Archive for June 5th, 2019

June 5, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXXIII

Hey, its time for another round of news on my belle France! Well the weather has turn cooler and cloudier and rain call for the rest of the week. Today we have no sun and temps of 15C in my neck of the woods and tomorrow more of the same. By the city of lights we have 16C and will go to 20C tomorrow so they said.  Let’s get some news of my latest roundup ok

The dept store Printemps, meanwhile, began to reinstall the gates that closed the historic building located at the corner of Boulevard Haussmann and Rue du Havre (coming out from the Gare St Lazare !). The grilles were installed in 1881 during the rebuilding of the store created in 1864 by Jules Jaluzot and his wife Augustine, and ravaged by a violent fire. They were then abandoned in 1930. Visible until now by the agents in charge of the maintenance of the department store or the groups during the guided visits, these works will be able to be admired by the customers and the walkers as soon as the doors of the store are closed, at 20h, starting in October 2019. More on the store at Haussmann here:

All along the Ourcq canal there are nice changes. The Pouchard halls are an old tube factory built in the late 1940s. The building along the stream, which houses the municipal theater, is rented by the city/town hall to a private owner. “The Great Greenhouses of Pantin”. An 80,000 m2 complex comprising offices, a hotel, a restaurant and public spaces … At the request of the city/town hall, the developer will keep a hall and a half to keep track of the site’s industrial past. New buildings will be contiguous and a footbridge will be built in the extension of the Rue du Cheval Blanc. Opening, its website evokes 2021. A marina in New-Port. Having your own boat moored at the Ourcq canal!  By the end of 2019, some 40 rings should be set up to allow boaters to park between BETC and the Elis plant where the watercourse is expanding.  Since December 2012, a bridge allows the T3B tramway to cross the canal. This new line has improved the service of the district with the creation of the Ella-Fitzgerald station, at the foot of the Grands Moulins. Its users can go to the gate of Asnieres (Hauts-de-Seine) or Vincennes (Val-de-Marne). More info on the Ourcq Canal here:

And on the Great Greenhouses of Pantin in French here:

They will soon roam the soft grass of the valleys of Azerbaijan. Freely!. Three European bisons, born in Thoiry Zoological Park (Yvelines dept 78) , were selected as part of a reintroduction program in Azerbaijan led by WWF, almost a century after the official disappearance of the species in the wild. Present throughout Europe, including in France until the 18C, this direct cousin, even if  smaller of the American bison, had undergone the full whip the extension of the agricultural zones and the reduction of its natural habitat. They will definitely be left free on the wooded slopes of the Shahdag Nature Park, not far from the borders of Russia and Georgia. Thoiry zoo had already participated in four reintroduction operations in Europe during the last ten years: three in Romania in 2009 and 2015 and one in the Bialowieza forest in Poland in 2009. After the three animals had left Azerbaijan, the zoo still has nine individuals in its enclosures. Wonderful zoo! More on the zoo castle here:

Notre-Dame Cathedral, an American passion. Americans, who had long supported the maintenance of the cathedral, have been particularly busy since the fire. But on April 26, 2019 some 2,500 Americans, of all ages and faiths, gathered under the Byzantine-inspired mosaic cupolas of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, all feeling a little French. The success of this evening of support, hastily organized by the French Embassy and several associations, including the Friends of Notre-Dame and the French-American Cultural Foundation, confirmed the intense emotion aroused on this side of the Atlantic by the disaster. Oh yes we will rebuilt, thank you USA!!! More info here:

And the French American Cultural Foundation known for years, more info here:

Go and taste the “Chirac”, a burger bearing the name of a former president and a lover of calf’s head. We find this same transatlanticism almost paradoxical in Big Fernand, who sells hamburgers with names well known such as  the Paulin, Basil, or Lucien. Great place the Big Fernand. And yes alas, while proud of its culinary heritage, France is the second country consuming hamburgers and fries, behind the United States, ahead of all its European neighbors. The round meat loaf has dethroned ham-butter sandwich since 2016. It even came out of fast-food, to impose on the menu of classic restaurants. More on the resto here :

