Past Events 2018
Wednesday, December 12th | 1 pm
Lunch | National Arts Club
Speaker: Christopher Cerf
Christopher Cerf is an American author, composer-lyricist, voice actor, and record and television producer. He is known for his musical contributions to Sesame Street, for co-creating and co-producing the award-winning PBS literacy education television program Between the Lions, and for his humorous articles and books.
Since its first season in 1970, Cerf has played a significant role in the creation and production of the Sesame Street television program, most notably as a regular contributor of music and lyrics, and as the producer of many of its music albums. In the process, he has won two Grammy Awards and three Emmy Awards for songwriting and music production. Cerf also played a pivotal role in the ongoing funding of Sesame Street, founding and serving as the original editor-in-chief of Sesame Workshop’s books, records, and toys division.
Before joining Sesame Street, Cerf spent eight years as a senior editor at Random House (co-founded by his father in 1927), where he worked with such diverse authors as George Plimpton, Andy Warhol, Abbie Hoffman, Ray Bradbury, Richard Fariña, and Dr. Seuss. In 1993, Cerf renewed his ties to Random House when he assumed the role of Chairman of the Modern Library’s Board of Advisors.
November 6th | 7:00 pm | Soirée d’automne | Ophelia at Beekman Tower
Members and friends enjoyed stunning views in this hidden Art Déco treasure.
Friday, November 16th | 4:45 pm
Delacroix | Met Museum with Page Knox | Meet Lobby Left Side
French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) was one of the greatest creative figures of the nineteenth century. Coming of age after the fall of Napoleon, he reconnected the present to the past on his own terms. Delacroix produced an extraordinarily vibrant body of work, setting into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art. This exhibition is the first comprehensive retrospective devoted to this amazing artist ever held in North America.
The exhibition, a joint project with the Musée du Louvre, illuminates Delacroix’s restless imagination through more than 150 paintings, drawings, prints, and manuscripts—many never before seen in the United States. It unfolds chronologically, encompassing the rich variety of themes that preoccupied the artist during his more than four decades of activity, including literature, history, religion, animals, and nature. Through rarely seen graphic art displayed alongside such iconic paintings as Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi (1826), The Battle of Nancy(1831), Women of Algiers in Their Apartment (1834), and Medea about to Kill Her Children (1838), this exhibition explores an artist whose protean genius set the bar for virtually all other French painters.
Wednesday, October 17th | 6–8 pm
HEC Press Conference: The Future of Retail
National Arts Club
HEC Paris, a leading European business school that specializes in the fashion and retail business is hosting a panel that will include Etsy, TAYLRD, an HEC Paris Professor of Marketing Gachoucha Kretz, and several other major brands to discuss the future of technology in the retail space. Topics included: How technology changed the shopping experience & Big Data’s new role in retail.
HEC Paris was ranked the second-best business school in Europe by the Financial Times’ overall business school rankings in December 2016.
This program is presented by our Outreach Partner HEC New York and was followed by a networking cocktail.
Tuesday, October 16th | 6:30 pm
Le Cocktail Français | National Arts Club
Meet Martin Winckler: A Conversation
Born in Algeria, Martin Winckler was an American Field Service exchange student in Minnesota in the early seventies. For the past thirty years, he has published best-selling novels and non-fiction books whose subject is health care and medical ethics. He is also a cultural critic, who introduced American TV drama to French audiences in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He currently teaches fiction writing at McGill Medical School in Montreal, as well as humanities at Ottawa University’s School of Medicine.
Wednesday, October 10th | 7 pm
Dinner | National Arts Club
Speaker: Philippe Ungar, French Writer and Audio Archivist based in Brooklyn.
