Americans in Paris Say French Men Make Great Lovers
American in Paris Polly Platt says that according to the dozens of American women she interviewed, French men make great lovers! Then, in a candid conversation at a reception Saturday evening to launch her new book, “Love à la Française,” she confessed that Austrians make the best lovers! (But, don’t tell the French!)
Polly is the author of “French or Foe” and “Savoir Flair!,” two enlightening guides to the cultural crossings Americans and French must endure to peacefully cohabit. She’s been in Paris since 1967 and her books have sold in the hundreds of thousands because of their universal appeal and spot-on advice.
At the reception, seeing old friends and shaking hands with new acquaintances, one of the first questions we Americans ask of each other is “How long have you been in Paris?” Americans in Paris come in all shapes and sizes, ages and aspirati
ons. My 14 years in the City of Light doesn’t hold a candle to Polly’s 41 years, but seems like forever to many who are just getting their feet wet in the Seine.
Cara Black, author of eight murder mysteries centered in various districts of Paris, such as “Murder in the Marais” and her latest, “Murder in the Rue de Paradis,” wishes she was living the life of her own protagonist, Aimée Leduc, a young detective who lives on the Ile Saint-Louis. Cara herself is a resident of San Francisco, but visits Paris often. She’s one of those Americans in Paris who keeps a foot in each country, but because of her in depth research, she has gotten to know the city and many of its residents almost as well as her alter-ego, Aimée.
There are thousands of Americans like Cara in Paris. I realized recently how many of my own friends fit this description and spend a few months a year here, enjoying the best of both worlds. Singer and composer of jazz, blues, and gospel, Manda Djinn, says she belongs to two cities: New York and Paris. She’s been living in Paris for years now and sings regularly at various venues. Saturday evening she performed at the Swan Bar, a “New York” jazz bar in Montparnasse…songs about Paris, songs about New York and how she misses the other no matter which city she’s in at the time.
New Yorker in Paris, Lionel Bloom, founded the Swan Bar four years ago — “the only American jazz bar owner in Paris today since the days of Bricktop’s.” Lionel was a history professor at the Sorbonne before turning jazz club owner and has been here so many years he’s forgotten how to count them.
Americans have been in Paris since the days of Franklin Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson. They have made their marks with indelible ink on the chronicles of the City of Light and likely will do so for decades to come. They come for a week, they come for a season and often they come for a lifetime. Still, that never seems to diminish the torches they hold for their homeland.
Tomorrow I head west to New York City where on Thursday my daughter and I will become proud owners of a “pied-à-terre” in the Big Apple. This is the first time in 14 years to allow any roots to develop in soil other than Paris.
It’s a bit frightening in a way and I wonder, as an American in Paris, how it will affect me.
A la prochaine…and Happy High Holidays!
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
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