Archive for January, 2011

January 31, 2011

Some news about France XII

Well again very cold around Paris/Versailles axis, temps in the freezing range, today it was -5°C  and tomorrow too morning temps going up to 2°C in the afternoons. For wednesday on the temps will go up again to about 0°C then all the way up to 7°C daytime.  The days to follow temps from 3°C to 12°C with chances of rain starting on Friday February 4 per Meteo France.

The roads are clear easy driving this morning, and now back at home for lunch and else…..I am giving training for end users ERP  SAP at company near La Defense. Then look for more wood for the chimney just in case…. prices have gone up from 38 € when I came to Versailles to now 62€ in just 8 years!!!

France won its fourth Handball world title beating Denmark after extra time 37_35 yesterday in Sweden. Spain won the bronze medal beating Sweden.

There is a great democratic movement going on in the world if you are not in tune. Keeping politics away, I am glad its happening and wish them the best of luck.

Hôtel de la Marine facing the place de la Concorde is in the process of finding a buyer or keep it under some kind of State/Heritage consortium and keep it open. It is a national heritage of great history and houses today the HQ of the French Navy.

February 2nd is the day of the Chandeleur in France, an old Christian celebration today known as the Day of the Crêpes, the famous Breton mouthfuls. Try it in my favorites in Paris at L’Avant-Comptoir, 3, carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006 Tél.+33 01 44 27 07 97. Open every day and crêpes from 3,50€. webpage with flash see “sauvorez les restaurants” section,

And, also, my jewel at Josselin ,near Montparnasse , 67 Rue du Montparnasse, 75014 by metro Edgar Quinet or Vavin, lines 6 and 4 respectively. no web Tel +33 01 43 20 93 50. A real slice of Bretagne in Paris.

Then, some have ask me for guides to show you Paris. My time is limited and I am not a qualify guide, so I have done some research in the Heritage Foundation or Fondation du Patrimoine, and these are reliable, experts, professionals who can guide you and give all the information you need before engaging them. These are in no particular order;

Fabienne Germé at  with webpage at

Pierre-Yves Jaslet, at, webpage at

Béatrice Hignard at , webpage at

Claude Marti,  at , webpage at

Christine Merle, at, webpage

Murielle Rudeau at, webpage at

Hope it helps those seeking this type of arrangements. Thats all for news from France. Have a great week everyone ::)

January 27, 2011

Some news from France XI

Well it seems cold and snow is the name of the day. Hearing big storms with heavy snow in New Jersey, and temps a bit cool for Florida. Here in the Paris region, weather is turning colder already. Calling for weather cloudy, low -4°C to high of 2°C, some rain and windy which will bring temps lower. I am ready chimney is clean, wood is plenty ,and cozy nights with raclettes are wonderful.

The great cartoon event once again in Angouleme is playing out now, today, my son participated last year with his school, and some of his work are in my house ::) If you love BD, cartoon series this is the event to be every year, practical information in English in pdf file here  .The main webpage in French is here

Saint Valentin is approaching Feb 14 and we are ready, are you ? Cuba Compagnie Bastille menu Valentin at 59€, more info here

theaters and restos will have plenty more in the coming days, but for sure the Lido will have a St Valentin evening at 175-250€ .

The city of Paris will have all the month of February balades=walks in areas of Paris “Paris Romantique” , I know for sure on the 1éme arrondissement. inquire at tourist office webpage in French

Le Cap Rouge, 23 rue Mouffetard will have a party showing your colors!!! Red if already in couple, Green ,single for the moment, Blue open I am available for whatever ::)

Beginning February 8 the SNCF, train consortium in France will increase 2,85% the price of travel on TGV,Teoz, and Lunea trains in France.

Some restos with the look of the IV Republique Française still in them. Retro look to the 1950’s. First,my favorite one is Chez Germaine,30, rue Pierre-Leroux, 75007. Tél. +33 01 42 73 28 34. open every day except Sundays. Open in 1953 ,and a pot-au-fou magnifique! no Web. Also, L’Auberge Bressane, 16, avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 75007, Tel +33 01 47 05 98 37; webpage Astier, 44, rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, 75011;tel +33 01 43 57 16 35; webpage Enjoy them !!!

