Some news from France CCXIIII

So this is the season to be merrier even if I have to try harder.  I will be the first Christmas without my dear late wife Martine of 28 years, and the 26th Dec is our wedding anniversary too. Getting stronger and moving on, there is so much to tell about my belle France these days coming up to the end of 2018. I will be on vacation starting tomorrow, and as usual still do not know where I am going lol! Excuse me!!!!

Just in could not wait until another Some news from France. The 500 years of renaissance of Leonardo Da Vinci, shows ,food:wines, heritage , sciences and innovations done by the Centre Val de Loire region 500 events in all; loads of info here at vivadavinci. Vivadavinci, Leonardo Da Vinci 500 years!

And of course ,do not missed to visit Amboise and the Château du Clos de Lucé; more here: Château du Clos Lucé

It is probably the most famous Parisian metro/subway line, seen by tourists and locals, and for cause: it is a good part outside above ground. Line 6 between Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and Nation, 6th line of the RATP network by its attendance, is also the one that spends the most time outside. And it is for the renovation of its famous viaducts that the line will undergo heavy work, very annoying for the users, during the next two summers. Line 6 will indeed be completely closed to traffic, between the stations Montparnasse and Trocadéro, during the summers 2019 and 2020.

Especially since the summer, at the same time, the SNCF maintains its work on the central section of the RER C, which will cause six weeks of total cut-off. This summer, with the stations Bir-Hakeim and Champs of Mars-Eiffel Tower closed, the metro station closest to the most visited Parisian monuments will be Trocadéro, a 13 minute walk.

A large pedestrian esplanade of 155 meters long on 35 meters wide with breathtaking view of the Trocadéro on one side, the Eiffel Tower on the other and the Seine on both sides. This is what could be, on the horizon 2024, the Pont d’iéna Bridge  which now hosts three lanes of vehicular traffic in each direction. The hypothesis will only be confirmed in April when the selection board (composed of elected officials but also architects) holds the winning team and its project. But it is already strongly fought by the city/town hall of the 7éme arrondissement. Time will tell stay tune!

Something that is not surprising to me as on business trips need to take them and only on business trips ; the trains of France lol ! In a report published this week, the Arafer, the regulatory authority for railway and road activities, is alarmed at the high degradation of the train service in France, and in particular the TGV. The rail constable studied all high-speed relations in France and his verdict is unappealing: 24% of the TGV have a delay of at least 5 minutes. Thus on 114 million passengers TGV in 2017, 26 million were delayed by more than five minutes compared to the theoretical timetable, and nearly 4.3 million had a delay of more than 30 minutes. Oddly enough, only 1.6 million passengers operated the famous G 30 guarantee which reimburses 25% of the ticket price (probably because the refund is to your name and not the company so never used them lol!). But the SNCF has huge margins in front of it by dealing with the operating deficiencies that caused more than half of these delays. A tip: When your trip includes a correspondence between TGV and TER or vice and versa, the 15-minute rule between two trains will not necessarily protect you from a magnifying glass! Be careful: Plan more time.

Now will dwell into fashion, men’s that is , sorry ::)

Do men take out the great dress garments at the end of the year celebrations? I’m not sure! The storefronts of department stores, which are not the type to miss a commercial opportunity are always a good barometer of real consumption trends. This year, their storefronts dedicated to the masculine fashion put rather in front of outdoor sets of spirit high mountain, a style at the same time in vogue, perfect for possible winter holidays and, especially, for the weeks and months to come, now that the cold has arrived. In short, the evening clothes are not particularly highlighted. But that doesn’t mean that a little more dressed style is not fashionable.OK c’est la vie en ma belle France!

Lousy me with gardens but dwelling a bit into my dear late wife Martine domaine; For its 18th edition, the jury of the National Vegetable Gardens Competition has awarded 21 remarkable gardens in terms of diversity, good practice and aesthetics. Organised by the French National Horticulture Society (SNHF), the Figaro as partner, the Jardinot Association and the National Interprofessional Seed Group (Gnis). The ones from closer to me were the  garden of 600 m2 divided into two plots that is cultivated for 35 years with a perfect technical mastery in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges (Val-de-Marne). Hayat Kontate in Arcueil (Val-de-Marne) in the category “Shared vegetable gardens set up and cultivated within a company or by an association”. Unique me think.

