Archive for October 10th, 2020

October 10, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXVII

Hello world from my belle France! Not to be away too long from my some news from France, here are the latest with some sad news due to the virus. The temp was nice today sunny and we did some gardening, now it projects to be colder next few days. Have a great time wherever you are and stay safe.

The large contemporary art center of the Bourse de Commerce will open to the public on January 23 2021 (see post). Under the 35-meter-high canopy, which is the heart of the building, the architect Ando erected a concrete cylinder 29 meters in diameter and 9.30 meters high, cutting a second circle out of the initial circle. The side floors have been reconfigured into exhibition spaces of different sizes depending on whether they will receive photography or painting – for example. The total surface open to the visitors will be 6,800 m2 divided into ten spaces distributed over the different levels.

The blues of Montmartre, deprived of the Fête des Vendages or harvest festival. The 87th edition, which was to be held this weekend, will not take place due to Covid. So sad indeed!

The 850th Saint-Martin fair is canceled in Pontoise (Val d’Oise 95). Due to the worrying spread of Covid-19, the event will not mark the start of November. A new blow for the fairgrounds already in great difficulty. Again only sad stories these days!

Due to Covid-19, it is estimated that more than 30,000 bars and restaurants could permanently close; following the new restrictions which were recently announced, the majority of bars and restaurants have had to partially close their doors in France. A decision which, on an economic level, could cause the bankruptcy and the final closure of 15% of establishments in France by the end of the year. The hotel and catering sector is one of the largest in France, comprising 168,000 restaurants and 38,800 bars and cafes. The famous Chef Etchebest alerted the authorities that around 40% of establishments could close in France. The Union of Trades and Hospitality Industries (Umih) considers that 15% of these establishments could file for bankruptcy … before the end of the year. That is more than 30,000 bars and restaurants in France!! Incompetent Macron!!! And this is not all, the virus will still be there at least until next summer 2021 , warns Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, Chairman of the Scientific Council!!!

The St Louis island or Île Saint-Louis will celebrate its Patron Saint. A solemn Mass, procession with its relics, and an exhibition will be held. The 750th anniversary of the death of Saint-Louis will be celebrated this Sunday at the Church of Saint-Louis-En-L’Île where a solemn mass in homage to Saint-Louis will be held.

Paris saffron is harvested!! on the roofs! Since 2018, the Bien Élevées company has installed five urban safranières in the region of  Ile-de-France. The 2020 harvest started this week. nearly 2,000 m2 cultivated, in Paris, Ivry (Val-de-Marne 94 ) and Montrouge (Hauts-de-Seine 92 ).

Despite the sling, there was no question of stopping work on the ponds of Corot, Ville d’Avray (Yvelines 78) see post. The Hauts-de-Seine prefecture has responded to strong criticism leveled against the proposed dam at the Corot ponds in Ville-d’Avray. And unveiled its crisis management plan, in the event of a flood. These dikes of the Corot ponds will be transformed into dams.

Gardeners get away from it all at the Chantilly Plant Days. Fans of greenery have access until Sunday to the treasures of the best nurseries in the Domaine de Chantilly on the theme “The world in my garden”. Succulents, cacti, orchids, shrubs, trees, bulb, etc. The 160 exhibitors of the Plant Days offer a huge choice for gardeners. A wonderful event I got to go with my dear late wife Martine!

Electric scooters (Trottinettes) in Paris: the price war is declared. The Parisian market now has only three operators selected by the City: Lime, Dott and TIER. Each can deploy 5,000 self-service scooters. And they are fighting over the proposed rates. An invasion of Paris!

Ile-de-France Mobilités (regional transport org) will finance an additional daily stop in Seine-et-Marne 77 and Yvelines 78 train stations of three TERs, coming from neighboring regions. A helping hand to avoid the frustration of suburban residents who see sometimes empty trains passing by. Line P trains are often loaded in the morning. A TER from the Grand-Est region will make an additional stop in La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (Seine-et-Marne 77) train station in 2021. Overloaded dear!

