Eyre Affairs

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Friday, November 11, 2005

"Fortunately, I had the advantage of being taught French by a French lady." ~ Jane Eyre

Say what you will about the French; I shall always be a Francophile.

Right now I am watching Jacque Pepin's "Fast Food My Way" on WLIW Create (this is my new favorite channel- www.thirteen.org/watchcreate ). His accent is delectable, and the way he says "coukeeng" is the inspiration for this post.

Reasons Why I Love The French Frogs

1. Gigi - This is the best musical ever. It was a favorite of my mother's, and it is a favorite of mine and Sarah's. How can you not love Maurice Chevalier when he sings Thank Heaven for Little Girls? (Ok well my dad doesn't: "Amy, the man was a nazi sympathizer!") Sigh. Still, Louis Jourdan is HOT and my love for Leslie Caron is complete nepotism: she is a petite brunette who was a ballet dancer. Sarah and I have had annual "Gigi" nights since high school. We have dinner, drink champagne, and watch the film. I never tire of the moment that Gaston realizes that Gigi is too special to make his mistress and he goes back to her apartment in the middle of the night and proposes. If you have seen the film, you will understand when I say it is not a bore!

2. French Wine - As much as I have enjoyed my wine tastings at the wineries on the North Fork of Long Island and Italian wines at Otto, I still love French wine from France. John introduced me to Beaujolais, his favorite, and I get it rather inexpensively at the wine store by Cassie's apartment on the UES: Best Cellars. I love cooking with French wine, especially when making beef burgandy.

3. Language - Many of the words Shakespeare used in his plays are French in their origins. My first introduction to French was in 5th grade with Madame Bodnar. She was a prissy Frenchwoman, but I chose to take French with her anyway. I have fond memories of French class in high school with Madame Cowan. She was tres magnifique. Lets face it, the French curses are awesome to say: zut alors! merde! sacre bleu!

4. Chocolat - Ok this is so obvious I cannot comment any further.

5. Fromage - If you haven't been to Artisinal in New York City, GO! Sarah and I ate there for our annual "Holi-day" last year and the mac and cheese was delish. I took Missy and Ed there last January for dinner (well, Jack was technically eating there, too) and we had an amazing pot of fondue. Of course I had to deal with a horribly OBNOXIOUS reservationist who was French to get the reserve, but it was worth it. ;)

6. Victor Hugo - I read Les Miz one summer on the beach. It wasn't a beach read, but I loved it. I have the French soundtrack to the musical thanks to Tamara. It is much more beautiful in the vernacular. Eponine is a heroine I shall always empathize with.

7. Edith Piaf - I listen to Madame Edith when I cook. La Vie en Rose. She has a very strong quality to her voice, and of course she has that joie de vivre!

8. Degas - Being a ballerina many moons ago, my mother became obsessed with me having Degas prints. The ballerinas are, indeed, beautiful. Lately my tastes have changed with his work. After visiting the MET a month ago, I truly loved his nudes and bathers.

9. Ballet - Well, since we were on the subject: I was a ballet dancer for 12 years. I loved the grace and beauty of the art. The names for each movement sounded as beautiful as the movement looked: plie, pas de bouree, pas de chat, frappe, etc.

10. Vincent Perez - A handsome French actor who stared in Indochine and Queen Margot.

Only a *PHILISTINE* will allow politics to get in the way of their view of France and its culture. Open yourself up and realize that the past 65 years of French history should NOT eradicate all that it has contributed to art, culture, food, music, and dance. Oui? OUI!


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