Letters From Provence

Letters from Provence

I Go to the Doctor (Take 2)

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As the Republican Party keeps up its bitter assault on the Affordable Care Act, I continue to be amazed by the more far-reaching, no-frills, government-supported and regulated health care system of France. Today I made my second visit since our arrival to Dr. Mariele Crespo-Mora, whose office is a three staircase walk-up on the upscale…

Aix-en-Provence’s ‘Wild Beauties’

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At its best, the sometimes stylized, creative imagination of the French is without peer. Who but the French would think of putting an exceptional exhibit of carved, painted, drawn and wire-sculpted wild animals in an 800-year-old church?  With an Afro-Brazilian band just outside to lure in the crowds? On something called European Museum Night, which…

Dissing the Poor of Provence

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France continues to be a land of double-digit unemployment and considerable economic discontent, as  far-right National Front party’s gains in this year’s municipal election show.  Yet affluent Aix-en-Provence for the most part co-exists cordially with the street people who sit quietly in front of churches and outside other well-traveled locations seeking a handout. Today we…

My French Icebreaker & Other Bits

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I’ve learned to use the same line when I give my name in France, whether for an interview or a restaurant, hotel or car reservation. “Le nom est Lanson,” I say. “Comme le champagne (like the champagne).” This, it seems, never fails to draw an appreciative chuckle if not always access to an interview subject. …