June 12: Gaining the access code to the green gate is the first step to joining Jim Haynes for one of his famous Sunday night dinners. There are lots of things to do in Paris, but Jim’s soirees are a “must do” for many living or visiting here.
Jim has been hosting his dinners every Sunday evening since the early 1970s. Depending on the weather, as many as 50+ people attend. Good weather means guests can overflow from the atelier (which used to be a sculpture’s salon) into his garden.
There is no organized seating which increases the opportunity to mingle which is Jim’s primary goal.
The common language is English but often it is a second or even third language for guests from around the world. On any given Sunday, guests are all ages, nationalities and professions. Some are ex-pats who live in Paris and other are tourists visiting for a week or two for their very first time.
Randomness is the order of the day-or evening. Dinner is served promptly at 8:00 and is over at 11:00. Each week different cooks prepare the buffet-style meal. Figuring out where to sit or stand and balance your plate and wine is up to you and part of the fun.
This is not a singles group or a professional social club. Yes, there are singles and I’m sure couples do form and meet again on their own and yes, I’m sure professionals exchange cards ( we did with other writers) and solicit business or social contacts, but that is a by-line not the purpose of the evenings. The evening is about the evening and meeting people. Jim believes in introducing people and to quote from his website: “If I had my way, I would introduce everyone in the whole world to each other.”
Jim may not have yet accomplished this, but he certainly has created the right atmosphere to make it happen. No matter why you find yourself in Paris, attending at least one evening with Jim will add to your memories of this fascinating city and the people it holds.
If you want to know how to become part of these evenings, go to Jim’s website (www.jim_haynes.com )and send him an email. He responds quickly. Don’t be surprised if you end up on the waiting list, he is almost always full. Just hope for good weather so you can come.
Weather permitting, we will attend again this Sunday along with four other friends in Paris for the week for a photography workshop.
Jan and Ed