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Orléans and New Orleans, Sister Cities

"Sistah" Cities

September 16, 2020 • Paris, France

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Even if your city or country is pausing a re-open, this is still the perfect time to begin working on your plans to live, work and invest in France.

Living in France for several years, Adrian Leeds has accumulated valuable experience and information as well as developed valuable contacts. She is able to assist you as much as possible and when necessary, put you in contact with one or more of our professional associates to provide the help you need.

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Mary Palko Global Envoy of Sister Cities InternationalI was pleasantly surprised to get an email from the Global Envoy of Sister Cities International, Mary Palko, asking if I would volunteer to participate in a Round Table Discussion next week.

"Sure, why not!?" I was quick to say yes, without really knowing much about it.

In essence, Sister Cities form a legal or social agreement between them, a concept conceived after World War II "intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation and to encourage trade and tourism." ( Beyond this objective, the cities can use this relationship to also form strategic international business links.

Sister Cities International

Sister Cities International was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 as a nonpartisan 501 nonprofit which serves as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States. This network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in nearly 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in more than 140 countries. That's pretty impressive.

Sister Cities U.S. Partnerships Worldwide

Interesting, isn't it, that cities with close ties to one another across oceans and boundaries refer to themselves as "sisters," rather than "brothers?" In questioning that, I found a lot of funny answers for the reason:

...because objects are generally referred to as female,
...because when "sister" refers to an object, it often carries a subservient connotation,
...the general act of ascribing a female gender to inanimate objects,'s biblical. Sisters get along. Brothers kill each other.

Personally, I like the last explanation best! (Women give life, not take it!) There is something more profound about "sisterhood" than "brotherhood" because for me, with three sisters of my own and no brothers, it's so much more believable! We often call ourselves "sistahs," which when defined by the Urban Dictionary, is "a girl or a woman coming from the same parents, roots or spiritual state of mind. A female whom you can count on throughout all time. In her truest sense she is one who will never turn her back on you. She knows you are not perfect and together you do what you need to do to improve. A real sistah is family. A connection with her is based on mutual love, respect and consideration. A sistah has your back and you have hers."

This is what I have chose to believe is the real reason for this organization!

As a Global Envoy, Mary is a volunteer who serves during a five-year term as a diplomat and spokesperson at U. S. embassies abroad, international embassies in the U.S., protocol visits, and sister city partnership meetings. She presents papers, gives speeches, participates on panels and at workshops and meetings, at conferences, and more. In this case, she's formed a Round Table discussion on Zoom where members and other interested parties can reopen the dialog since Covid-19 came on the scene.

Mary sent me a very long list (under construction by her team) of U.S. Sister Cities paired with France. There were well over 100 cities, but the list is not complete—it was missing my home town of New Orleans. That seemed strange to me considering New Orleans' roots in France!

Thanks to Gary Lee Kraut of France Revisited, I found out I wasn't wrong...New Orleans and Orléans became Sister Cities in 2018! And I learned something I should have known and didn't—that New Orleans was named after Philippe d’Orléans, the nephew of King Louis XIV, and not actually after the city of "Sistah" Cities.

New Orleans and Orléans become Sister Cities in 2018
New Orleans and Orléans become Sister Cities in 2018
California has the most Sister Cities—nine in all, and in most cases I can fully understand what they have in common:

* Beverly Hills = Cannes (Yes! Isn't Cannes the B.H. of the Riviera?)

Cannes, FranceCannes
* Modesto = Laval (Strange! I couldn't find a good explanation.)
* Newport Beach = Antibes (Beachy! And Newport is to Los Angeles what Antibes is to Nice.)
* Laguna Beach = Menton (For the same reason as Newport Beach and Antibes...makes perfect sense to me.)

Menton, France
* Los Angeles = Bordeaux (Really? I don't see it myself.)

Bordeaux, France
* Palo Alto = Albi (There must have been a connection of some sort prior to officiating it.)

Palo Alto and Albi, Sister Cities
Palo Alto & Albi
* San Francisco = Paris (This makes sense...San Francisco was the first city with an Alliance Française in the U.S.)
* Sonoma = Chambolle-Musigny (They even have a Facebook page. This "sistah" is thanks to international dignitary and wine connoisseur Frank Bartholomew who initiated the alliance with Burgundy’s Chambolle-Musigny, where he had friends in the village.)
* South San Francisco = Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (An important French town as the cross-roads of the route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle, at the foot of the mountain pass and the pilgrims' last stop before the arduous mountain crossing...and San Francisco, a pioneer town?)

Mary's home city, Fort Worth, is partnered with Nîmes. Paris has two other Sister Cities—Chicago and Washington, DC. Nice is partnered with both Miami and Houston. Miami has two besides Nice—the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis and Lamentin in Guadeloupe (French territory).

Fort Worth Sister City with Nîmes, FranceFort Worth Sister City with Nîmes, France
San Francisco has a lot of Sister Cities all over the world. So much so that in the summer of 2018, it installed a sign at Hallidie Plaza near the Powell Street cable car turnaround that included the names of each of its 19 sister city partnerships.

San Francisco Sister Cities
San Francisco Sister Cities

Here's a list of U.S./French Sister Cities provided by

Is your city one of them?

A la prochaine...

Adrian Leeds with her SistahsAdrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

(with her Sistahs)

Respond to Adrian

Timothy Jay SmithP.S. Sign up for a free writing workshop with Paris Prize for Fiction Winner and Lambda Award nominee, Timothy Jay Smith. It's a "Virtual Event," of course, for American Library in Paris members only. An RSVP is required:

TOMORROW, September 17 at 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Topics will include:

– Finding a story and developing it
– How much research is required
– Finding/developing characters
– How to adapt real people and places to the page
– The writing process
– Query letters and press releases
– Marketing, including publicists, social media, and videos

Learn more and register NOW by visiting the ALP website!

October's Après Midi

Jim HaynesOctober 13th, 2020
Featuring a Special Screening of “Meeting Jim!”

Meeting Jim Haynes is the documentary of an extraordinary journey that, in the summer of 2016, took this unusual 85+-year-old man to the cities of Paris, London and Edinburgh. Because "Meeting Jim" is meeting people.

* NOMINATED FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY * at the World Premiere June 23, 2018 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

The film is 1 hour 16 minutes long and it's now available on DVD, if you don't want to wait till October! If you would like to purchase the DVD you can do so from FRANCE, UK, GERMANY, SPAIN and ITALY. The DVD is also playable in the US as it is "code-free“ (you can purchase it through or and get it shipped to the US)!

Buy and sell with classified ads in our popular Nouvellettres®!

Earn money. Become an Introduction Partner of The Adrian Leeds Group.

See what you missed! Read past issues of Parler Paris.

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