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A New York Tale - Part 1

Working at the United Nations during the General Assembly brings back memories of the concrete jungle, the city that never sleeps. New York has changed a great deal since I first moved in 1989 which is also when my dear friend, Nathalie, moved and has lived here in Manhattan since then. I am so grateful to be staying at her place for the duration of my short-term contract at the United Nations.

Before moving to New York, Nathalie & I worked at an advertising agency in Montreal in the creative department. That's also where I was able to nurture my true calling for photography while attending the Dawson Institute of Photography at night. I was also very fortunate to work for the late president of the agency, Jacques Bouchard, a famous advertising executive and author. He was one of the founders of Quebec's first French creative advertising agency, BCP, and a pioneer in French-language advertising. He retired in 1984 after passing on the presidency of the agency to Yves Gougoux, and thereafter he moved to France in 1989, after buying a castle, château de La Briche.

After I left the agency, I moved to New York, thanks to a chance meeting with an iconic woman at the UN who became a mentor and friend to me. Canadian diplomat Thérèse Paquet-Sévigny became UN's first woman Under-Secretary-General for Public Information in 1987. From 1990 to 1992, I was her special assistant.

As life unfolds, sometimes I wonder where my journey will take me. But here I am back in New York, working in exactly the same information department in the French Press Coverage Section as I did during the 1989 General Assembly. There were many differences between then and now, especially with the technology we have today. I also worked with a fantastic team, some of whom are still my friends today. Working at the UN in a culturally diverse and eclectic world has allowed me to meet many interesting people from around the world and I have gained a lot of valuable experience.

Watch the video I made with images I captured inside and outside the United Nations' iconic building on the day I retired in 2017.

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