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December 2, 2008
(part 2)

Bisnow and award-winning director Karim Chrobog, cordially invite our readers and friends for a holiday happy hour tomorrow at Midtown at 1219 Connecticut Ave. Sign up for free! (Karim's award-winning documentary Warchild will be playing Dec 5-11 downtown. Click here to learn more about the movie.)


Yesterday we told you about BET co-founder Sheila Johnson's coming Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg. Why there, and why in the "family estate" style? She tells us she discovered the town in the early 90s and became a resident partly because her now 23-year old daughter loved horses. Four years ago Sheila completed a home on pastoral Zulla Road (neighbors include Robert Duvall and Jacqueline Mars) that's a model for the resort.


She offered to show us around, and being celebrity voyeurs we were delighted. Of course it's a huge estate, but everything about it is designed to give off a feeling of warmth and intimacy. Here's Sheila welcoming us at the front door.


Her private driveway winding up to the house (in the distance at right) is planted with the same London Plane trees that will line Salamander's drive.

Exotic Stones

In the kitchen with giant apple sculptures she picked up in St. Paul de Vence above Nice (France is a favorite vacation spot). Yes, she likes cooking, but this born entrepreneur also owns the Mystics and is part owner of the Wizards and Caps. She's partnered with Ted Leonsis on philanthropic documentaries, and told us she wants to do one to publicize what she says is a huge unappreciated fact about Washington: a major AIDS epidemic in Anacostia.


Sheila didn't want to be in all these pictures, but we insisted—as you know, that's our schtick.


The back of her home, which has been re-created in no less than...


Chocolate!  Here back on Middleburg's main street at Sheila's Market Salamander stands its pastry chef, Jason Reaves, with a highly edible, holiday season replica of Sheila's house.


We love Market Salamander. Kind of like a smaller, livelier Balducci's. And Sheila likes it, too, here demonstrating how to eat some of the free cracker treats we found at the checkout. With her, Della Britton, head of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. We really wanted to eat the chocolate house.

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