Dear PoPville – Any Zausnerians Out There?

Dear PoPville,

Yesterday I was walking through Kalorama Heights to the park, when I stumbled upon the most remarkable thing – the embassy for a country that doesn’t seem to exist. I had never heard of Zausneria so (naturally) I went researching to see what I could find. After some cursory Googling, the ONLY reference to it on the ENTIRE internet that I’ve been able to find is a LinkedIn profile for someone who claims to work there. What’s going on here?! Corner of 23rd & California NW.

Is this kind of like the plaques some people in historic districts jokingly put in front of their houses:

“In 1921 nothing of importance happened here”.

Or are there any Zausnerians out there?

24 Comment

  • pablo .raw

    The guy dancing in today’s “Photos from Popville” is definitively from Zausneria.

  • There’s another fake embassy in Dupont on R between 18th and 19th, but its name is escaping me…

      • Yep. I’ve been to a party or two there. The story is they put it up because they were getting a lot of noise complaints and wanted to try to get the neighbors to quit complaining and the cops to stop responding.

        • ah

          If so, he must not have much regard for his neighbors’ intellect. On the other hand, I can see the cops being easily confused . . .

        • I lived in the Embassy of Castalia for a few years. It’s been a group house for a long time, and a number of years ago a bunch of roommates there came up with a whole background and culture of ‘Castalia’ and put up a plaque on a whim. They had a web site about it for a while, but it seems to be down.

          It’s a fun place to live, the owner is a very nice guy and we had a good relationship with our neighbors, who are indeed smart enough to understand that it’s not a real embassy.

  • I think they just spelled it wrong. Supposed to be “France”.

  • I think it’s right next to Zembla.

  • The house is formerly an embassy, and was bought by a person with the last name Zausner, who put up the sign as an homage to the history of the house as an embassy, and partially as a joke (presumably, to get this sort of reaction). I know this person and have been to the house.

    • ah

      Note that the “Assistant” spelled “Embasy” incorrectly on the LinkedIn profile. I’m guessing Mr. Zausner has a daughter who’s just under 14 years old.

    • Ah, makes sense. A partner at a law firm is on the short list of people that would have enough chutzpah (and scratch) to buy a former embassy and name it after himself.

      • I’ve met zausner on a handful of occasions. Not only is he a nice man, he doesn’t seem all that arrogant. He just seems like a guy who would appreciate this type of joke in a zany sort of way. What’s the point in having so much money if you can’t have a little fun?

        • Yeah, and what’s the point of having a last name that sounds like an obscure African country if you can’t make a fake embassy for it?

  • If you google “Zausneria” then “Zauschneria”comes up. “Zauschneria” appears to be a type of plant, otherwise known as the “hummingbird flower.” I also see by the photo that the building has a conservation easement, which doesn’t mean much since this is a building in DC and conservation easements aren’t a rarity here. But maybe the owners of the property are into ecology (an environmental NGO maybe?) and the “Republic of Zausneria” sign is meant to be some sort of homage to their green roots? It’s a stretch, but I’m bewildered by how little info there is on Google about it. The linkedin profile shows that someone has worked there for 13 years, and called it an embassy. She spelled it “embasy” instead of “embassy” in the profile. I have no idea what that means, but sleuithing is a fun work distraction!

  • I think the Embassy of Zamunda is right around there.

  • At the State Department, they call documents issued by people like this “fantasy passports”…

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