Some news from France, CCCXV

And here I am again on my regular most continuous post ever! anywhere! Some news from France , started out as my idea of posting something different about my belle France in short messages to tell of what is going on here. It all started back in 2011 and has grown to now post CCCXV which is my Roman numeral style for No 315!!! post, and I thank you all past current and future readers!

And let me tell you today has been cloudy and just came back to seeing my son win in football /soccer 4X5 away game vs Merlevenez! So happy Sunday. Temps are in 18C or about 64F. And here is some news from France!

First, the many disastrous decisions by Paris and others on handling public transport that already has caused as much as 3% of its population in Paris to leave. 

Have you decided to come to Paris by TGV, Thalys, Eurostar? But what madness! And what’s more, are you traveling with luggage? You really like complications. So here you are on the platform of the Gare du Nord, with the absurd idea that you could find a taxi there. Unfortunately, the cars are at a standstill and the line is endless. Could it be that the taxis are broken down? Nay! They are there, but they cannot get out of the station. The circulation plan is so that the outlet pipe is narrower than the inlet pipe. Any phlebologist would tell you that this imbalance is a problem. Should we therefore place a stunt on the rue 8-Mai-1945 to make traffic more fluid? Or review the access? Unfortunately, when it comes to fluid mechanics, we are not very good at the City of Paris. It even seems that the more clots there are, the happier we are. We even border on behavioral disorder, as the pleasure of increasing congestion is obvious. Yes indeed thanks to the mayor but few realise it yet…

In Montpellier, public transport becomes free from this weekend aha!. A great campaign promise from the mayor and president of the agglomeration, it materializes this Saturday with its first phase of deployment, free access being limited to Saturdays and Sundays initially. It will then be extended to “seniors” and “young people” before, by the end of the mandate, to cover all days of the week , for the inhabitants of the metropolis only. Thus, the seventh city in France in terms of number of inhabitants becomes the first metropolis to implement free access, after 35 other smaller inter-municipal authorities such as Dunkirk, Calais, Libourne, Niort, Aubagne and Châteauroux. When free access is total, Montpellier Métropole Méditerranée will have to find 24 million euros!, while the transport company generates 39 million euros in commercial revenue. Aha yep no alternative you local suffer!!

At the Quai de Valmy 10éme arrondissement, as of June 25, the City of Paris banned certain portions of the Canal Saint-Martin from motorized vehicles  except residents, emergency vehicles and taxis. Oe oe oe Paris is going backwards and people are leaving but the mayor was re elected therefore, you suffer!!

One year after its launch, Véligo, the electric bicycle offered for long-term rental by Ile-de-France Mobilités, has already attracted nearly 13,000 residents of the Paris region. One year after its launch, 10,000 Véligo electric bicycles are rented and 5,000 more will be put into service. There you go push and pull and exercise lol!!! More info Véligo: https://www.veligo-location.fr/

And the now famous trottinettes or scooters must now comply with a decree amending the Highway Code. Several rules have been created to regulate the use of this means of transport, which is both practical and sustainable. In particular, a number of bans have emerged. From now on, it is no longer possible to circulate by electric scooter on the sidewalks. This measure applies to the entire French territory. Those under the age of 12 must wear a helmet (ah and the other no? motocycles do!) . For more safety, it will also be forbidden to circulate in two on a scooter. It will indeed have to circulate on the cycle paths or on the roadway, under penalty of being fined 135 euros. Finally, even if these EDPMs machines are a good way to move faster and more easily in urban space, their speed will also be regulated. A maximum speed of 25 km / h (about 15 MPH!) is provided for by the text. Yeah looking more like an Asian city than Paris lol!! If you know what I mean ok.

And in my beloved Yvelines they are thinking of eliminating the tolls on the route to Normandy A13! The highway/motorway management company could set up gantries that would replace the barriers. Enough to improve traffic flow and reduce pollution. The A13 toll, which sees 57,000 users pass per day, could disappear in favor of a gantry system. This is innovating could work after all they are making more money than it cost to built and maintained plus the speed tickets lol!

The City of Paris files an appeal against the extension of the Gare du Nord!!! Well go on foot lol! The grand Anne (Ana) Hidalgo had indicated her opposition to the plan to expand the Gare du Nord as approved by the prefect this summer. The City has just filed an appeal against the building permit. In the Gare du Nord 2024 project, access to the platforms will be via walkways. And again going backwards Paris au revoir!!

