Washington, D.C. To-Do List for Thanksgiving Weekend

Guess who’s stuck in Washington, D.C. for Thanksgiving?¬†

Not Taylor Swift, me ūüėČ If you’re raising your hand too, I’ve got a few ideas of things you can do to still have a fabulous weekend in the city.

VOLUNTEER

So you have no family here or you’re stuck having to work on Friday… guess what, there are people who have it worse than you. So why not give back and help those less fortunate.¬†The D.C. Jewish Community Center hosts a number of “everything but the turkey” volunteer events¬†between Sunday November 19th and Tuesday November 21st (including one that is family friendly.) All of the shifts to assist with thanksgiving food preparation the week of Thanksgiving are already full at Food & Friends but you can still buy one of the Thanksgiving Pies they are selling to benefit their¬†Slice of Life initiative (that one’s a win-win for everyone involved!).¬†The Holiday Helpings opportunities at¬†Bread for the City are also mostly all filled up (we’re obviously a city that loves to volunteer!)¬†but you can still find some openings by looking through their volunteer opportunity calendar here. You can also participate in one of the region’s many Turkey Trots like the one benefiting SOME at Freedom Plaza¬†on¬†Thursday, November 23, 2017.

SOME is also accepting Thanksgiving donation baskets at 71 O Street on Friday, November 17 (8AM-4PM), Saturday November 18 (10AM-1PM) and Monday November 20 (8AM-4PM). You can learn more about this opportunity and what they need <here>. 

SEE A SHOW/PLAY/CONCERT/GAME

There’s always something happening at the newly re-branded Capitol One Arena in Chinatown. During Thanksgiving week, we’re looking at Lady gaga on Sunday, November 19th, hockey games on Saturday (Capitals vs Minnesota), Monday (vs. Calgary), Wednesday (vs. Ottawa) and Friday (vs. Tampa Bay) or basketball (Wizards vs. Portland on Saturday November 25.¬†Other concerts include St. Vincent,¬†performing at D.C.’s newest venue The Anthem on¬†November 27 or Diplo at Echostage November 25th. On the more classical side, the National Symphony Orchestra will perform the score from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while audiences relive the magic of the film on giant screens (November 24-25 and 26.)

Picture courtesy of the Kennedy Center

And of course, the Nutcracker starts at the Kennedy Center too… because Christmas. That means yep, A Christmas Carol is back at Ford’s Theater too.¬†Less Christmas-y, you can catch performances of Twelfth Night by the Shakespeare Theater Company at Sidney Harman Hall (November 14-December 20th, tickets here), Nina Simone: Four Women at Arena Stage (November 10-December 24, tickets here) or¬†The Second City Presents ‚ÄėNothing to Lose (But Our Chains)’¬†(November 11 ‚Äď December 31) at Woolly Mammoth Theater.¬†¬†

CHECK OUT AN EXHIBIT OR A NEW MUSEUM

The University of Iowa Museum of Art was kind enough to loan us Jackson Pollock‚Äôs ‘Mural’, the artist’s largest work¬†which will be on display at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building starting November 19th. While you’re there, you can still catch the Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting exhibit which opened on the West Building a few weeks ago.¬† And since the Freer Gallery of Art just reopened after nearly two years of renovations, why not check out its¬†Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt exhibit (Miaou! open through January 15, 2018 at the Sackler Galleries), Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia (open through November 2020) or instagram your way through¬†Subodh Gupta: ‘Terminal a¬†new large-scale installation made from towers of brass containers that are connected by thread.

Image courtesy of the Hauser & Wirth Gallery

You can also catch the last few days of Kingdom of Colors at Artechouse. The¬†¬†immersive visual experience, designed by French filmmaker¬†Thomas Blanchard¬†and artist¬†Oilhack (with a soundtrack by Lyon-based composer Leonardo Villiger), closes November 26th. And there will be 5 augmented reality cocktails at this one! Finally, if that’s your thing, you can also visit D.C.’s newest museum, the Museum of the Bible, which will open November 17 (tickets are free.)

START CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

It might be Thanksgiving weekend, but as soon I’ve you’ve digested that Turkey the city is all about the holidays. Thanksgiving weekend is really Christmas season’s first weekend and you can get into the holiday spirits at one of those events:

  • Season‚Äôs Greenings, the United States Botanical Garden annual holiday show, opens Friday, November 23 (and runs through January 1, 2018.) Tickets are free but you might want to wait until a little later in December when the crowds die down a little. There will be a number of special evenings as well throughout the month with live music… and less children! You can read my recap of the 2015 edition right here.

