Archive for March, 2013

March 30, 2013

Vannes, a time to play and see:bowling

Today we stayed home as it is cold 5C, and grey,and just on a nice 3 day weekend as Monday is Easter off here. We did some shopping as usual for groceries in Super U, and purchase clothing at our favorite Armand Thiery,and then we play.

We decided to try both bowling places we know here and head to head competition. The gang was ready after trying some brews at V&B in porte Océane Auray.  So we went and put gas and did groceries at Super U Auray here

Then on way back home we did the clothes shopping at Armand Thiery Vannes here, ,then we had an apero taste at the vins et biéres in porte Océane Auray, here

Finally, it was time for the competition, to brag, I won both, ::) I am amazed at my athletic stamina,and competing with young man around 20 years old lol!!! poor boys… well, ok enough to that bragging, all stays in the family….

We headed for Le Master bowling at the parc du Golfe in Vannes, here,  This is nice cozy, friendly service, and small enough to be your own club. There is sports bar with plenty of TV screens around you. I had a 117 here. it has been our first bowling alley in the area ,and we love it. Next to it for the younger sons there is Bubble discothéque, very nice video watch the parking and good security. You can reach it thru the bowling site above or the separate one here

Afterward, just before going home, we stop by the complex FunXtreme, right by an area of restos,and shopping in Atlanville ,this is the restos and map for the area, the bowling is just next to it behind it, This place is bigger more away,you feel a bit alone here, it has karting, laser gun, mini golf, maze, billiards, etc plus the bowling we were after. The prices are ,also, a bit higher here.  The bar lounge is limited and the prices for one game of bowling ,shoes included for four men was 35€ (comes about 11,40 USD per person). I had a 121 here ::)

We reach home cozy warm for the Sunday, and rest.  You all have a great Easter weekend and we change hours here Sunday morning one hour ahead OK ::)

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

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March 30, 2013

Versailles 2013: The year of André Le Nôtre

On a cloudy rainy cold Saturday in Brittany, I can only think of my beloved Versailles, just back from been a visitor there after almost 10 years of residency. So, therefore, let me tell you a bit more about Versailles and the year 2013, the year of André Le Nôtre.

Most now know who is Le Nôtre so I will cut short the introduction. He was born in Paris March 12, 1613 (birthplace site the Tuileries, the gardens!!!) ; and this year Versailles is celebrating the 400th anniversary of his birth with a year long celebration on his honor.  There is so much missing on his life because most of the papers of his genie were lost over the periods,,,,!!! his family: André Le Nôtre is a son probably of grandchild of the gardeners of the Tuileries. His father, Jean, has the title since 1625 of plants and garden designer, and share the responsability with Claude 1er Mollet of the Tuileries gardens. His grandfather  Pierre Le Nôtre, was in charge since 1572 of the upkeep of the terraces garden of the Tuileries.  André Le Nôtre marries in 1640, Françoise Langlois, daughter of an artillery commissary of France, they have 3 kids, all died of early age. Moreover, the tradition continues because two of his sisters became gardeners too. Françoise marries  Simon Bouchard, manager of the orangeries of the  Tuileries, post that allows the bequest of their children in the same field. Elisabeth marries the gardener Pierre Desgots,that worked most notably at  Chantilly, and their grandson Claude Desgots will be the next closest collaborator of André Le Nôtre. He learned the trade of designing by working for  6 years with the shop of  Simon Vouet in the Louvre. It is here that he meets and befriend the painter Le Brun (later work with him at Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles). He, also, worked in the gardens of Luxembourg Paris, Palais-Royale Paris,and Fontainebleau. His hands are at work too at  Trianon, Clagny, Maintenon, Saint-Cyr and maybe Marly. In the châteaux de Saint-Maur, Saint-Martin de Pontoise, Chaville, Louvois, Pontchartain ,and Conflans, as well as in the provinces such as  Gaillon, Guermantes, Castries, Les Rochers, and so on and on….He started his work at Versailles by order of the King in 1662 next to Le Vau and Le Brun. The making of Versailles begins,and so the ever bright start of Le Nôtre raises to touch the heavens and stay there forever in the minds of all of us that admire this place so much.

He lived on  a house not far from the Pavillon de Marsan (building where today is the musee des arts décoratifs), and it is in this nearby house where he died on September 15 1700. He is buried at the nearby church Saint-Roch in rue saint honoré. Upon his death ,the local newspaper Mercure Galant said of him in 1700, (Trans) ” The king came to lose a man unique,and in love with is service to him, and a strong admireer of his own art, that had given him honor. It is Mr le Notre, general controller of buildings for his majesty , its gardens, and manufacturers of France….Never a man has given more of all that he has been able to give and contribute to the beauty of gardeningThe government of  France has in the ministry of culture a space for him all alone in French, that is the honor of a good son,

The Events, the city of Versailles celebrates the heroe of it all. 2013, will be activities all year around all over the city.  Starting March 12 every month ,there will be something going on. webpage of city in French,    Some of these are:

The beautification of the avenue de l’Europe, with a cyclable path along the sidewalks without interruption from the there at the ave saint cloud jonction to the avenue de Paris. The Esprit Jardin annually will be held 23 and 24 march in front of the Cathédrale Saint Louis.  A litteral world of gardens right in the city, with animations and classes.  There will be exposition in the main train stations such as Rive Droite, Rive Gauche, Chantiers.The Jardin des Senteurs at the cour des senteurs on april 25th right by the potager du roi. An exposition of floral art will be held April 18 at the Hotel de Ville.

