“Paris on the Potomac”
Washington is sometimes called, “Paris on the Potomac” — and for good reason! Being an international city, it has many cultural opportunities within its embassy communities for French citizens and other internationals who live here. Both Washington and Paris are also cities that were built along rivers. In Paris, the Seine River offers beautiful, picturesque views of the city from both the Left and the Right Banks. In Washington, we have our national Memorials that overlook the Potomac River from various vantage points, as well as the Tidal Basin, and the Reflecting Pools by the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol building. Architectural landmarks around the city such as the Old Executive Office Building were designed after French styles such as the Second Empire and Baroque styles, with tall, gabled roofs, and elaborate ornamentation. In D.C., the Beaux-Arts style of architecture can also be seen in buildings like The Corcoran Gallery of Art, as well as in Union Station. D.C. also has several bridges that cross over the Potomac from the District to nearby Virginia, and some of them even resemble the low wide-arched bridges of Paris! This is because the city of Washington was designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a Parisian-born engineer and architect. Last but not least, Washington also has wonderful cultural opportunities —whether they are through local embassy events, museums such as the Smithsonian and the Renwick Galleries, or other cultural organizations—there is plenty to do see, and experience here, for everyone! We hope that perhaps you will find something here that also reminds you of home!
Real Estate Opportunities:
The CB International Group previously offered two upscale embassy residences for rental on Foxhall Road, which were designed as elegant, in-town residences that could be utilized for large-scale entertaining as well as the day-to-day needs of embassy personnel in Washington. While the original French Embassy was being renovated, two Ambassadors and their families lived in one of these homes. Whether you come from the diplomatic corps and need to find a home in D.C., or you are just a young international professional who has moved to D.C., let the CB International Group help you with finding a comfortable place to live in the city. There are many areas, with Georgetown being one of the most popular, Foggy Bottom near G.W.U., or the 7th Street District, U Street District and Connecticut Avenue/Cleveland Park neighborhood in the downtown areas. Out further, Bethesda and Rockville also offer numerous upscale town home options as well as very nice apartment living, in addition to houses.
Contact Charles Bressler, our French-speaking realtor for more information about properties in both in the District and in Maryland. He will offer advice on the best condominiums in the area, as well as adjusting to life in the Washington, as Charles is originally a Parisian, but has lived here for many years. He can parlez-vous in both French and German, and he is also an art afficionado, as well as a lot of fun! In addition, Charles owned and operated an international travel agency in D.C. for many years prior to becoming a realtor with Coldwell Banker. He has international expertise, as well as local real estate experience, to offer you in your search for a home here.
A fun, silent film about Paris in the 1920's, from YouTube:
French Organizations in Washington:
The French Embassy, located on Reservoir Road just outside of Georgetown, holds events year-round for both French citizens as well as young professionals of all nationalities who are living in the area. These include wine tastings, black ties, lectures and events —sometimes with French diplomats, or others from their scientific and arts communities; as well as movie nights with exciting French cinéma, and even an Oscars watch-party, this past year. The French really know how to party, and often they host fun celebrations throughout the year, including their famous Bastille Day Celebration in July. Visit their website, to also learn more about important diplomatic events, and the latest on French-US relations, with news stories and updates from France. You can also keep up with what France is doing here in Washington on a daily basis, by following their Facebook page.
Another well known organization that provides French culture in D.C. is Alliance Française de Washington. This organization hosts cultural events such as Cinéma and film screenings; musical concerts; book talks; an annual Fashion Show; as well as their Beaujolais Nouveau celebration, and more.
Additionally, Alliance Francaise also offers classes for both adults, as well as for kids and teens, on subjects that include art history, French language and French gardens. They provide French language classes are for people of all levels, for both English as well as French-speaking residents. Teachers who work for Alliance Francaise have excellent credentials, some having been educated at universities like The Sorbonne. They also have teachers of other nationalities who just love French language and culture, and want to share their expertise. Please visit their website to learn more about them, and be sure to check out their French Culture Pass.
The Arts in Washington:
The Performing Arts:
The Kennedy Center For all types of performing arts, including the national opera, ballet, theatre performances, the National Symphony, and numerous other types of musical concerts visit The Kennedy Center schedule/calendar page:
Strathmore Performing Arts and Music Center
— Strathmore also hosts numerous concerts and other types of
performances. Located in Bethesda, Maryland
Outdoor summer concerts and performances:
The Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center —in Vienna, Virginia
Art Museums in Washington:
—To learn about more American Art History and Science, visit these museums:
The Smithsonian Museum - including The National Gallery of Art,
and the Air and Space Museums, on the Mall
The Renwick Gallery
The Phillips Collection
The National Portrait Gallery
French Restaurants and Dining in the Washington Area:
La Chaumiere —A four/five-star restaurant located in Georgetown, considered one of the best restaurants in D.C. Elegant and expensive.
Le Diplomate —A 'bustling' French brasserie, serving classic French fare and drinks, with sidewalk cafe. A very popular restaurant, with locals. Located in Adams Morgan, at: 1601 14th Street, N.W.
Marcel's —An elegant, French-Belgian restaurant offering ‘prix-fixe’ menu selections, by chef Robert Wiedmaier.
Located in Foggy Bottom/West End, at 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in Washington, near Georgetown.
Five- star rating.
La Fiola Mare — An elegant seafood restaurant located at the Washington waterfront in Georgetown, 3050 K Street, N.W.
owned by a Spanish and Italian couple, Fabio and his wife Maria, who bring Mediterranean dishes to Washington,
and prepared by chef, Brinn Sinnott.
Fig and Olive-(Open Table) — French and Mediterranean flavors. Located at: 934 Palmer Alley in D.C., near McPherson Square.
Bistrot Lepic and Wine Bar - (Open Table) —A small, intimate and very genuinely French restaurant, serving excellent food. Located at 1736 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. in Georgetown. Four and 1/2-star rating.
L'Auberge Chez Francoise- (Open Table) —Located in Great Falls, Virginia. Fashioned after a small, French country inn, or "auberge" this is a very elegant restaurant used for special occasions by many in the Washington, D.C. area.
Malmaison —A French restaurant along the waterfront on K Street, near the Key Bridge Boathouse. This restaurant/night club has large glass windows that turn into doors which are open during the summer months, with outdoor dining. Great for casual fare, and a stopover on one's way from the C&O bike trail. The space is also used for events, and can be rented out. It is popular with young professionals.
Bistrot Francaise — A small, quiet and understated French Restaurant with excellent food. Located at: 3124 M Street, N.W. in Georgetown.
Montmartre —Another small French restaurant on Capitol Hill, at 327 7th Street Southeast in Washington. Relaxing, with good food and excellent French wines.
La Bergerie —Excellent French cuisine, including escargot and seafood, in a comfortable, elegant dining room. Located at 218 North Lee Street in Alexandria, Virginia.