Archive for March, 2012

March 27, 2012

Some news from France LXV

We have many things to tell you about France, and Paris, and Versailles and well, all of them are a movable feast indeed!!!

One near me that I have been once, and will have promise to come back is the Institut Franco-Americaine de Rennes, where they will have American artists in Pont-Aven then and now :: conférence Thursday April 12 at 18h30 in English.  The importance of Pont-Aven in the artistic development of Gauguin is well known.  Less known is the fact that this village in Brittany was an artist colony created by American artists 20  years before Gauguin arrived !  Who were these artists and what did they create there ?  When Americans returned to Pont-Aven as teachers and art students at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art, they were now the avant-garde, while Gauguin’s work is accepted and revered.  How are these artists reacting today to the same history and beauty of Pont-Aven so admired for 150 years; by Caroline Boyle-Turner,she has an Ph.D. Columbia University in Art History. She has created the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art where she was the Director from 1994 to 2008, and continue a career of conference lecturer. Free admission information at +33  02 99 79 89 23 | contact@ifa-rennes.org  if you want to know more about the Institute, sponsored by the US embassy in France, see the webpage http://www.ifa-rennes.org/index.php?lang=en

New rules for the train travelers in France by SNCF the French railroad company. For those traveling in TGV and InterCités trains, first change will allow the traveler which the departure is cancelled or delay by more than an hour to have a proposal given, or reimbourse in cash if so wishes ,this is including the tickets that were originally purchased non remboursable as the Prem’s.In addition, the guarantee will be given even if the delayed or cancellation is not the fault of the SNCF. The other novelty is the clients without a seat given for the trajects of more than 1h30  will be replace by the onboard chief inspector including those in first class and given a discount coupon for the next trip going from  10-30 euros. All these two innovation will take effect by the end of this month or first of April. 

and my train station of old the gare Saint Lazare is having  a new look!!! 10 000 square meters full of shops, with 80 boutiques and hours open until 21h even 22h In the old room the Salle des pas perdus, the new hall has a glass gallery of 200 meters long; the work allows for 3 addtional floors, at the metro level and two more of parking to welcome 250 cars !!!yes!!! and 50 motos. The passenger information will be provided with 300 tv screens. This train station welcome about 450 000 passengers per day and almost 1600 trains. This is the second highest frequency in Europe just behind the other Parisien station ,gare du Nord. I mentioned in previous post a Burger King will open there too ,a first in France and comeback of the chain to France.

Enjoy the Art Fair at the Grand Palais, the art event of the year missed again, 120 international galleries on tap from March 29th to April 1st 2012 see it all here http://www.artparis.fr/2012/fr/

Another apartment site in Paris CobbleStay, for your lodging pleasure, check it out here http://www.cobblestay.com/?loc=interstitialskip

And yet another to live like a Parisien, and lodging plus private tours, Rue Amandine, http://www.rueamandine.com/

An American n Paris for private tours and walks of the city ,Michael Osman, check it out at http://web.me.com/parisfind/Discover_Paris/About_Me.html

This I have reported before the IN place in Paris now by a new neighborhood to tourist the 19th . I was there when it was being constructed by the impulse of the folks at St Christopher’s nearby hostal. See the activities at the La Rotonde Place Stalingrad 6-8, place de la Bataille,    Stalingrad, Paris,75019 and the webpage http://www.larotonde.com/

And in French my favorite paper guide of Paris, and also online The l’officiel des Spectacles, see the site here http://www.offi.fr/  events, concerts, theaters, restaurants ,cinema, art, all the wonders of Paris in one little magazine, you can purchase at any tabac kiosk or maison de la presse.

Sad news need to post here asap, the poney club at the jardin d’acclimatation in Paris is going to close.My kids rode there when little, so sad to read in the Le Parisien newspaper that a company that runs it part of the group LMVH has decided to close the club. !!! It already had 600 members, 12 employees,45 poneys and 4 horses, there since 1997. Sad story.

Last but not least, a wonderful site to see all the subways,metros,and tubes of the world including Paris bien sur,http://www.amadeus.net/home/new/subwaymaps/en/

Enjoy Paris, France, and all French ::)

March 24, 2012

Some news from France LXIV

Here we are another weekend, and the start of spring, great period. The weather has change, we have sunshine all over, up to 24C! and expecting 21C for tomorrow and sunny again. We change the time tonite, advance one hour to our clocks, so make sure you are in tune or miss your date ::)

I am home, still can call it home at Versailles, we went by Saint Germain en Laye today, its great to see the neighborhood lol!!! I guess the spring weather took people out, it was full, we park at the chateau at level -4 today, lowest ever.