May 2013 continues with the renovation of the garden in the Maison des Musiciens Italiens as well as jointly with the SNCF to have bicycle paths from the train stations to visit the city on a vélo! it will criss cross the city and give you an opportunity to see more than the castle museum…At the hotel de ville, may 30 and 31 there will be small scale models of gardens of France. In front of the musée Lambinet on May 16 the students of the gardeners school will present a garden a la francaise in front of the museum! bd de la Reine.

June, the great allée Le Notre, more often overlook by visitors, it is the extension of the castel envision by Le Nôtre, along the axe allée des Mortemets that goes to the eau des Suisses at the today caserne Pion almost at the doors of the city of Saint-Cyr-l’école right by the ferme de Gally,back back of the grand canal! A complete renovation in the gardens all dear to me such as Potagerdu Roi, parc Balbi, and domaine de Madame Elizabeth.  On june 30, a guided tour of the Allée Royale in the castle will be done to explain in details this part of the gardens it will start from the bassin d’Apollon descending to the Grand Canal, and beyond into the Etoile Royale going to the communities dear to me such as the Saint-Cyr-l’école,Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin, and Villepreux (road 307). This month will be the month Moliére so spectacles all over the city in the gardens with at the potager du roi, Alice in wonderland!

July, The renovation of the gardens in the cimentaries of Versailles! including that of the Israelists. light activities because its summer and August we skip.

September, october, november, the fall begins strong, opening of the gardens or jardin des étangs gobert, two old fountains that feeds the ones in the castle in the 17C! will be back operational on events of sept 14 and 15 it is at the extension of the avenue Sceaux in the district of Chantiers!The laberynth of Versailles will have a historic exposition on sept 14 to Dec 15, at the municipal library, ave de l’independance Americaine in the galerie des Affaires étrangéres on what was Le Nôtre thinking when he did this!  A huge field of 38 fountains and 39 statues evoquing the dreams of Esope, disappearing in 1775 but many were found and preserve, and now showcase!!!not to missed !!! The famous Nuit Blanche or white night saturday October 5 under the title of night of creation or nuit de la Création; it will lit up the buildings of the école des beaux-arts, atelier numerique,académie international des arts du spectacle and the centre d’art contemporaine la Maréchalerie.  The expo inside the museum Lambinet, of Anna Maria Tsakali, of Greek origin studied at he école nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, will have over 50 of her work on display for the first time in a museum! December 15, bd de la Reine.

By the end of the year, it will open the magnificent long work done, and now finally will open, the gardens or jardins architecturés de l’ancien hôpital royal Richaud, the old royal hospital Richaud now a modern condo complex build around it but the central cupola and gardens were kept for all to continue enjoying this place ,wonderful by rue du marechal Foch and rue Richaud.

Not to be outdone, the castle will be honoring too. From June 11 to october 31, Giuseppe Penone will have his sculptures in the gardnes of the palace museum. On october 22 the castle will showcase Le Nôtre and all he had done for it. they are ongoing and some already done restorations in the castle palace museum such as the bassin and parterre de Latone, Bosquet du Théatre d’eau, bassin des enfants dorés, and some wonderful sculptures will be back in the gardens for the first time in a very long time, awaiting impatiently for this!!! By June and July the spectacles will be at the top for le Nôtre, a prize for the garden books will be organise during the rdv aux jardins in the petit Trianon on june 1 and 2nd ,le prix Le Nôtre!

It is still in French ,but all the information about the festivities will be here, as I only wrote the ones I think will be good, there will be plenty more.

Enjoy Versailles, city of Kings and royal town of France!!!


March 28, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXVIIII

Well we are reaching holiday here and time off Monday its Easter; happy Easter everyone or Joyeuses Pâques!

The delicious religieuses de chocolat are on now days and they are yummy, its origins goes back to  1850, when they were created at chez Frascati,  Parisien pâtisser that was near the  Grands Boulevards. The latest contest by Le Figaro had the winner in Rollet Pradier at , 6, rue de Bourgogne, 75007. Tél.:+33  01 45 51 78 36. open every day except Saturdays.

