Archive for April, 2013

April 30, 2013

Some news from France CII

This is the eve to Labor Day, as the international day here, so I will be off resting, too bad it fell in the middle of the week so no bridge lol! The day is sunny a bit cool but nice darn.

The next big event in Paris is a foire a fairs better a fair than a war. The Foire de Paris with 3500 exhibitors!  From today to May 12 at  Porte de Versailles (75015). Open every day from 10h to 19h. Nightime on May 10 open until  23h. Admission is 12€ . Pass 2 days 18€. Free for the under 12 yrs old.  Here is the site , I love to go there for the Cultures du Monde section, enjoy it if you can, its great.

Over in Honfleur, that I will be in, is the Fête des Marins, (the feast of the mariners or seaman) the 152nd year!! where the boats go out,and its festive all around. I go for a more personal reason, my dear mother is buried at sea and the ceremony is of the blessing of those there buried or fallen in the great Normandy shores. The place is always magical for me and since she is there is a pilgrimage.  Here is the pdf file for the festivitiesête-des-Marins-2013.pdf?3f49bb

And according to the French , where are you the most happy living, which region? well surprise that the top three are my favorites areas in France other than the Paris/Versailles combo of past working and living. Aquitaine, came in first with 93% satisfaction ,this is the area of the southwest where Bordeaux is amongst others. Then comes the Pays de la Loire, where the great chateaux are; and then comes Bretagne, yes where I am living now ,and I can attest to that, its great too. These are the top 10;

  • 1ea. Aquitaine (93 %)
  • 1ea. Pays de la Loire (93 %)
  • 3ea. Bretagne (91 %)
  • 3ea. Alsace
  • 5. Rhône-Alpes (90 %)
  • 6ea. Midi-Pyrénées (89 %)
  • 6ea. Auvergne (89 %)
  • 8. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (88 %)
  • 9ea. Languedoc-Roussillon (85 %)
  • 9ea. Poitou-Charente (85 %)

By the way the Paris Ile de France region came in one of the last at 70% lol!!! Well like I said, living and visiting are two different things. Here is in French the real estate publication,

Since tomorrow is off day labor day, we have flea markets in Paris some of my favorites were/are:

On the 9ème arrondissement:
the street  rue Rochechouart is having a small market very friendly and cozy neighborhood gathering with about  80 tables  from 7h to 19H Rue Rochechouart, Métro Cadet

On the 12ème arrondissement:
the flea  Picpus  is been done on boulevard de Picpus, of course !  With about  100 tables with antiques items too. From 7h to 19h  Boulevard de Picpus, Métro Nation

On the  14ème arrondissement:
its happening at  place Maurice Noguès and goes on towards  avenue Marc Sangnier and avenue Maurice Noguès.  You have about  200 tables  with antiques and  new items ! From 6h to 18H at Place Maurice Noguès, Métro Porte de Vanves

You have on May 30th  the 5th edition of the La Veillée Food Stock on the roof of the Cité de la Mode et du Design. From 19h ,here is the fooding event, all so yummy and great music too, wonderful place ,and this year the place is great too the NUBA 36, quai d’Austerlitz, admission is 25€ webpage

And until May 20 you have at Paris jardin d’acclimatation, Bretagne,yeah!!! with over 300 artists from the region showcasing their wares. You will see the «gwenn ha du» the famous Breton flag of black and white for three weeks.  The show will be from 10h to 19h, admission will be only 3€ adults. See more of it here, and do come to know my new region; in one of my top favorite parks of Paris,

Baguettes are so important part of everyday life here that I could not wait to post this ,just in by the jury of the professional guilds of bakers in paris the top bakeries doing baguettes in Paris for 2013 are

1. Au Paradis du Gourmand – Ridha Khadjer. 156, rue Raymond Losserand, XIVe.

2. Boulangerie Raphaëlle – Sébastien Mayerts. 1, rue Feutrier, XVIIIe.

3. Boulangerie Damiani. 125, avenue du Clichy, XVIIe.

4. Christian Vabret. 27, rue Francois Miron, IVe.

5. Maison Cailleaud. 104, cours de Vincennes, 75012

6. Maison Landemaine – Yosuké Fijié. 56, rue du Clichy, IXe.

7. Dominique Saibron. 77, avenue du Géneral Leclerc, XIVe.

8.  Le Grenier à Pain lafayette. 91, rue Faubourg Poissonnière, IXe.

9. La Parisienne. 12, rue Coustou, XVIIIe.

10 tied. Claude Besnier. 40 rue du Bourgogne, VIIe.

