Archive for ‘Paris’

December 4, 2017

Some news from France CLXXVII

And back to tell you all about my belle France. Times has change cold is here regularly now ,even some snow, but now back to 10C or about 50F and cloudy, the Autumn leaves looks beautiful on the shades. I am cruising for the Holiday season, and expect to go over the family in Seine-et-Marne dept 77 as well.

Now for the news here it is:

Météo France, of course the weather is in the news! Now it is estimated to be back next weekend as well; it will start next Friday to Sunday period. Therefore, if driving in France like me be careful of the icy roads. Méteo France here:  http://www.meteofrance.com/accueil

And you may have heard, read, watch the troubles again with the SNCF signalization and automation system at the train station or gare Montparnasse. A new system to allow control more platforms and more trains arriving. There were delays as much as four hours and the SNCF do reimburse you for lateness, see photo. The trains to Tarbes, Poitiers, Brest and Bordeaux were all late at least an hour! The issue was the same for the local express train TER and the Intercités ; to Le Mans, Granville to  Montparnasse. The situation is said to be under control but this is the second time in a short period that it has happened. So keep an eye on your travels by Montparnasse if need to / I know I go by there now but lucky no more for the rest of the year ! More here http://www.leparisien.fr/info-paris-ile-de-france-oise/gare-montparnasse-trafic-tres-perturbe-apres-une-panne-de-signalisation-03-12-2017-7430418.php
SNCF reimbursement

Gregory Porter, the jazz great is given a free concert in the auditorium of the Paris newspaper Le Parisien today at 10 rue Grenelle at 14h30. His last CD album entitled « Nat King Cole and me », honoring the legend Nat King Cole that he uses as a idol model. He has done work with the English pop group Metronomy, and concerts in festivals like the « Rock en Seine » in Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine), and recently at the Chorus in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine).  More here:  http://www.bluenote.com/spotlight/gregory-porter-nat-king-cole-me

How about getting into the Seine river at 8C or about 44F in the water and 0C or 32F out! Well I won’t do it but these folks did it last Sunday morning on a paddle ski in the event  Stand Up Paddle. There were 700 participants from the BNF (bibliothéque national de France) all the way to the Tour Eiffel  on the occasion of the 8th edition of the  Nautic Sup Paris Crossing, the biggest course in the world of this specialty. The Nautic event will continue to December 10 2017. More here: https://www.salonnautiqueparis.com/fr/visiter/les-animations/nautic-sup-paris-crossing

The beautiful square  place Clémenceau (8éme),with a wonderful statue of the Général de Gaulle on the side of the Petit Palais is back.  Newly clean sits there for all to see, the only statue of him officially authorized by the family. See it and read on it here: http://www.paristoric.com/index.php/paris-d-hier/statues/autres-statues/3161-la-statue-du-general-de-gaulle

The honey is in at several locations in Paris. Even my group company has ruche in our roofstop and make some for the employees. Now the winner of the contest of honey of the Grand Paris in the 27th Salon de Terroirs ,are from the town of Rueil-Malmaison, (Hauts de Seine 92) ,event held at the racecourse of Saint-Cloud. The harvest is done for  6 years already on a dozen ruches installed around the cemetery of Rueil, and produce about 150 kg per year!. The bees work at their own pace between the flowers of the cemetery , and the forest of Saint-Cloud. More here: http://www.salon-terroir-rueil.com/page/animations

A wonderful digital project is taken place to preserve the information on the fallen in World War I, known here affectionally as the poilu or hairy. It is call « Adoptez un poilu », or adopt a hairy; going on since December 2016 on the archives of the department 78 of Yvelines.  Done on the celebration honoring the Great War or WWI soldiers as they will give new meaning to them. Each participant will have a trace, a history of their efforts and all done by volunteers. Once this work done, it will be kept in perpetual memory for all those who fought from the old department name of Yvelines such as Seine-et-Oise (Yvelines, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-d’Oise). They have already done 82 000 files and need 235 000 and hope to have it all done by November 2018 just in time for the big commemoration of  the 100 year anniversary. The site is in French with a very nice video here: https://www.yvelines-infos.fr/commemoration-de-grande-guerre-adoptez-poilu/

The Kiev in Paris the biggest artistic expression from Kiev are in Paris until next Sunday for the second edition of the festival « Un week-end à l’est ». It is time for the Ukraine to be the guest of honor in Saint-Germain-des-Prés with projections, expositions, lectures, debates, concerts and workshops in the 12 sites of the neighborhood. More in French here: http://www.weekendalest.com/

And let’s talk about Champagne because their biggest time of the year is near; Christmas and New Year period.

One of the grand old brands is the one most favorite of the French, that is ,Ruinart , and this end 2017 is coming out with two special cuvees from their cellars in Reims. They are the Dom Ruinart blanc de blancs 2006 ,and the Dom Ruinart rosé 2004.  Both are aged from than 10 years. You can find them here: https://www.ruinart.com/fr-e/les-vins/dom-ruinart-2006

Veuve Clicquot , the house of the pantone label (Pantone 137C) the most recognizable brand of Champagne. you can tell the bottle right away no matter where. Another of my favorites and you can know more about it here https://www.veuveclicquot.com/fr-fr/nos-champagnes/champagne-brut-carte-jaune

And my favorite and share with family many times is Moët & Chandon , the leader of the brands of Champagne. No 1 in volume and now a new bottle the Moët Ice Impérial. One of my first visited housed of Champagne in the avenue de Champagne in Epernay. More here: https://fr.moet.com/Champagnes-Moet/Moet-Ice-Imperial

OF course, will tell you my first and most memorable Champagne, the one I drank with my girlfriend (now wife) in Paris was Mercier, now part of the same group as Moët & Chandon, the LVMH group. Also, still at Avenue de Champagne in Epernay; more here: http://www.champagnemercier.fr/en/champagne-mercier-brut

And now an anecdote for the road warriors in us::)It used to take 13 minutes to drive the expressway from west to east of Paris that was 60 KPH when it opened in 1967; it was not called yet the voie Georges Pompidou but it was very good to avoid 23 bridges and many red lights doing it going under 7 underground ways. Today, the same road going at 70 KPH will take you 57 minutes from the start of the wharfs or quai de Bercy from the Porte de Saint-Cloud! Of course, assuming there is no traffic jams or special events going on lol!!!

And be merrier in the season with the opportunity to come to those ice skating rings going on at this time in Paris and elsewhere. The ones I have seen and my boys like the most previous years are:

Trocadéro On Ice ; the most romantic at the end of the day and before going for dinner come here for a spin facing the iron lady (Tour Eiffel) an ice skating ring of  300 m2, very nice. Going on from December 21st to January 8th on every day from 11h to 21h. Go in by the  Jardins du Trocadéro – 16éme. Together with a nice Christmas market; more in French here:  https://www.evous.fr/Trocadero-on-Ice-Le-village-de,1142457.html

The rooftop or  toit de la Grande Arche  going on from December 15 to January 14 ,you can come in costume too ,and a panoramic view of 360° of Paris. Skating between the towers of the Grande Arche. More in French here: http://www.ladefense.fr/en/agenda/une-patinoire-sur-le-toit-de-la-grande-arche

The ice skating in the forum des Halles is another popular one. It has the biggest Christmas market at Châtelet, around the fountain or fontaine des Innocents. Grab some hot wine and on the floor, ice skating that is. It will be from December 15 to January 14 with times differences on December 15 from 14h to 19h ; December 16-17 from 11h to 19h and December 18-22 from 14h to 19h and December 23 to January 14 from 11h to 19h; entrance by 101, rue Porte Berger – 1éme.  More here: http://forumdeshalles.com/access

The patinoire du Champ-de-Mars or ice skating under the Tour Eiffel with a nice smallish this year village de Noël or Christmas market with cabins, chalets and of course the ice skating on the  Champ-de-Mars. It will be from December 21th to January 8 2018. Entrance at Champ-de-Mars / 2, allée Adrienne Lecouvreur – 7éme: more here: https://quefaire.paris.fr/40055/le-village-de-noel-du-champs-de-mars

And those looking for the Christmas market on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées look no more there won’t any due to dispute between the organizer’s and the city of Paris. Always looking to get more money from all. However, there are many all over the city, these are. In French: https://quefaire.paris.fr/38452/les-marches-de-noel-parisiens

What the city of Paris is doing is encouraging more natural stuff like beers !!! The city has a project on the harvesting of hops. The city has given about 10 sites to encourage this culture of harvesting. The idea is to plant in Spring and have the first harvest in September 2018; this to do a good Parisian beer. Others have taken the same idea further like the roof or  toits de l’Opéra Bastille that will host a hops maker and a microbrewery to produce about 8000 liters of beer. We can already talk about the Chai de Bercy,  another project to help create microbreweries in Paris , more of this brewery is at Brasserie éphémére du Chai de Bercy, 41 rue Paul-Belmondo, 12éme : and more info on this city of Paris initiative here:  https://www.paris.fr/actualites/appel-a-projet-pour-la-culture-du-houblon-a-paris-5317

Now let’s talk about an area of Paris with few tourists, because it is chic , residential and nice. My favorite area of Paris indeed; just for the ambiance, the cachet, and the good stuff found there many firsts for me and still go there. A bit of well more of the chic 16 arrondissement de Paris.

