Archive for November 13th, 2018

November 13, 2018

Victor Hugo

So , short title, indeed. Do I need to tell you more? For me the name means France, there are a few more but none as high as Victor Hugo. From time of my early life I read his books first in Spanish, then in English, and finally in French all good.  When we speak fo traditions and literary mind set, he probably means France more than anyone else. For me ,the men is huge.

I cannot find photos but so what, I need to tell you about my France, the deep France, the ones known by others on books and me on beliefs and the thank you to be here, and the many thank you’s to my dear late wife Martine, who show me all about France. I remember.

For me a lousy writer to write about Victor Hugo is a monumental task, one I am not up to it, but will do my best to tell you a bit about the men and France or is it France and then the men, Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo born at Besançon, February 2, 1802. He married Adéle Foucher in 1822, very early. He went into battle with his work of Hernani in 1830. Entered the Académie Française in 1841 ,entered the City council of Paris in 1845. In  1851 exile to Brussels, return from exile 1868, Senator in 1876, death in Paris and national funeral on May 22 1885 to be entered into the Panthéon. Indeed well deserve all of it.

Victor-Marie Hugo is the son of the Empire General Joseph Leopold Sigisbert Hugo , reaching Count status himself, according to the family tradition, by Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain, and garrisoned in the Doubs at the time of the birth of his son, and Sophie Trebuchet, young woman from the bourgeoisie of Nantes.

On October 12, 1822, he married his childhood friend, Adéle Foucher, born in 1803, in the Church Saint-Sulpice in Paris, she gave birth to five children: Leopold ; Leopoldine ; Charles , François – Victor; and Adele, the only one who survives her illustrious father, but whose mental state, very soon failing, will earn her long years in a health home.

Beginning of February 1804 and the family elects domicile at 76 rue Neuve-des-Petites-Champs. It will remain for almost five years in this apartment of the 2éme arrondissement which unfortunately remains nothing and which today corresponds to no. 20 rue Danielle-Casanova. The couple lives with Adele’s parents. They moved to 90, rue de Vaugirard; then the family moved the following year into a house at 11 rue   Notre-Dame-des-Champs. In May 1830, the family moved again to the Rue Jean-Goujon; where Adele, had their last child. They will live on Rue Jean-Goujon until October 1832. In 1832, Victor Hugo settled in an apartment of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené, at no 6 Place Royale, which became Place des Vosges in 1848. For sixteen years, the author of Notre-Dame-de-Paris will write several of his major works here.

At the end of November 1878, Victor Hugo moved to 130, Avenue Eylau, in a mansion in the 16éme arrondissement that belonged to the Princess of Lusignan. It is here that on 27 February 1881, more than 600 000 people will parade under its windows to celebrate its entry into its 80th birthday! Later that year, Avenue Eylau will be renamed Avenue Victor-Hugo , the house is now at 124 Avenue Victor Hugo.

In 1837, Victor Hugo, the journalist Anténor Joly and the writer Alexandre Dumas, committed the creation of a theater that will leave its full place to the romantic dramaturgy, of which Victor Hugo is one of the most illustrious representatives: the Theatre de la Renaissance settled in the premises of the Salle Ventadour, a few steps from the Rue des Petites-Champs where, as a child, the young Victor Hugo had discovered Paris. The theater did not managed to cover its costs and ceases its activity in May 1841. The new Renaissance Theater will be inaugurated on March 8, 1873 at 20, Boulevard Saint-Martin, 10éme arrondissement of Paris.

