Archive for ‘Paris’

September 16, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXLIII

The most favorite monument of the French was unveiled in a special program presented by Stéphane Bern on France 3, while the 38th European Heritage Days are taking place this weekend 18-19 sept 2021). Built between 1751 and 1755, Place Stanislas has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, for the whole it forms with the Place de la Carrière and the Place of Alliance which extend it. It was previously open to traffic, before being made fully pedestrianized in 2005 for its 250th anniversary after two years of construction. And you thought there are other monuments, this is voted by the French! The complete ranking is this:1 Place Stanislas in Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle 54 ) 2 – The Château de Falaise (Calvados 14 ) 3 – The Towers of La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime 17) 4 – The Pont-Canal in Briare (Loiret 45) 5 – The Theater antique d’Orange (Vaucluse 84) 6 – The Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune (Côte-d’Or 21) 7 – The Château de Pierrefonds (Oise 60) 8 – The Pont du Gard (Gard 30) 9 – The railway rotunda of Chambéry (Savoie 73) ) 10 – The Caillebotte Property in Yerres (Essonne 91) 11 – The Balata Garden in Fort-de-France (Martinique 972) 12 – The ramparts of Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine 35) 13 – The Citadel of Bonifacio and the Staircase of the Roy d’Aragon (Corse-du-Sud 2A) 14 – Passage Pommeraye in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique 44)

Marks & Spencer closes more than half of its stores in France because of Brexit, The British brand Marks & Spencer is forced to reduce its presence in France and in Europe. Eleven stores are affected. It continues to downsize, more than 140 stores have been closed around the world over the past two years.

Quinze.bis, a multidisciplinary concept store divided into several spaces. 550 m2 dedicated “to words and writing”, spaces curated by Gibert booksellers and highlights, meetings and dedications are therefore announced. There will also be the Music Store, a music space designed with the Balades Sonores record store, which provides a precise selection to complete the general offer. The stationery / gifts area has been revised to highlight “French, artisanal, eco-responsible or ethical brands that do not yet have physical stores Quinze.bis 15bis, boulevard Saint-Denis 2éme opens September 30 2021.

Next weekend Sept 18-19 2021 are Heritage Days, so little-known treasures to discover in Ile-de-France and in the regions, For example, Viry-Châtillon (Essonne 91). Behind the gates of the Piédefer estate, hides the Nymphaeum, or shell cave, a jewel from the end of the 17C, The Beauvaisis steam train is a metric-gauge tourist railway created by the Museum of steam tramways and of the French secondary railways (MTVS) on part of the old line from Saint-Omer-en-Chaussée to Vers. More on the Heritage Days or journées du Patrimoine here:

The Nuit Blanche 2021, artistic-sport hiking version of the program of the 20th edition of the Parisian meeting, scheduled for October 2 to 3 2021, The artistic walk will take place on the Grande Randonnée trail around Paris, and will be followed, for the first time, an exhibition across the city. This will start from the Trocadéro !

The first rail line of the Aéroport-d’Orly metro station is welded. A sympathetic and decisive step was taken this past Wednesday morning for the creation of the future station for lines 14 and 18, which will link Orly airport to Paris , Orsay (Essonne 91) and Versailles (Yvelines 78), Also, “Céline”, the first tunnel boring machine on line 18, will dig 6 km between Palaiseau and Massy, ​​it was necessary to dig a 14-meter-deep case and extract 23,000 tonnes of backfill. Officially named, the tunnel boring machine will begin its nibbling work around November 15. Before that, the second tunnel boring machine, the one that “Céline” is to join in Massy, ​​will be baptized in a month, on October 16, during the open doors of the Grand Paris express. And it will start digging the 6 km from Massy towards Orly airport in mid-December 2021, More expansion more people using public transports into Paris !

While around thirty French territories have chosen to opt for free public transport, Paris has just made the metro and Vélib free for all people under the age of 18. This new measure will be exclusively reserved for young Parisians residing in the capital and having a Navigo Imagine’R and / or Vélib ’Métropole“ V-Plus Jeune ”mechanical package. To obtain the free Navigo pass, all you need to do is fill out a form on the City of Paris website. The request will then be processed within a few weeks. Webpage:

And for the low cost traveler in you, good news, From October 31, 2021, Ryanair will offer two return flights per week (Thursday and Sunday) between Brest-Bretagne airport and Lisbon (Portugal). Check out the airport webpage or Ryanair.

And your friendly French taxpayer is awakening as Ile-de-France Mobilités, the transports arm of the Ïle de France region has suspended the payments to the SNCF and RATP ! Without the 1.3 billion claimed from the State (our taxes), Île-de-France Mobilités believes that it will have to give up certain infrastructure works and orders for rolling stock, reduce the supply of transport, or even increase the price. Navigo oh well this is the new Paris.

Since August 1, 2021 for non-resident motorists in Paris, the hourly rate in the street has increased to 6 euros in zone 1 and 4 euros in zone 2. In some districts, it is more interesting to park in the underground parkings in Paris. Paris is by far the city in France where parking your vehicle in the street is the most expensive. Since August 1, the city has introduced rates that are dissuasive to say the least. For visitors, it now costs 6 euros per hour in zone 1 (from the 1éme to the 11éme arrondissement) and 4 euros per hour in zone 2 (from the 12éme to the 20éme). As for the “FPS”, the post-parking package, that is to say the fine set for non-payment or exceeding the time, it is now set at 50 euros or 75 euros, depending on the area. Be aware the idea is to get the car out of Paris indirectly but this will fail too, can’t cover the volume with the ageing public transports network.

The inauguration of the Johnny Hallyday esplanade began with the inauguration of the statue ,The 6-meter-high statue represents a pole in the shape of a guitar neck, with a Harley Davidson at the top that belonged to Johnny in front of the Accor Arena (ex Bercy) and ends with an exceptional show in his favorite hall, (ex-Bercy) started at 10h20 in front of Bercy with a mini-concert bringing together the last five musicians of Johnny Hallyday, including Yarol Poupaud (guitarist) and Yvan Cassar (sound director of symphonic albums) , joined by 150 bikers and their motorcycles, some of whom had escorted Johnny’s coffin to the Madeleine on December 9, 2017, for the funeral. And at 21h, on the stage of Bercy, the concert “Johnny Hallyday that I love you” will begin, in front of 10,000 fans and live on France 2 television (saw it!!). Organized by his widow, this show aligns headliners such as Florent Pagny, Patrick Bruel, Catherine Ringer, Louis Bertignac, Calogero, Gaëtan Roussel, Patrick Fiori, Julien Doré, etc.

As a side kick, the Johnny’s Bar opens its doors this past Tuesday, September 14 next to the arena, perfect for a drink while toasting in memory of our national Johnny. Ultra comfortable leather sofas, subdued lighting, terrace, rock and stage music to host lives and, of course, flowing alcohol; good taps, excellent whiskeys and a menu of our Johnny’s favorite cocktails. To be enjoyed while singing its greatest aperitif hits until the end of the night. It can even be accessed without a ticket for the concerts in the hall. It is at the heart of L’ACCOR Arena that we discover the new homage to Johnny Hallyday: an eponymous intimate bar with a well-filled whiskey menu, one of Jojo’s favorite spirits served in a room where he has played over a hundred times. A winning combination. Johnny’s Bar, ACCOR Arena, 8, boulevard de Bercy 12éme, webpage :

The new Bouillon Pigalle à République for the greatest pleasure of your taste buds. 160 years after the creation of the first Parisian bouillon, they are still there in the districts of Pigalle, Grand Boulevards or Strasbourg-Saint-Denis, all of Paris is in a hurry to devour good French cuisine while enjoying the conversations of neighbors. Luckily, a new kid is settling in today in the République district. Bouillon Pigalle République 39, boulevard du Temple 3éme

For the first time in France, a history museum traces chronologically and thematically the history of the persecution of gays and lesbians under the Third Reich, drawing on a rich selection of documents, most of which have never been presented in France. Gays and lesbians in Nazi Europe at the Shoah Memorial, 17, rue Geoffroy -Asnier ; from the 4-6 March 2022 Info webpage;

There you go folks, another dandy series of some news from France from yours truly, a pleasure all the time to talk about my belle France! Hope you enjoy the post and again thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

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

September 16, 2021

La Villette, that other park of Paris!

This is an anormaly for me right off the bat; this is one of my first areas visited in Paris as came by it with my then girlfriend in 1990 and later wife and many more times by here. I have come by here more often than I can remember and saw the transformation of this area from  a low unknown to a vibrant lively area and up and coming real estate values.  I am talking about the La Villette and its park complex in the 19éme arrondissement of Paris. I could not find my pictures for this place darn it, even if look several times in my vault, therefore, will need to do the post as my black and white series, no pictures.

