Life in Paris is a Parade
Mardi Gras did not go uncelebrated in Paris yesterday. I pulled out Mardi Gras beads stashed in the back of the closet in order to wear them at both the Parler Paris Après Midi and a Mardi Gras celebration given by New Orleanians last night. In the process of deciding which to wear, the entanglement that ensued of the colorful plastic beads took 30 minutes to unravel bringing back memories of Mardi Gras in the past when this became the bane of our after-the-holiday existence.
Our own Schuyler Hoffman, who wears many hats for the Adrian Leeds Group, including Booking and Reservations Manager, and who lives and works in New Orleans, took the day off from his usual duties to enjoy the annual insanity. He managed to find time to post a new profile photo on his Facebook page taken yesterday that might just scare you! (I can assure you that under all the make-up and garb, there is a nice, sweet, handsome guy!)
New Orleanians newly resident in Paris invited a small group of friends and other New Orleanians to participate in a parade of their own “Krewe” led by a “Queen” of the non-human species who snorted quite a bit while being chauffeured on her own bicycle-driven ‘float’ along the quais of the River Seine, past Notre Dame and along the Ile Saint-Louis — all accompanied by a brass band and this odd group of costumed devotees. Trinkets and beads were tossed to the adoring crowds from the float as we passed.
As one might imagine, we drew quite a crowd of photo-takers — including posing for a group photo in front of the cathedral. It was a first for me and likely for anyone else among us, but I can tell you that in spite of the rain which came down just as we landed at Notre Dame, it was well worth coming home wet like rats to have enjoyed the spirt of Mardi Gras and of our home town, New Orleans. (Sorry, but you will not see photos in respect for the hosts’ wish to remain anonymous!)
Chef and author, Susan Herrmann Loomis, spoke at Après Midi about her latest and 10th book, “In a French Kitchen,” as well as her life as an American French chef living and working in a centuries-old house (once a convent) in the heart a small Normandy town — Louviers. She introduced us, using a slide presentation, to the folks in her region who are responsible for the fresh produce, cheeses, wines and other culinary ingredients (such as truffles) that grace her many recipes. It was successful in virtually transporting us there and making our mouths water. As a result, Susan vowed to offer another one of her infamous Sunday Dinners around the table in her beautiful “collambage” (tudor/exposed beams) dining room very soon…so stay tuned for more information on this! You will definitely want to be there! (She’s promised to make her famous Tarte Tatin and I can assure you it’s THE BEST!)
Read more about our afternoon with Susan Herrmann Loomis (with photos) by visiting Parler Paris Après Midi (Susan also gives cooking classes in which you will want to take part. See her Web site for more information and be sure to tell her I sent you!)
It was the first time we used our own new projector to show images…which will not be the last time without a doubt. In fact, next month on March 8th, will be the first time I’ve ever spoken at Après Midi myself — this time about how I got here, how I survived and prospered and how what I learned can benefit you(!) in a slide presentation titled “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!” It’s a presentation made to the Women’s International Club last September that was well received so you’re sure to enjoy it. Mark your calendar now!
This weekend Paris hosts a variety of events around the Year of the Monkey — the Chinese New Year. As is tradition, I’ll be lunching on Chinese food then heading to the annual parade launched from Place de la République on Saturday. Visit chine-informations.com/actualite/ for what’s on all during this weekend in Paris and specifically for what’s going on in Le Marais. Naturally, you’ll here more about the events and parade next week in Parler Paris.
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group
(with Susan Herrmann Loomis – Photo by Patty Sadauskas)
P.S. Just this week, “Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road” writer, editor, teacher of writing and of literature Janet Hulstrand, posted a Q&A with me on her blog. Read her poignant questions and my honest answers by visiting her site. You may want to subscribe! Janet is also offering her annual workshop, Writing from the Heart…in the Heart of France at the Essoyes School facebook.com/The-Essoyes-School April 17-23 and May 29-June 4. Learn more by visiting our own events page.