Are you looking for a good book to read in this “down time”? Let me recommend the story of Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, also known as “la Belle Créole.” She was a Cuban-born star of 19th century Parisian society. She befriended aristocrats and artists alike, including Balzac, Baron de Rothschild, Rossini, and the opera diva La Malibran.
And her life was rather interesting. We chatted with Alina a few years ago and found her book fascinating.
This is the 2014 interview, where I was joined by Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz for the discussion: