Archive for June 16th, 2021

June 16, 2021

Lido and Moulin Rouge of Paris!!!

Ok so these institution I have come very early on my visits to Paris, and as later came with young kids was absent from them for several years. Now looking forward to be back in Paris and one of the places to see at least once in your life or two if with young adults makes it necessary to be back. Eternal Paris of nighlty entertainment of cabarets Lido and Moulin Rouge of Paris!!!

I will give you some basic information and some historical anecdotes I like with the text taken from several publications including wikipedia for better explained these than I.

The Lido de Paris or simply the Lido is a cabaret located today at 116 bis avenue des Champs-Élysées 8éme. It was inaugurated in 1946 by Joseph and Louis Clerico, and the place became famous for its shows in which dancers, singers and various artists perform. The first show was done on June 20 1946 with a first review entitled “Sans rimes ni raison” or without rhyme or reason.

paris lido champs elysees c2013

Originally located, before WWII at 78 avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Lido is a place of entertainment and swimming for the privileged social classes. The decoration is inspired by Venice and its famous Lido beach, which enjoyed great vogue during the Belle Époque under the name “La Plage de Paris” or the Paris beach.

Some of the famous here were Édith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Joséphine Baker, the Kessler sisters, Laurel and Hardy, Dalida, Shirley MacLaine and Elton John, who had performed on the cabaret stage. Margaret Kelly, nicknamed “Miss Bluebell” because of the color of her eyes, founded the Bluebell Girls in 1932, which joined the Lido in 1948. These dancers were all trained in classical dance, but were considered too tall. for a ballet troupe.

Paris lido cabaret on champs elysees c1995

The Lido was expanded in 1977 higher up on the Champs-Élysées in the Normandie building, at the current address 116 bis avenue des Champs Elysées with over 6,000 m2 of surface area. A panoramic room without beams on two levels with 1,150 seats. In 2009, Sodexo became a 100% shareholder after the definitive withdrawal of Clérico.

This site is accessible by: metro line 1 George V and RER A Charles de Gaulle-Etoile

The official Lido webpage in English :

The Paris tourist office on the Lido de Paris

The Moulin-Rouge is a cabaret founded in 1889 by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, who already owned the Olympia. It is located on 82 Boulevard de Clichy in the 18éme arrondissement of Paris, at the foot of the Butte Montmartre. It is the oldest and most famous of the Parisien cabarets.


On October 6, 1889, the Moulin-Rouge was inaugurated at the foot of the Butte Montmartre on the site of the former Bal de la Reine Blanche, a date judiciously scheduled the day after the last night party before the annual closure of the Jardin de Paris des Champs-Élysées operated by the same owners and whose regulars will meet in the new establishment in Place Blanche.  It was built as a revolutionary hall architecture that allowed rapid changes of scenery and where all audiences mingled. Festive evenings, with champagne, where we dance and laugh a lot thanks to humorous attractions that change regularly, like that of the famous Pétomane. A new dance inspired by Quadrille is more and more popular: the French Cancan, performed to a frenzied rhythm by dancers in alluring costumes with petticoats and slit panties. Illustrious dancers will go down in the history of the Moulin-Rouge, including La Goulue, Jane Avril, Môme Fromage, Grille d´Égout, Nini Pattes en l’Air and Yvette Guilbert. The Moulin-Rouge is a place loved by artists, the most emblematic of which is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His posters and paintings assured the Moulin-Rouge a rapid and international notoriety.

Several events and anecdotes I like: On October 26, 1890, the Prince of Wales, the future king Edward VII, who made a private stay in Paris (the most Parisien of all UK see posts ), booked a table to discover this quadrille whose reputation had already crossed the Channel. Recognizing him, La Goulue, with her legs in the air and her head in her petticoats, launches without hesitation: “Hey, Wales, you pay for the champagne!” . In 1891, La Goulue was Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s first poster for the Moulin-Rouge.

