Some news from France, CCCXII

So here I am back with some news from France, your regular news bulletin of my belle France. There is a lot going on even under the covid19 spell. Let me give you the latest. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading it.

A repeat from my Cathedral St Peter and St Paul of Nantes. I have notice many views on this post and for reason. Just this morning July 18 2020 ,there was a fire at the Cathedral for now malicious intention is the way to go, with three different fires. Luckily , the fireman came in quickly and the fire was put out. Nevertheless the beautiful organs are gone completely burned as well as a portrait of the 17C. The Fondation du Patrimoine or heritage foundation has started a collection of funds to rebuild the organs. Webpage here:  Heritage foundation on Cathedral of Nantes

The first Council of Paris of the new mandate of Anne Hidalgo may not be a simple formality for the mayor and her majority. Three reports from the Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Accounts (CRC) will thus be on the menu. Three reports; they will be published Monday at the latest , which point to management concerns in three emblematic sectors of the capital: the arrondissements or districts, the Porte de Versailles exhibition center but also the Eiffel Tower. it especially points to a price increase of 47%! and at the same time a drop in the number of visitors to the Eiffel Tower. “This increase was supposed to allow the construction of the reception center but it has still not seen the light of day,” explains the wise men of the CRC. So where the money is going Mme Mayor!!! search search and see where the poor Parisians money goes maybe for new bike lanes lol!

The rodeos on scooters under laughing gas sow panic on the Champs-Elysées. Rear wheels, dangerous slaloms between passers-by, haggard glances… The races of young people on electric scooters, intoxicated by nitrous oxide, have invaded the sidewalks and roadways of the most beautiful avenue in the world. Of course, no problems ,they have less cars !!! Paris is not doing good folks; it is changing and not for the better.

And if nothing is without saying , Paris is suffering the repercussions of the health crisis; between the absence of tourists and the total shutdown of the city for more than two months, the capital is on its knees. Faced with its colossal debt, the City of Paris is considering an increase in taxes for Parisians!!!. To offset the 565 million debt, including 200 million resulting directly from the economic recovery plan, the City of Paris calls on the generosity of the State and counts on an increase in taxes … for Parisians! OMG campaign promises. Faced with the absence of tourists (tourist taxes), the stopping of real estate transactions, impoundments (free parking during confinement) and the closure of municipal facilities such as swimming pools, nurseries or canteens, revenues taxes have collapsed; not without saying folks not coming for the hassle of getting in due to lanes closings. It is in this context of economic crisis that a budget plan which, will allow the city to recover must be voted on Friday July 24 at the Paris Council. A situation that denotes with the declarations of Anne Hidalgo who had promised in October 2019 that no tax increase would take place in Paris. Final answer this Friday, July 24, 2020 to the Paris Council! Well things will not be going well. Especially ,when already about 15% of Parisians are leaving for areas like Bordeaux, Nantes, and my Morbihan!!

At Roissy,(Val d’Oise 95) CDG airport for Paris ; the terminal 4 project has a negative impact. Controversial since its inception, this airport expansion project seems more than ever under fire from critics. Latest, the environmental authority which calls for a broad review of the project. The project for the new T4 terminal at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport is expected to accommodate up to 40 million additional passengers per year by 2037. Well , and when will they have the money when we reach the 40m on the old structures lol!

And to add sadness, Tati Barbès, at Bd Barbés by December 2020, it will be well and truly over. The emblematic 18éme arrondissement store will close its doors at the end of the year. The 34 employees who remain should be reclassified in Ile-de-France region in the stores of the owner Gifi. So sad, even my dear late wife Martine grandmother F used to shop in them, an institution in France, another bites the dust.

And for good news for a change. The crypt is the heart of the creation of Paris with the Ile de la Cité. So an exhibition was particularly close to the hearts by telling the story of Notre-Dame during the 19C from Victor Hugo to Viollet-le-Duc. Located just below, the crypt obviously had to be closed. It will reopen on September 9 2020 on the occasion of the presentation of a permanent exhibition dedicated to Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, designer of the now-defunct spire erected in the 19C. See it will be awesome!

