Archive for February, 2013

February 23, 2013

Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

I just came back from visiting again Madrid, my Madrid. IF you have not read my blog, I lived there for four years in the 1970’s, and then came back for the 1982 World Cup of Football/Soccer,then again in 1990, and then from 2003 , I have been coming here two to three times per year. Needless to say is one of my favorite cities in the world, rather high on my scale.

Madrid is envigorating to the soul, active, modern, no taboos, free, open, lively, enthusiastic even in the worst economic situation like now, with an Iberia strike that needed two re schedules of my flight but so what,its Madrid, all worth it a million times.  Madrid is From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday. I do look on it every day thanks for the TVE tv station that I see here,and the radio Los 40 principales, and countless of friends and family,and my soul brothers of the Real Madrid FC; its a treat to be back,and I savour it every second of its air.

I made a short visit, business needs, but took the time the best I can manage it to see a bit of the city, from the wonderful magnificent Prado museum to the interesting and history museo naval or navy museum all is glitter. Webpages here http://www.museodelprado.es/  where the van goth exhibition has been extended by popular demand. and the navy at http://www.armada.mde.es/ArmadaPortal/page/Portal/ArmadaEspannola/ciencia_museo/prefLang_es/

You have many wonderful churches full of history from the church of Nuestra Señora de Carmen, history of Madrid since 1575 with the carmelites rites, and and the church built between 1610 and 1640,   and the church of San Gines de Arles,  it is know in writing since 1332, but they are some indices it could be from the 13C , the church of calatrava  done in the old monastery of  Real de la Concepción, better known as the commandements of Calatrava, here since  1623. Church of San Jeronimo, a history full of Spain, it goes back tot he order of the Saint Jerome from the year  1464. In May 9 , 1502 Queen Isabel the Catholic give the monks of jeronimos Santa Maria del Paso a place close the courts, a place that came to be known as Prado de San Jerónimo, and now you know the museum of Prado ::), and mine Church of San Benito and San Manuel right off Alcala and across from Retiro park , http://www.jeaf.com/samasabe/

The Retiro park,parque del buen retiro and the Real Madrid stadium Santiago Bernabeu with the Cibeles fountain, all a symbol of my Madrid, the stay was at Ayre Gran Colon hotel off pez volador and calle dr esquerdo, http://www.ayrehoteles.com/fr/hotel-colon/?utm_expid=42055456-9&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ayrehoteles.com%2Ffr%2Fhotel-colon%2F%3FidPrm%3DBUS002%26idONg%3DGOU%26gclid%3DCIbNxdaczbUCFYbHtAodGi8AOQ

My Puerta de Alcala, and Plaza Mayor, and so much more need to have a blog just for it, but you get the idea, Madrid is heaven, and you should discover it. If you need more let me know, I bet I know every nook of it. Enjoy Madrid!!!. Cheers.

 

February 18, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXV

Here we are starting a new week. Tough day at work, many arrangements for travel and difficult to convince people of their needs, they are all perfect, and me well I just fill a room lol!! woos that feels good , let it out,now back to travel.

La Samaritaine store was supposed to start construction of the new building layout in three days, but some save the old stone organisations are vetoeing the move as there are some houses from the  17C and from Louis XV time that they want saved. In principle , work value at  460 millions euros -,and take 27 months to do, including a luxury hotel of 72 rooms , restaurant with terrace,  20.000 m2 of office space, 96 social low income housing apts (what a mix!!!) ,  26.400 m2 of shops spaces, a baby care center with  60 beds, and about  2000 jobs created; is all on hold.  The building bordered by the streets rue Baillet, de la Monnaie, de l’Arbre-Sec ,and Rivoli is missing some local authorisation for building codes types. So far they are claiming for the finish year 2015, still. This is one of the groups opposing the construction, http://www.sppef.fr/ and http://sosparis.free.fr/

The tourism in France is here to stay healthy and welcoming, according to the ministry of culture spokewoman M Pinel, and shown in the Le Figaro, we had 77B € of revenue from tourisme in 2012 with an higher influx of visitors from abroad, preliminary figures these are. Lol!

ok so you come to France, buy a souvenir key chain of the tour Eiffel, but made in China lol!! now a group (passion France) is doing something to make sure you buy Made in France. They started selling these souvenirs at the Galerie Lafayette of blvd Haussmann and they were the best sellers over 15 months, the company doing this is Passion France and have a store at the ave de la Grande Armée past the arc de triomphe, a bit more expensive, but it is French lol!!  And here is their webpage, http://www.passionfrance.fr/  Now buy French will you ,why the heck you come here for lol!!! Allez les bleus ::)

