A whole slew of my friends have formed a sort of loose travel club over the past few years. I went with them to New Orleans in January last year, my second visit there and my last trip to the city before Katrina. This year, the trip includes Paris, the “Mother of New Orleans”. Therefore, I decided to brush up on my long-forgotten French before going.
And that’s how I found out that there is a lot of events en francais in this city! Who knew there was such a base of Francophones in L.A.? Apparently, enough for us to get our own French Tuesdays (and by the way, if anyone is a member, can you take me with you?)
So here’s some of the francophone resources that I’m trying
I study at the Alliance Francaise de Los Angeles once a week, on Saturdays, for two hours of conversational French. My tuition includes membership, so I can attend the Alliance events, which include soirees and cinema. There’s actually a poetry reading tomorrow and a movie this Friday. And another movie next Thursday at the Cow’s End, in Venice, right by my home.
I also discovered listings for the Consulat General de France linked off the Alliance site. They list French readings, lectures, and the entire schedule of the upcoming C.O.L.C.O.A. film festival – City of Lights, City of Angels. There’s an interesting lecture as well by Bernard-Henri L√©vy on a Saturday next month, on his French view of America.
Finally, there is a SoCal Francophone Meetup.com group, which has a few upcoming events I will join them for, if only to practice after class. They have museum trips and wine tastings. It will certainly help to get the practice in, interacting with other people.
Now. Can someone help me reprogram my brain to remember my verb conjugations? Because I can understand everything said to me – I just can’t form the sentences fast enough to speak back. This isn’t going to do at all for when I need to talk to people in Paris about where the best places to go dancing are.