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Marylouise Oates

D.C.-to-L.A. Commuters Just Coasting

December 13, 1986|Marylouise Oates

That trendy word, bicoastal, sometimes seems a one-way street--heading east.

Eager and increasingly mobile Californians keep jumping on those first-class flights to Washington's Dulles Airport, signing in at the Four Seasons or Rose Narva's Jefferson, crowding the Jockey Club at the Ritz Carlton and even getting a chance to socialize with the First Californians, the Reagans. Some unfortunates also commute from L.A. east to work.

This massive back-and-forth started when Ron and Nancy moved to D.C. They took Californians with them and others, too rich or too important to take jobs in the government, nonetheless traveled back and forth to see the First Reagans and other buddies. It has continued ever since.

But bicoastal seems to be of both coasts only in the sense that Californians who rush to party and/or work in D.C. then have to turn around and come back. Not a whole lot of folks are busy rushing out to California at the drop of a party invitation. (The exception, of course, is January and February, when it seems everyone from a cold, damp place finds a good reason to be in L.A.)

These bicoastals are all committed first-class travelers. That means a driver to the airport, front-of-the-plane accommodations, a driver to pick them up at Dulles, first scrambling to get all the luggage. Big luggage. Like poor Carol Matthau having to drag her Emanuelle gown to D.C. for the Kennedy Center awards. A very large bag is really necessary for a dress that makes its wearer look like Glinda the Good Witch.

And, of course, regular commuting means one can leave possessions--and even an apartment or house--on the other coast. Like Kitty and Steve Moses. Their buddy Chuck Manatt wanted to sell his Georgetown home, and Kitty and Steve, increasingly interested in politics, thought it would be nice to have a D.C. residence. So they bought it.

Joan Benny, who commutes regularly between residences here and in N.Y., says she's solved the travel problem by keeping two sets of everything in both places. Yes, even houses.

Perhaps the best description of bicoastal is from one traveler who said she knew she was really living on both coasts when she had hot rollers in both places.

UPCOMING--Corwin and Nanci Denney host a Jan. 8 reception to honor Jimmy Stewart, Robert Wagner and the Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon. That annual event benefits St. John's Hospital and Health Center . . . Pass the salt. Of course, for El Cholo's 60th anniversary. At the Western Avenue restaurant, it's hosted by Michelle Phillips, Nolan Ryan, Ray Bradbury, Darlene and Ron Salisbury and Hans Prager, all on Jan. 5 . . . Carroll O'Connor hosts a cocktail party for the Actors' Fund on Sunday at the Ginger Man. Set to show up are Angela Lansbury, Eddie Albert, Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless, Arthur Hill, Anne Meara, Burgess Meredith, Robin Williams and Anne Seymour. Info coming out that night--details on Alex Cohen's nights of stars on TV. All of that--and Michael Feinstein will be playing . . . Hurrah for Nordstrom. Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times will be the first beneficiary of a limited edition collectors holiday ornament on sale at the department stores. Designed by Donna Karan, it goes for $75 . . .

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