She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city just as much as we do.
Marlene Hall is a go-getter. She’s someone who faces the adversity life throws and embraces it. Hall grew up an Army brat and has lived all over the world but it’s DC she calls home.
She takes great pride in contributing her time to veteran organizations and causes like Team Red, White, and Blue. She was also a supernumerary in the Washington National Opera’s Carmen with opera singer Denyce Graves. She recently started her own Public Relations company and also works with Viridian Green Energy where she gets people to switch their utilities to green energy.
What is it about DC that makes it home to you?
Well, I’m from here. I grew up here, my parents grew up here, my relatives are here, so this is home. I love being surrounded by family. I have a strong support network because of my family and friends. I don’t need to get plane tickets for Christmas or Thanksgiving as everyone is here. Everywhere I go, I usually see someone I know.
I also love the military tradition here. My dad and my grandfathers all served here in the area. One of my grandfathers served in the Old Guard and is buried at Arlington. I too served in the military and being surrounded by military is always home to me.
courtesy of LaTur
Describe your perfect day in DC. Where would you go and what would you do?
Perfect day for me is sleeping in, then grabbing food at Carlyle in Shirlington with my gal pals or family, then heading into DC to walk around the cherry blossoms when they are in bloom, then biking the Mt. Vernon trail, and then relaxing on the Old Town Waterfront or Georgetown Waterfront, then grabbing Italian food at Faccia Luna or Pho at Caphe Banh Mi in Old Town.
What’s your favorite hidden gem of a location in DC? How did you find it and why do you love it?
Not sure how hidden it is, but I love the hot chocolate at Tryst in Adams Morgan. I can sit there all day, do work on my computer and sip their delicious hot chocolate and eat their amazing salads. I love simple pleasures.
I’m also a fan of Cathal Armstrong’s restaurants in Old Town like Restaurant Eve, Eammons, PX Speakeasy, and Virtue Feed and Grain
Who’s your favorite DC personality and why?
I have a couple of favorite personalities. I love WJLA’s Alison Starling and WRC TV’s Angie Goff. They are both my friends and are just the nicest and most genuine people you would ever meet. They are definitely celebrities in DC, but they have time for everyone. I value people like them who are genuine and caring. They are both superstars at their jobs and Alison is a soon to be mommy and Angie is a mommy and about to have another baby. I’m not sure how they juggle it all. Just admire them both very much.
I don’t personally know RG-III, but he brings dignity, kindness, and genuineness to the brutal sport of football. I think he has done a lot to soften the image of the Redskins and helped to turn that team around. How cities’ sports teams do have a psychological and financial impact on the cities and RG-III has done a lot of good for DC.
Lastly I like Nationals’ baseball player Bryce Harper. I like that he gets involved in the community, by just showing up to games on the National Mall. He seems down to earth and also genuine. He has done a lot of good for the Nationals’ baseball too.
What’s your favorite charitable organization in DC and what is it about their work that you feel best demonstrates the giving this city is capable of?
This is hard to choose, but I love Team Red, White, and Blue. I recently got involved with them. They are a military veterans’ organization across the nation and world helping to connect our veterans via social and physical activities. If all I did is help veterans for the rest of my life I would be fulfilled as a person. I’m also a veteran and veterans are a special group of people. We live for a higher purpose, are tight with each other, we support one another, give selflessly, and would do anything for each other. Veterans and military members protect our nation and our freedom and I can think of no better heroes than veterans.
I also like the GI Film Festival. It was co-founded by my friend Laura Law-Millett who is an army veteran and West Point graduate. The festival works tirelessly to show the military in an authentic light through film. I got to meet and escort Glenn Close who did a documentary on dogs, trained by women prisoners, to help wounded heroes with PTSD. I’ve met Ross Perot, Joe Mantegna, Pat Sajak and host of other amazing people through the GI Film Festival. It’s in May in DC, during Military Appreciation Month.