The 11éme arrondissement or district of Paris was my introduction to the city by my girlfriend (today wife) back in 1990, see photo. This is twice as large of the more common districts of Paris central, with a lifestyle of its own or the “bobos”  of Paris with great plazas such as Republique, Nation, and Bastille. Great streets to walk with plenty of wonderful stores,and restos such as in rue Paul Bert, Parmentier, Rue de la Fontaine-au-roi, Trousseau, and Oberkampf. Here you will be wonderful at Bistrot Paul-Bert,  18, rue Paul-Bert . Tél.+33  01 43 72 24 01. try the agneau de lait roti au four (young lamb roast in oven..) no web.And for the best American bagels in Paris go to Chez Morri’s 1, rue de Charonne. Tél. +33 01 48 07 03 web.



Well I now getting the last details with the fam to go to Luxembourg this weekend. Its a regular trip for us for many years for a weekend out and out. Hopefully I am back in time to write more on my blog, lots of things to catch up. Happy weekend to all.

January 24, 2011

Some news from France X

Another first day of a week, skies a bit cloudy cool light rain falling in the area. I am in Nanterre “working” and eating in house.

The temps are now 4°C light rain falling, high this afternoon of 6°C, the coldest will be next Saturday at -4°C with a high of 1°C, mix days of cloudy,sunny,and rainy until February 1 according to Meteo France.

Finally Karim Benzema,the fame French footballer/soccer player at Real Madrid score a goal given his team a victory 1×0 over Mallorca in the Spanish league. Needs to do more to show for his high 35M€ salary.

The start of Fashion Week in Paris is today. Great haute couture will be exposing their newest all over the city in various venues including some palace hotels. The new news is the new designer of Alexandre Vauthier already wear by American singer Rihana. webpage,

The French César awards ,the equivalent of the American Oscar,have announced their nominees as for example best actor will be  Gérard Depardieu,Roman Duris, Eric Elmosnino, Lambert Wilson and Jacques Gamblin. Best actreeses will be Isabelle Carré, Catherine Deneuve,Sara Forrestier, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Best movie  L’Arnacoeur, Des Hommes et des dieux, Gainsbourg vie heroïque, Le nom des gens ,and The Ghost writer (French but with English name movie !). Best foreign films nominated are Inception (of American Christopher Nolan) The Social network (David Fincher, American), Invictus (latest of  Clint Eastwood, American), Bright star (New
Zealand ‘s Jane Campion) Les Amours imaginaires (Québec, Canada Xavier Dolan) Dans ses yeux (Argentina ,Juan José Campanella) Illegal (Belgium of Olivier Masset-Depasse). webpage ,

In 2010 the airline wars between Airbus and Boeing is continuing as Airbus began to pull ahead of its rival. 2010 orders were Airbus 574 and Boeing 530 while deliveries of aircraft in 2010 was Airbus 510 and Boeing 462.

Aemet ,the meteo agency in Spain is reporting very cold days ahead there. Especially in the North and North-East of the country with Teruel getting -12°C!, Zaragoza, Avila, -9°C, Barcelona -10°C etc. Strong rain and winds up to 70 Km/hr in the Canary Islands.

FITUR, the tourist fair is been held in Madrid as I write, the annual events draws thousands of the general public but also the professionals with new innovations and plans of travel, see webpage

As it has been done lately in Fontainebleau,and Versailles; it is now Chambord to do the same. It will open a deluxe hotel that will be ready by the end of 2011. It will have about 40 rooms in two buildings . You can keep track when officially announce at the castle webpage here

The winner according to Le Figaro magazine of the best financier cake in Paris is the bakery Hugo & Victor,40, bd Raspail, 75007. Tél. :+33  01 44 39 97 73. As well as branch at  7, rue Gomboust, 75001. webpage Ohh by the way the Financiers are not financial people, its a small cake usually eaten with coffee for breakfast, its like a coffee cake but done from the 19C in Paris.Try it, its great in the morning Lol!!!!