The Dubois-Corneau de Brunoy museum, a treasure trove of local history in the Essonne dept 91. The Brunoy museum benefits from the large personal collection of Robert Dubois-Corneau, historian who died in 1951. The first room of the museum traces the history of the Château de Brunoy and its “great waters”, owned in turn by the Marquis de Brunoy then by the Count of Provence, before being dismantled during the French revolution as usual. A room is thus dedicated to the tragedian François-Joseph Talma, friend of Napoleon I, who had chosen Brunoy as his second home. The painter Maurice Eliot is also in the spotlight. Some of his works, as well as those of other artists who have reproduced the landscapes of the Yerres valley, can be seen there. Paintings by Numance Bouel, Amédée Varin and Alice Dubois, sister of Robert Dubois-Corneau, are part of the permanent collections. Finally, the last two rooms of the museum are dedicated to the two contemporary animal sculptors Maurice Prost and Pierre Dandelot. The musée Dubois-Corneau, 16, rue du Réveillon, Brunoy. Open all summer, except public holidays, from Wednesday to Sunday from 14h to 18h. Free entry!. More on the city of Brunoy in French here: City of Brunoy on the museum Dubois Corneau

Closed for the first time since 1876 because of the Covid virus, the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres in Hauts-de-Seine dept 92, reopens the doors of its porcelain production workshop. And the museum, free, welcomes visitors. National Museum of Ceramics. With engraved in capital letters, the inscription is displayed on the pediment of an imposing building of classical inspiration, 130 meters long. Failing to have visited it, motorists taking the N118, in Sèvres, necessarily saw it yes!!!. Because if the places welcome a museum dedicated to the art of ceramics, they also house the National Manufacture of Sèvres since 1876. A place of production still alive and well where craftsmen perpetuate as much as they improve in knowledge of centuries. With the turning, twenty-six trades exist in the Manufacture, from production to decoration, including chemicals and baking. A multitude of traditional crafts which make possible the reproduction of pieces from yesteryear, but also the invention of new objects from the heritage, the hundred-year-old brick ovens which allow porcelain to be fired up to 1380 degrees in 33 hours and put up to 3 weeks to cool. National Ceramic Museum, 2, place de la Manufacture in Sèvres. Open every day except Tuesday from 10h to 12h30 . and from 13h30 to 17h. Free entry. Information: And more on official site in English: Manufacture and museum of Sévres

Visiting the Château de la Roche-Guyon (which is a must) is a bit like traveling through time. Located in this village to the west of the Vexin natural park, in the Val-d’Oise,dept 95 an hour and a half from Paris, built in the Middle Ages contains many legends. Leaning against the chalk cliff carved with caves during the Middle Ages, a keep was first built there in the 12C and will serve as a model for the Vermund tower described by Victor Hugo in Han d’Island … but also as a place set for the erotic film Virgins and Vampires (1971). The castle was built in the following century. The whole has undergone many modifications over the ages, especially in the 18C. Possibilities that compensate for the few parts inaccessible to the public like the dovecote because of the impossible social distancing and the keep currently under construction. All is not lost for the latter, it is still possible to approach it by following the hiking trails. A place is immortalized and popularized in the 1960s by “The Devilish Trap”, the ninth album from the comic strip Blake and Mortimer by Edgar P. Jacobs. Even today, the castle gives pride of place to this work. Bubble lovers can see a reproduction of the chronoscaphe, Professor Mortimer’s time machine, located near the casemates, these cells dug under the occupation to house nazi ammunition. The thematic tour on WWII is definitely worth doing. It is a part of the history of the castle that was not discussed at all. A visit launched last year to learn more about France‘s busiest castle. This is the case with that of the small underground theater of the 18C. Château Roche Guyon, 1, rue de l’Audience ;La Roche-Guyon. Free communal car park. Guided tour on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 15h. Individual supplement applies. Contact tel +33 (0) More from the city of Roche-Guyon on the castle in French here: City of La Roche Guyon on its castle museum

There will be an air of the Tour de France this Saturday July 25th in Mélisey. However, this small village in Haute-Saône, which had already seen the 2019 Grande Boucle pass just 17 km away, will have to wait until September 19 to admire the runners roaming its streets. In the meantime, it will be Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour, who will first take part in the race between Lure and the Planche des Belles-Filles. Mélisey, because this section, a time trial, will be the penultimate stage of the 2020 Tour. And could well decide the man who will parade in a yellow jersey on the Champs-Élysées the next day. And, for Thibaut Pinot, this event will be special. The 30-year-old French cyclist knows this route by heart. He was born in Mélisey and still lives there. His confinement took place in the company of his family, but also of his donkeys and goats. The runner is also a close friend of the mayor of the village since it is simply his father, Régis. The only candidate in the last municipal elections, he has been managing the affairs of the municipality since 2008. It is the local idol to succeed in his Tour so that Mélisey becomes the ultimate attraction of this Grande Boucle 2020. To see is to see France!