The Musée de l’Armée or Army Museum looks back on the gigantic shock of 1940. Through extracts from films, newspapers and other documents, sometimes unpublished, an exhibition traces the period that was lived, from May 10 to June 25, 1940, life of the French change. France experienced military defeat, foreign invasion, deaths and injuries from bombardments and battles, more fierce than one might think , the exodus of millions of civilians, the sending 1.8 million soldiers into captivity, submitting to arbitrariness of the Nazi occupier over 55% of its territory, submitting the remaining 45% to a neo fascist regime (Vichy), and finally the plundering of its resources , resulting in food rationing and daily difficulties. These are the different dimensions of this gigantic shock that retraces the exhibition « Comme en 40… » or as in 40, presented at the Army Museum, through a museography certainly classic, but pedagogically effective.

I am often wondered what are those arts in the many museums especially the Louvre or central museum of France. Half of the cases of the theft of Jewish property in France remain unfollowed to this day .The thousands of Jewish artisans and small traders dispossessed in France under the Occupation risk being overlooked by the policy of compensating anti-Semitic thefts. According to historians.

The powerful American gallery Lévy Gorvy settles in Paris, its co-founder explains her ambitions in a difficult context for the art market. Specializing in works by Calder, Fontana, Kooning or Soulages, the powerful New York gallery Lévy Gorvy moves to Paris on October 22,2020 and opens its space with an exhibition of the latest works by the 90-year-old German artist Günther Uecker. The gallery is located at 4, passage Sainte-Avoye, quartier or neighborhood of the Marais in the 3rd arrondissement or district of Paris central.

A Breton flag, the “Gwenn ha Du”, on the pediment of Nantes city/town hall, is what associations meeting this weekend want to achieve. A prelude to a possible attachment of the Loire-Atlantique department 44 to the now region of Bretagne? Yes its about time!! Almost two years after the delivery to the Loire-Atlantique departmental council of a petition signed by more than 100,000 persons asking for the organization of a referendum on “reunification”, supporters of Brittany in five departments are mobilizing; they will meet, on October 10, at the city/town hall of Nantes, to reflect on the “modalities” of installing the Breton flag on the pediment of the city/town hall. Quite a symbol indeed as most feel Breton there anyway!. And the Breton flag now flies to the gates of Nantes as it can be seen in the city/town halls of Saint-Herblain or Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire, on the outskirts of the city, where it is seen as a quiet affirmation of attachment to the Breton identity. Imagined at the beginning of the 1920s by an activist of the Breton movement and inspired by the Greek and American standards, the Gwenn ha Du was never the flag of administrative Brittany. It takes up the old ducal flag, to which nine bands were added. The bands representing the historic provinces of Bretagne; including the country of Nantes! Or the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of now pay de la loire but taken away from Bretagne due to administrative mishandling of history and Vichy and the Coty and the rest of them politicians.

The lapin Chasseur or rabbit in the hunter , recipe of chef Antoine Gerbelle on Le Monde newspaper. One of my favorite dishes in France and we did this one at home too!

Ingredients for 4 to 6 people: 1 rabbit of about 1.8 kg (about 4 lbs) cut into pieces, 4 large peeled shallots, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 100 g of smoked bacon cut into small pieces, 20 g of flour, 250 g of button mushrooms, 3 blanched tomatoes, 3 peeled and sliced carrots, ½ peeled quince and cut into large cubes, 30 ml of young, tangy and slightly sweet white wine (such as late harvest riesling), 15 cl of organic poultry broth , 1 small bunch of wild thyme (or fresh thyme), salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, polenta (raw or precooked).

Preparation: In a large cast iron casserole dish, pour 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 piece of butter and brown the shallots and coarsely chopped garlic cloves. Add the pieces of rabbit and the bacon, brown over high heat. When the rabbit begins to brown, sand it with the flour. Cut the mushrooms and tomatoes into large pieces, sweat them in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. When the vegetables have melted, pour them into the casserole dish. Add the sliced carrots and the diced quince. Wet everything with wine and broth. Add the wild thyme, salt and pepper. Close the casserole dish and place it in an oven preheated to 160 ° C (about 325 F) . Simmer for 2 hours or 2:30. Serve with very soft polenta and a plain, dry and lively white wine, Marsanne or Chenin. Bon appétit!