And did you know that France gastronomy is now part of UNESCO World Heritage sites as in Inmaterial section,given credit to the best culinary experience in the world !!! webpage

Have a nice week everyone ::)

January 20, 2011

Some news from France IX

Well the day is over for me of work that is. Its beginning to feel cold again, temps are now at 5°C but expected to be 1°C tomorrow , however, the alert for snow is off, so now its sunny, go figure with this Meteo France weather forecast. The best way is to come prepare and enjoy the stay no matter what. One sure site to keep track of weather is

If you want to keep track of France while still at home or away try the webcams nowdays there are numerous showing from cities to beaches, mountains etc. My favorites are from my area of course, Paris/Versailles. You can see them from the Paris tourist office click on the frames in the big map to pinpoint a specific monument,

SNCF the French rail company conglomerate has reported a 22,4% increase in revenue in 2010 even with the strikes (and they still keep raising the prices Lol!! including a 2-3% raise on TGV lines).

My twins boys competed first in a beyblade tournament at the Grand Recre store 14 rue d’Alésia, near Montparnasse station with competitors from all the region of Paris Ile de France. Gathering honorable mention awards. The French site for Beybladers is here

Last week they participated with their school in a basketball tournament in Val d’oise region 95 where one took gold  medal and the other silver medal in the tournament of various teams from the area.  This is their private school from the 18-19C ad that once house the doctor of Napoleon III.







January 17, 2011

Some news from France VIII

Well the weather has continue like indian summer in winter with rainy humid days, the sun tries to come out but goes back down again. Paris shows 10°C and Versailles 9°C rainy as of now 13h.  The tendency for the next few days is cloudy and rainy from 3-5°C highs until the 26 january according to Meteo France. Not bad at all, just bring a rainjacket.

The latest news is the City of Paris is trying for its exhibitions in its museums to extend the opening hours as too many complaint the public does not have enough time. Some nightime opportunities will surface soon. The Monet exhibition is gathering a wave with 850 000 people expected to see it at the Grand Palais.  All his major works will be on display there. it will start wednesday January 19 thru 24. webpage for more info in English, Spanish etc at

The north tower of the church of St Sulpice in renovation for eleven years its now done and glowing white. The tower is from the 17C. AD. It welcomes about 900 000 tourists per year in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris. It was the site of the novel Da Vinci Code later a movie. The first stone for the church building was in 1646 by Anne of Austria. The north tower is 71 meters high ( 234 ft) with four evangelical statues each weighting 20 tons.  The objects of the restoration and material use will be exhibit later on in the Musée Carnavalet from May 31 to July 4, 2011. The official church webpage in French

The American actress  Jodie Foster will be the presenter together with French  Antoine de Caunes for the 36e  César (the French Oscars) on February 25the at the théatre du Châtelet. webpage

The tramway T3 is getting bigger, public discussion tonite in Paris for the mayor to disclose the works to be done. The job is promise to be finish in 2012. The extension is for another 14,7 kms of tramways from Porte de la Chapelle to Porte d’Asniéres in the north perimeter of the boulevard periphérique. The tunnels for car users will be made less easy so folks like me to suffer again with more congestion in this already congested area coming into the A1 from CDG airport at porte de la chapelle. Stay tune.

More trend in eating places in Paris, the new fast food with gourmet credentials opening up lately are beginning to be a hit in the city, model after Italian trattorias. The new kids on the block are

Mio Padre, 18, rue Vignon, 75007. Tél. : 01 42 65 59 90. open every day except sundays from  10h – 20h. Formules : 7,50 €, 8,80 € and 10,90 €. Carte : about. 12-15 €. Plenty of good pasta and shreck ham like in Italy.

Terra Corsa42, rue des Martyrs, 75009. Tél. : 01 48 78 20 70. Open 10h- 21h30 (19h Sundays). Formules : 12 € and 15 €.Carte : about  20 €. To try the cold cuts and cheeses of Corsica.