In about 20 years all the tendance chic of Paris was done on the east side. About 10 years it went to the North, and today it comes back to the west of  Paris. The sixteen or 16 district or arrondissement of Paris is up and well the chic area of Paris not now but made famous now again.  Call it the Snob, new rich or worse the new intellectual and artistic elites had left for the 10éme or 11éme and more daring to the 19éme and 20éme.  However, the embassies, museums, monuments, restaurants and cafés with terraces, the merchants and the street life, the parks, and gardens all dominated by the tour Eiffel; you are looking for a chic way of life, high class, excellent schools and peaceful living away from the noise of the city because the 16éme is a little Paris all by itself and it is big abuot 8 square kilometers  divided in two, south and north with each their own postal code. And divided encore into four neighborhood as Etoile-Trocadéro, Passy, Auteuil and Dauphine.(Paris has 20 districts or arrondissement and 80 neighborhoods or quartiers or 4 by district).

You can do a walk or tour on the Palais de Tokyo,in the marines museum or musée de la Marine ,and end with a dinner on the restaurant du Café de L’homme with its panoramic view of the Tour Eiffel.  The Wednesdays and Saturdays come to the avenue du Président Wilson,to do the market days with colorful stands to mingle with locals and tourists alike. All visitors dreaming of living in one of the apartments overlooking the Seine river and its quais as well as the tour Eiffel.  The Troca as we call it or Trocadéro is full of life with skaters of all ages on the esplanade, terraces cafés with full of students, Parisians and tourists.  There is always a line at Carette for its macaroons famous since 1927, the most sold in the world today!  The young likes to mingle around rue de Passy, for shopping where all the majors brands are.

If New-York has it’s Central Park (been there), Paris ,and more specifically the 16éme has the Bois de Boulogne ,and like the 846 hectares of the woods are not enough the gardeners has planted trees on the big arteries of the district such as the avenue Henri Martin, avenue George Mandel, avenue Foch (the biggest avenue in the city!), boulevard Flandrin,  boulevard Suchet, square Lamartine (with the famous water fountain drinkable! The parc Bagatelle and its flowers, the jardin du Ranelagh (lovely with a statue to La Fontaine) full of families and the prestigious theater or Théâtre de Guignol and its old swings , the greenhouse or  serres d’Auteuil,and its botanical garden or jardin botanique, and the wonderful Jardin d’Acclimatation for the pleasure of kids of all generations of Parisians (mine love it several times in it) , and now the biggest building there the Fondation Louis Vuitton.  The 16éme is the perfect harmony of city and nature.

For the lovers of sports, nothing to stop you from a Sunday morning baskets or jogging around the inferior lake in the Bois de Boulogne or  Lac intérieur du Bois. You can drink wonderful water at the Chalet des Iles (you can access by barge or small boats).  The nice municipal pool Molitor now better and modern has reopen its doors and pool.  The lovers of tennis are in high ground at the Roland Garros or give a shot at the stadium or Stade Jean Bouin.  There are cabins in the Parc des Princes as well.  There are many private roads and mansion houses hiding gorgeous gardens; the mansions or villa Montmorency, villa Saïd , and villa Dupont will make you dream to buy one. The busy shopping streets always vibrant and good neighborhood ambiance such as at rue d’Auteuil, rue de la Pompe ,and  rue de l’Annonciation. Chic my favorite, the 16 is it for Paris,eternal, for lovers of life and beauty. Enjoy it; Cheers.

Have a great start of the week, we are already in December and the season to be merrier is here. Happy Holidays to all.

November 30, 2017

My Best Restaurants in Paris still around!

Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Ok this is a heavy issue with Paris been a culinary delight and gastronomic excellence there ought to be a lot of differences of mind in choosing one restaurant. However, I emphasize this is My list ::) I think that visiting the city every month , worked in it for 10 years , while living in royal Versailles put me in a good level to express an opinion on the subject.

I have written similar lists for Madrid, Versailles, France, Brittany and even my old Florida USA in my blog. It’s about time for Paris !!!  And here they are in no particular order, and just contact information for space’s sake.

We step into the La Flamme 6 avenue de Wagram, tel +33 (0) 1 42 27 85 25. It has a colorful ambiance in purple and red, with terrace and French traditional dishes. Right down from the Arc de Triomphe on Avenue de Wagram right hand side. https://www.yelp.fr/biz/la-flamme-paris-2

There is Pizza Pino. The pizzerias are very popular and found in several locations in Paris. My favs are in 57 bd de Montparnasse and the 33 Avenue des Champs-Elysées. More here: http://www.pizzapino.fr/restaurants.php 

Café bar La Marine for a taste of some fish and chips with cold Carlsberg beers and a new taste of  IPA rather sweeter brew; just nice ,,,,as always. Great cozy tables and great sports match ambiance; more here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-marine-paris-4

I had always good service at my now routine place ,Brasserie Porte  Océane, inside gare Montparnasse on grandes lignes level for the TGV train. https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpmo/paris-montparnasse/boutiques-et-restauration/brasserie-porte-oceane-0

A wonderful find at   Restaurant A Table in Levallois Perret, right off the rue Georges Pompidou and at 43 Rue Baudin. Service was wonderful and so was the company. webpage here: http://www.restaurantatable.fr/

This is a chain where I have been to the Place de la République and Avenue du Maine locations. The  Indiana Café , great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers. http://www.indianacafe.fr/restaurants-clubs/46/republique.html

Café L’ Imperiale, 240 rue Rivoli, 75001. open from lunch and dinner long hours,  tel +33 01 42 60 73 27. Metro Concorde or Tuileries lines 1,8,12.  This was and is my stop for a quick meal, coffee or a drink with a magnificent location across from the jardin des tuileries. I used to work nearby so for an after lunch coffee or an after work quiet happy hour it is great. Quick meal on your way to the Louvre too. no web but cant missed it intersection of rue de Rivoli and rue Rouget de Lisle. More here https://www.yelp.fr/biz/l-imp%C3%A9rial-paris-3 

The Charlie Birdie chain by the quais looking at the Seine and Bois de Boulogne,or at Place Etienne Pernet 15éme.  https://www.yelp.fr/biz/charlie-birdy-paris?osq=charlie+birdie

We had our drinks at La Terrasse resto on the place de l’école militaire, all there in the square is good and sublime.  http://www.laterrassedu7.com/

I stop for dinner a few times here at Restaurant Le Carré at 12 pl Saint Augustin; wonderful modern ambiance and inventive fusion food, tops, chic, class, well done. http://www.restaurant-le-carre.com/

It had some personal problems with the owners so some of the chain has closed out I believe this one still open and it was my favorite with the one in Bougival where had my kids birthdays. Chez Clement, 9 Pl Saint André des Arts, just around the corner from the place Saint Michel  .Sublime with nice ambiance, belle epoque deco,and well serve, all perfect.  https://www.yelp.fr/biz/chez-cl%C3%A9ment-paris-36

I can’t tell you enough about this place, I worked in management of the chain Intercontinental Hotels Group and they were and are attach to the Le Grand Hotel at Opéra. Historical, grand and magnificent meals to remember forever. The Café de la Paix at http://www.cafedelapaix.fr/en/

Lastly ,used to work by Montparnasse before moving to Brittany and here the  Cafe Montparnasse was tops More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/caf%C3%A9-montparnasse-paris

My fav La Gare in the 16éme ; several times here and even some visiting friends taken. It is an old train station several years ago converted into a wonderful resto bar in a great area of Paris chic. More here: http://www.restaurantlagare.com/

We had a get together at the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue des Fossés Saint Bernard, 5éme; very nice views of Paris and the food is great too. The Zyriab Restaurant that is. More here: https://www.imarabe.org/en/practical-information/restaurants-and-cafe

