The Girl with the Red Beret
Posted by Joshua Yospyn | July 25, 2012
Even though the streets of Washington were designed by the French-born Pierre L’Enfant, red berets rarely make an appearance in D.C. Did they become taboo during the jingoistic days of Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast? (Which Capitol Hill quietly reversed in 2006.) Did women wear them out when the French came to our aid in the Revolutionary War? Yes, there are Bastille Day celebrations throughout the city, but still, you’re more likely to see scarlet caps on a military outpost than in a Belgian bistro.
Yet there is at least one in the District. It’s worn by 14-year-old Joyce, who walked past me in 2009 near Cafe L’Enfant in Adams Morgan. At the time, I ran after the 11-year-old and her mother, Anka, to take a street portrait. Since then, every year on July 14 we repeat her likeness. However, Joyce is getting taller and growing up. The original photograph vanishes each year and is replaced by something new. (Except the red beret.)
Rendez-vous l’année prochaine!