He is considered one of the most important French-language writers, indeed. He is, also a political figure and a committed intellectual who played a major role in the history of the 19C. It occupies a prominent place in the history of French letters in the 19C, in genres and fields of a remarkable variety. In the theater, Victor Hugo manifests himself as one of the leaders of French romanticism when he exposes his theory of romantic drama in the prefaces that introduce Cromwell in 1827 then Hernani in 1830 which are real manifests, then by his other dramatic works: Ruy Blas in 1838, but also Lucréce Borgia and the Le Roi s’amuse (king has fun). Victor Hugo is also a lyric poet with collections such as Odes and Ballades (1826), Les Feuilles d’Automne (Autumn Leaves 1831) or Contemplations (1856), but he is also a poet committed against Napoleon III in Les Châtiments (Punishment 1853) or even an epic poet with the La Légende des siècles (legend of Centuries 1859 and 1877). His novels also met with great popular success, including Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), and even more with the Les Misérables (wretches of 1862). His multiple work also includes political speeches in the House of Peers, the Constituent Assembly and the legislature, including the death penalty, school or Europe, travel accounts like the Rhine, 1842, or things seen, posthumous, 1887 and 1890, an abundant correspondence, as well as numerous sketches and drawings in pen and wash.

Victor Hugo was a poet, drama writer, romance novel writer that also had a political career. The humanistic message on the speech of 9 july 1849 in the National Assembly of France (Assamblée Générale) and entered in conflict with Louis Napoléon Bonaparte future Napoleon III. To defend their rights of authors and prove that they live off their writing he found the societe of people of letters or sociéte des gens de letters in 1838 initial members included Honoré Balzac Alexandre Dumas, Théophile Gautier, George Sand, and Victor Hugo etc

In 1852 Louis Napoléon Bonaparte propose change in the constitution of the 2nd Republic and Victor Hugo oppose them, the National Assembly refuses the changes ,but his family goes in danger by the police more friendly to Louis Napoléon Bonaparte. His son Charles Hugo is arrested and put in the Conciérgerie, other son Francois-Victor joined him a few weeks later. The coup d’état comes on the night of Dec 2 1851 Victor Hugo tries to get the people of Paris to raise up in arms but the repression is huge, even his friend Alexandre Dumas suggested for him to go into exile and he does. Napoleon III is firmly in his coup d état and the police searched for Victor Hugo. The mistress of Victor Hugo in Sept 1852 was Juliette Drouet and she helped him hide and escape. There is another important mistress at the time name Léonie d’Aunet wife of painter Francois-Auguste Biard who with the knowledge of his formal wife Adéle for seven years, Juliette does not know this. Victor and Leonie are caught by the police she goes two months in jail but not him as adultery was not condemn then and until 1975!!!

In 1843 during a vacation trip to Spain coming back by La Rochelle , he takes the news that his oldest daughter Léopoldine and husband drown in a boat ride in the Seine river. From this date and for a long while until his exile he stop all ,no theater, no novels, not a poem,nothing, as the shock of his daughter death is huge.

Exile in Brussels in 1851 he lived at No 16  Grand Place in the Maison du Moulin à Vent then, No. 27 Grand Place in the Maison du pigeon , and he writes a small journal Napoleon le petit or little napoleon. Juliette Drouet, does not live far away from him, while here, she is in an apartment in the Galeries Saint Hubert where today there is a library call Librairie Tropismes . Victor Hugo patronized the places in the gallery and one today rename the Tavern du Passage where he meets with other writers exile in Brussels such as Rimbaud, Verlaine, etc all in Brussels to able to think freely.

Eventually, he goes to the island of Jersey to lived with Adéle and family. Here while they settle down at Saint Helier in the neighborhood of Marine Terrace, his mistress Juliette comes in at Havre des Pas. In the 1860’s upon returning from Jersey , his wife Adéle and children lived at a house in the Place des Barricades in Brussels. In 1862, he is back in Brussels and settled in a house at the rue des Colonies.

Victor Hugo writes here the Les Contemplations, les Châtiments etc. Eventually he is force to leave the island and goes to Guernsey followed by Juliette. Victor Hugo acquired a house in Hauteville House and rent a house for Juliette a few meters away, his sons Charles and François Victor do visits and in 1863 Adéle dedicates a book to Juliette ;Victor Hugo raconte par un temoin de sa vie (Victor Hugo Tells by a Witness of his life).

