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A New York Tale of Friendship

As I am about to end my stay in New York, I was invited to an early dinner by a very good friend of mine whose friendship endured throughout the years from 1989 when we worked in the French Press Coverage Section at the United Nations. Thereafter, we also worked together in the office of the Under-Secretary-General for Public Information who was at the time, Madame Thérèse Paquet-Sévigny, a Canadian diplomat who was the first woman permanently appointed in 1987 as an Under-Secretary-General in the United Nations. Louise has since retired from the United Nations as well as I did in 2017.

Louise was instrumental in finding me an apartment when I moved back to New York in 2009, as she was about to put up an ad to rent an apartment she owned in Tudor City and it was my home for the next seven years until 2016. It was a very cozy and convenient place to live, across the street from the United Nations and although it was small, that’s where we had quite a few parties with our Life & Friendship gatherings that took a life of its own over the years. It was created as a result of my dear late friend, Fay, who came to New York from England to take care of me when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 to celebrate our friendship before she returned to England.

I feel truly blessed that Louise is part of our group of friends that I refer to as My New York Family of Friends. Hence the reason I enjoy returning to New York working during the General Assembly & to spend more time with my friends while staying at Nathalie’s apartment, thanks to her generosity. Nathalie has also been part of my life since the 1980’s when we worked at BCP Advertising Agency in Montreal.

Needless to say, I have many memories every time I return to New York. Last night, Louise invited me to La Brasserie on Park Avenue which reopened in February last year. La Brasserie used to be the “ legendary Brasserie Les Halles famous for being the source of inspiration for Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. Brasserie Les Halles made famous by late, Executive Chef Anthony Bourdain, serving as an inspiration to his book, Kitchen Confidential The space is described as “a historical space inside the 100-year-old, three-story, steel-framed, masonry-clad building, and was originally designed to evoke the atmosphere of a traditional French brasserie. ” “From July 9th-11th 2021, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Les Halles reopened its doors for three days to celebrate the life and legacy of Anthony Bourdain. Renamed La BRASSERIE and owned by Francis Staub since 2018.”

La Brasserie Les Halles used to be our favourite place to go in the 1980s with Nathalie and later with my family of friends for Christmas day celebrations. In memory of Anthony Bourdain, Louise & I ordered the famous Steak Frites. Somehow, we could feel the vibe from the late legendary Anthony Bourdain. Merci Louise for the memories and for our enduring friendship that I cherish deep in my heart.

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