And from tomorrow ,Wednesday, December 19, a new playground in the Nelson Mandela garden. 300 m2 to play football, basketball and ping pong. To realize this giant mural on the ground, it was necessary to design tools but also paints capable of adapting to the soft coating usually tinted in the mass. The result: An abstract motif that reminds the artist of the cartography and satellite visions of the highways and paths that continue from the ground to the football cages, through the baskets of basketball. In order to completely insulate the space, the balloons were adorned with climbing plants and mobile urban trees which mingle with the plants. Entirely painted by the street artist Romain Froquet. By the les Halles, Paris of course!

Whether small or large, we meet at the parc des Rives de Seine on the banks of the Seine river  to practice free winter sports as can rarely be done in the capital. Speaking of course of cross-country skiing , curling or biathlon. See you on the slopes!  Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville 4émé from December 22nd to January 2nd 2019 and from 13h to midnight.

A year after opening an exceptional audience, the hotel Mezzara at 60, rue Jean-de-La-Fontaine, 16éme in the autumn of 2017, the Cercle Guimard again pays homage, with a beautiful book, to this unsung masterpiece of Art Nouveau built by Hector Guimard In 1910. Entitled “Hôtel Mezzara by Hector Guimard”, 28 pages, 20€ book. In the Bookshop Le Cabanon at 122, rue de Charenton 12éme, and the bookshop of the Cité de l’architecture (city of Architecture)  at the Palais de Chaillot 16éme. If the hotel Guimard located nearby, at 122 Mozart Avenue , was sold and divided into apartments, making the hotel Mezzara a Hector Guimard Museum and a center dedicated to Art Nouveau would make it possible to realise the architect’s wish. Stay tune….

Something local for me to keep track of.  One month after voting for the first time the merger with the city of Saint-Germain en Laye, the municipal council of Fourqueux was called this last Monday evening to deliberate again on the issue. It will answer on behalf of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and must be effective on 1 January. The first municipal Council of this new entity, which will first gather together the 70 councilors of the two cities, is convened on 7 January 2019. Fourqueux is a chic town next to SGL and they should match! Stay tune.

l’Atelier des Lumières 11éme arrondissement house in the former foundry of 1835 transformed into a digital art center of 3300 m2 will honor the Dutch painter. His works will be projected at 360 °, including floors, thanks to a special technology named Amies (Art & Music immersive Experience). Especially since in just ten years, Van Gogh has made more than 800 paintings and more than 1000 drawings: a gigantic production that allows us to create a solid digital exhibition. By his painting, Van Gogh has upset the history of art and digital can be a great way to account for his universe. “Van Gogh, The Starry Night” and “dreamed Japan, images of the floating World” at the Atelier des Lumiéres. 38, rue Saint-Maur 11éme arrondissement. From 22 February to 31 December 2019. Rates: 14.50€ (full), 11.50€ (reduced) and 9.50€ (children). Open Monday to Thursday, 10h-18h. Nightly on Fridays and Saturdays until  22h  and Sundays until 19H. On weekdays, closing of the ticket office on the spot at 16h, purchase online only. Week-end: Buy online only at  https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/fr/van-gogh-nuit-etoilee

On November 4, 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter discovers the mythical tomb of the pharaoh of the 18th Egyptian dynasty (14C BC) in the Valley of the Kings. A tomb containing an extraordinary treasure, part of which will be revealed to us in this immersive exhibition. The Grande Halle offers us the unique opportunity to admire 150 objects of world heritage and to travel, for a moment, in the time of the pyramids. Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh at the  Grande Halle de La Villette 221, Avenue Jean-Jaurès 19éme arrondissement from 23 March to 15 September 2019 . https://lavillette.com/programmation/toutankhamon_e185