Casa del Campo,  ironically the one I frequent was at the pl de la Republique and it closed to moved to Bercy Village. Right at 55 Cours Saint Emilion, and tapas and cruzcampo beers . More here: https://www.casadelcampo.fr/contact.php 

The Bistro Saint Ferdinand is part of a group of Bistro run by Dorr ,and it is just around the corner from the Porte Maillot on 275 Bd Pereire.   The concept is simple a fixe menu per person including sharing a bottle of wine for two, entrée, plat, and dessert, plus coffee. the price is ok for Paris , and the food has improved from my first visit here a few years back. http://www.legrandbistro.fr/fr/restaurant-maillot-saint-ferdinand.php#restaurant-maillot-saint-ferdinand.php 

The Moulin à Caffé ,  22 rue de Caumartin ; not far from the Grand department stores at Haussmann. Nice place indeed, recall one day took 10 of my colleagues here and was a bash!!! Very nice service ,great food, funny actics of the owner server, and the fun for everyone nice prices. More here:  http://www.restaurant-lemoulinacaffe.fr/ 

We had to go out with a bunch of colleagues this time to introduce me to this gem, been over and over . The Au Petit Riche, 23 rue Le Peletier,9éme walking from the grand dept stores on Haussmann to rue Le Peletier left , and it was a great choice. We were on the second floor or 1er étage in France, nice view over the window on the street below, and away from the more noisy street level area. More here: http://www.restaurant-aupetitriche.com/en/ 

One local gem à la Americain with nutty entertainment to boot, usual sports bars and great service will do at the American Dream, 21 rue Daunou, 2éme . more here:http://www.american-dream.fr/

The a world beater of the Hard Rock Café , 14 boulevard Montmartre 9éme; good stuff food anywhere with live sports, music TV. More here: http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/paris/

The Le Café des Musées, 49 Rue de Turenne. deco 1900, nice and good views ;1930’s look. more here: http://lecafedesmusees.fr/fr

Go high up the Tour Montparnasse and find the Ciel de Paris , entrance by 23 avenue du Maine, good food too and of course the best view of Paris… More here: http://www.cieldeparis.com/

Then, if you want a bit of Brittany in Paris go by the Little Brittany neighborhood and try Creperie Josselin, 67 rue du Montparnasse, metro edgar quinet line 6. Deco a la Breton, very popular its always full. More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/la-cr%C3%AAperie-de-josselin-paris

Some exotic try a cigar and mojito ,and salsa at Cubana Cafe, 47 rue Vavin, metro Vavin, line 4 with webpage  https://www.cubanacafe.com/

Montparnasse 1900, 59 bd du Montparnasse, great selection of beers for a happy hour or just chat with friends, good views of the plaza in front.  A historical jewel of Paris.  More here: http://www.montparnasse-1900.com/fr/

You entered the resto by avenue Winston-Churchill, pont Alexandre-III, the resto call the Mini Palais  inside the Grand Palais, with great views over the pont Alexandre III, more here: http://www.minipalais.com/?lang=en_us 

The brasserie Chez Eugene is an old family favorite, my first meal ever at the Butte de Montmartre was here back in 1991! Still going strong… More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/chez-eug%C3%A8ne-paris-2

O’Sullivans Pubs several all over like by Clichy and rue des Lombards, even visited the St Germain en Laye , however my favorite is the one at the Grands Boulevards, 1 blvd Montmartre, metro grands boulevards lines 8 and 9. sports tv all over, even some music, best second floor up to your left in front of bar counter. More here: http://www.osullivans-pubs.com/en/bars/osullivans-grands-boulevards-cafe-bar/

Le 7éme Vin restaurant,68 ave Bosquet, tel +33 01 45 51 15 97 .  This place rocks ,never a let down all handle by able friendly courteous service by the owner Olivier. Near école Militaire, more here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-7%C3%A8me-vin-paris-2

Belushi’s Bar, The Americans in Paris, a chain with many in various cities in Europe. In Paris at 159 rue de Crimée,  inside the Christopher’s hostal 19éme. tel +33 01 40 34 34 40.Metro Crimée line 7 or Laumiére line 5. Five big screen TVs for all the action and great burgers, an American diner in Paris. Now by Gare du Nord as well. More here: http://www.belushis.com/bars/paris/canal

The Great Canadian Pub, 25 Quai des Grands Augustin, 6éme.tel +33 01 46 33 54 20.Metro St Michel line 4. Great ambiance very popular with expats get togethers in Paris.  More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/the-great-canadian-paris

One of the nice places to eat and dance is at Cuba Compagnie Bastille, 48 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 11éme. salsa ambiance, mojitos, and Cuba. More here:  http://www.cubacompagnie.com/photos/

 Au Trappiste, 4 rue Saint Denis, 4éme. open from 11h to 02h Monday thru Sunday and from 11h to 04h on Fridays and Saturdays. Tel +33 01 42 33 08 50.  metro Chatelet line 4,11. Here you are in Belgium with the monks; lots of good beer, simple good portions of food, moules or mussels and fries,and grill sausages. The first or ground floor is more noisy ,the second floor more calm and better views!of Chatelet. no web but its just by the metro exit and rue Rivoli. Best way is the metro ,the RER is too crowded to get here. More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/au-trappiste-paris

Au Métro, 18 bd Pasteur, 15éme, Open from 7h until there is nobody in the place ! even Sundays during world cup plays. Tel +33 01 47 34 21 24. metro Pasteur lines 6,12. The cradle of rugby in Paris, if you like beers,and good fun, great ambiance,friendly people and can see a match of rugby than comes here you wont be disappointed. Always something happening.  Great for a start of your evening here and then go for more substantial restaurant or a very late night snack .More here: http://www.aumetro.fr/

This is a good one, closed for a year and now the site says will try to open again, anyway same owners so check it out when it opens again at different location….Agua Limon, (old)12 rue Theophile Roussel, 12éme Metro  Ledru Rollin line 8 or Gare de Lyon lines 1,14. The best Valencian in Paris, the food of Valencia paella per excellence and Horchata drink. Great ambiance and welcome by the owner ,natives of Valencia,Spain. More here: http://www.restaurant-agualimon.com/

La Perla, 26 rue François Miron, 4éme. Open from Mondays to Sundays from 12h to 02h Tel +33 01 42 77 59 40. metro hotel de ville line 1,11. behind the Hôtel de Ville de Paris. Tequila I found you in Paris, great bar, and fast texmex food, huge selection of cocktails and beers. A great chic crowd after work, and a fantastic place to start or end your day in Paris. More here: http://www.laperla-paris.com/

Le Comptoir du Relais, 9 carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006.Open mondays to fridays from 12h to 23h. Tel +33 01 43 29 1 05.  Metro Odéon line 10 or Marbillon line 10. a great location ,great food and great service cant ask for more. People passing spectacle in a nice area; relax after a long walk in Paris or come after work. In the bottom of the excellent Relais Saint Germain hotel. More here: http://www.hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com/savourez-les-restaurants.html

 Joe Allen, 30 rue Pierre Lescot,75001. Open  Sundays to Wednesdays from midday to 00h30 ,and Thursdays to Saturdays from midday to 01h. Tel +33 01 42 36 70 13. Metro Chatelet lines 11,4. The New York address in Paris and a great place to meet with me and other Americans in Paris. .Other locations in New York and London . More here:  http://www.joeallenparis.com/joeallenparis.com/Home.html

Bistro Romain, 122 ave Champs-Elysées,75008  open  11h30 to 15h and 19h to 23h weekdays and Saturdays.  Tel +33 01 43 59 93 31 . Metro George V line 1 near Lido.  A nice cozy Italian chain that wont break your bank and allows for a nice family meal. This is the location of my first date with what today is my wife!!!, so its an annual pilgrimage for us too. It was not expensive ::)  Several locations throughtout  . More here: http://www.bistroromain.fr/restaurants-a-paris.htm 

And the latest find in Paris,  Villa Verdi Italian restaurant. Very friendly , got even to practice on my Italian a bit ::) Very nice indeed, and  good reviews by all; More on the restaurant here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/villa-verdi-paris

The restaurant do have their own webpage here:  http://www.villaverdi.fr/en/

There, I think I remember them all to post here, some already were gone unfortunately, that is the restaurant business anywhere and in Paris we do have our share of out of business.  Enjoy Paris, it has these and a whole lot more to taste and sip::) Some pictures I still found around my hard drive lol! Cheers….

