An American-Turned-Parisian-Turned-New Yorker
It’s hard to believe, but during one week under the palm trees of Miami, my toes didn’t once feel the sand between them thanks to gray, rainy weather. We left very early Friday morning feeling unfulfilled, landing in New York’s LaGuardia Airport to several inches of snow and slushy streets.
No two American cities could be more different, with one exception — the people. Florida is awash with good-weather-seeking New Yorkers and both are overflowing with “Francophones” and “Francophiles”…”Francophones” being those who speak French and “Francophiles” being those who would like to speak French!
There’s a new café on the corner of rue de Bretagne and rue Charlot appropriately named “Le Charlot.” The decor was described to me as “a French brasserie as it would be in New York City.” So true, it’s not too dissimilar from “Les Halles,” a brasserie on Park Avenue South, with sister restaurants in Miami and Washington, DC. Les Halles is described to “evoke the atmosphere of the brasseries in the old market district of Paris, where the cream of society, stopping for a bite after a night on the town, would sit next to workmen having their breakfasts, and truckers finishing their shifts, and artists drafting creatively.”
Entering into the dark wood paneled French lunchroom immediately transported me back to my corner café and French naturally poured from my lips turning this unwavering “Francophile” into a “Francophone” once again. I ordered a “Salade Niçoise,” a glass of “Saint-Chinian” and a “Café Noisette” feeling right at home. It’s not easy to feel right at home in New York City for an American-turned-Parisian with its tall buildings, bright neon lights and megastores.
The reason for being here is to personally deliver the co-op board application package required to purchase the apartment we’ve chosen for my daughter in the West Village. Passing the board’s muster is considered a “rites of passage” and we hope to be among those who have been accepted. After two hours at Kinko’s and almost $300 worth of copies, we rolled home a marketing cart filled with 11 copies of a stack of documents that leave no aspect of our lives uninvaded. Tomorrow we will leave it in the hands of a few people who will decide my daughter’s fate as a Parisian-turned-New Yorker.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. The Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group turns 10!!! Join us for our 10-year Anniversary Lunch Party Saturday, March 15 at 12:45 p.m.: Au P’tit Boulevard, 23, boulevard de Sebastopol, 25€ with choice of 3 entrées, choice of 3 plats, Special Anniversary Cake, 25 cl of wine and coffee or tea. Please make your reservations and payment in advance…email [email protected], or call Elisabeth at 01.48.42.26.10 or Adrian at 01.40.27.97.59. Visit http://www.parlerparlor.com for more details.