Some news from France, CCXXX

And back at you as the weather turns and France reawakens ,even if a bit cloudy we have a nice 16C  or about 62F in my neck of the woods and Paris has 64F and sunnier! I have to tell you more because France always has more. So my latest favorites of the many are to follow below.

This American of Chinese origin has made many monuments around the world. In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, the “Nobel of Architecture”. The architect Leoh Ming Pei, renowned in France for being at the origin of the Louvre pyramid, inaugurated in 1989. He has died at the age of 102 years. He is the son of the American artist, born in China in 1917, who announced the news to the New York Times. Some of his work were the Dallas City Hall, Cleveland’s Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame or the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. He, also built the East façade of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., more recently, he was also asked by Qatar to designl the Islamic Art Museum in Doha. RIP

Just after the fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the amount of donations, fueled in particular by the announcements of the great fortunes and companies of our country, was valued at one billion euros. But for the time being, this astronomical sum is far from being reached. According to our own count (Le Parisien newspaper) of the four collecting agencies selected by the State, 71 million euros have, to date, been casted on the half-billion that was directly promised to them. In detail, the Heritage Foundation is still awaiting the payment of 170 million euros, the Fondation Notre-Dame 300 million euros, the Fondation de France 20 million euros and the Center for National Monuments, 1 million euros.  Firstly because we do not know the budget necessary for the reconstruction, the expertise is coming to begin. Secondly,because most of the donations have not yet materialize.  Agreements will be signed between the Associations and the families Pinault and Arnault, who respectively promised 100 and 200 million euros. Payments will be made as the project progresses, many communities, which have not yet unlocked the promised appropriations, should do so in the coming weeks. Some mayors have still made a backhand retreat facing the sling of administrations preferring to give a boost to the the local buildings threatening ruin. From Le Parisien newspaper . Notre Dame Cathedral webpage here:

At the Church of St. Paul and St Louis  4éme, the three large 17C stained glass windows that frame the altar of the Virgin were removed this week., and transported for restoration to the workshops in Tusson (Charente). So, the two large bays on both sides of the statue as well as the oculus of the upper part, protected by a kind of Plexiglas, let pass a white light that will illuminate the choir until September when the stained glass windows will be restored. As the Church has 49 stained glass windows and the donations allow to renovate two to three a year, the whole work will take about fifteen years. The first two were restored in the Choir Chapel in 2018. The Church parish is here:

175 patronyms will be added on the wall of the names of the 76 000 Jews deported from France. 1 823 names, 1 097 first name and 1 498 dates of birth will also be changed. Fourteen years after its inauguration by President Jacques Chirac and Simone Veil, herself a survivor of Auschwitz, the wall of the names of the 76 000 Jews deported from France (including 11 400 children), erected in the courtyard of the Holocaust Memorial (4éme), will be fully demolished and replaced by a new one, also with stones from Jerusalem . The construction site began at the beginning of the past week and will be completed by January 27  2020 for the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Soviet army in the Auschwitz camp. Formed from the archives of the Gestapo anti-Jewish service recovered in August 1944, the lists of the names of men, women and children sent to the death camps were not free of errors: some for example, could be arrested under false patronyms (alais names of resistance or Frenchized…) .That’s why the spelling of 1 823 names and 1 097 first name is going to be changed. 1 498 dates of birth will be added or modified, and 175 names of deportees found through departmental archives or family intervention will be added. The Memorial of the Shoah  is at 17, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier , 4éme. Open every day, except Saturday, from 10h to 18h, until 22h on Thursdays. Free admission. More info here :

The elected folks  of the depts Yvelines 78, Hauts-de-Seine 92 ,and Val-d’Oise 95, as well as those of Calvados 14, Eure 27, and Seine-Maritime 76  are determined to put the Seine on the front of the  tourist scene. Of the 350 km separating Le Havre from Paris, there are only twenty-five Seine river stops. The reception and the information to the tourists must be improved thanks to the trails and, why not, local guides. The banks of the Seine must be animated, brought to light as is the case in the Hauts-de-Seine. The river must also become useful again. In Mantes-la-Jolie, the barge of the Boucanier offers an original concept of floating restaurant popular especially in summer ( I attest to that very nice ambiance). In Bennecourt, a little further downstream, a lover of the Seine had the good idea to launch a floating cottage. This water camper can be rented by individuals or promoters.  In Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, the Seine is put forward every year by perpetuating the national pardon of the batellerie, (river boat building, a nice place indeed with a museum) a ceremony that is both commemorative and religious. Not to mention the Guinguettes that return to the taste of the day or the Seine docks made to pedestrians, as has been the case in Sartrouville since the beginning of the May’19. More info on the Fluvial Seine on the magazine Fluvial webpage here:

Info on tourism in the  Seine estuary in French:

In the evening, come to the castle for a Cine-Bal. The TAM dance company will initially offer a playlist of music films. Then a dozen film-danced sequences will be broadcasted on a giant screen. On the Parvis of the City/Town Hall, farandole of associations this coming Saturday from 14h,  and spring market on Saturday from 10h to 22h, and Sunday from 10h to 18h. At the Castle, night of the museums Saturday from 20h to midnight. Free, more information at tel +33 (0) and  City of Champs-sur-Marne (77) page here:

In it find a pdf file in French with all activities and a map!

