Arundel History

July 30, 2006

Seventy Julys ago, two international diplomats lent a bit of exotic flavor to the community of Bay Ridge.

In 1936, The Sun reported, an Egyptian and a Soviet diplomat stayed just a few beach blocks away from each other, frequently entertaining other ambassadors from Washington who joined them for a swim or tennis set.

Yet their styles were a striking contrast.

As The Sun noted, "Bay Ridge residents observed, at one extreme, the gregarious Egyptian Mohamed Amine Youssef, moving around the beach in his blue-striped `summer pajamas,' chatting with everyone, knowing all the children by their first names. He insisted (beach) vacationers should be like one big family, scorning titles."

But Soviet Ambassador Alexander Troyanovsky kept mostly to himself at his Spanish stucco cottage with two embassy attaches. He was quiet and low-key, although a polished host to callers, the article reported.

He and the Egyptian diplomat exchanged visits and played bridge.

Something the two had in common that summer was nostalgia. Youssef told The Sun that Bay Ridge reminded him of a Mediterranean resort at the mouth of the Nile, while Troyanovsky said the Annapolis-area beach retreat reminded him of the Black Sea in Crimea.

[ Sources: Sun archives, Paul McCardell, Sun library researcher.]

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