Mucha Do About Some Think
I’m back in Nice for another week, this time to film our 34th House Hunters International episode and fifth one on the Côte d’Azur. John Garland Jones is our “contributor,” a client of ours who came to live in Nice on a whim with his doggie, Dozer. John’s a “crooner” who sings Saturday nights at the Snug and Cellar, so if you’re in Nice, be sure to pay it a visit, hear him sing and say hello.
This is the first of three episodes I’m filming this month alone — a whirlwind and challenging schedule to fit it all in, with 10 days in the U.S. visiting family in New Orleans and Los Angeles over the Thanksgiving holidays. So, if for any reason a Nouvellettre® is a bit late reaching your inbox, please understand that I might be writing these in my sleep, whatever little sleep I will get.
The “chargé” schedule hasn’t prevented me from seeing an exhibition or two — as usual, there is too much to see and do in the City of Light for only 24 hours in the day, seven days a week. Stupidly, at the height of the Saturday afternoon rush, a friend and I attempted to visit the Alphonse Mucha exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg (on until January 27th) and succeeded, while having to cleverly maneuver around the crowds to get close enough to really see the works. Fortunately, she and I both have what we call “Mardi Gras” experience. She’s also a native of New Orleans, understanding how to “worm” through the crowd to get the “best seat in the house.
“Mucha’s sinuous forms mixing young women, floral motifs and ornamental lines, as well as a subtle range of pastel shades” (a description borrowed from the exhibition’s publicity), are the epitome of what we’ve all been taught was Art Nouveau; so much so, that one might think he invented the style himself. One painting, drawing, poster, sculpture as well as photograph after another will mesmerize you, or at least, they certainly did me. Renowned actress Sarah Bernhardt was a prominent subject of Mucha’s. She was in a class all her own, not unlike our Marilyn Monroe. Even though it was impossible to choose a favorite, the ad for Moet et Chandon wines might have been the one that impressed me more than the others. Even if you have to battle the masses on a weekend afternoon, don’t miss it.
Sadly I came home to the news about the shooting at the Pittsburgh Synagogue that left 11 dead in what is considered one of the worst anti-semitic attacks in recent U.S. history. To any of you living in the U.S. who question the anti-semitic sentiments in France, who write me to ask what it’s like to be a Jew living in France, take a good look in the mirror and see what reflects back. The picture isn’t all that pretty, is it?
And if you want to understand a bit why there is so much anti-semitism in the world, watch the documentary, “Why the Jews” (the password is “begin”). You might find it very enlightening. And btw, Sarah Bernhardt was the illegitimate daughter of a Dutch Jewish courtesan!
When Mr. Trump makes comments like, “If there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him,” or “When people do this, they should get the death penalty,” or when the media asked him “if the shooting indicated a need to revisit gun laws,” he replied that the shooting “has little to do with it,” I start to scream at him on the TV…and I mean scream! (I often wonder if my neighbors hear me and think I’m nuts.)
Sure, let’s just fight violence with violence. That really works to reduce violence, right? According to an article by the BBC, about 40% of Americans say they own a gun or live in a household with one. The rate of murder or manslaughter by firearm is the highest in the developed world. Believe it or not, there were more than 11,000 deaths a year as a result of murder or manslaughter involving a firearm (2016) in the U.S. By comparison, according to Wikipedia.org, the French own 14.96 guns per 100,000 population compared to the U.S. with 89 and has 2.83 deaths annually, compared with the U.S. 11.96 death per 100,000.
Sure, some of you will think I’m nuts, just like my neighbors. Go ahead, call me names. Send your hate mail and disputes. I don’t care what you think of me. I’m just the messenger that holds the mirror, so when you look in it, you can either like what you see or not. We have the power to change the world ourselves, and violence isn’t what leads to peace and harmony among all people…if that’s what you truly want.
A la prochaine…
Editor of Parler Nice
(with John Garland Jones)
P.S. A very special congratulations goes to Schuyler Hoffman and David Peterson, who celebrated their wedding in New Orleans at Antoine’s Restaurant this past Friday after way too many years of unwedded bliss (20 years, to be exact)! Schuyler has been a trusted and devoted member of the Adrian Leeds Group since 1998. If it weren’t for Schuyler, you would not be receiving these Nouvellettres® so regularly or efficiently! Happy days to Schuyler and David and many thanks to both of you for your uninterrupted loyalty to me and the entire group.
P.P.S. I am offering personal one-on-one two-hour consultations in the central Los Angeles area November 20th, 21st, 23rd and 24th at a dollar rate (a 15% savings from the normal euro fee). If you are interested in booking one, please email [email protected]