In 1871 ,he finds refuge during 3 months and half at the Grand Duché Luxembourg. He stayed there successively in Luxembourg city , Vianden , Diekirch , and Mondorf, where he takes thermal bath cures

Adéle Hugo died 27 august 1868 and Juliette do not come together right away for fear of bad press but in sept 1870 when the second empire is ended and Vctor Hugo come back in triumph to France, Juliette is at his side. She died of cancer on May 11 1883 and from then on Victor Hugo stops writing altogether. He died in 1885 in his mansion or hôtel particulier « La Princesse de Lusignan », that was at no 50 Avenue Victor-Hugo, now it is no 124. The funeral goes under the Arc de Triomphe in May 31 1885 and exposed there, covered in black; a 21 gun salute is given from the  Invalides , and on june 1, 1885 the funeral processesion goes by the Avenue des Champs Elysées, Place de la Concorde, then bd Saint Germain and bd Saint Michel to arrives at rue Soufflot and his body is transferred to the Panthéon where he lies today he was 83 yr s old, and it is estimated 2 million folks in person participated in the funeral!

He was the most popular writer of his time; It is already for several decades considered as one of the monuments of French literature.

There are several webpages that traces his life, I just put some official ones here

The Association of Friends of Victor Hugo:  http://victor-hugo.org/fr/

The  maison de Victor Hugo  (house museum) is a monographic museum, located at 6 Place des Vosges, in the 4éme arrondissement, which preserves the former Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené where Victor Hugo rented the apartment on the second floor for sixteen years, from 1832 to 1848. More info here:  http://www.maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr/fr

In French , a bit on the house where he was born in Besançon:  http://www.bm-besancon.fr/index.php?p=1328

Vacquerie in Seine et Marne dept 77 the resting place of his wife Adéle and oldest daughter Léopoldine near the spot where she drown with her husband in 1843 while on a Seine boat ride. Info here:  http://www.museevictorhugo.fr/en/presentation-2/

And I have been too ,in Vianden Luxembourg where his rental house is a museum today , more info: http://www.victor-hugo.lu/cgi-bin/baseportal.pl?htx=/accueil

Info on the houses he lived in the British isles of Jersey and Guernsey: http://hautevillehouse.com/

Victor Hugo in Guernsey

There you go , good reading , I did my duty to write at least this post on this great men, and hope it helps you understand the French a bit more, and do come to check these places out, awesome. Salut

And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

 

November 13, 2018

Some news from France CXCXVIIII

So back to my column self made of news from my belle France! The time here is 15h12 and cloudy, cool a bit breezy but no rain temps are in 15C or about 57F and in Paris is 59F cloudy. Just a wonderful Autumn day in my belle France and beautiful Morbihan.

Now for the latest that I pick up from various sources on the news of France according to yours truly are

The Argonaut submarine, in the Parc de la Villette , 19éme, rediscovers itself through a new exhibition that plunges us into the depths of the ocean. This great black submarine, installed since 1989 a few steps from the Géode, in the Parc de la Villette. How does a submarine work, what is oceanography, what species are found in the abyss, what are the political, economic, and climatic stakes of the seas?. Finally discover the gear used to observe the depths, beacons, robots that scrutinize the oceans and advance scientific research. Clou de l’Expo (Nail of the Expo) a simulator where we go to the gamepads, as a true commander of a submarine. You know that 80 to 90% of world trade traffic are done by the sea? The deepest known point of the Earth’s crust, the Mariana Trench, in the Pacific, more than 11 000 meters deep. You know that sound propagation is much better in water 1 500 meters per second, than in air at 350 meters per second?. The Argonaut has carried out 24 years of good and loyal services to travel the seas of the globe. From 1958 to 1982, it accumulated more than 32 000 hours of diving and traveled a distance equivalent to ten times the circumference of the Earth. See it Sous l’océan (under the ocean), at the Argonaut, Parc de la Villette, 19éme, every day except Mondays from 10h. to 18h. and on Sundays until 19h; admission between 9 and 12 Euros.