  • Get a head start on buying those Christmas presents at the Downtown Holiday Market, whose tents will start appearing¬†by the National Portrait Gallery as early as Saturday November 24.¬†¬†
  • If the weather is nice, you can head to the National Zoo for ZooLights, a fun display of LED Christmas lights. (Free admission; 5-9 PM daily; November 24 ‚Äď January 1, 2018)
  • CityCenterDC will light its impressive 75 feet tall holiday tree on Saturday, November 25 (6 PM) Also making an appearance, the 25-foot reindeer (I love those!)¬†¬†
  • Donald Trump and his family will also be lighting the National Christmas Tree that Saturday. You had to enter a lottery¬†to go to the actual ceremony but you can also just go check it out on Sunday instead. In addition to the National Christmas Tree, each state and US Territory has a smaller tree on display in President’s Park.¬†

 

Le Beaujolais Nouveau is Arriving at These 6 French Spots

Beaujolais Nouveau 2016

Ten¬†days after the U.S. elections and one week before Thanksgiving, it’s time to celebrate a French holiday for a change: the arrival of the first wine of the season, le Beaujolais Nouveau. As always, it happens on the third Thursday¬†of November, so unless you were up until 2 a.m. celebrating at Bistrot du Coin today’s the day! Here are 10¬†French restaurants and wine bars marking the occasion around town.

Cafe du Parc at the Willard InterContinental will be offering free George Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau along with passed hors d’oeuvres at the bar on Thursday from 5-6pm. Beaujolais will also be available by the glass and as a pairing with a 4-course, prix-fixe dinner at the restaurant upstairs ($65 per person¬†without the pairing, $85 with.)

Le Grenier on H Street will also be pouring complimentary Beaujolais at its bar from 6 to 9 pm on Thursday. 


Beaujolais Nouveau at La JambeBeaujolais is pretty cheap wine, and Chef Cedric Maupillier totally gets that.
¬†He’ll be offering glasses¬†of the¬†vin primeur for $10 a glass ($7 at the bar during happy hour)¬†and $25 a bottle throughout his Shaw restaurant¬†Convivial.¬†Around the corner from Convivial, my new favourite wine bar,¬†La Jambe¬†is celebrating the 2016 harvest with $9 glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau ($16 for two¬†until supplies last so make it a wine date!) which will pair perfectly with owner Anastasia Mori’s homemade charcuterie. Petworth Citizen will also be pouring some Jean Paul Brun, but they don’t have Anastasia’s rillettes though….¬†

Le Beaujolais Nouveau will also arrive at Central Michel Richard, where Domaine Dupeuble РBeaujolais Nouveau will be poured (and paired with Coq au Vin!) from Thursday to Saturday. 

Coq au vin and Beaujolais at Central Michel Richard

Across the pond in Old Town, Virginia, Michelle and Christophe Poteaux have crafted a fabulous three or four course menu ($39 and $49 respectively) at Bastille, designed to pair with a Domaine Manoir du Carra Beaujolais, which will be offered for $9 a glass or $32 a bottle. (ps: Domaine Manoir du Carra has a Beaujolais rosé which you should absolutely try if you can get your hands on it!!) 

Last year’s Beaujolais Nouveau release happened just on the heels of the Paris attacks when¬†gunmen and suicide bombers hit the bataclan¬†concert hall, the Stade de France, restaurants and bars, almost simultaneously leaving 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. It was a little difficult mustering the usual enthusiasm that accompanies the celebration. So I’m really looking forward to it this year and you’ll find me, as usual, celebrating with dear friends at home parties rather than out and about. Will you be celebrating the release of the new 2016 harvest this year?

 

U.S. Supreme Court? CHECK!

