In the Sky
I traded places yesterday with long-standing colleague, Schuyler Hoffman. He’s the man behind the Nouvellettres® — the guy who takes what I write and produces the email you receive in your inbox complete with photos and promotional messages.
Schuyler (pronounced “sky-lar” and to his close friends known as “Sky Boy”) came to work with me in 2002 as my assistant and since has fulfilled many different roles. The latest one, in addition to producer and editor of Parler Paris, Parler Nice and French Property Insider newsletter, is as booking agent for Parler Paris and Parler Nice Apartments and our partner Paris Sharing Apartments.
Schuyler and his partner, David, live in New Orleans, my home town. Originally from Ohio and a past resident of Seattle, the two moved there after Hurricane Katrina as some of those good-doers who wanted to help save the city from its terrible fate. Before long they were as much New Orleanians as I was, if not more so, having invested in a big old house in the “Faubourg Marigny” that they renovated and turned into a B and B named “Chez Palmiers.”
Schuyler’s past roles “chez Adrian Leeds Group” includes conference coordinator as the man-behind-the-scenes who ran about 25 Living and Investing in France Conferences held in both Paris, Nice and various cities in the U.S. He was also the author of the “Gay Guide to Paris” we published as early as 1998.
That’s when we first met. Unannounced, he knocked on my apartment door thinking the address was a bona fide office where he could register for a 4th of July dinner we were hosting at a Paris restaurant in about a week’s time. We liked each other immediately and the rest is history.
Yesterday morning, Schuyler and David knocked on my door once again. They came to Paris for a week-long visit at the very same moment I was headed to New York and New Orleans. I showed them around the ins and outs of the apartment, discussed how to water the plants, got them set up on the Internet, handed them the keys and hopped in an Uber to head to Charles de Gaulle Airport (UberX is 45€ to and from CDG).
Many of you might already know Schuyler from having attended conferences or booked a rental apartment, or just responded to one of our Novellettres® and gotten a nice polite acknowledgement. In addition to everything else he does, he wears the customer service hat, receiving emails to [email protected] and [email protected] to which he must provide some sort of answer.
A ‘jack of all trades,’ Schuyler held a variety of other jobs in New Orleans including working for a long time at Antoine’s Restaurant, whose owner happens to live next door to my mother’s house. All this is purely coincidental. When we held her 90th birthday there, he was instrumental in helping us coordinate it and when we wanted to dine there on New Year’s Eve, who else did we call, but Schuyler of course.
For a short while, Schuyler was coachman of a mule and buggy, taking tourists around the French Quarter. My niece and mother were two of his riders on a fun afternoon together doing something totally ‘off the wall’ for native New Orleanians. He said the two behaved like teenagers on a spree and they loved every minute of their ride around town.
I write this from the sky on route to New York on an XL Airways flight. Once I arrive in New York at my daughter’s apartment, I will send the text off to Schuyler Hoffman who is at present at my apartment in Paris — six hours later than New York when he is normally seven hours behind. What he will read in this Parler Paris will be of great surprise and in this instance I will leave it to him to fill the space with photos of his choice.
Friday Erica and I head to New Orleans from where I will write Monday’s Nouvellettre®, having traded places with Schuyler both in time and space. Before I left for the airport, we chuckled about the strange passings we’ve experienced these past 17 years and while it seems so perfectly normal and natural for us, I can’t help but wonder if we had past lives together and may have future encounters in lives we haven’t yet had.
LE CIEL DE PARIS (THE PARIS SKY)
Monday night I wanted to take a special friend to a special dinner in a special location in Paris. It’s in the sky. At the top of the tallest building in the city, Le Ciel de Paris is on the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse with an incomparable view of the city of Paris and the Tour Eiffel just ‘down the road a piece.’
From our table the sun beamed bright. While having a perfectly sumptuous meal for a moderate price, we had a panoramic view of the entire City of Light. Below, the Champ de Mars was a small green rectangle on which I could imagine many thousands of picnickers awaiting the fireworks scheduled for the evening of July 14th.
Over lunch yesterday, Schuyler didn’t show much enthusiasm for being one them on the grass all afternoon and into evening, but I explained that as we were trading places, he should take my usual spot just south of center where the view of the fireworks is best and the wait well worth it. I will miss not being one of them.
IN THE SKY ON XL
The air fare on XL Airways was decidedly less expensive than Air France or the others that fly between Paris and New York, particularly when taking to the sky on Bastille Day. It was a no thrills experience that at least got me to New York in one piece if not a bit weary.
The check-in was long as there was no pre-online-check-in possible and the walk to the gate at Terminal 2A seemed like miles. The plane was no fhrills with a few screens down the center aisle hanging from the ceiling playing whatever movie they fancied. If you didn’t purchase earphones, you didn’t hear it. A blanket, neck pillow, eye mask and ear plugs come at a price (8€) as does everything you drink other than water. Your meal is provided free, but don’t expect meat or fish — pasta and bread and pudding is what you are likely to be served.
Next time around, if there is one, I’ll be better prepared to be in the sky with XL.
A la prochaine,
The Adrian Leeds Group
(at Le Ciel de Paris)
P.S. For anyone who was unable to attend our most recent free Financial and Immigration forum, Dunhill Financial has provided us with a link to the PowerPoints used for the sessions. Access them today at createsend.com/t/t-FE2D3B8702D595A6. They will then be happy to discuss any questions you may have. And be sure to let them know you found out about them from Adrian Leeds!