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Crossing the Line into 2012

By Monday evening, New York had started to come back to life…at least a bit. There was less available seating on the subway and more people in the restaurants. It’s been cold, but sunny and the skies have been blue…until yesterday when it rained all day long.

In the Paris Versus New York book (see Monday’s Parler Paris Nouvellettre®), one of our favorite dichotomies are the pages Novembre/November — Novembre being just a whole page of gray and November being just a whole page of blue. It says it all about Paris weather versus New York’s.

Another set of pages show the Paris poubelles (trash cans) on one side and the New York style trash cans on the other. They got that one wrong. The New York side should have been replaced with a pile of black or clear plastic bags filled with trash. In fact, it was one of the signs that New York was coming back to life after the holiday…the piles had gotten higher.

The piles of garbage in New York is one of my pet peeves. While men in bright green outfits carrying weird green plastic seaweed-looking brooms empty the trash and wash down the streets in Paris daily, New York thinks nothing of letting its trash pile up to mountain status on the wide sidewalks. I am dying to call up Mayor Bloomberg and ask, “What the hell are you thinking? Can’t you sophisticated New Yorkers clean up after yourselves? Don’t you have enough rats?”

The rats scurry along the subway tracks. They are big and look mean…meaner than the little mice one finds along the Paris Métro tracks. Paris Versus New York left that one out. They forgot about the rodents we both have come to know and ‘love.’

The stores along Broadway on the upper west side were open for business Monday night (until 10 p.m.) after attending an informal memorial service held by friends for my niece who we lost her life at the age of 30 just a short two weeks ago…but we weren’t in the mood for shopping. The “open for business” a reminder of American consumerism hard at work.

Even France has been extending its business hours to accommodate shoppers more and more over the years. I can remember when all the merchants in my Parisian neighborhood closed on Mondays and during the week would close between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. for lunch. It was frustrating for an American who had the habit of running errands and marketing any hour of the day (or night in lots of places).

No more. Those days of caring less about money and more about lifestyle may be waning with Sarkozian politics to “Work More, Earn More.” Paris isn’t ready for 24 hour a day 7 days a week retailing. But it’s inching closer all the time and before you know it, we won’t have the space to house all the things we buy that we don’t need…just like in America.

Yesterday under the showers, we took time to meet up with several old friends, moving from restaurant to coffee shop to bar to dinner party in a private apartment. All of those friends have Paris connections and understand what it’s like to live the bi-cultural life.

As 2011 comes to a close, it’s a natural ‘line in the sand’ to consider making resolutions to change things in ones life that can be improved. This is a time when people vow to quit smoking, go on a diet, save more money, complain less, find a job, move to France…but doing nothing about, etc., etc., etc. I look at that line and contemplate what those resolutions this year should be. The list is long, but unedited for the moment.

Today the plane from JFK heads south to New Orleans for the second half of my U.S. holiday adventure. My home town is as different to New York as New York is to Paris. The weather will be warmer and bluer. The people will be fatter — forecast is for 70 degree temperatures for the next few days). The food will be better (don’t tell the French, but it’s the best in the world) and the living will be easier.

By the time you read the next Nouvellettre®, I will have gained five pounds (at least), it will be a new year so we’ll have to get used to writing “2012” on our checks,  and we have an opportunity to change our outlooks on life…if we want to, whether living on this side of the planet or the other.

Happy New Year! And thanks to all of you who sent holiday wishes!! Same to all of you.

A la prochaine…until 2012!

adiran ny2011Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
(Photo by Erica Simone)

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Matisse styleP.S. The Adrian Leeds Group continues to grow in 2012. Look for the addition of more luxury apartment rentals through Parler Paris Apartments and our newest adventure Parler Nice Apartments. Keep your eyes on our Web sites for the christening of Le Matisse and the introduction of the Parler Nice Nouvellettre®!

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