All is told in the book “Une histoire de hamburger-frites  “ Pub Robert Laffont, 172 p., 12€. But the craze is not new even if most visitors think that it’s because of its famous fast food chain. It was Jacques Borel ,who launched the first fast-food in Paris, in May 1961: a franchise of the Wimpy chain at rue du 4-september,2eme.. A bit info from Wikipedia tells us that Wimpy was a British international restaurant chain created in Chicago in the United States in the 1930s by Eddie Gold. The name “Wimpy” comes from the famous friend of Popeye J. Wellington Wimpy (“Gontran” in French version), great lover of hamburgers, created in 1931 by E. C. Segar. The first country to take a license for this brand was England in 1954. There were up to 20 restaurants in France 15 in Paris and 5 in Province ), The Wimpy will disappear in the late 1960s because of a disagreement between the new franchisee and the British parent company. In 1975, the Wimpy de Lyon, during the works of the metro at rue de la République, was open. The Wimpy of Toulouse was also opened at the beginning of the 1970s, before being replaced then, on the same site, by a McDonald’s, place du Capitole. More on the book here:

The National Museum of Modern Art at the Pompidou Center and the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris practice the temporary exhibition of the permanent, playing with the abundance and variety of their collections. Old adage indeed,  the museums presented so-called permanent collections on the one hand, and temporary exhibitions on the other. A museum which, today, sticks to this management risks seeing its visitors neglect what it proposes to them every day for the benefit of what it shows a few weeks. Since 2015, the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris practices the temporary exhibition of the permanent, playing with the abundance and variety of its collections, indeed just a thought here!. These institution are well know, their webpages to follow

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci , the Condé Museum in the Domaine de Chantilly presents an unpublished exhibition entitled “The Mona Lisa naked”, until 6 October 2019. It is around this unknown and iconic work, true archetype of universal beauty and ideal in its time a cardboard (or a quilted drawing used to postpone a composition on a panel, 74.8 cm high and 56 cm of width), which is part of the permanent collection of the Condé Museum. “Leonardo da Vinci or his workshop: “The Mona Lisa”, circa 1510-1515 – charcoal and white lead on paper” This drawing is a rare and fragile board preparatory to a painting. It represents a model, probably ideal (between the feminine and the masculine) borrowing the pose of the Mona Lisa of the Louvre. Recent scientific analyzes have shown that this work was performed by a leading artist in Leonardo da Vinci’s studio: there is also a good chance that it will be the artist himself.  This drawing is the most enigmatic work in the Condé Museum’s collection. At the time of its acquisition at a price of gold in 1862 by Henry of Orleans, the Duke of Aumale, it passed for a preparatory drawing of the painter for the execution of the painting of the Hermitage, in Saint Petersburg, also given for a Leonard Da Vinci at the time. Then both were disallowed, relegated to the rank of workshop copies. Friends of the castle we are and its wonderful: more info castle museum here:

For info, the Friends of the Domaine of Chantilly webpage is here: Friends of the Domaine of Chantilly in English

During  this coming  weekend, from 8 to 9 June, NATURALIA takes up residence in La Rotonde, for a weekend under the sign of food, greenery and music! Naturalia Bio Market resumes service for a second season. It will transport you to a green bubble where you can enjoy animations that will make you want to consume better, to consume organic. After the food, place for the animations! Yoga, naturopathy consultations, relaxation area with reading and games, alone or in groups, with or without children. Radio Nova will be present both days to take care of the musical programming, while you discover the band Miel de Montagne live Saturday from 18h to 19h. The Bio Market NATURALIA From 8 to 9 June 2019 at Lat Rotonde  6-8 Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad, 19éme. More info on the market here:

And do go eat even if not bio at La Rotonde right there with wonderful views, great food, and great ambiance; more here:

