Paris Partying and Name Dropping
March 17th was not only Saint Patrick’s Day. It was the 9th anniversary of the Parler Parlor Conversation Group. So hard to believe that so many years have passed since we first opened our doors — at the time it was at Berlitz Langue on the Champs Elysées with Marie-Elisabeth Crochard, Director, and me looking for a way to practice speaking French. This was it. And it works. I actually speak French, thanks to Parler Parlor.
Our friendly café, La Pierre du Marais, graciously provided their upper level and their culinary talents to help us celebrate with an enthusiastic group of both members and newcomers Saturday night over Confit de Canard, wine and a Moelleux au Chocolat, each with a celebratory burning candle. We managed to get all the candles lit before singing “Bonne Anniversaire,” making a wish and blowing them out. We paid homage to our longest standing member, M. Robert Fourcin, who has religiously come more than seven years and to our thousands of participants over the years.
Don’t confuse Parler Parlor with Parler Paris Après Midi! At Après Midi, we meet once a month (second Tuesday) just to connect with other Parler Paris readers. There is no program, no agenda, and mostly conversation in English among (mostly) Anglophones. It’s free-form and it’s fun, but it doesn’t do much for you French.
Parler Parlor is very different. Here we gather three times a week (you can come as often or as little as you like) to meet in groups of six (half Anglophone, half Francophone), to speak 45 minutes in English and 45 minutes in French. It’s a real exchange of conversation, information and ideas, with new found friends, in a free-form and comfortable way, to allow you to become at ease with speaking, at whatever level you have.
Our Saturday 11 a.m. sessions have been taking place at Eurocentres Langues for several years, but now the new director there wants the space back for her own purposes. So March 31st will be our last session at Eurocentres, sadly. We are currently seeking a new home in an equivalently good location — one where we can have up to five or six groups, each in their own room. If you know of anything that might suit us, don’t hesitate to drop us a letter! Email: mailto:[email protected] Be sure to watch Parler Paris and the Parler Parlor Web site for a notice about where the sessions will be held starting April 7th.
In the meantime, it’s free the first time you come, so just show up five minutes ahead at any of the sessions to give it a try. To see what you missed Saturday night, check out the photos at: http://www.parlerparlor.com/events.html
Part II: To Never or Forever Tell Your Name
j2999ie Levy Martin just happens to be staying in my guestroom at the moment. She’s the author of “Never Tell Your Name,” — the true story of a child who must hide in an austere French convent-school during World War II when her German Jewish parents can no longer keep her, a place where she learned never to tell her name.
j2999ie is here in Paris to speak and sign books at two different venues — Tuesday evening< march 20th, at 8:00 p.m. at the Café Literaire St-Sulpice upstairs at the Café de la Mairie, 8, place St-Sulpice, Paris 6th and again Sunday, March 25th at 4 p.m. at the Librairie du Memorial de la Shoah, 17, rue Geoffroy L’Asnier, Paris 4th. I came to know her and
book through poet friend and colleague, Cecilia Woloch, whose friendship was the result of one of those inexplicable synchronistic events in one’s life that changes the course of history.
Funny coincidence that a name should be at the center of her story, because the name of an old and dear friend of j2999ie’s who met her at the airport and escorted her to Chez Leeds was “Martine Tujague.” Imagine my surprise when I learned that Martine’s great grandfather’s brother was “Guillaume Tujague,” the very Frenchman who in 1852 founded what is now the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans, “Tujague’s,” and owned by none other than my own cousin! This is the same restaurant where we held a Living and Investing in France conference in May of 2006!
Six degrees of separation is more like two degrees in Paris. I’ve come to accept that almost daily, there will be some sort of meaningful acausal coincidence to lead the path of the future, like a stream of water flowing downhill to find it’s natural path over the varying terrain.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. j2999ie’s book, “Never Tell Your Name,” is available for purchase by clicking on the Parler Paris book section titled “Books Set in Paris and France by American Authors” along with Cara Black’s newest murder mystery, “Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis“: /parlerparis/books/byamericanauthors.html For more new offerings, visit “Miscellaneous Books by American Authors We Love to Support!” at /parlerparis/books/miscellaneous.html for “Adventures of a Continental Drifter” by Elliott Hester and “A Small Moment of Great Illumination: Searching for Valentine Greatrakes, The Master Healer” by Leonard Pitt.