Archive for February 29th, 2020

February 29, 2020

Some news from France, CCXCXI

And here I am back at you, its beena  while on my regular post of Some news from France! Well it has been rewarding to say the least. However, with all the hoopla of the latest pandémonium in our world let me tell you some news from France!

The postponement of the Paris half-marathon to an undetermined date provokes contrasting reactions from the 44,000 runners entered, all disappointed.
Victim of the coronavirus epidemic and the precautionary principle, the Paris half-marathon will not take place this Sunday morning. 44,000 runners were registered and the organizers expected at least 37,000 people on the starting line. Pity , all these cancellations, this one is just one but they have been many others.

Now for some serious news on the funny virus Coronavirus now lately been call COVID-19, we do not want to insult the beer lol!

In my belle France, it seems the epidemy is centered on the Oise dept 60 north of Paris in Hauts de France region old Picardie claiming 750 calls per day to Samu (the emergency healh folks). In the past 48 hours, the number of calls to 15 (the local French emergency health telephone number which in EU is 112) has increased by 66%. In the face of the epidemic, hospitals are organizing. Yes my Vannes hospital has been added to the ones in Brest and Rennes in Brittany to handle any eventualities.   For the World Health Organization (WHO), the threat linked to the new coronavirus is “very high”. In France, the alert level was raised to 2 (out of 3). Since the start of the epidemic in January, 100 cases  (out of 65 million persons!) have been confirmed in the country.     According to a new report by the French Director General of Health, 86 patients have been hospitalized since the start of the crisis following a coronavirus infection, of which nine in serious condition, 12 have recovered, and two have died (one French and one visiting Chinese). In Spain it has been documented up to today 58 cases,  including the two cases given release from hospitals,one patient from Germany in La Gomera and one from France in Mallorca. The cases so far are in  Madrid: 10 – Andalucía: 10 – Canarias: 7 – Cataluña: 6 – País Vasco: 3 – Castilla y León: 2 – Baleares: 2 – Navarra: 1 – Asturias: 1 – Cantabria: 1.  At least 34 people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus spreading from China, federal health officials said on Friday. A 50-year-old patient died in Washington State USA  after contracting the coronavirus. It was the first death linked to the epidemic in the United States (out of like 330 millioin persons). This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat, by a Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news briefing. Eleven of the infections were diagnosed in travelers who fell ill after returning on their own from overseas, and two of their close contacts became infected. The other 21 patients are people who were returned to the United States by the State Department. Source NYT.

Just briefly, we are in a cold virus period and these have killed more people than any other virus including the coronavirus so far. Stay tune it will get better in the news.

In another important news, ……The Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo (from Cadiz she was Ana) , had to face several “tiles” that fell during the mandate. Among them: the end of the Autolib ‘contract and the failures of the Vélib’ transition in Paris. After the end of Autolib ‘and the difficult transition of the Vélib’ service, Parisians have massively shifted to new toys to claim eco conciousness … free floating scooters that swarm the streets!!!!

In the middle of summer 2018, the 4,000 gray Autolib ‘cars that appeared under former mayor Delanoë disappeared from the Parisian landscape, disconnected due to a heavy deficit. The same year, the deployment of the new metropolitan Vélib by the company Smovengo, winner of the market at the expense of JC Decaux, derailed, accumulating delays and technical problems. In the meantime, Parisians have massively turned to new toys: free floating bikes and scooters that swarm and pile up on the sidewalks. In the past  spring, the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) nevertheless punched the table to restore order on the public highway. Last week, the executive announced that it had arranged 4,600 parking spaces (out of the 15,000 planned) for scooters in the city. And promised to launch before Christmas a tender to ultimately retain only three operators of self-service electric scooters next year. On this subject too, Parisians diverge; these machines were not regulated: nothing was adapted for their circulation, the cart was put before the horse.

Since the City of Paris disconnected the Bolloré group and its famous Bluecar, three operators have shared the market. “3000 self-service electric cars are available,” said the deputy layor. Parisians now have the choice between the Zoé from Renault, the Smart from Car2go and the vehicles from Free2Move (PSA) which they can leave on the spot, once their journey is over, or bring back to the departure station. Part of the Autolib ‘charging stations are used by private electric vehicles, for 120 euros per year. As for the anarchic development of free floating scooters, the City of Paris put an end to it with a charter of good conduct in May 2019, the ban on parking on sidewalks since last July, and the creation of dedicated locations. Still to select 3 operators among the eight who are currently sharing Poor Parisiens, their money is going down the hole and we still claim eco conscience ! Source; Le Parisien journal

Now for something ligher and worth it.

