PHOTOS: French Heritage Society Celebrates Elaine Sciolino’s ‘The Seine: The River that Made Paris’

French Heritage Society board member Ann Van Ness and her husband William opened their Upper East Side townhouse to launch Elaine Sciolino’s new book, The Seine: The River that Made Paris. A contributing writer and former Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, she opined, “The Seine is the most romantic river in the world. She encourages us to dream, to linger, to fall in love, or to at least fantasize that falling in love is possible.” Audience members who won impromptu quizzes on French topics received an illustrated map of the Seine. In closing, French Heritage Society’s Chairman, Elizabeth Stribling, a longtime friend of Elaine’s, shared, “I see young lovers from my Paris apartment window overlooking the Seine. I see old lovers, too. In Paris, there are a lot of old people just as amorous as the young ones. It’s one of the things I love most about the river.  Elaine, I love you, too!”

Guy Robinson, co-chairman of the New York Chapter, made elegant introductions and pointed out the upcoming FHS events- The Black & White Ball, and a Thanksgiving dinner in Paris, “where the turkey, or dinde, is twice as small as the American counterpart – and twice as delicious.”

Guests included CeCe Black, Special Events Chair, Jennifer Herlein, Executive Director, Judy McLaren, board member, George Sape, board member, and Jeri Sape, as well as Susan and Gerald Baker, Caroline Bassett, Rick Boldini, Odile de Schiétère-Longchampt, Luis Garcia, Mai Hallingby, Kathy Irwin, Helen King, Caroline Lareuse, Catharine Macdonald, Nadia Martincic, Friederike Moltmann, Paul Rankin, Carole Bellidora Westfall, and Lisa Witomski.

FHS’s upcoming Black & White Ball will be held on Thursday, November 21st, 2019 at a private club in Manhattan. The honorees are interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield and philanthropists Margaret and Gregory Hedberg. A few tickets still remain:

French Heritage Society is dedicated to protecting the French architectural legacy both in France and the United States with particular emphasis on preservation and education. It fosters long-established French-American relationships through cultural exchanges as it strives to ensure that the treasures of our shared heritage will survive to inspire future generations. Its 10 chapters in the U.S. and one in Paris have supported the restoration of nearly 600 buildings and gardens since 1982. FHS also organizes unique student internship opportunities in both countries.

Image credit: John Sanderson/

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