Archive for March 20th, 2018

March 20, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXVIII

So the week moves on and so do I. Nice day today on the first day of Spring!!! the sun came out and temps in the 10C or 50F no rain, just a bit sprinkle on way home but stop. My puppy Rex is moving alone nicely and the family is happy.

But heck, let me tell you a bit more of what is going on in my belle France!

McDonald’s, Burger King, or even the new small chain Five Guys.  Does that tells you something? Well the hamburger is on  85 %  of restaurant menus in France! And for the first time in 2017, the sales are passing those of the traditional French sandwhich the jambon-beurre, or ham/butter according to the cabinet Gira Conseil.  According to the survey over 1,46 billion burgers were sold with an increase of 9% . If you go by city, the cabinet Gira Conseil uses the indicator of the French sandwich jambon-beurre  to determine the purchasing power of the French. The average price in 2017  was 2,94 euros .  Paris, of course, is the most expensive city with for the ham and butter sandwich you pay  4 euros  on average an increase of +14,94 %, followed by Lyon  and Bordeaux  even at 3,34 euros (no surprise here either).  The least expensive was at Tulle for 2,48 euros. This is the cabinet:

SNCF train monopoly ,the branch Gares & Connexions, has announced the names of three architect firms to hold the improvements on the Gare du Nord . These finalists are the  Altarea-Cogedim with the group BTP Besix Belgium, Architecte Dietmar Feichtinger, Apsys with the sem Paris-Seine, Vinci, la Caisse des depots,and  Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and the Immochan with Eiffage and Valode et Pistre. The final choice will be decided in July 2018.

In other the three main unions of the RATP ( CGT,Unsa and SUD) are calling for a strike on Thursday March 22nd to support the announced strike by the SNCF. The strike will start on Wednesday March 21st at 21h and will lasts until Friday March 23 at 8h.  Stay on alert as the unions CGT-Cheminots, Unsa, SUD-Rail ,and CFDT are planning other strikes by periods of two days starting April 3rd and lasting three months. This according to them is to opposed the will of the government to continue by ordinances the reform of the train network system in France. Which is needed for sure.

And to continue to the problems of transportation, the place de la Bastille is getting ready to say goodbye to the traffic circle this summer.  As well as the works to make one way by more than half the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine , this according to the city of Paris and the mayor’s office of the 11éme arrondissement.  From September next, the automobilists will not be able to take this road making about 1,1 km between the rue Faidherbe , and the place de la Bastille.

Bit of anecdote, the Tour Eiffel was closed for the most part Sunday due to the snow! and cold!!, it finally reopened by 16h30 after a security control. This is for about 3-4 inches of snow that fell in the City of Lights!

Another new find, and anecdote me think. If you go down cement steps on a tight spot you will come back to 80 years of history. You will need a flashlight or torch but once lighted you will be brought back in history with chills in your spine (so say the announcement). They have discovered a bunker to protect the bus drivers  from air attacks ,done in late 1930’s. A discovery made by the RATP at the Centre Bus RATP de Saint-Maur with all the furniture preserved, benches to sit, instruction panels etc. Now they will try to make it known to all as a new attraction of Paris.  The bunker goes in two directions until the Marne river on one side and the Abbey on the other. This is the Centre bus de St – Maur  4, bd Maurice Berteaux  94 100 St – Maur Tel +33  01 40 02 44 14.  Where garage the lines 101, 106, 107, 108/110, 111, 112, 201, 306, 317, and Noctambus H .  There is no webpage yet , you need to ask the RATP agent at Saint Maur to let you in, but I imagine they will need to work on it to have it open to the public, stay tune.

On the occasion of the Royal Regattas organized in the famous Grand Canal of the Chateau de Versailles ,the biannual event reunited 1 200 rowers and 40 clubs; webpage of the  centre nautique de Versailles

Until March 25 the all first barber shop truck will land in Paris direct from the USA . It will go to mythic spots in Paris to shave you nicely , places such as  Abbesses, Pigalle, le Marais, Belleville, Etienne Marcel, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  Free admission walk ins allowed . This is done by the firm  Redken Brews  and the team of salon barbers  “Bonhomme”, inspired by the Brooklyn style. You can ask questions here email:

Redken Truck : Wednesday March 21 11h-20h;  Pigalle : 1, rue Fromentin – 9e, Thursday March 22nd 11h-20h ;  Le Marais : 14, rue de Bretagne – 3e, Friday March 23  11h-20h;  Belleville : 102, boulevard de Belleville – 20e, Saturday March 24 11h-20h ;  Etienne Marcel : 52-54, rue Etienne-Marcel – 2e, Sunday March 25th 11h-16h;  Saint-Germain-des-Prés : place Saint-Germain-des-Prés 6.  The official site in French is here :

The magnificent residence of Napoléon Ier and his wife Joséphine.  Where they divorced she lived here until her death in 1814. Before, she renovated the gardens and brought exotic animals and will tell you the history as to how the Consulat, from 1801 -1802, took the great decision of its time like the French Code civil, Légion d’Honneur, etc.  Today the property domain has two castles , Bois-Préau  and Malmaison  as a museum of the  châteaux de Malmaison and Bois-Préau  where you can visit the apartments of the Emperor and his family ,admire his works of arts and even the oval room where the Emperatrice died on May 29 1814.  Château Malmaison, Avenue du Château de Malmaison, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison, go from Paris on the RER A : Rueil-Malmaison

At the Les Fils à Maman, we say have lunch without a fix price.  This restaurant has no price you eat and you pay what you eat known as participating lunches you fix your price on what you eat . Every Friday noon you can do this with a menu of the day dessert for the price of your choice . The menu is unique ,as long as there is food, when no more the service stops! Here you eat without waste that is the idea of Les Fils à Maman, 6, rue Aristide-Bruant – 18e

Ok so you want to see Paris from afar and wonderful view before your eyes, a few places can do this but I give you three here.