Discovering objects made in deportation, the clandestine printing of leaflets or the letters of deportees was already extremely moving in the former museum of the National Resistance of Champigny. But by discovering the new site, located on the Quai Victor-Hugo on the banks of the Marne river, visitors should feel even more the shift in the lives of the French from May 1940. The museum will be open on average from Thursday to Sunday. The historic site of the museum, the Jean-Louis-Crémieux-Brilhac area, avenue Marx-Dormoy, remains a place of conservation. National Resistance Museum, 40, quai Victor-Hugo in Champigny-sur-Marne More info here in FRench: Museum of national resistance WWII

And on the popular football/soccer, well big moves for PSG, Paris Saint Germain.

The countdown begins for PSG which officially launches today Saturday morning the construction of its future campus in Poissy whose delivery is scheduled for 2022. Excavators, bulldozers and trucks will come into action on the 74 hectares acquired by the club in 2016 on the edge of the A 13 autoroute de Normandie. The goal is to develop around fifteen football fields, a stadium with 5,000 seats, but also accommodation buildings for professional players and those of the training center, who will then leave the Camp des Loges, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The campus will not only welcome footballers. The handball and judo sections will also be set up in Poissy. The site is divided into three zones with land reserved for professionals and others for young people from the training center. These different spaces will be separated by accommodation buildings to accommodate players. These sets will also include treatment rooms but also classes since the campus will house a Blue and Red school for young people in the neighborhoods and aimed at fighting against school failure. As for the 5000-seat stadium, located near the A 13 highway/motorway exit ramp, it will be used for meetings of European competitions for the PSG women’s team and matches for the reserve team. An agreement was also reached with the city which could use the equipment if the local club, which is currently playing in National 2 were to move up into the upper division. The total investment for the club amounts to almost 300 million euros.

And two heavyweights of the wine world speaks out against the forseen fear of drinking wine (alcohol).

Aubert de Villaine (Romanée-Conti) and Alexandre de Lur Saluces (Château de Fargues), two winemakers who have bottles, denounce campaigns that aim to reduce wine to alcohol. According to them, it is much more than that. Bien sûr monsieurs! merci
They are two figures of the French vineyard, one in Burgundy, the other in the Bordeaux region. Aubert de Villaine, 81, directs the cult area of ​​Romanée-Conti, in the Côte de Nuits (Côte-d’Or), and was a key player in the classification of Burgundy climates in 2015, on the list Unesco World Heritage Site. Alexandre de Lur Saluces, 85, has spent more than 30 years at the helm of Château d’Yquem, the king of sauternes, and now owns Château de Fargues, in the same appellation. Both claim that the image of wine in France is today quite damaged. And they worry about it. Me too and its spread out worldly but I see here much more.  Aubert de Villaine says: Our wine culture is considered everywhere as a model, no other country has our prestige. The Italian, Spanish, American or Australian vineyards are defended without fault by their leaders, but in France, not. Indeed they got it well I got it, these are icons of my wine life, and speaking out well. Drink wine is a honest tradition and good for you in moderation.

No less than 413 Parisian restaurants are participating in the new edition of a somewhat special food festival. Food by the thousands, at reasonable prices ,-50% off some menu cartes, your wallet will say thank you. From February 21 to April 5, 2020 you will be able to have fun without tearing your arm away. Festival LaFourchette   .The Fork in English or Tenedor in Spanish or Garfo in Portuguese, of course in French is Fourchette. More info on their site which is one of my blog roll webpages bottom of my front page in my blog.La Fourchette in French

And lets finish up with some fashion news of course, I am in France!

Manfred Thierry Mugler, Better known as Thierry Mugler, the multi-faceted creator is exhibited by the Galerie Polka gallery, in partnership with Bercy Village. Thus, in free access, 34 photos are exposed in the passages until June 7 2020. “What guides me is the quest for the perfect place, and the perfect place is not necessarily easy to access or free for a shoot. My photography is an adventure, it is often done in extreme conditions. We sometimes found ourselves in forbidden places, at the top of a temple or a building, “said Mugler to Sidonie Gaychet, deputy director of the Polka gallery. Guaranteed without special effects, the pictures by Thierry Mugler show surprising imagination, above the cities, in the desert, in the shade of icebergs, on dinosaurs, under the hooves of horses in the Grand Palais, on the Art Deco peaks Chrysler Building in New York, Russia, Paris, China, Japan or Mali. We enter a dreamlike universe, between science fiction, transhumanism and robotics, staging superheroines and superheroes in landscapes chosen for their unique beauty. Like his sculptural fashion, he succeeds in once again asserting his unique aesthetic full of poetry by magnifying “the most beautiful animal on earth, the human being”. Manfred Thierry Mugler In the covered passages of Bercy Village. More info here: Bercy Village on Mugler

