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Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Image Courtesy of Southern Living Magazine

Step ONE in the author Elizabeth Gilbert's 10 Step Writing Academy reads as follows... "Tell your story TO someone. Pick ONE person you love or admire or want to connect with, and write the whole thing directly to them -- like you're writing a letter." She submits that this approach is the ticket for bringing forth one's natural voice. The Book of You, the latest installment in the Coudert Institute's GARDEN CHATS series, brings to the table a trio of literary minds who together share a bounty of parallel insights. We are delighted to bring this conversation to you as part of our ongoing off season programming!

"The book of YOU is the greatest gift you can give to your children, and to your grandchildren," suggests Founding Director Dale Coudert as the relaxed conversation amongst Michael Ainslie, Mary-Sargent (Didi) d'Anglejan and Myles Ludwig begins. "Turn off the television, sit down and just think about your life," further coaches Ms. Coudert as the dialogue extends. The intention behind exploring this particular topic right now is to inspire others to perhaps use the space of this global pause to begin to tell their personal narrative. As Mr. Ainslee shares in the episode, "A reason to write a memoir is that YOU know something that's generally not known."

Michael Ainslie (at right) served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby's from 1984 to 1994. Following this, he was a Director of Lehman Brothers from 1996 until its 2008 bankruptcy, and oversaw "the sale and disposition" of the company's remaining assets. Most recently, Michael is the author of the best-selling book, A Nose for Trouble (Greenleaf Books 2020), a book about accepting a challenge, redefining misfortune, and rising above. Myles Ludwig (at left) is a former professor of International Communications and Intercultural Design at Lynn University where he was the chairman of both departments and received the University's first award for Innovation. Didi D'Anglejan (center right) is the Founder and Chairman of the New York City based American Friends of Blérancourt (AFB) and the author of The French Woman's Bedroom (Doubleday, 1991).

There's nothing more terrifying than a blank page... BUT, if you sit with it things really do come back to you.

Ms. D'Anglejan, who is currently writing her own personal memoir, in the above comment and throughout the chat encourages others to get comfortable with a blank page. Didi is among the private clients with whom Myles Ludwig offers his services as an editor. "A memoir is not an autobiography," says he. "A memoir focuses on a slice of time that is important to you. It's also a gift to yourself because it helps you understand the patterns and themes of your own life." If you find yourself interested in a deeper exploration of the art and craft of the memoir, Professor Ludwig currently teaches locally on the topic at the Society of the Four Arts here in Palm Beach. He suggests two books that might be of support as you consider writing your memoir - The Art of Memoir (Harper, 2016) by Mary Karr and The Situation and the Story (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002) by Vivian Gornick.

The Coudert Institute is beyond grateful to this fabulous panel of talent for making the time to each share their unique perspectives on telling the story that is YOU. We hope that their full conversation empowers you to pick up your pen or keyboard or recording device, and begin to share your personal narrative. Step TEN in Elizabeth Gilbert's 10 Step Writing Academy? "Be willing to let it be easy. You might be surprised!"

Watch The Book of YOU Garden Chat through this link...

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Here we are "off season" in June, continuing to navigate the instability of a national pandemic, yet the Palm Beach area real estate market shows little indication of slowing its continued surge. Knocking on the door, in the current market's extreme resilience, is opportunity opportunity, opportunity... In order to make sense of these favorable circumstances, the Coudert Institute recruited four local experts to share what they're witnessing on the frontlines of the market's swell and to offer some counsel on seizing the moment. In a new episode of our ongoing GARDEN CHATS series, we are delighted to present Senior Relationship Manager Bill Benjamin of First Republic Bank, Cara Coniglio McClure of the Palm Beach office of Douglas Elliman, real estate attorney David Currie of Diamond & Kaplan and Linda R. Olsson of Linda R. Olsson, Inc., in conversation with Coudert Institute Founder, Dale Coudert.

"It is a missed opportunity not to list and cast a broad net to the multitude of anxious buyers combing the internet for a home right now."

The residential market's resilience, especially, has local agents digging deep to meet the wave of buyers hoping to call Palm Beach and West Palm Beach "home". "We are seeing historically low inventory paired with skyrocketing demand," reports Ms. Coniglio McClure. "If a homeowner is considering selling their home, it is a missed opportunity not to list and cast a broad net to the multitude of anxious buyers combing the internet for a home right now." Quality of life, safety, sophistication, climate and that island lifestyle that only Palm Beach can offer are what buyers are seeking at the moment, and she attributes these factors as the driving force behind the market's upswing.

Financing, both commercial and residential, is also holding a strong place in this current market, according to Mr. Benjamin of First Republic Bank. He is lending "lots" these days. "The market was already strong, prior to the pandemic, and on the lending side of things we continue to see a steady increase. Whether it's new people to the market, with purchase financing, or people taking advantage of the great rates we're seeing in this environment right now, we're seeing just consistent deal flow." The Coudert Institute is beyond grateful to Mr. Benjamin and to the full panel of local real estate professionals for sharing their time and expertise to this programming. In concert, they offer a real time glimpse of a moment ripe with investment and other opportunities!

Watch the full Opportunity Knocks GARDEN CHATS episode through the above, or by by clicking HERE.

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"The arts teach us a thousand lessons," wrote Henry David Thoreau some two centuries ago. Thoreau's words ring true as we reflect back on last season's wonderful afternoon of thrilling opera arias, presented by the nineteen year old vocal phenomenon Charles Buttigieg, along with the brilliant accompaniment of virtuoso pianist Michael Davidman. The magic created together by these two gentleman has the power to impart us with continued wonder and wisdom, and we are delighted to share this Coudert Institute programming with you once again - this time in the pleasure of your own home!

Michael Davidman began studying piano at age five at the Greenwich House Music School then continued his studies with Efrem Briskin at the Manhattan School of Music. He completed his bachelor’s degree with Robert McDonald at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2019 Michael began his Master of Music degree studies at the Juilliard School under the guidance of Jerome Lowenthal and Stephen Hough, completing the four-year scholarship program with the Chopin Foundation of the United States and receiving numerous awards and scholarships along his journey.

An opera enthusiast, Michael has appeared on Philadelphia's WHYY station's On Stage at Curtis, National Public Radio’s From the Top and has been a frequent performer on New York's WQXR station's Young Artist Showcase with host Robert Sherman. In addition, Michael has performed at the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Sandler Center, Field Concert Hall, the Music Shed, Hahn Hall, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, DiMenna Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall, Bechstein Hall and in recitals throughout the globe.

 "The arts teach us a thousand lessons..."

Twenty year old baritone Charles Buttigieg, from Gozo, Malta, began singing at an early age and joined the Chorus Urbanus under the direction of John Galea in 2011. He studies voice with Juliette Bisazza from the Royal College of Music, Kensington, London. While attending the Mediterranean Opera Studio & Festival in Caltagirone, Charles was chosen by Jack Li Vigni to perform La bohème in Teatro Eschillo and Gela. Currently, Charles is studying at the famed the Curtis Institute of Music with Patricia McCaffrey. At Curtis, he has performed the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni, Mr. Fogg in Sweeney Todd and Spirit in Dido and Aeneas.

How fortunate were we, last winter, to relax back in wonder and beautiful music in the gardens at Villa Fiori! We hope that you will enjoy revisiting this experience brought to you by the Coudert Institute and will share this programming among your friends and family during this time. We look forward to gathering together in the arts, and in thoughtful dialogue, when we meet again next season.

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