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A new link to a new blog.  This is Louisa Chu's Food. France. Now.


The blog explains itself.  Louisa is in Paris, at the center of the gastronomical world, so to speak, having just finished a stint at Restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee.  These are insider details.

I have known Louisa for a few years and we trade emails about food and Paris now and then.  I haven't seen her years, but you can hear her sometimes out here, reporting from Paris for the weekend "Food News Hour" on the radio out here - on KCRW.

Oddly enough in mid-December a few years ago I arrived at my hotel in Paris after many, many hours in the air non-stop from LAX, and after a crazy taxi ride from CDG into the 6th with a surly driver and his friendly dog in the front seat, I took a quick shower and headed across the street for a cognac at the Flore.  And of course I discovered my French was awfully rusty - well, awful actually.  So when I returned to my room I flipped on the television.  "Friends" dubbed in French helped a bit with the rhythms and pronunciations, and then on Arte I watched a documentary on the most unique radio station in America - KCRW in Santa Monica.  Huh?  I was in Paris listening to the French, in French, explaining my local NPR station.

But then again these days I can hear Louisa here, reporting from Paris, thanks to the folks in Santa Monica.

Odd connections....  Here and Paris.  And of course, on that visit I noticed the cinema just off rue St-Benoit was showing "Mulholland Drive" - I could see marquee in the distance from my hotel window.  Damned odd.  Just up rue des Rennes I found I junk jewelry store named "Sunset Boulevard."  Yipes.

Oh heck, read Louisas columns.  Great stuff.


Heather Stimmler-Hall in her Secrets of Paris Newsletter has posted the link too.


She calls the site "lovely stuff" and adds if you like foodies in Paris you should check out David Lebovitzs site http://www.davidlebovitz.com/ full of good food humor.


And she adds this:


Speaking of Odd Connections, I was just back in the US in January for two weeks, and it seems like everywhere I went everything was "French" (even when it wasn't, like French Vanilla Coffee).  Very bizarre, especially considering the whole Freedom Fries thing...


Indeed so.


And Louisa comments


I'm still waiting for my contract to go through at the Crillon - and my French working papers.  Somehow the Crillon will have to justify hiring me to the French government - kind of a tough sell when we're talking about why I'm a better French cook than a French guy - in a French restaurant.  And the Crillon might be one of the Frenchest of French restaurants left in the world - except maybe Japan.  And another weird full circle kind of thing - I'll be on an Arte documentary sometime in April - they shot one on ADPA - Restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee.  In the meantime, I'm getting ready to go to El Bulli - anyone fluent in Catalan?

Readers?  Anyone fluent in Catalan?


I came across this.  A live web camera showing Hollywood in real time, with The Eagles' Hotel California playing in the background.  If you have a high-speed internet connection you can sort of be here in real time - and in the upper right you can keep an eye on the Hollywood sign.  If you're stuck in Detroit in the snow it will make you happy.  Or not.

If you have a high-speed internet connection you might want to try this: the two dozen webcams offering live real-time views (streaming video) of Paris.   I am fond of Les Champs Elysées depuis "Atelier Renault" - La mairie de Paris depuis la place de l'Hôtel de Ville will give you a live shot of city hall.   Les quais de Seine (2) will give you a good view of the traffic across the bridges right in front of the big department store La Samaritaine - there's a nice gift book section on the third or fourth floor. 

If you're in Paris and miss California, here's a live camera at Venice beach.

Either way, remember the time difference between here and there.


Full court transcript of the Fox-Franken hearing, as discussed at various places in Just Above Sunset:


Plaintiff, New York, N.Y.
03 Civ. 6162 (RLC)(DC)

A detailed guide to some great restaurants in France:

Rick Brown, whose comments often appear here in Just Above Sunset publishes a website in Atlanta called City-Directory.  In it you will find just about everything you need to know about what is going on there, and I believe he updates the site daily.  See www.city-directory.com of course.

Now on his site is this week's edition of The Fire & The Hearth billed as "An occasional newsletter devoted to food, wine, and those things that make for a good life" (and named after a short story by William Faulkner), in which host Randy Harber - gourmet chef and globe-trotting bon vivant who, in his spare time, helps run CNN's internal "wire service" - reviews eateries visited during his recent sojourn to Paris and the French (not Texan) countryside.

Here's where: http://city-directory.com/fireandhearth/home.html

Rick comments:

Sounds yummy, even to someone (such as myself) who has traditionally considered eating food a chore that must be endured, in the same general category as putting away the clean laundry.

He even visits, without any prompting whatsoever from me, La Coupole, where "It was said that if you were a young and broke American in the '20s, you could go to La Coupole and that for a few turns on the restaurants dance floor, a wealthy Parisian lady would buy you a meal." (Haven't we Yanks always been like putty in the hands of them Frenchy broads?)

Well, Rick and I, and Ric in Paris (editor of MetropoleParis www.metropoleparis.com), have been batting about how to sell website advertising slots to various places, and we were just discussing La Coupole.  Now Rick's site has a review of the place. 

And as for French women, well, my friends know about Liane.  Sigh.

I read The Fire & The Hearth carefully.  It's great.  I need to get back to Paris, soon.  Highly recommended.


As the country gets more polarized, for opinion, you might check out these sources for political commentary.

On the left, the two general anti-Bush sites that provide daily links to selected commentary on the current issues as seen from that side:

On the right, a general pro-Administration site providing daily links to the major conservative columns:


When I want to know what's happening in two cities I like a lot, one where I visit when I can and one where I live, I consult these links....
Ric Erickson's weekly on-line magazine from Paris, MetropoleParis, updated each Monday night: 
LA Weekly for what is happening out this way, updated every Thursday:


Highly Recommended
Emmanuelle Richard 
http://www.emmanuellerichard.com/ is a French freelance journalist who had been based in Los Angeles since 1998.  She covers news in the western United States for French radio (France Info, France Inter) and Swiss radio (Radio Suisse Romande).  She writes regularly for the daily Libération
Her bilingual (French-English) web log is quite good.  You'll find it here -
http://www.emmanuelle.net/ with daily entries since October 2000.  A good take on life out here.  She said nice things about Just Above Sunset there, and I soon saw logons from France, the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal. 


Other forums, other audiences...
Interested in some Canadian writing?  You might want to check out The Writers' Collective, or maybe even join - I don't think you have to live in Sarnia or Moosejaw or Mississauga or any place like that: http://groups.msn.com/TheWritersCollective/



Reference Links for the Curious

Recommended sites - published by friends of Just Above Sunset...

Try this provocative weblog (blog) from a friend

Click here to go there...
Ric Erickson's site from Paris, France

Click here to go there...
Rick Brown's site...