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Culture

My Paris: Catherine Russell

© Marv Goldschmitt/Concertedefforts.com

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by Rachel HOLMAN

Latest update : 2014-06-03

American jazz vocalist Catherine Russell may not live in Paris, but she’s made regular trips to the city ever since her first visit in 1979. She performed this past weekend at Roland Garros, and her album “Bring it Back” was released in February.

1. What is your most cherished memory in Paris?

The first time I came here and I had escargot (snails). It changed my life – I loved it. That was back in 1979.

2. What is the rudest thing that has ever happened to you in Paris?

They used to have first and second-class cars on the metro, and my friend, who was also  a black American, and I used to ride the first-class cars and all the white people would move… There were a lot of times when we would have the whole car to ourselves!

3. What do you like most about Paris?

It’s beautiful! Such beautiful architecture. I can just sit at a café and look at the buildings.

4. What do you like least about Paris?

I can’t think of anything.

5. If you had to describe the city in three words, which words would you use?

Old world charm (at least parts of it).

6. How would you describe Parisians?

Nice, these days. They used to be not as nice. They’re very passionate, proud of the city.

7. What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Paris?

Probably the 5th and 6th arrondissements. I like that area and all the pretty little shops. There are lots of musicians and restaurants where you can eat. It’s lively.

8. Where’s the best people watching in Paris?

Wherever the fancy, high-end stores are, because that’s where the classy, beautiful French ladies are.

9. Where’s the best place to kiss someone in Paris?

On the banks of the Seine of course! Pont Neuf. And I may have done that, actually…

10. If you could recommend one restaurant in Paris, what would it be?

La Robe et le Palais (13, rue des Lavandières Ste Opportune in the 1st arrondissement).

11. Where’s your favourite place to meet friends in Paris?

A nice wine bar.

12. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music in Paris?

In a jazz club. That’s mostly where I go to hear music in Paris.

13. Tell us one surprising thing about the city…

I shouldn’t be surprised by this, but it actually does get quiet at times here, early in the morning and late at night - very late at night.

Date created : 2014-06-02

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