Archive for August 1st, 2019

August 1, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLII

So here I am again on my news of my belle France! There is never a dull moment here, so much around me, it is just wonderful. Today we are cloudy, cool ,17C or about 64F , and a bit light rain at times. It is time for a cooling off period after the canicule!At our eternal Paris is a bit better for a change temps of 24C or 75F and sunny.

And now the latest news from my belle France. Hope you are having a wonderful summer, might this year took it at the end for vacations just to be back at the rentrée!! early Sept19.

After a year of construction, the new Place de la Madeleine (8éme) will be inaugurated between late October and early November 2019. The works make the square much more pedestrian. This square of the 8éme arrondissement is the 7th of the capital to be developed as part of the renovation of major Parisian squares launched by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo  in June 2015. Now that is one thing that was needed around this square my old walking path to work in Paris. Bienvenue! A bit more on the Place de la Madeleine from Paris tourist office!

Scooters/trottinettes  are no longer welcome on our Parisian sidewalks. Users of the latter will now have to comply with the parking rules for cars and scooters / motorcycles. It will therefore be necessary to park the scooters on existing parking, but the goal is not to limit the actual places, the City of Paris began in early July 2019 to create materialized locations to accommodate, eventually, some 15,000 of them. Ok good initiative to regulate them as any motor vehicule!

The Gobelins teddy bears are conquering Paris ! Until recently, they had been found exclusively in the quartier Gobelins neighborhood, (13éme arrondissement or district) but teddies will now be exported to other neighborhoods of the capital. In café terraces, slouched on deckchairs or hung on lampposts, you might have crossed already at least once these teddy bears on a human scale. A real element of distraction for locals and tourists, teddy bears should, from the start, make their show in various other neighborhoods, and leave to conquer the capital, as explained by Philippe Labourel of Paris, the bookseller of the 13éme who came up with the phenomenon. Rather nice indeed! More about them in Huffingtonpost in French here:

From now on, every Friday and Saturday until the end of August, classical music concerts are held in the arena of Montmartre. A concert of classical music in open air in the garden of the arena of Montmartre (18éme). Built in 1941, this arena is perched on one of the slopes of the hill  between the Place du Tertre and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur), and welcomes up to 250 spectators.The opportunity to discover a unique place that only opens for occasional events. For this second edition in 2019, 12 performances are organized on Fridays and Saturdays evening until the end of August, as well as Thursdays August 15 and 22.Every Friday and Saturday until August 24, as well as Thursdays August 15 and 22. Garden Arena of Montmartre, 25, rue Chappe , Metro Abbesses. Online ticketing on site on concert days 17h to 20h30, price is 35€ doors open at 20h, and the show lasts 2 hours. More info here: .

Something on history I like

Clinging to the cliff overlooking the Seine river, Château-Gaillard watches over this small town of the Eure, dept 27. In the Middle Ages it was a fortress. More than 800 years after its construction, Château-Gaillard still attracts all eyes. It’s impossible not to be magnetized by this elegant silhouette defying time, clinging to the cliff. Once at the top, the site offers a breathtaking view. On one side, the ruins of the mythical castle. On the other, a meander of the Seine river  of spectacular beauty. The white of the limestone rock enhances the insolent blue of the river and the green of ubiquitous vegetation. In 1196, when the construction of Château-Gaillard began, a good part of the French territory was attached to the English crown. Normandy particularly attracts the greed of the French. The border between France and England is precisely here. Richard the Lionheart is at Les Andelys,  King Philippe Auguste opposite, in Gaillon.  The castle fortress is built in less than two years as a military fortress, no little gargoyle all carved and pretty. When Richard died in 1199, his brother Jean Sans Terre succeeded him, and only four years later, the French troops began the siege of Château-Gaillard. After four months of siege and two months of attack, the Anglo-Norman garrison surrendered. Château-Gaillard has never really been used, except as a stone quarry. The town is divided in two. You can stroll along the beautiful Norman style houses in Petit-Andely, the village at the foot of the fortress, which revolves around the Gothic church Saint-Sauveur. To reach the Grand-Andely, with its lively commercial square, you make a leap to the 19C along the brick houses. Château-Gaillard is open from March 30th to November 3rd, from 10h  to 18h  in July and August, closed on Tuesdays, admission 4.50 euros adult. Guided tours at 11:30, 14:30 and 16:30. More info here:

