Paris—New York: A Love Affair with Hervé Rousseau

By Hervé Rousseau


 I’m happy to divide my life between the two cities, with the long trip made more bearable by traveling in business class.

Paris and New York-there is just something very special that ties these two cities together. I can’t think of any other cities that are located so far from each other but are as close. Having lived in New York City for years before opening Flûte Champagne Lounge in Paris this year, people often ask me if I prefer to live in Paris or New York. I answer Paris and New York because for me it has always been a dream to have the best of both these worlds. It has never been a question of choosing between these two great cities-they complement one another and the two together make the perfect city.

The relationship between Paris and New York reminds me of a rich gentleman with his elegant mistress (Paris being the latter). It is a relationship filled with both passion and quarrels, but it is never boring. There is fascination and attraction on each side. Paris is fascinated by the wealth, ambition, and energy of New York, and New Yorkers can’t get enough of the beauty, wines and cuisine, and the joie de vivre of Paris.

Another metaphor for this unique relationship might be a Champagne cocktail. New York is known to be a temple for cocktails and Paris is home to a lot of Champagne drinking. At Flûte we have pushed this relationship as high as we can and have developed ten truly amazing cocktails. I personally recommend the “Marquis De Sade” and “the Flûte Champagne Mojito.”

Parisians love New York and New Yorkers love Paris. It is interesting to note that France and the United States had their revolutions at almost the same time, and the historical embrace of democracy is certainly an important basis of the relationship. During the American Revolution, a young Frenchman named La Fayette volunteered his services to George Washington’s army and became both a general and a great friend of Washington’s. Later La Fayette returned to France to become an advocate of democracy and citizens’ rights. La Fayette and Washington were, together, the fathers of Western democracy.

Sometimes I like to fantasize about a city that is a merger of my two favorite places, “New Paris.” It would have the best of each city:

  • A quiet, clean, air-conditioned subway running 24/7
  • Charming, walkable streets
  • Lots of taxis
  • A vibrant and welcoming economy
  • A great café on every corner where anyone can linger over a cup of coffee

In the meantime, I’m happy to divide my life between the two cities, with the long trip made more bearable by traveling in business class. I recently discovered a great new all-business class airline that flies between Newark Airport outside New York and Orly Sud outside Paris. It’s called L’Avion and it takes the dread out of having to take frequent transatlantic flights. A comfortable leather seat, a glass of good champagne in hand, and an entertaining movie on the mini screen make commuting almost painless and I have no hesitation in identifying myself as part of the breed that L’Avion has coined as “Paris-Yorkers.” Santé!