June                    2006
VOL. 10               NO. 2
  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter

  Café Sitting is a Full-Time Job 
                                                          by Jill Butler with illustrations by the author

Café Sitting is a Full-Time Job
  by Jill Butler

Paris Enigmas

Ici et Là

Franco-American Portraits:
  ~ An Interview  with Jeff Berner

 Petite Pleasures
  by Maxine Schur

The Bookshelf: 
  ~ café life Paris 

  a book by Christine and Dennis Graf

The Return of the 3-hour Lunch
  by Barbara Pasquet James

Traveling in France with 'KB'

French Classes in Paris

View of Mediterranean from Èze © Cold Spring Press 1997-2006
The View from Èze

FEATURE:  Provence Revisited
                   ~ Part Deux 

  ~  Provence's Little Corner of Mexico
  by Barbara Beaumont

A Luxurious Riverfront Rental 
  in Burgundy 
  ~  Angle-Terre

I started everyday in the corner café, not just any café, but rather the famous Salon du Thé, Ladurée, on the rue Royale, numéro 16.*Paintbrush in Paris [cover] ©

First priority was un double express et un croissant aux amandes. Next came the reading of the newspaper, not just one, but three: the International Herald Tribune, The International Edition of the Wall Street Journal, and Le Figaro.  For survival at a dinner party or social conversation, it is imperative to be on top of the news both in France and in the US. I had a lot to learn.

Having moved from New York City, I'd taken up the habit of eating breakfast out. It seemed the perfect way to connect with the still somewhat sleepy world, to see people, to be alone, but not lonely. I could ease into my work as the caffeine did its job.

I wrote my first book, Paintbrush in Paris, sitting in Ladurée. I went daily for nearly 14 years. Paintbrush was my American cat that immigrated with me. He was my English-speaking friend and voice in telling our story of moving to Paris through this first illustrated book. 
Paintbrush at Ladurée © postcard (smaller than actual size)

The day came, a year and half later, when the first copies of Paintbrush in Paris arrived. I held my breath and slowly let it out as I read it through. It wasn't embarrassing!

The next morning, I tucked a copy into my bag and headed out for breakfast. I shared it with Anick, my usual serveuse, and she shared it with the manager, Monique.

By a convergence of the stars, the new owners of Ladurée, Francis Holder, and his son, David, were sitting next to me at one of those miniature tables ~ meaning we were practically sitting elbow to elbow.  So, Paintbrush in Paris was again shared by Monique, but this time with the Holders. Mr.Holder Senior ** turned to me and said, “Charmant, Madame, bravo!” He asked me who I was, what I was doing in Paris and suggested I should illustrate something for the salon.

Heart pounding, I spontaneously proposed a series of postcards that could be sold to other Ladurée and postcard enthusiasts like myself. He took to the idea and immediately passed me and the idea to his son, David, with whom I negotiated our agreement. I was then introduced to their design and interiors director. With the details of our project concluded, it was time to begin.
                                                                                                              CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Look inside

  to take a virtual tour of some restaurants and lodging in Brittany and Languedoc with our anonymous reviewer, 'KB'.  Well traveled and with exquisite taste, KB gives her honest, and frequently humorous, opinions of food, guest rooms and, sometimes, the hosts!


>  to accompany us as we present the second part of our return to  Provence. This time we visit the high country and the Mediterranean coast ~ and recommend a very unique place to stay.


>   for an interview with an artist and photographer whose 'occupation' of Paris inspired him and who is an inspiration to others.


Message to our Readers

Part Three of Panos Kakaviatos' series, France Wine Travel, was not available for this issue of our newsletter.  Please look for it in our next edition.       Merci!
                       - Editor

  PARIS ENIGMAS  . . . A Quiz on Your Knowledge of Historic Paris
                                                                                                             by Arthur Gillette

Question from the last issue:   In 1889, Gustave Eiffel received a 30-year commission to manage his Tower built to mark the centenary of the French Revolution, after which it was slated to be dismantled.  Why wasn't it?

Answer:   During World War I, the first major armed conflict in which radio transmissions played a prominent role, French intelligence officers using antennas atop the Eiffel Tower tracked the movements of someone who seemed to be a German spy.  That person was finally apprehended, tried, sentenced to death and executed.  Who?  Mata Hari (although some specialists now doubt her actual guilt).  Because of the 'patriotic service' thus rendered, the Tower was spared.

Our new question:  What is the origin of the La Samaritaine (Good Samaritan) department store?

Contact Arthur Gillette,  and take advantage of his truly amazing knowledge of Paris
 by enjoying one or more of his Paris Through the Ages StrollsEmail:armedv@aol.com

[See the answer to this edition's question revealed in our September 2006 issue]


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 excellent weather, fine cuisine ~ what more could you ask?  Where to stay?
Click on the banner above,  and visit Le Verger's web pages.

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