In the news from this weekend, the Tour Montparnasse in Paris will be in lights, a first. Each day at sunset, the tower of 210 meters high will be illuminated. With a system that will save energy when turn on,  972  leaded rulers will be put in each floor and 58 projectors at the last floor will cover the coverage of lights.

To celebrate the passage of the new time ,one hour ahead ,the ice cream brand Miko will have a bath in the river Seine by choosing 100 persons at 9h15 tom to go into the water!! between the Port d’Iena and the Port du Suffren. So go tomorrow MArch 25 at 9h15 to do this, if you are around and time is ok as was a bit late in telling you about it,sorry.Métro : Bir-Hakeim or Trocadéro.

The world wine consumption is rising, YES! and France is on top…YES!!  An increase over last year of 0,7%, with  241,9 millions hectoliters (Mhl). Help by sales to Chinese and Americans. In France the consumption is at 47,4 hl and we take the estimate on tourists consumption ,the locals stays at about 40 hl per person. The consumption in FRance increase by 3,5% last year. The nearest competitor remains Italy. While in Champagne and cognac, the main French market remains the United States.

You have a site the Maison de l’Histoire de France that you can see 1000 sites interactives of the history of France, great! http://www.maison-histoire.fr/evenements/agenda-culturel-regions/carte-interactive/

Just to show you today Nice and the Savoy became French!

A great expo on Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi, where the family gave most of his work to a museum near the Cathedrale de Sainte Cecile, and it is now put together a great exhibition on him thanks to loans from the musée d’Orsay, to see asap. http://www.museetoulouselautrec.net/horaires-et-tarifs-toulouse-lautrec.html

New and artsy place at 13, rue Tiquetonne 2éme is the Art Room, very nice black walls, and very hypnotic place with DJ in second floor, need to try it.Its good,different in Paris.  Just behind Tour Jean Sans Peur, Metro Etienne Martel

The low flyer Corsairfly part of TUI France now has a new name, Corsair International, great direct flights from Paris Orly to the Americas especially a nice one to Miami FLA USA.  Also, Iberia Express is officially on for low cost flights from Spain.  First flights Madrid -Alicante,  http://www.iberiaexpress.com/ .  New one from my new base at Nantes, Volotea, Spanish low carrier ,  14 destinations :  France, Corsica, Biarritz (link to Lille as well), Metz-Nancy, Perpignan and Toulon. Rest of Europe to Ibiza, Milan Orio al Serio (near Bergamo), Minorca, Munich, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Prague and  Valencia. webpage http://www.volotea.com/en/

Now that Spring is back, my favorites Paris gardens are Parc Monceau, Jardin du Luxembourg,les Buttes Chaumont,Jardin des tuileries, Jardin des Invalides, and the Parc Montsouris.  Enjoy them with moderation ::)

At the Chateau de Versailles, the Portuguese artist born in Paris Joana Vasconcelos, will be the invited guest to show her sculptures ,some produce exclusively for the occasion.  Expo shown to public from June to September 2012. Then see the ladies that lived in the Trianons, from July 3 to October 7 2012 at the Grand Trianon. Lastly jog down the date not to missed the story of Madame ELizabeth (sister of king Louis XVI, also beheaded).  It will be at the maison de Madame Elizabeth and the Orangerie of the Domaine de Montreuil, showing the life styles of the Princess thru furnitures, and objects that accompany her during her time.  Also, her story from birth to death thur a selection of paintings, graphic arts, objects d’arts coming up in 2013, see more of her http://en.chateauversailles.fr/history-/court-people/epoque-louis-xvi/madame-elisabeth-en . I have visited several times and I am an amateur of her life,and trials, very sad story of a revolution that was not fair to all.A must to see; in the meantime you can stop by her house or maison at 73 Avenue de Paris, about a km from the Chateau on foot.  More from the Versailles tourist office, http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/en/discoveries/heritage-palace-city/other-places-to-see/domaine-of-madame-elisabeth.html

Have a great weekend.

 

March 13, 2012

Some news from France LXIII

We have new happening all over to tell you. Hope all are doing good,and we are enjoying great weather even tomorrow its annouce 17C in the afternoon in winter!