And if the traffic restrictions are not enough, here come the train folks! Last Friday, the CGT-Cheminots – the first union of the SNCF – filed a strike notice for the day of September 17 2020. The disturbances related to this strike should concern regional and national train traffic. The demands concern the fight against precariousness and poverty, the increase in wages, the development of public services and the definitive abandonment of the pension reform. Faced with the Covid-19 epidemic, the CGT-Cheminots is also demanding a reduction in working hours without loss of pay. Despite the 4.7 billion euros allocated to SNCF as part of the recovery plan, will SNCF maintain its day of strike? Oh yeah the cry babies priviledge folks wants more when the system is bankrupt only supported by the happy French taxpayer!

And more news to soothe the congestions if it works the T4 tramway finally serves Montfermeil hospital. The terminus of the T4 extension was inaugurated on Saturday, marking the end of the work on this extension, which has been awaited for twenty years!!!! So it goes ease of traffic!

On a lighter news, dealing with transports. In nearby Saint-Nazaire; the largest ocean liner in the world makes its first outing! The 362 meters long ship is not expected to reach Shanghai, its future home port, before 2022. The Wonder of the Seas has changed holds with the help of the tugs because it does not yet have an engine.

And the wonderful air show which I have been at Cerny (Essonne dept 91) is now officially postponed to 2021, the organizers accuse the covid19 for a big hit in revenues not receive otherwise. Sad, this is a wonderful event of old planes. More on this wonderful festival: http://www.letempsdeshelices.fr/

Aaah Paris… Paris the beautiful, Paris the romantic, Paris the luminous, Paris the… Paris, the snob yeah! According to a study carried out by Crédit agricole Île-de-France for Capital magazine, the three cities most coveted by buyers in the  Ile-de-France region are Boulogne-Billancourt, Asnières-sur-Seine and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. Oh and not just one magazine….

The Louvre is also an art school!  open to everyone.  From 15 years old, for junior classes, up to retirees, for free listeners, the Louvre school has been teaching art and culture since 1882. Its classes, which resume on last Friday, are open to all.  Completely integrated into the Louvre from the start, the school moved and expanded 22 years ago in the west wing of the palace. More on the Art School at the Louvre here: http://www.ecoledulouvre.fr/en

The 10éme, 11éme, 19éme and 20éme arrondissements share its cobblestones. Initially a village, Belleville became part of Paris in 1860. Bohemian, friendly and cosmopolitan through the different periods of migration it has experienced, this district full of character begs to be visited, and loved. It is the up and coming Paris quarters to be chic and be seen. Go and enjoy it , get out of the old center!! A bit more from the Paris tourist office here: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73170/Quartier-de-Belleville

From September 9 to October 15, 2020 the Back to School season continues in stores in the two cellars of the Grande Épicerie de Paris, at 38 rue de Sèvres 7éme, and at 80 rue de Passy 16éme. Lovers of exceptional cuvées will have access to the entire Back-to-School wine catalog offered at low prices. Vaulted cellar for the Grande Épicerie de Paris Passy, a circular cellar at the Grande Épicerie de Paris rue de Sèvres, the places where the brand’s nectars are kept are veritable showcases. The Back to School is the event on Thursday October 1, with its tasting workshop scheduled from 19h to 20h30 at the La Table restaurant at the Grande Épicerie, Rive Gauche. Six handpicked wines will be scrutinized. A moment of friendly initiation that will allow you to benefit from a free bottle for a batch of five cuvées purchased. Registration at   https://www.eventbrite.fr/e/billets-les-off-cours-dnologie-x-la-rentree-des-vins-de-la-grande-epicerie-111295090612

Return of wines from the Grande Épicerie de Paris, and in stores from September 9 to October 15. More info here: https://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/fr/lge-home-page/lge-home-page.html

Still time for vacation ?

With crystal clear water at 23 degrees, fine sand, vertiginous cliffs and lush Mediterranean vegetation, the Calanque de Sormiou is one of the pearls of the Phocaean city (Marseille) . Nothing could be more disappointing, after an hour of perilous hike in the scrubland, than not being able to put your towel on this little stretch of beach ! More of this beauty spot here: http://www.calanques13.com/en/calanque-sormiou.html

Just an hour from Paris by TGV, the capital of Hauts-de-France Lille  is a destination of choice for an arty weekend. In 2020, it was the first French city to receive the title of world capital of design, after Taïpei (2016) and Mexico (2018). Throughout the year, 20 places in the metropolis have been fashionable by organizing exhibitions, conferences and activities related to the event. Beyond the center, two museums in the region have renewed their collections. Until September 20, the Piscine de Roubaix Swimming Pool will be honoring artist Marcel Gromaire, a figure of realistic and humanist art from the North, as well as Taiwanese designer Sophie Hong. For its part, the LaM, the contemporary art museum in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, is dedicating a retrospective to William Kentridge (until December 13), a South African artist known for his black and white charcoal drawings.