Since 2001, Philippe has worked as an audio archivist for prestigious art foundations, art collections, museums and galleries in Europe and in the United States, including the Fondation Alberto and Annette Giacometti (Paris), the Tinguely Museum (Basel, Switzerland), the Niki Charitable Art Foundation (Santee, California), the Panza Collection Archives (Mendrisio, Switzerland) or the Lévy Gorvy Gallery (New York) among others. He has also published several books of interviews and biographies.
VeroDalla was born Véronique Anne Chabrolle, in the French village of Beaune, Burgundy, her father a scientist, her mother a co-owner of some of Burgundy’s highly acclaimed vineyards. At the early age of ten, she was faced with catastrophic health challenges and, while hospitalized during a major surgery, brought back from the brink of death. She describes her experience:
“It’s a state of mind where you feel everything is a part of a whole, everything is connected. You don’t only see the light – you feel it, you live it, you are a part of it.”
Sunday, September 16, 1:30–5:00
Palio & Pétanque
Minetta Street, Greenwich Village (Between Bleecker/Sixth Ave and Minetta Lane, West 4th Street subway stop)
You don’t have to be good to play, instructions for beginners provided. As a matt
er of fact, you don’t even have to play at all – come quaff some Ricard or rosé to wash down a buffet lunch provided by our local purveyors while watching the game and listening to classical guitar renditions by Nylon Wound.
Great weather made for a perfect day!
Tuesday, September 11, 7 pm
Dinner | National Arts Club
Guest Speaker: Page Knox
Columbia University Professor and Art Historian
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Page discussed the upcoming Delacroix exhibit at the MET, which opens on September 17th.
“Just a note to second what others said on Tuesday night: What a great speaker/presenter Page Knox was. Catherine, you had asked about the perfect speaker – I would say she was it. Congratulations!”
French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) was one of the greatest creative figures of the nineteenth century. Coming of age after the fall of Napoleon, he reconnected the present to the past on his own terms. Delacroix produced an extraordinarily vibrant body of work, setting into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art. This exhibition will be the first comprehensive retrospective devoted to this amazing artist ever held in North America.
Sunday July 15
World Cup Finale Brunch
Monte’s Trattoria | 97 MacDougal Street | Greenwich Village
Members and friends watched Les Bleus win the World Cup Finale on the big screen, while enjoying brunch and rosé de Provence. Vive l’amitié franco-italienne!
Members got together for an American family-style (with a French touch) Independence Day barbecue and pool party at the lovely country home of members Catherine and Nick.
Football and pool polo were the order of the day, as well as sumptuous desserts, thank you Claire, Catherine and Dening!
What wonderful afternoon – fabulous food, fun festivities, and great conversations. Thank you so very much to Catherine and Nick for being such gracious hosts. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon – let’s hope for a celebratory World Cup!
-Bayly, Fabrice, Isabelle et Jim
Thank you all as well. It was a most lovely day. I’m so grateful to be a new member of the Paris American Club. Looking forward to all that is yet to come!
An absolutely awesome day! I was in my element! Merci John, you are creating a vibrant and powerful community, which recognizes itself in a strong link to the French language and French culture! Bravo!
Thank you, John, for inviting me and thank you, Catherine and Nicolas for hosting and for welcoming us into your beautiful home. As a naturalized American citizen from Panama, I’ve always enjoyed spending the 4th of July in a less traditional setting, but this takes the cake! Literally, Claire, your cake was amazing! I feel so privileged to have been included. What a great group of people. I’ve made some wonderful new friends, vive la France 🇫🇷! That’s my best Panamanian French.
Claire, your cake was amazing, since I own the table in which you placed the canelés, I took the liberty to « déguster » each or most of them. Sorry but thank you 🙂 Les financiers!!!!! I have been eating all that was left behind! I can’t believe you all left empty handed! It was a very nice day thanks to you and John! Thank you and merci et bizous.
Thank you for hosting, and all the prep! Everything was delicious and really well organized as the company was delightful. See you all very soon.
-Claire & Dave
Grand merci à tout le monde ! C’était un vrai plaisir ! I look forward to our upcoming events together.