The galerie Arts d’Australie • Stéphane Jacob is going to be at the new edition of Art Paris Art Fair 2012 that will take place at the Grand Palais from March 29 to April 1, 2012. Original aborigines of Australia,   http://www.artsdaustralie.com/

The wonderful musée national de la Marine present from March 7 to November 4 2012, an exposition on the lighthouses ,see all info here,http://www.musee-marine.fr/expo_paris_phares.html

The exposition of Radio, come to open at the Musée des arts et métiers! until September 2nd 2012, more info  http://radio.arts-et-metiers.net/

Come for some improvisations, on jazz, girls and mojitos at 2 rue Saulnier, théatre les feux de la Rampe, see info http://www.theatre-lesfeuxdelarampe.com

Check out this scene,an annual phenomenon, this year the Festival Rock en Seine  will take place on August 24, 25 and 26. Already some names to be seen there are Placebo, The Black Keys, Foster the People, Noel Gallagher, Green Day, Mark Lanegan and Sigur Ros, all at the Domaine de Saint Cloud, more info here  http://www.rockenseine.com/fr/index.php

Some culinary exquisites on Paris 7éme that are popping up ,some I have been already. They are, Thoumieux ,4, rue de la Comète  a must for me there,http://www.thoumieux.fr/   D’chez eux , very typical of the Southwest or sud-ouest of France, my favorite , traditional and good, 2, avenue Lowendal , http://www.chezeux.com/  For a glass of wine and the world going by see Le Vin de Bellechasse , 20, rue de Bellechasse, no web but pure Paris, with drawings on the walls at the entry to the dining room, big mirrors, and  benches of red moleskine rouge, and a long counter zinc.tel +33 01 47 05 11 11. Try the wonderful bakery pastries place of Boulangerie Gosselin , 258, boulevard Saint-Germain, see Paris at its best here http://www.boulangerie-patisserie-artisanale-paris7.com/   Finally, have a great coffee roasted delicious, try it! at Coutume Café,47, rue de Babylone, more info later at the webpage  http://www.coutumecafe.com/ you read first at Paris1972!

And dont forget to see that other castle of Paris, the Chateau de Vincennes, the fortress with its 1200 meters long wall, its nine tours,and its chapel of Sainte Chapelle, as well as its tower donjon 52 meters high the highest in Europe!!http://www.chateau-vincennes.fr/

More into my new area of Bretagne, have yourself a sejour on horses, great rides in beautiful country the 4th biggest horse country in France, http://www.cheval-bretagne.com/fr/tourisme.html

Until next time,  enjoy it!

 

March 11, 2012

My travels in the Morbihan of Bretagne !

Another weekend in wonderful Morbihan, and yesterday we left early to do many things in a car swirl tour of the area,and our errands. Today I am relaxing home while the boys are at the movies seeing John Carter at Cineville,Vannes.

Saturday we started early, one of my boys will be in the Auray junion rugby team so he went by the club to sign up and turn in official papers, to be an official player trainee. Then we did our groceries at Leclerc hypermarché in Vannes, got him his outfit for rugby at Decathlon ,Vannes, and drop all off at the apartment I rent here. For reminder the Auray tourist site, http://www.auray-tourisme.com/

We then set out to see the wonderful area ,first another stop at Lorient, to check out the action and FNAC lol!!! They ruined me…. The town was a lot more lively than the first time we visited, it seems the weather has something to do with it,lots of youth was out on the pedestrian street rue du port,and pl aristide briand. In all a much better experience. For reminder ,the webpage of Lorient tourism ,http://www.lorient-tourisme.fr/

Then, we move on to something new, I love the various port,harbor or beach areas around here, its a seaman paradise, and wanted to check out Lamor Plage and Lamor-Baden. We went all the way to the beach, lovely area, quiet as not the season, but the views are magnificent and cant wait to check out in summer, especially the views over to Port Louis across the bay just gorgeous. We had some shopping in city center, and head back to our area. One beautiful place to visit here is the church Notre Dame de la Clarté, from the 6C with a tower from 1666. A beautiful history of houses along the beach that were once the HQ of the nazis military commander,later the French marine, and now some back to original owners and others still the resident of the commander of the French navy base in Lorient.  see city webpage here http://www.larmor-plage.com/Patrimoine.4996.0.html

Before arriving home, we did stop again by Vannes,where we had a nice Mexican’s meal by the hotel de ville in Vannes, the food was good if the fajitas were missing some tortillas, and the price a bit overprice, but for tex-mex in France it was good. The ambiance was terrific, and lots of beautiful people inside, a perfect way to come back for happy hourlol! It is at place de l’hotel de ville, side of the city govt building ,cant missed it or off rue Thiers.The place is name Mexican’s tex-mex ::) For reminder, the site for Vannes tourism, http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/

We will see what other nook and crannies in the Morbihan,Bretagne or France awaits me, but it looks like South Africa will be next month lol! Cheers and have a great remaining of the weekend.