And some notes on great regions of wines of France, and arts, simply the best!

Surrounded by a wall 3.2 km long, the prestigious Burgundy appellation of Clos de Vougeot with 50 hectares classified grand cru offers wines with varied profiles. When you take the beautiful departmental D974 road that leads from Dijon to Beaune, Côte-d´Or dept 21, a vineyard emerges on the right which slopes gently down a hill towards the road. You can’t miss it, even though it only stretches over a km and there are so many vines in this hilly landscape, from which, when the weather changes, you can distinguish Mont Blanc in the distance. This is one of the most prestigious sites in the world, Clos de Vougeot, a grand cru planted in the village of Vougeot, which takes its name from the Vouge, the river that crosses it. Let’s start with the owners. The Benedictines, who demarcated the site in the 12C, then owned it entirely. So much so that today no less than 82 owners share the land of the Clos, 67 of whom make wine under their name ;and the others entrust their grapes to others. Official Clos de Vougeot in English: Clos de Vougeot

At the foot of the mountain painted by Cézanne, the vines now occupy most of the space, adding to an already exceptional chromatic palette. From the top of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, the Pic des Mouches, more precisely, its highest point at 1,011 meters, the view is breathtaking. It has to be earned a nice hour of climbing starting from the Col des Portes. The orientation table is precious. Towards the north, the gaze is towards Lubéron, the Lure mountain, foothills of the Alpes de Haute-Provence, and, in the distance, the grated summit of Mont Ventoux. To the south, the wine-growing plain, the villages of Rousset, Puyloubier (Bouches-du-Rhône), Pourrières (Var) … And then, like a limestone echo of Sainte-Victoire, the majestic Sainte-Baume massif and its forest rich in beech, maple and lime trees. A jewel that Cézanne , born and died in Aix-en-Provence, never ceased to paint, but whose notoriety galloped around the world. Or more than 80 tables. In 1958, after Picasso told his dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, that he “bought Cézanne’s Sainte-Victoire” and his friend asked him “which”, the painter replied “the original”. Picasso had just acquired the castle of Vauvenargues (Bouches-du-Rhône), on the northern slope of the mountain, where he spent the last fifteen years of his life. No doubt, as an enlightened amateur, he tasted the wines of the region.

After two years of work, the Palais Galliera reopens its doors. And the patron of these repairs is none other than the prestigious Maison Chanel. To mark this event, a retrospective devoted to a figure of fashion is organized: an exhibition on Coco Chanel. Entitled Gabrielle Chanel, fashion manifesto, the exhibition is in place from October 1, 2020 to March 14, 2021. The palace has decided to highlight the greatest creations of the seamstress, from the jersey model to the famous 1950s suits in through her iconic dresses. The retrospective is devoted to Coco Chanel, not just the designer’s clothes, so the museum also exhibits a selection of jewelry, accessories and fragrances unique to Chanel’s vision on fashion. Gabrielle Chanel, fashion manifesto. Palais Galliera. 10, avenue Pierre 1er de Serbia ,16éme arrondissement. More info here: Palais Galliera Paris

And something from an almost Agatha Christie story…. A plot of 2,032 m2 in the heart of the 7éme arrondissement, a building facing the street, an interior courtyard, a house at the back, an enormous garden itself surrounded by other gardens; and 35M €!… No doubt, this is certainly the last property of this importance still available on the Parisian real estate market. Located a stone’s throw from Les Invalides and Bon Marché, it was once the house next to Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s apartment. A true raw gem in the city, left completely abandoned for almost thirty years and which kept behind its shutters the mystery of the body of a man who has just been discovered. that of a mummified corpse plunged under planks and rubble in one of the cellars of the building. The criminal brigade, immediately called to the scene, was able to start a preliminary investigation, ordered by the Paris prosecutor’s office, in order to lift the veil on the identity of the man found and the circumstances of his death. The identity of the man, a certain Jean-Pierre Renaud, has made it possible to trace his death back to about thirty years. The traces of fractures and stab wounds found on the corpse support the hypothesis of intentional homicide. A little expensive to pay for a haunted house! Paris of course.

And there is all folks, for now. Hope you enjoy the series and again thanks for reading it. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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