I used to drive into it from the old N3 now D603 road direction Meaux. It covers the northeast quadrant of Paris bordering the boulevard periphérique, the first mention of La Villette goes back to 1198, and the area was like many annexed to Paris proper in 1860.  It is divided into four quartiers or neighborhood such as La Villette, Pont de Flanders, Amérique, and Combat. The Grande Halle de la Villette, metal structures built in 1865-1867, it was the site of one of the biggest slaugherhouses in Paris and today it serve for cultural events and concerts.

The parc de la Villette, is located on the quartier Pont de Flandre  is one of the biggest park and the biggest green area of Paris. It was built on the slaughterhouse of the Villette that were demolished in 1867 under orders of emperor Napoléon III and the prefect Haussmann , and finally raze in 1974. It has 55 hectares of which 33 are green areas so making it the biggest in Paris, larger than the Jardin des Tuileries with 25,5 hectares, parc des Buttes Chaumont with 25 hectares and the Jardin du Luxembourg with 23 hectares. It has the Porte de la Villette on the north, the porte de Pantin on the south and the Canal de l’Ourcq crosses it in the middle. Two pedestrian passarelles connect the canal with the north and south section, and also there is a floating mobile bridge half way between the two passeralles that allow walkers and bikers and mobility impaired persons to cross it. There is a passages garden inspired from the exposition planetary gardens in the grande halle on a site of an old lamb corral; this island of green has 3000 sq meters with an ecosystem of forest, and dry stones.  It is a space of culture and teaching around ecological themes.

The things to see here in my opinion are:

The Grande halle de la Villette, with a nave of 9000 sq meters, the space Charlie Parker  with 4 000 sq meters, four studies and 8 balconies on the room Boris Vian.

The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie opened in 1986. The Géode , a large dome shape building of 36 meters (119 ft)  in diameter housing a cinema IMAX cinema on a  geodesies dome opened  in 1985. The Cité de la Musique , concert hall opened in 1995 and music museum opened in 1996.  The conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris opened in 1990.  The little Villette the old pavilion Paul Delouvrier. The Zénith de Paris, opened in 1984 and stayed concert hall. The Philharmonic de Paris created in 2015. The space Chapiteaux with Chapithôtel opened in 2013 to house the artists. The submarine ArgonauteCinaxe , this is a cinema made like a flight simulator ,very good! you play the movie with the same movements lol! The Trabendo opened in 1994 under Hot Brass spectacles hall . The wonderful Cabaret Sauvage concerts spectacles since 1997. The theater Paris Villette opened in 1986 in the old pavilion de la Bourse aux cuirs (leather stock exchange) . The Hall de la  Chanson in the pavilion of Charolais behind the Grande Halle.

Others are the WIP Villette opened in 1987 first as the Maison de la Villette. The  beltway spaces for residence of artists , an equestrian center, Pavillon Janvier, Cité Administrative, and the thematic gardens such as the  jardins passagers, jardin des bambous, jardin des frayeurs enfantines, jardin de la treille, jardin des équilibres, jardin des îles, jardin des miroirs, jardin des dunes et des vents, jardin des voltiges, jardin du dragon, jardin des ombres, and jardin des dessins. It has an equetrian center, sculptures, and music kiosques all around, great place to spend a day in a different Paris.

It has gorgeous walks along the Canal de la VilletteCanal Saint Denis,and Canal de l’Ourcq all meeting here going into a great esplanade to the Rotonda de la Villette ,the old tax authority now been converted into a Brasserie restaurant ,and very popular. The luminous cinema MK2  overlooking the canal is romantic ,beautiful cinema house.

All around these canals you have the bassin de la Villette, the biggest body of water in Paris with 700 meters long( 2310 ft) .  The aforementioned Rotonde de la Villette  is one of 54 buildings done in 1784 to received the taxes on products entering Paris; it faces the Bassin de la Villette.  For difference there is a nice church St Jacques et St Chritophe de la Villette at place Bitche a nice small park in front will do good for a rest and some snack/drink to recharge your walk, I know I did ! Here you can get to many peniche boat and cruise boat on the canals and bassin the most famous is the Canauxrama firm right on quai de la Loire. Also, the newer Paris Canal same side of the quais .(see posts).

To have a quick drink spend a lovely time here other than inside the Parc de la Villette, you have a wonderful cafe MK2 inside the MK2 cinema overlooking the bassin de la Villette, Belushi’s at rue Crimée is wonderful and youthful with good prices, and great views. For a heartier meal I suggest the Au Boeuf Couronné, for great beef and the signature of Gerard Joulie restaurants in Paris, located at 188 ave Jean Jaurés, metro porte de Pantin ,line 5 . There is a hostal St Christopher’s (inside is Belushi’s) next to it with lively ambiance, great prices, and very easy located on metro Crimée line 7.

In all a labyrinth of good ambiance always guarantee

The Paris tourist office on the Grande Halle:

The Paris tourist office on the general parc de la Villette:

The Official parc de la Villette with a map is better:

The concerts hall Zenith with programming:

The official Cité de la Musique on programming:

The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie webpage:

The Géode webpage;

There you go folks, a wonderful parck for all to enjoy the parc de la Villette is awesome. Hope you enjoy the black and white post on it as I. You will do good to visit this off the beaten path area of Paris, it is very nice. And, remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 16, 2021

Place Charles de Gaulle or Etoile of Paris!!!

Ok so in my rounds of updating older posts in my blog during these times of ours I came across new finds! One of them was on this very famous square where I had concentrated on the  Arc de Triomphe but not on the Place de l’étoile as it is better known even if officially now is Place Charles de Gaulle. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on it; hope you enjoy it as I.

The Place Charles-de-Gaulle, formerly Place de l’Étoile is an important roundabout, in the center of which is the Arc de Triomphe, (see posts) and which constitutes one end of Avenue des Champs- Elysees (see post). Place de l’Étoile, as well as the Arc de Triomphe itself, is shared like a cake between the 8éme, 16éme and 17éme arrondissements of Paris with the 8éme bounded by avenue de Wagram and the ‘avenue Marceau; the16éme bounded by avenue Marceau and avenue de la Grande-Armée; and the 17éme bounded by avenue de la Grande-Armée and avenue de Wagram. It has a diameter of 241 meters, which gives it an area of ​​approximately 4.55 hectares.

The Charles de Gaulle square is one of the prestigious squares in Paris. Although it was renamed in 1970, its old name of “Place de l’Étoile” is still the most common in use. The square is surrounded by two streets forming a circle around it: the rue de Presbourg and the rue de Tilsitt which perpetuate two diplomatic successes of Napoleon and are the names given in 1864 to the circular street. Taking place between avenue Kléber and avenue Victor-Hugo, rue Lauriston constitutes a thirteenth lane radiating around the square but it stops at rue de Presbourg and therefore does not disturb the harmony of the square itself, Another underground passage, the Passage du Souvenir, is reserved for pedestrians, and connects the median where the Arc de Triomphe is located to the sidewalks of Avenue des Champs-Élysées and Avenue de la Grande-Armée.

The Charles de Gaulle square is serve by the RER A and metro lines 1, 2 and 6 under the square, serving it from the Charles de Gaulle – Étoile station. On the surface, the RATP bus lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92 and 341 run all or part of the square and serve it through stops on the various avenues leading to it. At night, the square is served by the Noctilien lines N11, N24, N53, N151 and N153. OF course , me only use the metro line 1 and 6 as well as the RER A here, The others are for information only,

A bit of history I like, This square was created around 1670 at the top of the old butte temoin or witness hill in the northern part of the Chaillot hill. The mound was called the Butte de l’Étoile from 1730 or more commonly the Étoile de Chaillot, because of the alleys which intersect there and give the shape of a star. The architect builder of the King who gave this shape was Ange Gabriel, and he made sure that the path was of an equal slope from the place Louis XV to the Neuilly bridge, was carried out from 1768 to 1774, The mound was lowered by 5 meters and the land removed was used to backfill the Champs-Élysées and to form the slopes of the current rue Balzac and rue Washington. In 1787, during the construction of the wall of the Fermiers généraux or general farmers was created the barrier of the Etoile ,also called barrier of Neuilly, The square was at the limit of the territories of the towns, created in 1790, of Passy which extended to the south of the avenue de la Grande Armée and of Neuilly to the north of this avenue. The town of Passy was annexed to the city of Paris in 1860 forming the 16éme arrondissement as well as the part of the territory of the town of Neuilly corresponding to the Ternes neighborhood of the 17éme arrondissement.