March 10, 2012

Some news from France LXIII

Well another time to update on my readings and goings about Paris,and France in general. its a never ending story I promise….

Well from newspaper Le Parisien, last I wrote that the Virgin megastore in the Champs-Elysées was to closed; however, the business and economy magazine La Tribune just came out saying it is not so. I tend to believe most the business people ::) the Store is too much of a winner for them in France. Several restructuring and the opening of a new store at the Gare St Lazare by March 21th!!! (great), It did close the store in the carrousel du Louvre ,and another one in Metz, the story in French is here http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-fin   ance/services/distribution/20120302trib000685991/virgin-veut-garder-la-clef-des-champs.html

In other my favorite hypermarché is beating all others in France, Auchan is No 1, the industry publication Lineaires  show in French here http://www.lineaires.com/LA-DISTRIBUTION/Les-actus/Auchan-regne-sur-le-Top-100-36476  And my favorites stores, the one close to me at Vélizy is No 1 in France, and the other on way to Normandie at Mantes-la-Jolie is at No 27, and we have, also been at the centre comerciale at La Defense which is No 23. Total placing 50 stores in the Top 100 with 13 stores in green vs zero for the nearest competitor Carrefour.

The very good and famous Lenôtre will start an Asian week from March 13-26, delicacies with an Asian twist, divine I say. Even before it is on their webpage lol!!! My store is this one, LENÔTRE Parly 2 Centre commercial Parly 2 78150 Le Chesnay ,Téléphone +33 01 39 54 17 97 Open Mondays-Fridays from 9h-21h, and Saturdays from 9h-20h. webpage http://www.lenotre.com/

There was a fire in the underground parking at Place Vendome, and it cause great clouds of smoke in the area, yesterday at afternoon, the alarm was given by 15h30 at the Niveau 5 or level 5 at the parking run by Vinci.  There were about 40 cars burned and the parking continues closed today. I always wondered what would happened if something was to come, mind mind, hopefully is not one of parking spots in Paris but it can be scary. I do have multirisk full coverage insurance. In French here, http://www.leparisien.fr/paris-75/paris-75001/le-feu-sous-la-place-vendome-09-03-2012-1896665.php?xtor=EREC-109—-560520@1  and see the vidoe the video.

Versailles has a great perfums museum, with samples dating back to Napoleon, but can only see by previous appointment so its not well known, this is it, you can contact for visits here osmotheque@wanadoo.fr ,and yes it is call the Osmothéque, read more here, http://www.osmotheque.fr/osmotheque  Now there is a new place where great perfumers will be present in Versailles, ones you can buy and see right away, the Maison Fabre and the parfumeur Diptyque sign on to arrive at the Cour des Senteurs. The place is already full, and dedicated tot he art of perfurmerie ,will be open in the Spring of 2013. They will join Guerlain, and the sweet, food maker Lenôtre already there just about 100 meters from the entrance to the château de Versailles at rue de la Chancellerie. Here is the article in French ,http://www.leparisien.fr/versailles-78000/la-cour-des-senteurs-prete-a-ouvrir-en-2013-09-03-2012-1896832.php?xtor=EREC-109—-560520@1  It is ,also, in the city of Versailles, with a bit of history of what was the location from the times of Louis XIV, in French, http://www.versailles.fr/urbanisme-et-grands-projets/grands-projets/cour-des-senteurs/

And ,since this is ,also, a blog to talk about football/soccer, I will just say the next European Championships for Poland/Ukraine next June 8th,  2012 will be on its way to Spain ,again….Aupa España !!! and may my Real Madrid players shine lol!!!

And last but not least, until September 2012, Louis Vuitton is having a wonderful expo of its magnificent history of 158 years at the museum of decorative arts or Musée des Arts Decoratifs.107 rue de Rivoli at the Louvre complex, webpage http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/francais/accueil-292/une-486/francais/mode-et-textile/expositions-70/actuellement-447/louis-vuitton-marc-jacobs/

Last minute news, at last, the carriages and personal items left behind by Napoleon I in Waterloo, and after taken by the Prussians, it was taken by the Soviets upon entering Germany in WWII and took there, never return it. Now under an agreement of not claiming possession of it, the Russians are allowing these items to be shown in France for the first time since Waterloo lol!!! (not claiming is a compromise lol!) , It will be expose at the Musée de la Légion d’Honneur, parvis du Musée d’Orsay, Paris 7éme. www.musee-legiondhonneur.fr Until July 8th 2012.

