Some news from France, CCCLVIII

And I go again with my beloved series of some news from France! Lots of going on as we are in the middle of the winter with cold temps but no snow, heavens on earth! We just came back from a twirling road warrior tour of the Centre Val de Loire, Pays de la Loire , and even the Nouvelle Aquitaine regions!! Stay tune. For now, here are the my latest tidbits of my belle France.

Hear all about it ,the covid is becoming history at last ! Next Wednesday February 16, to the delight of our revelers, the nightclubs reopen. But the good news doesn’t stop there! From Monday February 28, wearing a mask will no longer be compulsory in all closed places where the health pass is required (while still keeping barrier gestures). Which places are affected? Well plenty, the bars and restaurants, cinemas, performance and concert halls, libraries, sports halls, nightclubs, and fairs and trade shows, For public transport such as the metro, or even trains and planes, the mask remains mandatory. Ditto for stores or places of sale to take away. Don’t panic, it won’t be long.Patience is a virtue !!

This is a new assessment, after Saturday’s rallies in Paris. The police carried out 97 arrests and 513 verbalizations of opponents of health measures participating in the operation called “freedom convoys”, according to an overall report communicated this Sunday by the Paris police headquarters. A heterogeneous gathering of opponents of President Emmanuel Macron, the vaccination pass and “yellow vests”, those who call themselves “freedom convoys” were formed on the model of the mobilization which is currently paralyzing the Canadian capital Ottawa. More than 7,000 members of the police have been mobilized by the Paris police headquarters from Friday to Monday, the anti-pass convoys having planned to reach Brussels on Monday. I know at least 500 persons, or even more, in total, depending on the arrivals and departures of each other, found themselves yesterday Saturday on the site of the Gorges de Franchard, in the forest of Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne dept 77). Terminus of the journey for some, simple stopover on the road to Brussels for others,And the pressure keeps going !! All speed ahead !

Thirty political figures from all sides have already shown their ambition to stand for the presidential election in France, scheduled for April 2022. For the official list, it will be necessary to wait until March 2022, The Constitutional Council will publish the list of those who meet the prerequisites to participate in the first round of the election, on April 10, 2022. The main challenge is to collect at least 500 endorsements from elected officials, a procedure intended to limit the number of applications/participants,

How can a French entity be down? Since 2002, the number of cafes has dropped by 40% in Paris, and this is worrying. A deliberate study by the Chamber of Commerce explains that their number fell by 40%, In 2002, one could find 1907 cafes in Paris. Today, there are 1,410. In the center of Paris (1-4 arrondissements), tourist numbers mean that cafes are even on the rise. On the other hand, in arrondissements like the 16éme (more homey Paris), there are almost 68% fewer cafes. Fast food is ultimately the big bad wolf in this story. And lack of creativity for the new world ahead,

This Sunday (today) , America’s heart will beat to the beat of the 56th Super Bowl. That of Grégory Ascher too. The journalist from La Chaîne L’Équipe will indeed host the big evening devoted to the most watched annual sporting event in the world from 23h50 (11:50pm) , There are the diehards who can watch an undecided game Los Angeles-Rams-Cincinnati Bengals. And then there’s the halftime show, an incredible thing. This is what makes the Super Bowl so popular. This year, starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige, this might be one of the craziest half time in history. L’Equipe chain in French : https://live.lequipe.fr/replay/le-super-bowl-2022-a-suivre-sur-la-chaine-l-equipe/20153602

The famous Pont des Arts, spanning the Seine river to connect the Louvre museum and the Institut de France in the 6éme arrondissement, will finally be renovated in 2022. The Institut de France and the Palais du Louvre have been linked since 1804 by the bridge (or the Passarelle des Arts. It was the first metal bridge in Paris, made of cast iron with nine arches, and from that time it was given the name it bears today. From 2008 to 2014, a practice that is said to have come from Eastern Europe developed on the bridge: lovers hang padlocks, engraved with their names, on its mesh railing. Having become a (quasi) tradition, this practice is often criticized by the city of Paris and lovers of Paris like me. Since the collapse of part of the fence in 2014 due to the weight of the padlocks, the City of Paris has decided to ban this practice. This romantic and touristic tradition continues however in other places of the city, in particular around the equestrian statue of Henri IV at the end of the Île de la Cité.

A mythical establishment in the 5éme arrondissement, the restaurant La Tour d’Argent will close its doors for nine months of titanic work. It will close on April 30 after a final service. The establishment, whose history can be traced back to 1582, offers a sight as pleasant for the palate as it is for the eyes, with its breathtaking view of the Seine. Great names in history have dined here: Ernest Hemingway, Queen Elizabeth or even Franklin Roosevelt. The longest and most complete renovation in its history will begin, after that of 1936 which had raised the restaurant to the 6th floor. If the details of this historic project have not yet been revealed, the axis is clear: to bring the Tour d’Argent into the 21C. The brand new restaurant is set to open shortly before its famous neighbor Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris in February 2023. webpage: https://tourdargent.com/en/

The exhibition Meeting the Little Prince will be held from February 17 to June 26, 2022 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Saint-Exupéry’s manuscript leaves the United States for the first time, on the occasion of an event exhibition, “Meeting the Little Prince”, at the Museum. The exhibition “Meeting the Little Prince”, which opens this coming Thursday, February 17 is a cultural event, but above all an emotional shock. The manuscript of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s tale and its drawings had never left the United States. A book first, sold in 200 million copies and the most translated work in the world after the Bible, but also T-shirts, watches, pens, mugs, stuffed animals and figurines, a park of attractions, cartoons, films… Since its publication in 1943, “The Little Prince” has gone from the status of a publishing phenomenon to that of a real brand, recognized all over the planet. Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli 1éme arrondissement, webpage : https://madparis.fr/A-la-rencontre-du-petit-prince