Until WWI, the Moulin Rouge was transformed into a veritable temple of operetta. On January 3, 1907, during the show “Le Rêve d’Égypte”, Colette exchanges a kiss on stage with her mistress, the Duchess of Morny (Mathilde de Morny). Deemed scandalous, the play is banned. On July 29, 1907, Mistinguett’s first appearance on the Moulin-Rouge stage in “La Revue de la Femme”. In 1929, Mistinguett retired from the stage and left the Moulin-Rouge, whose 1,500-seat theater became one of the largest cinemas in Europe, with artists from Music-Hall in the first part. The old ballroom remained and was transformed into an ultra modern night club in 1937.

Between 1939 and 1945, in WWII interrupted the effervescence of the Moulin-Rouge, which became a dance hall, the Robinson Moulin-Rouge. A few days before the liberation of Paris in 1944, Edith Piaf, whose talent is already recognized, performed on the stage of the Moulin-Rouge, with Yves Montand, a beginner who was imposed on her. On May 19, 1953, the 25th Bal des Petits Lits blancs, organized by the novelist Guy des Cars, takes place at the Moulin-Rouge in the presence of the President of the Republic, Vincent Auriol, and with, for the first time on a European stage, Bing Crosby!  The evening attracts 1,200 artists and stars from all over the world, including Joséphine Baker, who will sing J’ai deux amours. Between 1951 and 1960, famous artists followed one another including Luis Mariano, Charles Trenet, Charles Aznavour, Line Renaud, Bourvil, Fernand Raynaud and Lena Horne.

On September 7, 1979, the Moulin-Rouge, which has become a Parisian hotspot, celebrates its 90th anniversary. On stage, for the first time in Paris, Ginger Rogers is surrounded by many stars including Thierry Le Luron, Dalida, Charles Aznavour, Jean-Claude Brialy, George Chakiris, the Village People and Zizi Jeanmaire. On November 23, 1981, the Moulin-Rouge closed its doors exceptionally to present its show in front of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. On February 4, 1982, Liza Minnelli leads an exceptional show, staging for the first time, the British Fenella Masse Mathews. Two galas were organized in 1984: one for Dean Martin and the other for Frank Sinatra. On December 1, 1986, the most famous classical dancer in the world, Mikhaïl Barychnikov, premiered at the Moulin-Rouge an original ballet by Maurice Béjart.

On February 20, 1988, on the occasion of the centenary of the Moulin-Rouge, the premiere of the review “Formidable” is a “Royal Performance in Paris”, one of the most prestigious official British events, in which takes part every year in London a member of the royal family. For the second time, it took place, in France, at the Moulin-Rouge. Presided over in 1983 by Princess Anne, Prince Edward was the guest of honor on February 20, 1988. In spring 1989, in London, an exceptional performance of the Moulin Rouge in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales. On October 6 that same year, a Centennial Gala was organized with Charles Aznavour, Lauren Bacall, Ray Charles, Tony Curtis, Ella Fitzgerald, the Gipsy Kings, Margaux Hemingway, Barbara Hendricks, Dorothy Lamour, Jerry Lewis, Jane Russell, Charles Trenet, and Esther Williams. In February 2009, on the occasion of the Year of France in Brazil and as part of the Rio Carnival, the Moulin-Rouge was invited to the Rio Copacabana Carnival.

You can walk , go by car as I have or take the metro not done on line 2 Blanche.

The official Moulin Rouge webpage in English:

The Paris tourist office on the Moulin Rouge in English:

There you go folks, another two dandy monuments of my eternal Paris and my belle France. You as an adult can see once in your lifetime for a festive look of Paris, and it is worth the detour me think. The Lido and Moulin Rouge of Paris! Hope you enjoy the historical post.

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

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June 16, 2021

Parc Monceau of Paris!!

This one is a delight to update for you and me;one of the nostalgic parks of my eternal Paris. Did I told you , I came here first in 2004 with local friends who wanted to ride a bike! and later on came back to tried the Vélib!! Only time in Paris for me lol! Memories of Parc Monceau of Paris!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The parc Monceau is a treasure in Paris, not the biggest, not the prettiest maybe, but a wonderful collection of follies, great architecture in and out on the mansions that surrounded it and two good museums. I have come to name in my top 3 parks of Paris!

