Dick (on the right) and Jarkko


The Leonard Cohen Mini Event, April 10, 1999

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The Leonard Cohen Meeting took place in Paris on April 9-11, 1999. Friends from six countries spent a great time together. This small scale gathering replaced The Event, the cancelled Birmingham meeting which was originally planned for the same day. Paris was chosen because everybody wanted to visit this wonderdful city in April, when the Spring is at its best. We also had another special reason: Paris was the first European destination of Linda and Dick Straub from New Jersey in their first overseas expedition.

Eija and Jarkko Arjatsalo from Finland met the Straubs already on Wednesday. It was nice to meet eachother after so many years of emails, Newsgroup postings, and IRC chats. The gang immediately went to the town although the Straubs had been travelling for some 13 hours... During the first days we saw The Arch of Triumph, the Catacombs, Hotel des Invalides, Palais de Luxembourg, Louvre, Notre Dame, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, La Defence, Museums of Rodin and Picasso...and of course the Moulin Rouge revue. The Straubs seemed still be alive after this intensive program when they continued to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria! Photo: Linda and Dick in the catacombs

Other friends arrived on Friday, and we met at the Shakespeare & Co bookshop near Notre Dame. Mireille and Herve Cesard (Paris) and Nikita Ivanov (Moscow) joined us, and we first took a boat tour on Seine. After that we wanted to see the darkening Paris from the bird's eye view. We were not the only ones who wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower so we had to stand in several lines quite long. But of course it was worth of all the waiting!

The actual meeting was on Saturday, and Herve and Albert had chosen the famous and old restaurant Au Petit Riche. Yvonne Hakze and Bea de Koning (Holland) and Martine Moreau (Dublin, Ireland/France), Albert Labbouz (Paris), and Paola Pigozzi (Italy) joined us there.

We spent a great evening together. The dinner was excellent, and the debate vital. Mean Larry had sent Chelsea Hotel Tribute Night recordings and T shirt, and Dick organized a lottery. Recent Leonard Cohen items were traded, and Jarkko played rare live songs and other rarities from his archive CDRs.

Standing, from the left: Linda and Dick Straub, Bea de Koning, Yvonne Hakze,
Martine Moreau, Paola Pigozzi, Herve and Mireille Cesard.
Sitting: Jarkko and Eija Arjatsalo, Nikita Ivanov, Albert Labbouz.

On Sunday morning we took the train to Versailles where we admired the castle and the fountains and classical music in the wonderful garden. Afterwards we had the pleasure to visit the home of our magnificent hosts, Mireille and Herve Cesard. They had prepared an excellent French banquet for us, and of course we admired Herve's great Leonard Cohen collection.

Linda, Dick, Herve, Jarkko, Eija, Paola

This Mini Event again proved how exciting and rewarding it is to meet other Leonard Cohen fans. We are like old friends from the very first moment even if we have never seen eachother before! We were already looking forward to our next reunion in Montreal at The Cohen Event!

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