Crazy American discovers Paris
saxophonist is playing a jazz solo in a small park,
competing with the sounds of children splashing
in a nearby fountain. Its the middle of a
workday in Paris, but no one appears to be working.
Parisians leave Paris in the summer. By August,
its like a provincial town, says Ronnie
Rubin 76C, who teaches courses in marketing
and intellectual property rights in Paris. You
start with five weeks of vacation right away at
any level, and a normal work week is thirty-five
hours. In terms of quality of life, that provides
such a different balance. It is so healthy in so
Rubin graduated from Emory with a degree in political
science, he moved to California, where he worked
for Hyatt, an L.A. rock station, and Disney. After
eight years, he joined Hanna-Barbaras international
team, introducing the characters (Yogi, Fred Flintstone,
the Jetsons) to Mexico, Australia, and other remote
when I knew I wanted to work internationally,
Rubin says. I liked being in strange environments,
moving, the travel.
transferred to London to oversee control of the
studio library, branding, licensing, and home video
distribution, traveling throughout Europe. In 1992,
Rubin returned to California to pursue an MBA at
the University of Southern California. He then worked
for Sony Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox, which
had just released Independence Day.
traveled 300,000 miles in a year and a half,
Rubin says. I was forty-five years old, a
vice president of promotions. I had a house in the
hills, a convertible, and was living the L.A. lifestyle.
But I wasnt happy. I had a long-distance relationship
with a woman who was French, so I came to Paris.
I connected with Paris like Ive never connected
with a place in my life.
enrolled in the Sorbonne, took an intensive three-month
language class, and lived on a cobblestone street
in a building from the 1700s. I knew everyone,
from the students to the butcher. I was the crazy
Americanthose were the days when it was cool
to be an American overseas.
plans to stay in France for many reasons, perhaps
most importantly to be near his three-year-old son,
Remi, who lives with his mother.
lived everywhere, from San Francisco to London,
he says. Paris is where I want to stay.M.J.L.