Jeanne A, 42, rue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud, 75011. Tél. : 01 43 55 09 49.  Open every day except Tuesday and Wednesdays from  10h30 – 22h30. Carte : about. 25 €. Rotisserie style with chicken black feet of Challans, great.

Just a few for you on my latest culinary tries in and around Paris.

Have a great day in la belle France ::)

January 13, 2011

Some news from France VII

Ok so the bug is on, blogging is catchy. Here I am long lunch guys are out in meetings so, fire away new stuff. Just to show not all is old around here, something are cropping up new all over, Paris is forever, not to mention France ::)

La Gaité Lyrique, close for a long time is due to reopen March 2 2011. Built in 1861 this theater has seen its glory days gone before now been brought back alive. It is to be  a center of research ,studios, and concert halls (70-750 pers capacity), boutique, café. The place will be flexible as the walls will be the screens! 3 bis rue Papin, 75003, webpage

The Pinacothéque will have expanded space (3000 sq meters) and new stuff by January 26 opening. It has about 60 works of arts presented to the public for the first time . Collections from the Esterhazy family on loan from the museum of Budapest, work from the Romanovs tzars of Russia coming from the Ermitage, and the L’Or des Incas or the gold from the Incas . 28 place de la Madeleine, 75008. webpage

The musée de Luxembourg ,closed for 6 months and now reopens again on February 9 with an exhibition of German painter Lucas Cranach.  19 rue de Vaugirard, 75007. webpage

previously mentioned on Some news from France V, the musée de la Grand Guerre at Meaux is opening November 2011. The site is a rememberance to WWI and with emphasis on the battle of the Marne. More than 50 000 uniforms, objects, paintings, documents and weapons will be permanently exhibit. Route de Vareddes, departamentale road 405. webpage

The Club David Lynch, a very seclusive and private club Paris Social Club, will open by April 2011.  All concentrated around culture it will be by invitation with a member card.  The place will have a cinema MK2, library, arts gallery, and a large programming scheme of events with world renown arts. 142 rue Montmartre, 75002.webpage

Théatre de Trianon, a fantastic place inspired by Julien Labrousse, Abel Nahmias with a showroom of concerts with a small restaurant.Opening March 2011. 80, boulevard de Rochechouart ,75018.  webpage

The restaurant inside the Opéra Garnier is soon to finally see its day. As the site is a historical monument many arrangement had to be made to do so, but it seems that now by spring 2011 it will see the light .Many chefs are going for it, notably Alain Senderens. 8 rue de Scribe, 75009. webpage

In the process of renovation around quai de Conti, the Hôtel de la Monnaie,is going to have under chef Guy Savoy a new beginning . He will transfer to the hotel his restaurant of rue Troyon, and will open a metal cafe in the ground floor as well. opening expected for the Fall of 2011.  11 quai de Conti, 75006.webpage

Around Porte de Lilas, the Ciné Lilas will open by end of 2011. It will have 7 theaters of arts and essais . Rumors that it will ,also, have a créperie with new ingredients that cause no odor, smell and no noise to eat on site.  Place du Marquis du Vercors, 75020.webpage of the mayor’s office of the 20th arrondissement de Paris, (French)

Some stores of name will rise up by the chic Champs-Elysées Paris 8éme arrondissement notably the likes of Le Royal Eclaireur, 39 avenue Hoche. rendevous of Fashion Week, starts early March with the arts, fashion and design. webpage

And finally what many were expecting Abercrombie & Fitch will come in the old building of the Thai airlines at 23 avenue des Champs-Elysées. Making it the principal store for the marque and its European HQ. Opening expected late April early May 2011. not on webpage yet ::) webpage 

Banana Republic has also chosen the avenue to come on board, expected before end of 2011. By the current Adidas store on the avenue, nearby (22 ave C-E). not on webpage yet ::)  webpage

Levi’s will be here too by the old Planet Hollywood building at 76 avenue des Champs-Elysées. Opening for this year is uncertain as work has not begun, but its expected, so follow it up ok. Its coming to the AVENUE. webpage

New hotels like the Hotel Hi Matic, rue de Charonne, Bastille area, will be the new ecolo-techno place to stay in Paris with 42 rooms ,expected by March 2011. webpage