November 28, 2017

Some news from France CLXXVI

Here it is another post and this one on the first I would say cold day in Brittany, 1C and already prognosticating snow in the adjacent department 35 Ile et Vilaine!!! It will be a cold next few days but nothing compare to my life’s experiences ::)

Back on telling you all about my belle France. Lots of things happening in the Hexagone ::)

The  métro Châtelet, line 4 will be closed until March 7 2018 due to installations of facades, the train will continue onwards without stopping here in Châtelet.  The access to the line 4 here will be done above ground in the stations  Cité about 600 meters and Les Halles  at about 450 meters . To helps the riders towards the line 4 the metro and RER lines of the hub Châtelet-Les Halles the RATP Paris transport authority advice you to take the station at Les Halles.

The know it all book about Paris is out. The « le Hillairet » is already in bookstores; published for the first time in 1956 the work  «Connaissance du vieux Paris » by Jacques Hillairet  has just been re edited by publisher Payot.  It is organise in two parts Rive droite/Rive gauche,and it shows neighborhood by neighborhood or quartiers, streets, and building numbers, a radiography historical and architecturally of Paris . It will be a huge information tool to really know  Paris by the visitors and locals alike. I have an older copy in the family and it is a bible of Paris info. The current book sells for 29€ and has 816 pages.

For instance it tells you about the street or rue des Francs-Bourgeois (4éme), a very popular artery in the Marais linking the rue Rambuteau to the place des Vosges.  In the Middle Ages this street between the rue Vieille du Temple and rue  Payenne,  was called the rue des Poulies ; meaning the pulleys used by the weavers fabric makers that lived here in the 16C and house in the poor homes of frank folks exempted from taxes and impositions. It, also, became a site of prostitution and homeless ,even if the house was eventually closed the name persists until 1868.

At no 25 rue des francs bourgeois  is the seat of the historical library of the city of Paris  or  bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris since 1969,at the hotel de Lamoignon,  also called the Hôtel d’Angoulême, purchased in 1584 by Diane de France, Duchesse of Angouleme.  She died here at age 81 in 1619. In 1658, Guillaume de Lamoignon, first President of the Parliament of Paris lived here; and from 1867 to 1874, the writer Alphonse Daudet ,also lived.  In 1928, the city of Paris buys the property.  It has a wonderful architectural touch in its square arch that extends from the roof at the angle of the rue des Francs-Bourgeois  and the rue Pavée, that was used to keep vigil on the street.  The type of preservation we owed to André Malraux,creator of the law of August 4 1962 that protects and preserves the old values of France.

For those looking for bargains and big names in Paris head for Violette Sauvage . She finds good deals on her clothing market where you can buy previously wearer clothing for all tastes and pocketbooks.  Names such as Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot or Comptoir des cotonniers,  H & M , Primark ,Zara, Mango, usually 2 to 3 times cheaper than on stores. Also, the Louis Vuitton, Zadig et Voltaire etc. IN two days about 3000 persons come in to try and buy here and even pay with bank cards (no checks). The  next event is Saturday and Sunday December 2-3 from 11h to 19h at the Palais de la Femme, (home of the  Salvation Army), 94, rue de Charonne, 11éme. Admission is 2€. More info here:  http://www.violettesauvage.fr/

The salvation army for directions is here: https://www.armeedusalut.fr/etablissements/pdf

The famous French pastry or choux pastry  is in mode in Paris nowdays; and the two best in my opinion are

Here at Odette ,you have boutiques in neat corners at the street level in the building of the 16C in the heart of the Montorgueil neighborhood. Here the choux of Frédéric Berthy  have an air of madeleines of Proust, souvenirs of childhood from his grandmother Odette. See it at  Odette  7, rue Galande (5éme) every day from 10h30 to 19h30 at  18, rue Montorgueil (Iéme) from Mondays to Fridays and midday to 19h30 ,the weekends hours are from 10h to 19h30. More info here: http://www.odette-paris.com/#le-salon

And at Popelini, while making in error the recipe that the Italian pastrymaker did in the renaissance of 1540 the hot choux becomes the favorite dessert of his bossCatherine de Médicis.  The house proposed about 15 flavors and 6 house choux unique each day from the classic chocolate and vanilla to the less known such as pop-corn or strawberry Tagada.  The season flavors are on order like the current noisette,(hazelnut). Boutiques located at  29, rue Debelleyme, (3éme), 44, rue des Martyrs (9éme), 35, rue de Turenne (3éme) ,and  71, rue de Seine (6éme) More info here: https://popelini.com/

Teh prize French Heritage Society-Dallas et Northern California Chapters 2017  has been attributed to the Château de Versigny  for their project of restoration in the courtyard or  cour d’honneur , and the park or parc.  This prize prime the actions taken in the last 20 years for the maintenance and safekeeping of the Château de Versigny. The French Heritage Society (FHS) is an American association non profit that helps restore the French heritage in France and the USA as well as the cultural exchange between the two countries.  As such , the  FHS  and its American chapters help the work of restorations by way of several French associations.  This particular work is also funded by the  DRAC, of the departemental council of the region of Oise.  More here : http://www.versigny.com/

And the FHS, https://frenchheritagesociety.org/

And something familiar from near family grounds, Cambrai is celebrating a famous WWI battle crucial to the allies. The 100th anniversary of the battle of Cambrai that took place between November 20 and December 7 1917. When for the first time tanks were used in war with about 500 of them by the allies. After initially piercing the enemy lines due to the element of surprise the counter offensive was terrible by the Germans. The losses were about 45000 for the British soldiers holding the positions and 55000 by the Germans. More on this commemoration here: http://www.amazing-cambrai.com/cambrai17

You should ask to take a peek of vineyards in Paris! At the school or Institut Cloriviére, 119 blvd Diderot 12éme; it has a 200 m2 vineyards of 100 pieds and 17 grapes varieties right in the building of the Fondation Eugene Napoléon a building from the 19C  since 2007 and on which the first planting took place in December 2013! More at the school here: http://www.cloriviere.paris/isc/

The foundation that helps preserves the memory of the Imperatrice Eugénie of France is here: http://fondation-eugenenapoleon.org/

Marie Curie, une femme au Panthéon  this is the showing on the scienfic work of Marie Curie as well as her private life of the first women who won the Nobel prize. In the occasion of her 150th anniversary the museum or  Musée Curie  and the National center of monuments of France is holding this exposition in her honor in the Panthéon, you should not miss this one going on until March 4 2018 at the Pantheon,  Place du Panthéon – (5éme). More on the museum in French here: http://musee.curie.fr/visiter/evenements/marie-curie-150e-anniversaire

And you know the Panthéon: http://www.paris-pantheon.fr/en/Prepare-for-your-visit/Practical-information#access

And you have the exposition ,Gaughin, l’alchimiste  in the Grand Palais.  Come to see the secrets of a painter of the 19C in the process of creation retracing the career of the artist until the island or îles Marquises.  Until January 22  2018 3, the Grand Palais is at  avenue du Général-Eisenhower -(8éme). More here: http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/gauguin-alchemist

You have the Incas of Peru at the museum  Quai Branly , one of the first societies dating from at least 1500 years AD, in this exposition at the Quai Branly you will retrace their history, and the traces of the oldest cultures in the north of Peru.  The exposition studies the origins and organisation of the old societies in searching in the two celestial gods , the kings the elite and the urban lords, the warriors and the priests who held the most power ? How it manifest itself? All showing until April 1, 2018 at the museum located at  37 quai Branly -(7éme).  More here: http://www.quaibranly.fr/en/exhibitions-and-events/at-the-museum/exhibitions/event-details/e/le-perou-avant-les-incas-37626/

And the season to be merrier is near; and on a shop the stylist Marcia de Carvalho teaches the basis of sewing.  You will be able to create guirlandes from used materials thanks to the orphelin socks idea. You can choose your pattern, cuts, and bordering you decide all. The shop is call an  Atelier couture de Noël  or a Christmas sewing shop , open November 29 from 14h30 to 16h30 and December 7th from 18h to 20h; Wednesday December 13 from 14h30 to 16h30 at  Chez Marcia de Carvalho 2, rue des Gardes – (18éme) One parent and one child for 34€ and one parent and two children fro 50€. More information here: https://www.marciadecarvalho.fr/contact/

