Archive for November 14th, 2018

November 14, 2018

The Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville ,Paris

So here I am and you are there, and it is cold now at 11C or 51F but very humid and it feels colder, dark as Autumn is in the air, plenty of leaves out and my road is under renovation so need to go around for 6 km extra time to work lol! just under 4 miles! In my Morbihan breton of course. In Paris, there is the same weather tonite.

In my walks around Paris I come to many places and some remains in my mind as nice. Well Paris has so many nice places but in the nice category there is some who are well beyond nice. This is one garden park promenade esplanade as you wish ,that is very nice indeed. As well as been in a nice area of Paris.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville.

The Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville is, since 2006, an esplanade and a green space located in the 6éme arrondissement or district of Paris. It is located between the rue Auguste-Comte and the garden of the great explorers Marco-Polo and Cavelier-de-la-Salle. This Parisian street was named after Gaston Monnerville, a notable French politician of the 20C.

Following a request from the Association of Friends of Gaston Monnerville, the Conseil de Paris inaugurated on September 5, 2006 the renaming of the old jardin Cavelier-La Salle garden, in his honnor.  The bust in his homage, erected on the Esplanade in 2011,  has his bust  on the place André-Honnorat, and his plaque on  Avenue Raymond-Poincaré, in the 16éme arrondissement, where he died.

It is located exactly at 7, place André Honnorat between the gates of the Luxembourg Garden and the beginning of the garden of the great explorers in the center of the Avenue de l’Observatoire. The avenue de l’Observatoire is occupied throughout its central part by a series of gardens, of which the Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville and the Luxembourg garden.

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This garden esplanade is served by the metro line of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, line 12 and by the Vavin metro line 4.

Who was the esplanade called before; well  it was named after René-Robert  Cavalier de la Salle born in Rouen,  Normandy, in 1643 and died murdered in 1687 near Navasota, southwest of the French colony of Louisiana, in the present American state of Texas.  As a traveller, he travelled through the Great Lakes region of the current United States and Canada, then the Mississippi River, and discovered the territories between the St. Lawrence Valley and the Mississippi Delta. Why the change do not know, politics I guess.

More on the Esplanade Gaston-Monnerville from the city of Paris: City of Paris on Gaston Monnerville

One of the nice places to walk and relax in Paris and closed to the wonderful Luxembourg garden an entry in my blog as well. This is really a nice place to walk and be seen.

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Between the jardin des grands explorateurs (garden of the great explorers) and the Luxembourg garden , this treed esplanade makes the junction between the two. You can bring your children to play in the dedicated playgrounds or come and sit down with friends in the grass for a small impromptu picnic. Lovely Paris!

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Hope you enjoy the simplicity and beauty of Paris in a not so famous area but worth the meaning of my eternal Paris.

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

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November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving France 2018!

So once again another major celebration and out of the USA, and to boot this year won’t be even in France as will be on a trip to Asia during that week. Anyway, this is major and we will do away earlier as usual. It is not a Holiday in France so we usually go the weekend before or after out and on the day at home we had some leftovers or snacks and drinks. But it is mark in our calendar. I love the meaning and the festivities around it always since childhood.

I am talking about Thanksgiving, the big American tradition and traffic jams and airports loaded and even Amstrak trains lol!! The works all in one, but is repeated every year with love and tender family and friends gatherings all over. Here in my belle France, it is not well known but it is celebrated by the American community in major towns where it is available by restaurants or place that have the ingredients to do it. In my neck of the woods of Morbihan there is nothing.

I have done one blog post on it way back, little yes but heck so much abound can’t cover it all, I try ok. Here is the old blog post: Thanksgiving Americana in Paris

As to the Thanksgiving, well in 2018, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday November 22nd (always on the fourth Thursday of November). At this American holiday, it is customary to enjoy a turkey with the family. American expatriates compete with ingenuity to perpetuate the tradition of Thanksgiving abroad. A large number of Parisians as well have now converted and celebrate this Thanksgiving Day with family, friends, home or church.  We do our best to gather the ingredients or go if possible to a place that has setup the meal for the celebration.

A bit of history I like

The first commemoration of Thanksgiving dates back to 1621. One year before that date, precisely on 26 November 1620, the separatist Pilgrim Fathers  landed in the Plymouth area of Massachusetts colony, fleeing the persecution of the bad King of England and the actions of the church in their country. When they arrived in the colony, their survival was quite complicated, as many of them ,more than half ,were attacked by scurvy and died. The survivors were saved only by the intervention of the Wampanoag, a local tribe. They agreed to a bilateral agreement where the native tribe taught visitors new cultures, fishing and hunting, and in return the Pilgrims fathers defended them from their assailants. This agreement bore a great deal of fruit, because in 1621 the first harvest was a very successful one. Governor William Bradford therefore decreed three days of thanksgiving to thank God, the land and the native Indians. It was historically the first Thanksgiving. It was in 1789, on October 3, that it was declared for the first time officially a United States National Day by first President George Washington.

