Monday, January 18, 2010

Transatlantic Parallel
















With Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart

Once upon a time a French woman fell in love with an American man, married him and moved to the United States – 40 minutes outside New York City.

Once upon a time, on the other side of the Atlantic, an American woman fell in love with a Frenchman, married him and stayed in France – 40 minutes outside Paris.

Perhaps you’re yawning, thinking: “Yes, oui, whatever. . . I’ve heard that tale hundreds of times.”

No you haven’t.

This story is all about us:  Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart, creator of the stunning, inspiring, oh, so chic French decoration/lifestyle blog and moi.  Click over to see what I mean -- Through the French Eye of Design -- and join us on our "Anglo"/French exchange mission.

Every Monday we will have a Transatlantic “conversation” about our parallel lives.

We’ll tell you everything about our experiences in our adopted countries as the insider outsiders we are and always will be. (J-A has lived in the States for 18 years; I’ve lived in France for 25.) 

We’ll dish, dissect and delight you (we hope) with what we find amusing, annoying, frustrating, fascinating, dismaying, challenging, infuriating and most certainly all the things we love about living on opposite sides of the Atlantic.












Of course our conversations wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t reveal what we miss from our homelands. Don't fret; we plan to spill les haricots on the good, the bad and the elegant.










As we begin our discourse I'd like to share a few of our favorite things. We both like masses of pearls, worn at the same time (obviously); macaroons (café is my favorite framboise is hers); Dyptique candles (I like Oranger, Jeanne-Aelia prefers Baies); clusters of silver timbales filled with everything from colored pencils to small bouquets and much, much more. . .














A few points on which we disagree: I do not particularly like frangipane, J-A, does; Jeanne-Aelia thinks American friendliness in commercial situations is terrific. I think the non-stop “how’re you doing today(?)” repeated several times as one traverses a shop in the States is EXTREMELY annoying. Nobody cares if I have a cold or didn't sleep well the night before, it’s simply a marketing gimmick that makes me want to actually tell the salespeople how I'm feeling.











What would I miss? Since I know I can find the wine in the States, I would most definitely regret the cheese to go with it, particularly a Camembert made from lait cru (unpasterised milk) and a perfect Reblochon.

Oh, yes, I think J-A will tell you she loves the way guests gather in her kitchen when invited to dinner parties. When I lived on the other side I found that charming as well. Now, I prefer the French way. Guests -- that means men and women together, no separation of the sexes -- remain in the salon, sip their champagne and with the exception of perhaps one best friend, everyone stays out of the kitchen. 

(Note: I do not have a large, divine country kitchen where everyone could comfortably congregate, if I did perhaps I would change my position on the subject.)

Let us know, s'il vous plait in the petit commentaire chez Jeanne-Aelia or on the comments section chez moi what you think about all of this so J-A and I can cheerfully debate your views en Parallel, of course, on our transatlantic lives.

Merci et à très bientôt,

Tishx (Or Letitia, just because it's so French. . .)

24 comments:

metscan said...

What fun you two have arranged for us! Seriously I´ll have to give this a serious thought, but after one reading of your post, I too, even though I have never been in The States ( and am never even planning to =true), can understand the things you don´t miss living in France. 25 years is a long time. Really, really- is there anything to miss ;)!

Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

LOVE LOVE. you are soooo brilliant! love the witty words and the luscious photography, ma partenaire! merci.

BigLittleWolf said...

What a fabulous idea! This is going to quickly become an addictive must-read. (What delightful and urbane cross pollination.)

Quant au fromage, tu me fais souffrir ! Quelle joie, le camembert ou l'époisse !

materfamilias said...

I'm loving this series already! Looking forward to future posts.

Suzy said...

Having come from NYC to Los Angeles I have never been without gourmet French or Italian cheeses. My local supermarket has a huge selection of both, ditto wine.

But as to living in Cleveland or Dubuque? I shudder to think of the cheeses I'd find there.

James said...