Go to the Ferme de Paris for a bio shop very local and gourmand. You can taste  dry vegetables and fruits of winter  and edible decoration creations.  This is a free atelier shop but you need reservations. the Déco comestible de Noël will be on Wednesday December 6 from 14h to 16h30 at the Ferme de Paris 1, route du Pesage – (12éme)  ;more info here: http://www.vincennes-tourisme.fr/Decouvrir/Bois-de-Vincennes-et-ses-alentours/La-Ferme-de-Paris

Why not create your own chocolates, the Thursday December 14 all your chocolates fairies can come thru and share with those you like. The Atelier chocolat de Noël will be on from 19h to 21h at Fika, l’atelier pâtisserie de Julia 55 bis, grande rue Charles de Gaulle – 92600 Asnières-sur-Seine ; metro 1 to reach gare st lazare and then train direction Asniére sur Seine, participation of 65€/person. More here:  http://www.fika-paris.com/event/atelier-chocolats-de-noel/

Do you know the art of packaging Japanese? For gift giving, for the holidays, you can come here to discover it with the paper tissue Furoshiki. By this technique ancestral you will have the best looking gift wrapping under the Christmas tree.  The Atelier Furoshiki will be on Saturday December 16 at 16h in the library or Bibliothèque Rainer Maria Rilke at 88 ter, boulevard de Port-Royal -(5éme) Free with reservation at tel +33 (0) 1 56 81 10 70 or email  bibliotheque.rainer-maria.rilke@paris.fr

More info on the library here: http://equipement.paris.fr/bibliotheque-rainer-maria-rilke-1672

and how about these places to see Paris from above!!!

At the 6th floor (7 us) you have the Le  Perchoir dominating Ménilmontant, with cocktail bars , yoya courses, done on the roof terrace  summer or winter with views of the basilica of  Sacré-Cœur. Le Perchoir 14, rue Crespin-du-Gast – (11éme)  Métro Ménilmontant. more here: https://leperchoir.tv/en/

The smaller sibling is at the 7 floor (8 us) on the rooftops of the store BHV Marais. Offering wonderful views of the tour Eiffel, Seine river , the city hall or hôtel de Ville ,and others.  In winter you have a Danish mood until 01h30 (1:30 am) . Le Perchoir du Marais 33, rue de la Verrerie – (4éme) Métro Hôtel de Ville. More here: http://www.bhv.fr/en/store-news/le-perchoir-marais/

An old favorite,in the Centre  Pompidou with a panoramic view of Paris. Two levels on escalators and two expo rooms. Talking about the Le Georges at the Palais Beaubourg, Place Georges Pompidou -(4éme) Métro Rambuteau. more here: http://restaurantgeorgesparis.com/fr/

if we can dream with a glass of Champagne on the 8th floor (9th us) of the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, you will be delighted seeing the rooftops of Paris. This winter the Cube Bar becomes the  Ice Cube Bar ! at  40, boulevard Haussmann – (9éme) Métro Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette. More here: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/cube-bar-le-bar-de-la-terrasse/

One of the old favorites now change do not know if better or worse not been to the new one. This is the Ex-Nüba, now Communion  on top of the Cité de la Mode, between suspended markets, concerts, and DJ sets no reason to stop once winter arrives.  Communion 36, quai d’Austerlitz – (13éme) Métro Gare d’Austerlitz. More here: http://communion.paris/

And now back to nostalgia. Who does not love the passages de Paris? However, do you know the many small ones dotting the city? Aside from the most and better known, here are some of my favorite mignons, cute passages of Paris. Using a site I use that is very good on all about Paris tidbits Parisrues.

We can call it the world of passages but this charming passage of many colors decorated with several flags of countries of our world a gift of the flag of bees or Abeille drapeaux, that are done in one shop at no 6. This is the  Passage Geoffroy-Didelot  at Rue des Dames -(17éme). More here: http://www.parisrues.com/rues17/paris-17-passage-geffroy-didelot.html

This is one of my fav areas of Paris. It is partially covered but it works too. A historical spot that houses woodworkers shops in the what is today a beehive of furniture makers. This is the  Passage du Chantier at 66, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine – (12éme). More here: http://www.parisrues.com/rues12/paris-12-passage-du-chantier.html

Here you have the house of poetry or Maison de la Poésie. The others are cute and nice full of history and Paris cachet , this is the Passage Molière – (2éme), 157 rue Saint-Martin. More here: http://www.parisrues.com/rues03/paris-03-passage-moliere.html

The small but equally cute is the Passsage de l’Ancre , 223, rue Saint-Martin, (4 éme) behind a blue door . More here: http://www.parisrues.com/rues03/paris-03-passage-de-l-ancre.html

And you have two back to back here; running parallel to the street or rue de Charonne the passage Alexandrine (11éme)  is bordered not by cactus but pots of flowers all along the passageway.  Other like hortensias in bamboo and even laurier are flank one to the other.  A short few steps from here you can see the pretty  passage Lepeu, also very romantic,  with flowers and greens decorations. More here: http://www.parisrues.com/rues11/paris-11-passage-alexandrine.html

And here: http://www.parisrues.com/rues11/paris-11-passage-gustave-lepeu.html

Last one ,but not the least, we come near the Bastille and the  passage Lhomme hardly seen if you have not read it here first . The street is paved and retro into the 1900 Paris giving you the impression of walking in a small village of Brittany. It is at 26, rue de Charonne – (11éme). Find it here: http://www.parisrues.com/rues11/paris-11-passage-lhomme.html

And then something to come and believe useful for those thinking/dreaming of coming over to France. A new low cost airline and now expanding, LEVEL. Next July 2018 it will start flights from Paris Orly airport to Montreal, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Liberty airport Newark New Jersey!! my old airport out of college worked there for a while lol!!  Yes I am older than you think ::)   The tickets are on sale already for 129€ to Newark and 99€ to the other spots. the airline is Level and will do the flights using Airbus A330-200 with 293 seats in tourist class, and 21 in Tourist class premium. The latter ones will include luggage, food, and seat reservation, as well as access to internet on the plane for 8,99€. It is expected that OpenSkies will stop flying next summer and the staff join Level. The low cost airline webpage is here: https://www.flylevel.com/en

November 26, 2017

Historical Clisson!!! , Loire Atlantique dept 44!! Pays de la Loire!

So as told yesterday, we did a whole day at maximum satisfaction level. Once we were finished with our errands locally, we set the wheels to Clisson, in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 ,Pays de la Loire region and some wines ,muscadet!

The town sits in the middle of the muscadet vineyards of Nantes but more importantly for the historically correct, it was part of the Brittany I now live. or Bretagne in French or Breizh in Breton ::) It became part of Brittany in 851AD with the treaty of Angers between king Charles the Bold of France and Erispoë, king of Brittany. So ,therefore, need to tell you a bit of history here, my treat!!!  The town took active part in the war of succession and the 100 years war. During the War of Succession of Brittany Olivier IV de Clisson was an active part on the side of the Dukedom of Brittany as a consequence was beheaded in the Halles of Paris after been accused of discussions for intervention with the king of  England Edward III. During the 100 years war his son Olivier V de Clisson was a key participant.

During the French revolution ,the Vendée wars against it took the valley of Clisson in total destruction. The revolutionary convention decided in 1793 to make obligatory the men to conscribe to the army ,however Clisson refuse the recruitment ,and with the insurrection started on March 10 1793. The rebel Vendéens took over Clisson on the same month and by May the Republicans ( French revolutionary as in the French Republic of today) entered the town and started the first massacre of people and burned the houses. This did not spare the Castle also burned; it got worse when the so call infernal columns occupied Clisson in 1794 with more massacres of the population; the town is completely destroyed and whoever was left leaves the town as well. Later , exiled Nantaise from Italy come back and decided to lived in Clisson by 1798, Pierre (painter)  and François (diplomat) Cacault and later a friend François-Frédéric Lemot is pulls into living in the town as well and acquired the Garenne or a hunting park of the castle and old hunting grounds of the Lords of Clisson in 1805 and later purchased the castle in 1807.  Here starts the rehabilitation of the town and the look you see today in many of its facades takes you back to Italy.

We visited by car after several months of talk by a colleague at work and me passing by it on my trips to Spain, this time there was a wine tasting fairs and well it was the right time to try the town with the family. We set out on the N165 past Nantes taking the A844/N844  taking exit 38 briefly on the A11 (free) and taking exit 44 for the N249 direction Clisson, you get off at the D763 direction Mouzillon/Clisson , it becomes the D149 entering Clisson right into the rue des Halles pedestrian street where there is a square for parking ,place St Jacques.