Second-hand enthusiasts take over the top floor of Printemps Haussmann dept store in Paris to discover the largest space in Europe dedicated to second-hand. Prized by collectors looking for creations by great couturiers, it also attracts aficionados who come to complete their wardrobe with a more affordable piece, The sale dedicated to second-hand clothes, in a completely renovated space. on the top floor of the Printemps-Haussmann Women’s Fashion store. Welcome to 7éme Ciel/ Heaven, the largest space dedicated to circular fashion, vintage and second-hand, Nearly 2000 customers on average visit it daily, It is a basic trend. For several years, the second-hand sector has been conquering new market shares. Clothing, accessories, jewellery, and even decoration and furnishings… Consumers are seizing on this trend, for economic reasons, but also for ethical reasons. Webpage : https://www.printemps.com/fr/fr/edito-rendez-vous-au-7eme-ciel

Each year new grape varieties are planted. The love affair between Île-de-France region and the vine is well and truly resumed, after a slumber of more than two centuries. And it is not just a question here of extending the planted surfaces, in memory of a distant era. Today’s winemakers work hard to achieve recognized quality. Ile-de-France Region Coordinating Committee of Brotherhoods (CO.CO.RI.CO.) Every two years, the body organizes a symposium bringing together all the wine brotherhoods of the Ile-de-France and the associations often municipalities that maintain a vineyard. The Île-de-France coordination committee of brotherhoods has awarded its highest award to the 2020 cuvée of red wine produced by the town of Argenteuil. A ceremony was organized a few days ago at the Workshop, gardens of the Abbey, for the presentation of this award. More info in French from the town of Argenteuil : https://www.argenteuil.fr/fr/latelier-jardins-de-labbaye

A walk in the Parc de la Poudrerie is amazing! This park straddling Sevran, Livry-Gargan, Vaujours and Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis dept 93) has, at the instigation of Napoleon III, hosted a blowing snow for a century. The 137 hectare site is today a Natura 2000 classified green lung. of the imperial building. Here, an old sandbox useful for smothering the start of a fire, there a storage shed. Of the 300 manufacturing and storage buildings, there remain the remains of about thirty today. More on the park from the Seine Saint Denis heritage webpage : https://patrimoine.seinesaintdenis.fr/Poudrerie-Nationale-de-Sevran-Livry

The city of Versailles retains its place as the best cycling city in the Île-de-France region for towns with 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants in the barometer of the Federation of Bicycle Users. This is not a first since the royal city has occupied first place in Île-de-France for several years in the barometer of cycling cities of the Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB). In the category of towns with more than 20,000 inhabitants, All the results in French from the FUB webpage : https://www.fub.fr/fub/actualites/resultats-barometre-villes-cyclables-2021-sont-disponibles

A nice note for Valentine’s Day February 14, which I will not be celebrating unfortunately, In Thoiry, the De la Panouse couple have been keeping the zoo going for half a century, Paul de la Panouse (78 yrs old) takes a break. The squire turns around, searches among the guests enchained for the origin of this delicious radiance and ends up meeting, bewildered, the gaze of a tall American woman with the perfect figure. We are in 1969 and the boss of the Thoiry zoo has just met his future wife. Fifty-three years later, it is by the fireplace, in the family castle of Thoiry (Yvelines 78), far from the Haussmann golds, that the couple tell of their story, a few days before Valentine’s Day 2022. Both have agreed to talk about their love story which, for half a century, has been walking its singularity in the alleys of the African savannah, weaving in the middle of tigers and lions. Annabelle will come back to see the lions. And will end up settling in the castle of the La Panouse family, She amazes him with her finesse of mind, she furnishes the Charles X library with taste The prestigious guests parade in the living room of the castle. André Malraux, Raymond Devos, Marcel Achard, Moshe Dayan… stop there before approaching the animals. Brigitte Bardot poses with the ostriches. Thoiry zoo webpage : https://www.thoiry.net/

Dear festival friends, book your next August 25, 26, 27 and 28. Because the 2022 vintage of Rock en Seine, which is reborn from its ashes after two postponed / canceled editions, promises to offer us not 3, but 4 days of feasting, celebration and good sound like in the good old days. An 18th XXL edition for a return in style with the most beautiful of the musical scene webpage : https://www.rockenseine.com/

So what is in the name ? Pain au chocolat or chocolatine? While an ancestral battle has divided the North and South-West of France since the dawn of time, we finally thought we would win this fight with pride and bravery. Until a historian decides and puts an end to the debate. In Bordeaux, when a guy asks the baker for a pain au chocolat, he is quickly identified as a foreigner , The pastry was brought to France by a certain Zang August, in the middle of the 19C. He had also brought the croissant, which commemorates an Austrian victory over the Turks in 1683. A chocolate version, ‘Schokoladeen croissant’, was also sold. Between the Austrian accent which pronounces the ‘d’ as ‘t’ and the ours, the Parisians called the viennoiserie chocolatine. A shocking revelation. For many years the whole of France was talking about chocolatine before pastry chefs appropriated the recipe and replaced the brioche dough with a puff pastry. The debate is (finally) closed, The most tenacious will therefore be able to perpetuate the tradition !

There you go folks, another series of tidbits of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the story and posts, and thank you for following me since November 2010!!! Appreciated!!! Fornow looking forward to go out more and more under the newer world order. Stay safe!

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

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