Christmas comes back to the parvis of the La Defénse from November 22nd. While the 250 chalets are being installed, for the 2018 edition. And as a good Frenchman, we have charitable associations participating this year. This is the Maison de l’amitié (house of Friendship), located near the Place Carpeaux square, which welcomes in daytime the homeless people of the Parisian association the La Cloche ( Bell) which mobilizes local businesses by encouraging them to make small services to persons in precariousness. There will also be the online platform Entourage, which federates the solidarity initiatives, and the missing link, which fights the food waste by retrieving the unsold ones from the shops to redistribute them immediately to the structures of reception.

The Satory-West Concerted Development Zone (ZAC), Versailles! on the horizon of 2035, will completely change the physiognomy of this area of 330 ha that is not used today, except by the military. The arrival of the train station of Line 18 of the Metro in 2030 which will act as a trigger and make this sector more virtuous in matters of transport and the environment. Located a few steps from the present Bir-Hakeim roundabout, on the road D91, this station should meet the needs of the thousands of inhabitants expected at its doorstep. To the North, 3 500 housing units facing South towards a tree park. The army will retain its stranglehold on this sector along the road N12. A new exchanger is in the works for 2025 between the D91 and N12. The transport agency DIRIF works on this subject in order to eliminate the influx of cars during peak hours on the ramp of the N12 and facilitate access to Satory without thwarting the flow going towards Versailles. Eventually, the huge current roundabout of the D91, which serves Satory west today, is simply called to disappear to give way to a bypass traffic near the subway station. To relieve the traffic coming from St Cyr l’école by the creation, by 2025, of a bus line on own site in the direction of Gare de Saint-Cyr. It will be based on the military railway, which joins the site of Matelots at Versailles. Just a bit of road transport news, which will remind me and those road warriors readers!

The farm or La ferme de Saint-Cyr-l’École in the Yvelines my old dept 78, offers individuals the right to pick up fruit and vegetables directly in the fields for years and something we used to do; great for the family and real good stuff direct from mother earth.

The Maison du Vietnam, ( Vietnam House), the quintessential Vietnamese deli, organizes two free and exceptional days that will water your mouths. On the program: exhibitions, concerts, tastings of local produce, savory and sweet dishes, and discovery of the Asian Dragon crafts. The opportunity to (re) discover the culinary, artistic and cultural traditions of this incredible country. Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November 2018 from 9h to 19h at 4, rue du Bourg l’Abbé 3éme Paris

Ok so it rains in Paris so what, the city is even more gorgeous in the rain ,and here are some tips to do otherwise : Rain in Paris is good news: This is a first advantage to rain: You no longer need to water your plants (at least those that survived without water for 3 weeks). We don’t need to wash the car anymore. You’re late all the time. So for once, enjoy the rain to have a good excuse to cancel an appointment or to arrive late at the party’. “I’m Singin’ ‘ in the rain, just Singin’ ‘ in the Rain.” Finally a good excuse to sing in the rain without being ridiculous. What could be more romantic than rain? Enjoy it to slip under the umbrella of your crushing mate… And why not try a rapprochement? The rain is charged with negative ions that limit pathologies such as asthma. Roughly speaking, it renews the air we breathe! It rains heavily, and you want to go outside to smoke? No, I can’t. Stay warm and use a good coffee. You can finally take out its finest wax and plastic boots; Since the time you bought it, we were really wondering when you were going to wear it! A sad advantage of the rain is to clean the Parisian streets of all their cigarette butts in the sewers. Next time, instead of throwing your butt on the floor, put it in the trash! Otherwise it’s 68€ fine. Are you having trouble falling asleep? Listen to the rain. Are you stressed? Listen to the rain. Are you melancholy? Listen to the rain. You…well anyway, you got it!. It’s time to react to enjoy the winds and tides of our beautiful city , dry of course. Reflex number one, the cinema. Second option: Expos or shopping. With the rain everything becomes super comforting. Do not be gloomy in the face of the boredom of rainy days. Yes, rain is a great reason to stay in bed in good company.lol! So enjoy the rain in Paris!!!