Mandarin Oriental will have its first hotel in France by next summer 2011. 247 rue Saint-Honoré, close to the Ritz and Costes. Expect to pay about 800€  per night, Paris is worth it. The hotel will have  138 rooms and suites ,a pool of 15 meters long ( 49.50 ft), and two restaurants, one a gastronomic one with 45 tables by chef  Thierry Marx,and a counter Asian style  Le Camelia where goodies from  Thaïland, China,  and Japan. In addition to a Champagne bar and cake shop where the pastries can be tasted on site or take home. webpage

W  Paris Opéra hotel, the chic brand from Starwood will come to the Opéra area by end of 2011. by rue Meyerbeer, 75009 .The ground floor and  mezzanine will have view over the Opéra Garnier and the lobby will be like a real living room where evenings will be celebrated. The service conciergerie promise to be a « whatever, whenever », worthy of the palace hotels. The decoration will be done by  Rockwell (with Diego Gronda as head of the team of designers)  ambiance « show off »will be the rigour. webpage

There you have it all the latest from Paris1972 and the French media Le Figaro. Hope you enjoy it. See you in heavens , I mean see you in Paris/Versailles soon.

January 12, 2011

Some news about France VI

well just got off as wednesdays is half day of school ,decided to come home with the family lol!!! so off to my blog I go, well the visitors have been inmense beyond expectations really, but the comments are a bit off, dont be afraid make my day!!! No tengan miedo de escribir en Español dejen sus comentarios en todo. Vous sont trop timide de laisse vos commentaires mais je sais beaucoup de visiteurs déjà !  feu vert n’a  pas peur d’écrire des commentaires!!!. Sei que você é muitos para ler o meu correio mas não temer escrever os seus comentários!!!!

So here are some updates gathered in my trip to the city of Paris today.

The first fountain giving sparkling water or gas water is allow in Paris. The 1 rue Albinoni, 75012 in the jardin de Reuilly, the fountain is call La Pétillante. It is totally free !!!!

Many ask for family activities in Paris and France, well my kids are now adult teens but the experiences here are great, the first site dedicated to children, family activities is out (AlloFamille or hello family) , in French, of course, but all is here original, if need help let me know.  In association with the movies site AlloCiné you can see the webpage here 

Some wonderful exhibition of the boat FRANCE, from the old cruising lovers, will be on displayed at the marine museum or musée de la marine. The dates are from February 9 to October 23. more info tel +33 01 53 65 69 53. webpage  you can ask for the program by hitting “demandez pour le programme” on the above link.

In Versailles, the opera will host on the 14 january CARMEN, and also, many activities to come and plan your visit when they are on, again in French but if need help let me know ,webpage

the nearby musée Albert Kahn, is showing its clichés japonais  from now until august, photos by Albert Dutertre, showing the soul of nature to the Japanese civilization, poetry of gardens, total 94 reproductions, 6 montages of films and an smartphone app plus a children tour of games. Leaving the English direction the above is in French on bottom right,”clichés japonais”.

Until January 31 at the museum (musée) Guimet you have an exposition of Mean, Beast, and the gods of the steppes. This is the first time will be shown in France, the history and heritage of the people of Kazakhstan. webpage

At Fontainebleau, the museum castle is holding an exhibition on Henri IV and the time of splendor at the castle in honor of his 4 century of his death. Until February 28 , webpage in english at

At the musée du Petit Palais the first expo on Giuseppe de Nittis, friend of Manet,and Degas, first time done since 1886. The life of boulevards in contrast with his native Italy. Until January 16. webpage

In the musée de la Poste, an exhibition on famous women Calamity Jane ,real name Martha Canary. It will be until March 12. webpage at 34 bd de Vaugirard, metro montparnasse-bienvenue exit place Bienvenue.