Paris parc monceau grill door courcelles c2010

Ok we came first by metro  Monceau Line 2. The unique entrance with crested entourage done by Héctor Guimard is located on line 2 line direction Porte Dauphine-Nation at  Boulevard de Courcelles  on the edge of the Parc Monceau. The park is in neighborhood or quartier Europe in the 8éme arrondissement or district of Paris. Bus line 30 also takes you here, and took it too later on from Place d’Etoile (Arch de Triomphe) on the Avenue de Wagram side dir Pigalle and stop at Monceau.  I have, of course come here by car at parking Villiers.


The Parc Monceau with an area of 8.25 hectares  whose main entrance is near the Rotunda (see post)by Boulevard de Courcelles, an exotic garden English style park, Inaugurated on  August  13 1861 by emperor  Napoleon III. The park is a kilometer in circumference , a  full tour of the park measures precisely  1 107 meters (bypassing the children’s playground, it takes 990 meters). Great for bikes I did my first bike ride in Paris here many years ago lol!

A bit of history I like.

The Duke of Chartres buys  land of one hectare at the Rue de Courcelles in 1768. In 1778 the future Duke of Orléans  buy it and asked  Carmontelle to arranged  the space known as the “Folly of Chartres”. The landscape artist Thomas Blaikie enlarges this English garden where there is erected a pyramid, a pagoda and various other follies in the taste of the time.

The architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux adds in 1784, a rotunda, pavilion of  the neo gothic style surrounded by a peristyle of 16 columns,there is  the new General farmers  running along the garden. During the French revolution, the garden was confiscated and became in 1793 national property after the Revolution, the park in a pitiful state was restored to the Orléans family.  Between 1802 and 1806 the park is demolished and another pavilion built in its place, Orleans sells and then buys in 1819. A little before 1830, the Duke’s son, future Louis-Philippe, King of the French, had the “Temple of Mars” transported to the enchanted Garden of his castle in Neuilly; It is somewhat altered to become the Temple of Love (Neuilly-sur-Seine). In 1852, half of the park was allocated to the Pereire brothers and the other to the State which sold its estate to the city of Paris.  The wall of the general farmers is destroyed, it remains as vestige of only the rotunda old granting offices (three other pavilions are moved to the place Denfert Rochereau, Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad and Place de la Nation.

Things to see and look there:

A few steps away is the Naumachie, an oval basin bordered by a Corinthian colonnade that comes from a church of St. Denis destroyed in 1719. Nearby, stands a large Renaissance arcade style, relic of the City Hall of Paris burned in 1871 (there are also fragments of columns) marble statues of writers and musicians are found at the corner of the groves. They represent Maupassant,  Verlet, Chopin, Gounod and Musset, Ambroise Thomas or Édouard Pailleron . The park is surrounded by luxurious buildings and private hotels. It has been painted many times including the great ones Gustave Caillebotte (1877), Claude Monet (1876), and  Henri Brispot (1908).


Private hotels are located along elegant shaded avenues and closed by four monumental doors.  Most of these routes bear names of great 17C painters such as Avenue Velasquez, Avenue Ruysdaël, Avenue Van-Dyck, rue Rembrandt, Rue Murillo. The park is crossed by the Avenue Ferdousi, the Allée Michel-Berger and the alley of the Countess-de-Ségur. Many elements dating from Carmontelle and metamorphosed under Napoleon III remain: The colonnade that borders the Naumachie, the pyramid, the only vestige of the ancient folly of Chartres, the Renaissance arcade of the Paris City Hall destroyed in 1871, the Little Bridge, the grotto and the waterfall.


In a green setting, appear, at the corner of the groves we discover rare or exotic  trees such as a sycamore maple aged over 130 years and high of 35 meters , a sumptuous purple beech, a tulip of Virginia and a plane tree of the Orient, the biggest in Paris with more than 170 years and 7 meters in  circumference.  The 2 charming museums,  occupying 2 superb mansions of the 19C.  The Museum of Nissim de Camondo which allows to plunge into the life of the great families under the Second Empire and to discover also the tragic fate of a family of great lineage of Sephardic  Jews  having made fortune in the bank and whose descendants will be deported and killed in Auschwitz.  At the south entrance is the Museum Cernuschi  (see post) a museum of the city of Paris specializing in the art and archaeology of ancient China.