The ingredients have not change much over time. On the table, we find the products of the season crops: corn, green beans ,squash, sweet potatoes, onions, green salad ,spinach , but also,  the cranberries, pecan nuts ham, not forgetting of course the traditional turkey. Many Americans also like to watch the Thanksgiving parade, on television or in town. Big stores in several major cities organize these parades. The best known is Macy’s in New York city which is huge and very famous for its magnificent chariots, huge flying balloons and celebrities.

Over the years while living in Versailles and working in Paris, I have attended many Thanksgiving there and have some of my favorite still going on below as well as some popular new ones not yet tested. Here are the essential addresses in Paris to get into the tradition of Thanksgiving USA!

 Joe Allen,  the oldest American brewery in Paris, opened in 1972, and one of my favorites spots. Since then,it has never ceased to be the home of many American Parisians or Parisians in love with the Big Apple.  At a rate of 50€, the special Thanksgiving menu includes pan-fried wild mushrooms, homemade duck terrine, roast turkey, marinated and grilled tuna steak, pumpkin pie, apple and cranberry crumble with vanilla ice cream.Still located at .30 Rue Pierre Lescot, 1éme. More here:. https://www.joeallenparis.com/

Hard Rock Café Paris , the famous institution invites all American culture fans to enjoy an authentic Thanksgiving dinner. On the menu: corn soup, turkey with cranberries sauce, pecan nut tart… Price: check for latest details, to be at a more festive party ambiance. Located at  14 Boulevard Montmartre, 9éme. More here: https://www.hardrock.com/cafes/paris/

The Harry’s Bar is the oldest American bar in Paris, it has recently celebrated its 100 years. As much to say that the atmosphere will be festive! A special Thanksgiving lunch is served usually need to check it out for 2018.I have come here for drinks and chat only. Usual Thanksgiving meal set up included  Pumpkin soup, club sandwich, cole slaw, pecan pie, brownies, drink and coffee. Located at 5 Rue Daunou, 2éme. More here :  https://www.yelp.com/biz/harrys-new-york-bar-paris-2

Le Drugstore, famous restaurant of the concept-store Publicis on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, proposes to us on Thursday 22 November 2018. Again not here for the feast but nice place to be in  indeed. To honor this great American celebration, chef Eric Frechon has concocted a special menu for the occasion. On the menu that evening, corn fritters followed by  pumpkin soup  with chestnut chips and roasted hazelnuts to open our appetite. Next is the must-have stuffed farm turkey and roasted in casserole, accompanied by a sweet potato purée with foie gras, all sprinkled with the juice of the roast. The festivities would not be complete without the traditional Pecan Pie that finishes this hearty meal on a sweet note and a bit regressive. To water all this, the chef chose a selection of wines on the notes of a playlist “tribute to US Music” which will pace the atmosphere the time of this special and unique dinner .  At 19h ,60€ without drinks. More here: https://www.publicisdrugstore.com/fr/le-drugstore

And for the day after the feast: Breakfast in America, a very good address for breakfast and  American burgers, American owned.Locations at 17 rue des Écoles, Paris 6éme and at  4, rue Malher, 4éme. More here:  http://breakfast-in-america.com/thanksgiving-2018-reserve-now/?lang=en

Promenade Newyorkais , this is new place never visited but very popular with my Paris American friends nowdays.  The exiled Americans find themselves there… with the Parisians who want to have a good evening!  Located at 44 rue du Louvre,1éme. The Parisian hotel also offers authentic US spirit milkshakes and ice creams: everything to attract girls! And in the early evening, the restaurant is transformed into a bar and the music lounge goes up in fun. A young and trendy place to eat, have a drink  !More here:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/promenade-newyorkais-paris

Verjus , French-American Restaurant famous for its cuisine.  Again newer comer never visited but popular with the American community of Paris. Thanksgiving Dinner from Monday 20th to Friday November 24th. Two services every night.  The Thanksgiving tasting menu is at 68€.  Located at 47 Rue Montpensier, 1éme. More info here:  https://www.verjusparis.com/

The Real McCoy, 49 avenue Bosquet  7éme . One of my first encounters with buying American goodies in Paris way back then… Open every day from 10h to 20h. Turkeys done or not in pre ordering, cakes,  pecan pies, cheesecake etc …This is a small grocery store here for over 25 years. More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/the-real-mccoy-paris

La Grande Epicérie de Paris Passy ,16éme _at the 1st Floor (2nd Fl US); you can find small turkeys here on pre orders. Yes my dear late wife Martine purchase small turkeys here very juicy and nice for home cooking. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 8h30 to 21h. More here : https://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/en/rive-droite

