Ali Wentworth used to live in DC but left as soon as she could. Then she fell in love with a guy in politics and found her way back to this "one-industry town" before moving once again to New York City. It's all a very long story that she tells in her new book Ali In Wonderland And Other Tall Tales that is out now. A childhood encounter with the British Ambassador in his pajamas outside her house on Whitehaven Street is just one of the local stories she has up her sleeve. She'll be at Upstairs On 7th next week (March 6th) to tell us all about it. But in the meantime check out our Q and A where she talks about her new webshow, her addiction to seashells, and the ways DC is better than New York.
Tell us about your new show, Daily Shot, and how it came about. One thing that is different about it is that you completely break the fourth wall. What was your thinking for approaching the show this way?
They came to me. Disney is looking totally redo their video content online and they came to me wanting to know if I’d like to do something. So I said what if we do it in my kitchen? I knew I had this book coming out so it just worked out. We try to keep it completely fresh and just go by the headlines from that day. My husband, George [Stephanopolous], is great because he can tell me what is going on in politics. I call him my news bitch.
In your book you devote almost half a chapter to your love for seashells and when you lived in DC you wrote a piece for Elle Decor on your Georgetown house with all its seashell themes. What is with the seashells?
What can I say. I love them. I comb the ocean floor. But when we moved to New York some of my collection had to go. You can’t move from our house in Georgetown to this apartment in New York and keep everything. You just can’t. George has given me a limit to how many sea shells I can bring back from vacation.
About that sketch of a reclined nude that is front and center when you first walk in. How do people usually respond when they see it for the first time? What is the weirdest response someone has had?
Well, it’s a Lucian Freud piece and I love it. My mother said, the first thing you want people to see when they come into your house is boobs? And I said, well, yeah. The way I see it, if you have something wrong with Lucian Freud then you don’t really need to come to my house. Most people really like it. No one has had a bad response.
The last line of the Elle article is, "If I'm lucky I'll never have to move again." But, now here you are in NYC. How are you feeling now that you've settled in and are out of the DC scene?
It’s going great. The kids are settled in school. We’ve all found a routine. I’m sure that we will move again. That’s just the way life is. I just know it probably won’t be Mystique! But New York is different from DC. There’s a lot of schlepping. I miss driving the kids to school and going to Whole Foods and bringing everything in the house. Here you only buy what you can carry. You wouldn’t never just drive around the city. It’s a nightmare. I miss the parks. We do have Central Park, but you have to keep an eye on your kids. In DC you can sit on a bench and read a paper while they play. The food in New York is better. You can order a bagel and cream cheese at 3 am, but you can’t do that in DC.
· Ali In Wonderland And Other Tall Tales [OfficialSite]
· @aliewentworth [Twitter]
· DC Home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos [Elle Decor]
· The Daily Shot [OfficialSite]
· March 6th Book Event [Upstairs on 7th]