Hollywood on the Potomac
If the holiday party at the residence of Ambassador Claudio and Laura Denise Bisogniero was meant to give a brief respite to a nation in distress, they succeeded. Great Italian Opera as well as traditional Chirstmas songs indeed lifted the spirits of guests, while outside the doors of Firenze House life was feeling more precarious just after the Oval Office address to the nation by President Barack Obama on worldwide threats to our nation’s security.
It didn’t hurt that former CIA and FBI cheif was in attendance as well as Supreme Court Justice Alito with his wife ...
“In Colombia, he is ‘The Nobel.’ They actually call him ‘El Nobel.’ They don’t even need to say what his name is. They just say El Nobel, ” Jon Lee Anderson – biographer, author, investigative reporter and staff writer at The New Yorker – told Hollywood on the Potomac at a private screening of Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel García Márquez hosted by T.H. Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO MPAA and H.E. Juan Carlos Pinzon, Ambassador of Colombia to the Unites States. “He’s a source of real pride for a country that has been at war and associated with violent crime for over fifty years. He made them proud in a way no other figure really does. I know Colombia well, and I understand the way they feel about things. It’s been a source of real humiliation for them that most of the rest of the world associate them with crime. They’re proud. ‘Gabo’ gave them a reason to be really proud.” Anderson was raised and educated in many countries, including Colombia. He is the author of the article “The Power of García Márquez” and has been an adviser to the Peace Corps and USAID.
“Elaine has been a great friend for a long, long time. We bump into each other at every corner of our lives. And now, in a very strange reverse way, I’m in Washington DC, she’s in Paris,” said H.E. Gérard Araud, The Ambassador of France, at a reception in honor of Elaine Sciolino, author of The Only Street in Paris: Life on the rue des Martyrs. They have been friends for 45 years and though the occasion fell on the heels of the Paris tragedy, it was also a celebration of those who love Paris and France.
“I simply want to say to you personally, but also to all Americans, how grateful and how moved we have been by the outpouring of friendship towards my country. Actually, you Americans are quite a compassionate people and you have shown it again in this unfortunate, horrible, horrible attack. So thank you again. Thank you very much.” Amb. Araud added.
Sciolino is the former Paris bureau chief of The New York Times. The book is about a small street in Paris. Her favorite reference to the street is: “I can never be sad on the rue des Martyrs.” She explains: “While many cities suffer from the leveling effects of globalization, the rue des Martyrs maintains its distinct allure.” She reveals ‘the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents―the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheese mongers, the showman who’s been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore, the woman who repairs eighteenth-century mercury barometers―making Paris come alive in all its unique majesty. The Only Street in Paris will make readers hungry for Paris, for cheese and wine, and for the kind of street life that is all too quickly disappearing.’