Merci beaucoup Catherine & Nick, John, Véronique, Johanna, Gonzague, Matthieu et Rick pour l’organisation de ce July 4th très réussi !
Thanks to gracious hosts and our Club President! Nice to mingle with everyone. It was a pleasant day!
Wednesday | June 13th | 1:00
Lunch | Le Coq Rico
Prosper & Martine Assouline
“We created this company to be the first luxury brand on culture. We wanted to supply everything for a contemporary library; we started working with top perfumers for scented candles, with Goyard for a book trunk, with Chanel on a quilted leather slipcase, and so on. We love and believe in books more than everything else, but we also want to extend our vision to create all that can be expected in a chic and personalized library. Our digital world goes faster than ever and nothing remains of it, but books are the solid part of our past and present. They also are beauty. For us, books are a matter of intellect and emotion, of heritage and innovation. Because information is not only about today, and the past is a sensational source of inspiration.”
Le Coq Rico (30 East 20th Street)
The original Le Coq Rico (The Bistro of Beautiful Birds) is located on Monmartre’s Rue Lepic in Paris. Each Le Coq Rico pays tribute to responsibly raised whole-animal poultry. This restaurant is Westermann’s ode to the local terroir, expressed though the flavors of wild and noble birds. Westermann spent more than a year traveling across the Northeast, particularly through the Hudson Valley and Pennsylvania, to meet farmers and learn their poultry raising philosophies. “Fowl is a world unto itself,” noted Westermann. “The flavor and texture change depending on the region, breeder, age, and style of farming.”The result of this exchange stands today as Le Coq Rico, NYC. This is Westermann’s first restaurant in the United States. Westermann teamed with internationally renowned hospitality architects Pascal Desprez, who also designed the original Le Coq Rico. This is Desprez’s fifth project with Chef. Le Coq Rico occupies the street front of the landmarked Gabay building, originally constructed in 1915. The restaurant features a commissioned work by the celebrated American visual artist, Doug Fitch, who created a rooster which forms the identity of Le Coq Rico.
Friday | June 22nd | 7:00
French Rendez-vous au Consulat
May 23rd, 6:30–9:00
Consulate General of France in New York
Some 130 members and friends mingled and danced, taking part in a Swing Dance lesson, singing the national anthems, enjoying hors d’oeuvres from Tastings, Jambon de Bayonne, Chandon Sparkling, and Maiden + Liberty wines. A check for $1,000 was presented to Stu Chasabenis of the Boerum Hill School for International Studies. We’re sorry if you didn’t register earlier for this sold-out event. View the program here and see photos, of what you missed.
Wednesday | May 9th
Dinner | National Arts Club
Guest Speaker: His Excellency,
Ambassador François Delattre
An old friend of the Paris American Club, we have had the privilege of Ambassador Delattre’s company and shared insights on the state of the world over the years and were glad to warmly welcome him back.
He spoke of the differences on some issues and yet the many areas of cooperation between France and the current American administration.
We also had the pleasure of a piano prelude by François-Xavier Poizat, of Chinese, French and Swiss origins and a graduate of the Juilliard School. In addition to performing on renowned stages in over 22 countries, Poizat is director of the International Puplinge Classique Festival in Geneva.
Visitors to Versailles 1662–1789
Friday, April 27th, 4:45
Page Knox guided us through this extraordinary exhibit, featuring our club’s spiritual founder, Benjamin Franklin.
Wed, April 11, 2018 | 1:00
National Arts Club | Speaker: Yannick Benjamin
Special Tasting: Jambon de Bayonne with Florane Gambert
New Yorker Yannick Benjamin is head sommelier at the University Club and lead lecturer for Saturday seminars at Le Du’s Wines in the West Village. A visit to Bordeaux at 13 inspired Benjamin to pursue wine as a career, and he went on to work at Le Cirque, Oceana, Jean-Georges, and Atlas before becoming a sommelier at Felidia and Atelier at the Ritz-Carlton.