Christian Louboutin: The exhibition [niste]!! As of February 26, the Porte Dorée museum is offering the largest exhibition ever devoted to the red soles creator’s work and imagination. We cross 11 chapters dedicated to his sources of inspiration as well as a selection of works from his personal collection and loans from public collections. Several surprises await the visitor: did you know that Louboutin collaborated with the Maison du Vitrail  (house of glass) in Paris to create stained glass windows and that he is the proud owner of a 300 m2 Buddhist temple, star of the Universal Exhibition in 2000 in Hanover!  Christian Louboutin: L’Exhibition [niste] From February 26 to July 26, 2020 at the Palais de la Porte Dorée 293, avenue Daumesnil – 12éme arrondissement of Paris. More info here: Palais porte doree on Louboutin

Harper’s Bazaar. First fashion magazine! The Museum of Decorative Arts (on the Louvre) invites us to delve into the epic of the famous American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. We will discover a large photographic retrospective embellished with a selection of pieces from the museum’s fashion collections. We are aware of the enormous influence of this iconic magazine founded in 1867, which has helped to spark a new mode of fashion consumption. Sixty sewing and ready-to-wear creations are offered, mainly from the museum’s collections, punctuated with loans of prestigious iconic pieces and are presented in correspondence with their publication in this magazine. The artists and photographers Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, and even Peter Lindbergh contributed to the magazine’s unmatched aesthetics while the journalists Carmel Snow, Alexey Brodovitch and Diana Vreeland finished writing it in the legend. Harper’s Bazaar Museum of Decorative Arts 107, rue de Rivoli- 1éme arrondissement of Paris going on from February 28 to July 14 2020. More info here: Musee des arts decoratifs on Harper’s

Like many successful meetings, this one took place in a nightclub: when they met at New Jimmy’s (ex-Régine, on boulevard de Montparnasse) in 1967, it was love at first sight between Yves Saint Laurent and Betty Catroux. “She is Saint Laurent as she breathes. Its appearance, its mystery, its sulphurous side, an elusive, desirable danger, everything that makes the aura of this house, we understand the magnitude when we meet Betty. The pieces presented in the museum’s exhibition come from the important donation that Betty Catroux chose to make to the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. Betty Catroux, Yves Saint Laurent, Feminine Singular from March 3 to October 11, 2020 at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris 5, avenue Marceau – 16éme arrondissement of Paris. More info here: Museum YSL on Betty Catroux

An exhibition bringing together two of the colossi of fashion, we dreamed of it, the Azzedine Alaïa association did it. When Cristóbal Balenciaga decided to close his fashion house in 1968, the assistant director of the Balenciaga house, Mademoiselle Renée, contacted the young Alaïa to offer him to send him the stocks of fabrics and dresses stored in the workshop. Alaïa keeps them and begins to build an archive which he will enrich all his life. The exhibition brings together the models of the two creators in a duel of breathtaking cuts and volumes. Alaïa and Balenciaga, sculptors of the form
until June 28, 2020 Association Azzedine Alaïa 18, rue de la Verrerie – 4éme arrondissement of Paris . More info here:  Assoc azzedine Alaia

Renowned American artist and photographer, Cindy Sherman is her own model and her productions question the image and role assigned to the American woman of the 60s. She refers to and diverts advertising, cinematographic or even erotic imagery with fantasy and daring. A resolutely feminist exhibition. From April 1 to August 31 2020. Cindy Sherman Retrospective, Louis Vuitton Foundation 8, avenue du Mahatma-Gandhi – 16éme arrondissement of Paris/ More info here: Fondation Louis Vuitton on Cindy Sherman

And there you go some news from France of all kinds like the country of many cheeses and wines lol! Hope you enjoy it.

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

 

 

February 29, 2020

Artisanal France, museum at Bourges!

Once again surprise, we admit stumbled upon this museum while visiting the Cathedral St Etienne and walking around the Bishop’s garden in the back we saw it. Curiosity took us in as one cannot overlook something call the Best Artisanal or craftsmen  workers of France. One reason why we are excellence in monuments and many other things…. Welcome to Bourges, in the Cher dept 18 of the Centre Val de Loire region of my belle France.

And while here , and walking around, remember I told you about the museum of the best craftsmen of France, wonderful experience truly enjoyed by the family. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok.

