Vanessa and Johnny?!

Reader Advisory:
The following is about as “People Magazine”
as you’re ever going to get from je parle américain

The Beautiful Couple

You could almost hear the gasps among certain of our friends on Facebook tonight when the news hit that French model and music star Vanessa Paradis and her partner, American film superstar Johnny Depp, were splitting up. Before tonight, I dare say that many of my friends back in the States would’ve been hard pressed to even come up with “Mrs. Depp”‘s name, but she’s a veritable institution here in France, and her Bohemian love story and family life with Johnny were almost legend.

Johnny and Vanessa’s love story started in Paris back in 1998, when Johnny noticed Vanessa across the bar of the Costes Hotel in Paris. According a People Magazine piece from 1999, Vanessa told her friend and biographer Alain Grasset that she “spotted [Johnny] pretty soon after he noticed her” and the two “were exchanging secret glances. When he invited her to his table, he made a place for her to sit down and … she went straight for it.” They spent a few hours talking, there were fireworks, and the rest is history.

Romantic huh? Maybe it reminds you of another story you’ve heard? About glances across a crowded bar and the beginning of an international love story? Yeah? No? Maybe? Okay, click here for a reminder. Michel and I used to joke about Vanessa and Johnny being our “celebrity couple analogs” … or, as I like to describe it, “Sultry French singer meets devastatingly handsome American.” Okay, so maybe the analogy isn’t spot on, but it’s good for a chuckle over drinks with friends … or for the hook of a blog post. Ahem. So, getting back to the story at hand …

Continue reading Vanessa and Johnny?!

Lenny Kravitz’s Favorite Falafel

L’As du Fallafel, certified Kosher—”always imitated but never duplicated” © 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

I’m often asked if it’s hard being a vegetarian in Paris. The question makes a lot of sense. After all, when you think of French cuisine, you probably conjure up images of bœuf bourguignon, coq au vin, foie gras, even escargots. And ham, well, ham is practically its own food group here. The truth is, though, that between cheese crêpes and savory tarts (as long as there are no lardons in there), I’ve never really had much trouble finding something to eat. But one of the best things about being a vegetarian in Paris isn’t even French …

it’s falafel. Continue reading Lenny Kravitz’s Favorite Falafel