10 tied. Samir Ben Habhab. 55 boulevard Gouvion Saint Cyr, XVIIe.

10 tied. Nicolas Marnay. 24, rue Saint-Martin, IVe.

Enjoy your day wherever you are. cheers

April 27, 2013

Bucharest, one more time!

In Bucharest again, folks there recount of a time when the city was, also, call the Paris of the East. Indeed times have change a lot. The city is getting back to this feeling, with lots of hope for the future in a trouble European Union.

I spent a week day ,its my fourth visit, last was there on Feb 15 2013. I stayed in the same hotel , very nice and comfortable if a bit away from the center from those visitors of sights and sound. Ramada Parc, and its next door neighbor Ramada Plaza , a more modern upscale version at  with Casa Doina restaurant gastronomic resto in between ,and the latest of International and Romanian cuisine,  All have been tested by yours truly with this last time again at the Parc hotel.

This time I had dinner next door ,also, on what is a nice business park, as it is very close to the Romexpo exhibition center in Bucharest, so the all you can eat buffet at the Crown Plaza Hotel La Brasserie resto  is excellent and a great value indeed.

Right around in the same area you have the Romanian-American University, a great location, very modern facilities and it seems busy place as well with English spoken lol! I put it here for the studious minded readers,

You need to go the 18 Lounge on the top floor of the City Gate South Tower business center, wonderful views of the city of Bucharest,and great food.  Lots of folks enjoying it with a mix of locals and foreigners as well. I had a tagliatelli st jacques that was very good indeed,and a good capuccino.

I did travel inland into cities such as Braila, Slobozia, Ploiesti ,and Galati, on good roads and plenty of gas stations with goodies to munch on at better prices than France ::)  Another nice trip to come back to,and hopefully more time to see the inner cities wonderful architecture and ambiance.

Cheers, Bucharest is coming back. Enjoy it a bit more. Cheers!

April 20, 2013

My travels in the Morbihan, part II

I am out getting ready to travel outside France but took one last ride around my area always fascinated by the wonderful architecture , history ,and good food all around me. This is Morbihan or petite mer in French, it is Breton meaning small sea; dept 56 of Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh, France.

This is our tourist webpage for all of the Morbihan,

I set out today into deep country past Pluvigner into something call Bieuzy-Lanvaux! yes way deep country, where the mailboxes is just your name,there is no street address!!! Beautiful rustic country thus along road D16 to D779. We continue our ride to Sainte-Anne d’Auray, nearer me. This is a shrine to the patron saint of Brittany ,and according to the book the grandmother of Jesus , mother of Mary.

Sainte-Anne d’Auray is very spiritual town with visits by Pope John Paul II, and pilgrims who flock here every july 25-26 for the feast of Sainte Anne, coming from all over France and some in Europe,not just Bretons, as most think. The basilica is imposing and so is the statues on her honor, and the mauseleum to the Breton fallen in wars, shrines all over the city, with two retirement homes Sainte Anne and Sainte Marie, and then Catholic elementary and college and high schools. Its a state of mind.

In Sainte Anne d’Auray is ,also, one of our favorite family places to go and on the list of best traditional creperies of Brittany, that is  Créperie Les Ajoncs, right across from the basilica. We had our paysanne with potatoes and sausages, a glass of grimbergen abbey beer of Belgium, the breton far aux pruneaux ,which is like a prune pudding,and coffee all for 17€ per person.

We visited city center Pluvigner, which we always past by ,this time we stop; one of the differences of having a blog to write about the region,and living here with no need for pictures taking. Pluvigner is a country town small on road D768 amongst others. It has a nice church or église de Saint Guigner; founder of the town. It is mostly from the 16C as one sable stone on the north side tells you it was in 1545 when built. However, it has been found traces on the building that is even older. The antique tower and bell were done in 1781. Many renovations since 1841 have been carry out . The inside has stained glass marking the events of famous names of the parrish, like Saint Guigner, Saint Guénaël  or the penitent  Kériolet.  You will see statues of Saint Guigner, Saint Michel,Saint Vincent Ferrier and that one of  Notre-Dame de Bon Secours. It ,also, a wonderful painting of the assomption of Mary from 1770. The outside you have vestiges on the north side of the old Chapel Notre-Dame des orties, built in  1426, having survived the cross transept. Surrounding the church you see many monument to the fallen  as well as calvary, and a cross.

