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Dinner For Five (Thousand)
Thats probably a close estimate of the number of Sunday dinner guests American expat-in-Paris Jim Haynes has every year.

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Jim Haynes

Every Sunday night, he serves dinner in his 14th arrondissement loft for over 50 people. Each dinner is a mixed bag of Americans and Europeans; my guess is about 60 percent American, 40 percent French and other. Dinner is 20 euros, and worth every penny; although, if you're a poor little church-mouse, I think he might toss you some chow for free.

Haynes left America to serve in the army, got posted to Edinburgh, and went to college there - and subsequently started the Edinburgh film festival. He knows everybody - rock stars, poets, scientists, and fascinating nobodies - but hes one of the most friendly, welcoming, and unpretentious people you'll ever meet.

If you go to dinner there, chances are youll run into people you havent seen for 10 or 20 years. I saw docu filmmaker Maxie Cohen, enroute to the south of France for the opening of her exhibition of photos of ladies rooms around Europe. Last I talked with Maxie was in the early 90s, at a party at her Soho, NY, loft. Also at Haynes', I met French actor Georges Corraface, whom I last saw on stage at Brooklyn Academy Of Music when he starred in Peter Brooks Mahabharata.

Met some pretty interesting new people, too, like Duc, a young American photographer, just out of photo school. Duc hitchhiked the entire route of Lance Armstrongs race, and shot the whole thing, spending the night in wheat fields in his sleeping bag, and getting taken in by kindly strangers in the French countryside more often than not.

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Surrounding Duc, it's (from left) my friends, Paris blogger Jason Stone, Eric Wahlgren, Nancy Rommelmann, her daughter, and Boubeker.

Posted by aalkon at September 23, 2004 7:02 AM