Hollywood on the Potomac

'À Bientôt'

April 23, 2019

Friends of Ambassador Gérard Araud and Pascal Blondeau received a goodbye note shortly after their farewell reception in the presence of His Excellency Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs at the residence: “Thank you deeply for your friendship and support over the years.” The dynamic duo who have dominated the social scene in Washington since 2015 landed in New York City after they left their official diplomatic post on April 19th.

“It is with regret to see you go, but we are also certain that you have not finished surprising us,” said the Minister who went on to outline his career and accomplishments. Those included his contributions to diplomatic history to his current endeavor of fulfilling a memoir to be published in the Fall. “Your playful spirit delights us on both sides of the Atlantic. You have all the marks of a man of humor and wit  that are very often thought provoking or even contrarian. We often have in mind that you practice Tweets as a political art form, that is complimented by other memes. In this city, I am told that, you are not the only one to have discovered this art form. You are both an intellectual and a man of action. You have played a key role in certain decisive episodes of our recent diplomatic history, and you might tell us later what was pushing you along, goading you. Maybe it was your love of travel. Maybe it was the call of the sea that one always feels as one grows up, as was your case in Marseilles on the shores of the Mediterranean.  You were sent to Tel Aviv where you were to go back 20 years later as an Ambassador. This knowledge of the Middle East led you then from the center of analyses and forecasting of our ministry to our Embassy in Washington. Dear Gérard Araud, due to your exceptional career and your commitment, your life in the service of France, I wanted to express my esteem and express our gratitude, mine and the gratitude of our President who is aware of this meeting tonight. I also wanted to tip my hat to Pascal, who has been your partner for a quarter of a century. Your friends know that he is often your compass, and that the differences between you enrich you both.”

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GRAMMYs On The Hill

April 18, 2019

“This is surreal because I’m here most of the time honoring other people and it feels kind of weird being honored, but it feels so good to be honored,” said American gospel singer and actress who was honored at the GRAMMYs on The Hill at The Hamilton in downtown Washington, DC.

“Then it feels scary to be honored because now I’ve got to do more. But it’s okay because I love doing more. I think that we as creators, we know what it’s like to birth something out of our experiences. The one thing that I do know is that every person on earth, no matter which side of the aisle they are, no matter what color, creed, ethnicity, everyone has a heart.”

The Recording Academy™ united the worlds of music and politics at the annual GRAMMYs on the Hill® Awards. The Awards honored four-time GRAMMY®-winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams for her advocacy on behalf of fellow creators and Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth for her philanthropic contributions to the music community. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) were honored for their roles in achieving bipartisan support of the Music Modernization Act, further advancing music creators’ rights. Joined by more than 60 members of Congress, performances included Adams, Chenoweth, songwriter and musician PJ Morton (Maroon 5), and GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Linda Perry.

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'Savage News'

April 17, 2019

Natalie Savage grew up hearing these words from her beloved father, who admired Walter Cronkite so much he named the family dog after him. Natalie—who spent her twenties missing out on life’s benchmarks—finally sees her efforts pay off when she’s assigned to cover the White House for her network, ATN. The problem? The position is only temporary, a test to see if she has what it takes. She has always relied on her grit, her principles and her news sense to gain success. But now her competition is a twenty-six-year-old spoiled frat boy who got his big television break by eating raw animal parts on a reality show. Of course, he’s winning.” Savage News

“First and foremost I wanted it to be fun,” said author Jessica Yellin with lots of journalists at the book launch at City Centre’s St. John Pop Up at Centrolina. “So this book has a missing first lady, a reality TV star, sex, workplace drama and palace injury and it’s not a Trump administration tell-all. It’s a story about what it’s like to be a driven woman in journalism and I’ll tell you that in early drafts I started writing in 2014 there was polite ‘me too’ in it and all my early readers told me, ‘Oh God, you’ve got to take that out, no one wants to hear that.’  And then as I kept writing and the Harvey Weinstein thing happened everyone called me up and said, ‘Put it back in, put it back in.’ ” So she did.

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