A bit on the arch even if plenty of posts on it, The construction of a triumphal arch in the center of the square, begun in 1806 by order of Napoleon I, and was completed in 1836 under the reign of Louis-Philippe I. The Place Charles de Gaulle in its current appearance was built under the Second Empire on the initiative of Baron Haussmann and Napoleon III. From 1854 and around the Arc de Triomphe,were completed in 1836, twelve avenues in the shape of a Star. The “Hôtels des Maréchaux” or marshall’s hotels , who were twelve in number, they are bordered by the twelve avenues starting in a star around the square. These U-shaped constructions on the rear facade have their entrances on a circular street such as the rue de Tilsit and the rue de Presbourg. The motifs of the facades are common with Greek friezes, pilasters, garlands, balcony with balusters, cornice with modillions decorated with palmettes, etc.

The twelve avenues clockwise are:

The Avenue de Wagram named after the Battle of Wagram won by Napoleon in 1809 in Austria. Formerly boulevard de l’Étoile or boulevard Bezons. The Avenue Hoche named after Lazare Hoche French General. Formerly avenue de la Reine-Hortense under the Second Empire and boulevard Monceau before. The Avenue de Friedland named after the Battle of Friedland won by Napoleon in 1809 in East Prussia since the Second Empire. Formerly boulevard Beaujon, The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, named after the Champs-Élysées, the place of the Underworld where virtuous souls stayed in Greek mythology. The Avenue Marceau named after François Séverin Marceau French General. Formerly avenue Joséphine, The Avenue d’Iéna, named after the Battle of Jena won by Napoleon in 1806 over the Prussians. The Avenue Kléber named after Jean-Baptiste Kléber French General. Formerly avenue du Roi-de-Rome and boulevard de Passy previously. The Avenue Victor-Hugo named after Victor Hugo French writer. Formerly avenue d’Eylau and avenue de Saint-Cloud, The Avenue Foch named after Ferdinand Foch Maréchal de France. Formerly avenue du Bois (de Boulogne) under the Third Republic and avenue de l’Impératrice under the Second Empire, The Avenue de la Grande Armée named after Napoleon I’s army Formerly avenue de Neuilly. The Avenue Carnot named after Lazare Carnot, Member of Parliament and Minister. Formerly avenue d’Essling under the Second Empire named after the lost defeat in 1809, and the Avenue Mac-Mahon named after Edme Patrice Mac-Mahon Marshal of France. Formerly avenue du Prince-Jérôme.


After all the above ,you have these twelve avenues forming six axes: The axis avenue Mac-Mahon and avenue d’Iéna, the axis avenue de Wagram and avenue Kléber, the axis avenue Hoche and avenue Victor-Hugo, the axis avenue de Friedland and avenue Foch, the axis avenue des Champs-Élysées and avenue de la Grande-Armée. And the axis avenue Marceau and avenue Carnot, All ridden by yours truly awesome !!

Paris arc de triomphe on C-E jan12

Some of the grand events on this Place Charles de Gaulle or Etoile in my opinion were : On June 25, 1792 around 21h, the royal family (Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette) entered Paris by the Etoile barrier returning from the flight from Varennes after having bypassed Paris by the outer boulevards. The carriage surrounded by two hedges of National Guards and a silent crowd then descends the Avenue des Champs-Elysées to the Tuileries Palace ( now gone facing the Jardin des Tuileries see post), Also, on April 2, 1810, the day after the civil marriage of Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie-Louise at the castle of Saint-Cloud (now gone just the gardens remain), the imperial procession heading towards the Tuileries Palace where the religious marriage was to be celebrated passed under the Arc de Triomphe under construction covered by a dummy monument with a frame covered with canvas and between the buildings there are lavishly decorated barriers. On December 2, 1852, the day of the proclamation of the Empire, Napoleon III left on horseback from the Château de Saint-Cloud and entered Paris via the Arc-de-Triomphe to reach the Palais des Tuileries, On November 11, 1920, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier was installed.

The Paris tourist office on the square

The Champs-Elysées webpage on the square

There you go folks, a wonderful spot in my eternal Paris. You must have been by there ,now you know a bit of the history, next try a ride by car around it!!!Awesome! The place Charles de Gaulle is one heck of a square to be around while in beautiful Paris. Oh by the way the text is new in my blog, the picture is old . Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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September 16, 2021

Inner Paris transports !!!

This is a subject of many questions over the years by visitors unknown ,closed friends and family members. Paris been a nice side city has a huge choice of local transports that can be confusing to many. However, as I tell my contacts/friends/family coming from big cities , getting public transports in Paris should not be a problem. For me learning the rope of public transports in the NJ/NY metro area, coming to the Paris metro area was a breeze.

I have several posts on transports in Paris on all modes. However, i like to provide more information and remind you of the one mode most ask me questions about, the metro:subway:tube of Paris! Therefore, here is my take on them briefly, if detail questions you can ask me.

One of my biggest affirmation is that once in Paris, walking is the best and sublime way to see the beauty of the most beautiful city in the world above ground. By far, walking is the main mode of travel in Paris, it provides 40% of all daily journeys, whether internal to Paris or between Paris and the suburbs. On the surface, it represents 75% of trips, while sidewalks cover only 40% of the road network. The public transport network in the Paris area is particularly developed. The metro, which provides 20% of Parisian travel (whether internal to Paris or between Paris and the suburbs), which makes it the second most important mode of travel after walking, is its most emblematic representative. Yes and for some reasons beyond me the one that gets more questions and confusion.

I have written many posts on the metro and its lines so rather than redo here is a link to all those posts:Have a good reading folks, and hope it helps. The specific webpage in Paris is the RATP:

Line 1:

Line 2:

Line 3:

Line 4:

Line 5:

Line 6:

Line 7:

Line 8:

Line 9:

Line 10:

Line 11:

Line 12:

Line 13:

Line 14:

Other lines:

The tramway appeared, during the 2000s, as an ideal mode of transport to ensure the transversal service which is lacking in the suburbs (the Transilien lines being rather radial), The Paris area has a large network of bus lines operated in part by the RATP (Paris and inner suburbs), in part by transport companies grouped together within the Optile group under the authority of Île-de- France Mobilitiés.

Paris has six major terminus railway stations (Gare du Nord, Gare Saint-Lazare, Gare de l’Est, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon and Gare d’Austerlitz) providing both main line traffic and commuter traffic. Main line traffic has grown considerably with the TGVs which leave from the Gare de Lyon (to Lyon, Marseille etc), from the Montparnasse station (to Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux etc), Gare du Nord (towards Lille London etc) and, Gare de l’Est (towards Strasbourg, Meaux etc). The Saint-Lazare station is the first station for the number of departing trains (suburbs and main lines) while the Gare du Nord is the first for trafic, Seven of the eight suburban railway lines (Transilien) end in the large Parisian stations in cul-de-sac and complete the heavy service to the suburbs provided by the regional express network of Île-de-France (RER) . The five RER lines (A B C D E ) are rail gauge lines serving both the suburbs and the center of Paris.

More info on the Paris train stations in French:

Paris has had a constantly growing network of cycle paths since 1996 ,The market was taken over in 2018 by the Smoovengo consortium, which offers 30% of electrically assisted bicycles, There are about 17000 taxis in Paris, with Taxi ranks organized into three categories: 28 large stations are located near the main tourist sites or major city squares with taxis available 24/7; 90 neighborhood stations located near the main traffic axes and 316 local stations located near public buildings (hospitals, hotels, theaters, etc.) and intended for the removal and collection of users. They provide 0.5% of Parisian trips.

Find your Vélib station here:

Find your Taxi stand here:

The road network includes about 800 km of highways in Île-de-France. There are about ten radials, the main ones being the Autoroute du Soleil (Dijon, Lyon, Marseille), the Autoroute du Nord (Lille), the autoroute de Normandie (Rouen, Caen, Le Havre), Autoroute de l’Est (Reims, Metz, Strasbourg), Autoroute d’Aquitaine (Orléans, Bordeaux) and Autoroute de l’Océane (Le Mans, Nantes) as well as three circular ring road surrounding historic Paris, the A 86 motorway, completely encircled in 2008, located in the inner suburbs and the Francilienne traced about ten km further outside. The average speed is 15.2 km / h, but 17.3 km / h after 20h and 17.8 km / h before 7h (even if the mayor of Paris impose a 70 kph limit! in the BP boulevard périphérique) Electronic sensors are placed in the roadway of the main Parisian axes and almost all of the region’s highways. From August 30 2021 Paris has enforced the 30 kph limit inside Paris proper. The data make it possible to determine the flow of traffic and to indicate traffic jams and estimated travell times between different characteristic points handle by the SYTADIN system. webpage:

The old STIF is today the Ïle de France Mobilités for all transports even in English :

There you go folks, a condense information post on the inner transports of Paris with heavey emphasis on the metro/subway/tube as per popular demand. Hope it helps you travel smoothly thru and in Paris in your future travels to the capital of my belle France.