A new museum in Meaux dept seine-et-marne 77, to open in November 2011 will do a prelim at the musee Bossuet (bishop confessor of king Louis XIV and city of Meaux), cité episcopal in city center. easy to get from Paris gare de l’Est train station, you get the musée de la Grand Guerre. and an exposition on women in the war. Until March 31st.  The beginning of many expo and exhibition on the grand guerre or WWI . This is the area of the Battle of the Marne, and my wife native town. webpage 

At the musée Baccarat back in Paris, you will have an exhibition More real than nature, until May 15, the museum was redone by designer Philippe Starck. Crystal collection signed by great names of Designing/Art, nearly 300 works will be presented from the 19C to our days.  11 place des Etats Unis, metro Iéna, webpage

expo from February 1 to May 31 on fabrics sewing and haut couture at the Musée Bourdelle. Inspired on the stylist of curtains antiques, sort of sculptures of artist Alix Grés, you can see 200 pieces of the collection of the museum of or musée Galliera. 15 rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 metro montparnasse-bienvenue. in French for this city museum webpage

Go to La Geode to see until February 2nd, the Sea Rex 3D for a trip across time which is spectacular, you go thru the eras Triassic, jurasic,and Cretacea to find animals very much still unknown like the Mosasaure or Liopleurodon see it is a must while here. webpage

From February 8 to March 15 at the musée du Quai Branly, you will have expo on Christian Lecroix collection on women of the East. Dresses from Syria,Jordan, Palestine,and the Sinai Desert with magnificent dresses to showcase the women of the region. webpage

Versailles ,again, from March 1 to June 19, the Thrones, in the Grands Appartements of the chateau come to see mythical and luxurious chairs and thrones of the world, about 50 of them from all civilisations.  Not yet translated to English i think, see it in French webpage

At the théatre Comédie de Paris, see Ary Abittant a la Folie from January 13, this is a great producer and you will love his plays. This one is about a happy man that ask for divorce and ask for cooking recipes to learn with a tenor voice to boot, really crazy and funny. from January 13, hurryup or I take your place !! webpage

Théatre de la Madeleine is another wonderful theater! Showing from January 15 to April the diplomacy of André Dussolier as ambassador of Sweden to Paris in 1944 facing Niels Arestrup as Gen Von Choltitz. webpage

and from January 21 at the Théatre des Bouffes Parisiens, you will have an ordinary day or Une Journée Ordinaire. With not but only Alain Delon with his daughter Anouchka playing !!! Playing as father and daughter and the difficulties of life but they are real !!! marked::) webpage

And if you need to try get cheaper theater tickets in Paris for the above or others, go to Le Kiosque Théatre at these locations, place de la Madeleine, Parvis Montparnasse, Place des Ternes in Paris. You can get same day playing for half the price plus 3€ commission per placing. From Tuesdays to saturdays 12h30 to 20h, Sundays 12h30 to 16h. webpage in French,

If you have a group of friends (up to 25 maxi) visiting or partaking Paris and like movies with dinner, you can try renting from these people, I had two events there and they are wonderful. Cine privé Le  Germain Paradisio 75006. 25/27 rue de Bucci. You choose the film you want to see from a selection offered could be classics, contemporary or sports events with a next door cafe restaurant Thierry Costes with a set menu served in a private room. webpage contact

and well since I shop at H&M there is a new Lanvin line to be sold in the stores for men and women plus accessories. webpage for paris stores 54 bd Haussmann is near the great dept stores.

for those parfums lovers or perfums lovers, the ones that are claimed by fashion magazines here to be still in vogue are Fleur de Cristal by Lalique, Trésor by Lancôme, Shalimar by Guerlain, Boucheron, Midnight in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels, Private by IKKS, Belle d’Opium by Yves-Saint-Laurent, Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolph, Azzaro Duo, La nuit de l’homme by Yves-Saint-Laurent, Burberry Brit Limited, Play for here by Givenchy, L’eau de l’Amour by Kenzo, Big Pony collection by Ralph Lauren, and J’Adore l’Or by Dior.

