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From La La Land to NOLA for the New Year

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Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013. It’s a new day. It’s a new year.

My oldest sister got married yesterday in New Orleans — at the ripe young age of 73, proving that love knows no age and anything is possible. This is her second marriage after having an almost life-long partner and yes, I’m wild about the new hubby who my family has known for years and fits right in as if he was always there.

When she announced their plans, I guffawed and asked, “Why?!” She said, “Because we love each other and we want to.” Good enough. Then she planned a full-blown wedding as if she were orchestrating it for one of her three now middle-aged kids, none of whom have yet taken the vows. She wore a veil, a lacy garter I brought her from Los Angeles and had a ceremony in the synagogue under a “chuppah” (canopy). I never would have dreamed!

We took four flights to get to New Orleans from Los Angeles, via Minneapolis overnight on the red-eye to Newark and then onward to Atlanta before arriving in New Orleans 17 hours later. The threat of cancelled flights due to the snow storms in the northeast made the entire trip untenable, but we made it, and on time.

It’s a long story why we had such a circuitous route — mostly it was about saving money during a time of high holiday airfares. At Newark during a four-hour layover, we watched the snow fall so heavily that the white Delta planes were lost in the flurry of snow and we worried our flight wouldn’t be able to leave, but it did with a small delay to de-ice the plane.

Our week in Los Angeles was picture perfect. We had the good fortune of  empty roads thanks to the holiday season and managed to visit with lots of old (and new) friends, party, dine, museum, movie, massage, facial and enjoy the casual sunny disposition of La La Land. Southern Californians are friendly and carefree. In West L.A. they are rich. They exercise, try to eat right, have their liabilities surgically turned into assets and dress with style. Life takes place in their bubbles — their apartments or homes, their cars, their favorite watering holes or restaurants. They do not commune with each other outside of those bubbles.

Let’s put it this way — L.A. is NOT Paris. No two places could be more unalike. We got spoiled by the friendly service, but put-off by the oversized servings. Lack of exercise has turned me into a ‘stuffed sausage’ and the charges to park a car rendered me penniless. The homes in the hills are stunning examples of architecture while the boulevards are commercial eyesores. I couldn’t help but think of Gray Paree with its beautiful symmetrical Haussmannian apartment buildings, the small intimate shops at street level and the amazing public transportation. How different can two places be?

Still, we reveled in the city we came to love before moving to France and vowed to return more often so as never to lose our connection with our friends or the city itself. It was sad to say our goodbyes, but knew we were off to a new and very different adventure in “The Big Easy,” where every thing you do, everything you eat, is like living inside one big party. And you can bet that’s what we’re doing tonight…partying NOLA style (unless there’s a parade, and that’s even more New Orleans than spicy seafood gumbo).

Naturally, I’ll have more to report on our adventures in “Noo Awlins” in 2013 (meaning this coming Wednesday).

A la prochaine…and Happy New Year!

A la prochaine…


Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

(in Los Angeles with Erica)

Respond to Adrian 


P.S. Have you heard the good news? “French Panel Overturns 75 Percent Tax on the Very Rich.” Read all about it in the New York Times. And to those of you who have written in liking Obama policies to Hollande’s, look again. The American left has to go a whole lot further left to come close to the French RIGHT! So, I doubt there’s any real threat of the U.S. looking more like France, at least not under this administration or in our lifetimes. Nope. L.A. is not Paris and the U.S. is not France, no matter how you slice and dice it. 


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