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

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September 15, 2021

The Beaubourg of Paris !!

Ok while in Paris passed by several times and visited once, the area ambiance was my main motive to stop by over the years. I admit contemporary arts is not my forte, I am from an older era ::) However, this is one of the monuments to see while in Paris, a must. Therefore, let me give you an introduction to the Centre Pompidou or as we call it  the Beaubourg! 

The Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture (CNAC), commonly known as the Georges Pompidou Center, or Centre Pompidou or the Centre Beaubourg or simply the Beaubourg is a polycultural institution born from the will of the President. Georges Pompidou, a great lover of modern art, created in the heart of Paris an original cultural institution entirely devoted to modern and contemporary creation, where visual arts would be associated with books, design, music and cinema. It is located in the Saint-Merri neighborhood or quartier, in 4éme arrondissement or district of Paris, between the neighborhoods of Les Halles, in the west, and the Marais, in the east.  On January 31, 1977, the Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture was inaugurated by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in the presence of Prime Minister Raymond Barre, Mrs. Claude Pompidou and numerous personalities. Later on February 2, it was opened to the public.


Within the National Museum of Modern Art / Center for Industrial Creation (MNAM / CCI), it has one of the world’s three largest collections of modern and contemporary art and the first in Europe. It also houses major galleries of temporary exhibitions, theaters and cinemas, and the BPI, the first public reading library in Europe. On either side of the square, two annexes house the IRCAM and the Brancusi workshop. 


At the end of 1997, after having celebrated its twentieth anniversary, the center closes its doors to be renovated in depth. Since its reopening on January 1, 2000, these changes have made it possible to exhibit more works and offer more dance, theater and music performances. The space dedicated to young people is also developed with the new children’s gallery where two exhibitions are presented each year. Since December 2003, Espace 315, located on the first level, south side (just before the south gallery), hosts, on 315 m2, contemporary artists. It is here that the winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize is exhibited every year.


The main building, 166 meters long, 45 meters wide (60 counting the exterior escalator) and 42 meters high (52 meters on the square side), consists of eight floors accessible to the public of 7,500 m2 each, including two floors of basement (-1 and 0), the street floor being at level 1 of the mezzanine, a useful floor area of approximately 45,000 m2, given the voids of the first floors of the Forum and the courtyards located at 5th and 6th floors, which roughly correspond to the floor area. Nevertheless, the building actually has a total area of 103,305 m2 on ten floors, taking into account the technical and parking spaces that extend to the square, and not including the 600 m2 Brancusi workshop and IRCAM. The height between each plateau is seven meters under ceiling except that of the Forum which is ten meters. The upper floors offer a wide and wonderful view of Paris. It is reached by the diagonal of the external escalators which, crossing the entire zigzag façade, give the building its visual signature.

The museum is divided into section too long for me to describe fully here but these are ,the National Museum of Modern Art and the Industrial Creation Center, the Public Library Information; the Atelier Brancusi, on the square, and the IRCAM at place Stravinsky square. A specific building houses the Institute for Research and Acoustic Coordination / Music, including a gauge room and variable acoustics, studios, anechoic chamber and a media library. the offices as well as certain activities are distributed in four buildings in the immediate vicinity of the center.

Beyond the controversies aroused by an architecture that appeared daring before finding its place in the landscape and in the urban fabric of Paris, the Centre Pompidou has quickly established itself as an important success in terms of attendance, thanks to an attractive diversified programming and with staggered opening hours. The Centre Georges Pompidou rehabilitated in France the museum concept, which was in a state of collapse at the time of its creation, and its success was at the origin of the proliferation of museum institutions in the 1980s and 1990s. Arts always Paris!

The official Centre Pompidou:

The Paris tourist office on the Centre Pompidou:

There you go folks another wonder of my Paris, in my belle France open to the world. And even if not my favorite (need to say this) it is a must to visit while in France! Centre Pompidou for what is due.

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

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September 8, 2021

My family trace in France, roots Français!!!

Well its about time I give some refresher to this old post and tell you all and especially my newest readers a bit more on my history, especially the French one. I have said my blog is a tracing of my life’s history all is here since birth. My family enjoys it and my sons hopefully will carry it on for the family memories. Let me tell you all proudly my family trace in France, racines Français!!! OF course, most of these towns have their separate post in my blog.

In the continuing saga of family roots and places of yesteryear and today and tomorrow, etc. Ok ,I will tell you about the roots =racines of my family in France, les frenchies as I call them ho ho ho (even if I am too since 2000). This will be of course, in my black and white series, no pictures. As you might know, sometimes when you have the chance to be in a gorgeous country and world acclaim like France, everybody tells you ,have you been there? like France is a miniature country and not aware of the enormous tourist potential here! Even the city of Versailles did a survey on visitors to the palace, found out 98% of them just visit the palace!! c’mon you don’t even go to see up the road ave de Paris the Menus Plaisir where the French constitution was written and now a wonderful baroque music conservatory is now there!! Well there you have it, we live here but cannot be everywhere, with time we will see everything; maybe, we will need good health too. Anyway, this is our roots here in France with a bit on each place. Hope you enjoy knowing the French….. Welcome to the French Republic or the République Française or France!

The wonderful museum of the Great War in the country of Meaux dedicated to the WWI (the Great War is how it is known here the First World War), and especially to the two battles of the Marne (1914 and 1918), opened in 2011. Meaux is crossed by the road N3, old royal road also known as the Germany way. The N3 is ,also, link to the expressway /Autoroute A4 passing south of the city and arriving at Meaux by the A140. Meaux is a town of Art and HIstory designation and a four flower label as a flower town of France. The navigation of the Marne river is authorize by boat/peniche and other motor boats with a wonderful pleasure harbor marina, sailing, Canoë/Kayak club. Meaux has a river beach and is one of the rare town to have swimming in the Marne river. The historical spectacle of Meaux,held during June, July, August, and September in the gallo roman ramparts is magnificent way to see life in the middle ages done by actors; check for official days;see the wonderful episcopal city which includes the St Stephen Cathedral or Cathédrale Saint-Étienne built in the 12-15C and the Episcopal palace built in the 12-16C including the museum Bossuet , the old palace of canons of the Cathedral and the old chapter in the jardin Bossuet, 17C, and the ramparts garden credited to André Le Nôtre , etc etc, really a wonderful town. My dear late wife Martine was born in Meaux, forever in my memory. RIP

Meaux , of course is in departément 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the region of Île-de-France. Old capital of the Brie region, the Meldes were celts made their Lantinum their capital. After the Roman conquest the name of Meldes still exist and the town takes the name of Meldis. The Christianism is preached to the Meldes in the 3C by Saint Denis and his successor Saint Saintin was the first bishop of Meaux. During the WWI Meaux was the theater of the first Battle of the Marne. The old bridge over the Marne was destroyed to stop the advance of the Germans. the combats around the town of Meaux or the pocket of Meaux during this first battle of the Marne between August 30 and September 12 1914 was furious; there were battles known as the Ourcq and Marais de Saint-Gond were huge within the overall Battle of the Marne. The liberty in tears by the American Frederick MacMonnies, better known as the American Monument or the monument of Varreddes was a huge statue of 22 meters high, erected in 1932 on the road leading to the town of Varreddes and also Chambry was done in the memory of the French fallen during the first Battle of the Marne. The monument was done on the forward advance line of the Germans in their drive to Paris in 1914.

The city of Meaux on its heritage:

The Meaux country tourist office:

My wife’s mother or my mother-in-law was born here in Villenoy, a small town in the département 77 or Seine-et-Marne , in the region of Île-de-France. The town is bordered by the Marne river on the southeast side of the canal de l’Ourcq passes by it. The road I took many times and still do as it has no tolls or péage is the N3 passing to the north of the town. The name of the town was first noticed in the 7C on a will and last testament of Aldegonde of Maubeuge,that the town belong at the time part of the abbey of Maubeuge. In the 12C , the bishop of Meaux creates a parish and the first Church was built.The Church of Sainte-Aldegonde rebuilt in the 17C. At the end of March 1814, the town had combats just around it and inside the town when the Russians entered Meaux. The biggest battles took place in the quarter of faubourg Cornillon in Meaux. The war of 1870, caused heavy damaged to the town and lots of requisitions. There is a anti aircraft bunker that could house hundreds and built between 1938 and 1940, restored in 2013. It was designed to protect the personnel of the sugar factory nearby in the parc de l’Hôtel-de-Ville.