For the Easter eggs go to Jean-Paul Hévin with its  l’œuf maillot choco.  and the mendiant gourmand of Pierre Hérmes at and at  Hugo & Victor you try the Palette de choco,

News run now, the triple star of  Michelin Eric Fréchon of the Hotel Bristol,  who redid the Mini Palais at the Grand Palais is now in the renovated gare Saint Lazare train station!!! Been the second train station in Europe in passenger flow (450k) and coming from his native Normandy;it is expected to open September 2013,and you read here first.

Musée Maillol, 59-61 rue de Grenelle, metro rue du Bac is showing MURANO, temporary exhibit on fine glass art of murano until July 28 2013.

Musée Jacquemart-André, 158 Blvd Haussmann, metro Miromesnil, is showing Eugéne Boudin the painter of Normandy and Honfleur, thought of the father of impressionism, many paintings, watercolors, and pastels.

Espace Dali, 11 rue Poulbot, metro abbesses and Anvers, in the heart of montmartre ,this is the only permanent collection in France of Salvador Dali with over 300 works of art.

This is the time for Mexico and Germany at the Musée du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, metro Louvre-Rivoli. Mexico has 10 masterpieces from the 17c and 18c while Germany has over 200 works from the period 1800 to 1939. Running thru June 28 2013.

And this year is 40 years that the Tour Montparnasse has given us the thrills of seeing Paris from above; time to revisit

One of the best recent museum ever made is the wonderful Musée de la Grande Guerre (it s a WWI museum), in the city of Meaux, Seine et Marne dept 77 , go there from Gare de l’est straight to Meaux.  It recounts the collection of Jean-Pierre Verney of his WWI seaches and its one of the best and most catalogued museum on the subject in the world already. Do not missed it.  It is at rue Lazare Ponticelli, Meaux, webpage

Enjoy Paris; and France, cheers







March 25, 2013

Paris, its eternal, the more you visit ,the more you like it ::)

Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris ParisAnd of course, from the title if you happenned to have lived nearby in Versailles and work there in Paris for almost 10 years, now coming back is sublime. For now I will be a tourist and as I always said, the best way to see a city is from the eyes of those who had visited and lived in it.

For the first time in many years, many that I don’t remember, I took the train to Paris. In the past it has been my car or a rental. I took the TGV from Auray to Montparnasse ,very nice fast and on time; then metro to our hotel behind the galerie lafayette. As this trip was beginning to be like a tourist trip, well it continues once arriving at the hotel. It was under renovation no problem, breakfast was not available ,no problem, then ,they switch the key first night and while we were asleep , another couple was just going into our room, we yell, and they step out laughing , call reception, oh yes we notice, sorry, and that was it. Well, its invasion of privacy and we file with the tourist office and the police. There you go our tourist hotel experience in Paris. The hotel is the Antin-Trinite at 74 ave de provence,

Once that was taken care of , we set out to enjoy Paris, and what a joy it always is. We went by the tour Eiffel walking that is, no need to climb ,been there done that.  We visited the marvelous jardin des tuileries, and went into my old churches such as Madeleine, , Trinité, , St Augustin, ,and Saint Roch,  , and the church of  notre dame des champs,  with their webpages.

We went by the Opera garnier, and the Louvre, and of course the deparment stores au printemps and galerie lafayette; we shop at rue tronchet, my old walking plank. and visit my old working places, ok, used to ok, now call the Westin Paris Hotel,  and the Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel, , both as many were under my accounting supervision. It was nice to still be recognised by collegues still there after 7 years ;it was nice.  Oh yes I had the Café de la Paix under as well…

We saw the Seine and the batobus, great ride,  and the many stores we used to go and shop as locals like Salavin, on Tronchet, and the restos we went by just to see ,have  a coffee like at Cafe Montparnasse,  and snacks at Indiana Cafe ,and of course eat at my fav La Gare in the 16th ; delicious porto rouge apero, and kir blanc, 2 menus plaisirs at 21€ with fish and potatoes,a glass of jurançàn moelloux and chablis with coffee for 69,50€ for two, just right.

Then of course there is the endless street walks by quaint neighborhood, we took sometimes the metro, line 12 and 6 , and once the bus no 95 from gare saint lazare to gare montparnasse, great ride, and the walk I insist the walks are sublime.  Oh see the wonderful village outside the gare St Lazare just wonderful we got some macarons there oops! and of course my wonderful passage du havre out from the station into the famous Haussmann and the stores, lol  FNAC is was a must, ,,,, and many more now, just lovely so is the station completely renovated with lots of stores inside, too. passage here,  You won’t even feel tired at the end ::) all worth it. would do it again, tomorrow lol!

I will put some photos to remind me and to show you of the wonders of Paris, until we meet again, soon that is ::) oh forgot , the return trip was great too, nice ride and we were home in a bit over 3hrs, just fine. Cheers.


March 24, 2013

Versailles ,an ever lasting love affair

VersaillesVersailles Versailles Versailles Versailles Versailles Versailles VersaillesWell back from a nostalgic wonderful weekend in my old town of Versailles. I have written according to my blog statistics 186 times on Versailles, last on November 19,2012. Its an ever lasting love affair indeed. Versailles, I won’t forget you.