And last something visitors may not notice but they do as it comes up with prices of overblown Paris, thanks to visitors and foreign investors! In Paris, it is hard work to find permanent lodging more so than elsewhere in France, we know it. Between the exorbitant price, the bad insulation, the 6th floor without elevator, the 10 m2 room or the bad location, difficult to find a correct accommodation. Yet, a neighborhood remains affordable. And it is precisely in the 13éme arrondissement or district of Paris that the price per square meter has only slightly increased  by + 4% since 2014!  The Gare (station) neighborhood is one of the cheapest and most extensive in the capital. This quartier or neighborhood is as such , it is the 50th neighborhood (see my posts on arrondissements and quartiers of Paris) , limited to the north by the Boulevard Vincent-Auriol, to the east by the Seine river , to the south by the towns of Ivry-sur-Seine and the Kremlin-Bicêtre and to the west by Avenue de Choisy. In this area we find in particular the Asian quarter and the south part of Paris Rive Gauche.  According to Le Parisien journal from which the article was taken the square meter is only 8 158 € against 15 254 €  for example in the Saint-Thomas d’Aquin 7éme arrondissement. You now know where to look!!

And now enjoy France, a movable feast to be written ! And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 5, 2019

Our eating in Rome!

Very simple title but I feel for our sake to remember them in one post. We have gone to Rome as a family vacation and rented apartments to do our own cooking shopping in local markets. However, as we venture out into the city we do need to eat on the run. Therefore , we had some encounters I will like to share in my blog with an unique creative post, Our eating in Rome lol!

There is so much to eat there and I only going to mention the ones I have been with the family vacation as on business trips there is another world altogether. So therefore, here is my take on eating in Rome.

Oh wait let me give you a shopping center where we found a great German restaurant oh yeah! Call it world mobility but there is choices everywhere. The shopping center is Porta di Roma or Gate of Rome just a bit outside the city center but we took the bus!

The shopping center of Porta di Roma is a wonderfully laid out, modern shopping center which offers a number of services for its customers  Inside this mall, there are cafes, bars, restaurants, and a children play area, including a train that brings children on a little tour. Among the many stores you’ll find clothing stores, sport equipment, accessories for men and women, shoe stores, electronics, hair dressers, skin care shops and many more. Porta di Roma also has a large movie theatre and an ample parking garage. To get to Porta di Roma, take the n. 38 bus that leaves every 10 minutes from Termini train station in the direction of Baseggio. The shopping center is at the end of the line Baseggio-Centro Commerciale Porta di Roma. rome

And as usual with us trying everything, our best meal was had at a German oriented place in Weiner Haus at the shopping center Porta di Roma. A German beer house with plenty of sausages and beers of course! The whole family love it!!! Here is their webpage and you look for locatoin Porta di Roma as there are several in Italy: Official Weiner Haus

There we end up buying better items at the Auchan supermarket and gourmet grocery stores and cooking it at the apartment with great Italian wines from Toscana and beers Moratti and Peroni lol!!! Porta di Roma shopping center webpage:



We check out Cinecitta too at the metro line by the same name but it was just a small shopping althought nice AC in hot Rome and good gelato there at Armonia del Gelato. Webpage:

Then, let me tell you about Gustando Roma, this is a bit touristic near the Colosseum so the prices are a bit high but the ambiance in the basement is sublime and worth it; of course the food is good. Enjoying Rome in the shadow of the Colosseum, along the promenade of Fori Imperiali, you  are  enjoying Rome. And it rises exactly like the small Flavian amphitheatre built inside, which surrounds part of the room highlighting its best specialty: ice cream! More on official page here: Gustando Roma resto and ice cream parlor

They ,also, have a Facebook page lol!! Gustando Roma at Facebook


Il Gelato di Procopio (sort of like the ice cream of pinochio) we come back for the moment! Again and again, we even found out one of the servers spoked French . They ave excellent ice creams, choice of various fragrances. A special stroke of heart for Pistachio and Procopio that are just sublime. Perfect value for money. And always catch it on the way back to our apartment as is very near metro Bologna. Il gelato dei proscopio along via xxi Aprile near metro Bologna on our way in out of our apartment! Unfortunately here for the memories as it is closed. I was told there is another address maybe same owners but cannot confirm.


One of our all time favorite and even stop on business trips is the Grand Caffe Cavour at Piazza  Cavour. Of course, don’t get me wrong this is just for a beer or coffee business meeting, etc while enjoying the beautiful Piazza Cavour square. The food is not that good. There is some info on them at Facebook again… Grand Caffe Cavour in Facebook


The tourist office of Rome:

All as said a Roman Holiday! Hope you enjoy it and do think about an apartment next time in Rome. and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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