FINALLY!! After 6 years on my DC-to-do-list, I can cross off visiting the U.S. Supreme Court! Well, actually, the item on my list was a little more ambitious than just visiting the U.S. Supreme Court. I wanted to sit through an oral argument. And that’s not exactly what I did this week, but close enough.¬†

US Supreme Court

Thanks to a former colleague, I sat through a lecture on property rights in the progressive era, organized by the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society and hosted by Justice Samuel Alito. The lecture itself was waaaay over my head, I have no legal background whatsoever, but the reception afterwards, in one of the court’s stunning conference rooms, was right up my alley! I mean, of course I would find a way to drink wine at the U.S. supreme Court right?¬†

Reception at the US Supreme Court

So now I actually do want to just take a tour of the building and get to learn more about it but I am still crossing the U.S. Supreme Court off my DC-to-do-list!! So far, I’m doing pretty good and I think I might be able to cross everything off… let’s recap:

  1. U.S. Supreme Court — check¬†
  2. Sipping cocktails at the Columbia Room.
  3. Catching a movie at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse.
  4. Dinner at Bad Saint — check (read about it here)
  5. Visit the Society of Cincinnati and Lars Anderson House.
  6. Watch the planes take off and land at Reagan National Airport from Gravely Point — check
  7. Catch the Caps practice at the Kettler Iceplex¬†— check
  8. Meander through the lush grounds at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Garden¬†— check (and during Cherry Blossoms season which was absolutely gorgeous!)
  9. Go on a hike in Rock Creek Park¬†— check (though I’d like to crush it from top to bottom like this Washingtonian article recommends.)
  10. Have drinks at The Tombs in Georgetown.

So 6 down, 4 to go with 7 weeks left in 2016! I think I can do it!! 

Drink all the French Bubbles at DC’s First Champagne Week

DC Champagne WeekIf you missed Champagne Day on October 21, don’t worry! Champagne shouldn’t be celebrated in a day anyway, it clearly deserves¬†its own week! At least that’s what my friends Jess and Alison thought. These two wine pros are throwing DC’s first ever Champagne Week, from Sunday November 6¬†to Thursday November 12.

The idea for DC Champagne Week started off small. Jess runs Young Winos of DC, a group that connects people in the District with wine tastings and events. She reached out to Alison, who runs her own wine consulting business Bon Vivant DC, to partner up on a champagne focused event. Jess jokes that Alison took a small idea and blew it up, but Alison retorts that Jess never would’ve reached out to her if she wanted something low key ūüėČ Before long, Alison was in Champagne attending¬†le¬†Printemps des Champagnes, the weeklong industry festival (you can read more about her trip to Paris and Champagne here). While there, she was able to meet producers, other champagne event producers and came back with a better understanding of what a champagne week might look like in DC. Right away, Alison had a¬†vision of a grand tasting like the ones she just¬†experienced at the Printemps des Champagnes and everything grew from¬†there…

Champagne Week DCSo what can you expect from DC Champagne Week? Here’s a run-down of the events:

The event will feature an elite lineup of champagne houses including Pol Roger, Gosset, Pierre Paillard, Charles Heidsieck,¬†A.R. Lenoble, Canard-Duch√™ne, J de Telmont, Heucq Pere & Fils, and selections from the Terry Theise¬†champagne portfolio.¬†Select cuv√©es will be available for purchase throughout DC Champagne Week at¬†Calvert Woodley,¬†a fabulous wine shop and¬†the event retail partner.¬†You can find out more about DC Champagne Week right here and I definitely hope I’ll be seeing you at some of the events!!

Santé!! 

Christine & The Queens at the All Things Go Fall Classic Festival

Have you heard of Christine And the Queens? Did you go see her and her band when she played at the¬†9:30 Club¬†earlier this year? I couldn’t make it, so I’m stoked she’s coming back! As part of a small North American tour, she’ll be performing at the All Things Go Fall Classic Music Festival¬†at¬†Yards Park this Saturday, October 8th. DC’s not a big music festival town¬†¬†and¬†I’ve loved seeing this¬†one grow from its beginning at Dock 5 behind Union Market in 2014. And of course I love that there’s a French artist in the line-up!!¬†

All Things Go Classic

The headliners this year are¬†Empire of the Sun (the videos from the Australian band are amazing, like this one for Alive,¬†so I bet they put on quite a show!). They’ll be joined on stage by¬†Passion Pit, Sylvan Esso¬†and others, including of course Christine! The best part of this music festival, in my opinion, is that it marries music and food. In addition to all the artists, the restaurant review site¬†Infatuation¬†selected vendors like Buredo, Takorean, Milk Cut or¬†Beefsteak¬†to make sure festival-goers don’t go hungry. Isn’t that nice of them ūüėČ

Christine and the Queens at the 9:30 Club in May 2016 - Photo by Francois Boo

Christine and the Queens at the 9:30 Club in May 2016 ‚Äď Photo by Fran√ßois Boo

You can still grab tickets if you’re interested in going (click here) and use the code¬†FrenchTwist to save 10%.

ps: check out my earlier write up on Christine and the Queens.

