Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

We’ll Always Have Paris: Willie Brown Bonds with Le Maire

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

By Calbuzzer Gale Kaufman

Bernard Delanoe, the elegant mayor of Paris, warmly welcomed Willie Brown and his 120-member posse to a private reception marking the Speaker’s 75th birthday on Friday at Hotel de Ville, as the City Hall is called.

The city’s first openly gay maire, Delanoe presented Willie with a beautiful pair of cuff links and told him that Paris would always welcome him. Mr. Speaker returned the favor, giving him an old book of San Francisco photos. The mayor’s formal office is a spectacular room with Baccarat crystal chandeliers that replicates the long corridor of Versailles. Needless to say, Willie looked quite at home.

We were all in formal wear and black tie for the birthday dinner that followed, at a private chateau called Pavillon de Musique de la Comtesse du Barr, which had extraordinary views of the city from almost every window.

After dinner, the servers brought out an ice sculpture of the Eiffel Tower etched with “Willie Brown 75th Brithday” with several cakes on either side of it. Amid the round of toasts, the only time Willie looked alarmed was when his older sister – “Baby Doll” – got up, but she said only nice things, to his obvious relief.

He told me afterwards that everyone should do something like this once or twice in his life – gather best friends and family together and celebrate in a spectacular fashion. Boy, does this man know how to throw a party.

Gale Kaufman is a Democratic consultant based in Sacramento.

Buzzcard: Live at Willie’s 75th in Paris

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

By Calbuzzer Gale Kaufman

PARIS – Willie Brown invited 120 of his closest friends to join him in the City of Lights to celebrate his 75th birthday and we all toasted Mr. Speaker last night while sailing the Seine on a private yacht. Dining fine and sipping wine, at 10 p.m. we passed the Eiffel Tower, whose lights obligingly blinked on and off for us.

Willie looked great in a khaki baseball cap with his signature stitched on – we all got a copy, of course – and a matching khaki coat, surrounded by family and friends, as always drinking and partying until the wee hours.

When Steve and I arrived yesterday, folks told us the weather has been horrible but it cleared up for the big bash. It made me think of how the sun burst through a storm just in time for Willie’s GOTV to crank in his first mayor’s race. Da Mayor, of course, claimed it was divine intervention.

On the yacht, any number of us remarked how nice it will be to just make it to 75, let alone celebrate it in “Willie Brown style.” Tomorrow: drinks with the mayor of Paris. Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Gale Kaufman is a Democratic consultant in Sacramento