Adrian, Boggi, fashion, flowers, garden, Grands Boulevards, Grégory, Harvard, Harvard-Yale, Hôtel de Pontalba, hyper-posh, Paris, Parisian Gentleman, posh, style, U.S. Ambassador’s residence, Yale, Zhizhong
I didn’t bring my dress jacket this year since I hadn’t needed it in the past couple of years. But a few days after I arrived not one but two dressy events got scheduled, so I went out an bought a new one. For under $100 I’m pretty happy with it, even though the material is synthetic.
The first event was dinner at Restaurant Hélène Darroze two weeks before with my friend Taka and his partner. The second — arguably even posher — was the annual Harvard-Yale reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Zhizhong is a member of the Harvard Club of Paris so he was able to bring me as his guest (though still costing each of us 45 euros).
Zhizhong has made some nice friends in the group, but most of the attendees were older and more status-conscious than I usually prefer.
I did bond with several rather charming older women, but that only goes so far for me.
The mansion itself, however, is stunning — a mini-Versailles. (Wikipedia tells me that it’s the Hôtel de Pontalba.)
And the enormous and gorgeous private garden, steps from the Champs-Élysées, is the pièce de résistance.
After the Harvard-Yale event wrapped up, Zhizhong and I were still hungry so we walked along the Grands Boulevards in the direction of an Indian restaurant he likes. I noticed a group of stylish young men buzzing around a store on the boulevard des Italiens, and since we were also dressed to the nines (and I had had several drinks) I suggested that we try to get in. The woman at the door asked my name, which of course I gave her. When she couldn’t find me on the guest list she asked whether I was on the “Parisian Gentleman” list. I reluctantly admitted that I wasn’t. She then asked if I was with the press. I said, “Well, I could be.” She realized then that we were crashers! And waved us in anyway. No doubt because we’re fabulous, and better dressed than many of the Parisian Gentlemen already inside.
Some of the cute guys eluded our grasp, but we had a delightful long conversation (in French!) with these two young visitors from Bordeaux. Contact info was exchanged and I hope to see them again, either in Boston or Bordeaux.
2016 Update: Grégory was a terrific host and tour guide during my 2016 visit to Bordeaux. 2019 Update: He’s now the proud father of a little girl!
Update: Grégory points out in a comment that Zhizhong and I are featured in an event photo on the Parisian Gentleman web site!
Our hyper-posh evening proved successful on all counts, just not all in the same venue. Ho hum. Just another typical day in Paris…