You see the modern nice mayor’s office or mairie giving contrast with it and the nearby church describe above. Right back in our area we finally took a picture of the bus system of Morbihan that serves our area Le Divennah in the town of Brech along road D768.

We went over Saint Avé which is near Vannes on our way to our shopping at Carrefour and the kids videogames at Micromania lol!!! I finally show my family where I work, even if close, I took them to Saint Nolffs and my chateau (yes I work in a castle! château de Talhouët) In city center I finally took pictures of the town church complex. The church of Saint Mayeul, is from the 16C. it is now under a massive renovation to save it , a mayor work on a historical monument of great beauty you can see in the photos here. It is surrounded by monument to the fallen, and a little fellow ,and the chapel of Sainte Anne next to the church and built in 1493.

We came home for the night ready to prepare for my next trip out of France Sunday.


Enjoy the tour and until next time in the Morbihan!

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April 19, 2013

The Canals of Amsterdam

Just back from a nice quick trip to Amsterdam. I have not been here since my youth swashbuckling days so it was nice. I was lucky to be there on sunny days and the central area was pack.

My itinerary started in Auray with the French TGV, passing by Vannes,Redon Rennes,Laval, Le Mans to Paris Montparnasse. There took metro line 4 to gare du nord or Paris Nord. Then took the Thalys to Amsterdam Centraal station.  The site for the TGV park of the SNCF,

Then ,you have the metro or public transport of Paris at ,and finally you have the Thalys,

While in Amsterdam, I stayed at the nice Crown Plaza centre; part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group,  The hotel was very nice and very central to all. Right off walking from train station Centraal or center.

From there we went to eat the first  night at Singel where we had a nice fish and vegetable dish with white wine, coffees, very nice , webpage

Next day I walk the nice quaint streets of central Amsterdam, and its nice architecture to get a feeling of it. Of course, I went by the red light district and its windows, very decadent I must add; I don’t pay for that, I earn it.

At night for the second day , a group went to cafe in de waag, a historical castle like building with nice ambiance and a good European steak (small by American standards).

Finally upon leaving I try a nice bio place, Cafe Dwaze Zaken, with very friendly service,and good ambiance,the food was just right in a chorizo sandwich with a nice pint of gulpener beer. Just to get me going for the train trip back home. The place webpage is here

I just marvel at the hop on hop off bus,and the lovely Subway resto by the bay behind the Centraal train station for the memories. The church of Saint Nicolas near centraal train station, here is their webpage

the main sights here other than with more time see the museums is to take a boat ride on the Canals, the Lovers boat is very unique, Lovely ride indeed.

In all a very short stay but already looking forward to go back in summer for an extended stay; Enjoy Amsterdam, cheers.


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April 18, 2013

Some news from France CI

I just came back from more traveling,and already book for more next week, but did not want to tell you about the latest in France and especially Paris.

The new places for apero or small dishes a la French with an Anglo Saxon twist. My old work area has it good, Da Rosa Rive Droite,19 bis, rue du Mont-Thabor, Tél. +33 01 77 37 37 87. Open every day until  2h for the bar and  23h30 for the resto. Carte:from 15 €  (a glass of wine and a dish of tapas). No web.

The Grand Palais will have from June 10 to 22, the view on cinema from Fiat 500 automobiles!!! The biggest screen in Europe about  30 meters wide will project movies such as  Les Dents de la mer, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver, Annie Hallou and The Big Lebowski. In the heart of the nave there will be a big diner on orders from the Canadian chef  Gita Seaton offering «cheeseburgers, bacon & eggs, fried chicken and chocolate pudding». tariff of 10€s  adultes, 5€ under  12 yrs old.  Entrance and movies for 19€.

