There was even more excitement behind the scenes at the restaurant.
Rinus Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, organized an impromptu party to celebrate a big event earlier that day in his homeland. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands had abdicated her throne to make way for her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.
If you don’t understand the significance of that, think Barack Obama stepping down so his daughter Sasha can take over. That’s a bad example, but you get the idea.
About a half-dozen local Dutch personalities showed up decked out in orange, the national color, including Olle Duijvesteijn, geographic information systems director for the city of Salem.
The only thing missing was a toast with Oranje Bitter, a royal drink in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, Finz owner George Carey doesn’t stock it at the bar.
It won’t come as a shock if some of the cases heard this week in Superior and District courts in Salem end up being appealed.
The court staff, jurors, judges and everyone else on Federal Street were a little distracted by the lights and cameras of a Hollywood movie. “American Hustle,” a 1970s corruption drama, was being filmed in the vacant Superior Court building.
There were several sightings, by the way, of stars Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams.
Our own Nelson Dionne, retired police officer extraordinaire, was honored this week by Historic New England with the 2013 Prize for Collecting Works on Paper.
On Wednesday night, Dionne received his award at the Gov. John Langdon House in Portsmouth, N.H. He was accompanied by his family and several close friends from Salem, including historian Bonnie Hurd Smith, Ellen Hardy of Hardy House publishers and Beth Bower of Salem State University.
Dionne has a spectacular collection of books, brochures, pamphlets, letters, bills, matchbook covers and anything else connected to the business, manufacturing and industrial history of Salem over the past 150 years — a collection that is about to be donated to Salem State.