Categories
Movies Podcasts

‘White Noise’: A Poignant Look at the Alt-Right

This chilling documentary offers an inside look at white nationalism in the United States (the alt-right), including Richard Spencer, Lauren Southern, and Mike Cernovich:

The documentary was directed by Daniel Lombroso. Lombroso was interviewed on this episode of People of the Pod podcast, which is produced by AJC.

Facts matter.

Categories
History

Nuremberg War Crimes Trial Recordings Now Online

The complete recordings of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials are now online for the first time. The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, the custodian of the original materials, arranged the digitization of its archive, collaborating with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris. There are 775 hours of recordings so this is not for the casual listener.

Edward Rothstein writing in The Wall Street Journal explains that the recordings aren’t easy to listen to in part because the recordings do not translate the German, English, French and Russian spoken at the trial. Even so, Rothstein concludes that:

what is heard, even now, seems remarkable: a rough first draft of judgment, beginning just five months after the war with Germany ended and unfolding over nearly a year as its arbiters strained to fit minimal forms of existing law to maximal forms of moral degradation.

Categories
History Photography Travel

The Sheridan-Kalorama Neighborhood of DC

Art on Call, Washington, DC, Artist: Peter Waddell Photograph: © David H. Enzel, 2021

Yesterday, I was walking in the Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC. I stumbled across one of the many works of art in Washington’s abandoned police and fire call boxes. The project is called “Art on Call.” I have been making photos of these call boxes as I come across them. They have educated me about the city’s rich history.

This call box explains that three chief justices of the United States Supreme Court lived in Sheridan-Kalorama:

  • William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States was appointed Chief Justice by President Harding, after serving as President. Taft is the only person to have served in both of these offices. He lived at 2215 Wyoming Avenue.
  • Charles Evans Hughes, a U.S. Secretary of State and an unsuccessful candidate for President in 1916, became Chief Justice in 1930 and resided at 2223 R Street.
  • Harlan Fiske Stone, a U.S. Attorney General, occupied 1919 24th Street. during his tenure.

In addition, other prominent Supreme Court justices have lived in Sheridan-Kalorama including Louis Brandeis, Joseph McKenna and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice of the Supreme Court.

The rendering of the Supreme Court in the call box is the creation of Peter Waddell, a native of New Zealand who came to Washington in 1992 and became a U.S. citizen in 2002. Waddell’s beautiful paintings focus on America’s history and architecture. Waddell’s view of the United States is inspiring.

The Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood also includes a number of diplomatic residences, including the residence of the French ambassador at 2221 Kalorama Road, shown below.

The French ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. is located at 2221 Kalorama Road, N.W., in the Kalorama neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C. The residence was built in 1910. © David H. Enzel, 2021

The Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood is worth visiting.

Categories
Music

Stacey Kent

Stacey Kent is an American jazz singer with a glorious voice. She was born in 1965 in New Jersey and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Her paternal grandfather was a Russian who grew up in France. He later moved to the United States where he taught Kent French. Once she learned French, it was the only language she spoke with her grandfather. Kent travelled to England after college to study music in London, where she met saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, whom she married in 1991.

I have the impression Kent is better known in France than in the United States. Her album Raconte-moi was recorded in French and became the second best selling French language album worldwide in 2010.

Kent has also faced serious health challenges. In a 2004 interview with Robert Kaiser of The Washington Post, Kent recounted that she’s been in comas three times caused by brainstem encephalitis:

Each time, baffled doctors were not certain they could bring her back. The last coma was in 1999, and Tomlinson nursed her through it. On doctors’ advice, he brought records to her hospital room. When she awoke he was playing Mildred Bailey, one of the great jazz singers of the ’30s. “There’s just so much emotion in that voice,” Kent says. “It’s a cry - even when she’s singing a happy song.”

I love Stacey Kent’s music and discovered this marvelous 2018 interview en français with her. The interview is also available as a podcast.

Categories
Podcasts Travel

‘Join Us In France’

If you want to travel in France and learn about French history, the Join Us in France podcast is a superb resource.

The podcast, which launched in 2014, was originally co-hosted by Elyse and Annie. They live in France and know it well. Annie was born in France but has lived in the United States. Although Elyse grew up in New York, she knows the language, the culture and the country’s history inside and out. Elyse, the native American, often seems more French than Annie who was born in France. Go figure. Due to time constraints, Elyse is no longer a co-host but still comes on the show as her time permits.

The podcast does a great job of explaining France and its culture to Americans. I especially enjoyed the episodes about driving in France, cheese and Le Marais. I also learned a great deal by listening to recent episode in which Elyse and Annie discuss the best places to see modern and contemporary art in France.

Each episode has show notes that are very helpful in planning a trip. For example, the modern art episode lists 18 museums around France to explore, including many new to me.

There are plenty of other resources to help travelers to France select hotels and restaurants. But this podcast will help you to understand France. Annie also offers self-guided audio walking tours. She’s not offering personal tours during the pandemic but I hope they will return.

Annie and Elyse were interviewed for Amateur Traveler episode 428 about Paris. The Amateur Traveler is a great podcast but if your destination is France, Join Us in France is the podcast for you.

iTunes

Categories
Music

Clémence Poésy to Anne Sylvestre: ‘Thank you for the tenderness’

Clémence Poésy marking the passing of French singer-songwriter Anne Sylvestre (1934 – 2020) on November 30th:

A beautiful, personal tribute from a great actress to a wonderful singer.

Clémence Poésy, juin 2019 Emscop, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Anne Sylvestre on Apple Music