The Nuit aux Invalides is back from now to May 7. The production of Amaclio and Bruno Seillier will take you to a ride into the history of France. The placing will be the cour d’honneur du Musée de l’armée. you see more in the webpage The producers will be doing two more exciting shows like the  Les Luminescences d’Avignon, at the Palais des papes, and in next August  Les Écuyers du temps, at the château des ducs d’Anjou in Saumur.

You have new places for spectacles such as Anthea in Antibes with the first show La Traviata of Verdi, the show began at this salle in April 6, webpage for it

In an old industrial park, you have a new place for artists, dancers etc right below Paris, Vitry-sur-Seine, and A La Briqueterie, more of it at webpage

Right down the road at Blois, you have the Fondation du Doute, a new space for expositions, meetings, performances of art; webpage

Right in an area near to me ,as used to go there frequently for restos and bar a new steakhouse a la French is open. The Beef Club, 58 ,rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, , and since I am in the area do stop by at Toro, 74 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau  ,the real Spanish in Paris, webpage

And for you tourists freaks, the WTO =world tourism organisation part of the UN just told us we went over the 1 billion tourist mark, see it here

The new tourist site for one of my favorite cities in France, Toulouse, is SoToulouse and in English it is here the webpage wonderful.

And let’s get SIDA over with will we, from June 28-30 2013 a series of concert for fund raising and fun for all. Some of the ones I know will be David Guetta, Django Django, Kery James,The Wombats, etc. It will be held at the Hippodrome de Longchamp, under the banner Solidays, and here is the webpage on how to get there and more,

Until May 6 you have at the Opera Garnier de Paris, Conte de Fées with the opera Hansel and Gretel, see it and if want to see work of light or lumiéres see Julio le Parc at the Palais de Tokyo until May 2013. First expo in France, webpage

If you want to walk Paris with a local come and meet a greeter of Paris, a volunteer local Parisien who will take you around and show you the city. I know, walking Paris is best,and you can do but so many people ask me and I have no time ::) See the Paris Greeters webpage

See the beautiful gardens of the Chateau de Chantilly, one of my favorites in the region. There will be show casing there until July 7 2013,  under L’Enchateurs des Jardins, the art des jardin at the 17C and 18C. Official castle webpage  , and from the region tourist office Oise, the gardens,

If you want to catch the fine arts museum in Besancon go now, after it will be close for two years of renovations! Until September 15 2013, you have the Florilége, musée des Beaux-Arts, showing new works of recently renovated works of art and some never shown to the public before! A trip from the 14C to our days. webpage

About to the nord 59 and see the musée Matisse, a great collection of this great painter, started to use gouaches in 1947 and now 443 of his work will be in exhibit until June 9 2013. The museum is at Le Cateau-Cambrésis where nearby we have family. Webpage

The man of 40 castles or Bernard Magrez, is showcasing until July 21 2013 a series of paintings from his collection at the Chateau  Labottiére in the Medoc Bordeaux, wonderful works and great wine, guaranteed. The series at his institut is entitled Réves de Venice, Webpage

Of course, there is a lot lot more in France, but these are my favorites that I have been in the past and always look forward to what they have even if not in them for a while. Enjoy it. Cheers.



April 10, 2013

Some news from France C

Well just notice had my Roman numerals wrong but then again nobody notice lol!!! Now I am ok at no 100. I am ,also, been away for a short while, so busy,and not traveling ::)

The latest unique thing about Paris is that LE LOUXOR at Barbés will be open again,closed since 1987!  It is a cinema opened in 1921 , closed in 1983 and then purchase by the city of Paris in 1987,renovations and voilà it will open on April 18.  170, bd Magenta, Paris 10éme,and the webpage

Then, you come to the  Cinémathèque, here you will go deep into the subject, go along the passage Pommeraye de Nantes  build to it identical detail with its vitrines show windows, the photos of the films of  Jacques Demy.  This is the Parisien place par excellence with the echo of  Lola(1961),his first film and  «petit Jacquot de Nantes» ,the little jacques of Nantes that at  13 yrs old purchased his first camera, a  Baby Pathé. At the background music you will hear the nice songs composed by Michel Legrand, his brother.  There you see the chronologic of his life, scenarios, photos, model scenarios , paintings and advance of his films. 51, rue de Bercy Paris 12éme, and the webpage

To follow on the libraries dealing with cinema cults and all about movies, the recommended ones are,

Hors Circuits (4, rue de Nemours, XIe. Tél.: 01 48 06 32 43) find a DVD never re edited or a book out of print.

