“I cannot stand the idea of being denied freedom; not being allowed to go where you want and obliged to live in a very small space with others you do not know is something I do not bear. No one should be reduced to its errors only, humans are not only THE errors they did once, they have the right to continue to move along in building their lives with confidence and trust from others.”
When I asked Matthieu why he decided one day to be a volunteer in visiting prisoners, he added that having a Dad part of the French penitentiary administration, had probably influenced him as well. Unlike the prisoners he visits for three hours each week, Matthieu considers himself as very lucky in life, and giving of his time to prisoners is a way for Mathieu de give back a bit of that luck.
” At the end of the day I believe that helping prisoners to leave their incarceration with more of humanity is a way for me to protect my family, my community and the society; these guys deserve to be listened by others than only policemen, lawyers or judges”.
I was amazed by the high generosity of Matthieu in a world where money and individualism is too often presented as the only way to happiness. I wish we were all “Matthieu’s.”
Why did you come to the US?
I would say that I did not come to the US but to San Francisco. I discovered SF when I used to work for a Californian company based in Paris. With my wife we were looking for some fresh air, not projecting our entire life in Paris. As soon as I got a job opportunity here, it became an evidence to move in with my family.
What do you like about the US?
Americans think big and positive. I’m always amazed by the smile and the positive attitude of the clerks at the supermarket! Although their job might be boring, they take the time to speak with you, to pack your stuffs and to wish you a great day. On the tech and entrepreneur side, everyone thinks big and networks are wide open.
What do you like about SF ?
SF is an amazing city. First, I like the light, from the cloudy and foggy white to the sunny and blue sky bright one. Of course, I like the views from everywhere, but also the different districts, the nice buildings, the beach and the fantastic Golden Gate Park.
Do you have a passion?
I like “fooding”. I’m always happy to share a good bottle of wine with friends, or a good tasty and refined dish at a nice place. My favorite places are some bistrot restaurants in Paris where the Chef prepares perfectly executed fresh food with only 4 or 5 ingredients. But the top of the top remains Michel Bras at Laguiole.
Do you have a dream?
A business that would mix fooding and digital.
Remi is indeed an excellent cook and a fun model to shoot, Just like the clerks at the supermarket, he takes the time to make sure that his friends have a good time while enjoying his cooking specialties from all over the world..
” I came to the USA after a short assignment in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Life is cool here, my husband had to follow me and he is taking care of our three girls, Samantha, Deborah and Jess (Jessica), all great pom pom girls, just like grandma. I was born in a city and I am a city girl, and I not a big fan of small towns like Orbey or others.”
What are you the most proud of?
“Being an executive woman is not easy every day, I travel all around the world and thanks to Bob, my husband, I can dedicate myself to making the world a better place to live for our kids; my friend Marina and Isabella are also a great support”
I love this picture of Sandy on the road to Death Valley, a moment of rest at the very opposite of her lifestyle, urban and fast.
“I lived nine years in Los Angeles and I was a ballet dancer. Back to France I started a dance school in Mougins, South of France; we came back in 2013 and I love this place, in the US you can be yourself while in France you have to follow a life codes…”
What do you dream of ?
“I think “Ballerina Belle”, I dream “Ballerina Belle”, I hear “BB”, I live “BB”. Ballerina Belle is a thirteen episodes TV series I produced, and is about a young american girl called Belle, she arrives from California to the south of France with her mother, and her dream is to become a Ballerina. My youngest daughter is Belle, my oldest is Manon the ballet pianist ,and I am “Madame Odette”, the Ballet Dance teacher.”
Carol’s is full of this American energy that idea that “anything is possible”: while she is working on selling her TV series, she is managing her dance school, she teaches pilates and zumba to the french community, is invested in organizing shows for the school and even wrote a book about “french cuisine”…her next business woman dream is to direct a Broadway Musical Movie. Good luck!
” I came to the US to fulfill a wish I made at the corner of California & Powell streets in 1982 ! It took me almost 30 years but I did it!!!”
What do you like about San Francisco?
“Space , space, space. That feeling that you can breath here. The fog in the morning going down the hills, the sunset in the evening on the Pacific ocean near the Cliff House ”
What do you dream of ?
“Cycling to the flying boat. In fact I realized that Burning Man gave me the opportunity to cycle to a boat floating in the sky in the middle of the desert, a dream I realized even before dreaming of it!
Behind his very professional and serious image of a Finance Manager, Christophe is also capable of wearing the most amazing costumes he tried on Haight Ashbury, frightening his two teenagers for ever! I was lucky to spend most of my three days at Burning Man with Christophe, a very friendly burner.
“After spending 2 years in college in South Bend, Indiana, I took a trip to California, just in case I would never come back! Without noticing, I guess I was then infected with the “exploration” virus… Three years later, I was married, had my first child and worked for an American company; I was ready for a new experience abroad. I started raising my hand to get an assignment in a foreign country and was stubborn enough to succeed…9 years later!”
What do I like the most about living in San Francisco, California?
“I love the American practical sense. Everything is made to make your life easier and enjoyable. The social barriers are much thinner, the optimism is a way of living, giving is a philosophy… Everything is possible!
Even though a piece of my heart is also in Houston, Texas, California offers a variety of landscapes you can’t match elsewhere. The North Marin County weather is so perfect! And you’re a short drive or flight away from multiples wonders…”
What do you dream of ?
“Living in “optimismland”, I can only have dreams!
“I dream of transportation. Enjoying San Francisco’s fog patterns in the morning and having dinner with friends and family in Paris… Enjoying a sunset from the top of the Eiffel tower and waking up in Singapore… Cruising the Ha Long’s bay and visiting my children in their future own paradises.”
Laurent, his wife Chantal and their five kids, are probably one of the most friendly family I have ever met so far; I was impressed by Laurent’s capability to manage multiple tasks, from going to work all day, then managing the kids in the evening while organizing the next family trip to Costa Rica and making sure the insurance fees are renewed and the tax declaration is completed before doing his business trip for three weeks to Asia and coming back to prepare their annual “White Party”…I liked Laurent’s idea of “transportation”, probably a great way to keep deploying all that energy while his kids keep growing.