Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tip #1: PICK YOUR PARTIES STRATEGICALLY
Every May, France throws the biggest party in the world - the Cannes Film Festival. Knowing where to party to maximize your celeb sightings is primordial!
When La Mom went to the festival back in the day, she knew the best parties for celeb stalking happened at the famous Hotel du Cap. The night I had to choose between a movie studio party on a yacht or the Hotel du Cap for a premiere after- party, I knew which fête had the most potential. Once at the Hotel du Cap, my eyes became sore from all the A-list celebs whose stars were shining ever so brightly. My neck was whiplashed from the non-stop parade of American (and French) celebs. Imagine coming face to face with Sean Penn, George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, Puff Daddy, Mick Jagger & Nicole Kidman?
Lesson learned: Strategic (party) thinking pays off!
PS- Here's a picture of La Mom walking the red carpet with her colleagues. My date was our company's Chief Financial Officer (actually, he was known as the Chief Star F***er.) His screwing paid off though because he was the one who got us into the Hotel du Cap party!
Tip #2: PLAY DUMB
Tyra Banks was in Paris a while back filming a segment for her talk show. When I realized it was her across the street from my top floor apartment, I went out on my terrace and starting yelling "Hi Tyra!" (I know - I'm sooo lame.) I even made a poster "I luv Tyra" (even lamer!) Then I took pictures and videotaped her taping her segment. A few mintues later a big security guard knocked on my front door:
Guard: Bon-jowr Mad-am. On behalf of the Tyra Banks Show I'd like you to hand over the unauthorized photos you just took of Miss Banks.
La Mom: Excusez-moi? Vous êtes qui? Qu'est-ce que vous voulez?
Guard: Do you speak English Mad-am?
La Mom: Vous cherchez qui encore? Je comprends rien du tout. Allez, partez Monsieur.
Guard: I guess you don't understand what I'm asking for. Sorry to disturb you Mad-am.
Lesson learned: Play dumb (and speak another language if possible) while stalking!
Tip #3: PARK IT POOLSIDE
Celebrity stalking doesn't always happen at places like the Hotel Costes, L'Avenue, Hermès, Avenue Montaigne, or the Park Monceau. It can also happen poolside...
For example, parking your derrière next to the pool at the Paris Country Club can get you a ring side seat at a catfight between a French banking baron's wife and his mistress. It's true! If I hadn't witnessed it myself I wouldn't have believed it for all the cheese in France (PS- the mistress was pushed into the pool.)
Or you can park it next to the pool at La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech, Morroco. Especially in April when Paris is damp and wet, you'll find lots of French celebs soaking up the sun here. Big Cheese and I once spotted "Jacqueline" reading what looked like a movie script not far from us. I went into the cabana bathroom later and while I was unlocking the stall to leave, someone else walked in and shut the stall door next to me.
Then she cut the cheese and let it rip! I had to refrain from bursting out laughing (I know - very juvenile of moi!) I left the the bathroom in a hurry and got back to my lounge chair. Big Cheese and I kept our eyes glued to the cabana to see who it was. A few mintues later, Jacqueline opened the door and sauntered back to her pool chair like she was God's gift to French cinema. Now every time we see her in magazines or on TV, Big Cheese and I can't help but call her Jacques the Ripper.
Lesson learned: Prime celeb sightings happen poolside with the added benefit of knowing that celebs are just like you and me. Especially the French ones - they know how to cut a mean cheese!
at 1:47 PM
Monday, May 18, 2009
Have you ever had a friend who's sugary sweet on the outside like a sugar covered almond? Then you take a bite and the darn thing not only tastes bad, but cracks your tooth? You know, like the almond dragées the French serve up at baptisms?
Welcome to my world. I've just realized that one of my friends has everyone fooled. She's all pink and sweet on the outside, a bit sour on the inside. It only recently dawned on me after I became a victim. Once the deal was sealed I was tossed out with the trash.
Maman du Jour: La Mooch
Natural habitat: Paris’ most expat populated neighborhoods – the 6th, 7th, 8th, 16th, 17th, or the suburbs - Neuilly, Le Vesinet, Saint Cloud, Versailles, Saint Germain-en-Laye.
Hangouts: Wherever she can meet well-connected expat moms.
(Sidebar: You can also find her at the Buddha Bar trying to mooch a dinner. She likes getting the gals together for a night out of annoying music, bad food, and sky-high prices. That's because she's still referring to her 2001 copy of Zagat's best Parisian restaurants - when the Buddha Bar was the hottest place to hang. Now it's just full of tourists.)
Uniform: Dolled up one day, dressed down the next. It's hard to describe her style, but there's one thing she's always wearing: her luxury French watch.
How to spot her: She's got a new best friend every month.
"I didn't know your sister-in-law works at Cartier! What a coincidence - my watch needs to be serviced. Can she get me discount? Oh hey, let's have a standing playdate every Thursday. Our kids will play so well together I just know it! And you and Big Cheese must come over for a champagne brunch this weekend!"
Raison d’Etre: Mooch anything she can off of her well-connected expat friends.
Case in point - When she dropped off the envelope with her luxury watch inside, oops!- somehow a second one made it into the envelope too. Two cleanings for a quarter of the price of one? You can't beat that n'est-ce pas?
Another example? - Her BFF six months ago was courted, seduced, and mooched for her wine connections. Once the deeply discounted wine order was delivered, October's BFF was kicked to the curb.
And another one? - Last month's BFF was L'Amie's neighbor whose husband is on the admissions panel at one of the most exclusive schools in Paris. La Mooch's kid just got into that school. Coincidence? Now La Mooch doesn't have time to meet the neighbor at the park anymore. Hmmmm.
Just one more! - The new Saturday morning sandbox playdate gets unbelieveable private sales discounts at one of the big French fashion houses. Guess who's got a VIP invitation to the private pre-sale in June?
Vacations: Wherever she can bum a free stay. Last August was with her BFF from New York. February ski holidays were with January's BFF at her chalet in Megeve. This summer it's with May's BFF on the French Riviera.
Children’s names: Anything with the word FREE or MOOCH in it.
Boys: Freederic, Freeddy, Freencis, Freenklin, Freebie, Moochamed, Moochacha.
Girls: Freederica, Freederique, Freeya, Freeda, Moochesha, Moochie, Moochelle.