Marc Levy Beyond the Walls
There is a small bookstore on the corner of 10th Street in the West Village. In this little shop so reminiscent of the past, old and new books squeeze together on the shelves and give off that special scent of cracked ancient floors and living pages. Just a block away, if you look up, you can see through an open window that belongs to the most widely read French novelist and storyteller in the world.
A conversation with Marc Levy usually takes place over a good lunch on the terrace of Sant Ambroeus café. But Sant Ambroeus is closed now, as is the Three Lives & Company bookshop.
We could have also dined on a dish he would have cooked. But Marc Levy is currently a recluse in his haunt, sitting at his desk, among his books, computer screens and ancient typewriters. Surrounded by his characters, he gathers the letters of the alphabet and creates stories, like the one he just published in Des Mots Par La Fenêtre.
Not At Your Home with Art Dealer Éric Mourlot
Éric Mourlot tried to be a banker for a few years after training with Senator Ted Kennedy and dreaming of—and yet never pursuing—a political career. The grandson of Fernand Mourlot—who was one of France’s most famous lithographers—took over his father Jacques’ position 20 years ago as the representative of the family’s historic collection of thousands of lithographs, created by some of the greatest modern and contemporary artists, from Picasso to Alex Katz, from David Hockney to Le Corbusier, from Françoise Gilot to Man Ray.
In his Upper East Side gallery, Eric Mourlot pursues his grandfather tradition of unearthing and promoting young artists. He also keeps on building the digital exhibition on MourlotEditions.com of dozens of exceptional lithographs, often signed and numbered.
No matter the confinement, he did (not) welcome (us) dressed as usual: straight in his navy blazer with a white pocket square, an unbuttoned tie-less shirt, blue jeans and cowboy boots, smoking an American Spirit cigarette and with a flask of whisky at hand. Éric Mourlot has everything of a rare dandy in the art world, one-third Clark Gable, two-thirds French gentleman Farmer.
Not at Your Home: Let the Flower Bloom with Floral Artist Agnès de Villarson
When spring blooms in Manhattan, tulips flourish at every Park Avenue intersection. Not far towards the West, the pink and white festival of century-old cherry trees attracts tourists and New Yorkers alike in Central Park. Nature always triumphs when Spring offers at its dawn its annual spectacle. For the floral artist Agnès de Villarson, it is the promise of a busy season of New York galas, weddings and boards of directors, all with flower compositions on the tables.
A French version of this interview has been published in Le Petit Journal (click here).
The Shadow Pandemic:
Domestic Violence and COVID-19
In the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, a more private war is worsening in some homes. While most of the world is asked to stay confined to save lives, others are hurt and victims of abusive, sometimes dangerous partners. Where women are isolated at homes, reports show an increase of more than 30% of domestic violence against them.
The Chairman and CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault, had already rung the alarm bell in New York last December at the annual Voices of Solidarity gala where he was being honored for the visionary work of his foundation to combat this invisible plight: “Gender-based violence is so universal, so extreme and so devastating that we must call it what it really is: an emergency.”
In these unprecedented times of isolation, the Kering Foundation has not only made emergency donations to its partner NGOs but has also launched a social media campaign in the United States, France, the UK and Italy to help survivors seek aid and make accessible support more visible: #YouAreNotAlone.
I heart New York all together, just in a different way for the time being.
I have loved New York since the day I first visited the city in the early 1990s. I was in my twenties and as soon as I landed, I met a family that would eventually become my American pillar. I spoke very little English then and did not know I would come back to attend a graduate program in journalism. As did so many before me, I immediately felt enamored with the vibrant, fast-pacing, colorful city and have called it my home since the Fall of 2000.
When 9/11 struck Manhattan a year later, the whole place suddenly came to a halt. Flabbergasted New Yorkers left their offices and their apartments all the same. None panicked. Some started to grieve the loss of a parent, a colleague or a friend; most stared bewildered at what the terrorists had done to their town, a reminder of the attack against Pearl Harbor in the wee hours of December 7, 1941, the only other time when the United States faced war on their own soil.