Pierre-Paul Heckly’s collections auctioned this coming weekend by an auctioneer from Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne dept 77. Pierre-Paul Heckly was an architect and navigator located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines dept 78). He died in 2018, and left behind a real Ali Baba Cave. Tens of thousands of objects, fruits of 60 years of discoveries, according to his multiple passions; bronzes, paintings, prints, crystal, silverware, furniture., etc. In the House, not a square cm or inch that does not carry or support a work. Upstairs, erotic drawings, a collection on the theme of marine anchors, an empire bed or the collection of almanacs Vermot (some dating back to the 1920’s). Close to these pieces of choice, drawings of unknown artists and trinkets caught in flea markets or souvenir shops, like this showcase that is brimming with objects on the theme of the scallops, of a perfect bad taste. But also hundreds of boxes of sardines, full and carefully listed. Or dozens of meters of shelves filled with glasses and beer mugs from all over the world. the most striking collection remains that of advertising lighters, it has 28 000 in its collection. The incredible collection of Pierre-Paul Heckly, is on sale Saturday and Sunday May 18-19  at the Auctions House Osenat  located at 9-11, rue Royale,Fontainebleau. Information and registration via the website .

Last night, according to reports in the Le Parisien newspaper ,  the final project of the renovation of the Gare du Nord was unveiled. A green roof, sports fields, bicycle parking…Its new face totally amazing!  For the busiest train station in Europe. The work of the big work will  end in 2022, without consequences on the movement of trains. A second stage will begin in March 2023 for the upper floors and the impressive 11 000 m2 park. The ambitious idea of making the Gare du Nord the showcase of the French art of living (mais ouii). The giant rooftop terrace of 7700 m2 originally planned for 11 000 m2, and its lawns and garden.  Also, apart from children’s games, you can find rest areas, different cafés and many benches for a chilling moment. The rooftop terrace will also offer a range of equipment for sportsmen, at affordable prices: Padel (small tennis), basketball courts, as well as a trail of 1 km long and 50 m of elevation where to spend in the open air after a large day. 2000 bike places will be available in the secure parking lot, it will even have the possibility to have it repaired, to drop the equipment in lockers or to take a shower after a long journey. A space of 45 000 m2 will offer many shops, cafés and restaurants but also local shops and a range of surprising services such as a medical practice, a co-working space or a library. The project includes a lounge area with a waiting zone for Thalys travelers as well as a more extensive duty free area for Eurostar travelers. Official Gare du Nord SNCF:

A simple local guide to the Gare du Nord in French:

From 1960 to 1980, musical currents crossed the channel, transforming Paris and London into multicultural capitals. The “Paris-London exhibition: Music migrations 1962-1989” at the Museum of the History of Immigration  proposes to explore the music that has moved the previous generation. One learns how several generations of immigrants, in these two former colonial powers, have seized the music to make their rights heard, claiming their place in public space and contributing to the transformations from the economic and cultural times of both countries. Shows, performances, concerts, screenings and encounters will enrich this magnificent Expo. You will be transported by pieces of reggae-punk, ska, R&B, Rachid Taha punk, electro-rap, rock Etc. Palais de la Porte Dorée,  Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration,  293, avenue Daumesnil 12éme Paris. More info here:

Now let’s finish with a bang and dance away in the nights of Paris for the young at heart.

It is not a grocery store but a bar located in the 11éme arrondissement. L’Alimentation Générale or L’ali-gé  for the intimate locals. It’s a rather chill atmosphere: you can have a drink with your buddies in the early evening and then sweat until the end of the night to the sound of concerts and DJ sets. At 64, rue Jean-Pierre-Timbaud 11éme Metro Parmentier, Couronnes, or Goncourt.  Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 19h to 02h, and Fridays and Saturdays from 19h  to 05h!.More info here:

A real institution in the Belleville neighborhood, the Café Chéri (e) changes at the very end of the weekend. Exit the regulars who come to take their coffee, from 22h to 02h, the DJ’s raise the temperature of this room to the red neon: electro, rock or even jazz, the Café Chéri (e) always makes you happy. 44, Boulevard de la Villette,19éme. Metro Belleville. Open every day from noon to 02h. More info here:

Located a few steps from the Grands Boulevards, the B58 is a bar that wants to mingle culture and fiesta. Expos, stags evenings, the bar has the reputation of being a festive place where you drink well, and not too expensive! The small plus: the B58 can be privatized. At 58, rue richer ,9éme. From Tuesday to Saturday from 18H to 02h . More info here:

The party animal that is in you must definitely test the Favela Chic. Known to locals, this tropical-like bar will make you dance until the end of the night! You can even enjoy in the first part of the evening of friendly concerts. At 18, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple ,11éme. Metro République. Open from 19h30 to 02h  from Tuesday to Thursday and until 04h30 on Fridays and Saturdays. A real ambiance assure! More info in their Facebook page here :

Located right in the heart of the Villette, this property is completely hybrid. A la folie its a restaurant, bar, guinguette and club, this is the kind of spot where you can spend a whole day. Outside, deckchairs to chilled  and inside a bar quite sympathetic to the colorful and urban décor of Parc de la Villette, 26, Avenue Corentin-Cariou 19éme Metro Corentin Cariou. Open Monday to Thursday from 12h to midnight and until 02h on weekends. More info here:

You who have a bad image of the neighborhood  of Saint-Michel and its tourist bars(indeed), be attentive and do not miss the Le Cavern Club. Not only because its prices are unbeatable in view of the neighborhood  with 3,50€ cocktails during Happy Hour! (mais ouii), but also because the music is cool. And the little thing in addition: a hidden staircase that leads to a huge vaulted cellar with a second bar. In terms of music, Electro-House enthusiasts should be delighted.  At 21, rue Dauphine, 6éme. Métro Saint-Michel. Open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 18h to 02h, and until 06h on weekends. More info here:.

And they you go be ready for the end of Spring and Summer in France sublime, this is the best time to be here except maybe October and December.  Enjoy it fully as we do. France is a movable feast!.

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



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