For the first time in many years, I did it like a tourist would; we took the TGV from Auray to Paris Montparnasse, so we can visit Paris as well, and then took the RER C from the Invalides station to Rive Gauche in Versailles. My kids for school have done it but it was the first time for us as we took the car before. The ticket is 3,35€ one way per person, and the ride is very nice in wagons decorated with paintings from the chateau de Versailles. The trip back was very easy too, however, the wagons were not decorated this time. We went to stop Musée d’Orsay to be closer to the Tuileries in Paris. RER C map,

IN Versailles we past by the wonderful museum Lambinet with all the history of Versailles in it. See it here in the city of Versailles site We visit the Collegiale Notre Dame church in my old neighborhood, website here, , and went by the open marché notre dame, wonderful alive and plenty to buy, it was again a delight to be here, tourist office webpage, . We visit our Hôtel de Ville,and went all the way up visiting the different departments as if were still here,and the people were nice enough to let us roam thru the hallways (hospitality Versaillaise). webpage of the city with a map you can click the points you want to see in the map, I have on tourists spots,

We wondered the gardens of the chateau de Versailles, where we roam many times for walks and lunch, no need to go inside the castle we have seen it hundreds of time as we are friends of the castle. the info on the gardens in English,–  ,and if you want to become a friends of Versailles, here

We saw the les manéges, where my oldest son worked and full of boutiques,and the ticket office for sightseeing in Versailles including tickets to the chateau. We took for a bit the Bus B, our kids old bus to school, on the wonderful Phebus system of Versailles, have webpage on itineraries page,

We went up where most do not go when visiting Versailles, a pity. Its more than a castle;; up in the Montreuil district going away from the chateau on avenue de Paris you reach No 73 on your left hand side, see the Domaine Madame Elizabeth (house of sister of Louix XVI, also guillotine for defending her brother) ;you can even come straight to it from Paris on bus 171 from pont de Sévres, and stop arrêt Jean Mermoz, the same bus that takes you in front of the chateau!!!

If you go thru the gardens get out on the back door to your left trails, and go out in ave Champ Lagane, take left and go straight to find the the Maisons des musiciens Italiens at No 15, these were the musicians that king Louis XIV brought from Italy to sing and play at his court. Then it house the Madame de Marsans that care for the children of Louis XV.  Now, it is the museum of the Compagnons du tour de France, that have their hq here too.

Then visit the Hôtel des Menus Plaisir du Roi; at no 22 avenue de Paris ; right hand side from chateau .This is where the toys and amusement of the king’s children were kept, then it serve to host the Etats Généraux in 1789. Where the deputies voted a National Assembly and abolished all priviledges and rights of the nobles creating the declaration of the rights of men and citizens. Today, it is the musical baroque center of Versailles with baroque music plays( Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles).

We visit wonderful history in the old Lycée Hoche, one of the highest learning secondary or high school in France in the scientific field;  It is at 73 ave Saint Cloud, and were before the convent of the queen, that were given to the school after the French revolution. Built between 1767  and 1772,and became an Imperial college in 1806,by 1888 it was rename Hoche in honor of local native General Lazare Hoche.

You can revisit wonderful churches such as St Symphorien in the Montreuil district just from the maison des musicians take rue de condamines right and go straight down behind the church on pl st symphorien, you take a quick left on the circle and take right on rue de Montreuil to reach ave de Paris main artery.

Monument statues to Le Notre and J.H. Mansart, and beautiful architecture plus exciting stores and restaurants of my time there such as Au Chien qui fume, or the leyendary hotel du cheval rouge, where many many years ago I stayed when visiting Versailles as a newbie Frenchmen, and then had the opportunity to see it everyday on the market of notre dame area, old stables of the king’s horses, recommended to you too,

All wonderful Versailles, a royal town, my kind of town. And ,I am sure if dare to visit all of it, away from the chateau ,it will become your town too. Last not to forget, of course, we ate here, and we went to our favorite place, and the one I always bring my guests and family when visiting us here, this is at the marché de notre dame ,4 rue au pain, La Boeuf à la Mode, This is an authentic traditional French restaurant serving the best of the best in gastronomy country. I had the apero, porto rouge, then main plat boeuf bourguignon in spaghettis, all wash down with house red wine glass, Poire au chocolat dessert, cafe, my other half had kir aligote (white wine with cassis flavored), travers de porc caramilisé or pork ribs in caramel sauce, with the pudding in English sauce; cafe, and glass of red wine. all for 43,50€ for two.

And back to Paris. lol!!! Enjoy the photos, we did too;again ::)

March 16, 2013

Times and travels in Paris!

I just came back from an incredible journey and ready to go out again, but did not want lapse several days before telling my readers, friends ,and family about it.

I was to go to Brazil last week, and as usual took my AF flight out of Nantes, in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 area. We pretty much always passed by CDG airport at Roissy in Val d’Oise dept 95 (what is normally refer to as the Paris airport).  LIttle did I know of the incoming snow to the Paris and north France area.