Ever heard of the old adage , buy early buy cheaper, well with the SNCF train tickets now going up twice per year jan and july , the idea of doing your buy early makes sense, the more you wait the more you will pay ,two raises per year.  So if have time, know French, you can buy last minute and still get good prices from those willing to resale their ticket at two sites, Kelbillet, and Troc de Trains, their webpages here http://www.kelbillet.com/train/ and http://www.trocdestrains.com/  don’t say I didn’t tell you ok ::)

In France, in the continuing effort to track and punish money laundering operations, there will be a law on the table to be approved by end of year, that is lower the requirement for payment in cash from the current 3000€ to 1000€ for residents and from 15K to 10K for the non resident. So if the law passes and you want to pay for something worth more than 1000 euros you better have a good proof of purchase or use a card or check no cash lol!!! I think is just a gimmick to make you go paperless, its a conspiracy lol!!! Black Monday.

And this is from my Real Madrid, The Santiago Bernabeu is the first European category 4 stadium to install a high-density wifi network that covers 100% of the field and will be fully operational in the coming months. With this network Real Madrid intends to offer a wide range of services including live video, match statistics and internet access, which will improve the experience of spectators coming to the stadium through their electronic devices. Only two others in the world has it, Kansas City (MLS) and Brooklyn Nets (NBA) in the USA lol!!!

Some update news,  the pizzas in France are losing their size by a few cm, so now occupied 4,3% less in surface. However, the French stay the second most consumers of Pizzas in the World, 1) USA, 2) France , 3) Italy. The French eat on average 20 pizzas per year with the most popular the Reine (queen) and 4 fromages (four cheeses) with some coming in top places such as savoyarde, chorizo, merguez ,and tartiflette. There ,love it, cheers!

if you can go get there quick great jazz recommended  SUNSET HORS LES MURS : SAMY THIEBAULT
Thursays February 21 at 20h30
admission 25,00€  at Le New Morning, 7/9 rue des Petite Ecuries 10éme; http://www.newmorning.com/20130221-2639-Samy-Thiebault.html

you all a great week!!! Cheers

February 12, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXIIII

ça monte, I am back, ouiiii::: I will be out on business trips to Romania, Spain,and Mexico before end of month February, so be in and out.

I just want to tell you that the international rugby board has chosen Vannes for the world championshiop under 20, in the month of June. The first game is at the stade de la rabine in Vannes on June 5th New Zealand vs Fiji. The final will be played same venue on june 23rd. The venue at Vannes will host New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Ireland, so welcome to the neighborhood. The team USA also at the world, will be base in pool play at La Roch sur Yon, and France will be there too together with South Africa,and England in what it looks at the group of death. More here http://www.irb.com/jwc/fixturesresults/index.html

More along my likes, its wines, yes the blood of our bodies, and we have great vintages all over the world.  There is a budget of 19 million Euros to defend the name of Champagne in the world. The latest is Ethiopia with a bubbly call Shampagne lol!!! More and more countries are signing on thus to respect the name, the latest is Brazil.  Canada and Chile will be the next to sign accords to prohibit the use of the word Champagne but only on Champagne. And I am having my bubbly tonite, early Valentine day for me with Tsarine Champagne of Reims, cuvée premium done by the Maison Chanoine Fréres the second oldest Champagne house doing it since 1730.  They name it after the Czar ‘wife of Russia for being the house biggest customers since the 19C. webpage http://www.champagnechanoine.com/indexF.html

Record vintage in California USA, record year in terms of volume and sales,with the chardonnay the biggest grape produce. Argentina is also on the rise this year with malbec and a huge increase in sales towards the USA.  China had a 7% increase in sales too and the wine is running full steam ahead,nothing better than a great glass of wine.

One of the most romantic nights in Paris its the bar 228 at the Hotel Meurice , a leyend in its own time, the bar is a classic, of my wonderful days in Paris. It was redone in 2007 by a certain Starck, and well I let you see it, but for Valentine 95€ per person with tasting of four different wines,,http://www.meuricehotel.fr/le-bar-228

Do you know that Paris has  82 marchés alimentaires or food markets  (including 13 covered) with 3 bio markets at  Batignolles, Brancusi and Raspail, all having a total of  9000 merchants non fixed.  The new one will by the porte d’Orléans , at boulevard Jourdan, between the streets of  Barboux and Farguet. It has been approved by the city of Paris, so check it out  next time in the area.

