopping the gig around the city’s writers. I know because I was approached. It's a well-known woman of substantial means, generous in her philanthropy, interested in politics and world affairs, ambitious, social, filling a role here that’s been vacant since the death of Ina Ginsburg. According to a friend, she was not happy with a Washington Post profile. Penning one’s own memoir is the best answer to that.
Ina Ginsburg.
Photographs by Carol Joynt

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