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Bonne Fête de la Révolution!

As I've mentioned before, we have a French friend staying with us for several weeks, so it was imperative to find something to take her to on le 14 juillet. Fortunately, although official Washington has become shockingly francophobic the past several years, the tradition of the waiters' race at local brasserie Les Halles escaped official notice again this year. Our friend was thrilled to sing La Marseillaise with a group of her countrymen likewise stranded in the District of Columbia on this most important of holidays. After watching the waiters walk as quickly as possible, with trays of water bottles and glasses down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill and back, we sat down for a late afternoon déjeuner of ravioles de Royan and croque-madame. As shown below, I also enjoyed a Ricard pastis, the perfect answer to the hot, miserable weather we have been experiencing in Washington for the past week or so.

Course des serveurs, Les Halles, July 14, 2005So, along with that other shamelessly francophile blogger, our dear Vilaine Fille, I ask you to raise a glass to la France, our sister in the ideal of liberty. Honorary First Francophile Thomas Jefferson—one of my favorite people, in spite of his flaws, and a reason to remain proud to be American—was serving as Ambassador to France in the late 1780s, when the citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille. A brilliant writer, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence reportedly also assisted the Marquis de Lafayette in writing the French Revolution's founding document, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (or en français). Take a look at it, if you like. Vive la France!

In other news, big thanks to Anna L. Conti for the Blogospheric Grid she put together. In addition to being cool in itself, Anna's including us is a consolation for the fact that Ionarts lost its slot on Humbug's Periodic Table of Blogs. Since two of his culture blog selections, Alex Ross and Brian Micklethwait, appear to be more or less on suspension, we would love Ionarts to reappear there, too.

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