There are many things to see here but with our time (as usual on the run) we visited the Castle, Church of Notre Dame, and the Halles or covered market.

the Castle of Clisson was part of the family of Clisson (lords) since the 12C and by the 15C was a strategic point in the borders with the Dukedom of Brittany.  From a wooden castle it became a stone castle ; it was part of Olivier V de Clisson ,then the last Duke of Brittany , François II is very attached to the castle where he marries Marguerite de Foix ; Anne de Bretagne  was their first and heritage daughter!! From 1807 it belongs to Lemot until his death in 1827, the castle stays in ruins until finally purchase by the regional council in 1962; it is still in renovation but very slow, never got back after been ransacked and burned during the French revolution. The castle has a 3€ admission and several divided hours and months such as closed in January, opens 14h to 17h30 in February, March, and April every day except Tuesdays; 10h30 to 18h every day on May and June ; 10h30 to 18h in July, August every day. 10h30 to 18h in September every day. 14h to 17h30 October, November, and December every day; all day closing on November 1st and 11th as well as December 25th and 31st. More here in English with a very nice video: https://grand-patrimoine.loire-atlantique.fr/jcms/visit-our-sites/chateau-de-clisson/chateau-de-clisson-en-p2_201590?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoO2ew__b1wIVFBIbCh1Bng10EAAYASAAEgKQA_D_BwE

And from Nantes tourism in English too: https://www.nantes-tourisme.com/en/heritage/chateau-de-clisson

 

The Church of Notre Dame has a beautiful façade inspired on the Gesu of Rome. At Place Notre Dame. Built at the same spot as the old Collegiale Church burned at the French revolution. The new Church is from the 19C following Italian design. It has a Tuscan bell tower with a huge wonderful fresco painting of 1930. You have two wonderful Chapels of the Christ and Virgin: and can get nice views over the city such as the Castle ,  the terrace of the Hotel  Best Western Villa St Antoine,the viaduct, the terrace of the mansion Villa Lemot, and the bridge or pont de Nid d’Oie. worth a detour indeed. A nice webpage on it from an association on art and culture in French here: http://www.clissonhistoireetpatrimoine.fr/eglise-notre-dame/

Then, you can see the Les Halles or covered market ,there is renovation ongoing but a very nice place right in center town. They were built in the 15C on orders of Duke François II of Brittany. It served as refuge for combat troops of both sides in the wars of the Vendée and were restored on many occasions. They extend from the rue Saint Jacques to the Place Notre Dame, and still house today the nice market held on Tuesdays and Fridays; (they are in renovation now). Once done, you can see from the pictures in the city of Clisson here how wonderful it is: http://www.mairie-clisson.fr/infos-pratiques/marches/

However, the main reason we came is to take a closer look of the muscadet wines famous in the vineyards Nantaise or Nantes. It all started with five winemakers who decided to share their enthusiasm for the wines of the region and do events of wine tastings coupled with local products. So this weekend they hold Soif des vins et de Savoirs or thirst of wines and knowledge. For this we headed for the Domaine du Grand Air at Bourginal a commune of Clisson.  There was sparkling and red wines from the region as well as Sauvignon, and Pinot noir, and Chardonnay etc wines.

The association and their partners with contact info is here: http://www.domainedugrandair.fr/association.php

Right at the same webpage of the winemaker of the Domaine du Grand Air, and on the same site you can see pictures of their work: http://www.domainedugrandair.fr/photos.php

Very friendly nice farming area, and it shows the love of their trade. We came home with a case of white wines mix, pure grape jelly done on premises; foie gras from the Poitiers area, chocolates, macaroons and more from the region, including the famous gateau Nantais or cake, the recipe from the tourist site in English here : https://www.nantes-tourisme.com/en/food-and-wine/gateau-nantais

We just ate all kinds of goodies in the event from foie gras to cheeses to sweets in addition to the wines of all sorts that were  full no need to stop to eat on the road, just headed back home a bit late.

Just to mention there is a train station or gare de Clisson, the first TER line in this area for the train lovers in you, see photo. More here: https://www.ter.sncf.com/pays-de-la-loire/gares/87481440/Clisson/prochains-departs

And passing over on the 149 to Clisson we passed by the vineyards of Mouzillon and saw a very nice Church Saint Martin, see photo.

In all a wonderful day and time , very heavy on time but heck we will be back, so much to see , we have our works cut out to see it all in our lifetime. France is a feast or a movable feast at that! Enjoy the photos and have a great Sunday wherever you are, here is chilly with lows of -1C and now 9C (about 44F)at mid day, sunny bright wintery day, and no rain ::)  Paris at 45F  and cloudy wind-chill at 40F ;Cheers!!!

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November 20, 2017

Some news from France CLXXV

Here I go again with news of my belle France. It has been mild lately going down to 9C;  however,the afternoon has gone up to 12C, figure about 50F to 55F and cloudy with some sun out no rain.

Some of the latest from France are:

The Church of La Trinité (9éme) even with a fountain closed to avoid falling stones is open to all and celebrating 150 years as most of the buildings around it. Tomorrow the world is invited to participate on the meals service to the homeless in the Crypt. There will be a guided visit at 18H ; like every evening until Sunday it will be illuminated by 2000 candles and lanterns; then at 20h45 the parrish evening in the Church. At 11H Sunday the Mass for its 150 years will be held in the world day on poverty and at 16h30 a concert in the choir. For more than 25 years the crypt of the Church holds a dinner to the homeless with donations from many every Monday, Tuesday , Thursday and Friday; from mid October to mid June. Each week almost 800 meals are served with donation of as much as 6000 kgs of fruits and vegetables from local merchant of Rungis (the food market of Paris) .  By word of mouth  from 9h many are in the kitchen preparing to serve the meal by 12h45 . You can see this entering by the rue de La Trinité, from 12h45 to 13h30.  More here: La Trinité

Ready for the season to be merrier, the committee of Faubourg Saint-Honoré unveils tomorrow Thursday November 16 the lighting of Christmas on the street during this year program the  Winter Time 2017.  This year the festivities are link to the charitable organisation Laurette Fugain that fights leucemia. For this occasion the street will be pedestrian only from 18h30 to 19h30 between the streets of rue Boissy D’Anglas (8éme) and the rue Royale (1éme). At 18h45, the gospel choir of Paris will open the evening with traditional Christmas songs; by 19h a child will bring a lantern to singer Nolwenn Leroy (Brittany) so she can light up the fire that will lit up all the lanterns in the street ,and will be on until early January 2018. There will be a tombola open to all until January 27th,  The participants can already purchase their ticket on the site Winter Time 2017 or from the association Laurette Fugain. More here: Winter Time 2017

do you this now famous football/soccer club of Paris,PSG how it began? Well it was back in 1969 with the creation of the Paris Football club  and the wish of the French football league to have a team in Paris. However, no team wanted to fusion or be promoted for the idea. At the same time another club was moving up from Division 2 winning it in 1969-1970; this was the Stade Saint-Germanois, (St Germain en laye) founded in 1904. The stadium to play was just finished in 1972.  The all new Paris-Saint-Germain Football club had two years to reach the Division One ,and they needed only one season to do so. A few months later that the city of Paris did not want to sponsor a team in the suburbs while the Paris FC  stayed temporarely in Division one.  The Paris-Saint-Germain, that preserved the name but falls two levels down to allow the opportunity for the two clubs to merged. In 1973,the fashion creator Daniel Hechter becomes the owner by taken the second team,and the history of the PSG is on. More on them here: PSG

Want to see something different in Paris? come to the romantic squares where you can see the evolution of wild ducks, and hear the noice of the swings and admire the flowers that change each season; this is the Square des Batignolles and facing it is the new parc Martin Luther King with wonderful trees and a skatepark that children loves. This is at 144 bis, et 147, rue Cardinet (17éme). Behind the train station Gare Saint Lazare. It is closed until Nov 24th for cleaning.More of it here; Batignolles et MLK

And if you are in Paris and want to know more of Brittany before getting to me, this is their official information bureau. Maison de la Bretagne 8, rue de l’Arrivée – 75015 PARIS – Métro : Montparnasse  Tel +33 (0)1 53 63 11 50; just next to the Gare Montparnasse. More here: Maison de la Bretagne

On December 4 2017 the five aquarelles by Jacques Gotko will be up for sale at the Hôtel des ventes de Drouot in Paris. They were painted in the concentration camp of Royallieu in Compiegne between 1941 and 1942 showing life of the prisioners there on a daily basis. The Mémorial de l’Internement et de la Déportation would like to acquired them and has started a call for donations on the site http://www.Ulule.fr. They need 10K€ to get these paintings and are hoping for folks to help out. Now you can at Ulule.

