Archive for March, 2013

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 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 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 ::)

March 1, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXVI

So here we are again, back from several trips and needed to say something about France.There is always something new when visiting or passing by Paris;and it won’t stop with me, I will be back end of march.

For those in the fashion and this is fashion week in Paris, you can go wrong to go here Save the Queen yes at 189 blvd Saint Germain, tel +33 (0) 1 45 44 14 62 and experience a theater style fashion shop , the chic and trendy of Paris, webpage

Go to the Hotel de Ville from now until July 6 and see the exhibtion on fashion, Paris Haute Couture, capital of fashion since the 19C. 5 rue de Lobau, more info here to see Dior,Chanel,Mlle Vionnet,YSL or Balenciaga ,

For the new pop electro romantic French singer seek out Benjamin Biolay and he will be in concert at the Casino de Paris,16 rue de Clichy from March 26-30, already with 7 albums out he is one to see,

Follow that up with pure romanticism at the musée d’Orsay, printing,sculpture,painting, the dark romanticism of the late 18C will be on display from March 5 to June 9. Don’t missed if you can ,more here

See if you can follow that up with the master from Honfleur Eugene Boudin at the musée Jacquemart-André.  the painter of lights, skies, that pave the way for the impressionists, as once Claude Monet said, “i owe it all to Boudin”, 60 of his work will be on display from March 22 to July 22. more info at

A nice property go up to rent and enjoy it ,Hotel Paradis, 41 rue des petites écuries, just near Sacre Coeur. You can enjoy its bar Le Pompon as I did, and the hotel visit but not stay ,deco by Dorothée Meilichzon, only 38 rooms, 1940 furniture and decoration from England, double room from 89€ suites for 194€ with a view of Sacre Coeur. more info

Back to my area of encounter with France, go to Meaux, the famous city of the cheese Brie de Meaux and Moutard de Meaux, it is even a inexpensive stepping stone to visit Disneyland, but there is something more serious and nice. The musée de la Grande Guerre or the museum of the great war, that is WWI. The most extensive collection of items from the times in Europe, from uniforms, vehicules, arms,recontruction of tranches, video presentation, and many diverse objects,only 40 minutes from Paris. more info here

For something delicious and very French why not a baguette, you can have the classic one at Boulangerie Mauvieux, 159 rue Ordener,+33 1 42 62 76 70 ,near metro Lamarck-Caulaincourt ,no web. winner in 2012 of the Best Baguette in Paris.  You can try Boulangerie Arnaud Delmontel, 39 rue des Martyrs, +33 1 48 78 29 33  the most creative with pumpkin seed , six grains,four seeds, linseed etc varieties, and a former winner of the The Best Baguette in Paris, with webpage Passing by the great gourmet Eric Kayser,8 rue Monge , +33 1 44 07 01 42 now with a branch at Orly airport too( Terminal Ouest salle 40) .

How to read Paris in 10 major works in French,Marcel Proust on DU Côte de Chez Swann, Patrick Modiano on Dans le Café de la Jeunesse perdue, Raymond Queneau in Zazie dans le Métro, and Bret Easton Ellis in Glamorama, also, Emile Zola in Le Ventre de Paris, Gustave Flaubert in l’éducation sentimentale, Guy de Maupassant in Bel-Ami, Louis Aragon in Aurélien, Antoine Blondin in l’humeur Vagabonde, and Victor Hugo in the Les Misérables.  and of course Ernest Hemingway in the movable feast, and newer Cuban Zoe Valdes on La Sous-développée.

And see if you can get in as I did once at the La Pléiade library where once a month the great thinkers read Proust,Camus,Malraux,Kessel,Aragon, Sartre, and more recents Jonathan Littell, Marie NDiaye,and Alexis Jenni.  they are elevated as sage or masters,and read more than 6000 manuscripts and books every month to be able to be publishes with the famous publisher Gallimard, the readers are rated over 1,5 they are discarted,and between 1 and 1,5 they are kept.  more info in French here and the various publication of its HQ Gallimard, here ,and more on it in wikipedia,

And what about those wonderful Parisien markets such as that of St Ouen marché aux puces, starting with antiques at galerie Glustin at 140 rue des Rosiers, or marché Biron at 85 rue des Rosiers at  or at 33 et 41 Rue Paul Bert,at  , and at 27 rue des Rosiers at  

And who said an airport is boring, when you can listen to live jazz at the Bar l’Astrolabe at Orly porte D departures, already try by yours truly and its a boundiful ambiance.  Every thursdays next is Didier Lockwood from 17-19h; this is great so be there early ::)

happy weekend everyone, cheers.

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