For a great Paris pizza, try Maria Luisa, 2 Rue Marie et louise, try the pizza blanche or pizza without sauce tomato. Tel +33 (0) 1 44 84 04 01, my citivox place at http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/maria-luisa_200057704/Profil-Lieu

See something different and wonderful in Paris, musée Zadkine, 100 bis, rue d’Assas, a Russian artist in Paris early 20C, see webpage http://www.paris.fr/loisirs/musees-expos/musee-zadkine/p6471

well I will be away now, hopefully some new photos of far away places, some love places, to enrich my blog and your reading and viewing pleasures. Until then ,have a great week folks, that’s is all. Cheers.

February 5, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXIII

Here is mid week freaky me shooting at my blog, can’t wait for the weekend, so much going on, how are things doing in your neck of the woods or place on earth?

A great act on jazz in Paris, right by Vanvin metro station, Jazz Act. Salon open by 20h, music from 20h30 ;15€ admission for great jazz, and they have other places in Paris such as Montparnasse 28, rue Vavin,(the one I visited) , Louvre-Rivoli 49, rue Berger, Vaugirard 1, rue du Général Beuret, Beaubourg 22, rue du Cloître Saint-Merri. You read more at a sister wordpress site http://jazzact.wordpress.com/agenda-arts-de-vivre/

How many times we go by airports and feel stress, with all these crap security  measures that only makes us feel uncomfortable and miserable while the sob continues doing their things. Well here is some advise to help out.

1. Leave all prohibited objects in your check in luggage. 2. Keep all liquids in the carry on bag n hand. 3. Don’t wrap your gifts. 4. pre registered  yourself online. 5. Carry bags adapted to your electronics gadgets. 6. Dress yourself light and with no metals objects, 7. of course, eliminate all metal items to carry on luggage or in yourself. 8. empty your pockets. 9. Have ally our papers , boarding pass, passports ready. 10. Arrive early ,3 hrs international 2 hrs domestics.

Of course ,after all of the above ,you may decide to cancel your trip lol!!! and more airlines out of business.

And a bit from my beloved Madrid, there is a expo at the Thyssen museum of Impressionists artists starting today. “The Impressionists and Open Air Paintings from Corot to  Van Gogh”, the early painters from John Constable or Camille Corot,to  post-impressionnists such as Vincent Van Gogh, passing by  Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne or Pierre-Auguste Renoir,. The exposition will have  113 works that will be shown by themes of different sceneries. Some of the work on display will be that of  Claude Monet,  “Marée basse devant Varengeville”  1882, “Etretat, mer agitée” from  1883. Others will be  “Sous-bois” of Gustave Courbet (1856), “Le clos normand” of Cézanne (1885-86) or “Peupliers au bord de l’Epte” of Monet (1891). webpage http://www.museothyssen.org/microsites/exposiciones/2013/airelibre/index_en.html

If you want to come back to Paris and see Art, check out the PLACE to be for American Art in Paris. The Mona Bismarck Foundation at 34 ave de New York,near trocadero. Not only the home ground of many American org and club in France since 1919 but a great art museum of American art with exchanges and history of the two countries cooperation. http://monabismarck.org/?lang=en ,and direct here is what you expect to see in the next weeks, http://monabismarck.org/programmes/exposition

 

Lastly , a quiet place to relaxed in Paris, I use it once in a while now more than ever when coming over to Paris. Jardin de l’Observatoire,98, bd Arago, best way to get here is by metro line 6  Saint-Jacques, usually open from 13h to 17h,   it has at least 100 trees of 15 different species including a noisetier (Corylus laciniata) , and a  zelkova, large segments of flowers and great green fields with one being  900m² . From 1992, the Jardin de l’Observatoire has materialise the meridien in Paris.

Until next time,cheers.

 

 

 

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February 3, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXVII

Well passing by Paris is always time to see the beautiful city and get me updated on some things in life.