With a beautiful sun covering their new site in a mansion at the corner of rue Saint-Honoré you can read « Louis Vuitton »  now celebrating the opening  since October of their new store in the Place Vendome. The store is a complete gamme of all their products ; see it here : http://fr.louisvuitton.com/fra-fr/notre-histoire/store-vendome#/page/city

At the forthcoming Salon du Cheval de Paris (horse show) between November 25 and December 3rd at the parc  des expositions de Paris Nord-Villepinte.  For the first time the  Garde républicaine parades their 250 horses and 110 jockeys with 40 carriages . Starting from the bois de Boulogne, the knights and their horses follow a path of 20 kms into Paris passing by the Opéra Garnier, Louvre, Champ-de-Mars , and Trocadéro.  More in French here: https://www.salon-cheval.com/

And we reach a world record according to the house of auctions Osenat. The laurel leave in gold coming from the crown of the coronation of emperor Napoléon Ier, were purchased for 625 000 euros, last Sunday at the Château de  Fontainebleau. This leave done by jeweler Martin Guillaume Biennais, was estimated at between 100k and 150K euros, was purchased by an international collector as told by the maison Osenat. More here and with video: http://www.osenat.fr/html/detailActualite.jsp?idActu=58886

Also, the red box a makeup box of the Impératrice Joséphine, estimated at between 40 to 50K euros was sold for 156 250 euros. A coffret for men entered by the National Museums and specifically the Louvre was sold for 58 750 euros. By the Maison Osenat as well.

The museum of romantic lives or the Musée de la vie Romantique 16 rue Chaptal in the 9éme arrondissement has closed its doors for renovations that will help the persons with mobility impaired to access the museum, an elevator will be installed in the shop on two levels located at the right of the entrance. The museum should open again in June 2018. Read it all here: http://museevieromantique.paris.fr/en

The historically famous Grand Rex  cinema with its 2 700 seats , starred skies, huge screen in a vault of more than 30 meters high with a visitation of about 1 million persons per year still shows magical moments. Since its opening in December 8 1932 and celebrating its 85 years. Really history tell us that it was until 1947 when Jean Hellmann took over that this cinema gained its fame. Her son Philippe, took over at the age of 22!!! He who later created the cinema network of UGC in France where the family is still majority shareholders . A Paris Landmark not to be missed especially if you like films.  Le Grand Rex, 1, boulevard Poissonnière (ééme). Metro Bonne Nouvelle. Adults admission 15 €  and children 12 €. See it here: http://www.legrandrex.com/home.php

And now the Disney-Pixar is shown exclusively in conjunction with the water fairy or Féerie des Eaux.  A great end of year Christmas spectacle that is sure to be a good one coupled with the film « Coco » of Disney-Pixar  studios (« Toy Story », « Vice-Versa »…)  the story of a young Mexican boy who is found stuck in the kingdom of the Dead. Shown at the above Le Grand Rex 

You can admire the numeric production of “Baiser” of Klimt shown on a wall 10 meters high with an outstanding musical sound that will be possible to see from next April 13 2018 on the opening of the « L’Atelier des Lumières », managed by Culturespaces, See it all here first in French: http://www.atelier-lumieres.com/

It is still going on with preparation works at  38, rue Saint-Maur (11éme), steps from the metro Voltaire. This was an old foundry from the 19C that conserved many of its original elements. For the price of a cinema ticket you will be able to see monumental presentation on the walls as it is currently shown on a similar site in  Baux-de-Provence (Bouches-de-Rhône).  The projections will be on all the walls and floor covering about  3 300 m2, and the public will be submerge into the moving images and the sound with the biggest video projection in the world!!!  The public will be parade it on the huge hall of  1 500 m2 where it will be projected in alternance programs of 35 minutes so the first one shown will be as explained above.  A studio of 160 m2, equipped with a bar thrown into the night will welcome artists of the numeric art or emerging talent .  « L’Atelier des Lumières » will open 365 days per year 7/7 from 10h to 18h during the week and 19H on weekends with a night session to 22h on Friday evenings. See the webpage above.

The nice historically famous Tour Jean Sans Peur in Paris organises until December 31 its 15th exposition entitled « Moyen Âge et publicité » or middle ages and publicity.  This tower of 27 meters high near the Halles is less frequented than others in Paris but all worth a detour.  It houses a ludic museum on daily life in the years 1400-1500.  The only civil medieval tower in Paris built between 1409  and 1411 by Jean Sans Peur, Duke of Burgundy. You can see with the family all the costumes of this period and the stories around them. The tour Jean Sans Peur, 20, rue Etienne-Marcel  (2éme). Open Wednesdays to Sundays from  13h30 and 18h. Free admission until 6 yrs old, 3,50€ for the 6-18 yrs old and 6€  for adults. More info here in a wordpress French blog: https://tourjeansanspeursite.wordpress.com/

Had to tell you about this exposition superb ,”Degas Danse Dessin”, November 28 to February 25 2018 at the museum or musée d’Orsay. More info in English here: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/events/exhibitions/in-the-musee-dorsay/exhibitions-in-the-musee-dorsay/article/degas-danse-dessin-46519.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=254&cHash=5607894a8e

At the Mémorial Charles de Gaulle at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises (Haute-Marne) there is going on an exposition «À table avec le général de Gaulle»  on the memories of dining with the General De Gaulle welcoming his guests. The period covers from 1959 when he became President to 1969 upon his retirement from politics . It shows the famous dinner given on June 1st 1961 to US President John F. Kennedy  and wife, Jackie. After this visit the US president encouraged the donations to support the Château de Versailles!!! The complete title of the exposition is  «À table avec le général de Gaulle, 10 ans de menus présidentiels (1959-1969)»  It will be on until December 30 2017. You can have dinner there for 25€ only on lunch time and except Mondays and Tuesdays; at  54, rue du Général-de-Gaulle, 52330 Colombey-les-Deux-Églises. Tél. +33 (0)3 25 01 51 69.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his call for action on June 18 1940, the Champagne house of Drappier created in 1990 a special cuvee Charles-de-Gaulle with the same blending as he liked such as  80 %  pinot noir and 20 % chardonnay. Only the dosage is less today by about 7 grams making a a more dry Champagne but delicious as apéritif or to accompany meals . The production is still confidential but it is believe between 3000 to 4000 bottles per year.Champagne Drappier Charles-de-Gaulle. About 35 €. More here: http://www.champagne-drappier.com/en/charles-de-gaulle

And there is already coming up the season to be merrier and the ski slopes are waking up too. In the Savoy the season has started at Montgenèvre (Hautes-Alpes), Chamrousse (Isère), already welcoming skiers.  At 2300 meters high ,the station is the highest in all the Alpine arch with 3/4 of the stations ready for skiing on hundreds of km of trails mostly between  2300 and 2700 meters.  On the seven mechanical chairs going as high as 3000 meters and more only  Funitel Grand-Fond will work.  However, the cable car of  Cime Caron, terminus at 3200 meters and a panorama à 360 °, will starts in a few days. The prices are just, until November 24th the day will be at 33,60€ and the forfeit of 4 hours at 30,10€. The weekend the tariff will be special 2 days at 64€. The local tourist reservation desk will have a lodging and ski for 2 days 2 nights from 112€ per person; good for the weekend and the following. At Montgenévre (Hautes-Alpes) they have 8 trails ready with 700 meters of skiing on foot for 20€ per day.  At Chamrousse (Isére) there is a Nordic trail of 5 km for 1,50€ per day and ready to go! In the Alps at Tignes (Savoie) as always first in welcoming skiers on the glacier of Grande-Motte and this year it will be bigger on the trail Double M . So far only one cable car is going up from Tignes-Val-Claret with no connections.  At 32 €  for adults and 26 €  for children the forfaits (glacier and double M) are on a limited space available and a bit more expensive than the 100 km of trails available at  Val-Thorens,in the same valley. Finally, in the Alpes-Maritimes,just by Nice ,the Isola 2000 is already open with half the domaine skiable for 20€ per day.  One site I always used for my boys doing the runs is this one Skiinfo in French,but can change to English, just in French it gives you more info.  https://www.skiinfo.fr/france/stations-de-ski.html

And talking about Christmas , well I have been to many over the years and lately the local ones, but these are the best markets in France in my opinion.