I am really looking forward to this series. And Suzy, I think you would be surprised at what can be found here in middle America.

The-Countrypolitan said...

There are very particular things that I miss about places that I lived in and have moved from... this series of discussions will be most interesting...

Lorrie said...

This is going to be a fabulous, ongoing conversation.

Speaking from experience, I think that if a person has lived cross-culturally, there will always be things she misses from her home culture and if she returns "home" she'll miss facets of her adopted culture.

BonjourRomance said...

Tish,
Can't wait for all the fun to begin. This will be so interesting to hear from both sides of the Atlantic. Wow, 25 years in France - I've barely sqeaked out three so far. I know I'll learn so much from this fun exchange!

Semi Expat said...

What a fabulous series this is going to be Tish... am so excited and have LOVED the first post. Have to say that I am missing French cheese such a lot in Oz.. fairly easy to get hold of the 'real deal' when I am in UK but not here...

CailinMarie said...

so fabulous and interesting.

knitpurl said...

Like this idea so much; what about the penchant for exercise, meaning health clubs and the like?

Agree with James, here in flyover country we can find products to rival the best in NY's Hamptons! On occasion,one may have to drive a 100 or so miles to purchase same, but they're available.

Marsi said...

Oh, hooray! This will be fun and instructive. What a fabulous idea!

I bought a Baies candle this weekend in San Fran, which I look forward to lighting while I take a bath tonight. I feel so validated. ;o)

Jacqueline said...

Hi Tish,
Have you known Jeanne-Aelia for long or did you just meet her through blogging ?
That is quite a coincidence and you must have so much in common, in a topsy-turvy sort of way.
I eagerly look forward to the posts between the two of you. XXXX

Bonjour Madame said...

I am going to love this feature on your two blogs! Another fan of diptyque candles here. I've have not tried oranger though. I'm thinking I need to test this one.

Style Artisan said...

What a brilliant idea! I am looking forward to every post!

ELS said...

Utter deliciousness - two of my favourite and most stylish ladies doing all the hard work - inspired stuff!

Queen "B" said...

Aloha,
So happy I stopped in, I enjoy your blog and I look forward to my next visit!Thanks for stoppimg by to see me as well;)
Aloha from across the sea
Brandi

Tish Jett said...

Metscan, I'm thinking. The first thing that comes to mind is my daughter, but we can move her around.

Chere Wolfe, Since we are already mutually addicted, this is more great news.

Suzy, When I go back to the States I stay at least two weeks in NYC with a friend who has lived all over the world and is a great gourmet. We've been on many fruitless cheese searches, but have found some good compromises.

Oh, James, I just look forward to seeing your picture and your comments, not to mention your fabulous blog, which I'll be right over to visit and catch-up.

Thank you all for your comments and enthusiasm. Jeanne-Aelia and I were hoping you would have fun with us. Thank you Carole, we'll "discuss" the exercise issue. Thanks for the "material."

EntertainingMom said...

jambon beurre is what I miss from across the Atlantic... Perfectly cured, sliced ham... perfectly sweet French butter... perfectly flaky, crusty baguette.... One simply cannot call this a ham sandwich. I want one now dammit!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

This sounds delightful- so much fun! Apologies for not visiting as often as I would like to- working hard on my book! xo

Beautifully50 said...

Love this idea! My two favorite cities - New York and Paris! I'm a New Yorker who has been living in Dallas for the last 26 years..Texas can seem like a foreign country at times! I'll chime in with the Southern take on things -first, it's ALL about the kitchen..but the French way sounds more chic and sophisticated to me..like NY in the 50's.

Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.

notwavingbutironing said...

Finally found you (through Mon Avis, in the end), and have been glued to your fashion/style tips for the last half hour. Have made a mental note to throw out those opaque tights that are making my legs look like chipolatas! Thank you for making 40 and beyond a glamorous and stylish place to be - in the UK, as you probably know, you're expected to crawl under a rock.

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