Measurement: 1 kg =2.204 lbs.  1 gram = .035 ounces. 1 ML = .03 fluid ounces.  Now do the calculations folks lol!!!

Thanks for reading, and remember,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 10, 2020

Brazil and Vinhedo!!!

Ok so this is one of those surprises, twice. First, looking over my blog I realised do not have a post on Vinhedo except the monastery there. Pity. The second surprise was that due to a friend that lives there, I was able to visit the city and share some moment in his house with his family and eat out with the in laws family. Nice memories indeed I like to tell you more about Vinhedo.

So here I am to talk to you about Brazil. There is a story behind my continuing writing on this country. I have written several blog posts on Brazil and you can do search to find a plethora of information on the country in my blog.  Coming inland into Sao Paulo State, better known for the big city is awesome. You feel the real people, the real country of Brazil.

Vinhedo is a town in the State of São Paulo. It is located in the mesoregion of Campinas, 75 km from São Paulo.  I had the opportunity to do several trips to Brazil over the years covering the 1998 to 2018 period ,both from the USA and France. I have learned Portuguese over these years, and its a country that almost came to live too (read previous post on Curitiba).

vinhedo sp town entr may17

As we say here la vie est belle, or life is beautiful or la vida es chula, there we say A Vida É Bela!!! Enjoy Vinhedo, Sao Paulo, Brazil!!!

Of course, I stayed in a hotel as my friend at the moment had his in laws visiting and well no space. I did went to eat with the whole gang!! The hotel was the Plaza Hotel Vinhedo.Opened in 2006, Plaza Hotel has 79  rooms and 6 bungalows. Strategically located 75 km from São Paulo and 22 km from Viracopos airport. The Plaza Hotel provides complete infrastructure for events and accommodation. The hotel is located 5 minutes from the city center of Vinhedo and access to the highway is easy and fast. I walked there the moment i arrived and see the funny story that I found a resto that later recommended to my local friend!! He did an event there with 34 persons and all love the resto, so now I can say I am the culinary expert on the town lol!!!

The Plaza Hotel webpage in Portuguese here:

vinhedo sp plaza hotel entr side may17

vinhedo sp plaza hotel pool deck may17

vinhedo sp plaza hotel restaurant gala may17

The Vineyard Grape Festival or Festa da Uva is held annually in February, at Jayme Ferragut Municipal Park. In addition to celebrating the grape, the party pays tribute to immigrants, especially Italians, who came to the region and were part of the construction of the city. The first Grape Festival took place in 1948 and is currently the biggest event in the city, with a lot of parties and great shows.

The local government of Vinhedo on the grape festival in Portuguese:

Due to immigrants especially from Italy here, the wine is king. There are several wineries and the wine is pretty good. From the local friend and my own tasting, will give you my two favorites.

The Familia Ferragute Winery is the largest winery open to the public in Vinhedo. The property offers several types of artisanal wines and a delicious natural grape juice, free of preservatives, as well as other rural products, such as cachaças and jams.

The Familia Baccetti Winery. The Baccetti family came from Italy to the Vinhedo region at the beginning of the 20C and dedicated to the production of artisan wines. The production has always involved the whole family and until today the service is done by them. Visitors can buy and taste natural grape juice, wines and products from partner producers.

The Jayme Ferragut Municipal Park has 92,500 m², a lake, walking area, picnic area, sports court, skate park and municipal water park, in addition to the Scoteiro (scouts) de Vinhedo Group headquarters. The biggest events in the city take place there, such as the Grape Festival and the National Meeting of Bikers in Vinhedo, one of the largest in the country. It is located at Avenida Apparecida Tellau Seraphim.

vinhedo sp parque farragut fairsground japan expo may17

Other than the monasterty (see post) there is a nice church in city center.  The main Church of Santa Anna ,was built when the city was still called the Rocinha District and was dedicated to Sant’Anna, (Sainte Anne) who would become the city’s patron saint. In 1958 the current church was built in place of the previous one, with donations from its faithful for almost a decade.