A playground for children ,a merry-go-round and swings open every afternoon, ponies on Wednesdays and weekends;  clowns  on Wednesdays and weekends from the lawns where it is good to run and picnic. Parc Monceau is open until 20h. and until 22h. from May  1 to  August 31. Check times and dates for the playground at the city of Paris parks page below.

paris parc monceau poney rides feb14

Some further webpages to help your trip here,and it is all worth it.

The Paris Tourist office on the Parc Monceau:

The City of Paris on the Parc Monceau

This is one of the great parks of Paris, and you would do well to visit it. I have come to love it over the years and even passed by to see here each time in the city at least. Hope you enjoy a tranquil time amongst beautiful buildings and a great garden park, Parc Monceau of indeed beautiful Paris.

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

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June 16, 2021

Saint-Germain-en-Laye moving about!

Well here is a very popular city in my old department of Yvelines 78 in the Ïle de France region. I have several posts in my blog on the city of St Germain en Laye but overlook the transport part. I always like to tell either in a post on the sights on a single post such as this one how to get around. My treat bringing back many memories on moving about and out on St Germain en Laye!

I have to say it is very easy to come here from Paris on the RER A and it leaves you just in front of the castle and around the street from the market. OF course, I have only came to St Germain en Laye by car, the road warrior way! The way to come from Paris in public transports is provided by the RER A line of which Saint-Germain-en-Laye station is the western terminus. It crosses Paris via Le Vésinet, the University of Nanterre, the business center of La Défense, the Place de l’Étoile, the department stores, the Halles district, the Gare de Lyon, the Place de la Nation , then continue towards Torcy and Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy where Disneyland Paris is located. The town is also crossed from east to west, in the middle of the forest, by the Paris – Rouen – Le Havre line which serves the Achères – Grand Cormier passenger station.

SGL RER A station ent across castle dec17

You can come on the RER A from many points in Paris, or the train  station Grand  Ceinture ,just at entry to the city , the train from Paris gare St Lazare, the official site for Transilien local trains :

SGL RER A in out Paris mar12

The train stations in St Germain en Laye are the Grande-Ceinture station (see post). Place Christiane-Frahier with SNCF counters: main lines, national network. Office from 7h to 22h20. Ticket sales: every day from 7h30 to 20h30. The Bel-Air Fourqueux station. SNCF counter: Île-de-France regional tickets, main lines, national network. Open Monday to Sunday, 7h30 to 21h. Suburban sales: 7h30- 22h30. SNCF boutique; 5 rue de Poissy. Open Monday from 9h. to 20h, Tuesday to Friday from 8h to 20h,  Saturday from 9h to 19h. Closed on Sundays and holidays.

The new train Line Paris-Normandie project. This is a high-speed rail line project that will link Paris Saint-Lazare station to Normandie (Evreux, Rouen, Yvetot, Bernay), expected by around 2030. More info in French here:

Partially reopened in 2004, the line of the Great Western Belt is little used because it constitutes an isolated section, the connection to the Saint-Lazare station in Saint-Nom-la Bretèche providing few advantages to travelers. In the coming years, this section will be transformed into a tram-train line, the Tram Express Ouest. This line from suburb to suburb, without passing through intramural Paris, will be extended north through Poissy to Achères-Ville station, in correspondence with RER A and Transilien L, and south to Saint-Cyr station, in correspondence with RER C, Transilien N and Transilien U trains. It is also envisaged that a branch connects Grande Ceinture train station to Saint-Germain-en-Laye RER A station, by the castle. The line is now scheduled to open in June 2022. The 19 km long line will serve the towns of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Mareil-Marly, L’Étang-la-Ville, Saint-Nom -la-Bretèche, Noisy-le-Roi, Bailly, Versailles and Saint-Cyr-l’École. The Grand Express tram line 13 by St Germain en Laye from the city:

I give brief direction from airports as this can be taylor made ask me for details. From

Roissy (95 Val d’Oise) Charles-de-Gaulle Airport : Go out and take these roads A1, A15, N184, and N104 Francilienne. By public transport: RER A1 to Châtelet-Les Halles in Paris, then RER B3 to Roissy. Paris. To from Orly Airport (Val de Marne 94) by road you can take the N13, and A6. By public transport: RER A1 to Châtelet-Les Halles + RER B4 to Antony + shuttle. From Beauvais Airport (Oise 60). By road: N184, A16, D1001, N104 (Francilienne) By public transport: RER A 1 to Châtelet-Les Halles then RER D to Gare du Nord + TER to Beauvais SNCF station

