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Rain or Shine: Penn in Paris or House Hunting in the Languedoc?

The HGTV Krista CrewThe HGTV Krista Crew

Languedoc Roussillon map

Irving Penn exhibit at the Grand Palais

(Photos of the Irving Penn Exhibition by Linda Hervieux)

Irving Penn exhibit at the Grand Palais

Irving Penn exhibit at the Grand Palais

Irving Penn exhibit at the Grand Palais

Irving Penn exhibit at the Grand Palais

A new House Hunters International episode will soon be aired — one that was filmed here in Paris this past May with our client, Krista Bender, and her friend, Stanley, titled “Champagne Problems in Paris” (Season 111, Episode 11). (I LOVE that it’s an “11” episode — if you know about the power of the Master Number 11!?)

“Chef Krista went to France to become a sommelier and then decided to sell her California home and move to Paris permanently. With the market booming and home prices in Paris on the rise, Krista calls on her best friend, Stanley, to help her invest her life savings. She wants the cafe culture of central Paris with a big enough space to entertain. For better or worse, Stanley won’t let her settle, even if her small budget requires some concessions.”

The new episode airs in about a month’s time: Monday, October 23rd at 10:30 p.m. EST and 9:30 p.m. CST, then in the early morning of Tuesday, October 24th at 1:30 a.m. EST and 12:30 a.m. CST. I’ll be watching from Paris on HGTV’s live videocast.  To do this, you have to sign in to your TV provider. (See HGTV to learn more on how to do this.)

Friday morning I’m winging it to Toulouse where I’m meeting up with the production crew of House Hunters International to film our 28th episode, this time in the Languedoc-Roussillon region with two American “contributors” (the term used for the “clients”). It will be the first time for us filming in that area of France, but it certainly isn’t my first time in the region.

The Languedoc is sure to be beautiful. We’ll be focused on one part of the region — the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Languedoc (Haut Languedoc Natural Regional Park), about 80 kilometers from Montpellier. The region is large with five departments and the major towns of Alès, Béziers, Carcassonne, La Palme, Montpellier, Narbonne, Nîmes, Perpignan and Sète. The name of the region comes from the “language of oc” (a regional French word for “yes,” later to become “oui”) and the medieval county of Roussillon. Besides the beauty of the region, it is well known as the wine-producing capital of France, with 650,000 acres  of vineyards claiming 10% of the total wine production in France, with 30% of all of France’s organic wines.

The weather there is predicted to be absolutely perfect: mid 60’s to mid 70’s and sunny. This will be a pleasant respite from the unseasonably cool and rainy weather Paris has had all this month. Websites will tell you that September can vary (this can be said for every month in Paris!), but that September is generally a sunny month with one of the lowest average rainfalls in the year. Not this year — one must be prepared with both an umbrella and sunglasses as it can be sunny one minute and raining the next. (See for proof of this!)

Everyone knows I complain about the weather in Paris. In fact, my quote, first told to writer Janet Hulstrand as we were grabbing umbrellas out of the stand in the foyer for the unpredictability of the weather, “It’s Paris. You don’t come here for the weather,” was first listed as a quote in her blog in 2010. Since, it has gone viral on the Internet. When you Google the phrase, more than 6,000 pages result, including a video by MMVIDeomaker, published on September 15, 2015, titled what else, but “It’s Paris. You don’t come here for the weather.” The quote is gaining in such popularity, that I’ve applied for a trademark to protect it!

With umbrellas out and the skies changing from black clouds to sunny blue skies every few minutes, journalist Linda Hervieux and I were there first to enter the soon-to-open Irving Penn exhibition at the Grand Palais with press accreditation as the exhibition opens officially tomorrow. I first learned about Penn in the late 1980s when I started to collect photography and fell in love with his photos of his wife, Lisa Fonssagrives. The exhibition marks the 100 year anniversary of his birth (1917-2009), celebrating what is considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th-century. This is the first major retrospective of the American artist’s work in France since his death, with more than 235 photographic prints, all produced by the artist himself, as well as a selection of his drawings and paintings.

None of the photos I’ve owned in the past were in the collection, but in a way I was glad, because those photos, long ago divested of, are still sadly missed. Whenever I see them on display, the grief of their loss wells up inside me. The exhibition, however, is a must-see for any photo enthusiast. The comprehensive range of genres he worked in are on show: from fashion to still life, portraits and nudes, even his famous cigarettes and debris. My only complaint was the minimalist showing of his fashion photos, since these are my favorites.

Get your tickets now — the lines will surely be long, and be sure to carry an umbrella in case of rain!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - Singin' in the rain

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

(Singin’ in the rain)

Respond to Adrian

The Adrian Leeds Group

Perturbed In Paris

P.S. We have a special Facebook page where you can express yourself and keep up on our latest episodes…so please do! Be sure to LIKE the page and share it with your friends. You can also visit our own website page. If you like the shows and wish to let the network know, please feel free to visit their Facebook page and leave your comments there!


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