Know that there are 27 aerial stations, especially on métro lines 2 and 6, where you can discover incredible monuments, all without making any effort. And as said in my blog many times you come here whether visiting or in country because you want to see Paris above ground so do as I do use aerial metro stations or the bus! Here are something to make you change if not already!

13.6 km long, of which 6 km in above ground (or 45% of its route), Métro line 6 is the sixth busiest line of the network. It offers unique viewpoints on several monuments such as : the Pont de Bir-Hakeim, you can distinguish the Eiffel Tower dominating the Seine and l’île aux Cygnes (Swan Island). The Palais de Chaillot; the bell tower of the Church of Saint Augustine; the top of the canopy of the Grand Palais; the famous tour Montparnasse; the Invalides dome, the Francois Mitterand Library, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Maison de Radio France, before the Cambronne station, you can see the Invalides, then the Avenue de Breteuil on the Invalides before plunging back underground.

The Métro line 2 offers to a lesser extent points of view on Paris thanks to an aerial section between the stations Antwerp and Colonel Fabien. You can therefore observe, the Bassin and the rotunda of La Villette, the canal Saint-Martin, the Sacré-Coeur, the train station of Austerlitz, the National Museum of Natural History, the train station of Lyon, La Cité de la mode et du design ( city of fashion and design) , or the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

As said enjoy Paris above ground, simply the best most beautiful city in the world!

And to finish this short post …..ha ha ha. Let me tell you about a nice story and wonderful resto of my eternal Paris;really nice.

The story goes that after a career in agri-food, Alexandra Lepage founded, five years ago, the fine grocery store/restaurant Papa Sapiens. She is from the old Berry region but grew up in Kaysersberg, a small village of winegrowers, in Alsace. She first worked for eleven years at Kraft Foods, a huge group that is now called Mondelez (includes brands such as Côte d’Or, Suchard, Milka, Carte Noire, Jacques Vabre, Philadelphia, Carambar, Lu). And then she spent a year in the United States, where she discovered Mac and cheese, instant sauces, ultratransformed products. And realized that all of this was downright disgusting, she was really struggling to defend these products. It was the end of a cycle. On her return to France, she left her salaried job, and started organizing evenings, Alexandra’s dinners: Twelve Diners, a chef and an expert to talk about a topic. It was great, and not profitable at all. She ,then, partnered with her husband and two friends, and launched Papa Sapiens in 2013. Papa, for the unifying, paternalistic and somewhat outdated side. Sapiens, because we have the will to know, to transmit and to tell stories. This is what I like, in the kitchen and the good things: they are always beautiful stories. Papa Sapiens, Grocery-restaurant, at 24, rue Feydeau, 2éme Paris. More info here:  Papa Sapiens

Stay tune, Paris , France has always more and more and more! It’s eternal you know, and we love it , even if for living will say preferred Versailles lol! Cheers

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 13, 2018

We have a military school in Paris!

Oh yes we have Fall here already with mild temps and cooler nights, some rain even today, light, and the season is getting white in spirit at least. No snow here in years in my neck of the woods , the Morbihan Breton.

I like to tell you a bit more on the military school of Paris, yes I agree, it doesn’t sound the same in English, the French gives it a cache to it, école militaire de Paris! One of my favorite hangout places in Paris indeed.  For the memories ,right by Ave Bosquet there is a resto Séptime Vin, I brought some friends from an old travel forum once there for a get together of many nations! And of course, one of my favorites too. Also, another of my favorite spots here is the La Terrasse du 7ème with nice views over the square! Great on my eternal Paris!

