Al Vareau in Paris. © Tony Gale
Bon Vivant is the term that come to my mind to describe Al Alda and here are a few reasons why.
Al is a connoisseur of fine food and drink. One year for his birthday, he asked his friends to take him out for a fine meal in the best restaurant in Paris instead of getting him gifts. His knowledge and appreciation of fine food and drink is unparalleled.
Speaking of Paris, Brooklyn Boy Al has been living his childhood dream of living in the City of Light for the past 13 years. He has even managed to secure a 10 year residency card, which is no easy feat and the French love him.
Language is Al’s passion and he is trilingual, fluent in English, Spanish and French and is now learning Arabic. He opened up the Franco American School of Language when he was 27, specializing in teaching English to business people and companies. Some of his clients are John Galliano and TOTAL. John Galliano was so impressed with the quality of his language instruction that he hired the Franco American School of Language to teach Arabic to the sales staff in Galliano’s boutiques, allowing him to expand his staff and to bring on new teachers.
Al is charming and you can’t help but like him. He has friends from all walks of life, from TV celebrities, to bohemians, to yuppies and students. Al once wrote a letter to Sharon Stone asking her to make an appearance at an event in Paris he helped coordinate and the letter was so persuasive that she came.
Al also has an incredible knowledge of movie stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age. He and I once drove around the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Queens to find Mae West’s grave so he could pay his respects to her.
Al is a man of the world – he has set foot on 5 continents. He has been to nearly every country in Western Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and his most recent trip has taken him to Asia, specifically Sri Lanka. He also has the type of looks where he can pass as European, South American, Arab, Iranian, Tahitian or Turkish.
Al is a sweet, caring and dynamic man and I am proud to call him my friend.
Nominated and described by Michelle Kawka