Upon my return, my flight was cancelled by AF due to the snow in Paris CDG, luckily I have sms telephone and email warning procedures so I was alerted right away. Quickly the staff I was visiting, change my flight to a later time. An hour later, this new flight was,also, cancelled. I had no choice because I needed to come back to Paris for a big meeting on the 15 March by the tour Eiffel area.

The one webex conference I had for the 14 afternoon needed to be done by staff as I was still in Brazil, finally came back from there on TAM arriving very late in Paris. My staff had reserve a hotel for me in Paris so stay at hotel Delos Vaugirard on near rue cambronne area, webpage This allow for my meeting in Paris the next morning to be done as usual, of course, I came in without any documentation and did it all by memory lol!! I am good yeah!! In the evening near the hotel, I wondered out to eat and without any one in particular just the open minded Parisien sense, came upon the La Bodega de Cambronne, 37 Rue Cambronne  75015. The place has been open for a little over a year, by Parisien born Asturias descend Spaniards with the chefs and staff from Spain. All wonderful tapas and raciones with the wines and beers of Spain, I had my chorizo omelette, pulpo do feira or octopus in semihot sauce, Mahou beers, and expresso coffee for 30€ with a complimentary shot of liquor of pears for a digestif! The service and chat was great, very talkative and from hearing the local guests the place will last… webpage

The 15 march was wonderful with great company and I tasted a new wonderful resto like there are so many in Paris, this one is the Le Cassenoix or the nutcracker at 56 Rue de la Fédération  75015. I had a wonderful basque dish of pork and choucroute, with perle de japon fruit cocktail dessert, and expresso coffee, all wash down by a nice Bordeaux chosen by the hosts for the occasion. The place is nicely decorated with antiques of Paris, and all wallpaper very nice. One more nice address in Paris, webpage

My car was waiting for me at the Nantes airport, and there was no flight there as mine was cancelled so I could stay in Paris for the meeting. The alternative was to take a TGV to Gare de Nantes. This I did reserve, however, upon arriving two minutes late missed my train. As usual  ,I am not very good with trains ::)  Luckily the next train was 30 mins later,and got on it at no additional charge.–buses-and-shuttle-buses_a2391-0-p2635-18.html

Upon arriving at Nantes, took for the first time the navette bus from train station to airport, very nice ,and puntual, for 7,50€ one way coming out from the gare de Nantes sud door ,across the street is the stop, you past by the Mercure hotel on your right hand side. The ride was smooth and nice. Finally arriving at the airport took my car and went home which is another 1h30 drive home, arriving late for today’s  family duties to do,and did. info on the train station of Nantes, (sncf)

Now  I am preparing tomorrow morning for my trip to South Africa in the evening with AF again, back by wednesday, then out Thursday on my own vacation to Paris/Versailles for the weeekend lol:::) This is a totally different trip. Not only will I be going back to my old area as a tourist now for the first time in 10 years, but will do the trip by TGV train,and rent hotel in Paris by the Galeries Lafayette area. So will see the tourist in me how I will do, gave a challenge to do the metro, bus and walk as a visitor. Leave you with some pictures of my last ordeal, and looking forward not to have snow again for five years lol!

Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers.

Nantes Paris PAris PAris Paris Paris

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March 8, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXVIII

I am done with my week, and looking ahead to a busy week of travels, first to Brazil ,then Paris, come back hopefully time to write on my blog and then out again to South Africa, and then back out again to Paris/Versailles.

Not to leave you all alone, here are the latest tips and pieces from the movable feast that is France.

One of the biggest issues is water pollution in Paris, and many events are cancelled due it. But do you know, this is one of the most beautiful waterways in the world and certaintly the most famouse, yet its polluted don’t go in or eat anything from it. I am talking about the SEINE river of Paris.  First it was the Traversée de Paris in September 2012 and now it is the Triathlon de Paris that has been cancelled because of water sewage problems  This is increase as the authorities are working on water transportation so many boats with old age and dripping oil all over; lol!!!

Art in Paris Art Fair, from March 28  to April 1st 2013 at the wonderful Grand Palais de Paris.  It will show the richness of the Parisien scene in spring with the expositions of  Adrian Paci  in Jeu de Paume, Anticorps  by Antoine d’Agata at the Bal, Correspondances  at the Espace culturel Louis Vuitton, Disaster ,at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac at Pantin, Julio Le Parc at Palais de Tokyo, Ettore Sottsass  at  Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique, Walid Raad at the musée du Louvre, Alina Szapocznikow, dessins at Centre Pompidou.  Also, the Russian memory of Paris with the exposition of  Chagall, entre guerre et paix at the  Musée du Luxembourg ,and  Hugo invite Dostoïevski – Les Frères Karamazov  photograph by  Alexeï Vassiliev at the Maison Victor Hugo, without forgetting the collections of the musée Zadkine recently renovated.