Vinhedo SP Church Matriz Sta Ana may17

The portal of the Christ. It is a huge statue of Christ located in one of the highest points of the city and the visit provides a panoramic view of the region. You can see the beautiful city below especially at sunset. The place has a playground, rest area, parking and an acoustic shell with 50 seats. It is located at Rodovia Edenor João Tasca, s / n, Observatório.

Vinhedo SP mirador Christ may17

Vinhedo SP mirador view of city may17

I did went with my friend, wife, daughter ,husband, and the parents of the husband to a local resto Q Maria which is a gourmet grocery store and restaurant in city center. Superbe ! On the restaurant side you can have Japanese sushi style food!!! And I tried everything lol::: ! Not wanting to photo a private event, the picture is from my table to the hallway. Here is their Facebook page:

vinhedo sp o-maria resto hallway may17

The local government of Vinhedo on things to see in Portuguese including the above.

So there, now I feel better to have this wonderful trip with a personal touch on beautiful Brazil and of course on a new spot there for me now known with great souvenirs, Vinhedo in Sao Paulo State. Hope you enjoy the post as I do

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

October 10, 2020

Steakhouse in Campinas, Brazil!!

Ok here I am again for lack of a better name using my best creative mind ….. I like to tell you another wonderful personal experience in beautiful Brazil.

The story here was that had a long time friend here of over 20 years, not seen. This came from my previous visits to the country coming from FL USA. Once moved to France in 2003, I lost contact with many on the other side of the pond. Contact meaning gettting together with them. Then, it happened as all good things should.

My previous job had me going to Brazil a lot, and once they mentioned Paulinia in Sao Paulo State I realised this is close to the city of Sao Paulo. I had an old email that by magic still worked and contacted Daniel. He immediately very happy agreed to meet me. Daniel is a business owner of a industrial factory in the State of Sao Paulo closer to the city of the same name whose wife came from Spain where they met in Brazil and had a daughter there.

He invited me to eat at a neutral site, in Campinas! I was with another couple of local friends and they tag alone. Well so happened my old friend knew them as they were in the same line of business!! Needless to say the conversation was lively and technical afterward many caïpirinhas!!!

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

we ate at the Churrasqueria Estancia Grill in Campinas near on the side of Paulinia, it was the usual churrasqueria (sort of like a steakhouse) with meat cuts , salads, and drinks, nice family ambiance, and decoration country style.  The Churrasqueria Estancia Grill is at  Avenida Albino Jose Barbosa de Oliveira 271 Jardim Santa Genebra II, Campinas, State of Sao Paulo.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

The Churrasqueria or steakhouse with the best Rodizio of Baron Geraldo, with the best choice of noble meats. Complete Rodizio with Buffet at will! Hot table, cold table and salads, pasta table, Sushi and Sashimi, Experience their Picanha steaks, that painted on the Ember, and the most succulent Lamb of Baron! And on Sundays, come and taste the salmon in the caper sauce. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The buffet also includes freshly made pasta dishes and other hot dishes.

Present in 2003 in the city of Campinas, the Churrascaria Estancia Grill   has a pleasant and comfortable environment to enjoy with your family The Churrascaria has its own valet parking, aiming at the comfort and safety of its customers. Also, it has kids space with monitors. They do not charge a service fee!

The official webpage is here:

From Brazil Restaurant Guru on the Churrasqueria Estancia Grill and photos here in Portuguese:

And of course, they ,also have a Facebook page:

There you go folks, needed to give it more exposure in my blog as it was a pleasant happy moment for many. Looking forward to meet again, hoping is not 20 years as our time is running out!!. We do stay in touch by today’s modern techno lol!!! Enjoy the Churrasqueria Estancia Grill if in the area recommended, and Campinas.

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

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