The city of Villenoy on its heritage:

The mother in law lived in Chambry, and another sister too (the step father lives there now, the father figure I knew as bio father passed away when wife was 10). Another town in the département 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the région of Île-de-France. There is a legend that town was given by Jules Ceaser to one of his legionaries in the 1C , with the first mention of the town dates from the 12C. The town was the scene of heavey combat during the famous battle of the Ourcq (September 1914), that was part of the bigger conflict in the area of the Battle of the Marne. You have a monument known as the Four Roads built in 1915 on ordered of general Galliéni dedicated in memory of the soldiers of the Paris army that won this battle It is a national necropolis with a French cemetary as well as a German cemetary (1918). You have the St Peter and St Paul Church or Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, from the 15C, damaged in 1940 and restored after 1944. Well I joked with in laws, that Julius Ceaser did indeed past by here because there is not much all surrounded by wheat fields. The city hall is Mairie de Chambry, 10, rue de la Ville 77910 Chambry.Tel +33 (0)1 64 34 04 77 no webpage! It has less than 1K folks! My mother-in-law passed away last November 2020. RIP

Then, nearby there is a sister at Étrépilly. A national neocropole with tombs and ossuaries of the fallen in WWI fallen while the battle around Étrépilly in 1914. During the Battle of the Ourcq, September 7 1914 ,the 2e Regiment of Zouaves were here and were stop the charge before the cemetary where the German were in trenches during the charge half the men felled together with their commanding officer lieutenant-coronel Dubujadoux. You can see the St John the Baptist Church or Saint-Jean-Baptiste. The city hall is at Mairie 4 Place Christian de Bartillat 77139 Etrepilly, Tél: +33 (0) 1 64 36 61 19 ; of course no webpage; of course another town with less than 1K folks!

Another sister lives at Chauconin-Neufmontiers also of course in the département 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the région of Île-de-France. The first mention of the town of Chauconin was shown in texts of the 8C under the name Coconiacum ,with the town of Neufmontiers, was shown from the 13C created by the abbots of Saint Faron in Meaux, which has now no trace, the fusion of the two towns was done in 1972 as Chauconin-Neufmontiers. The Battle of the Ourcq as known here the Battle of the Marne bigger theater. The Saint Saturnin Church or Saint-Saturnin de Chauconin,built in the 16-17C. In the 18C the relics of an old Church in the village nearby were transfered to the current Church. This Church serves as an example of the change from gothic to renaissance styles. The Church of Saint-Barthélemy de Neufmontiers, 20C served as a hospital in the first Battle of the Marne in WWI, September 5-13,1914. Jeanne d’Arc passed by Chauconin on her way to Reims by the road we now call the road of Reims that goes from Chauconin towards Crégy-lès-Meaux. Painter Maurice Utrillo painted the the burning farm of Chauconin or « La ferme incendiée à Chauconin, near Meaux where the Church of Chauconin appears in the background within the context of WWI.

The city of Chauconin-Neufmontiers on its heritage:

A younger brother lives at Nanteuil-lès-Meaux a town as well in department 77 of Seine-et-Marne in the region of Île-de-France. The Marne river marks the northern limits of the town. Here you have a protestant temple built in 1827. This one was a replacement to one built in the village of Chermont around 1570 and destroyed after the enactment of the edit of Nantes in 1685, one of the first ones built in France at the end of the 16C. Nanteuil-lès-Meaux becomes the Capital of Protestant Briard following the disappearance of the Cénacle of Meaux. there is, also, the Saint Georges Church of the 18C.

The city of Nanteuil-les-Meaux on its heritage :

Let’s go south! to Lavaur, where my wife’s bio father was born, a town in the département 81 of the Tarn,in the region of Occitanie. Located in a triangle of Albi, Toulouse, and Carcassonne. The town is on the borders of the Agout river,on the hills of the cocagne country. On the east north east of Toulous ,south of Gaillac and west of Castres. It is seen written for the first time in 1025 and by 1035 as a enclosed town. By 1065, there was written a constitution of the Lavaur, given by the monks of the abbey of Sainte-Foy of Conques. In 1098, it was built the Saint Alain Church in a prairie offered by the monks of the abbey of Saint-Pons of Thomières, by Isarn, bishop of Toulouse. You have here now the Saint Alain Cathedral built 13-15C with the only jacquemart in the southwest of France. The Bishop’s garden old French style gardens done by the bishop and renovated in the 19C in the English style. St Francis Church also known as the Cordeliers built in the 13-15C with a great organ of 1866. The Plô old site of the old Castle today gone, attached by the King by the consuls in 1622, and now arranged into a nice promenade later esplanade from the 17C. The tower or Tour des Rondes, one of the last remaining from the fortifications of the old town and today the tourist office. The monastery of Clarists founded in 1642 destroyed during the French revolution and restored in 1802; the current chapel from 1837 has a in a chase the body of Sainte Clémentine,a Roman Virgin and martyr discovered in one of the catacombs of Rome. The lavaur bridge in stone and cement over the Agout river built in 1773-1791, and the grains warehouse or Halle aux Grains, built in 1880. Her father passed away on a car accident on the road D87 between Lavaur and Gaillac , RIP, while attending his brother’s funeral on November 17 1968. Our twins boys were born November 17….

The city of Lavaur on its heritage:

There are still cousins at Montans , a town in the département 81 of the Tarn, in the region of Occitanie. You can reach it by the expressway/autoroute A68 exit or sortie 9 ,and the by the road N88.  The Gallois produce pottery here on the site of Montans and after the Roman occopation the town became one of the most important early on our era o the production of potteries. The findings are presented in the Archéosite de Montans, a museum and conservation center since opening in 1995 retracing the history of the prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. There is a gallo roman road in the principal street of Montans as well as a house of the ceramic worker where you can imagine life as it was in the 1C. All year round there are animations, events, demonstrations, expositions, shops and spectacles.

The town of Montans on its heritage:

Other cousins are still around/in Graulhet, also in the département 81 of the Tarn in the region of Occitanie. Located at the heart of the Tarn at equal distance from Castres and Albi in a valley parallel to the axis Toulouse-Albi but with no train station , and for the same reasons a bit on the distant of the roads such as A68 that links Toulouse with Albi,and do link by the D964 to Gaillac. The Roman presence here was big with evidence of a center gallo-romain. In 1166, Graulhet, been a lordship passes under the domain of the Counts of Toulouse.In 1484, again the lordship passes to the house of Amboise, due to the marriage of Hugues d’Amboise d’Aubijoux with Madeleine de Lescun d’Armagnac. You can still see here the Château de Lézignac, 17C, the old bridge built in 1244 ; the quaint medieval neighborhood of Panessac, narrow and with many mansions in wood embellished from the 16-17C . The wonderful Hostellerie du Lyon d’Or, a medieval mansion. Henri of Navarre, future king Henri IV, did a gourmand stop here. You can still see the Cross of Saint Andrew from the 15C on a nice facade with showing roman numerals on the wooden sides. The Church Notre-Dame-du-Val-d’Amour,which at its foundation you see a funeral stone of Louis d’Amboise d’Aubijoux, also the leather house or Maison des Métiers du cuir to visit the transformation of leather from the skin to the objects done with leather.

The city of Graulhet on its heritage:

And we go north or nord to the older brother at Caudry. The town is located in the south of the département 59 or Nord in the region of Hauts-de-France. Lots of fabrication of tulle and lace by mechanical means where the quality was crowned in the international exposition of Brussels in 1910. Caudry shares with Calais the title of the world Capital of lace of Calais design to go into high fashion garments. The town is ,also, named City of occupations and Arts in 1995. It is located about 14 km from Cambrai, and 62 km from Lille . It is south of the D643 road, the old N43 that links Cambrai with Charleville-Mézières. The origins of the town are not well known but it can be said goes back to the Merorvingians era as many passages mentioned the martyrdom of Maxellende. Caudry was anneexed to the kingdom of France by the treaty of Nimègue signed in 1678, after that taken of Cambrai by king Louis XIV in 1677. During WWI Caudry was occupied by German troops mostly all the war period ; entering the town in August 1914 with the city hall serving as HQ. The town was again occupied during WWII when the Nazis entered in May 1940; the town was liberated by an American 5th Armored Division on September 3, 1944. You can see here: Brasserie l’Union des Coopérateurs du Cambrésis, rue Charles-Gide ; Brasserie-malterie Lemaire et Defossez ,rue de Saint Quentin ; the industrial house of maison Dumont, built in 1947, rue Émile-Salembier. The laces museum or Musée caudrésien des dentelles et broderies in the factory of Théophile et Jean-Baptiste Carpentier, where the brick building dates from 1898. In its collections you can trace the history of the knitting machines. It does expositions and learning shops for the children. Caudry has an underground carved from chalk around the 10C to hide the population in times of needs. it was not known until discovered in 1847. The underground goes into three directions , the part under the rue de la Paix has 14 rooms and a a gallery at 13 meters deep and 74 meters long. In 1916-1917, caving of the land allowed the Germans to discovered a great part of it , and it was fitted as an ammunitions depot; while retreating in 1918 the German blew up the entrance and a part of the cave. The parish of Caudry is mentinoed since 1181 , and the Basilica of Sainte Maxdellende was done as the previous one was too small and was in bad shape. The new one was started in 1887, consecration in 1890 and was raised to basilica minor by a Papal briefing in 1991.

