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Hunted Down, Choked Up and Tango to Go

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Hunted Down

Our twelfth House Hunters International episode was filmed this past weekend featuring a young newly married American/French couple seeking two bedrooms and an office space. The hunt took them to three different districts — to a big beautiful apartment in the 15th arrondissement with a view of the Eiffel Tower; a small, but stunningly renovated and decorated apartment in Le Marais with balcony and fabulous views; and to a spacious two-bedroom 18th-century apartment with a very unusual bathroom feature near rue Montorgueil.

The crew came from England and Scotland — three guys with whom we have worked before, making the project fun and easy. We filmed for four days, my part taking place over three of them, leading the visits and countering the ‘negatives’ with ‘positives’ as anyone ‘selling’ a property might do.

It takes a few months before the episodes air after filming. In fact, today episode #8 is airing in the U.S., meaning that there are now four ‘in the can’ for future broadcast by HGTV. Don’t bother looking for our episodes on YouTube.com — this is highly protected programming that you’ll only find on HGTV aired on cable/satellite TV. Tune in to today’s House Hunters International at 10:30 PM e/p and 1:30 AM e/p for the latest episode “Every Little Girl’s Dream Comes True in Paris” – Episode HHINT-4807H starring Katherine Fugate, “a successful Hollywood screenwriter who’s aspired to live in Paris since learning of her French heritage as a child. Now a mother herself, Katherine wants to buy a home in her favorite city so she can explore her past, inspire her daughter’s future, and show her aging father a glimpse of their family’s roots. Katherine is looking for a space that embodies the Paris of her dreams: somewhere replete with the history, romance, and charm that has become the city’s signature. Watch as House Hunters International makes every little girl’s dream come true in Paris, France.”

To make note of upcoming shows, visit our Web site at Adrian on House Hunters International.

(If someone out there can record it for me, I would greatly appreciate it! You can send it straight to [email protected]. Many thanks — and I hope you enjoy the show!)

Choked Up

Every year on February 2nd, I make artichokes. It’s a long story you don’t want to hear, but let’s just say that artichokes changed my life on that fateful day many, many years ago. The poor artichokes had no idea how powerful they could be. And at that time, they never got cooked, never got eaten and sat in their plastic market bags left to rot and be thrown away.

To celebrate the liberation that ensued, it has become customary to invite close friends who not only appreciate artichokes, but who can appreciate the story of personal freedom. This year, reminiscent of a Passover Seder, I told the story of the artichokes in great detail while stripping the leaves off one-by-one, scraping the flesh off with our teeth, popping the remains into a central bucket, wiping our arms from the dripping oil and then relishing the heart — the prize for having labored so to reach the core.

This year having just completed the House Hunters International filming near rue Montorgueil, I stopped at a “primeur” (produce seller) where artichokes were on sale at three for one euro! What a bargain! I came home with nine. Six to eat at dinner and three to savor later. For those who want to make them “A La Adrian”: the artichokes are steamed (one hour) and marinated in an oil and vinegar dressing, basting for as long a period of time as possible, until the green spiny “perennial thistle of the genus Cynara (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus — Wikipedia.org)” becomes soft and drenched in the pungent sauce. The sauce is of my own doing — a mixture of several vinegars, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, garlic and olive oil. You can make it any way you like and that’s what makes each recipe unique.

Off course, serving them along with a good crusty bread, is the highlight of the fun, as well as the memories they bring to light.

Tango to Go 

The infamous Folies Bergère is where Tango is the Passion (until February 17th). If you like tango, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy these masterful dozen dancers, accomplished band and singer presented in a cabaret style set in a smoky café.

While the performance is wonderful, the theater is even more of a treat. Built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret, it opened in May of 1869 as the “Folies Trévise,” but quickly became the Folies Bergère only three years later, named after the nearby street of rue Bergère. This is the setting where Édouard Manet painted a bar girl standing before one of the mirrors in 1882 and where Josephine Baker danced in a banana skirt during the production “Un Vent de Folie.”

The production of Tango Pasion is not spectacular, but the experience of being in such a historical Paris theater is!

A la prochaine…

adrian chokes 2013Adrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC

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P.S. If you’re visiting Paris and want to know the best places to dine well without blowing your budget, be sure to get my guide, Adrian Leeds’ Top 100 Cheap Insider Paris Restaurants. These are my tried and true favorite restaurants found in all 20 Paris arrondissements. Bon appétit!.

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