WITH DONNA SHOR
THE BARONESS AND THE BOYD: While blended marriages can merge beautifully, blended furniture often doesn’t; but there was no problem when Anne and John Boyd married recently. Guests at their Washington Harbor penthouse affirmed this at a recent party when the Boyds honored a most remarkable woman visiting here from Paris, Gina, Baroness de Koenigswarter.
“Gina was marvelous to me, when I moved to Paris to live,” said Anne, “and I wanted friends here to meet her.” Elegant Gina, who is just entering her 90’s, lived in seven countries where her husband, Baron Jules de Koenigswarter, was posted as ambassador, and numbering among her global friends many such luminaries as the late painter Diego Rivera. Guests included Gina’s daughter, France Choa; Judith Terra; Shelley and Pat Buchanan; Ana Maria Utley; Sedi and Maximo Flugelman; Nicole Foss; Dr. Clyde Litton; Anna Maria and Giorgio Via; Berenice Reed; Harriet and Stanley Reiners; Françoise Ellis; Peggy Donovan; Cathie and Dean Philpott; Jill Smart Gore; Carol and Earl Ravenal; Ann Townsend and Paula Merryfield.
TRAVELING THE GLOBE: Washingtonians are a traveling lot, and while exotic locales are always in the picture, several have stayed in this hemisphere in recent months. Roberta McCain, usually off to some far-flung location, instead spent her time ricocheting around the United States and Canada after visiting her twin, Rowena, in California… Architect Dean Philpott, who can be found painting white-washed villas in Mykonos, castles in England or monasteries in Romania, decided this year he would instead paint scenery from the terrace of his Warrenton retreat….Debbie Sigmund shuttled back and forth to Nantucket, where other Washingtonians were ensconced, including Barbara Harrison and John Pyle; Grace and Morty Bender; Bill and Alison Paley; JoAnn and John Mason; Cindy and Evan Jones; and Mary and Robert Haft…
Kay Kendall has rented the same Martha’s Vineyard home for twenty years, among neighbors Art Buchwald, his daughter-in-law Tamara and son Joel, Ann Walker Marchant, Dr. Sue Bailey, Olga Hirshhorn, and Willee and Finlay Lewis….
Pat and General Lawrence Skantze (USAF Ret’d) were off to Dayton, Ohio, where they both sit on the board of the Aviation Hall of Fame, which honored another Air Force general, John Alison, a longtime Washingtonian with his wife Penny… Anna Maria Via visited the Helmut Tuerks in Rome, where he is now Austria’s ambassador to the Holy See. They were here several years when he was posted here…
HOW SWEET IT IS: Aniko and Nash Schott cruised the British isles and toured Scotland, where they reached the Mecca of golf, St. Andrews, just in time to catch the 134th British Open, and then “walk the course.” Back to Alexandria, where Aniko worked feverishly for two weeks (with an assist from fellow ASID designer Elizabeth Balish) to complete her design projects at the Turkish embassy and the new suites on the club floor of the MCI Center. Then it was off again, to Indonesia, where they spent an idyllic time on the Begawan Giri estate, the ultra-luxurious hideaway in the lush mountains above Bali, where the villas are on stilts above the tropical jungle, and pampering is a way of life….
FAIR WEATHER FOR AFGHANISTAN: “I’ve been watching the skies all day,” said hostess Shamin Jawad, because she and her husband, Said Tayeb Jawad, the ambassador of Afghanistan, had invited 500 guests to a reception, and dark clouds gathered. Luckily the rain held off, and they celebrated the historic restoration of Afghanistan’s Independence Day, marking the country’s freedom from British rule in 1919.
The Jawads had even more reason to celebrate as their country gradually consolidates the gains made since it was liberated again in 2001 after 23 years of war, with the aid of U.S. and coalition forces. The ambassador’s goal is to keep Afghanistan in the spotlight as a key American ally, and it didn’t hurt that President Bush met with his president, Hamid Karzai, last year, or that President Karzai addressed Congress, or that Shamin herself accompanied Laura Bush on her trip there.
A few of the many guests present at the event were Jordan, Japan, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. Faces in the throng included Pat and Lawrence Skantze; Ruth Krosin; Tina and Dr. Sunil Kalra; Sheila and Jerry Katz; Debbie Sigmund and David Connelly; Anna Maria and Giorgio Via; Timothy T.L. Trudeau and his wife Patricia, who is with Kiplinger’s; Mary Beth Seraj of the Federal Reserve who came alone, because her Afghan husband was back in that country on business, and Ray and Shaista Mahood.
The Mahoods loaned their dramatic Virginia home earlier this year for the Aschiana Foundation’s “Kite Festival.” a successful event that raised funds for the needy street children of Afghanistan. The name harks back to the recent dark days under the restrictive Taliban rule, when Afghan children were arbitrarily forbidden to fly kites.
Those days are not forgotten, but now, with freedom, kites are flying once again in that country’s skies.
GREAT GRAPPA: That would usually be a contradiction in terms, but the rare honey grappa and blueberry grappa at one recent luncheon were extraordinary for all of us white brandy lovers. Hosts were Ingrid and Fabrizio Aielli (he’s owner chef of Teatro Goldoni restaurant). Honored guest was Yankel Ginzberg, the internationally known painter, about to take off for San Francisco with his wife Pam for an exhibit there of his work. When asked his favorite dining spot when he isn’t eating at his own restaurant, Fabrizio said simply “home”, and proved why when dish after dish he cooked appeared, all “home-style.”
KALEIDOSCOPE: A wine-tasting at Wendy Gowdy’s McLean home kicked off plans for the Fall Benefit for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a cabaret featuring Christine Andreas… Guess who will be our town’s newest restaurateur? Washington National Opera hero Placido Domingo, who, with chef Richard Sandoval (whom he partners in New York’s chic Pampano) and aided by Shanghai-born Alan Yu, will open Zengo, a Latin- Asian restaurant near Chinatown. The famed tenor will surely never have to sing for his supper...
PHOTOS BY KYLE SAMPERTON