Cutting Loose Before Heading Home

Early this summer, the word went out to interns in Washington: To keep their calendars open for an end-of-season dance party at the Spot, a downtown nightclub.

So more than 2,500 interns, students and young professionals lined up Friday night--or to be more accurate, early Saturday morning--for a last chance at rocking, romancing and relaxing before heading back home. And they're actually sad to go.

"I like that this town's conservative, even though I'm not," said Victoria Hurtado, a 21-year-old intern from San Antonio working at the Department of Health and Human Services. "I've never felt so at home and so far away."

"D.C. is a little more relaxed than other places," said Mette Andresen, a 26-year-old from Denmark working this summer at the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home.

Not everyone, of course, was from out of town. Mike Thurm, an 18-year-old from Potomac, was on the prowl for the next love of his life. "Where else can you find good bands, good music and good women?" he asked.

Into the Pool With the Greatest of Ease

When in Washington . . . well, this summer one must cannonball into a swimming pool. So everyone got soaked at Thursday's party honoring Les Arts Sauts, a troupe of French trapeze artists performing this month at the Kennedy Center. The dinner, held at the Kalorama residence of French Embassy deputy chief of mission Francois Barry Delongchamps, was relatively sedate, until the acrobats stripped down to almost nothing and tumbled repeatedly into the tiny pool. A swell, if wet, time was had by all.

Dick Gephardt's Happy Tune

Outside, the air was thick with humidity. Inside the Mayflower Hotel, the air was thick with optimism and big bucks at Monday's $1.7 million "reception" for House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. The Missouri Democrat (otherwise known as "the next speaker") presided over one of the year's biggest political fund-raisers. Uberlobbyists such as Tommy Boggs (below left with Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo) pressed the flesh; singer Tony Bennett, just hours away from his 73rd birthday, treated the crowd of 500 VIPs to "The Best Is Yet to Come" and other cheery thoughts. Gephardt and his wife, Jane, joined Bennett (above center) onstage after the performance. "Now you know why I'm not for term limits," teased the very pleased congressman.