Hollywood on the Potomac

Soirée de Noël!

December 16, 2018

RBG – that’s Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to us – started her walk of fame week at the National Archives with the screening of Focus Features’ On the Basis of Sex with actors Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer and Justin Theroux; Director Mimi Leder and Screenwriter Daniel Stiepleman in tow and then moved on to the Residence of The Ambassador of France a few nights later for a “Soirée de Noël” where Champagne and the holiday spirit flowed freely.  And yes, the unlikely diminutive Rock Star does Champagne!

The evening was bitter sweet though when Amb. Araud announced that he and Pascal Blondeau would be moving on in March, ending probably the most successful Ambassadorship ever in Washington DC.  The talented duo combined elegance and fun at a level rarely seen in the oft stiff world of diplomacy. The very talented artist, photographer Blondeau’s fingerprints were all over the residence’s decor for the Soirée de Noël.

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'Stubborn Attachments'

December 11, 2018

Stubborn Attachments – no, not those kind – is about economic growth. So says prolific economic author and professor Tyler Cowen who was hosted at a book party in his honor at the Kalorama home of Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter.


“Growth is good. Through history, economic growth, in particular, has alleviated human misery, improved human happiness and opportunity, and lengthened human lives. Wealthier societies are more stable, offer better living standards, produce better medicines, and ensure greater autonomy, greater fulfillment, and more sources of fun. If we want to continue on our trends of growth, and the overwhelmingly positive outcomes for societies that come with it, every individual must become more concerned with the welfare of those around us. So, how do we proceed?”


“Tyler Cowen, in a culmination of 20 years of thinking and research, provides a roadmap for moving forward. In this new book, Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals, Cowen argues that our reason and common sense can help free us of the faulty ideas that hold us back as people and as a society. Stubborn Attachments, at its heart, makes the contemporary moral case for economic growth and delivers a great dose of inspiration and optimism about our future possibilities.”  Stripe Press

Cowen chatted with Hollywood on the Potomac and answered the question that is on everyone’s mind:  “How is the economy going and when is the next possible crash?”

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'Sea Change'

December 10, 2018

“The reason we’re here tonight is really because of David Smith and his family,” said Max Kennedy at a book party in his honor for Sea Change: A Man, A Boat, and A Journey Home at the residence of Sarah and Bob Nixon in Georgetown.  “I don’t know how many of you know the story of  The Pearl, but David is gonna tell us a little bit about it. The whole point of this book was to try to bring a real wooden schooner to Washington DC to represent The Pearl and to give children who are going to the public schools in DC a chance at experiential learning, a chance to experience the natural environment, and a chance also to understand what it was, to some degree, to try to escape to freedom.”

First things first: “The Pearl Incident was the largest recorded nonviolent escape attempt by slaves in United States history. On April 15, 1848, seventy-seven slaves attempted to escape Washington D.C. by sailing away on a schooner called The Pearl. Their plan was to sail south on the Potomac River, then north up the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River to the free state of New Jersey, a distance of nearly 225 miles (362 km). The attempt was organized by both abolitionist whites and free blacks, who expanded the plan to include many more slaves. Paul Jennings, a former slave who had served President James Madison, helped plan the escape. The slaves, including men, women and children, found their passage delayed by winds running against the ship. Two days later, they were captured on the Chesapeake Bay near Point Lookout, Maryland by an armed posse traveling by steamboat. As punishment, the owners sold most of the slaves to traders who took them to the Deep South.”  Wikipedia

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