Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAR-APR 2019

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Page 31 of 131

My wife, Jen, and I love to travel, and we're fortunate to be able to do so often both for business and for pleasure. Generally speaking, the purpose of our trips is to bring a first- hand narrative to my stories. Sometimes, however, we travel just for fun, in which case we usually try to explore a bit off the beaten path. To remind ourselves of these journeys, we, like almost everyone else we know, pick up a souvenir or two. e word souvenir literally means "remember" in French, and whether you travel a lot or not so much, it's always nice to bring something back for your collection as a little aide-memoire. Last November, Jen and I flew to France for eight days to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Unbeknownst to Jen, I had already planned my major souvenir purchase, a painting, well in advance (see "From the Editor-in-Chief," January/February 2019). As we perused the upscale shops on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and lunched at e Cristal Room at Musée Baccarat, it took all my available tact and diplomacy to, as subtly as possible, deflect Jen from purchasing any additional works of art to take home. We're not exactly snow globe or miniature Eiffel Tower kind of people (though there's certainly nothing wrong with that), but we were definitely on the lookout for something personal that would bring to mind the romance of Paris and the occasion that brought us there. And so it was, as we were sitting one evening in a delightful brasserie, Café de Paris, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a neighborhood close to Jen's heart, that a perfect solution presented itself. I am always impressed at how Parisian women manage to look as if they just stepped out of the pages of Vogue, even when they are in uniform. Our charming and efficient server, Marianne Lagoa, was no exception. Immaculately turned out in the requisite starched white shirt and black pants, she wore a crisp blue apron emblazoned with the St. Germain logo and lettering. It was this apron that Jen noticed immediately. Casually, she inquired as to whether the restaurant offered them for sale, and was disappointed to learn that they were exclusively for staff. Checking her phone to find out whether such an item might be available for sale anywhere, she was similarly stymied. Marianne must have sensed Jen's désespoir because, as we were getting ready to pay our bill and leave, she almost magically appeared at our table and in the least overt way imaginable, dropped a neatly folded apron into Jen's lap, thanked us and went about her business. In subsequent weeks, that apron—the perfect souvenir if ever there was one—has been put through its paces in the Cohen kitchen. Every time one of us ties it on, we're transported back to our magical trip to Paris, and to our anniversary celebration. Looking out the window as I write this, I'm reminded of snow globes. Maybe next time.… Jeffrey Cohen From the Editor-in-Chief Marianne Lagoa, Café de Paris 30

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