The Musée des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France at the old episcopal bishops palace and open since 1995, showcasing the best art form in France from cuisine to leather makers to wood makers craftmens that was established in France from 1924. If you want to know the French joie de vivre then come here, we all enjoy it much. At the Place Etienne Dolet just around the corner from the Cathedral!

Bourges

With two exhibitions a year and a permanent one, you will plunge into a little-known world of know-how and technical challenge. Ironwork, architecture, jewelry, music, etc. A clear explanation of the competition for the Meilleur Ouvrier de France  or Best Craftmen of France, will dispel your doubts about their membership in the Compagnons. Also discover unforgettable works such as Jacques Baptiste’s miniature spinning wheel, or exquisite desserts in puffed sugar , well sheltered by gourmets behind the protective glass! Do not hesitate to take time to admire the details of each work, it is a quality signature that we do not see every day. Little more ? This museum located opposite the cathedral is completely free!

The collections represent many crafts, crafts and industry. Temporary exhibitions are organized each year at the Museum of the Best  Craftsmen of France.  The collections of masterpieces, tools, archives, photographs and medals were made up of donations and deposits made by the craftsmen themselves!

bourges

Presented on two levels, these collections evoke the history of the movement of the Best Craftsmen of France since its creation in 1924 by the government, in the various categories of trades chosen among the professions admitted to the annual competition.

Bourges

And again do not miss seeing the museum or Musée des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France , free admission  next to the St Stephens’ Cathedral and in front of the Bishop’s garden. Awesome combination indeed. Hope you enjoy it as we did.

The city of Bourges has more info on it in English here: City of Bourges on the Museum of Best Craftsmen of France

A site of friends of museums I follow elsewhere, and worth to know you can help the preservation of these wonders as well. More info in French here: Friends of the museums of Bourges on the Craftsmen museum

A general tourist office of Bourges here: Tourist office of Bourges

And there you go short and sassy as the saying goes for a nice spot in my belle France. Do come it is nice indeed. Hope you enjoy the post.

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

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February 29, 2020

More curiosities of my Versailles!!!

helloo, more of me and petit creativity genious hard to choose titles and oh well, I stick with the stories and fables of travel, the very best. I had to climb some stairs today and thought of ideas for the blog so here are some stairs and a bit of trivia information on the Palace/museum of Versailles, sometimes known as the Château de Versailles , but this only covers one building, and the whole is known as the Domaine de Versailles.

Let me start with some figures on it just to give an idea of what it is and even better was.

I do not think had mentioned earlier in my blog but what folks see today is a miniature of what it was the Domaine de Versailles, the whole property that includes the Palance, Trianons, Hameau, gardens , Orangerie etc. Today this is about 642 ha,(about 1586 acres) enclosed by walls, under king Louis XIV its area was around 5000 ha!(about 12355 acres).

It, also has 16 doors or gates to give access to the area. These are grille d’honneur, the grille Dufour , the two grilles of the Hundred Marches stair, the grille du Mail, the grille des Matelots, porte de la Ménagerie, porte de la ferme de la Ménagerie, grille de l’Agronomique, porte de la ferme Bailly, porte de Bailly, porte du Muséum, porte Saint-Antoine, grille du boulevard de la Reine, grille du Dragon , and the grille de la Chapelle. In the Royal period it had even more such as the Porte de Saint Cyr where I came now to find some veggies and fruit on the Ferme de Gally.

Versailles

The Grand Canal is occupy by 24 ha measuring 1650 meters by 62 meters and 1070 meters by 80 meters for the transverse arm, average depth is 2 meters. On the other side of the road or ave de l’Orangerie after given way to the Route de Saint Cyr or road D10, you can see the pièce d’eau des Suisses or Swiss pond this has a total area of 16 ha with dimensions of 682 meters by 234 meters, depth 2.5 meters.

versailles

Versailles

The Domaine de Versailles has 47 pools, including 26 in the palace grounds and 21 in the Trianon area. 5.56 ha is the floor area of the Palace of Versailles, as for its roofs, all buildings combined, this represents 11 ha. 415 meters, represents the length of the facade on the gardens 670 meters developed, if one counts the returns of the central body. 20 meters is the average height of the Palace of Versailles, compared to 44 meters for the Chapelle Royale and 35 meters for the Opera Royale.

You have 67 stairs in the Palace, 16 of them also serve the roof. About 100 clocks are wound every Monday by the Palace clockmaker, which obviously does not give the number of clocks present at the castle. The Domaine de Versailles has 352 chimneys today while in 1789 there were 1252! About 700 is the number of rooms in the palace and finally it has 2153 windows.