Les Viandes du Champs de Mars, 122 Rue Saint-Dominique, 7éme . Butcher shop , open from 7h to 13h and from 16h to 19h30.  You can order your turkey right now and until November 22nd. You can also order a farce (classic or according to your own recipe and the desired ingredients).  A clientele of regulars has trusted Jean-Marie Boédec for years. My dear late wife Martine tried and it is good indeed!     https://www.yelp.com/biz/les-viandes-du-champ-de-mars-paris

Le Lafayette Gourmet , 40, boulevard Hausmann  9éme. Open from Mondays to Saturdays 9h30 to  20h – Night opening on Thursdays to 21h. Very nice stuff here but never purchase turkeys here. More here:. https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en/food-shopping-at-lafayette-gourmet/

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Rachel’s Grocery, 20 rue du Pont aux Choux, 3éme. An American in Paris. Better known for sweets and cheescakes but also has ingredients for Thanksgiving. Also , at  72, quai de Jemmapes, Paris 10éme. More here :  https://www.yelp.com/biz/rachels-grocery-paris

American Church Paris  65 Quai d’Orsay, 7éme. Every year the Church offered persons in the neighborhood the opportunity to meet around a Thanksgiving meal. I have participated with the family here for Halloween as well over the years and visits , very nice place. The ticket for the table are sold on site for 20€ adults and 12€ children. More info here:  https://www.acparis.org/

For the nostalgic of Paris like me, the American grocery store Thanksgiving  was the place to find American products in Paris for yeears…including the Thanksgiving ingredients, however, unfortunately it has closed. It was the spot for the American community to get a piece of Americana while in Paris. It was located in the neighborhood of  Saint-Paul district 4 at  20 Rue Saint-Paul. Just for the memories ok.

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There you go, if in town you now know where to go, and if not, remember these places serve all year around à l’Americaine or Ricains lol! As Americans are known here nicely! Enjoy your Thanksgiving wherever you are and happy family times.

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

November 14, 2018

The Bois de Boulogne, Paris!

Hello world, here I am on a semi cloudy cool day of  14C or about 56F in my Morbihan breton! In Paris we have now 54F and semi cloudy as well.  Rain is announced in both regions. And counting for another weekend already lol! I zig zag and walk and drove many times in this wonderful forest , the lungs of Paris indeed.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Bois de Boulogne. Unless you come in daytime, it is wonderful; at night it has some ladies cheering you on all the way!!! My first trip by car here was at around 20h and I believe I counted one in every tree lol! For the tame I am talking about prostitutes.

I used to worked on the other side in Suresnes, so the quickest way was to cross the pont de Suresnes thru the Bois de Boulogne to reach Paris. Oh yes this borders Hauts de Seine dept 92 too , that is where Suresnes is.

There is so much to see and eat and do here during the wonderful daytime hours that it can really filled in a week doing them. I just would concentrate a bit on the history as I am an amateur!

The Bois de Boulogne is a wooded expanse, located in the 16éme arrondissement of Paris, covering an area of 846 hectares. Two and a half times larger than Central Park in New York, and 3.3 times larger than Hyde Park in London, it is however 5.9 times smaller than the Soignes  forest in Brussels and occupies only half the surface of the Casa de Campo of Madrid. The Bois de Boulogne occupies part of the site of the ancient forest of Rouvray.

map bois de boulogne

The central part of the forest contains the Bagatelle park, as well as the pre-Catelan garden. Its northern part is occupied by the Jardin d’Acclimmatation, an amusement park ,the Louis-Vuitton Foundation. To the southeast is the jardin des Serres d’Auteil. To the southwest, between the Longchamp racecourse and the Bagatelle Park, is the GoodPlanet Foundation, at the Domaine de Longchamp. The forest has lots of lakes that are all artificial and fed by the waters of the Seine river such as the Lake Superior, Lower Lake, Lake of the circle of wood of Boulogne (or for skating), Lake of the jardin d’Acclimmatation, the mare of Armenonville , the Mare Saint-James, the lake of Longchamp, the pond of the abbey, the pond of Suresnes, the pond of the tribunes, the pond of Boulogne and the Great Cascade (waterfall).  The forest is traversed by Longchamp Brook, the Sablons Brook and Armenonville Brook or water streams.

A bit of history I like

The Bois de Boulogne is all that remains of the ancient forest of Rouvray, meaning “place planted with Oaks”, which is mentioned for the first time, in 717, in the Charter of Compiègne. The land was offered by king Childeric II to the mighty abbot of Saint-Denis, who built a large number of monasteries.  King Philippe Auguste buys the majority of the forest from the monks of Saint-Denis to create a hunting reserve on the royal lands. In 1256, Isabelle de France, sister of Saint Louis, founded the Royal Abbey of Longchamp.

