Archive for May 12th, 2011

May 12, 2011

Some news from France XLV

Here is a cool breeze today, and I am home this morning telling myself well what? So went up to the vexin français natural park near me and just drove around visiting places for a next post. the weather is cool indeed and the sun is hot ,go figure these times. Rain is announced for the weekend oh well times change so fast. At these times always come prepare with a rainjacket.

A test for Paris, from June 1st  to August 31th the police in the Champs-Elysées area will have electric tricycles to ride on !!! They chose the California USA base  T3 i Motion  equipment. Some other cities like Nice already use Sedways.  The T3 i Motion can turn 360° angles and with speed of up to 40 km/h.(25 mph) ,they are 1,38 m long (4.55 ft)and have a 50 kms autonomy with recharge electric in a few hours.

Some irregularities found in the giving of the lighting contract for the city of Paris, so the prefet of  IDF is filing suit to have it removed and bring back to bidding. Yes, the places you see lit at night such as  Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Panthéon, etc (not includes the Eiffel tower) as well as ten of thousands of lamp posts and red lights in the city  ,the contract was for 800M€  given to  Bouygues and Vinci, for Ten years was attacked by the prefet of ile de France region  Daniel Canepa. It seems to me its political more than anything else.

Due to the increase in highway death the region of Ile de France where Paris/Versailles are will enforce the highway safety including the idea of eliminating the warning panels on over speed on the roads now shown. Any excess of speed of more than  50 km/h  over the legal limit will be qualify as a crime,which means the driver could face prison terms and not just a fine. Alcohol while driving the level stays at 0,8 g (with between  0,5g and 0,79g, it is a fine or taking of points),however anything over that will be penalised with 8 points!! (we have max of 12 or no more license).  The telephone cellular/mobile will have the sanctions increase as well by given you a fourth class penalty which means 4 points and min of 90€ fine. This is just dandy before the summer vacation big time in France, again another political motivation deal as elections are next year.

Coming on summer indeed, so here comes the tartes au fraises or strawberry pies abound. The recent survey by Le Figaro shows the best in Paris to be Gérard Mulot, 76 rue de Seine 6éme. Jacques Genin, 133 rue de Turenne 3éme, Dalloyau, 101 Faubourg Saint-Honoré 8éme, Ladurée, 16 Rue Royale 8éme, and my favorite Carette at 25 pl des Vosges 3éme came in 8th place.

My other passion is eating out ,see my blogroll at the bottom of my blog for Cityvox, I write reviews in French there; the 2011 ranking of the best restos in Paris by the locals came out as such,the list is 273 strong with a rating of 3,5 or more from max of 5 stars. So just glad to know some of my favorites are in the top 10 such as Chez Chartier, Le Chalets des Iles, Le Vin qui Danse, etc.  Some other of my favorites towns and my marks wre there are at Lille where Chez Max is on top, Nantes ,La Cigale 2nd, Strasbourg, Le Tire Bouchon,3rd, Lyon, Brasserie Georges 1836 , 1st. Restaurant d’Olivier ,9th. Bordeaux, Au Bouchon des Chartrons, 6th, La Belle Epoque, 10th, see them all here

Come and enjoy a nice meal in the beautiful gardens of the Maison de l’Amérique latine in Paris, nothing latin american in the meals ,all is French ::) Plus see over 10 sculptures in bronze by the Mexican artist Juan Soriano (1920-2006) in the  Cour Ovale  until July 13 from tuesdays to saturdays at 14h. metro sulferino rue de bac, 217 blvd Saint Germain; webpage for the Maison at 

The event Paris,quartier d’ êté will come back this year to its usual place at the Palais Royal in the cour des Invalides. There it will host dance, music,cinema from July 14 to August 9th,especially dont missed the free nights on July 14  The Manganiyar, a great spectacle of Indian music and dance,and the August 9th the show of the movie under the stars, of  Duellistes, of Ridley Scott, and Hôtel des Invalides  of Georges Franju. webpage

The IN place for the best of Spanish products is Bellota Bellota at 18, rue Jean-Nicot, tél. +33 01 53 59 96 96 , this is celler and grocery store with the best hams iberians, oils, and canned goods. You can snack on site midday and evenings if a bit pricey. webpage