And the tourist office of the Eure dept 27 on Chateau Gaillard:

Closed for renovations, the municipal museum of art and history of Colombes (hauts de Seine dept 92) will reopen at the end of 2019, it is located at rue Gabriel-Péri, a charming little museum in the city center of Colombes. Closed since last June, the Municipal Museum of Art and History is currently under construction. The current building already existed in 1790. Its wide interior courtyard and driveway suggest a post office relay function. In the 19C, the space is divided into several commercial activities. It is in 1989 that it is arranged in museum of art and history of the city. But the most spectacular novelty is the creation of a Salon de Thé or tea room. The municipal museum gathers a variety of collections, reflecting the history of the city. From the Ancien Régime with the presence of Queen Henriette at the 1924 Olympic Games hosted at the Stade Yves du Manoir, through the industrial era marked locally by the perfumer Guerlain, Ericsson phones, Goodrich and Kleber tires. On the Beaux-Arts side, the collections include paintings by Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet’s muse, which regularly attracts American visitors. More info at city of Colombes here:  City of Colombes on the museum

Great news!!!. After eighteen months of  renovations, the Salon de la Paix (Peace Salon)  is again open to visitors to the Château de Versailles. From this past Tuesday, July 30, the public will be able to rediscover this room arranged between 1681 and 1686, made of marbles and reliefs carved in lead and in gilded bronze. The Salon was soon reinstated at the Queen’s apartment, where it became the salon des Jeux (games’ room). It was then separated from the galerie des Glaces (hall of mirrors) by a partition. More info at the palace but only in French so far:

The wonderful emblematic places of Paris through a souvenir object, an atmosphere and a hotel nearby.  A temple of Anglo-Saxon books/letters. To be or not to be at Shakespeare and Company!!  Located at kilometer zero, starting point of all French roads, in a former monastery of the 17C, the wonderful English bookstore has become a tourist attraction, immortalized in the film Before Sunset. With it’s superstar cat (Queen Aggie and her suspicious look), its artists and writers lodged upstairs for a few services and reading a book a day (William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg were among those guests ), the place opened by George Whitman in 1951 has everything to attract the curious. it may be that this object lands in the archaeological category in the face of the tide of “all-digital”. This threat does not seem to affect tourists who trot in single file, backpacks, in narrow passages between tables and in small halls that lead from room to room. Frustrated by their inability to strafe furiously every corner of the bookstore, they will be able to catch up during a break at the adjoining Shakespeare and Company café.  Indeed lots of tourists but an institution in Paris! More info here:

The Hôtel Belloy Saint-Germain  in the Latin Quarter, address of this 4-star is steeped in history: it was here, at 2, rue Racine, then named Hôtel des Etrangers, that the 19C circle of zutistes poets such as Paul Verlaine, Charles Cros, Léon Valade , and the caricaturist André Gill etc came in. In 2018, the Belloy opened an extension, installed in the building just opposite, at number 1. Pastel colors, reproductions of paintings, hay chairs and breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower or Notre-Dame: the twenty-one rooms of the Petit Belloy  look a lot like, and do not have much to envy, their neighbors Belloy Saint-Germain. Breakfast is served at the Belloy , so you have to cross the street to start the day in the same mezzanine where, Arthur Rimbaud stayed for a few months. Petit Belloy Hotel Saint-Germain, 1, rue Racine, Paris 6éme.  More info here :

Paris in August is the best time to enjoy it. But, if  you think everyone has deserted the capital, your favorite restaurants might not. Do not panic, there is one eternal favorite where I bring all my friends and family visitors to Paris who is open in August! And ,the opportunity to test them without a horde of hungry Parisians! Plenty written on it on my previous posts.

La Gare or the Station, an institution with flavors of the world by Gaston Acurio, The Le Gare is simply located in a former Parisian train station and offers a travel card young adventurer modern day to discover the world. Its street kitchens and family tables, this is the inspiration of the chef through workshops and different universes. Rotisserie, cocktails and family brunch on Sunday!  You will love it , all do!!! La Gare, 19, Chaussée de la Muette, 16éme metro line 9 Muette out turn left and see it  More info here :

There you go another bashful of information on my belle France, enjoy the summer, its wonderful! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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