Remembering Maison des Crêpes in Washington

I visited Washington for the first time as part of a weekend trip organized by my high school’s French club. We ate at Maison des Crêpes. I enjoyed it. The restaurant is long gone but I remember it and my trip when I pass by its former location in Georgetown.

The Streets of Washington blog recently shared this photograph of the Maison des Crepes on Flickr and explained its history:

Maison des Crepes originally opened as La Crepe in 1967 at 1305 Wisconsin Avenue NW in Georgetown. It was the creation of Paris-born Jacques Vivien (1925-2010), who began his Washington career as the maitre d' at The Jockey Club. Vivien was riding a fashion craze for creperies when he opened Washington’s first. He decorated the restaurant in French provincial style and had his waitresses decked out in Breton costumes. Eventually two other locations would open, and all would remain popular, especially with tourists, despite sometimes poor reviews from local dining critics. The original restaurant in Georgetown closed in the early 1980s.

This brought back nice memories. That weekend trip was wonderful.

You can read more about the restaurant here.

Film: ‘A Little Romance’

A Little Romance is a 1979 American romantic comedy film directed by George Roy Hill and starring Laurence OlivierThelonious Bernard, and Diane Lane in her film debut.

The screenplay was written by Allan Burns and George Roy Hill, based on the 1977 novel E=mc2 Mon Amour by Patrick Cauvin.

The film follows a French boy and an American girl who meet at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte — 50 minutes south of Paris — and begin a romance that leads to a journey to Venice where they hope to seal their love forever with a kiss beneath the Bridge of Sighs at sunset.

Diane Lane portrays an affluent, intelligent and charming teenager living in Paris. The scenes of Paris are glorious. They made me want to visit Paris and have stayed with me. Thelonious Bernard does a great job portraying the street smart French boy Diane Lane falls in love with. And Laurence Olivier adds a lot to the film.

Music: Jean-Jacques Goldman

Jean-Jacques Goldman is very popular in the French-speaking world. Since the death of Johnny Hallyday in 2017, he has been the highest grossing living French pop rock act. He was born in 1951.

Goldman is the most popular male personality in France. He’s in good company. Sophie Marceau is the most popular female French personality.

Goldman also wrote successful albums and songs for many artists, includingCéline Dion. You can also see them perform together here.

Goldman was born in Paris to an immigrant Polish Jewish father and a German Jewish mother.

Audiobook: ‘The Liberation of Paris’

The Liberation of Paris is a gripping book that is packed full of interesting details about Nazi-occupied Paris and its last commander Dietrich von Choltitz.

At the end of WWII, Adolf Hitler ordered Choltitz to hold Paris, but if that wasn’t possible, to destroy it. Although General Choltitz had been very loyal to Hitler, he could not bring himself to obliterate the City of Light. He ultimately surrendered Paris to French forces on August 25, 1944. He’s been called the “Saviour of Paris” for preventing the destruction Paris.

After his surrender, Choltitz was held for the remainder of the war in London and the United States and was ultimately released from captivity in 1947. He died in Baden-Baden in 1966.

The author of this exceptional book was the distinguished political scientist and biographer Jean Edward Smith. Smith’s work includes highly regarded biographies of Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower. He died on September 1, 2019 at the age of 86.

The audiobook is ably narrated by Fred Sanders, who has narrated many fine audiobooks including Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance.

Audiobook: Recounting the Dreyfus Affair

Before listening to An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris, I knew only the broad outline of the Dreyfus Affair, a political scandal that divided France from from 1894 until 1906. The twists and turns during this 12-year period are amazing and exciting. It is sometimes hard to believe this all really happened. Émile Zola’s 1898 open letter to the President of France accusing the French government of antisemitism was bold and courageous.

This is historical fiction but Robert Harris’s writing is based upon through research. The book has a lot of detail which added to my enjoyment. As a result of this detail, I felt as though I was actually in France.

I enjoyed learning about an important chapter of French history filled with intrigue. The ending is amazing and left me wanting more, despite the length of the audiobook — a little over 16 hours.

The audiobook is narrated by David Rintoul, an accomplished Scottish actor. His intonation and pronunciation are exceptional and added greatly to my enjoyment of the audiobook.

Photoshop Tip: Removing White Glows on Edges

In this short video, Scott Kelby explains how to get rid of those white glows around the outside edges of things. It’s not hard to do.

Lake Needwood, Derwood, Maryland

Lake Needwood, Derwood, Maryland on a cold morning (December 26, 2022) - © David H. Enzel A cold morning the day after Christmas, 2022

The Washington Post - Capital Weather Gang 

A Wake-Up Call to American Jews

Bernard-Henri Lévy (BHL) writing in The Forward:

I wish to warn my Jewish American brothers and sisters of the danger I perceive from the vantage point of a French Jew all too familiar with anti-Semitism. I wish to warn them that they are under siege.

Anti-Semitism in the U.S. is proliferating in a number of ways. The tradition of Holocaust denial is alive and well. The BDS campaign is gaining traction on campuses across the country. The left has embraced a form of identity politics that excludes Jews.

He also states that the October 27, 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting “swept to the dust” America as a shelter for Jews.

BHL is a prominent and controversial French intellectual, media personality, and author. He is author of more than thirty books including the forthcoming “The Empire and the Five Kings,” and “The Genius of Judaism.” He is a co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racisme.