Premi√®res Visites du Nouveau Mus√©e d’Histoire & Culture Afro-Am√©ricaine

√áa y est! Le tout nouveau Mus√©e National de l‚ÄôHistoire et de la Culture Afro-Am√©ricaine (l’acronyme c’est NMAAHC en anglais) a ouvert ses portes au public samedi dernier¬†√† Washington. Et il les a ouvertes en grande pompe et circonstance, ¬†avec l’ancien pr√©sident George W. Bush, Barack et Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey et plein d’autres c√©l√©brit√©s ainsi que deux jours de f√™te et de concerts sur le National Mall.
National Museum of African American History and Culture L’inauguration du NMAAHC c’est l’√©v√©nement culturel de l’ann√©e ici… les billets d’entr√©e (qui sont¬†gratuits d’ailleurs, comme ceux pour¬†tous les mus√©es nationaux g√©r√©s par l’Institution Smithsonian) se sont arrach√©s comme des petits pains en ligne. Il faut maintenant quasiment attendre jusqu’√† janvier pour avoir des places. Heureusement, je m’y suis prise¬†√† l’avance et du coup j’en suis d√©j√† √† ma deuxi√®me visite ūüėČ J’ai eu la chance de pouvoir le visiter juste¬†avant son ouverture officielle, trois jours apr√®s l’inauguration et j’y retourne mi-octobre…. Un peu beaucoup? Non. Il y a plus 33¬†000 objets a d√©couvrir sur presque¬†40¬†000 m√®tres carr√©s, donc je pense que j’aurais m√™me besoin d’y retourner l’ann√©e prochaine, surtout que je n’ai pas¬†du tout¬†√©tudi√©¬†l’histoire am√©ricaine ¬†√† l’√©cole, donc j’apprends plein de chose √† chaque fois!

En gros, le¬†Mus√©e National de l‚ÄôHistoire et de la Culture Afro-Am√©ricaine¬†propose un veritable voyage dans l’histoire des Etats Unis comme l’ont v√©cus les afro-am√©ricains. La visite s’organise chronologiquement au d√©but et commence tout en bas, au troisi√®me sous-sol du mus√©e. C’est symbolique, bien s√Ľr. Dans ces premi√®res salles on revoit les √©pisodes les plus sombres de l’histoire Am√©ricaine: l’esclavage et la s√©gr√©gation… Cette partie m’a rappel√© le Mus√©e de l’Holocauste, qui est tout pr√®s d’ailleurs. On y voit des cartes retra√ßant le commerce des esclaves, des cha√ģnes (dont des toutes petites pour enfants), des notes de vente et une cabane d’esclaves provenant¬†d’une ancienne plantation de Caroline du Sud.
unnamed-27National Museum African American History and Culture

Un grand mur m’a fait particuli√®rement r√©fl√©chir: celui du paradoxe de la libert√©. Derri√®re une statue de Thomas Jefferson on peut lire les noms de tous les esclaves dont il √©tait “propri√©taire…” lui, l’auteur principal de la D√©claration d’Independence qui¬†d√©crit que tous les hommes sont n√©s √©gaux et sont dou√©s par le Cr√©ateur de certains droits inali√©nables; parmi ces droits se trouvent la vie, la libert√© et la recherche du bonheur.¬†Progressivement, on arrive √† l’√©poque de la s√©gr√©gation et √† la lutte pour les droits civiques. L√†, il n’est pas rare d’entendre quelques personnes un peu plus √Ęg√©s raconter leur propre experience¬†pendant cette p√©riode et c’est extr√™mement¬†√©mouvant quand ils sont l√† en famille, avec leur enfants et leurs petits enfants, de les voir partager ces souvenirs difficiles qu’ils ont v√©cus personnellement. Cette sc√®ne de parents qui expliquent ce lourd contexte¬†√† leurs¬†enfant¬†se r√©p√®te √† travers le mus√©e. Certains sont si jeunes qu’ils n’ont jamais connu d’autre pr√©sident que Barack Obama, dont l’√©lection conclue d’ailleurs cette partie du mus√©e. On sort enfin des √©pisodes les plus sombres de l’histoire am√©ricaine pour arriver aux plus glorieux.