The Noctilien bus line N153 connects Paris-Saint-Lazare station to Saint-Germain-en-Laye station (in both directions) between 24h30 and 5h30. The Transilien N153 bus here:

The St Germain en Laye bus network main office at  Agence Transdev.6, place André-Malraux. Open Mondays to Fridays from 9h to 12h, and from 14h to 18h. More on Transdev bus network in St Germain en Laye:

The roads to get to St Germain en Laye are many. The case of the A14 expressway,with limited impact to locals as the expressway is underground for most of its route in the town, national roads N184 and N13 are used by me and the N13 is isolated by continuous noise barriers in the valley of the Ru de Buzot.. From Paris you can reach the city on the A13 (autoroute de Normandie), A86, A14, N13 (as above). From Rouen you reach it on the  A13,and N13; From Poissy on the N190 (we used it too).From Conflans / Cergy-Pontoise the N184 (used as well); and of course from Versailles, Orgeval, Rueil-Malmaison, the N13; but also the N184.

In St Germain en Laye there are approximately 5,000 free parking spaces out of the 8,911 existing in the city (above ground and underground). The most obvious parkings  is by the RER A station, RER A and Château parking in two levels. The other is to go underneath the Vieux Marché or market area on ave de la République, or the parking Pologne at rue de Pologne or the Monoprix store parking. The city has a good explanation on parkings and public transport even in French can easily be understood. The above were always our favorite parkings when visiting the city.

Some further details on parkings are : The Château / RER A car park at  Place du Général-de-Gaulle with 1,108 places.The Rue des Coches car park. 11-15 rue des Coches with 242 places. Parking Pologne. 63 rue de Poland with 305 spaces. The Marché-Neuf car park at Place du Marché with 415 spaces. Calumeo map on parking in St Germain en Laye :

How to get around in and out of St Germain en Laye from the city:

The St Germain en Laye Seine tourist office in English :

The Yvelines dept 78 tourist office on St Germain en Laye in French :

There you go folks, feel better now ,with my brief introduction on moving in and about in lovely St Germain en Laye. This is a must town to visit while in my belle France me think. Hope you enjoy the post and thank you for reading me since Nov 2010.

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

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June 16, 2021

The market hall of Dourdan!

This is a town in the region around Paris or Ïle de France and in the department 91 of the Essonne. The town has quite impressive donjon and church as written before in my blog on the town of Dourdan. However, for some reason I skip telling you and me about the market hall or Halle of Dourdan. This is the time as any to have it in my blog. Hope you enjoy the brief tour.

The Halle de Dourdan at Place du Général-de-Gaulle with its impressive dimensions of 38 meters long and 14 meters wide! The first hall of Dourdan built in the 13C consisted of a vast wooden frame. It was enlarged in 1480 and 1486. In the 15C, a floor was added to it, where civil, judicial, feudal and forestry debates took place. This royal audience was transferred to the neighboring castle in the 18C. Until the 18C, there was a royal audience upstairs where civil, judicial, feudal and forest offences were judged. Due to its dilapidation it was decided in 1829 to demolish the halle and build a new one, the one you see today. They have kept a floor to recall this ancient use and, since then, it has not changed!

dourdan covered market pl du gen de gaulle aug11

The halle hosts the market twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday morning. You reach it from Paris on the RER C stop Dourdan and the market is about 7 min walking. Of course, I have come here by car from Versailles was less than 50 minutes.

The halle of Dourdan is an impressive stone structure very near the Church St Germain l’Auxerrois (see post) on the center of town with all amenities and a great place to walk around. One nice side trip we enjoyed it and do some real French shopping. When not shopping days, you can park your car inside too!

More in French on the town of Dourdan on the halle

The Dourdan tourist office on part of its heritage as the Halle in English:

There you and we love to go shopping in the markets here love it!!! The best of France!!! The one here in Dourdan is very nice and a historical structure. Hope you enjoy it and do come out on them, part of the thrill of visiting  my belle France!

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

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