And some interesting stairs is one that goes into the Salon des Nobles or Nobility room. Lots of historical figures walked by here folks. The living room of the Nobles is the antichambre under Queen Marie-Thérèse, it is in this room that Queen Marie Leszczinska granted her solemn audiences, seated under a canopy. She also held her circle there, as this talk time with the ladies of the court was called. Queen Marie-Antoinette had the decoration entirely redone, retaining only the ceiling paintings, and for her, the walls were stretched out in apple-green damask bordered with a large gold braid.

Versailles

Versailles stair to salon des nobles jun15

Other more easily seen from the outside is the Hundred Steps stair seen from the beforementioned roads.

The two Stairs of the Cent Marshes or hundred steps of the Palace of Versailles frame the central gallery of the Orangerie. Two smaller side galleries are located under these stairs. The one hundred steps stair is in fact 103   and 105 steps whose proportions (13 cm x 39.5 cm or about 5,1 by 16.6 inches)) accommodate the steps wonderfully, to the point that it is as easy to climb as to descend. Two return galleries end under the monumental staircases of the Cent-Marches which act as buttresses to the whole. The walls, 4 to 5 meters thick (about 13 to 16.5 feet), the double glazing of the bays and the exposure to the South allow to maintain the winter a temperature which does not drop below 5 ° C or about 41F.

Versailles

There you go folks, you need time even to see this Domaine, I know many travel books tells you it can be done in one day even two days, but if you want to soak fully the history and architecture of this Domaine de Versailles you need a week! Well i used to lived there and it took me several visits to see it all.

Hope you enjoy the post on my favorite city of France, Versailles. And the most beautiful palace in the world, the Palace/museum of Versailles.

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

February 29, 2020

A revisit to the Potager du Roi, Versailles!

And cannot be too far from my beloved Versailles.  I  have written so much on it, sorry if sometimes I repeat myself. Of course, written on the wonderful Potager du Roi but have some new pictures to tell you a recap and encourage you to visit it.

The Potager du roi.  At the request of king Louis XIV, gardener Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie made this vegetable/fruit garden between 1678-1683.  It provided the king with its own supplies of veggies well done for his taste. The design is of three central trails of about 3 hectares ( 7,4 acres) divided into 16 squares all around a fountain. At the center of each square, surrounded by fruit trees, you have rounds of vegetables flourishing. You will have a wonderful view of this from the terraces. You will discover about 12 enclosed gardens with its collection of fruit trees where still the art of growing them continues. You can,also, with time take a course in gardening at this wonderful place.

versailles

The Potager du Roi is located at 10 rue du Maréchal Joffre, just in front of the Cathedrale Saint Louis. You can come from Paris on the RER C to rive gauche, take a left to rue du Gal Leclerc and  take left on Maréchal Joffre, about 10 mins walking. It is open from April 1 to October 31 every day except Mondays from 10h to 18h, and from November 1 to March 31 the tuesdays and thursdays from 10h to 13h. However these are the general times, it can change each year

versailles

The King’s Vegetable garden, or potager du roi ,which has an orchard of some 5 000 fruit trees (more than 400 different varieties), produces good year bad year about 50 tons of fruit and 20 tons of vegetables, part of which is sold in the store boutique (open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays morning).

versailles

It is a nice place and recently given the attention it deserve for renovation and keep it for generations more.  I will give some webpages to help you plan your trip here

Official Potager du Roi how to get there in French: Potager du Roi how to get there

The official webpage of the management of the Potager du Roi is done by the l’École nationale supérieure de paysage or the National School of Landscape, more info in French here: National School of Landscape Versailles on the Potager du Roi

Official Gardens of France on the Potager du Roi in French with a nice layout map of the garden: Jardins de France on the Potager du Roi

Tourist office of Versailles on the Potager du Roi in English: Tourist office of Versailles on the Potager du Roi

And the Americans to the rescue of the Potager du Roi , the WMF (World Monuments Fund)  is helping restore this wonderful place in the history of Versailles, France and apparently the world; more info in English here: Official WMF org on restoration of the Potager du Roi

And if you want to help why not join the Friends of the garden or Association des Amis du Potager du Roi in French here: Assoc Friends of the Potager du Roi

There you go another dandy in Versailles, and like i always repeat, the Royal city is more than a Palace/Museum even if this is huge indeed. Hope you enjoy your visit here a lot more than a one day trip to the palace and enjoy fully my Versailles. Enjoy the shopping in the Potager du Roi too!!! superbe!

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

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