Piscine de Roubaix: https://www.roubaix-lapiscine.com/

LaM Villeneuve d’Ascq : http://www.musee-lam.fr/fr

Le Havre has dragged its reputation as a concrete and austere city since its reconstruction. It must be said that in September 1944,(WWII) three-quarters of the Norman city was destroyed in an Allied bombardment. Auguste Perret, the architect in charge of restoring it to its splendour, then faces a gaping hole of 150 hectares which he fills with housing designed to be sustainable and make the modern post-war world accessible to all. Difficult to miss the port activity and the maritime history of Le Havre. At the marina, you embark on board the Gulf Stream 2 for a crossing of the estuary (around 45 minutes) towards the flowered coast. The opportunity to stroll for half a day in Trouville-sur-Mer before returning to the other bank of the Seine, with a breathtaking view of the Pont de Normandie. More on the ride here; https://www.gulfstream2-trouville.com/traversee-trouville-le-havre/

Crossed by the Loire, the city of the Dukes of Brittany, Nantes, has always been a point of meetings and exchanges. In the 18C, with the rise of the triangular trade, it was the subject of prestigious constructions: opera house, Place Royale … A cultural and artistic heritage that it has preserved over the years. Nerve center, the Passage Sainte-Croix is one of the many cultural centers in Nantes. Until September 27, the exhibition Main d’oeuvre questions the social and political role of the artist through a selection of videos in which hands make and unmake, shape, sculpt and deform. While David de Tscharner hammers a clay ball revealing faces, landscapes and animals, Beijing’s Song Dong symbolizes the fragile and ephemeral character of Chinese urban constructions by crumpling images of Shanghai projected onto paper. An original way to (re) discover contemporary art! More on the Passage Sainte Croix: https://www.passagesaintecroix.fr/

At Val-d’Oise dept 95 with its music festival, Royaumont is resisting. Heavily affected by the health crisis, Royaumont Abbey in Asnières-sur-Oise has bent over backwards to maintain its annual classical music festival, which begins this Sunday. More info here: https://www.royaumont.com/fr/actualite/festival-2020-le-programme

In my always nostalgic Meaux. Seine et Marne dept 77. At the Museum of the Great War, (WWI) carrier pigeons, stars of historical reconstructions. This weekend, parades as well as many re-enactments or demonstrations are planned around the Great War Museum, on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the Battle of the Marne. A bit late but worthy of mention it anyway: More info here: https://www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu/fr/histoire-vivante.html

This weekend ,also, is held in Compiègne La ruralité en fête, the new name given to the festival of hunting and nature. Disrupted by the health crisis, organizers hope to attract 15,000 visitors, half as many as usual.  Again a bit late but worth mentioned is the hunters’s festival at Compiégne in French here: https://www.fdc60.fr/la-ruralite-en-fete-dans-les-hauts-de-france-les-5-et-6-septembre/

The splendid Château de la Bourdaisière, east of Tours, celebrates tomatoes every year. The weekend of September 12 and 13 will be very busy. The castle is also a hotel, and it also houses a contemporary garden of dahlias, the Dahliacolor, in full bloom in September. Festival of tomatoes and flavors, September 12 and 13. Entrance: € 7.50. More info here: https://www.labourdaisiere.com/en/

And last for this post but not least is the Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville. As every year at the beginning of September, Deauville welcomes a piece of America on its beaches and in its hotels, but especially in its cinemas. Thus, apart from the official competition composed as usual of 15 films, many titles will be added to the selection, which will include 100 in all, divided into 13 categories. This year exceptionally, a dozen films that should have been seen at Cannes in May, but also a well-deserved tribute to the sacred monster Kirk Douglas with a rich program of 12 films to which his name appears in the cast will come to complete the selection.  The 46th American Film Festival from September 4 to 13 at Deauville, Calvados 14 Normandy. More info here: https://www.festival-deauville.com/en/

And there you go folks, enjoy France as we do, an amazing country of contrasts, arts , architecture, history, and gastronomy to boot! And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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