the places of all the events are

La galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 69, avenue du Général Leclerc – 93500 Pantin. Métro : Eglise de Pantin, ligne 5 – RER E Pantin

hours at the Grand Palais,  Thursdays March 28 11h30 – 20h
Fridays MArch 29  11h30 -22h
Saturday March 30 11h30 -20h
Sundays March 31  11h30- 20h
Monday April 1st  11h30- 19h, night time seance on Friday March 29 from 20h to 22h. admission is : 20€ Métro : Franklin-D.-Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau , lines 1, 9 & 13, and Bus : Lines 28, 42, 52, 72, 73, 80, 83,and  93 access pedestrians is by  5 avenue Matignon, webpage

The big event is the Negresco coffee contest going on until April 7.  The winner of the local contest on TV  Top Chef 2012,and ,also, the ex super chef of L’Agapé substance, David Toutain and from the hotel Ritz kitchen Michel Roth, and the pastries of the Pré Catelan ,Christelle Brua could come to your house to cook for you ol!!!. you have two possibilities, first on the right column black band that says JOUEZ! and on the bottom center answering the 3 questions and hitting Valider mes Réponses for a free breakfast. webpage in French,

And last but not least, for buying at good prices and on second hand clothing  in Paris do come to these, they are waiting for you ::)

From Monday to Friday 11h-21h ,and from saturday to Sunday at  12h- 21h
8 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie 75004

01 42 76 03 72 

By Flowers
Monday  14h30 – 20h30,tuesday to saturday  11h- 20h30 ,and Sunday  14h30-20h30. 
86 rue des martyrs 75018

Kilo Shop Marais :
69-71 rue de la Verrerie

Kilo shop Saint Germain : 
125 boulevard Saint Germain

19 avenue de clichy
75018 from 10h00-19h30.
01 40 08 03 00, and 96 Boulevard de Barbes,75018,Marcadet
from  10h- 20h.

12 Rue de la Grande Truanderie Paris 1er 
Métro : Etienne Marcel 
monday to saturday from  11- 19h
Tél : 01 42 36 19 91,  

UPDATE: I have to tell you this because traveling next might take me a few days to write in my blog. The French pool table ,billard championship will be held in Croissy sur Seine; The Billard Open of Paris,  I know the town as when i came into France it was one where I was offered an apartment even without deposit, its a very nice town with the best British School in France, and finally I chose Versailles ::)  The best 32 players in France will be here, see the official webpage of the sport in France here,


Have a great weekend y’all.

March 3, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXVII

On a peaceful Sunday in Brittany lets recap with time some new items of interests to residents and travelers alike. The news from Paris are never short and now its the time rather than wait for the weekdays when I will be busy preparing for other adventures.

Here it is cloudy, with some of rain, and temps in the 7C.

The latest news is that the nice and well known Zoo de Vincennes at Paris is close. Well it is under renovation to open in 2014. The only problem is how to name it after all is done! The commission in charge of its renovation don’t like to continue calling it the Zoo de Vincennes but rather the parc zoologique de Paris;now a senator from the opposing party in France,UMP is saying this is impossible. She suggest naming it the Parc Zoologique de Paris-Vincennes; so the political race is on while the park is not even yet able to open. As you might know the park is open here since 1934 but its closed since 2008! The park is expected to reopon in spring of 2014. Read more about it here in French, the official site already with the new name lol!

The famous Paris-Nice bicycle race, (at least here is famous) will have this year a prologue stage and the first course stage from my old area in the Yvelines dept 78.  The city center of Houilles (oh so many times in transit to work here!) is full of activity today as the prologue starts today by 13h32 . Houilles  is completely change its facade with stands for bicycles, repairs shops, acrobates cyclists etc. Tomorrow Monday, the cyclists will start the first etape stage from Saint-Germain-en-Laye (nostalgia of its marché and parking pologne to see the wonderful city of Louis XIV) ,the stage will end in my wife’s dept of Seine et Marne on the town of Nemours.  Read all about in English at thet Tour de France webpage

LE PLAYERS ,161 rue montmartre, 75002 ,Metro Grands Boulevards (L 8 or 9) will have on march 23rd “The American Party” with over 30 TV screen showing American shows,with a musical selection of  100% US ! they will have their Quaterbacks & Cheerleaders taken care of you with 4 Dj’s playing : Pop, Electro, HipHop etc…On the program :
– Decoration 100% US
– Distribution of goods made in USA
– Service at the Bar in RED CUPs
– Tables of BEER PONG !
– Stand HOT DOG all night
– Breakfast DONUTS offers from 4h30!

And all is free if you register in advance with a dinner at, i think you can print the pass here if not above link;

From march 22 to June 30, at the Domaine de Sceaux , you can see the exposition 1704, les salons, les Arts, le roi .  The domaine de Sceaux is located in the towns of Antony and Sceaux.,and it is with a castle and garden park inmense that houses the museum or Musée de l’Ile de France.Métro : Croix de Bern,RER B,and Parc de Sceaux RER B. webpage It will have 520 works of arts giving during the expo in honor of the first great grandson of Louis XIV ,and this event is now organised to its identical by the Royal Academy of Paintings and Sculptures.