A new bar à hors-d’oeuvres  that is just dandy open recently call L’Avant-Comptoir, 9 carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006. tel +33 01 44 27 07 97. open 12h to 23h. This was an old créperie. Tapas a la French in small portions from cold cuts to macaron au boudin noir, and a great croque-monsieur with beef and rocquefort cream that is delicious. You can stand up by the bar or reserve a table.  This is a relation to my previous mentioned Le Comptoir du Relais next door and same owners, webpage

and last my favorite products and a recipe from the Maison Lafitte foie gras experts, store in Paris at 8 rue Jean du Bellay,75004 on the I’Ile Saint-Louis. tel +33 01 43 26 08 63. webpage cant go wrong here, the best from France ::)

Foie Gras de Canard poélé aux raisins (its with duck) ,ingredients are

1 foie gras de Canard, (duck) extra Lafitte, 1 can of sauce aux raisins Lafitte,1 small can of raisins without seeds Lafitte, 1 glass of Porto wine,2 big spoons of Armagnac (French brandy cousin of cognac but not the same Lol!), 2 big spoons of fine sugar, salt and pepper to taste. And you do it as such,

put on a casserole ,deep pan ,etc, the armagnac,porto, and fine sugar a day before, next day reduce it to about half the quantity in it with slow  cooking fire. Take out the foie gras and put them in slices along with sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste separated by about 1 cm, close together but not touching. Take out the liquid from the raisins and make them come slowly on cooking fire with some butter melted with it. Warm up a big pan anti stick surface and make roast the foie gras on the two faces for about one minute and take them out squeezing out the grease. Add to the pan the reduce porto, and the sauce aux raisins. Let them boil along with the heat from the previous step, while rubbing the foie gras above it. Add the seedless raisins, mix in all softly and serve on hot dishes. Use plastic spatulas on the foie gras to handle gently and softly while serving them. Bon Appétit !!!!

January 10, 2011

Some news about France, V

Well it seems flooding is becoming constant recently, on the events worldwide, we need to tell you France ,also ,has its flooding especially in the North. The departments of  Oise , Aisne, Nord, and the Ardennes are on Orange alert or the medium serious level of warning in France. This in addition to last week in Fourmies in the dept Nord, where evacuations were needed. So if thinking of going in the area check the weather reports.

In general the weather has been mild lately with temps even at 12°C high and lows of 0°C.  Rains will play a role on several days to come so bring an umbrella ::)

We are getting ready for the Census of the population in my area from January 20th to February 26 2011, census takers will be stopping by our houses to take information. Already estimated the population in my region of Ile de France will grow by 10% in 2040 due to births while more adults will leave the area. It is estimated the population will be by 2040 at 12.7 mill from the current 11.6 mill.

The luxury hotels in Paris are getting ready for a facelift due primarily from the increase in tourism and the arrival of some heavy hitters like the Shangri-là, Royal Monceau, Mandarin Oriental, Majestic Peninsula will be done by 2012. The regal grands to have some renovations done so ask for rooms and direct info if planning on staying on them are as follows:

Crillon ,under new owner saudi arabian prince Mishal, they will put about 60-70 Mill € on the hotel.  Plaza Athénée just purchase 3 adjacent buildings for expansion of rooms and meeting salons.  George V is ongoing renovation by block of floor for 2 years and only! 20M€ for carpets, electricity, and decorations. Prince de Galles is going to close for one year from February 15  to do a complete make over trying to obtain the five stars nomination.  Meurice is going to renovate its kitchens,and columns for about 2M€ while already renovated the ground floor with designer Philippe Starck. The Bristol, already 15M€ invested with new rooms, and a new restaurant.  Only the Ritz stays without, waiting for a buyer to do so….stay tune. Info taken from the Le Parisien newspaper in French of today January 10 2011.

Ryanair will close its hub at Marseille effective tomorrow,no more flying there. There allegations by French authorities of using sub normal hiring practices and under pay employees some even illegals, when face with allegations, the airline chose to leave !!! While Air France traffic increase 2% in December 2010 from previous year.

Voyages-SNCF the travel site in France connected with the public transportation system but allows you to book almost anything on it, and I use regularly, has now come up starting today with the “google of travel” call Hexago, a search engine that will allow users to find information more easily according to the journal on travel Quotidiene du tourisme.

The hotel Méridian Montparnasse will now be call Pullman Paris Montparnasse from now on. Manage by the French group ACCOR.