Tuskegee Airmen Trainer Plane at the NMAAHC

Les √©tages sup√©rieurs redonnent leur place aux contributions des Afro-Am√©ricains dans l’histoire militaire, le sport, les arts et la culture. Les th√®mes pr√©c√©dents ne sont pas oubli√©s… la¬†s√©gr√©gation et la lutte pour les droits civiques y sont encore mais on y c√©l√®bre surtout la¬†r√©ussite, les victoires, les premi√®res historiques que ce soit celle de Josephine Baker, Alvin Alley, Spike Lee, Mohamed Ali ou des soeurs Williams. Et oui, d’Oprah Winfrey aussi… elle a donn√© plus de 20 millions au mus√©e donc elle est un peu partout ūüėČ

Oprah Winfrey's studio at NMAAHC A statue of the 1968 Olympics black power salute at NMAAHC

En dehors des expositions, il y a trois endroits que j’ai beaucoup aim√© dans le mus√©e. Le premier c’est une petite fen√™tre cach√©e dans la section histoire militaire au troisi√®me √©tage. Quelle vue! Attention, pour prendre la photo comme moi, il faut s’allonger par terre, sinon on coupe le haut du Washington Monument…¬†

The view from the 3rd floor of NMAAHC

Ensuite, c’est la caf√©t√©ria au premier sous sol, qui¬†est en elle¬†m√™me un exposition √† part enti√®re puisque le menu retrace les contributions culinaires afro-am√©ricaine √† la cuisine du pays. Enfin, un bon resto sur le mall ūüėČ

Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich from sweet Home Cafe at NMAAHC

Le dernier endroit est un pi√®ce d√©di√©e √† la contemplation, un endroit calme (assez dur √†¬†trouver d’ailleurs!) o√Ļ on peut s’assoir et, berc√© par le murmure d’une fontaine qui tombe du plafond, r√©fl√©chir un peu √† tout ce que l’on vient de voir, au poids de l’histoire, √† la situation actuelle qui est loin d’√™tre id√©ale en ce moment. Bonus:¬†√ßa fait une belle photo instagram aussi!¬†

Contemplation room at NMAAHC

Le mus√©e est d√©j√† un √©norme succ√®s avec plus de 28,000 visiteurs en quelques jours… Si vous ne vous √™tes pas pris comme moi au mois d’ao√Ľt pour r√©server vos places gratuites, il faudra vous armer d’un peu de patience… et d’un bon r√©veil.¬†Tous les matins, des¬†places seront mises √† la disposition du public √† 9:15. Une fois toutes distribu√©es, il vous faudra revenir le lendemain. Donc surtout l√† au d√©but je conseillerai d’y aller assez t√īt! Sinon, les¬†reservations pour janvier-fevrier s’ouvriront le lundi 3 octobre √† 9 heures du matin. Apr√®s vous pouvez aussi juste appr√©cier l’architecture ext√©rieur du mus√©e, il est superbe aussi… mais bon, si vous pouvez visiter, c’est mieux tout de m√™me!¬†

5 Events To look forward to this September

I actually love summer… I don’t mind fall, but it reminds me that winter is coming, so I’m usually sad when labour days comes around. That being said, there are actually quite a lot to look forward to in D.C. in the fall. Here are 5 events happening in Washington this September that I’m particularly excited about:

THE DC SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 
I have a short attention span, so seeing 7-9 movies in 90 minutes sounds pretty great to me. The DC Short Film Festival runs from Septembre 8-18, 2016 and showcases 131 films from 33 nations around the world, including plenty from France. A lot of the festival is geared towards aspiring filmmakers, with practical workshops on fundraising to finance your project or how to write a film review (actually, I might be interested in that one!) but there are plenty of film screenings too of course! 

PARK(ing) DAY

I just really love the creativity involved in PARK(ing) Day , which will be held from 9Am to 4PM on September 16. It initially started in San Francisco to encourage businesses and residents to rethink how they use public space by converting metered parking spots into temporary, pop-up parks. 