The Théatre Luxembourg de Meaux (my wife’s native town),at  4, Rue Cornillon Meaux 77100 in Seine et Marne , train direct from Gare de l’Est in Paris, in a time of many soirées when our younger love days,it is equipped with a very good salon and auditorium with great clarity of sound, showing each season with over 60 spectacles  going from the traditional to the modern for different tastes and likes . The Festival Hoptimum  with activities until Sept 15 2013;  an original rdv of dancers, rappers, graffiti experts both amateurs and professionals . In the program for March 23 at 14h30 ,you have  Battle Junior open to all young breakers dancers  of Ile de France region with a surprise closing show.Admission is 3€

In on my beloved Versailles which I will be middle end of March, you have the upper popular and crowded but beautiful and magnificent Les Grandes Eaux Musicales on March 29 to October 27 2013. Discover this year the magic of the fontaines et bosquets or  fountains and forest parks of the Domaine de Versailles  with its fabolous water falling and shouts at the rythme of the music. The hours and days are every Saturdays and Sundays from March 30 mars to October 27 2013. Every tuesdays from May 21 to June 25 2013. Exceptional opening dates in March 29, May 8,9, and August 15 2013. Access to the gardens is payable from  9h to 18h30 at 8,50€ , with the Saturdays of the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes the gardens close from 17h30. The gardens parks are open from 9h to 18h30; the music starts from 10h to 18h30, and  on weekends from  11h-12h and 15h30-17h, tuesdays from 11h -12h and 14h30-16h. The water is on at the Bassin du Miroir every 10 minutes from 10h to 18h30, and on the Bassin de Neptune from 17h20 to 17h30. Same possibility of buying an adult annual card for 21€.

And follow that up with the musical gardens or Les Jardins Musicaux, from April 2 to October 29. For better enjoy the gardens  every Tuesdays in April, May, July, August,September ,and October you will have a musical promenade ; a moment to intensively discover the heart of these wonderful gardens à la française dream and created by the master André Le Nôtre(this year 2013 in the city of Versailles is the Year of Le Notre, see the hotel de ville for activities,and photo), you will walk musically by the statues that lives in the gardens alleys, on the shadows of its spaces of the protected park by the gardeners of Versailles. The opening hours of the gardens for this event is from  9h to 18h30; the music will be played from 10h to 18h30, and the water will start pouring from fountains on the Bassin du Miroir from 10h to 18h30; admission for this event is 7,50€; there is a possibility of taken an annual card for the event for 21€ and you can buy online bringing the bar coded ticket page with you is ok.

Have a great Sunday everyone, I am getting ready for my trips first Brazil, then South Africa, then Paris/Versailles this month. Cheers


March 2, 2013

Mexico DF another nice return to a beautiful country.

It was another opportunity to visit this beautiful country and city of metropolis of our world as well as once again meeting some good friends of always.

It was a short trip, flying from Nantes to Paris CDG to Mexico DF,and return in reverse order. I stay at the always now Best Western Royal Zona Rosa, Amberes 78 just before reaching Chapultepec avenue.,Best-Western-Royal-Zona-Rosa,70175  the flight was totally on Air France, the best. It was trying the Terminal 2 E along gates M24 and the 2F along 21 to get back home.

While in Mexico I did my usual trips around the place eating and enjoying the company of friends. We first try El Bajio, at the flagship restaurant ,the first on the list at webpage,  , the food was great with panoches,chicharones, and the pork dish with black mole and sauce.

We ,also, visited El Paisa, a more rustic restaurant in a working class area with a nice second floor terrace, a very nice welcome with lots of Mexicans families there; nice ambiance and great conversation with many. The area is nice around a corner, and serve in the terrace in the back upper level. It is best reach here by car as I was taken with local friends. One of the places to go when you know the area and want to get away from tourists. Here we had more goodies of the Mexican cuisine such as the alambre with meat and cheese melted sort like a pizza but chewy and yummy, pacifico beers and coffee expresso, first we had some chicharones and all good. no webpage  Claveria 199, , Centro, Azcapotzalco Tel   +52 55 5396 4144.

I then, toppled it all with a very nice evening with good old friends in zona rosa,near the hotel, at the corner of Hamburgo and Niza streets, there is El Lugar del Mariachi, its a restaurant with live music pop and mariachis alternatively, and a dance floor !!! This is right smack in tourist central so a bit high price but very good food, secure,and a very good group of musicians playing from pop to bolero to cha cha cha and then a group of mariachi singers playing their songs as well; a very good ambiance with romantic overtones or in family. webpage at

Again it was time to go back home, and another nice wonderful time spent in wonderful Mexico DF. I will be back! Here are some photos ,enjoy it and have a great weekend wherever you are.

Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico Mexico


March 1, 2013

Some news from Spain XI

Well been letting this tag kind of alone lately but its lively in Spain always. My latest finds to share with my readers are,

First , you have concerts from some of my all time favorites such as Merche, April 18 at Joy Madrid, 20€, at a nostalgic place whre Iused to go for theater plays when young, then a disco, then a nightclub of all, and the famous of Spain, more info

 Top it off with Alejandro Sanz, June 26/27 at palacio de los deportes, from 33€ to 235€ on sale at ticketmaster or El Corte Inglés stores.

You have Chenoa playing May 24 for 25/35€ with sales at El Corte Inglés and at Teatro Compac Gran Via,

of course in the Palacio de los deportes of Madrid you can see many things and I used to do fencing and volleyball there when young, now you can see the Real Madrid basketball team 7 times European Champion and on top of group in the euroligue this year. In the league official page, you can see the history of Real Madrid baloncesto or basketball,

Tabacalera, la Antigua Fábrica de Tabacos de Madrid, or the old cigars factory of Madrid was built between  1780 and 1792, Initially it was set up as  Real Fábrica de Aguardientes y Naipes or Royal factory of eau de vie  and game cards.  It served this way for a while before been change to a Fábrica de Tabacos y Rapé or factory of cigars and snuff in 1809 ,and kept the manufacture until the end of the 20C. Now from 2007 onward it is handle as a center of visual arts on the street level and basement the rest is used by other centers for diverse exhibitions.  It is located at Calle Embajadores,51 metro embajadores line 3 or cercanias train C5. It is open Tuesdays to Fridays from  12h to  20h. Saturdays, Sundays ,and holidays from 11h to 20h. Mondays closed.  You have a wonderful expo on painting,and architecture by José Manuel Ballester  until April 28;more info here

Do stop by Casa de América, at Cibeles 2 metro banco de España open from Mondays to Saturdays from 11h to 19h30, and Sundays from 11h to 15h,free admission.

Casa Europa at the old and wonderful Circulo de Bellas Artes or beaux-arts circle at calle marques de Casa Riera,and Alcala , metro banco de España,  more info here

Some of the best places to see Madrid my youthful city are, museo de Antropologia or Anthropology museum, Calle alfonso XII,  ,and the Biblioteca National or national library,  ;Casa de Lope de Vega, when young his were the books and stories we learned Spanish and our history; here is where the writer lived and died from 1610 to 1635, at Calle Cervantes 11 in a very Madrilene district nearest metro Anton Martin. free admission at the regional gov site, sorry its long and in Spanish,

The Cathedral of Almudena, guided visit for 6€, visit apart the chapel of the bishop for 2€;  the wonders of monasteries, such as monasterio de la Encarnacion, plaza de la encarnacion, metro opera, admission 7€ painting of Madrid and the Bourbons, and the more popular Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, plaza de las descalzas, metro Sol, admission 7€ more info here

Museo de Cera or wax museum with nice history of Spain inside, near Colon Plaza. at paseo de los recoletos, metro Colon. 16€ more info here  The Lazaro Galdiano museum at Serrano 122, one of the most brilliant private expositions of paintings in Spain, Museo Casa Natal de Cervantes, this is where it is claimed Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born (the wter of Don Quijote)  at Alcala de Henares, more info

The palace of El Pardo, including the casa del principe Don Carlos, paintings including one of Queen Isabel the Catholic, ; the palacio Real,, and the Palacio Real de Aranjuez, ,and the palacio Real de la Granja at near Segovia, the Versailles of Spain,

The Planetario or planetarium of Madrid, ; Real Monasterio de El Escorial,  the Real Observatorio de Madrid, or astronomy with telescopes meridian, clocks, and mirrors including a pendulum clock from Foucault,

I won’t need to tell you about the triangle of arts that includes the Prado, Reina Sofia,and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. But do take a look at the Museo Sorolla, general martinez campo, 37 metro Iglesias; free admission,and the best collection of this Valencian painter; wonderful place,  and do visit the museo Taurino behind the Ventas monumental bullfighting ring, metro ventas line 2 and 5, where I lived for four years nearby.  Calle  Alcala ,  237  just from the gardens,

And one of favorites areas for the cable car or teleferico to Casa de Campo, where you have a zoo,aquarium, attraction rides park,and just great. and  and right from paseo del pintor Rosales on the parque de la Montaña more known as parque del oeste you have the temple Debod, egyptian gift to Spain in 1968, from the gods Amon and Isis.

And last, I ate at Dehesa de Santa Maria, Calle Mayor, 88  a franchise chain all over Spain with tapas, hams,sausages, and beer/wine right at old Madrid near plaza Mayor ,slow service for a plate of four tapas and two beers 13,90€ the price was right, but not one I will be going back ::)

Enjoy Madrid and you know it life is beautiful, more so in Madrid ::)

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