rom Sept. 20-23, I was fortunate enough to head south to Panama for the 2016 Super Region Canvas Workshop. Among our many outings was a trip to the Panama Canal, which just underwent a $5 billion expansion. It was definitely a surreal experience.
Strangely enough, just a few months before I was there, the riverboat on our cover actually passed through the Panama Canal — the largest item ever to pass through on top of a ship. This month we take an inside look at the Louisiane, a new luxury riverboat that left its home port in Gretna to make its inaugural journey up the Mississippi on Oct. 22. Unlike any riverboat I’ve been on before, the Louisiane has a distinct French flair that, among its many amenities, includes a round-the-clock bistro serving croquet madame and beignets from Café Du Monde. Vive la French America Line!
Speaking of France, we have a bit of a French trend going here at Biz — last month we featured a new store on Magazine Street called La Riviere Confiserie — the first in our region to specialize in imported French goodies. This month, along with the French America Line, our guest perspective was written by Audrey Nikitine of the Alliance Francais. As it turns out, French is the third most used language for conducting business, behind English and Mandarin.
I’m actually surrounded by French these days. Not only is our artistic director from France, so is one of my closest friends. And our kids both have the fortune of attending one of Louisiana’s many French immersion schools. Right now I only have occasional dates with the app “Duolingo”, but maybe someday I’ll take the next step with some classes at Alliance Francais.