Leslie BurkeComment

France vs Italy

Leslie BurkeComment
France vs Italy

Everyone remembers their language teacher - whether you were learning Spanish, French or Italian - the one who never let you speak English in class and it becomes the first class you never raise your hand in. Well, imagine if you lived with this teacher. This is what it is to love a Frenchie. As an American, I don't have the sense of nationalism as my crazy Frenchie. I mean, why be proud of police brutality, obesity, fast food, and an unhealthy amount of reality tv? I cannot wait to leave all of that behind. In order to indulge my Frenchie, we recently visited Le District (for the second time) and Eataly on the same day. 

We first visited Le District when it opened last spring and were dismally disappointed. The shelves were bare, the service was worse than Paris and many offerings were definitely not French! We were told by many French expats living in NY to give it a second chance and we got to do so recently. Our initial destination for downtown Manhattan was the new Eataly and it was perfect in every way. We were warmly greeted, the shelves were bursting with pastas and sauces and among the food and restaurants was loads of education about pasta shapes, cheese and Italian wine regions. Despite not being hungry we had to taste something and settled on a slice of pizza, a soda and a tiny tart to share. The French love to criticize and I have learned this skill easily from my love. We found nothing to complain about! That would change as we departed and walked a few blocks to Le District.

We decided to walk back to Le District to see if things had improved past their first month missteps. What a wasted effort! The produce section looked dismal, the shelves were sloppy and full of products with American labels (Aunt Annie's Mac & Cheese in Le District - why??), and the staff seemed non-existent. Now as we were upon the lunch hour, we expected to see some crowds but no one seemed to be clamoring for a taste of France. My love said the store was an embarrassment to the country. With a Saks opening soon and already surrounded by Fifth Avenue level boutiques such as Burberry, Zenga and Ferragamo, it seems like Le District is the sore spot of Brookfield Place.

While my heart will always be with France, in this battle Italy wins. Luckily my love has some Italian roots (expected with a mother named Venturini). I expect Le District to be Le Flop and a part of NY history in no time. Enjoy it before its gone so you can be like most NYers who love to tell you about what NY used to be like.

P.S. I a wearing a fabulous bustier top from Brazilian brand Isolda while enjoying the night lights in downtown Bordeaux.