Some news from France, CCCXL

And here we are folks already August 2021 and still with this madness of the pandemic which government have us continue in it seems a perpetual scary rollercoaster without telling you exactly what is going on……….. Already big demonstrations all over France against the pass. Now we are into the health pass soon to show at just about any place you want to go in or travel! Sort of like a second passport! Oh well enough of my rant on sad news. Let me bring you back to my series Some news from France already in its 340th edition thanks to my readers over the years.

Since parking in the streets of Paris is free on Sundays and on public holidays, it is this past Monday at 9h that the price increase will take effect. In zone 1 (from the 1st to the 11th arrondissement), parking per hour will now cost you 6€ compared to 4€ until now (an increase of 50%!). In zone 2 (from the 12th to the 20th arrondissement), you will have to pay  4€ for one hour compared to  2.40€ currently. In the first 11 arrondissements, the fines increased from 50 to 75 € (i.e. an increase of 50%!) and from 35 to 50 € in zone 2! Oh well it seems Paris will be alone soon.

No change for the “greens” but increases to be expected for the “blues”. The new price list aims to rebalance the uses between the different Vélib ‘models. In detail, the new rental prices will therefore remain unchanged for green bicycles ‚with a first free period of use then a flat rate of 1 euro per additional half hour. For Vélib’bleus, on the other hand, the cost of the first period of use (extended to 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes in the previous formula to take into account the expansion of the service now available in Paris and in 56 outlying towns ) goes from 2 to 3 € for the V-free package and from 1 to 2 € for the V-Plus package. The price of the additional half hour (2 € for these two packages) is also doubled compared to the previous grid. Before the summer, Vélib ‘electric bikes constituted only” 35% of the fleet of the 19,000 two-wheelers in circulation, but carried out … 50 to 60% of the courses recorded. Smovengo, which is due to take delivery of 3,000 new Vélib’ Électriques in September 2021, hopes to be able to improve the reliability of its VAE (electrically assisted bicycles) before that date. So all transport prices goes up, soon horses will move in but would they pay parking and cleaning?

In the Île-de-France region , the unconceded national road network managed by state services stretches over 1,300 km (almost the distance from Paris to Rome). It has 300 interchanges, 25 tunnels, more than 1,200 bridges and viaducts … And these infrastructures are deteriorating faster than elsewhere due to their very high use. With 4 million daily users, excluding weekends and holiday periods, the Ile-de-France road network is in fact the busiest in France. Of course, also more populated too! The Dirif gov network thus identifies 26 areas where work will take place by September 2021, against 35 in 2020 … and only 21 a year earlier. Some will only result in nightly shutdowns. But other sites, carried out continuously, will require the total closure to the circulation of sections on certain major axes. This will be the case on the A6 and A3 highways in Essonne (91)  and Seine-Saint-Denis (93), the national 10 in Trappes (Yvelines 78) or the national  104 closed throughout the Mesnil-Amelot (Seine-et-Marne 77) crossing. to allow the construction of the eastern bypass of Roissy CDG airport. Yes catch up or we will be needing helicopter pads soon!!

In the 17éme arrondissement, the small square of Batignolles, glued to the tracks that leave from the Saint-Lazare train station, tells the story of Paris of the Belle Epoque. Its neighbor, Martin-Luther-King Park, opened in 2007, plays the card of modernity and space. The singer Barbara was born a stone’s throw away, at number 6 rue Brochant.  And we know that as a child, she came to play at the Square des Batignolles. She evokes it in her song “Perlimpinpin”. It is therefore quite naturally that the main alley of this Parisian garden was named after the artist. Great place parked free around it and visit the market on that street also shop nearby for my  Spanish grocery store in Paris (see posts).

Salvador Dali and Pink Floyd, a hovering wedding at the Atelier des Lumières. The digital art center based in Paris 11éme district devotes its summer show to the genius, whose works are screened with music by the flagship group of the 1970s to accompany it. Packing. Dali, the endless enigma at the Atelier des Lumières, 38, rue Saint-Maur , until January 2022, from 10h to 20h every day. Prices: from 12 to 15 euros. Reservations webpage:

The most famous of Spanish architects will soon be honored in a gigantic exhibition in Paris, at the Musée d´Orsay. Gaudi, that’s the name of the exhibition, will first be on view at the end of 2021 at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona before moving to Paris. This is the first major exhibition dedicated to Antoni Gaudi in France for more than 50 years! his workshop, his working techniques, his drawings, models, sketches of his numerous creations of palaces, hotels, churches… Gaudí From April 11 to 24 July 2022 Musée d’Orsay – 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 7éme. Webpage:

