John's father grew up in Budapest, and John grew up hearing about it, filtered through the oddly appealing love/hate lens of nazism and communism and Central European nostalgia. His father left in the mid-30s, and never went back until a 1975 week-long visit. But Hungary lived within him throughout his colorful career as a journalist, popular historian (author of the books that the films Patton and Tora, Tora, Tora were based on), propagandist and operative for Radio Free Europe. He died in 1980. Jeanne's father was from Paris, leaving for the USA in his early childhood during the Depression. In the USA he spent his life welcoming guests at some of NYC most fashionable and colorful restaurants. John and Jeanne grew up with a feeling for European hospitality, US amenity, and modern technology, and their apartments try to blend all three of these seamlessly.