'Housewives' Nightlife Ep. 4: Good times in 'Hollywood for ugly people'
"People like to call Washington the Hollywood for ugly people," Mary Schmidt Amons reveals to The Entire World in Thursday's installment of "The Real Housewives of D.C." (Thanks a lot, Mary, now no one hot is ever going to move here.)
We may not be Brazil, but the ugliest thing in this episode had nothing to do with the way Washingtonians look. No, that prize goes to all the unsavory behavior we saw this go-round. Sneaking into $750-a-head dinners? Trash-talking one's own mother? Grocery-store grapes, for heaven's sakes?
Do these people have no souls?
This week's episode started off rather sweetly, in the warm (dare we say happy?) Georgetown home of Lynda Erkiletian. She's happy because home is a condo in the enviable Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown.
She gets room service. She eats at the hotel's restaurant. (She's also happy, we're pretty sure, because of her man, the enviable Ebong Eka, who is to women in Washington what Robert Pattinson is to goth girls.)
We can't have Ebong, but we can have the Ritz, for an evening, anyway. Anyone can dine in the restaurant Erkiletian refers to, Fahrenheit, or have a drink in the hotel's swank bar, Degrees. Both are kind of old-guard, however. These days, the real scene is a few blocks away at the other Ritz, which is home to Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert.
But no one is going anywhere without taking care of that nasty case of ugly. You could head to Ted Gibson's salon, which we see opening in this episode with a pretty typical Washington party (i.e., the same 20 people who go to every store opening, all to drink the same cheap sparkling wine). "D.C. needed you," Michaele Salahi gushes to Gibson. Looks like we still do: The salon isn't in D.C. at all, but just over the city line -- where it's safe -- at the Hela Spa in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
The galpal we didn't see at the salon party was Stacie Scott Turner, who opted instead to hang with her real girlfriends for the one real D.C. thing about this whole episode: Howard Homecoming! A treasured Washington institution, every year, Howard Homecoming lures generations of Howard University alums from across the country for a week of partying, fashion shows and Bison football.
As big as Howard Homecoming is, it was the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference weekend that was at the center of the drama for the 'Wives this week.
See, the event -- held in Washington Sept. 15-18 this year -- culminates each year in a fabulous awards dinner. A dinner that this year will fetch $750 a ticket.
And in this episode, the 'Wives learn that the Salahis went to that dinner, where the Obamas were in attendance.
They brought a couple of guests, making it four people. With just one ticket.
(A CBC spokesman said in interviews last year that the couple couldn't produce any tickets when asked to show them. But on last night's episode, the story is that there was one.)
You see where this is going, right?
Before any of the other 'Wives can fully absorb what it all means, the whole gang (minus Erkiletian, who bowed out for what can only be described as moral reasons) arrives at Oasis Winery, an hour and a half outside of Washington, in Hume, Va. There, they drink wine, politely avoid bringing up that whole nasty CBC business, and stomp grapes that may or may not be freshly plucked from the grocery store.
Judging by their large size, I'm going to agree with Amons on this one; they don't look a thing like teeny-tiny wine grapes. But we also agree with Amons when she asks, "Who cares?" Still seems like fun to us.
(It turns out anyone can take out their frustrations on some grapes; the newish Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in Northern Montgomery County hosts its annual family-friendly stomp Sept. 25 and 26 and Oct. 2 and 3.)
If there was one pleasant thing about Thursday's episode, it was the scenery, which really showed off how pretty a fall around here can be. If you're planning a trek to Virginia's Skyline Drive or another scenic vista to see the colors, expect the leaves to start changing around October, but check here compulsively beginning late next month for updates on their progress. Or just book a trip to this fabulous festival.
Just don't do what the Housewives do at the end of Episode 4, which is linger at the winery. All that Washington politeness? Out the window somewhere around that seventh glass of chardonnay.
-- Lavanya Ramanathan
| August 27, 2010; 3:08 AM ET
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