Librarie Eyrolles (55-63, bd Saint-Germain, Ve. Tél.: 01 44 41 11 74)… to borrow like the brothers  Lumière(144 p., 18 €).

Dixit Librarie (3, rue La Bruyère, IXe. Tél.: 01 49 70 03 33)…for a guided guide on scenarios from the small to the big screen.

Librairie du cinéma La Chambre Claire (14, rue Saint-Sulpice, VIe. 01 43 59 17 71). ..for the making of the films in photos.

Ciné Reflet (14, rue Serpente, VIe. 01 40 46 02 72)… to offer a biography, scenario or collector’s book out of print.

Imagigraph (84, rue Oberkampf, XIe. Tél.: 01 48 07 54 20)… for funding books and the latest editions.

Some places in Paris to really soak in that cinema world, of places of film,scenes, and the aura of Paris, my favorites are L’Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes (106, rue de la Folie-Méricourt) , no webpage. Le Grand Colbert (2, rue Vivienne) , Le Bristol (112, rue du Fbg-Saint-Honoré),, Hôtel Amour (8, rue de Navarin), ; Opéra-Comique (5, place Boieldieu), , Bar de l’Entracte (6, rue Montaigne) ,no webpage, L’Athénée Théàtre Louis Jouvet (square de l’Opéra Louis-Jouvet),

And then some mythical cinemas of Paris,like the la Pagode (57, rue de Babylone) and his wonderful garden,; and the Cinéma du Panthéon, (13, rue Victor-Cousin) ,and its spirited ciné club,, the Grand Rex (1, bd Poissonnière) , and is gigantic sound system, , and the Studio 28 (10, rue Tholozé),

And if you need to buy movie memobilia you need to go here and take a souvenir for real, Defrise, 23, rue Basfroi

Something to reminicent of Paris in a cloudy, rainy, very windy night in Brittany ! Cheers!

April 5, 2013

Pontivy or Napoleonville country Morbihan

I had a busy day today not at work, rest day ,but between helping my father with his immigration papers (he is here as carte de séjour visiteur), and picking my son in school , at the end turn out  more busy than if stay at work. Even thus ,work always bothers you even on vacation thanks to today’s company mobile phone lol!!!

Well our famous Napoléon Ier wanted to give this time more notoriety n central Brittany, at the time with only 3000 inhabitants . The idea during peace a center of great commerce and during war a military important stronghold.  From the year brumaire XII or November 9, 1804 it received the name of Napoléonville.  All is arranged to make this a model city with new architecture whereby the first stone was put on August 12 1807 in his presence.  It had large avenues and beautiful gardens,and many streets were name on imperial figures . An imperial high school or secondary school was created in 1808 , the the 3rd high school in Brittany after those of Rennes and Nantes This school recruits from the area of Morbihan and  Finistére .  The district of the cavalry was finished in 1811, the house of detention in 1813,the mayor’s office in 1834, the department government building in  1839 , and the justice building in 1846.  With the monumental buildings which responds to the huge bourgeoises mansions.

The town ask to be called Bourbonville after the first Restauration  1814-1815, and takes the name of Pontivy after the return of king Louis XVIII ,later it comes back to be called « Napoléonville » under Napoléon III. From  1870 the town regained the current name of Pontivy. Which of course in Breton is Pondi.

This site tells you all about the region pays de Pontivy or Bro Pondi (breton), at the city page you can find many tourist info in French,  Just to know the river Blavet passing thru the valley of Blavet is whre the Canal Nantes Brest passes thru making it a nice city with a river just like Paris ::)

We had a wonderful lunch at resto Le Martray, pl du Martray on 32 rue du Pont, just so good we book for next weekend again. fish in crustacean sauce, bavette or steak in poivre sauce, half bottle of muscadet white wine, ile flottante dessert, coffees, and apero like porto red all for about 21 euros per person, and the service like at home.

Come see this picturesque town, and others like Baud passing by on my way to Pontivy on the D768 road. Enjoy your weekend everyone !!!

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