Quoi de neuf / Infolettre

New Celebrity Judges for Fruit Tart Contest
The 7th Annual Concours de Tartes aux Fruits will feature a new panel of celebrity judges, including Danielle Centoni, who is a writer, editor,  recipe developer, and co-author of The Sugar Cube and Mother's Best cookbooks. She will be joined on the panel by Sam Bakall, food reporter of the Oregonian, and Barb Randall, food editor of Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings, as well as Philippe Boulot of the MAC. Chefs from all over the region will compete, including chefs from Noble Rot, Whole Foods, Paley's Place, St Honoré, Bees & Beans, Cocoa N' Lola, Black Rabbit, The Town Club, Rawdacious Desserts and more. The public can attend and sample the tarts as well as imported cheese, charcuterie and French aperitif wines. Tickets are available - click here for more info and here to register online.   
Bastille Day Recap & Reason for Its Name

Despite temperatures soaring into the 90s on July 12, close to 6000 people visited the Bastille Day festival in Director Park. At the festival, French visitors pondered why the event in the U.S. is called "Bastille Day," since no equivalent term exists in France. For the answer to that question, click here for an article (in French) that explains how the "Bastille Day" name and the tradition is said to have taken root first in Louisiana and spread from there. And click here to view an online album of pictures from the Portland event. Merci to photo contributors Katharine Kimball, Sara Olinger and Michele Cherie.

The Mental "Fountain of Youth"

The NY Times recently published an article that is being widely read and discussed. The article, "The Benefits of Failing at French," was written by William Alexander, author of the upcoming book "Flirting With French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart." In the article he describes how, despite feeling that he "failed" (and indeed was quite frustrated) in his attempts to learn French, he was astounded when test results showed substantial, measurable benefits in the areas of working memory, inductive reasoning, task switching and sound discrimination. Click here to read the article, which includes references to some of the most recent research in the area of brain health.   

And the Winners Are . . .

A total of $2500 in prizes were awarded on Bastille Day - here are the winners! Portland's 10th Annual Waiters Race winners (from 1st to 3rd place) in the Men's Division were Ryan Phegley of Ruth's Chris Steak House, Michael Cook of The Chart  House, and Perry Warring of the Heathman Restaurant & Bar. In the Women's Division, winners were Mary Dunford of Tucci, Rachelle Allen of Olympic Provisions and Kristin Samuelson of Ruth's Chris Steak House. Winners of the Alliance raffles for prizes were I. McSwane-Mock, C. Saunders, and S. McMillan. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to the sponsors and vendors  who funded this festival, the largest of its kind on the West Coast. 

News Around the Alliance   

The Alliance is pleased to welcome new staff member, Rhonda Lynn, who will be the organization's Assistant Director (Directrice adjointe). Fluent in French, Rhonda is a newcomer to Portland; she worked in Atlanta for a French business development agency (Rhône-Alpes) and more recently worked in New York and California with large vocational training institutes for adults. Bienvenue, Rhonda!  

  The Alliance welcomed visitor Stephen Gilbert to the Kamm House in mid-July. Based in New York, Stephen is the Public Information Officer for France's Tourism Development Agency. He visited Portland to participate in our city's Bastille Festival and spent the day answering visitors' questions on touring France. 
  New President: The Fondation Alliance Française in Paris, which oversees the worldwide network of Alliances, recently elected a new president, Jérôme Clément, formerly of ARTE (shown here at left). Click here to read that news, in French.
Fall Term: 
The fall term of classes begins September 15. Look for the class schedule to be announced in the next two weeks via this bulletin and on the Alliance's website.

Interested in Beginning French in August? We are looking at pulling together an additional beginning French class (101), meeting twice per week, weekday afternoons, for the month of August. If you are interested email rhondal@afportland.org.  

Dates to Remember
Jul. 28: Weeklong Immersion at the Kamm House
Aug. 7: Concours de Tartes aux Fruits at the MAC - Tickets Available
Sept. 4: Alliace Open House
Sept. 15: Start of the 10-Week Fall Term
Nov. 21: Beaujolais Nouveau at the Heathman
Quick Web Links

Enrolling for Summer Term, Summer Camps and Immersion Programs.




Some are hosted by Alliance staff, board members or other volunteers. Drop-ins welcome; membership is encouraged but not required.

NW or Central PDX 

St Honoré on NW Thurman on

Wed., 6pm, Aug. 6 & 20   

C'est Si Bon on NE 7th on Tuesdays @ 6pm 

SE Portland

At St Honoré on SE Division, Monday, Aug. 4, at 6pm.

At Chez Machin, Mon., Aug. 11, at 7p.m.

At Vie de Bohème weekly on Sundays, 4-5:30 p.m.


At Gustav's in Vancouver, Tues., Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m.



In-Kind Sponsors







France Magazine Offer, Nice Conference and More         
   France Magazine Special: In an earlier bulletin we told you about the limited-time offer for huge discounts off subscriptions to France Magazine, but there was a technical glitch with the link. Please click here for the savings, and act by August 15, 2014 to get "the best of culture, travel and art de vivre," at a subscription price that is even lower than on Amazon.com.   
 News from Atlas: Alliance organization member, Atlas Immersion Academy, is a French immersion child care and preschool in Southwest Portland, serving ages 3 months through 5 years. The academy has part-time openings in its preschool and one full-time toddler spot available. The academy will also be starting limited school-age after-care beginning in September, with the goal of growing the after-school programming even more in January 2015. For more info, visit their website.
 French Meet-Up:
Longtime Alliance member/student Dennis Steven
s has set up a "meet-up" umbrella group called Portland French Connection. Click here for the site, through which small group meetings are organized in area neighborhoods as well as the occasional event like a movie outing or mixer. And visit the Conversation Group page on the Alliance site for the hosted groups around town that draw 20-50 participants weekly.   

   Nice Conference: Frequent Alliance partner Adrian Leeds (of House Hunters International fame) will host a mini-conference in Nice on Living and Investing in France (with emphasis on the Côte d'Azur), this fall. Leeds has helped several Alliance/Portland members with property purchases in Paris and Nice. The conference will take place at the Ellington Hotel in Nice on September 16, 2014. Visit Leeds' website for details.    

Free Movie: Close to 100 Alliance students and members enjoyed free movie tickets last week to see an advance preview of the movie, The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren and set in Provence. Many thanks to our Dreamworks contacts for the free tickets (the film will officially open to the public August 8). Not a member yet? Sign up online for just $36/year.        

  France From The Inside: Alliance member Bill Hamilton, based in Lake Oswego, travels frequently to France and is a consulting resource for Francophiles who wish to explore the villages and sights on the back roads of France. These are lesser-known treasures that you won't find on standard tours. Check in with Bill by phone or email (bltham@comcast.net) to discover some treasures for your next trip.   

  Beaujolais Nouveau: Each year sponsorships are available for the Beaujolais Nouveau event at the Heathman. This is Portland's premiere French food-and-wine event of the fall, drawing close to 500 attendees, and often featured on KGW Newschannel 8's "Live at 7" broadcast (photo here is from the 2013 event). Contact ExecutivDirector Linda Witt to discuss sponsorship options for 2014 that would showcase your organization's brand, product or support of the French-American community and the Alliance's education mission.  


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