COLUMNS

Oh, the stories of ‘O’!

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • February 08, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz
Pseudonymous, D.C.-area novelist Zane has created quite a buzz at the very private Mansion on O Street. In her latest novel, “Afterburn,” the writer details a passionate sexual encounter in the secluded Art Deco Penthouse of the off-Dupont retreat.

And what better seductive setting?

With a private elevator, patio, full kitchen, six televisions, Jacuzzi and an unconventional ceiling fan built from bicycle gears and fishing poles, the penthouse caters to a variety of tastes. A source at the Mansion confirms that phone lines have been buzzing with requests to book the $1,500 per night suite. (No doubt fans of Zane are yearning to re-enact her steamy scene or even write their own within the suite’s purple, peach and turquoise walls.)

O’Connor

However, H.H. Leonards, the always-discreet Mansion proprietor, isn’t divulging the “A-list” Hollywood celebrity planning clandestine nuptials in the penthouse within the next week.

“High profile people disappear here,” confirms “H.”

But until that (L.A.) story unfolds, here’s another: “Four Blind Mice,” in which novelist James Patterson checks into the Mansion on O for a not-so-steamy, yet nonetheless provocative, rendezvous. This tale is staged in the bona fide two-story Log Cabin Suite, which features a fish tank in the headboard, a Frederic Remington sculpture, a flowered sink – literally enameled with its own love story – and a steady trickle of New Age music. Patterson even reveals the address of the Mansion, which – off the page and on the record – has no signage.

Reality check please

Redskins’ running back John Riggins and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor are credited with turning The Washington Press Club Foundation’s annual dinner into a celeb event – when 20 years back People Magazine invited both, and tongues wagged when an inebriated Riggo was under the table yelling, “Loosen up, Sandy baby, you’re just too damn tight!”

Mehlman

This year, the Creative Coalition, a group that promotes arts advocacy, is bringing in a handful of “B-list” celebs. The invitees include Fran Drescher, Ron Silver, Harry Hamlin, Joe Pantoliano, Cady Huffman, Alfie Woodard (who will also make the “Pure Party,” an after event co-hosted with Congressional Quarterly in the Rotunda of the Reagan Building). There, guests will hear the pure big band sound of Blue Sky 5, and we assume, will show off purely politically correct decorum.

USA Today has assembled the most political clout: Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman and Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., while Washington’s gracious hostess, Esther Coopersmith, has put together one of the more eclectic tables.

Her guests include the ambassadors from Jordan and Romania, AOL founder Jim Kimsey, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., and Rancho La Puerta and Golden Door Spa founder Deborah Szekely. Could it really be that these folks want front row seats to watch the floor show starring House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin? Neither has a roster of humorous reviews.

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