One of the things the airports of Paris (aeroports de paris) did is to open a webpage to showcase news about Paris in general, its a loaded site of information on all things French !! here is the webpage in English http://en.paris-lifestyle.fr/

Some of the cultural highlights will be “Chagall entre guerre et paix” at the musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard. Running Feb 21 to July 21 2013. http://www.museeduluxembourg.fr/fr/expositions/p_exposition-18/

Not to be outdone the Musée D’Art Moderne, 11 ave du Président Wilson,has until April 21 2013, “linder au musée d’art moderne” showing the English visual artist in action. http://www.mam.paris.fr/en/node/155

From those wishing to see the new trends in electronics music a la french go to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until March 21 at the end of pavillon Flore in the Louvre at 107 rue de Rivoli,http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/english-439/accueil-710/une-715/english-439/exhibitions/current-events#frenchtouch

Now here is a primer of a hotel. Hôtel Original, in a building from the 19C between Bastille and the place des Vosges near the area of the Marais that is so popular with visitors.  Decorated a la Lewis Carroll with rooms in the 180€ webpage http://www.hoteloriginalparis.com/fr/

One of my favorite areas, and used to hang out there a lot, still do come less often is rue Duphot near Madeleine. In fact ,used to walked a lot around there ::) The nice hotel Burgundy is still there, now getting ready for the Russian new year with great chocolate cakes, hotel burgundy, 6-8 rue duphot, webpage  http://www.leburgundy.com/

The new renovated shop of the Comédie Française is open again, the theater that is. The boutique is a heaven for the art lovers with class. Honoring the French with books,objects of arts, see it at 2 rue de Richelieu, http://www.boutique-comedie-francaise.fr/

People ask me to buy French, well do look for it and it is here, Florian Wernert mens shoes is not for everyday use but the need is there I wear them and so should you. Found at Galeries Lafayette or BHV in Paris , webpage to order online here but to give you an idea of what they are, http://www.sarenza.com/HomeMan.aspx?Brand=1082&Filter=2

Again, my favorites, to eat is the all time famous Brasserie Thoumieux, 79 rue Saint Dominique, the place was founded in 1923 ,and the same chef since 2009 who used to work at the hotel Crillon. formules from 29€ and 34€ at lunch, higer a la carte for dinner around 60€, the rump of veal and tuna belly is to die for it ( quasi de veau cuit tout doucement condiment ventrêche de thon) 20€ dish alone. webpage http://www.thoumieux.fr/

And if in Paris during Olivier Giraud comedy show do go to see him. I take claim spread the word after meeting his girlfriend and help them spread the word amongst expats in Paris, it has been a hit for over four years, and still running ,here is his webpage http://www.oliviergiraud.com/UK/

Fashion, fashion mode mode moda moda is PARIS; regardless of what those others tell you, this is it. It seems the names for men’s clothing sounding for spring are Cerruti, maison Martin Margiela, Dockers,Kooples,Barbour,Box Fresh,Napapijri chinos pants and G watch (yes mine);Joe’s (yes), and well the ladies, what do I know about fashion lol!!!

ok so what about perfumes and those wonders to see in Spring fashion trends, Flower by Kenzo, Amor Amor by Cacharel, Marry Me! by Lanvin, Shalimar by Guerlain,Very Irresistible by Givenchy, Loverdoes by Diesel, and Love eau intense by Chloe. Eau savage by Dior, L’Homme by YSL, Déclaration d’un soir by Cartier, CK one by CK, Boss by Hugo Boss (yes), and Bleu de Chanel.

My favorite Basque in Paris, Iñaki Aizpitarde doing the Chateaubriand,129 avenue Parmentier, unique menu of 60€ open 19h30 to 20h30 weekdays closed Sunday and MOndays. without reservations after 21h30.http://www.lechateaubriand.net/index_uk.html  and this is more from the site I write in French and on my blogroll bottom of the blog here, http://www.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/le-chateaubriand-avenue-parmentier_58448/InfosPratiques

One of my all time best for wine buying in Paris, Caves Augé and now Marc Sibard is doing something great going back to basics with real natural wine growers, business is booming here.  116 blvd Haussmann, caves here since 1850, Marc since 1987, and me since 2003 there. http://www.cavesauge.com/

And at CDG airport the first LIna Sandwich shop is open!  by the TGV level in T2,and the nice Air de Paris from stationary to gifts ,tableware, and gourmet treats   new stores just seen last week…Orly is going well with Starbucks that I saw last month, and the new free ride from parking P1  to Orly Sud. And a whole lot more to come in the City of LIghts ,well sad news. Beginning in July 2013 only the major monument will keep their lighting, the rest of the city will cut back on lights and many streets will be dark, so not a good decision and its been tested, as this will only increase the pickpockets etc, be on the lookout if nothing changes and here from July.

Enjoy your vacation and I will enjoy my life la vie est belle en France ::)

 

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