The city of Caudry on its heritage:

These are the towns we have been so many times, know them well, and after the years and the losses , many memories in them to remember forever. So now you know a bit about me and my French family in my belle France.

The Dept 77 Seine et Marne tourist office:

The Dept 81 Tarn tourist office:

The Dept 59 Nord tourist office:

There you go folks , a bit more of me , us in France. For the memories, for eternity ,for the blog, and to share with the world. Enjoy the reading as I did writing this post. Again, thank you for reading me since November 2010!

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

September 3, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXLII

Well is that time again, need to tell you about some news from France. As you might know, September is the rentrée or re-entry month where we all come back from our long vacations and things begin to groove again, like school is back and in other times conferences, conventions were galore. OF course, this year will be less but nevertheless, its still rentrée in France. Now for the news…

In the interests of ecology, metro tickets will gradually disappear. And we are starting next October 2021 with the end of the book of 10 tickets, sold until then for 16.90€ (compared to € 1.90 per single ticket). They will give way to dematerialized transport tickets which will be loaded onto an electronic card. For now, it will still be possible to purchase single cardboard tickets. This card, therefore, called Pass Navigo Easy, can be bought for 2€ at the terminals and can be recharged at will. Unlike the Navigo Pass that we know, it is non-nominative and can be lent to other travelers. The purchase price of the card will be quickly refunded, since the notebook will cost 2€ less on it than with cardboard tickets. RATP webpage:

The Fun fair of Neuneu (old name but folks still call it,now is Bois de Boulogne) is back at the Bois de Boulogne until October 17. More than a hundred stands are set up between the Rond-Point de la Porte de la Muette and the lake in a wooded setting with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The opportunity to find the ghost train, the bumper cars or the “little Fousset”, troubadour who scrolls on the stage of his trailer a swarm of endearing and funny characters. And discover new attractions such as the Booster Maxx or the Surf Party, reserved for thrill seekers, or the India caterpillar. webpage:

No more long lines of customers going up the Boulevard Rochechouart (18éme), their arms laden with pink gingham plastic bags. Although taken over in 2017 by the GPG group (Gifi), old venerable store Tati, already challenged by the arrival of new inexpensive ready-to-wear giants, has not withstood the Covid crisis. In July 2020, the announcement was made of the permanent closure of the historic store, despite an investment plan of 150 million euros. Now, future historic Tati building in Barbès 18éme, will be renovated with shops, a restaurant, a hotel, and housing. One to look at once done. See the store online for now:

The opening, in the heart of the Marais, of a free dog park has turned into a standoff between residents and animal owners to the detriment of the latter. Dog lovers accuse the City of neglecting the canine cause. Oh Paris is not going where it should lately. Don’t dispair , there are several parks for dogs allowed in Paris; see them here:

Canceled last year due to the health crisis, the Les Coleurs du Val d’Oise fireworks festival returns this Saturday at the Enghien-Soisy racecourse, for its thirteenth edition. For nearly two hours, spectators will be able to immerse themselves in the world of Chihiro travel, a classic of Hayao Miyazaki, Arthur and the Invisibles, Mulan or even the Snow Queen. webpage:

This is the 35th store opened in France and the only one to date in Ile-de-France in Provins, Seine et Marne dept 77. By renting a stand for one to several weeks, salespeople benefit from the duration to sell clothes, objects and furniture, in addition to certain free services. Location, Au Vide Grenier, 3 avenue de la Voulzie facing Feu Vert auto store. webpage:

Carrefour launches into the battle for discount in Île-de France with its Supeco brand, already established in the North and East of France. It is Carrefour’s anti-Lidl weapon . The first Supeco in the region opens this Wednesday in Buchelay, in the Yvelines 78. webpage:

The Museum of the Great War opened its doors on November 11, 2011. This weekend will be held the traditional historical reconstruction open to all and free, More than 300 enthusiasts of everything related to the First World War will reconstitute, this weekend in the immediate vicinity of the museum of the Great War in Meaux, scenes from the First Battle of the Marne, which took place from September 5 to 9, 1914 a few kilometers away. On the program, vehicles of 14-18, soldiers in uniform from several countries and air battles with vintage planes, because the place of memory opened on November 11, 2011 – 11/11/11! – and announces what visitors will find there over the next twelve months. The first, which will be inaugurated on November 11, will look back on ten years of donations. The collection of Jean-Pierre Verney (the one behind the creation of the museum) numbered 50,000 objects. Today we are at 70,000 objects. The second exhibition, which will open in March 2022, will focus on trench systems. This will explain that they have existed since the dawn of time. But the trenches of the Great War resulted in the evolution of weaponry and had an impact on men. Museum of the Great War, rue Lazare-Ponticelli in Meaux. Information on +33 (0) , I say a must to see; webpage:

The castle of the pediatric center of Loges-en-Josas ,Yvelines 78, selected for the Loto du patrimoine,(heritage lotto to finance their renovations) by Stéphane Bern, the pediatric center of Côtes .The site accommodates, in the 19C building, children who have undergone major surgical operations. A nice wonderful work and pretty building that now will be save for generations to come and Children to benefit from. It’s worth seeing it for its architecture. webpage:

Through rare period drawings, the new exhibition at the Musée Condé (Chantilly castle) allows us to decipher the arrival of the Italian Renaissance movement via the construction of the Château de Fontainebleau and its influence on French art. As part of this new exhibition, the Musée Condé has unearthed some fifty pieces from the Fontainebleau school in its graphic arts cabinet. They are visible until November 7 2021. We must first go back to 1528 when King François I left the banks of the Loire to launch a major project to embellish his Château de Fontainebleau. He brings in the greatest artists from the peninsula to transform the place. These painters and sculptors popularize a formula called to great success, what will be called much later “the school of Fontainebleau”. These masterpieces were brought together by Henri d´Orléans, Duke of Aumale, former owner and legatee of the Cantilian collections, who had a strong interest in the French Renaissance. Son of King Louis-Philippe, he stayed regularly in his youth in Fontainebleau and was inspired by it for the reconstruction of Chantilly. Near his home, the Duke also regularly had the opportunity to admire one of the rare period frescoes preserved in France, at the Abbey of Chaalis. Le trait de la seduction, Drawings from the Fontainebleau School, until November 7 at the Graphic Arts Cabinet of the Château de Chantilly. Exhibition included in the 1-day ticket (Castle, park, Grandes Écuries, temporary exhibitions) Full price: 17€ webpage:

Immersed in the “ghost” Saint-Martin metro station, closed to travelers since 1939, forbidden to the public at the start of WWII, this station, located between Strasbourg-Saint-Denis and République and where lines 8 and 9 intersect, offers a maze of mysterious and fascinating corridors, On the forecourt of the Renaissance Theater, a stone’s throw from the Porte Saint-Martin (see post), a discreet staircase leads to one of the metro’s most secret places. The “ghost station” Saint-Martin, offers a fascinating dive into history. In 1999,the transport network RATP renovates the station as a solidarity space of insertion managed by the Salvation Army charitable organisation to help the poor entered society. Pass by it take a look worth for the history. This is Paris!

