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News Wed Apr 28 2010
Mayor of Paris, France, Bertrand Delanoë received a warm welcome by 300 people at a cocktail reception yesterday at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton). The French mayor was in town this week to participate as a guest of honor in the Richard J. Daley Global Cities Forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Invited to be a guest of honor at the Forum by Mayor Daley, this was Delanoë's first official visit to Chicago since becoming Mayor of Paris in 2001.
At yesterday's reception, newsman and rancher Bill Kurtis introduced Mayor Delanoë, who thanked the city of Chicago for its hospitality and praised the Windy City's grandeur and beauty. Delanoë spoke in French of the relationship of cities to their residents and thereby the kinship of Parisians and Chicagoans. Then, Kurtis, pretending to translate Delanoë's remarks, said that the Paris mayor had just declared his candidacy for the office of Mayor of Chicago, eliciting laughter in the room from non-French and French speakers alike. Mayor Daley, to close, spoke of his love for Paris and the inspiration he has drawn from France's capital.
Reception attendees enjoyed refreshments from Chicago French Market vendors including: pommes frites and dipping sauces from Frietkoten Belgian Fries & Beer; bánh mì (Vietnamese submarine sandwiches) from Saigon Sisters; cheese from Pastoral; chocolates from Canady; and macarons from Vanille Pâtisserie. The centerpiece of the reception matched the light-hearted mood of the event; Dimitri and Keli Fayard of Vanille re-created the Hôtel de Ville, Paris' City Hall, in cake and whimsical fondant.