Sunday's Picture and a Song - So, who is Joseph the Butler?


Not what I would have expected - Joseph the Butler flying through the air on a trapeze!


"So, who is Joseph the Butler?"

Without a doubt, that's the first question that people always ask about my blog. It's never, "Why did you start blogging?" or "How do you like living in Paris?" No. It's always something about Joseph. But I understand. He's an intriguing man.

Here are some of the other questions that I was asked when I met up with Finding Noon, Denise from Bolton, PlaneJane and Laura at Café de Flore on Friday afternoon:

Have you ever met Joseph the Butler? No, but I truly hope that I'll have the opportunity to meet him some day.
Is he really a butler? Yes. According to Joseph's profile, he was a private butler for 15 years and currently does short-term work around the globe. If you would like to learn more about the fine art of party planning for 110 people, the correct way to cut cheese or the best way to tackle clutter, please visit his blog, Joseph the Butler recommends...
How old is Joseph? I don't know. Based on the comments that he has made and from what I've read on his blog, I'm guessing that he's probably in his early to mid-forties. In the only photos that I've ever seen of him, where he's flying through the air on a trapeze, he doesn't look a day over 28. Your guess is as good as mine!
Where does he live? Chicago.

Joseph and my relationship dates back to May 4, 2011 when he first commented on my post about a behind-the-scenes tour of Roland Garros. In a fortuitous twist of good fate, Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated included a link to my blog in an article that he had written about the French Open and Joseph, a big tennis fan, clicked on the link. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

When I contacted Joseph to ask if I could feature him in today's post, he kindly responded to my question about his favorite spots in Paris:

I love the Rodin Museum and its gardens.  My favorite hotel is the Bel Ami on rue Benoit in St Germain. I named my Brittany "Benoit" many years ago, RIP.  I love the Nikki de St Phalle/Jean Tinguely  "Stravinsky Fountain" sculpture.   My best meal in  Paris was at Les Bouquinistes, a Guy Savoy restaurant but my favorite restaurant would be, as you know, Brasserie de l'Ile St-Louis for the view, the beer and the food.  Nearby is also a favorite shop in Paris--Diptyque, the candle and perfume emporium.  I love going to the top of monuments but have never been to the top of Notre Dame.  I fell asleep once on the lawn in the Place des Vosges and was awakened by children putting flowers on my face.

Joseph's suggestion for today's song is Benjamin Biolay's version of "Padam". As he describes it, I love Benjamin Biolay, and the way he moves on the stage!  Moves like Jagger--just like me in all my dreams.

Thanks for being such a great blogger buddy, Joseph! My fingers are crossed that we'll be able to celebrate Roger Federer's win over Andy Murray at Wimbeldon later this afternoon. I know that you'll be watching the men's final in Chicago just as Stéphane and I will be transfixed in front of the television in Paris.

Comments

  1. OH thank you, this is so kind and fun to read.

    And yes, I'm right here in front of the tv. Can you believe the McEnroe brothers think Murray can actually win this! Go Roger.

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    1. It was my pleasure, Joseph. Seeing the photos of you flying through the air made my day - I just wish that the format wasn't so tiny because I still wouldn't be able to recognize you if I bumped into you on a street in Paris or Chicago.

      Even though it was really hard to watch Andy's emotional speech after losing to Federer, I'm glad that the McEnroe brothers' prediction wasn't correct. It has been much too long since Federer won a Grand Slam.

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  2. He is the best at what ever he does. I've tried many if his suggestions and they seem to always impress my guess.

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    1. I agree. Joseph's blog is full of wonderful suggestions - now if I could just get myself to follow his helpful instructions and wash my feather pillows!

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    2. Mary Kay, the reasons just keep piling up for my return to Paris.

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    3. Joseph, The thought of you coming to Paris would propel me into action - I would even wash the pillows and dust the books as per your instructions!

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  3. Joseph's blog has also given me many tips. I think you can ask him "What should I do... ?" in any situation, from keeping your home orderly, to how to manage a pesky work colleague, or whether a relationship should be let loose.

    But far more important than that, I'm honored to call him a friend.

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    1. Alice, I keep hoping that one of these days my online friendship with Joseph will develop into a face-to-face one and that I'll have the opportunity to get to know him better. In the meantime, I count myself very lucky that our paths crossed.

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  4. Had I been there, I would have asked about Joseph at Cafe de Flore. But alas I am stuck in Palm Beach in this swealtering heat! Enjoyed the blog and video clip...Biolay's voice was that of a French Leonard Cohen, but the moves on stage were surely more Jagger swagger.

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    1. We missed you at the Cafe de Flore, Nancy, and were talking about when you'll be in Boston because Denise is going in the Fall. It's debatable if the unseasonably cool temperatures in Paris are better than the sweltering hot ones in FL. The weather hasn't ever really improved since you were here in April! It's still grey and rainy with moments of sunshine - you should see all of the mud spatters on the pair of white jeans that I stupidly wore on Saturday night. Come to think of it, maybe Joseph has a trick for getting stains out of white clothes! ;)

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  5. what a great post! i always love reading the comments from JT,B and it puts a big smile on my face seeing how close you two have grown just bly clicking on one little link.

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    1. Yes, the power of the internet never ceases to amaze me - when I first heard about this strange new thing back in the 90s, I had no idea how much it would change my life!

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  6. WOW... I was expecting a cover of the Edith Piaf song "Padam Padam."

    This is so much more - current. LOL...

    I've added your suggestions to my Paris file, Joseph, and will look forward to trying a few of your recommendations the next time I'm blessed with a visit to the City of Light.

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    1. And there's always the little restaurant Le Petit Benoit across the street from the Bel Ami--that's a real Paris experience.

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  7. Great post and thanks for sharing more information about the infamous Joseph the Butler! I always look forward to his comments and reading his blog as well!

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    1. You're welcome - it was fun for me to learn more about the infamous Joseph the Butler, too!

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  8. I must say Mary Kay, I did have a laugh at your "Call to Action" on being notified of a visit from Joseph. I too have thought that an extensive dusting of the books, washing of pillows and even a refold of my tea towels would need to be undertaken on hearing of Joseph's return to Melbourne!

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    1. Tea towels! Oh, my gosh - I don't even have any tea towels. At least you're ahead of me on that one!

      Whenever I visit Boston Pete (above) and Mike in Boston, the conversation usually includes some talk about Joseph and what comments he would make about the flower arrangements, the drinks, the hors-d'œuvres, etc., etc. JtB strikes fear into the hearts of many...but in a very positive way!

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    2. oh you all give me such a chuckle. Thank you.

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