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.

Washington, DC (January 29, 2023)

Washington, DC

View from Virginia

Martin Walker Mysteries

Om Malik recommended a series of mystery books by Martin Walker. Malik said Martin’s “tales of a provincial policeman in the South of France are like a nice glass of chilled wine.”Eric Asimov, The New York Times wine critic, described Mr. Walker’s books as:

rich in atmosphere and personality, with characters bound by the tenacious strictures of history and memory. And almost without fail, everything stops for lunch. It’s impossible to read a Bruno novel without getting hungry and thirsty.

That sounded like a great break from more serious matters.

Martin is a journalist. He divides his time between Washington DC and the Perigord region in the southeast of France.

Martin’s Bruno, Chief of Police series of novels depicts a village policeman named Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges. Bruno is a gourmet cook and former soldier who was wounded on a peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. Bruno loves his region of France. He’s also a compassionate and moral police officer who has a gun but never wears it.

I started with the audiobook version of the first novel in the series entitled Bruno, Chief of Police. This is historical fiction. I learned a lot about the French resistance during WWII (Le Maquis). The descriptions of life and food in rural France are fun and refreshing. The mystery is good. And there is a touch of romance to boot.

There are 13 audiobooks in the series so I am happy to have 12 more audiobooks to mine.

All the books in the series are narrated by Robert Ian Mackenzie, an English actor who did a fine job narrating the first audiobook in the series.

I’m happy that Malik brought this series to my attention through his fine blog. I needed a nice glass of chilled wine.

Lara Fabian

Lara Fabian sings beautifully. Fabian is best known for the dance pop song “I Will Love Again,” which was released in 2000 and peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Fabian was born in Belgium in 1970 to a Flemish father and an Italian mother. She speaks four languages: French, Spanish, Italian and English. I especially love her French music.

In 2018, I saw her perform in Washington, DC in at the Warner Theater. Her voice knocked my socks off.

Fabian’s music is in the same genre as Laura Pausini with whom she has performed. Together they are an exceptional treat.

You can hear her passion for life — and her fluent English — in this interview.

Apple Music

Vintage Images of Washington

I’ve lived in Washington since 1979 and have seen the capital change a lot in that time.

I recently discovered the Streets of Washington blog and Flickr feed where you can find many vintage and hard to find images from postcards and other ephemera about historic places in the Washington, D.C. area. It is fascinating to see how the nation’s capital has evolved.

The author,  John DeFerrari, is a native Washingtonian with a lifelong passion for local history. He is also a trustee of the D.C. Preservation League.

This is clearly a labor of love. These images are absolutely worth perusing and preserving.