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Now let me tell you  a bit more on this school and square place de l’école Militaire. Actually , written on the school before so briefly, will concentrate here on my tour of streets of Paris with the square ok

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The Place de l’école-Militaire is a square in the 7éme arrondissement. It lies on the northeast section of the école Militaire. There are six avenues eminating from it such as Avenue de La Bourdonnais in the north; Avenue Bosquet in the northeast; Avenue de La Motte-Picquet in the east; Avenue Tourville in the South east; Avenue Duquesne in the south; Place Joffre in the west. The neighborhood of the école-Militaire is the 27th of Paris in the 7éme arrondissement or district. The place de l’école Militaire is served by: Metro line 8, bus RATP lines 28 80 82 87 and 92, as well as a taxi stand. The 82 is a dandy for me from Montparnasse and see Paris above ground sublime! There is parking above ground at Place Joffre.

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ch st François Xavier passing bus 82

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Before its creation, in 1912, it was part of the Avenue Duquesne, between the avenues of La Motte-Picquet and Tourville, Avenue Tourville, between the avenues of La Motte-Picquet and Duquesne. On the here:east side, the square is served by several bars brasseries with large terraces, and in the east with the entrance of the vehicles of the école militaire. More info is given on the military school from the Paris tourist office:
Https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71338/Ecole-Militaire

The école militaire was built between 1751 and 1768 in the plain of Grenelle during the reign of king Louis XV. The main entrance is the Avenue de la Motte Piquet, facing the Champ de Mars ; the Eiffel Tower at the other end. In 1787, the military school was closed and it was planned to transfer to the   Hôtel-Dieu which would never took place.
The buildings are abandoned and then looted in the French revolution. The building serves as a depot, and then barracks, especially for the Imperial Guard. After various assignments, it is enlarged, to acquire the aspect that is now known today. In 1878 the École supérieure de guerre (high School of War) was opened, and in 1911 the centre des hautes études militaries opened (Center for Advanced Military Studies).

Nearby a popular stop for my family  and meet friends at Rue de Grenelle is the wonderful market held there on Wednesdays and Sundays; and the wonderful fleas trinkets section on Sunday mornings. More here from the tourist office of Paris:  Https://en.parisinfo.com/shopping-paris/73878/Marche-Grenelle

The main thing of course is the école militaire and not much is written on the square that carries its name. However, take it from me , it is a very chic nice neighborhood where I visit several friends, and the area has the allures of upper class, not that Paris does not have enough of these.

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However, there is a nice small square with a statue nearby, Place Joffre, on the side of Avenue de la Motte-Picquet. Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre, often known just as Jacques Joffre, was a French General during WWI.  He is most well known for regrouping the retreating allied armies in order to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne, which happened in 1914.  And with this triumph, plus other strategies that Joffre put in place, he gained further popularity and became referred to with a nickname of Papa Joffre. Joseph Joffre had been awarded the title of Marshal of France, and he was the first person to receive this title and rank under the Third Republic, even though he also received other honors including knighthood.

Another interesting square in this neighborhood or quartier is the Place de FontenoyUNESCO, formerly Place de Fontenoy .  This place near the military school bears the name of the Battle of Fontenoy won by the French in 1745 and UNESCO whose headquarters occupies most of it. Drawn up in 1770, the square is ceded by the state to the city  in 1838. In the same square, you see the Ministry of Social Affairs. At No. 3, the building, adjoining the former Ministry of posts (Avenue of Saxe), was built at the beginning of the 1930’s for the Ministry of the Merchant Navy. Following its restoration, it has been occupied since September 2016 by the National Commission of Informatics and Freedoms and the Defender of Rights. The military school occupies the entire west side of the square by Avenue de Lowendal.

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And you have an idea of the neighborhood just my sublime Paris , eternal gorgeous and always wanting more. Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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