You climb the 250 steps to see what of the best views of Paris in a real green balcony but very urban. This is the  Butte d’Orgemont  or Orgemont hill where you see a windmill and a nice lawn at  176, avenue de Stalingrad – Argenteuil , Gare d’Argenteuil – Line J

then you have the Butte des Châtaigniers  at 125 meters high but you need to climb 360 steps to view the panorama of the Tour Eiffel, Montmartre, La Défense  and others at  15, boulevard Youri-Gagarine – Argenteuil Gare de Sannois – Line J

A stylish panorama on a hill of 170 meters, and if not up to climbing you can visit the Military fort of Cormeilles  below it, very nicely preserve and open each first Sunday of the month . Forêt régionale des Buttes du Parisis – 95240 Cormeilles-en-Parisis; Gare de la Frette Montigny – Line J

You come to see a huge pool of 8 meters long by 4 meters deep a special ballon in an ocean of bubbles or try the aquagym courses in version bubble, with licorne bouys .  AFterward, you will be pampered with ice cream for free!! you will be at the transats from  16h-18h). see it , Bubble Party until March 25th on the place des Étoiles,  Val d’Europe with free animations every day from 11h to 20h. The pool is open for sessions of 10 persons, easy for all, even less than 3 yrs old with supervision qualified ;

On the Artsy side we have good ones coming up in Paris.

Foujita, les années folles . Going back to the women, the cats, natural death, the children, and the auto portraits marking the career of  Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Japanese artist and French citizen. See it at the  musée Maillol with an exposition dedicated to him until July 15 2018 with hundreds of works tracing his crazy years in  Montparnasse  between  1913 to 1931. musée Maillol,  61, rue de Grenelle

Margiela, les années Hermès ; the years of Hermés, Margiela, see the exposition tracing the work in the house of Hermès  showing at the museum or musée des Arts Décoratifs. From 1997 to 2003,the Belgian designer did several collections ready to wear under an innovating and luxe times.  This is a collaboration of the MoMu (Musée de la Mode d’Anvers)and  Martin Margiela, in the exposition there are 120 silhouettes interacting with you in view. Musée des Arts Décoratifs , 107, rue de Rivoli running from March 22nd to September 2 2018:

To find it in same building as the Louvre, old pavillion Marsan wing of the old façade de palais des Tuileries (now gone)

Guernica, on the 80th anniversary of the creation of the work by Picasso. the Musée Picasso gives an exposition on Guernica, principal work of Picasso ,and counting as among the best known work in the world. It is preserved since  1981 in Madrid , where it is shown on a permanent basis. The exposition also offersa history lecture and clarification on the political involvement of Picasso. Musée Picasso,  5, rue de Thorigny  3éme; from March 27 to July 29 2018

Delacroix  in cooperation with the Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York, the museum of the Louvre  presents an exposition retracing the career of Eugène Delacroix.  There will be over 180 works of the master with the majority of paintings from the best showing of the 1820’s until his last creations little known of the public. Musée du Louvre , Rue de Rivoli showing from March 28 to July 23 2018

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malévitch. L’avant-garde russe à Vitebsk (1918-1922)  or the forefront Russian of artists mentioned to know them , backgrounds and classics of our days. At total of 250 works will be shown put together by the Centre Pompidou  that shows light into the post revolutionary years far from the Russian metropolis, art history written by Vitebsk, city of Bielorussia. Centre Pompidou , place Georges Pompidou ,4éme , from March 28 to July 16 2018.

Néanderthal , for a long time we thought it was a primitive creature, it is today known and accepted as Human. See the evolution in the  Musée de l’Homme, 17, place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre 16éme; from March 28 to January 7 2019

The museum Louis Vuitton in  Asnières-sur-Seine open its doors exceptionally to the public every weekend until April 15 2018.  A simple request is all it takes to come in and see behind the scenes the creation of the French heritage house without spending a cent. Come and see at the  La Galerie Louis Vuitton 18, rue Louis Vuitton – Asnières-sur-Seine reservations here :

And of course food is everywhere here!!! Last but not least; I bring you the Rungis international market. Once passing the admission of 3,60€ if comes with a pro or 15€ full admission individual all it cost to see the biggest agriculture market in the world! A city within a city all dedicated to food. Behind the scene the ambiance change, there are no rules here, the truck traffic is chaotic and deliveries go and come. The visit by the public is possible (was there once with my job pros) all here :

and how to get there:

Hope you find something you like and will consider coming, Paris is a state of mind; once bitten the virus never goes away!! As Paris itself, it is eternal.

Enjoy your week, happy travels, good health to all. Cheers!



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