The Bois de Boulogne takes its name from the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Boulogne-la-Petite (now Notre-Dame-des-Menus Church of Boulogne-Billancourt) which was built on the orders of Philippe le Bel following a pilgrimage that he had carried out with his daughter Isabelle of France in Boulogne-sur-Mer in 1308, while she was going to marry Edward II of England.  On his return, the king decided to raise a church similar to that which he had seen on the edges of the channel and which then housed a miraculous statue of the Virgin (the bolted building was at the site occupied nowadays by the present Basilica Notre-Dame-de-l’Immaculée-Conception). Wishing it near Paris in order to minimize  the pilgrimages, the king upon his return made to search for a land near the capital. It is finally chosen a small village of lumberjacks, Les Menuls lès Saint Cloud. From 1319 to 1320, the first stone of the church is put up, which is endowed with a gilded silver statue, in the image of the Virgin of Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer. The church is blessed in 1330 by the Bishop of Paris Hugues II Michel de Besançon

During the Hundred Years ‘ War, the Forest became a den for brigands. After king  François I had built the castle of Madrid (begun in 1528) in the Bois de Boulogne, the spot became a place of festivities. The hunting grounds are surrounded by a wall under Henri II and Henri III, with eight doors. Henri IV  planted 15 000 mulberry trees, hoping to launch a local silk industry. His wife, Marguerite de Valois, once repudiated, withdrew to the Château de la Muette.

In November 1783, Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis of D’Arlandes succeeded in the first hot air balloon flight, built by the Montgolfier brothers, from the Chateau de la Muette. During the French revolutionary period, the forest was used as a refuge for people who had been hunted. In 1814 and 1815, 40 000 English and Russian camped there and ravaged the forest, so that under the restoration its reforestation and the restoration of the roads were started under the direction of the Baron d’André to end in 1830

In 1852, the property of the Bois de Boulogne was ceded by Napoleon III to the city of Paris, which was then responsible for landscaping the green space every four years. The work begins the following year. After the faults encountered by Haussmann, the replacements by the engineer Jean-Charles Alphaned (Parc Monceau, Montsouris, Bois de Vincennes) associated with the landscape designer Jean-Pierre Barrel-Deschamps (landscaper of the park of Buttes-Chaumont) makes changes. Only two straight alleys ,Longchamp and Reine  Marguerite are retained by the new team that transforms the Varé River into two lakes, with water retention in Lake Superior, the overflow pouring into the lower lake by the little (cascade) waterfall. A bridge connects the two islands.

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Between 1855 and 1858, Longchamp’s racecourse was built on the plain of the same name. At the same time, the tip of the forest located south of the Butte Mortemart, between the Rue des Princes in Boulogne (current rue Denfert-Rochereau and Rue des Princes) and the Avenue du Parc-des-princes at Auteuil is arranged by the Duc de Morny as part of a vast luxury real estate operation supervised by Baron Haussmann. During the siege of Paris of 1870, the forest was severely damaged by the Prussian artillery because the French artillery had a battery on the mound of Mortemart. In 1873, the Auteuil racecourse was inaugurated.

As said plenty to do here especially during daytime. The whole family will enjoy it as mine did over the years and still come to have dinner at the Pre-Catalan. There are the  Bagatelle Playground. Park, garden, promenade.etc. Garden of the Meadow Catelan. Park, garden, promenade.  Bagatelle Park-Paris Botanical Garden. . Garden of the greenhouses (Serres) of Auteuil-botanical garden of Paris. Park, garden, promenade. Bicycle rental at the entrance to the jardin d’Acclimmatation and at the Lower Lake Pier.  Rent a boat on the Lower lake.  More than fourteen dining points in the forest as well as numerous snack bars. Suitable for cycling with its 9.2 km of cyclo-tourist itineraries, and horseback riding with 28 km of cavalier tracks as well as numerous tracks for roller skating.

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To get here:  the Metro nearest stations are the Porte Maillot line 1,  Porte Dauphine line 2 and the Porte de Auteuil  line 10. RER: Stations Neuilly-porte Maillot, Avenue Foch, Avenue Henri Martin all on the RER C line. Driving to the Parking Les Boutiques  du Palais,  2 Place de la Porte Maillot , where you can take the petit train into the Jardin d’Acclimmatation , or as I always found free parking inside the forest by the pre Catalan Resto or the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Paris on the Bois de Boulogne

Tourist office of Paris on the Bois de Boulogne

Always fun with the family , it is a nice park garden even spent some leisure time here from just driving over the pont de Suresnes find a spot and have a chat lunch with collegues, sublime Paris it will be always eternal! Enjoy the ride!

Suresnes

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

 

 

 

 

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