On September 18 and 19,2021 the European Heritage Days will allow you to discover unusual places: embassies, factories, stations, palaces … these visits are often taken by storm, but reservations are possible to avoid the queues , Each place defines hours and conditions, as it is Covid-19 reservation policy … the novelty this year for the Heritage Days will also be the requirement or not of the health pass to access the places according to the reception conditions (open air or not , visitor level greater than 50 people, etc …), Information webpage:

From the post-war period to the Pantheon, Joséphine Baker born in Missouri USA in 1906, her real name Freda Josephine McDonald, naturalized French in 1937; this artist and figure of the Resistance will be the first black woman to enter the Parisian necropolis, On November 30,2021 Joséphine Baker (see post) will become the first black woman to enter the Pantheon.(see post) A decision taken at the end of August by Emmanuel Macron to honor the memory of the Franco-American singer, icon of the Roaring Twenties. Suffice to say that the artist, nicknamed “the black Venus”, experienced her greatest hours of glory long before the creation of the newspaper Le Monde (text taken from it) , in 1944. It was not until 1949. webpage:

Taste of Paris! Located in the heart of the ephemeral Grand Palais, this festival will take you to discover local products, their artisans and their know-how. The appointment is given. From September 16 to 19, 2021, Taste of Paris takes over the ephemeral Grand Palais to offer you signature dishes from forty great Parisian chefs, but also ,and above all, products from producers and artisans from all over France. A real godsend for all those passionate about cooking and good wines! Webpage:

The Harry Potter pop-up store is taking up residence,in the Marais Paris by next December 2021 (site says july 31 but you know covid). The Wizard’s Shop, entirely dedicated to this universe. You can find a large selection of board games, toys and other goodies on the theme of the wizarding school, scarves and accessories to wear the colors of your house, stationery or even the mythical wands from Ollivander, and even some of the most popular candies among wizards like chocolate frogs or Bertie Hook’s surprise dragees! All within an absolutely magical setting. Beautiful collector’s items will also be present, as well as exclusives such as mystery boxes by houses. The decoration of the shop will be directly inspired by the great room and the common room of Gryffindor, to transport you even more to Hogwarts. The Wizard’s Shop, 130 Rue de Turenne 3éme; opening hours so far will be Tuesday to Sunday from 11h to 19h. However, I see we have a closer store in Nantes! webpage:

At the start of 2022, Serge Gainsbourg’s famous house will be transformed into a museum to the delight of nostalgics and other curious people. Located at 5 bis, rue de Verneuil, 7éme, The Gainsbourg house or at least its facade is well known to residents, but few people have had the chance to enter it. For the 30 years of the artist’s death, Jane Birkin has nevertheless confirmed that this mansion will be transformed into a museum, The museum will be accompanied by a bookstore-boutique, a piano-bar at night and a café baptized “Gainsbarre”. The opening of the ticket office is already scheduled for this fall 2021. webpage:

There you go folks, a load of goodies in my belle France. WE all got the health pass already so now figuring where we go lol!!! So many choices yikes! Hope you are all doing well and ready to travel again. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

August 29, 2021

Place de la République of Paris!!

So back to my eternal Paris again, yes again. Paris is eternal there is no time limit or enough writing on it. We just keep on ticking on Paris forever. This is an update on text and links on a very popular square dear to me as one of the properties that reported to me sits here still, and when in Paris visiting on personal time, always stayed in hotels around it.  It is a magical place and one you need to know the schedule or news so not be squeezed in with crowds (strikes), you know what I mean. I am going to tell you a bit more on the Place de la République or Republic square of Paris. Enough has been written on it, this is my take more on the history part I like.

paris pl de la republique from Indiana cafe sep15

The Place de la République, formerly known as Place du Château d’Eau, was designed by Baron Haussmann in 1854. In its midst stands the Statue of the Republic of 10 meters high on a space of 3.4 ha, and located bordering the 3éme, 10éme, and 11éme arrondissements of Paris. The streets coming off of it are in a clockwise direction: Boulevard de Magenta, rue Beaurepaire, rue Léon-Jouhaux, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, Avenue de la Republique, Boulevard Voltaire, Boulevard du Temple, rue du Temple, Boulevard Saint-Martin, and rue René-Boulanger. The place de la République was the subject of a complete redevelopment in order to leave more room for pedestrians, done and now easier flow of traffic as well. The year 1904 saw the end of the construction of Line 3 of the Metro and the inauguration of the metro station République under the square. Metro Lines 5, 8, and 9 will later be built and also serve the square. The last, the line 11 is inaugurated in 1935!


The north side of the square is occupied by buildings on the site of what was the Diorama founded in 1822 by Daguerre. The shops together, the barracks of the Place de la République, built in 1854, originally named Prince Eugene Barracks, it takes the name of Vérines. The Statue of the Republic in bronze, 10 meters high, rests on a pedestal of 15.50 meters was installed from 1880 to 1883. The three large stone statues of the pedestal represent freedom, equality and brotherhood. The stone pedestal is surrounded by twelve bronze bas-reliefs which represent the major events at the origin of the birth of the French Republic, between 1789 and 1880. A green bronze lion, 3 meters high, is lying at the foot of the monument. Initially it was in its center, the fountain of the Nubian Lions which became too small when the square was widened ,and place instead in front of the Grand Halle de la Villette. It was then replaced by the Fontaine aux Lions in 1875, which was itself transferred at present place Félix Eboué following the installation in 1880 of the current Statue of the Republic.


A bit of history I like

In the years 1670-1680, the enclosure of Charles V, built in the 14C, is razed and a course is laid out in its location. A small triangular square is located at the site of the bastion of the Temple gate the square was slightly further west than the present square. It was located above the Rue des Fosses-Saint-Martin (later known as Rue Bondy, then Rue René-Boulanger). This street marks the limit of the old square it is originally only part of Boulevard Saint-Martin But it takes in the 19C the name of Place du Château d’Eau in reference to a fountain called   Château d’Eau (watertower), installed on the square in 1811.

The place takes its present physiognomy in the context of the transformations of Paris under the Second Empire (Napoleon III). The Prince Eugene Barracks, later called Château d’Eau barracks and later still Vérines barracks. Subsequently, several boulevards are projected: piercing of the Boulevard du Prince-Eugène (current boulevard Voltaire) and the beginning of the present Avenue de la République, declared public utility in 1857 and extension of the Boulevard du Nord (current Boulevard de Magenta) between Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin and the Château l’Eau, declared public utility in 1859. The administration of Baron Haussmann produces a large rectangular square of 280 meters long by 120 meters wide. A large part of the theaters of the Boulevard du Temple are then razed; notably the theatre-history or theatre-lyric founded by Alexandre Dumas in 1847, and disappeared by 1850. In 1866 it was built on the square the magasins réunies.

The square takes its present name in 1879 the monument consists of a colossal statue of Marianne (representing the French Republic)  in bronze of 10 meters high on a stone base of 15 meters high where are seated allegories of freedom, equality and brotherhood. The fountain of the Château d’Eau of Davioud was resettled in 1880 to the Place Daumesnil (present place Félix-Éboué), in the 12éme arrondissement. On 1 July 2013 the Terrace Emilian-Moreau-Évrard, the Esplanade André-Tollet, and the terrace of the   commander-Jacques-Blasquez were inaugurated, in homage to their acts of resistance during WWII. Sometimes, because of its name and the symbolism linked to it, but mainly because of its accessibility and its location at the crossroads of great avenues, this is one of the usual places of the Parisian demonstrations, most often at the initiative of Political organizations of the left or trade unions. But the place de la République was also the framework chosen in 1958 by General de Gaulle for a demonstration, on September 4, in favour of the yes to the referendum establishing the Constitution of the fifth Républic as it rules France today.


Some building of note according to me are at No. 1: Passage Vendôme, No. 10: Magasins Réunis and Hotel Crowne Plaza; (One old work property reported to me while working in Paris! ), and No. 12: Vérines Barracks; It has been hosting the Republican Guard since 1947.

The Paris tourist office on the place de la République

It is really one of the squares to be in, and many nice places to eat around it as well as close to many sights and great transportation hub. Place de la République, enjoy it as I do each time in Paris.

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

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August 29, 2021

Church Saint Merri of Paris!

Ok so I told you how much I have walked all over Paris and that I worked in it for 9 years while living just next door in Versailles! Well, I have, also told you that there is so many things to see here that you will need a lifetime. Ok so this is one monument I had never been inside! Passed by it as it is in a popular area, had my pints but never occur to me to go inside until now. There is always time to indulge in Paris and there is always new things to see . Let me tell you a bit on the Church Saint Merri of Paris!


The Saint-Merri Church is located near the Centre Georges-Pompidou (see post) at the intersection of rue Saint-Martin and rue de la Verrerie  by No 76 in the 4éme arrondissement of Paris. The name Saint-Merri comes from the abbot St. Mederic, who died in the year 700, canonized and renamed Saint Merri by contraction. The remains of this Saint still rest in the crypt of the church!

A bit of history I like

Tradition has it that Médéric, abbot of the abbey of Saint-Martin d’Autun, came to live as a hermit in a hut near the oratory Saint-Pierre-des-Bois which stood at this place. He died in 700 and was buried there and the oratory was transformed into a chapel under the name of Saint-Pierre-des-Bois Chapel or more simply Saint-Pierre Chapel. In 884, the bishop of Paris exhumed the body , and put in a shrine the remains of Saint-Médéric, which will become Saint-Merri, now considered as relics. It is at this time that Saint-Médéric is chosen to become the patron Saint of the rive droite or right bank of Paris, and the chapel then taking the name of Saint-Médéric Chapel or Chapel Saint-Merri.  Around 1010, the bishop of Paris, donated it to the chapter of Notre-Dame. Becoming collegiate, it is then served by a community of seven canons from the chapter. In 1200, the church built in its place is erected in parish under the name of Saint-Merri. It is thus one of the four daughters of Notre Dame, and the last remaining one today.