The new movie by Woody Allen is out,  Midnght at  Paris, (Minuit à Paris) is a rave, all is looking forward to see it , another American dream for Paris, and this one is just as good as the other ones, Paris Je t’aime !!! This is what Mr Allen said at the Le Figaro newspaper which I am translating here,  “I felled in love with Paris in 1964, I was writing one day for the play of the movie what’s New Pussycat. I was staying at the Hôtel George V. This adventure lasted 8 months! At the end I was thinking of staying permanently.  I would have been able to purchase a small apartment on the attic types, and lived at the heart of Paris city of Lights. I was young, single,and love this city. I spent my times on the Champs-Élysées, to read wholly the books at  library Shakespeare & Company,or just walked in the streets of the  Quartier latin. However, all my friends were at  New York. Alors, and I stop thinking about this dream. I regret a bit today having done that decision”.  A bit more on the interview, He stayed for the movie a the Hotel Bristol, and ” One more time, it was marvelous, like all New Yorkers we like to walk a lot , and I love to walk on parc Monceau, go on by the quais or edge of the Seine river, take coffee at the Saint Germain area, and cross the bridges over the Seine, like the sumptous  pont Alexandre-III”  In the last film  there are scenes at Maxim’s and the Moulin Rouge, lower end of rue Mouffetard, and high on the montagne Sainte-Geneviève. ­ And as he told in mid voice, ” Paris, its  New York, but a bit more beautiful !”.

Cheers, yes Paris is eternal, a movable feast but so is France ::)

May 12, 2011

Some news from Spain VII

Well here we are on Spain, the biggest news is the quake that just hit twice the town of Lorca in the province of Murcia. Richter scale of 5,2, already about 10 deaths and over 170 wounded, and many more on the streets without a home.  The A7 road has been cut direction Almeria for precaution, and many building some historic has been destroyed. It is estimated that 80% of the houses have been damage to some extend. The Army and Civil Guard has sent renforcement for the law and order and to help on the cleaning. The National govt has promised help in any way possible no matter the expenses. I hope the locals are able to be ok and pull out of this one.

For most temps are from 11°C to 24°C and rain only in the northeast areas of Spain, generally speaking.

Real Madrid has won and Barcelona tied so mathematically the champion of the Liga 2010-11 is Barcelona. Real Madrid beat Getafe 4×0 with 3 goals from CRonaldo that puts him in the league for the pichichi or league top scorer with 34 goals .

The singer Carlos Baute has officially open the feast of San Isidro in Madrid with a song “pregon” or prayer song, so the party is officially on.  San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid.  More on the program in this pdf file

The third football/soccer team from Madrid the Rayo Vallecano is due to move up to the premier division or Liga BBVA in its next game vs Elche today at 22h at home in the stadium Teresa Rivero at Vallecas,Madrid.

The public channel of the Autonomous Region of Madrid, Telemadrid will show from the Feria de San Isidro the best bullfight of the event, with toreros Morante de la Puebla, Alejandro Talavante ,and Arturo Saldívar this Sunday at 19h.

In Alcala de Henares this weekend coming will be the Ruta de las Tapas or route of the tapas with many restos participating such as Bar Mesón Castilla La Mancha,Sidrería Sagasti,La Taberna de Rusty,Nino,Casa de Extremadura,Gambrinus Alcalá,Lola,El Corte Inglés,13 Vinos,El Caserón Plaza,Macondo,Mushka,La Gran Pulpería de Alcalá, and Mesón el Gallego.

The XXVIII Festival de Otoño en Primavera or Festival of Fall in the Spring has this year 34 shows of  Theater, Dance, and Music plus Circus. There will be about 30 companies from 13 countries, 26 international shows and 31 grand opening shows unique. You will see it from May 11 to June 5 in various places in Madrid and province of Madrid.  Some of these places will be Teatros del Canal, Circo Price, La Casa Encendida, Teatro Fernàn Gomez, Matadero-naves del Español, Teatro de La Abadia, Teatro Español, and Sala Cuarta Pared. More info at

Real Cafe Bernabeu at the stadium, emblematic ,and my hangout when in Madrid. It has two floors with a huge glass window that lets you see the playing field for more than 50 meters (165 feet) . You can enjoy a mediterranean cuisine like ham croquettes, torta del Casar ( a great cheese), ham of Guijuelo(Salamanca, best iberian ham)  russian salads, tenderloin carpaccio and cheese, or Iberian  pig bones with wine sauce, as well as lighter dishes while sipping some great Madrid wines or Rioja. At Door 30 of the stadium , metro Line 10 Santiago Bernabeu ,webpage

The history and sound of the Flamenco art of living from its birth at the end of the 18C top today will be shown at the Caixa Forum, Paseo del Prado,36, Madrid. From now until June 6th, webpage

Another great family restaurant of many events with local friends and family in Madrid, Resto Ribeira do Miño, if you want Galicia in your plate then come here, as typical and genuine as it gets away from Galicia, just try the marisqueria in the picture for 45€ for two persons for dinner. Metro Tribunal at santa brigida, 1, webpage

And for some nice apartment rentals at good prices try this site

Have a wonderful week and coming week end. Cheers

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