Event: Open house at the Alliance française. Tues. Sept 15, 2015
Review: One of the highlights of September never to miss is FIAF’s annual open house, which features sample classes, wine, spirits & cheese and a film screening. This year several thousand people got the same idea because it was frickin’ packed! I showed up twenty minutes before the event began and still had to queue up with a mob gathering outside. I’m sorry if I accidently jumped the line, but it was an accident. I swear.
Normally, I’d go to one of the sample classes, but this time I joined French Morning‘s Franco-American chat exchange at FIAF. It resembled a speed-dating nightmare – Americans wore red mardi gras beads and the French got blue (Allez les Bleus!). The Americans sat, one per table and awaited their French date.
What was supposed to be language exchange / hook-up turned out to be a near disaster if it weren’t for the booze – an incredibly refreshing orange prosecco cocktail and the delicious canelé by Céline – small bouchon-like pastry with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. I could have had six of them! None of the native French-speakers showed up to speed date. So it became just a group of Americans, sipping drinks and chatting in French with each other. I kinda felt for French Morning because they had no idea what to do, but I wasn’t complaining with a drink in my hand and pastry in the other.
I made it to the library to meet some friends and enjoy another cocktail with a sightly sweeter Sauterne-like fortified wine. Finally, I stumbled downstairs with a colleague of mine. The selection of red, white and rosé wines and French cheeses made the evening worthwhile, but happily, I missed the frenzy that was there before. Afterward, I headed to the Bar Room on 60th Street with my mates for a glass or two of Sancerre rosé before hopping on the subway home. Well worth it.