In 2003, a car accident left Benjamin paralyzed below the waist. He quickly adapted, outfitting his wheelchair with a table that allows him to continue to perform the tasks required of his profession.
Beyond the world of wine, Benjamin works tirelessly on behalf of his nonprofit organizaion, Wheeling Forward, whose mission is to provide guidance and resources to disabled individuals, focusing on education, employment, wellness, community integration, housing acquisition, and personal fulfillment.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 | 6–8
Mingle with Members
OCabanon | 245 West 29th Street | Cash Bar
No reservations were required.
After the hors d’oeuvres, over a dozen of the 30+ attendees stayed on to share a couscous and dessert together. We hope to do these type of casual events more often in the future.
Wednesday | March 28 | 6:30
New Member Reception
Home of member Alicia Castro-Leal Harper
New members were officially welcomed into the club and awarded their pins.
Wednesday | March 14th | 7:00
Dinner | National Arts Club
Director of Communications
Lycée Français de New York
A writer and reporter by training and a Francophile at heart, Elizabeth is thrilled to be sharing stories on the vibrant and unique community of students, faculty, alumni and families of the Lycée Français de New York.
Alex Earles, Esq.
International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee, founded in France, responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.
Tuesday | February 13th | 1:00 (Note new time)
Mardi Gras Luncheon
National Arts Club
Ambassador Nargess Saidane
Permanent Observer for the International Organization of La Francophonie to the United Nations since August, Narjess Saidane most recently worked for the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, serving from 2013 to 2017 as Deputy Special Representative of the Administrator based in Jerusalem.
Ms. Saidane holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and African studies from the University of Minnesota in the United States, a master’s degree in political science and Middle Eastern studies from the Institute of Political Studies in Aix-en-Provence, France, and a post-graduate certificate in urban and regional planning from Rutgers University, United States. She speaks English, French, Arabic and Portuguese, is married with two children and resides in Westchester.
Mardi Gras Menu
- Fried southern oysters and grilled artichoke
- Crayfish and andouille gumbo
- Bananas Foster
Friday–Sunday, Feb 2–4
We were very excited to partner with the Swiss Ski Club of New York to offer our members and friends the opportunity to ski in Vermont. The private lodge features 40 beds, sauna, fireplace, huge kitchen, bar, etc… A good time was had by all.
Galette des Rois Dinner
Wednesday, January 10th
National Arts Club
6:30 pm Annual Business Meeting
7:00 Dinner: Soupe à l’oignon, filet mignon aux champignons sauvages, sauce bordelaise, surprise du chef.
Catherine Barba, Founder, Catherine Barba Group
Born in 1973 in Rueil-Malmaison in Île-de-France, Barba is the granddaughter of a poor family of Spanish immigrants. Her parents, however, prospered as managers: her father at Esso and her mother at Technip. She studied business at the École supérieure de commerce de Paris, graduating in 1996.
In 1995, while working as an intern at Technip in the United States, she became interested in the Web. As a result, on graduating she headed OMD’s newborn internet department until 1999 when she joined IFrance where she was managing director until the company was acquired by Vivendi in 2003. She then set up her own internet shopping company, CashStore, which in 2010 she sold to Plebicom with its 500,000 users and 1,200 e-Business partner sites. She also developed a digital commerce consultancy, Malinea, which she sold to vente.privée.com in 2011. In September 2012, she founded Catherine Barba Group which assists global retailers develop omnichannel strategy and customer service in the mobile environment.
In addition to her business interests, Barba is a strong supporter of women in technology. In recent years, she has organized and contributed to events such as La Journée de la Femme Digitale (Digital Women Day).
In 2011, Catherine Barba received the title of Femme d’Entreprise en Or (Golden Businesswoman), consolidating her reputation as a pioneer of the web.