ETA the terrorists in the Basque country of Spain has announced a cease to hostilities, one more time. Permanence that will be able to be verify by the International community. Hope it lasts.

One great actor and one of the oldest living Real Madrid FC socios in the world Juanito Navarro passed away today at age 86 in his native Madrid, RIP.

and last but not least, we just finished having our traditional Galette des rois or king pie with the family done every epiphany where we eat the pie with almond paste or apple strudel type and hope to find the figurine inside that make us king or queen for the day! I won this year for the first time Lol!!! I am the KING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 1, 2011

Some news about France IV


THE WORLD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes I just wake up its 14h in Versailles, sunny cool day, and still sober hehehehe. Hope yours was as eventful as mine was at Les Tirs aux Pigeons, Paris 16 (see my entry on new years celebration).

The weather now its good, Versailles is 1°C will be as high as 7°C later in the week until the 7th January where snow and ice is expected again for a couple of days. Paris is 2°C now, will be as high as 8°C later on, and will have snow and ice by the 8th January for a couple of days. IF the weather folks are right ……

Today amazing some stores are open along ave de Paris in Versailles and the marche de Notre Dame area, thats it. In more active Paris, you have the  rue Montorgueil area many businesses open . Also some are open around  Rue Poncelet and Rue Bayen near  Ternes in the 17 district or arrondissement you have cheese, bakery, wine merchant and fish market open today. Another area is around parc Monceau  at rue de Lévis  still in the 17ar.  In the 14ar you can try the rue Daguerre where the fish market and wine merchant Peret are open until afternoon. In the 15ar, it will be possible to do some shopping in the commercially heavy streets of rue du Commerce and rue de la Convention .  However, the biggest open market will be by the ave des Champs-Elysées where the majority of stores will be open.  Here they have a merchant association you can see here at the official site for this wonderful street the best in the world .

AND, talking about shopping the winter sales period officially kick off here on January 12 2011 by 8h (8 AM). So plenty of official discounts periods to shop wisely and intelligently as not all discounts are really good “discounts”.  The sale will run to February 15th. The official rules are  5 weeks in winter and  5 weeks in summer, there could be extended times in heavily touristic areas. Each merchant will propose 2 additional weeks for clearance sales along the year. The merchant choose 2 consecutive weeks or not. The periods of free sales will have to end at least one month before the period of controlled fix sales like the winter and summer periods.

In advance from Paris1972, the summer sales will begin on Wednesday June 22 2011 and will run to  Tuesday August 3rd 2011.Planning is of the essence! Info from the French govt service public administration site.

And welcome Estonia to the Euro zone, 17th member and growing. Easier for all ::)  200 swimmers jump into the water at Dunkerque to celebrate the New Year in thiiis cold waters lol!!! I rather drink Champagne ::)  Over the Saint Sylvestre New Year period already 400 millions SMS/MMS or text messages over mobile phones have been sent in France a record !!!

And like every new year in France, everything goes up ,prices that is ,and of course we craint a bit more. Minimum wage is now gross 1365 € per month or 9€ brut per hour. However, we will pay one euro more for the doctor visit to 23€ (social security remburse up to 22€ so we end up paying only one euro for doctor visit). auto and home insurance will go up from 3-8%  and of course dont forget to keep an eye in July for the raises on public transport ::)

Finally , one figure that might surprise many but not me, the hotels in Paris are full as of end of November statistics from the Deloitte firm that tracks these figures in France. All top end hotels from 3 stars up are moving up from 5-8% higher occupation and higher revenues than same period last year!! The losers? the 2 stars and below. So I guess more people with bucks are coming over ? Cheers ::)

Just this in dont want to wait for another bulletin, but Paris will be under video protection by 2012 and it will start in 2011 at certain areas first like the district 7, 8,16, and 18 (arrondissement) with about 250 cameras. The news is in French at Le Parisien newspaper, and it list if you toggle down all the emplacement foreseen in Paris. Feel more protected Lol! A way to spend money without jobs!!!

Cheers y’all!!!


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