Some cozy places to spent your Christmas in Paris are:

The Petit Boutique hotel in the quartier Saint-Honoré transformed its terrace by setting up a Slavic hut surrounded by fir trees. An intimate refuge, with its Scottish rugs, velvet cushions, colorful candles, fluffy benches and friendly tables, as well as a platinum to listen to its own vinyls. The Le Roch Hotel. 28, rue Saint-Roch 1éme.   https://www.leroch-hotel.com/restaurant-bar

The pop-up bar all of red lacquered, nestled in a suite with terrace and view on the Eiffel Tower, promises a trip in the Shanghai of the 1930’s. Shangri-La Hotel. 10, Av. of Jena  16éme.Every day from 18h. to midnight.   http://www.shangri-la.com/paris/shangrila/dining/bars-lounges/le-bar/

The palace, always offbeat, plays the cards of a frosted terrace. Under an inflated and transparent igloo, it is not feared to settle down to take a vintage Champagne cup well beaten by picking tapas with truffle or caviar admiring the icebergs of mirrors stranded in the water basin. At Royal Monceau Hotel , 37, Av. Hoche  8éme. Daily from 12h to 23h   https://www.leroyalmonceau.com/en/bars-leisure/our-terrace-garden/

A place to see Santa Claus or Papa Noêl and one of my favorite places in Paris. Descending directly from the sky, Santa decided to put his sled on the roof of the Montparnasse tower. Christmas at the Montparnasse Tower. 33 Avenue du Maine 15éme. Coming from Santa Claus on 19, 22, 23 and 24 December from 14h to 18h   https://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/fr/nos-evenements/noel-sur-le-toit-de-paris/

For the first time, Galeries Lafayette organizes a walk in the air on a 9 meters long glass walkway suspended at 16 meters above the void. You will be able to see more closely the most famous Christmas tree in Paris, from the third(4th US)  floor of the store. And bonus: This memorable moment will be immortalized for free by a photographer! Les Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, 12, rue de Mogador. https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/events/glasswalk

And in closing , a bit on wine etiquette much needed ,especially around these dates:

Young, intense and tannic wines need to breathe.  Even a white wine can win to be carafé. Instructions not to miss. The carafe has the power to speed up the time that passes over the wine. It allows it to complete its evolution, to help its growth. For it puts it in contact with the indispensable companion, who is also the worst enemy: OXYGEN. The more a wine is deprived of oxygen, the longer its life slows, the longer its ageing. Put it in contact with the air and the needles of time are wrapped. Decanting a  wine is therefore valuable for that does not have the means to allow time to time. The young, intense wines, cramped in a bottle, need to evolve, to relax, to breathe. This is the case with red wines from Bordeaux, South-West(sud-ouest), Rhône, Languedoc, Spain, South America and North America. In short, all the powerful and tannic wines that have not had time to skate will be happy to be decanted. The wine will gain in intensity and complexity, its structure is more molten in the mouth. It is quite easy to estimate the need: past the stage of the corkscrew, these wines do not smell much in the nose and, in the mouth, behave like a small compact ball that weighs on the tongue instead of investing the whole palate. In this case, one does not think: the contents of the bottle are poured into the carafe. It is no more complicated than that. You can then go up one level. If wine emanate from unpleasant odors of reduction, close to cabbage or onion, it is necessary to act vigorously and, why not?, with panache: Perform the maneuver in height, in the manner of the Mint tea servers, shake the carafe vigorously until that the wine begins to foam, signs that CO2 is emitted under the effect of oxygenation. One can even transfer from the carafe to the bottle several times in a row to further accelerate the aeration effect. The carafe is just an example of a container, but if the wine is particularly young and restive, you can use a bowl, a vase, any container. It is better still to finish by reintegrating the wine in its original bottle, otherwise you will have trouble to impress your guests by bringing a bucket on the table lol!.

Enjoy the seasons wherever you are and very much so in France, where else!!! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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