Some news from France XX

Well the week started well, as usual rain and rain grey and grey humid and humid blah blah blah. We should continue like this until the end of February; with mostly damp rainy days and some clouds coming out, temps from 0°C  the 23 Feb to 12°C the 25 Feb. So be prepared or be squared ::)

Some statistical curiosities that were brought to my attention are about the French; we are the most pessimistic for 2011 with 61% on the economic front; we eat pizzas the most with about 10 kgs per person more than double the Italian and just behind the Americans with 13kg in the world; the most mobile students in Europe with 30 000 Erasmus student in 2009; we have the most dirty restrooms/toilettes  in Europe; the most savers in Europe with 16,2% ratio and the least to use credit; 43% are not happy with a capitalist system, preferring a more equitable model; we spent the most time on the table to eat with 130 minutes tops in the world, and sleep the longest 8H; we are the best build for love with an average penis of 16 cm in the world; we work less but are more productive with generation of 25,10 USD GDP while the Americans come at 24,60 USD!; and 38 days of vacation we are tops in the world baby! now dont worry this is just came out in MSN ::)

The ICAA or International Civil Aviation Authority has critized the US government idea to include in their budget a tax of 5,50 USD for every Canadian visitor! In the meantime the waves of freedom and democracy continues in Northern Africa and the Middle East, bravo for the people; democracy is good for everybody.

Opéra Garnier ,Paris ,had one of its best year ever with a 94% occupancy rate for its events in 2010 according to Le Figaro newspaper. Looking forward to 2014 , the French President is working to open a Maison de l’histoire de France, sort like a museum with loans from about other 14 institutions, such as  Les Eyzies, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Pau, Cluny, Écouen, la Malmaison, Compiègne, Fontainebleau , and  Musée des plans et reliefs.Originally it will be house in the current Archieve Nationale that I eluded in one of my post will be shortly transfer out of the city of Paris. Others like the Memorial Caen will join later on too. Stay tune….

The French are preparing to build a sort of the pentagon in the USA in Paris, to regroup the 15 sites now housing about 9300 federal defense employees in France. it will be the biggest construction project of the decade with 8,5 hectares ( 21 acres). This will be done in the Balard site in the 15 arrondissement de Paris,south of the city;metro line 8 and tramway T3 will get you there if you dare.

the Chateau de Versailles will have an hommage to Venice this summer 2011 under the title «Venise Vivaldi Versailles».and it will be with gondolas and all, keep an eye on the castle webpage for updates.

The top 30 French actors better paid in 2010 are as follow according to Le Figaro, in Euros

1Marion Cotillard, 2,35 M,2Jean Dujardin 2,3 M, 3Kad Merad 2,25M, 4 Romain Duris  2, 04M,5Gérard Depardieu 2 M 6Franck Dubosc 1,74 M,7Michael Youn 1,7 M,8Benoit Poelvoorde 1,6M,9Clovis Cornillac 1,4 M,10Vanessa Paradis 1,3 M,11 Gilles Lellouche 1,25M,12Roshdy Zem 1,2M,13Audrey Tautou 1,125 M,14 Jean Reno 1,1 M, 15Mathilde Seigner 1 M, 16Lambert Wilson 999.000 ,17José Garcia 995.000,18Fabrice Lucchini 990.000,19Nathalie Baye 900.000,20Benoit Magimel 890.000,21François Cluzet  780.000, 22 Sophie Marceau 765.000, 23 Catherine Frot  700.000, 24 Albert Dupontel 650.000 ,25Diane Kruger  572.000 ,26Isabelle Huppert 550 000, 27 – Kristin Scott Thomas and Catherine Deneuve 500.000 ,28Sylvie Testud 490.000, 29Karin Viard 425.000 ,30Cécile de France 378.000.

Now obviously I do not rent apartments/hotels etc in the Paris region because I live here for the last 8 years, and before that stay with family for many years going back to 1990,so my experiences have been on location, word of mouth of the expat community in Paris, and feedback from other relatives too large to house or friends too numerous that have come over. These are the reliable ones in my opinion over the years: updated 2011.

http://www.parisattitude.com/  ,http://www.apartmentparis.fr/ , http://www.lodgis.com/fr/ , http://www.paristay.com/ , http://www.locaflat.com/indexfr.php , http://www.citea.com/  , http://www.parisianhome.com/ , http://www.apartment-rentals-paris.com/ , http://www.all-paris-apartments.com/fr/ , http://www.homelidays.co.uk/ (this one I know is great because use to rent in the south and Spain) . There are many others including an English language magazine distributed all over Paris that has listings too, www.fusac.fr  It should give you a good start, and keep you good.

In addition for those on the hotel trail, there are very good French chains that I use for many years such as ACCOR, and Louvre. I will give out those webpages here, http://www.contact-hotel.com/ ;  http://www.inter-hotel.fr/ ; http://www.citotel.com/ ; http://www.louvrehotels.com/en/index.html ; http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/usa/index.shtml ; http://www.logishotels.com/en.html  ; never gone wrong with any of these properties.

Enjoy France, its a movable feast in its entirety ::)

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