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The Crescent City and the City of Light

I’m not really 4800 miles from my home town, New Orleans. I’m just a stone’s throw away.

Yesterday evening at 58 rue Charlot, the Hôtel de Sauroy, just down the street from “Le Provençal” and literally the building behind my own apartment on rue de Saintonge, on the occasion of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a number of celebrities, both French and American, attended the opening of a very special photo exhibition in memory of the victims of the storm. The photos by Solange Reboul titled “L’Après Katrina” (After Katrina) will be on display until September 7th, open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Since Katrina, French cultural institutions spontaneously organized acts of solidarity, notably for jazz musicians uprooted by the storm, many of whom lost their homes, instruments, music sheets, etc. (You may recall when singer Leah Chase visited Paris and performed free concerts here? — See Parler Paris Past Issues ) More New Orleans musicians are scheduled to arrive and perform in France this year: David Rogan, Jesse McBride, the Pfister Sisters, David Doucet and Terence Blanchard.

Chief Architect and Inspector-General of Historic Monuments Mr. Pierre-Antoine Gatier, with the French Consulate in New Orleans, selected the Passebon Cottage as a site for collaboration on restoration work with a grant of $50,000. The cottage is a good example of the traditional residential architecture of the Tremé neighborhood, historically a center of music in New Orleans. The project will be done in the partnership with Tulane University and serves as a hands-on learning experience for students.

The Tremé neighborhood was built on the grounds of the former plantation of Charles Tremé from Burgundy and was populated in the 19th-century by “free people of color” and considered to be the birthplace of jazz…now known as Congo Square, Storyville and Rampart Street.

If you want to enjoy the area first hand, Parler Paris Conference Coordinator, Schuyler Hoffman, has recently moved from Seattle to New Orleans to work with the famous Antoine’s Restaurant and opened a Bed and Breakfast on Rampart Street, just adjacent to the Tremé neighborhood. See or write [email protected] for more information and be sure to tell Schuyler Parler Paris sent you!

More cultural solidarity between New Orleans and France takes place next year, from March 3 to June 2, 2007, when the New Orleans Museum of Art will host an exhibition entitled “La Femme: The Changing Image of Women in French Painting in the 19th-Century.” Works by Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso will be on loan from French public museums. This exhibition is the culmination of a promise made to New Orleans just two months after Hurricane Katrina, when Minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and the President of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette, visited the city.

Everyone should visit the city…both cities: The Crescent City and the City of Light, at one with one another and with me.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. I just got word from chef Susan Herrmann Loomis (of “On Rue Tatin” fame) that she and her colleague Hervé Lestage, oenologist and owner of La Feuille de Vigne in Honfleur, will spend five magical days September 17 to 22, 2006 luxuriating in the apples and orchards of Normandy. During this very special course, they we will delve deeply into the culinary world of Normandy and its apples, from sparkling hard cider to Pommeau and Grim de Poire, from sumptuous apple desserts to apples as condiment. And then there is Calvados, the unparalleled Norman elixir, to finish each meal! If you are lucky enough to join them, you will learn about and taste dozens of apple varieties, meet cider and Calvados makers, and take a very special trip to visit orchards and the people who run them. You may remember that Susan’s Tarte Tatin was the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best! Contact [email protected] for more information and to reserve your place before it’s too late.


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