Today's outreach event was on familiar territory: DACOR Bacon House, the headquarters of an association of American diplomatic and consular officers in Foggy Bottom, the quaintly-named neighborhood of Washington now home to institutions like the OAS, the IMF and World Bank, George Washington University, and, of course, the US State Department.
Bacon House, about the same age (early 19th century) as the Tangier American Legation, is one of the few vestiges of that red brick, cobblestoned era when Washington was a sparsely populated upstart compared to stately Georgetown or Alexandria, Virginia. It's where I stay when back in Washington, literally a home away from home.
The audience composed of retired and active ambassadors and diplomats and USAID officers was receptive to the combination of "Legation tales" and progress reports on current cultural diplomatic efforts that has become a staple of presentations on TALIM.
DACOR Bacon House is the only place in the United States, to my knowledge, that shelters a "piece of the Legation" – a massive cedar gate that was discarded and saved during an Eighties renovation project. I wrote about it a couple of years ago.
We sold a few copies of Enchantment today, and among many friends present, I reconnected with the former President of the Middle East Institute, a previous boss on my second Foreign Service posting. All in all, a pleasant time was had, and TALIM now has a number of new friends, converts to the cause of "Save the Pavilion," our rallying cry for 2013.