A Little Paris in NYC

A few days ago, after watching an episode of Sex and the City, I was inspired to take a (second) trip to Paris – The Paris Theater, that is.

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The Paris Theater – a little Paris in NYC

Opened in 1948, and located just west of Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel, The Paris Theater is Manhattan’s LAST single-screen theater.  Specializing in mostly foreign and independent films, it is a great place to go for a quiet evening on the town, followed by a glass of wine at the Plaza or a stroll in Central Park.

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view from the balcony

I made it just in time to see Eleanor Coppola’s film, Paris Can Wait, starring Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin, and Arnaud Viard (the movie closes next week).  It’s a cute, airy movie about a director’s wife who decides to drive from Cannes to Paris with her husband’s business associate, making tons of stops and detours along the way.  I walked out of the theater wanting to drink copious amounts of French wine and drive through the countryside.  I sat on the balcony (read, ‘upper level’) and was pleasantly surprised by the comfortable seats and freshness of the popcorn (how hard is it to find fresh popcorn at the movies these days?!).  But, perhaps what I loved the most, aside from the fact that there is only ONE theater, was the logo on the carpeting that I noticed on my way out.

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ahhh, Paris

I will definitely be going back there again, and you should too!

Fashion. Paris. Vogue.

Ask anyone that knows me; I’m not the one to read memoirs or really any non-fiction easily. I find them dense and hard to get into, and I’d much rather get my info through a good Google search. I had the opportunity to read Joan Juliet Buck’s memoir, The Price of Illusion way before it was published, but my aversion to such literature kept me from it until about a month ago. I was having a conversation with the editor and the subject of fashion came up. He told me that if I loved fashion, I would LOVE this memoir. Much like how Joan turned down the position of Editor-in-Chief of Paris Vogue several times (three?), I had run out of excuses.

For those of you who tend to shy away from memoirs, I completely understand. They’re not your thing; they’re generally not mine either. But one thing I learned from working in publishing is that there’s always an exception (life lessons!). And sometimes you need to put down your prejudices, stop making excuses, and just read. Because that book that is not your genre, that book that is out of your norm…well, it just might surprise you. And, you might learn something.

Hands down, this memoir is fabulous, and it reads like a narrative. At times I had to reminding myself that it was non-fiction and that all of the characters are (were) in fact real people. Not only was Joan Juliet Buck the Editor-in-Chief of Paris Vogue for seven years, but she was the ONLY American to do it. Her life reads like a bit of a fairytale where fashion and Hollywood big shots intersect. From her producer father (Jules Buck) to her childhood ‘sister’ (Angelica Houston) to her friendships with Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, and the then unknown Christian Louboutin – Joan has lived an enchanting life. For all my fashion friends out there…you must read this. Immediately. And let me know what you think. And, since tonight is the annual Met Gala ball, it’s the perfect time to start!

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Joan Juliet Buck’s The Price of Illusion.  2017 Atria Books.

Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed

How do you go on living your life, knowing that there’s a part of you out there that is missing?

In Khaled Hosseini’s third novel, And the Mountains Echoed, he explores relationships that we have with ourselves and our families. How, one choice, one decision, has the power to not only change our lives, but theirs as well. How the people that are closest to us will go to great lengths in order to do what’s right, sacrificing everything they can, but also how sometimes people surprise you when you need them the most, destroying hopes that you never knew you had. Spanning generations, Hosseini takes the reader on a journey across continents, delving into the complex relationships of family and how things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

Starting with siblings Pari and Abdullah, who are separated by extraordinary circumstances, we follow them and others through the aftermath, and witness the true power of love and how the loss of it can stick with you throughout a lifetime.

“It is important to know this, to know your roots. To know where you started as a person. If not, your own life seems unreal to you. Like a puzzle….Like you have missed the beginning of a story and now you are in the middle of it, trying to understand.”

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Dîner en Blanc

Last night, I was having drinks in Bryant Park when suddenly, a sea of people dressed all in white took over the park.  My friends and I couldn’t help but stare in wonder and a little bit of envy, wanting to know what exactly was going on, and at the same time, wishing that we were a part of it.   It felt like it had come straight out of a movie, perhaps a Gatsby related event even.  Whatever it was, I was determined to find out: I needed to know.  My opportunity arose when, upon entering the ladies room, I saw one of those such white-clad people fixing her makeup.  She was happy to share the much coveted information with me.  The name of the event: Dîner en Blanc.

I had never heard of this event and immediately took to googling.  Dîner en Blanc is relatively new to New York, as this was only the third annual event held here.  It originated in Paris twenty-five years ago, by François Pasquier, who, having just returned home after living abroad for a few years, decided to throw a dinner party with all of his friends.  Each of his friends brought a friend, and everyone wore white.  Thus, Dîner en Blanc was created.

Dîner en Blanc is highly exclusive.  To be able to participate one must either receive an invite, or be randomly selected from their waiting list.   The events are held in public places that are usually crowded and were not meant to host this type of thing.  The locations are not disclosed until thirty minutes prior to the start of the festivities, then guests scramble from their designated meeting places in order to get there and set up.  Everyone is dressed head-to-toe in white, bringing with them everything that they will need: a table, two white folding chairs, a white table cloth, a picnic basket with food and tableware.

Last night, four thousand people were at Bryant Park for Dîner en Blanc.  Four thousand.  When I described it as a sea of people, I was not exaggerating.  I put myself on the waiting list and hopefully will be one of those people next year.