Park(ing) day 2015 in DC

 

UNCENSORED AND BANNED BOOKS WEEK AT MARTIN LUTHER KING JR LIBRARY

The D.C. Public Library,¬†along with libraries across the country, is shedding light on literary censorship in American history through Banned Books Week, which will start September 25 and wraps up with Uncensored, a cocktail party on September 30. That event will feature live music, as well as local mixologists‚Äô boozie interpretation of a specific banned book, like a chartreuse concoction based on Ronald Dahl‚Äôs The Witches. Tickets aren’t cheap at $50 (you can buy tickets here) but all ticket sales will support¬†DC Public Library programs and services. Also, this will be one of¬†our¬†last chance to hang out at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at 901 G St. NW before it closes down for renovations starting in early 2017. Throughout the month of September, the D.C. public library system will be¬†hiding copies of books that¬†were once banned or challenged in businesses around the city and invite Washingtonians to go on a bit of an uncensored books scavenger hunt. Find a book (Compas Rose Coffee is one of the spots!) send a pic on twitter to @dcpl_literati¬†using the¬†¬†hashtag and you could win free tix to the party! (plus it just sounds like a fun thing to do!!)¬†¬†

Uncensored at the MLK Library

Still on the topic of books, I always look forward the Library of Congress National Book Festival,¬†happening this year on September 24 (and still at the convention center…. I miss the days when it was held on the mall!) Stephen King will be there, as will¬†Shonda Rhimes (that’s going to be a popular session), Bob Woodward (always popular with the DC crowds), and Salman Rushdie (always popular with me!!)¬†

 

HISTORIC OPENING OF THE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY 

You know you‚Äôve lived in Washington¬†for a long time when you’re getting ready to see your ¬†second new Smithsonian museum open¬†on the National Mall (and third overall, I already lived in DC when the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center¬†opened in Chantilly). The first one was of course, ¬†the¬†National Museum of the American Indian in 2004. But I feel like I’ve really followed the NMAAHC, from its authorization¬†in 2003 to the site selection in 2006 and finally construction after president Barrack Obama helped break ground in February 2012. I can’t wait to take an “after”-selfie once the building is fully finished.¬†

African American Museum in DC

The much anticipated grand opening will happen¬†September 24th at 1PM, after an official dedication ceremony earlier that morning (featuring Barrack Obama no less). The NMAAHC definitely knows how to throw an opening party, with free three-day, two-night festival¬†on the Washington Monument Grounds, featuring live music by Public Enemy and the Roots among others. ¬†I’ll probably skip all that, but I can’t wait to go inside the beautiful bronze building for the first time! Got my timed entry tickets for the 26th¬†and I can‚Äôt wait!

National Museum of African American History and Culture

On the topic of museums, I’m also looking forward to reopening of the National Gallery’s East Building Galleries. Designed by IM Pei (of Louvre Pyramid fame) the angular building has been under renovations for close to¬†three years. In addition to 12,000¬†new¬†square-feet of exhibition space, the museum will now have a rooftop sculpture garden, featuring¬†Katharina Fritsch‚Äôs ‚ÄúHahn/Cock‚ÄĚ giant blue rooster.¬†That one. It’s already there, I can see it from the street and I can’t wait to get closer!

ART ALL NIGHT ‚Äď MADE IN DC

By now I‚Äôve accepted that Art all Night isn‚Äôt trying to be Paris‚Äô Nuit Blanche and I’ve come to appreciate the event for what it is here. It’s a¬†great evening of cultural happenings showcasing some of the city‚Äôs coolest neighbourhoods and emerging or established artists. This year, the festival takes place on Saturday, September 24th from 7PM to 3PM in Capitol Heights, Dupont Circle, H Street, North Capitol, Shaw as well as Tentleytown and Van Ness. This year the festival will feature District of Columbia artists and collectives only, in celebration of the Made in DC initiative which I find pretty cool! The full schedule hasn’t been released yet, but you can check out the Art All Night¬†website for updates.

Any event you’re looking forward to this fall?

 

What’s the Best Baguette in Washington, DC?

I’ve lived in the District for over 10 years now and as the French expat one of the top question I usually¬†get asked is “where can I find good bread?” Usually it’s recent transplants from France asking… The answer partially depend on where you live I guess. I mean, Bread Furst¬†probably makes the best¬†baguette in the city. But I live in Shaw. It’s bad enough I have to spend close to $3 for bread, I’m not trekking all the way across town on top of it. So I get my baguette mostly at A Baked Joint now, and occasionally at Paul or Le Pain Quotidien. Two places where I would never buy bread back home…but hey, I have limited options here ūüėČ
The best Baguette in DC