Imagine: sleeping on the 27th floor of a giant bulding facing a dizzying view that overlooks the entire city of Paris. This will soon be possible since within a few months, a 4-star hotel will open in the sky of Paris. The hotel will invest the top 10 floors of the Tour Duo 2, which has 27 of them. Composed of 139 rooms and suites, a restaurant and a bar with a terrace perched in the sky of Paris, the establishment was designed by Philippe Starck in association with Pascal Donat and under the MGallery brand. Hotel des Tours Duo. 51 rue Bruneseau, 13éme. Estimated opening Sept 2022 ; more in Starck webpage:

In mid-July, Christo’s teams embarked on the pharaonic posthumous project of the plastic artist, who died in May 2020. Thirty-five years after the Pont Neuf, the Arc de Triomphe will be carefully packaged.  A work  visible from September 18 to October 3 2021. The Arc de Triomphe will soon be covered with 25,000 m2 of recyclable bluish silver polypropylene fabric! Webpage:

Van Gogh’s painted roots found in a 1907 photo of Auvers-sur-Oise. The site that inspired Van Gogh’s final painting was found last year, thanks to an old postcard. But this previous photo, found by a resident of Auvers, provides irrefutable proof. Yeah! More in museum webpage:

In Cergy, the new attraction of the regional leisure island throws in the towel for this year. The Aquapark closed its doors this Sunday and until next year. Visitors are too rare because of the weather and especially sanitary restrictions because the sanitary pass is required at the entrance to the leisure island. There you go enough of hard times by these places and lost of jobs seldom mentioned in the media! Since this Sunday, it is no longer possible to access the Aquapark, this set of inflatable structures located on 2,500 m2 near the swimming area. Webpage:

The Trianon Palace, a famous hotel nestled in the heart of Versailles, offers to enjoy a country picnic in its gardens, for a unique experience, worthy of the most beautiful fairy tales.  Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace 1, boulevard de la Reine – Versailles (78)  webpage :

On the occasion of the third edition of the Top 50 of the best pizzerias in Europe (outside of Italy), the first place was awarded to the Peppe Pizzeria in Paris! There are 5 Parisian addresses in the Top 50 2021 of the best European pizzerias. These are 1) Peppe Pizzeria, 20eme. 16) Dalmata,  2éme. 23)  Faggio Pizzeria, 9éme. 25) Guillaume Grasso La vera pizza Napolitana, 15éme and 33) Bijou, 18éme.

The pastrami sandwich recipe of chef Simon Horwitz. Delicious one of favorite all time sandwich we did it at home great ! He is at Elmer 3éme near Pl de la République. webpage:

 For 2 sandwiches! ingredients: 4 slices of white bread, 1 or 2 ripe avocados (depending on the size), 1 bunch of coriander, 1 lime, ½ red cabbage, 25 grams mustard seeds, 25 ml of Banyuls vinegar, 4 slices of old cheddar, 200 g of very thinly sliced pastrami, Salt, freshly ground pepper, 50 g of melted butter.  For the mustard seeds in pickles: ½ cup of mustard seeds, ¾ cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup white vinegar, ½ vs. to s. coarse salt, and 1 tbsp of sugar.

Preparation:  Rinse the mustard seeds with water. Soak them with apple cider vinegar, salt and sugar for 3 hours, bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes over low heat, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and let cool in the open air. Once cold, add the white vinegar. Prepare the avocado puree: mash the avocado flesh with the lime juice and half a bunch of coriander, season with salt and pepper. Strip the other half of the bunch of cilantro. Reserve in the fridge. Prepare the red cabbage salad: very finely slice (with a knife or mandolin) the red cabbage. Add the mustard seeds in pickles and the Banyuls vinegar. Leave to marinate for 5 to 10 minutes, add a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust seasoning. Add the rest of the finely chopped cilantro at the last moment, before assembling your sandwiches.

Spread avocado puree on each slice of sandwich bread spread out on the counter. Place 1 slice of old cheddar on top. Divide the pastrami on half of the slices, add a dollop of red coleslaw, then close with the other part of the sandwich. Spread each side of the sandwiches with the melted butter. On the very hot grill, toast 2 to 3 minutes on each side,and voilà. A family affairs! Bon Appétit!!

There you go folks,another wonderful things to do and see in my belle France! And do enjoy your time as much as allow nowdays. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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