Leslie Lewis et Gérard Hagen "Bonjour de Paris" 21 August 2014

Bonjour de Paris ...


Chers Amis, 


  We are back in Paris after a week in Belgium.  As it turned out, we are glad that we were able to spend some time in that country.  Brussels is so close to Paris but the two cities are very different. There is a relaxed, informal feeling one finds in the people in Brussels that reminds me of the people I grew up with in the mid-west.  The city has its’ own identity and we found it to be both urban and international but also very manageable and laid back. Because this was all new territory for us we found ourselves going and going so we would not miss something that we would regret. Consequently we returned to Paris in need of some rest and relaxation!  We spent most of our time in the museums, city parks and walking along the canals.  There was a daily search for the perfect lunch followed by the search for the perfect dinner. We were like Lewis and Clark searching the new territories except we were searching for meals and we didn’t have to camp, and we weren’t worried about what we might encounter over the next hill!  Other than that we were completely like Lewis and Clark.


  This being Europe one can expect to see many churches and hear many church bells. One night as we walked back to our hotel we learned there must be at least one Belgian monk with a sense of humor because we heard “Summertime” played on church bells complete with the chromatic walk down which leads from one harmony to the next.  The following day we took in a very inspiring Picasso exposition which also included works by some of his contemporaries. I found a drawing of Picasso with Stravinsky by Jean Cocteau to be very fascinating.  Leslie was completely taken by the beautiful gardens which could be found pretty much at every turn. We were surprised by how chilly it was during the week we were there. We weren’t surprised that it rained for a time everyday, usually late afternoon.  This became a daily routine that could be counted on. The last day we were there we got caught in an afternoon rain storm and even though we had umbrellas, we got soaked.  It’s not fun sitting outdoors on a platform waiting for a train in clothes that are wet! Beyond that, we really enjoyed ourselves in Belgium.

Grand Place, Brussels

Canal in Bruges


Lake in Bruges


  We hit the ground running this week.  Leslie had two dates at the Lido and we are doing two nights at Chez Papa. Two new students started lessons this week and I finished work on the opening scene for a new show which traces African-American female singers from early blues singers to current R&B singers. If I have already mentioned this please forgive me but I wrote dialogue (between four musicians and a bartender) for the opening scene for this show. Originally my involvement was to be the music director. Somehow I got talked into writing dialogue.  I had to do quite a bit a research on the singers and things like the Harlem Renaissance and the Chitlin Circuit.  I have been working on this for the past two months.  Finally I finished it this week.  It was an interesting experience and in case you are wondering, I have no idea how to go about writing dialogue, a play, a book or anything else for that matter. I am pretty sure that I suck at this but somehow the  director is okay with what I’ve done.


  September will bring more traveling as we hit the road for Morocco and then later to New York and Seattle. More on that as the time draws closer.


  For those of you who live in France, this week we are at Chez Papa in Paris on Friday and Saturday at 9:00 pm. http://www.papajazzclub.fr   Please check www.surfcovejazz.com for details.


Many of you have asked about photos of the apartment so I added some below. 

Looking from the apt. entrance to the courtyard.

Looking from loft down to the living room. 

Leslie's courtyard, view from the living room.

Another view of Leslie's courtyard.


  We hope all is well for you and your families and please keep in touch. It is really good to hear from you.


Until next time,

Leslie and Gerard  


Please if you have any comments feel free to contact me at <gerard@surfcovejazz.com>.  I enjoy hearing your thoughts. This email also appears on our website where you may comment as well.  http://www.surfcovejazz.com/blog/





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