Of course, Parisians¬†take their bread very seriously. It is like 20% of our diet… It’s so important that we have a trade association for bread and the bakers that make it, la¬†Chambre professionnelle des artisans boulangers du Grand Paris. And since 1994, they’ve teamed up with the City of Paris to throw an annual baguette show-done to select the best loaf in town: la meilleure baguette de Paris. In addition to 4,000 euros, mad bragging rights and a guaranteed line outside your bakery for a few weeks, the winning boulangerie¬†also becomes the official bread supplier of the French President and his residence. Yes, obviously, that’s a thing too. ¬†

This year, the French Embassy to¬†the United States¬†has decided to organize its very own “best baguette” contest for the Washington, D.C. area. After polling district residents online to see what their favourite bread-spots were, the top 4 bakers are¬†facing off for a carb-filled finale at La Maison¬†Fran√ßaise September 29th.¬†

The bakeries competing for the Best Capital Baguette title are: 

A jury of chefs and other DC-food personalities will decide the winner that evening but guests are also invited to join and will get the opportunity to try the different baguette along with charcuteries, cheese and jam. Bonne Maman, D’Artagnan and President¬†are partners,¬†so you know there’s gonna be some good stuff there!¬†No wine sponsor though, so that’ll be cash bar and at $25 for a ticket (which you can buy here), that seems fair.

My money is on¬†Fresh Baguette¬†or¬†Bread Furst, but I guess we’ll have to wait until September 29th to find out and see who will become the official bread supplier of the French Ambassador’s Residence… and the 2016 Best Capital Baguette!

ps: New York hosted its own competition earlier this year… so if you’re looking for some the best¬†bread in Manhattan, just head to one of Eric Kayser‘s many bakeries. And good news, it won’t be too long before we have our very own Maison Eric Kayser here in DC. CANNOT WAIT!¬†

Soir√©e Guerre des Etoiles au Match de Baseball

Dans la cat√©gorie experience typique Am√©ricaine √† faire au moins une fois, je vous pr√©sente le baseball. Mon premier match c’√©tait √† Fenway Park, le terrain de jeu des c√©l√®bres Red Sox de Boston, qui est aussi¬†le stade de baseball de plus ancien encore utilis√© aux U.S. Tant qu’√† faire, autant choisir un stade historique et une √©quipe mythique non?¬†¬†

Match de baseball des Washington Nationals

L’√©quipe de D.C.¬†c’est les Washington Nationals et elle est plut√īt nouvelle. La capitale Am√©ricaine avait √©t√© priv√©e de son sport national pendant des ann√©es, jusqu’√† ce que les Expos de Montr√©al d√©barquent sous un nouveau nom et branding en 2005, pour la plus grande joie de tout le monde. En¬†contraste au Red Sox et¬†√† Fenway qui sont pleins d’histoire et de nostalgie,¬†nous on a¬†un stade et une √©quipe flambants neufs. En tout, j’ai d√Ľ aller √† une dizaine de matchs, souvent avec le travail, car √ßa se fait beaucoup ici les vir√©es organis√©es au match de baseball l’√©t√© quand les bureaux sont un peu plus calmes. Sinon, je pr√©f√®re m’abstenir et j’ai de la chance, mon mari c’est pas son truc non plus le baseball. Sauf que hier c’√©tait soir√©e Guerre des Etoiles au stade et que pour une fois j’avais vraiment envie de voir √ßa!!¬†

Soiree guerre des etoiles au match the baseball

Et oui, comme la saison de baseball dure 6 mois et que chaque team¬†joue plus de 160 matchs, le staff marketing des¬†√©quipes organisent souvent des soir√©es √† th√®mes pour √©gayer un peu tout¬†√ßa. Souvent c’est des “Girls Night Out” ou “Bark at the Park” quand on peut amener ses copines ou son¬†chien. Et des fois c’est un peu plus geek avec des matchs Pixar, Zombies, Star Trek, Game of Throne¬†ou Star Wars. Pourquoi pas…?¬†

Comme la force √©tait forte du c√īt√© du thermom√®tre (il faisait encore 35 degr√®s √† 7 heures du soir) j’ai laiss√© √† la maison mon costume de wookie Chewbacca ¬†et j’ai improvis√© un look princesse Leia fan des Nationals, tout en blanc avec le logo de l’√©quipe (et surtout des¬†manches courtes!) et les doubles chignons macarons. Les 20,000 premiers spectateurs arriv√© au stade on eut le droit √† un t-shirt special, les pr√©sidents qui vont la course au quatri√®me inning √©taient en costume aussi et un peu partout a travers le stade il y avait des photos opps avec les personages de la franchise.¬†

