Mastering the Art of (Liking) French Cooking

In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude. – Julia Child “It’s the big gray bird, Madame.” The waiter flaps his elbows to describe the word on the menu I have never before seen in my life. “On the farm.” On the farm? Is it turkey? No. An especially large...

Lunching With Renoir’s Boating Party

I never think I have finished a nude until I think I could pinch it. – Pierre Auguste Renoir “This way, please, Mesdames, Monsieur.” I scoot along behind the maitre d’, who’s moving fast. Vite, vite, step quickly, before the crush of lunchtime crowd separates us...

Marriage, Dubois-Style

What does it take to go the distance? A marriage made in…France.   “Just add three letters to Paris and you have paradise.” – Jules Renard The family Dubois of Avenue Foch are French. That is to say, the family Dubois are different. In an age when...

Madame P

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner…Never Again   Madame P. is coming to dinner.  A real American meal is on the menu and Madame P. has never been to America.  This lifelong Marseille housewife is as pure a product of Provence as hot sun, a blaze of blue sky, and the...

The Taming of the Saleswoman

Afterward when travelers to Paris talk – and they do – much is sometimes made of the city’s saleswomen. Polished to a gloss and presiding within the chic boutiques of Avenue Montaigne, or windswept, stoic and cold behind the winter apple display of an outdoor market,...

Take That, Doormat

“You’re a doormat,” says Kristin, the hypnotherapist. I perch, pathetic, on the edge of her soft, green sofa. The sofa sags from the weight of the woe I and countless hypnotherapees before me have brought to Kristin’s office for healing. “You’re afraid to say the word...

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