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Smiling on the City of Light

11-5-09ppworkshopParis Poetry Workshop 2009
11-5-09cecilia
Cecilia Woloch

When I got the news Tuesday that the elderly gentleman who holds the rights of usage to the “viager” apartment I own (in my own building, with a terrace) had agreed to my offer to sell me the rights, I let out a scream! The next day I received the formal letter from his “Notaire” and now the transaction is…finally, after four years of working on this project…going to actually happen! As soon as the deed is done, we can start the renovation process, so keep an eye out for “Le Saint-Tropez” to start to show its lovely face on Parler Paris Apartments…a 17th-century “pied-à-terre” on the 4th floor WITH an elevator, with a mezzanine, fireplace, exposed beams and a grand terrace with a beautiful view of Le Marais! Yeah!

(For those who wish to read more about it, there are five chapters of the ongoing ‘saga’ currently online at the following links: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V)

Saturday was a very special treat with an old friend who had moved away more than four years ago, Jonathan LeBlanc Roberts. He invited me to what was the most elegant and amazing lunch I’ve ever had at the “Restaurant d’Eté,” one of two at the legendary palatial Hôtel Le Bristol. Head Chef Eric Frechon just received his third Michelin star after a long and illustrious career working with the top chefs in some of the finest restaurants in Paris as well as receiving much critical acclaim for his own restaurant, “La Verrière.” In addition to the stars, he received a “Legion d’Honneur” for his culinary services awarded by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

There were faces there in the dining room I recognized from having seen them in the news, but they were no where near as interesting as the dishes set before us. In fact, to even begin to describe their beauty, complexity and taste would take as many chapters as I’ve written for “Le Saint-Tropez,” “le viager.” So, I will leave that for another time, however, while in this magnificent setting, dining over the most amazing cuisine ever to have laid eyes on, Jonathan handed me a big surprise.

There it was in all its glory — his first guidebook to Paris, “Sensual Paris — A Guide to Sex, Seduction & Romance in the Sublime City of Light.” He had started the book years ago as an electronic guide, in the same manner as my own “Insider Paris Guide to Good Value Restaurants,” but it had never come to fruition and then he left town.

Now, there it was, in black and white, with a beautiful purple colored cover and photos throughout. It’s the perfect size to carry with you on your travels through the City of Light and it’s packed with everything you might want to know to have the most romantic and sexy vacation (or life) you could imagine. The inscription: “May you and this grand old city remain equally seductive…vôtre ami, JR.”

When he listed the Restaurant d’Eté at Le Bristol in the guidebook as a “Passionate Epicurean Pleasure,” it only had two Michelin stars. But, I can certainly understand why and how it would qualify as “romantic!” To get your copy of Sensual Paris, visit our Recommended Reading page for the link to Amazon to order it. Every bookshelf about Paris should have a copy!

Sunday afternoon, over omelets and a café crème with Karen Henrich, Director of Nuit Blanche Tours and author of The Insider Paris Guide to Practical Paris ( ), I learned all about her newest project, over which her blue eyes light up like bulbs on a Christmas Tree. We experimented by taking a brief video with a little Sony Cyber-shot — that if you enjoy viewing it as much as we enjoyed making it, will become a regular part of Parler Paris! Just click here to actually ‘be there’ with us at the Café du Marché, with all its noise and bright Spring light!

That night the Paris Poetry Workshop kicked off the week of events with a Pot Luck dinner hosted by workshop director, Cecilia Woloch. The room was filled with old friends from the Paris literary community, such as Jeffrey Greene and Heather Hartley, as well as the attendees of the workshop, many of whom have taken the workshop before and who have become friends. Many of the events are open to the public, so even if you’re not one of Woloch’s poetry students, you can partake in some of the festivities…

Tonight we’re all going to pile into the tiny upstairs space at Shakespeare & Company to hear Cara Black speak about her newest book, “Murder in the Latin Quarter,” the latest and ninth mystery in her irresistible series set in Paris based on Aimée Leduc, Black’s adorably punkish sleuth. Be there at 7 p.m. (earlier to get a seat), Shakespeare and Company, 37, rue de la Bucherie, 5th.

Tomorrow night beginning on the dot of 7:30 p.m., the poets will be turning their ears from poetry to jazz by American pianist Joe Makholm and his band (accompanied by Philippe Nadaud and Charles Mingusat) at the Swan Bar, 165 boulevard de Montparnasse, 6th.

Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Berkeley Books, 8, rue Casimir Delavigne, 6th, is your opportunity to hear the poetry of Cecilia Woloch, Jeffrey Greene and Heather Hartley. The reading will be followed by conversation and wine, plus books will be available for sale. Hearing these three accomplished poets will change your viewpoint on poetry for the rest of your life…as it did mine 15 years ago when I first met Ms. Woloch and her inspiring words.

Friday night is your chance to hear the participants read their work, after the results of the week’s work, 7 to 9 p.m. at Shakespeare & Company in the upstairs library…it’s another perfect kick-off to another gleeful weekend in Paris!

Too much to do, too little time…and smiling all along the way.

AdrianSteps600 A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Parispostmark150

P.S. Coming up this weekend…Coming up this week…”Nomades Edition 2009” May 14 – 17 — cultural events all over the 3rd district, La Nuit des Musées Saturday, May 16th and a Spring Art Exhibition both weekend days featuring the work of artist Rosemary Flannery in the private apartment of Eileen Walker. Email [email protected] for more information.

P.P.S. See you tomorrow at Parler Paris Après Midi!

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