The current Church St Merri was built between 1515 and 1612. The crypt, the nave, and the aisles date from 1515-1520, the arms and the cross of the transept from 1526-1530, the choir and the apse were completed in 1552, while the work ended in 1612, when the bell tower is raised one floor. The  18C is for the church an era of reshuffle , when the rood screen of 1558 is destroyed in 1709, rework the choir whose arched bows are bent and covered as the pillars of a marble veneer and stucco. The floor is covered with a marble pavement, the furniture is renewed and the stained glass windows are partly replaced by white glass.  Closed in 1793 because of the French revolution, the Church of Saint Merri becomes a saltpetre factory. From 1797 to 1801, theophilanthropes made it the “Temple of Commerce”.  The church ended up being returned to Catholic worship in 1803.


The Church Saint Merri is entirely flamboyant Gothic, with no trace of Renaissance architecture. Its layout evokes that of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris. It was administered by seven canons of the cathedral and was nicknamed Notre Dame le petit or little Notre Dame.  The facade is flamboyant Gothic style. A little further up is a slender, narrow campanile whose wooden top contains a very old bell dating back to 1331, which would probably be the oldest in Paris!


The nave with five spans and ogive vault was completed in 1520. The transept was completed in 1526.  The choir, completed in 1552, its length is substantially the same as the nave. The Chapel of the communion was built in 1743 , it consists of three square bays symbolizing the real world, lit by three oval lanterns, with arches separated by Corinthian pilasters. The openwork cupolas symbolize the celestial vault. The square bell tower having been endowed with a third floor in 1612, has found since the fire of 1871 its height of origin of two floors. On the left, you can see an octagonal turret decorated with arcatures, surmounted by a campanile sheltering the oldest bell of Paris c. 1331. The crypt, completed in 1515 under the fifth chapel on the left of the nave, houses since 1884 the shrine containing the relics of Saint Merri. Dating from the 16C, the presbytery of Saint-Merri was remodeled in 1731.


The decorative elements of the current Church Saint Merri are inspired by themes honored after the Council of Trent and during the spiritual renewal of the 17C. Saint-Merri Church has a large collection of paintings from the 17C to the 19C.  The organ with five turrets was built from 1647 to 1650. The turret buffet was made in 1647. Two angels with bird bodies support the large side turrets. The wooden stand is work of 1755, and it is supported by four fluted wooden pillars surmounted by Ionic capitals. A frieze of reeds and ears, a lion mask and two fire pots complete the carved decoration. The instrument was expanded by François-Henri Clicquot in 1779, then transformed from 1855 to 1857 by Cavaillé-Coll and in 1947 by Victor Gonzalez . There is Choir organ or Organ Merklin from 1880. The wooden pulpit dates from 1753. The former baptismal font with the arms of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany. In all a nice Church.


An anecdote worth noticing. The Baphomet, that is to say for some the Devil, for others the idol possibly venerated by the Templars whose main house was very close to Saint-Merri, or finally simply the westernisation of Mahomet. This little devil, being horned half man and half woman with bat wings, evokes the publications of Eliphas Levi (born Alphonse-Louis Constant). It belongs to the occult iconography of the 19C, inspired by ancient figures found in the Templars. This unusual presence is reported by Claude Seignolle in his collection of short stories La Nuit des Halles, Umberto Eco in his novel The Pendulum of Foucault as well as by the writers Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne in their novel The Seventh Templar (page 429). Like the entire main facade, it was restored during the work done in 2013-2014.

The official Parish of St Merri:

The city of Paris on the Church St Merri renovations done still the organ this year 2021.

So there you go folks,  a masterpiece church often overlook and totally bypassed by yours truly until now. Paris is always amazing and so is my belle France. Now, enjoy the Church Saint Merri of Paris

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

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August 28, 2021

The Place de l’école militaire in Paris!

I like to update this unique post of just about the Place de l’école militaire, part of a famous monument of Paris. It sits in front angle of the école militaire de Paris! (see post). Another spot to meet friends from here and elsewhere. Great on my eternal Paris! Now let me tell you  a bit more on this square place de l’école Militaire. Actually , written on the school before so briefly, will concentrate here on my tour of streets of Paris ok.

paris pl de l'ecole militaire resto la terrasse passing bus 82 apr17

The Place de l’école-Militaire is a square in the 7éme arrondissement. It lies on the northeast section of the école Militaire. There are six avenues emanating from it such as Avenue de La Bourdonnais ; Avenue Bosquet ; Avenue de La Motte-Picquet ; Avenue Tourville ; Avenue Duquesne; and Place Joffre. The neighborhood of the école-Militaire is the 27th of Paris in the 7éme arrondissement or district. The place de l’école Militaire is served by: Metro line 8, bus RATP lines 28 80 82 87 and 92, as well as a taxi stand. The bus line 82 (see post) is a dandy for me from Montparnasse and see Paris above ground sublime! There is Indigo parking above ground at Place Joffre, which of course, have parked.webpage:


The place de l’école militaire before its creation, in 1912, was part of the Avenue Duquesne, between the avenues of La Motte-Picquet and Tourville, Avenue Tourville, between the avenues of La Motte-Picquet and Duquesne. On one side, the square is served by several bars brasseries with large terraces, and find the entrance of the vehicles of the école militaire. This is one of my favorite hangout places in Paris. For the memories ,right off of it by Ave Bosquet there is a resto Séptime Vin, I brought some friends from an old travel forum once there for a get together of many nations! And of course, one of my favorites too. Also, another of my favorite spots there is the La Terrasse du 7ème with nice views over the square! (see posts). Nearby a popular stop for my family  and meet friends at Rue de Grenelle is the wonderful market held there on Wednesdays and Sundays; and the wonderful fleas trinkets section on Sunday mornings. I have even done volunteer work here for a local association! More from the Paris tourist office:


The école militaire (see post) was built between 1751 and 1768 in the plain of Grenelle during the reign of king Louis XV. The main entrance is the Avenue de la Motte Piquet, facing the Champ de Mars ; the Eiffel Tower at the other end. In 1787, the military school was closed and it was planned to transfer to the Hôtel-Dieu which would never took place. The buildings are abandoned and then looted in the French revolution. The building serves as a depot, and then barracks, especially for the Imperial Guard. After various assignments, it is enlarged, to acquire the aspect that is now known today. In 1878 the École supérieure de guerre (high School of War) was opened, and in 1911 the centre des hautes études militaries opened (Center for Advanced Military Studies).  The main thing of course is the école militaire and not much is written on the square that carries its name. However, take it from me , it is a very chic nice neighborhood where I visit several friends, and the area has the allures of upper class, not that Paris does not have enough of these.


However, there is a nice small square with a statue nearby, Place Joffre, on the side of Avenue de la Motte-Picquet. Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre, often known just as Jacques Joffre, was a French General during WWI.  He is most well known for regrouping the retreating allied armies in order to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne, which happened in 1914.  And with this triumph, plus other strategies that Joffre put in place, he gained further popularity and became referred to with a nickname of Papa Joffre. Joseph Joffre had been awarded the title of Marshal of France, and he was the first person to receive this title and rank under the Third Republic, even though he also received other honors including knighthood. And my favorite parking there too!!(see above).

Another interesting square in this neighborhood or quartier is the Place de FontenoyUNESCO, formerly Place de Fontenoy .  This place near the military school bears the name of the Battle of Fontenoy won by the French in 1745 and UNESCO whose headquarters occupies most of it. Drawn up in 1770, the square is ceded by France to the city of Paris in 1838. In the same square, you see the Ministry of Social Affairs. At No. 3, the building, adjoining the former Ministry of posts (Avenue of Saxe), was built at the beginning of the 1930’s for the Ministry of the Merchant Navy. Following its restoration, it has been occupied since September 2016 by the National Commission of Informatics and Freedoms and the Defender of Rights. The military school occupies the entire west side of the square by Avenue de Lowendal.

And you have an idea of the neighborhood just my sublime Paris , eternal gorgeous and always wanting more. There you go folks, another dandy spot in the most beautiful city in the world, Paris! Hope you enjoy reading the post as I writing it.  There is no specific webpage for the square as of course, the main building there is the école militaire but that is in another post.

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

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