For the Kastles, D.C. Royalty

Kastles owner Mark Ein, left, was at opening night with Mayor Adrian Fenty.
Kastles owner Mark Ein, left, was at opening night with Mayor Adrian Fenty. (Roxanne Roberts - The Washington Post)
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Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tuesday's Washington Kastles opener -- held in an outdoor stadium downtown -- had all the comforts of a D.C. summer night, circa 1950: cold drinks, hand fans and few ties. Very retro, for those accustomed to air conditioning in every nook of the city.

More than 2,200 tennis nuts showed up for the inaugural night of the town's first professional tennis team : Billie Jean King, Mayor Adrian Fenty and his two sons, former mayor Tony Williams and wife Diane, former first lady Cora Masters Barry, Rep. Jane Harman, former Louisiana senator John Breaux and team owner Mark Ein, wearing a dark suit and tie despite the heat. "The whole idea was to create a center of activity in the summer where there was none," said Ein.

The big draw: Franchise player Serena Williams, fresh off the Wimbledon final, almost close enough to touch. In the dream-seat boxes ($4,000 for the season, bottles of vodka on the tables, food and cute waitresses in shorts): Wizard Caron Butler, Steve Case, Raul Fernandez, Russ Ramsey and other millionaire fans. Second-best view: janitors watching the games from nearby office buildings. The Kastles lost to the Boston Lobsters (22-19), but no one really cared because all the pros hung around to sign autographs for every fan 15 or younger.

Then all the beautiful people headed off to the Park nightclub to unwind. (Except Williams, who showed up at Blue Duck Tavern in a flowery summer dress with a large group of pals.) Highlights: Kastles head coach Thomas Blake, older brother of tennis pro James Blake, looked even better up close -- the 31-year-old bachelor is "completely, unattached, single"; a girl got too close to a candle and her hair caught on fire (she's fine, just a little singed), and we found Ein -- nursing a Heineken, tie finally off -- looking pretty pleased. "So far, so good," he said with a grin.

Conventional Wisdom

News and notes on the path to the 2008 nominations:

See that cute "Access Hollywood" interview with Barack Obama's daughters? Hope so, because you won't be seeing any more like it. The candidate hit the morning shows yesterday saying he regretted allowing the chat with Malia and Sasha, who'd previously been off-limits to media, reports our colleague Perry Bacon.

The interview with Maria Menounos was taped on July 4 -- Malia's 10th birthday. (Totally spontaneous, swear Menounos and the campaign, although we're told the family was spotted giving other interviews that day.) Malia on a possible move to the White House: "I enjoy decorating. I get this whole new room to do whatever I want." Sasha, 7, on Dad's speeches: "Blah blah blah."

"All of us, I think, got caught up in the festivities," Obama told the morning anchors yesterday. "And so they had a chance to be their adorable selves on TV, but generally we've been very protective of them. . . . We wouldn't do it again."


Game OVER! Some downtown desk jockeys were keeping themselves entertained this summer by tracing the images of '80s video game figures in sticky notes on their office windows -- a merry battle of the Pac-Mans and Marios across Vermont Avenue -- until The Washington Post had to go ruin the fun.

Hours after our colleague Laura Yao's story about the Post-it Note art hit the streets yesterday, word came down from the owners of 1110 Vermont: Cut it out. Actually, the management company's Joy Harriman tells us the order would have come even without the article. "Not all the tenants of the building are happy with the Post-its on the windows," she said.

Maybe the game had jumped the shark anyway: One player violated the Post-it aesthetic by slapping up a store-bought cartoon decal, prompting the guys across the street to respond with a "Game Over" sign. We checked in with Amy Smith, the PR exec who got the whole craziness started, and she still had Ms. Pac-Man on her window. Will she comply with the order? "I think I will eventually, at the end of the day."

Love, Etc.

* Dedicating: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the supermodel turned chanteuse turned France's first lady, who this week previewed her new album, notably including a song, "Ta Tienne," that seems to describe her whirlwind courtship and marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy. Translation from the Times of London: "I give you my body, my soul and my chrysan- themum / . . . You are my lord, you're my darling / You're my orgy / You're my folly / . . . Watch out because I am Italian / . . . I am burning for you like a pagan woman." Dude -- her chrysanthemum!

* Named: Levi Alves McConaughey, the newborn son of frequently shirtless actor Matthew, whom frankly we counted on to come up with a more exotic celebaby name. (Mom is model Camila Alves.)

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