Well dont want to leave for next time, so now I gather the marchés or markets in Paris are beginning to give free cooking lessons, of course in French ,until October 2012. The city of Paris site with the markets in question is here http://www.paris.fr/accueil/societe/lecon-du-chef-sur-les-marches/rub_9651_actu_77357_port_24616

Cheers and have a great weekend, I have more to show, will try to do tomorrow. Take care y’all ::)

 

March 7, 2012

Some news from France LXII

Well its getting closer to the weekend, and have some news from Le Figaro and Le Parisien newspapers like to share as it pertains to travel news.

First, this years fireworks at the Chateau de Chantilly will be cancel due to lack of financial support from the company that do the effects, it owed money !!! . In French http://www.leparisien.fr/chantilly-60500/les-feux-de-chantilly-sont-annules-07-03-2012-1892930.php?xtor=EREC-109—-560520@1

Too bad when an event of this magnitude is given out to private companies without the support of local govt,if company goes bust, the event is cancelled, when it is a major tourist attraction for the castle, go figure it.

Another point is the Bercy Village at Paris, some of the stores there having financial difficulties have left, and now the place is getting a second chance with new restaurants and the promise of coming of FNAC, in French http://www.leparisien.fr/paris-75/paris-75005/la-seconde-vie-de-bercy-village-07-03-2012-1893000.php?xtor=EREC-109—-560520@1

Some of the new arrivals are boulanger Eric Kayser with it famous bakery/Pastries open a store at 41, cour Saint-Emilion, a few steps away at No 47, you have the former chef pastry maker of Fauchon , Christian Adam,open a boutique of snacking chic. Two new stores took refuge in the private alley, Factory & Co  at No  23, where you can have American style burgers, bagels,and cheesecakes. At No 55 , Casa del Campo,  with a Hispanic ambiance, and already my favorite place by Pl de la Republique is opening an outlet here, superb. IN the middle of all these, the maison Dammann showcase its beauties at No 39, and Boco  already by Opera now schedule for Spring opening.

The FNAC should open this summer and the whole Bercy Village hopes to attract 15Millon visitors per year.

One of the beautiful profession in France, and especially Paris is that of the Concierge, the famouse character that arranges all the good stuff for you in top hotels all over. Well to be in the top top you need to be in the Clef d’or or Golden Keys org,and this is their official site, you can also visit them in Paris at 12 rue Cambon, http://www.clefsdor-france.org/asso/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62&Itemid=87

Sting will be in concert in Paris from  March 13-14 at the Zenith, http://www.zenith-paris.com/index2.php

Here is his site, http://www.sting.com/

You can see Degas and the nude at Musée d’Orsay http://www.musee-orsay.fr/index.php?id=649&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=30632&no_cache=1 from now until July 2012.

And one of my favorite, at my still home of Versailles, is the Musée Lambinet, with all the history of Versailles in it, showcasing now until April 22 ,all the heritage sites of the Cité royale with an spectacular angle, sublime,and give rise to dreams and fantasy mixing with reality. Looks cool. webpage at the tourist office of Versailles official page, http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/en/discoveries/heritage-palace-city/muste-sees/musee-lambinet.html

New showcase resto at the new Hotel W by Opéra quartier, is Arola ,Hôtel W Paris Opéra. 4, rue Meyerbeer,9éme. Tél.+33 01 77 48 94 94.open every day  Métro: Opéra. webpage  http://www.wparisopera.fr/?PS=EAME_aa_Starwood_NWE-3487_Google%20FR_w%20hôtel%20paris_02/08/12

New high up restaurant to see the roofstops of Paris is at the LA Vue or the view inside Hotel Concorde La Fayette 3, place du Général Koenig (17éme). Tél.+33 01 40 68 51 31. webpage http://www.concorde-lafayette.com/en/panoramic-bar/la-vue.aspx

And dont forget to visit the Marché des Enfants Rouge,the oldest Parisien market, the most chic/bobo at the heart of the 3éme arrondissement or neighborhood.  See the Pain at 39 rue de Bretagne, delicious big sandwiches…Traiteur or food maker from Morocco, Lebanon, Antilles,great wine merchant in Versants Vins, and the great L’Estaminet des Enfants Rouges  39, rue de Bretagne, Tél.+33 01 42 72 28 12. open every day except Mondays from 9 h to 20 h (Sundays until 15 h) webpagehttp://www.estaminetdesenfantsrouges.com/  glorius need to try it.

My next event in Paris will be by the Concorde Opera hotel next to Gare St lazare end of next month, see the place of my meetings here http://operaparis.concorde-hotels.com/en/ If n town we you me are welcome to have a drink. Until next time, cheers and happy travels.

Paris

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