Feature, May 1992
Springtime in Paris is synonymous with love the world round. One sighs just thinking about it. Ahhhhh, yes… It’s time to put the top down, get a haircut, hold the stomach in, bleach your teeth. The hormones are working overtime and anything seems possible – seductions of epic dimensions, successful conquests right out of the Greek myths, peak experiences to rival the Alps. Mating behavior – with its stern accompaniment of catcalls and racy one-liners – is the central rite of the Parisian spring. Continue reading “Paris…a city for lovers”
Feature, Horse Racing in Paris, April 1992
Although no “Hemingway-sat-here” plaques adorn the grandstands of the 8 Paris racetracks, the American writer was a regular horseplayer when he lived here from 1921 to 1926. In fact, the French racing establishment has done little or nothing to attract tourism, not even one brochure at tourist info centers. As a result, the racing spectacle is one of Paris’ best kept secrets. Continue reading “Paris… a Day at the Races”
Fashion focus: Patrick Kelly, Peter Kea, Gregg Snyder and John Arthur Speight, April, 1992
There was a time when Americans never dared think of selling clothes to the French. After all, we were always considered to be lacking in taste, particularly in our dress. As times and attitudes have changed, fashion has become more international, less localized. The spectacular success of the late Patrick Kelly, for one, has lured others to test the waters this side of the Atlantic. Currently there are Americans working freelance, as assistants, and these four entrepreneurs who’ve dared to start their own businesses. Continue reading “An American (designer) in Paris”
A series of 17th-century buildings, dotted with gargoyles and fitted together in a symmetrical octagon, serves as a backdrop to one of the most dazzling areas of Paris: Place Vendôme. Under the watchful eye of Napoleon, perched high atop a 144-foot bronze column, the world’s most coveted gems are transformed into extravagant trinkets for the world’s rich and famous personalities. Spellbinding names like Boucheron, Cartier, Chaumet and Van Cleef & Arpels all boast of a rich and opulent history that has withstood the test of time and continues to flourish, much like the centuries-old square itself.
Continue reading “Place Vendôme… All That Glitters”
William Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch” was “unfilmable,” but Canadian wizard David Cronenberg went ahead and adapted it to the screen anyway. Discerning fans of altered states of consciousness will delight at the matter-of-fact way in which Cronenberg has incorporated a Mugwump here, a Sex Blob there, a very proficient talking anus and word processing machines whose software hearkens back to the primeval slime.
Continue reading “Conversation with David Cronenberg”
When my friend Jacques offered to take me on a catacomb tour of Paris, I didn’t hesitate. I couldn’t pass up an invitation to visit the labyrinthine quarry that furnished the stones of Paris, from the gargoyles of Notre Dame to the cobblestones of Montparnasse.
Continue reading “Down in the Paris Catacombs”
Sometimes the smallest thing, a spat for example, leads you into a larger examination of cultural values and belief systems.
Continue reading “The Customer is Always Wrong”
All expatriates should add to their existential, Proustian shopping list at least one journey back to the Old Country – not their last place of residence, but their real pays natal. Continue reading “Remembrances of Jerseys Past”
Throughout his career, expatriate writer Edmund White has brought a sensual richness and intellectual rigor to the printed page. From his 1973 debut as the 33-year-old novelist of the Nabokov-praised masterpiece, Forgetting Elena, to the recently edited 1991 edition of the Faber & Faber anthology of short gay fiction, Edmund White has exerted a considerable influence in international literary circles. Published widely in England, America and France, White has taught at Columbia and Yale, and in 1983 was the recipient of a Guggenheim grant. He is currently on staff at Brown University, and is back in Paris completing a colossal five-year project – a critical biography of Jean Genet. White speaks to the Free Voice of his life and work.
Continue reading “Paris Interview with Edmund White”
Every year busloads of French school children and tourists from around the globe make the day trip north from Paris to visit the clearing at Rothondes where the Armistice was signed in a railroad car at the end of World War I. All along the road, just an hour from Paris, an impressive number of medieval churches, monasteries and graceful châteaux dot the rolling hills of Picardy. A few miles from the famous clearing, the Museum of Franco-American Cooperation celebrates friendship between the two nations. Housed in the 17th-century château of Blérancourt, the museum’s art collection, special exhibitions and extensive documentation trace more than 200 years of Franco-American relations.
Continue reading “Blerancourt Franco-American Museum”
The plot is high youth unemployment and crowded housing, the subplot, the disenfranchisement of minorities, and the opening scenes of the drama are neighborhood riots and high school violence. Somewhere in the background a rap music sound track heightens tension…
Continue reading “France’s Banlieu Blues”