To all our American Club of Paris friends,
Optimism is the word of the day. After a few record-breaking first days of spring, daylight savings bringing us longer, brighter days and increasingly more credible talk of a general “reopening” in the near rather than distant future, we truly believe that we’ll be reunited again, in person, before long.
For now, we invite you to sit back and to enjoy our spring newsletter. In it you'll find a new installment of the "ACP Confinement Chronicles” with a spotlight on American author and American Club member Bill Pearl. Then, we’re excited to bring you the new column “Member Spotlight” which gives you a chance to get to know a member “up-close and personal”. Lastly, read up on some of the great events that have brought us together in recent months, each providing thought-provoking, interesting and fun, feel good moments with inspiring speakers and guests, as well as many old and new friends.
ACP Confinement Chronicles
We continue our ACP Confinement Chronicles by asking our members how they are getting through periods of confinement. For our second installment, meet author and ACP member Bill Pearl.
Bill, what feelings come up when you think back to your confinement in the US?
A tale of two cities, redux. It was the best of times (I was writing a novel at home). It was the worst of times (I wanted to write it in Paris). It was the age of Wisdom for some (who masked and mitigated). It was the age of Foolishness for others who did not. It was the epoch of the Virus, an epoch of incredulity that a tiny germ could turn a massive planet upside down. It was the season of Light as science created vaccines almost overnight. It was the season of Darkness as governments struggled to inoculate fast enough to save lives - three million lost. It was the spring of Hope as I pounded out a novel amid chaos. It was the winter of despair as I postponed my flight to Paris again and again.
I longed for the inspiration of the City of Light, but I could not come. So, I zoomed to France, to Rotary and the American Club. Where they still had Paris before them, but in lockdown, had nothing before them. The Gaulic heaven all around tarnished, feeling more like that place in the other direction – in short, the period has been so far from normal, that even the most optimistic voices, skilled at ferreting good from cauldrons of evil might only grimace and say, this too shall pass.
And by the way, I finished the novel, published it, and gave it the title “Mission in Paris 1990”.
For an extract from "Mission in Paris 1990" please visit The Bookshop.
And for more on Bill Pearl please visit billpearl.net.
We are excited to launch the Member Spotlight section by introducing you to Hillary Sukhonos who joined the American Club of Paris during the confinement.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you come to live in Paris?
I dreamed to live in Europe since a young girl. I had an opportunity to audition for the new show at Lido de Paris in 2015 and was accepted to be a cast member. I've been here ever since. I became a professional ballet dancer at age 17, have owned my own studio, and travelled the world as a professional performer.
What brought you to the American Club of Paris?
I sought the company of well educated, accomplished, and worldly Americans.
You are a woman of many talents - dancing, mentoring, copywriting - how do you balance such a multifaceted career?
Projects ebb and flow, dancing stays consistent. I feel blessed to be living the life I have.
What do you look forward to most once life returns to "normal"?
Freedom from worry. Then of course, dressing up, going out to museums or events, and meeting new people.
What three things do you love the most about Paris?
Everything happens in Paris, I feel I am in the center of things. The status, the myth, and the history. Finally, the strength of the job market for dancers, models, writers, and artists. Here, there is opportunity and vibrancy for my career.
To learn more about Hillary visit her blog birdintheworld.com or follow her on Instagram @birdinthworld.
A Few Memories From Past Events
Holiday Cocktail Hour - December 15th, 2020
We slipped into our sparkly cocktail attire and toasted the joyous holiday season and the impending end of one of the more turbulent years in a long time.
Zoom Conference with Jean-Marc Luisada - January 12th, 2021
Renowned pianist Jean-Marc Luisada carried us away, and through, beautiful renditions of Bach, Mozart, Brahms and Chopin for first event of 2021. A delight for all the senses!
January Happy Hour - January 19th, 2021
Another great turnout our first Happy Hour of the new year: an evening of laughter and fun, casual conversation and just not taking ourselves too seriously. How good that feels these days…
February Happy Hour, Mardi Gras Edition - February 16th, 2021
Masks and beads: our special Mardi Gras Happy Hour on Fat Tuesday brought out the purple, green and gold in our members and guests as we "let the good times roll".
Virtual Conversation with Ambassador Anthony L. Gardner - February 25th, 2021
What an honor to have welcomed former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Mr. Anthony L. Gardner, who candidly brought to life US-EU relations over the years, beginning with his appointment under President Barack Obama, the subsequent Trump era and what lies ahead under current President Joe Biden.
Virtual Presentation on the Life of Monsieur - March 4th, 2021
A particularly intriguing evening as the talented Laura Moore of “Story of a City” let us in on some of the darkest secrets of the royal family around Louis XIV: love triangles, attempted overthrown thrones, lies and deceit but also unrequited love and personal tragedy.
March Happy Hour, Saint Patrick's Day Edition - March 16th, 2021
We joined forces with the American Club of Brussels for an incredibly fun night with new friends, green cocktails and an entertaining scavenger hunt.
Art, Soul & Destiny: American artist Jill Steenhuis - April 1st, 2021
American artist Jill Steenhuis took us on a magnificent (virtual) journey to the south of France, where inspired by Cezanne and Van Gogh she brings to life the picturesque countryside around her hometown of Aix-en-Provence, where “Art, Soul and Destiny … waltz together expressing a new poetry on the canvas.”
A little over half-way into the 2020/2021 Club season and almost half-way to our annual donation goal of €20,000, today more than ever we kindly ask for your support. The prestigious Benjamin Franklin Circle plays a vital role in ensuring that our Club continues to build the French-American friendship by encouraging political, intellectual and cultural exchanges between the US and France. Your active participation and passion are what make the American Club of Paris such a singular organization. Please consider joining!
We warmly welcome the following new and reinstated members:
Alex Pazuchanics, Roberta Beardsley, Wilma de Bernardo-Lagarrigue
It is with much sadness and a sense of great loss that the American Club of Paris mourns the most recent passing of two exceptional women:
Stephanie Simonard, the American Club of Paris’s first female member and the Club’s first female President (1989-1991), Stephanie was the quintessential, dedicated and committed American expat in France to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for all she did for the community. She will be long remembered.
Marie-Jeanne Colombani joined the American Club of Paris in 2015 and was a very active member, attending many events and making countless friends at the Club. We will miss her.
Please take a few minutes to update your profile and contact information online! Having your complete contact information helps us stay in touch - and while you're there, make sure to upload a photo and to share your birth date (year optional)!
Thursday, April 29th, 6:30 - 8:00 pm: French Tenor Benjamin Bernheim, on Zoom, Register Here
Tuesday, May 18th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm: May Happy Hour, on Zoom, Registrations open soon
Wednesday, May 19th, 6:30 - 8:00 pm: Dr. Robert Horsch, Gates Foundation, on Zoom, Register Here
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