HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
We’re heading for the end of 2018 so I thought I’d tie up some loose ends.
This means we’ll touch on different topics that have come up in the past.
The French heritage and influence
The Big Easy, which was founded in 1718, (or 300 years ago) was named for the Duke of Orleans. Right from the start, New Orleans viewed itself as a city apart from, or even superior to, other New World settlements. And, it has always been proud of its French heritage even after France cut this tie and sold Louisiana to America. The bottom line: New Orleans maintains a slew of French-influenced cultural and gastronomic traditions.
How does France and America differ?
I have just finished reading an excellent book by David Lebovitz titled, “l’appat – The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home,” that was published by Crown in 2017. Lebovitz is a professional chef and baker who spent 13 years working at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse.
He moved from San Francisco to Paris barely speaking French, but in love with all things French. Then he decided to buy an apartment in Paris and renovate it. The drama and horror that followed is what the book is about BUT that’s not what fascinated me. Or why I read this 354-page book in one sitting.
Having worked at a French-owned ad agency for six years I was fascinated by his candor about the differences between the French and us. Here’s a taste:
a) The French eat hamburgers with a knife and fork
b) They rarely put ice cubes in drinks or beverages “not good for the stomach”
c) There are very few dryers in Paris – the weekly wash is put on drying racks
d) Americans are “results-oriented” get it done; the French love process (string it out for as long as possible)
Yat-itude: in the American South and New York
I came across this recently and found it very funny because I’ve heard this yat brogue many times in New York. Apparently native New Orleanians are affectionately deemed ‘Yats’ for their accents, e.g., their way of saying hello is ‘Where yat?’ Other terms include:
Awrite = Alright
Berl = Boil
Bro = A man with whom you are friends; a male sibling
Catlick = A Christian denomination led by the Pope
Da, Dat, Dis, Dem = The, That, This, Them
Earl = Car juice
Turlet = Where one goes to the bathroom
YaMominEm = Your family
A 1969 movie: from Los Angeles to Mardi Gras
I saw Easy Rider again on the Sundance Channel a couple of weeks ago and it was like seeing it for the first time. Basically, all I remembered about it was that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda rode their motorcycles across the USA. It completely slipped my mind that they started from Los Angeles and ended up at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. How did it all end? Easy Rider is the movie where Jack Nicholson stole the show and became a big star. Sadly, it was Hopper and Fonda’s biggest moment as a team -- they never made another movie together again.
CLICK HERE to listen to C’est La Vie (You Never Can Tell).