Star Wars Night at the baseball game

Star Wars Night at the Baseball Stadium

Star Wars Night at the baseball game

 

 

 

Star Wars Night at the baseball stadium

Sinon, le match… oui, j’ai pas trop regard√© ūüėȬ†

                                           *              *              *                *                  *

Deux trois trucs a connaitre pour voir jouer les Nationals, l’équipe de Baseball de Washington:

  • La saison de baseball c’est debut Avril a fin Septembre et les matchs se passent au Nationals Park dans le Sud Ouest de Washington, au metro Navy Yard. Y’a plein de truc √† faire avant le match, comme le¬†Bullpen at Half Street Fairgrounds, avec de la bi√®re et des food-trucks, ou la brasserie Bluejacket. Mais il ne faut pas trop se gaver… les concessions √† l’int√©rieur du stade valent vraiment une visite!¬†
  • Les billets s’ach√®tent en ligne sur le site de l’√©quipe. Sinon, vous pouvez vous renseigner sur la disponibilit√© des places sur place au stade en vous rendant √† la billetterie le jour du match. Les prix varient entre $10 pour des places plut√īt basique √† la¬†Right Field Terrace et $370 dans le¬†Delta SKY360 Club ou vous avez buffet et boissons √† volont√© (et une vue bien meilleure a mon avis…)

 

 

Weekend Highlights: Flower Crowns, Mucha and Football

Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? After keeping a low profile last weekend and throughout most of the week (I’ve had the worst cold!) I made up for lost time and had quite a wonderful 3-day weekend. It all started with ros√© and flowers on Friday.¬†

One of the best part about having friends from different parts of the world is learning about their culture and traditions (oh, and the amazing food too!) On Friday, my friend Bianca showed us how the Finns celebrate summer solstice. Midsommar¬†is one of the most important national holiday in Finland (and it’s a big deal in many other Nordic countries too.) While her rooftop does have a fire pit, we didn’t light any kokko (bonfires) to keep evil spirits away but we did drink some snap and make midsommarkrans, ¬†beautiful DIY flower crowns using string, birch and of course, flowers. Check us out being all crafty!

Making flower crowns for midsommar

Celebrating Finnish midsommar

Almost as good as the snapchat filter isn’t it? ps: speaking of, you can follow more of my day-to-day on snapchat¬†(<– click on the link, or username laetitiabrock).

Saturday, I escaped the city with my friends Olga of MangoTomato and Nicole of Hapatite. We headed to Winchester, a quaint little town tucked away in the Northwest part of Virginia, about an hour and a half away from Washington. 

They love all things apple in WinchesterWinchester, Virginia

Winchester, Virginia

What prompted our mini road trip was an Alphonse Mucha exhibit at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley though we snuck in some shopping in the city’s Loudoun Street Mall and some good eating at One Block West, a fabulous little restaurant, and Red Fox Creamery! And while we had to rush through them a bit because they were prepping up for a wedding, I *loved* the gardens at the museum, almost more than I loved the collection inside!

Alphone Mucha exhibit

The Chinese Garden at the Shenandoah Valley MuseumGardenThe Chinese garden at the Shennandoah Valley Museum

On the way back, we stopped by Wild Hare Cidery for a quick tasting then found our wine (as well as fabulous views!) at Bluemont Vineyard. 

Bluemont Vineyard

With France playing its 8th of final game bright and early at 9AM on Sunday, I had pretty much written the day¬†off, at least as far as getting anything done beside watching football was concerned.¬†I was a little worried¬†about my choice of venue for the match…¬†Fado’s is¬†one of the best spot to watch football in the city, but we picked it BEFORE knowing that we would be facing Ireland ūüėČ ¬†Things weren’t looking too good when the boys in green scored within the first few minutes but luckily Griezmann was there to save the day and I’m looking forward to cheering on Les Bleus in the quarter finals next weekend (and then hopefully in France for the semis and finals!).

Allez les bleus

Keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll face Iceland, I’ve loved following their Euro Cup Cinderella story… and I’d rather not face England too. Have you been following either the Copa America or the Euro Cup? You’d almost never¬†know there’s a major international soccer tournament that just wrapped up in the US… I feel like it’s barely gotten any coverage ūüė¶¬†

We’ll be watching the game at Penn Social on Sunday with a bunch of other expats so don’t hesitate to join us! Is it bad that I’m already looking forward to next weekend? Between the July 4th holiday and all the football, it’s going to be another good one!