Marché de Noël de Colmar, Marché de Noël de Strasbourg, Marché de Noël de Montbéliard, Marché de Noël d’Obernai, Marché de Noël de Mulhouse, Marché de Noël de Reims, Marché de Noël d’Amiens, Marché de Noël de Lille, Marché de Noël de Metz, and Marché de Noël d’Arras. Merry Christmas to all who believe.

Until next time on the airwaves of Paris1972-Versailles2003 ::) Cheers!!!!!

November 17, 2017

Always wonderful Paris, as eternal as ever!!!

And as usual it was another time to Paris for me. I lost count, nowdays every month; worked in the city for 10 years; and cannot ever get enough of it. Just the very mention of the word PARIS , bring out the best in me.

I am not going into a long speech, the city has enough written and spoken on it by millions; and even with its up and downs still is a movable feast ::) Paris forever, eternal, it never ceased to amazed me. I am just lucky enough to have worked in it and now able to visit every month at least once!!!

I made a quick usual business visit this time one day roundtrip TGV train from Vannes to Montparnasse.  You know the usual sites, and what most do not know  ,is that the famous TGV is always late on the Atlantique run!!! 25 minutes going and 45 minutes coming back.  On the way back it was very funny after all, my wagon should be 8 but it had 18 on it, and everybody was hesitant of getting on….we all looked around like if you dare…go. Now these are all savvy TGV travelers mostly French if not all on business hours.

I needed to get up early to get the TGV at Vannes by 5h55 (5:55am) and once in Montparnasse, took the metro line 6 to Bir Hakeim to meet with my boss and colleague.  Do not like metro/subways/tube, mine is above ground always. However, for the meeting very early on, and meeting at a cafe by the exit the metro was it. Line 6 is a line that goes above ground after all so not so bad indeed.  I arrived late thanks to the TGV but enough for the meeting.

We met at the Comptoir Principal , we were there only for a cup of coffee once early in the morning and another on the way out in the late afternoon as my boss chose it. However, the service was fast courteous and from what visitors are saying it seems a good place to be. Here is more; Comptoir Principal 

As I was there later on, was able to take my leasure walks alone the Seine river by the tour Eiffel. OMG, oh my God, things has change so much, me not in the tower since 2005 lol!! but they have put security barriers to get in and out so sad. They won’t get me in soon there.

The Seine river is always magical, and was able to see my favorite boat ride ever, the Bateaux Parisiens right there.  Metro line 6 is interesting as said because it is above ground and you get to see the magic of Paris above ground. Overlooking over the Seine is a must in Paris for all.

Impressive as it was, there was time for lunch and again my meeting lunch was at the nice Villa Verdi Italian restaurant. Very friendly , got even to practice on my Italian a bit ::) There , I had escalope de dinde in pâte bolognaise or something like breaded cheese turkey with pasta and meat. there was a chocolate pudding in amaretto dessert and coffee expresso, the drink was a nice Italian red Santa Cristina Chianti Superiori 2015; very nice indeed. Again very good reviews by all; More on the restaurant here: Villa Verdi

The restaurant do have their own webpage here: http://www.villaverdi.fr/en/

On the way back , after the beforementioned round of coffee at the Comptoir Principal; went around to say hello some old American friend from Paris before getting back into Suffren to get bus 82 to Montparnasse. Now this is the best deal many do not use, for the price of a metro ticket you can see the beauty of Paris passing by the very nice Avenue Suffren, into the Ecole Militaire, then passing by the Church Saint Louis (Invalides) before rejoining the blvd Montparnasse into the train station bus terminal. The map of bus 82 here: RATP Bus 82

The trip took and always does the same time as the metro line 6 and if off rush hours it goes quicker !!! Tested time and time again by yours truly.

At the end the tour Montparnasse always omnipresent and beautiful, and I worked here near it for a while. The entrance to the glass modern looking Gare Montparnasse train station is nice. Inside, my stop for a refreshement is the Brasserie Océane on the grandes lignes TGV platform and live music entertainment most often too. They are remodeling the brasserie and only the terrace is open but still the best place to be at Montparnasse. Here is more : brasserie Océane

I got to my free parking at Vannes train station and my car as always was there for the final trip home where the family was waiting for me. The trip was on the 16 and on the 17 my twins boys are 24 years young!! More of this later on my blog. Then, a trip to near Mont Saint Michel tomorrow will see the time and what can I come up with.

Stay tune is time for the cake and Breton cider, until next time in my blog enjoy your weekend wherever you are and happy travels. Cheers

 

 

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November 8, 2017

Some news from France CLXXIIII

+.+And back to France we go folks, this is Fall but it looks already like Winter.  Temps are as low as 5C and now 7C or about 43F; cloudy, gray and raining; and Paris is at 47F with lows of 40F. Well , I guess I always wanted to be a meteorologist even if it is not a perfect science ::)

This just in ,the Grande Epicerie de Paris has a new outlet in Paris, 80 rue de Passy 16éme , wonderful items in my favorite arrondissement of Paris… http://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/en.html

Problems in Paris, the Christmas market by the Champs-Elysées are cancelled pending the courts to determine if it goes on. The principal organizer of these markets is now fighting the decision of the Council of Paris in court to have reverse the decision. He has done or try to do some blocks of traffic which only enrage the people doing nothing to his cause with heavy traffics all over the Paris region. The contract with the city of Paris was signed in 2015 and by now the market attracts about 15 million visitors, with 240 merchants and providing about 2000 jobs according to the organizer but there is something fishy going on here.  He had about 70 trucks requisition by the police on the porte de la Muette and the esplanade du Château de Vincennes. The city counters that they want a more valuable choice with more upscale products and locally produce. Again, something fishy going on here….

Also, the festival by the Grand Palais has been cancelled, weird, the rides installed under the big glass dome of the Grand Palais will not be there this year. The closing of the Châtelet, the musical comedy Singin’in the Rain will be on stage from November 28 to January 11 2018. The rides are out… fish fish… The other grand rendezvous at the Bastille is cancelled without explanation too!!! Also, reduce by half the participants in the Foire du Trône on the lawn of the Reuilly!  The organizer of all these festivals is in court and the blockage of trucks has been stop. Like I said, the organizer is waiting for the Tribunal Administratif de Paris by way of his attorney to get the market re open by the court. The decision is to be done by November 14 2017. From articles in Le Parisien journal

However, there is something on Christmas days that will not change is the decoration of the Great department stores of Paris .

The windows of the Au Printemps Haussmann  are still blank but from Tuesday November 7 today, at 17h they will have a start done by Nicole Kidman, the cinema star. Eleven portraits on the eleven windows of au Printemps have been thought of and designed with a participation of  150 persons, painters, seamstress, electricians etc like a theater play they will do about 13 km of nylon cords in the windows with  70 little bears and others to accompany Jules with its aviator hat and aviator dress as well as  Violette adventurer with the sheets and rose  scarfs.  On the portrait of Bavaria the little rabbit that is trying to put all the suitcases in the VW beetle, and the head on the vault, the thighs on air, and the skirts offered to spectators should be one of the stars of the season.  The van new one of  Citroën, will be cut in half showing the length ,and the transatlantic trip or the over flight of Paris in zeppelin will be a great spectacle. It will be shown every day from 19H or 7PM until mid night and until mid January 2018. More here: http://departmentstoreparis.printemps.com/en

In the windows of the  Galeries Lafayette, it will start on Wednesday at 18h or 6pm with an fairs universe  of the Paris of early 20C.  You see Pierre ,the pigeon heroe and his sweet lady Coco that will  fly over a spectacular decoration of 12 animated windows.  All at the tune of an barbarian organ with wild rhythm.  Beyond the windows inside the store, a virtual reality that will make you travel along the rollercoasters in Paris to arrive at the grand dome of the store.  A free experience shown between December 9 to 31st 2017 in six sofas that moves for 2h30 minutes of crazy moves. Finally, each weekend the animations awaits you with magic and goddess of great adventures. More here: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/votre-interieur-aux-couleurs-de-noel/

A bit of arts in my beloved Versailles.

At the turn of the 20C, he show the Orient to the world, painter and photographer, Georges Gasté (1869-1910) is given an exposition entitled  « Un Orient sans images » The Orient in images at the museum or musée Lambinet in Versailles.  He was a great traveler of Algéria, Égypt , and India, that he shows with photos and portraits.  Now from Mondays to Sundays and from 14h to 18h except Fridays and Holidays and until Sunday February 18 2018 at the museum located at  54, boulevard de la Reine, just around the market of Notre Dame.Admission adults 6€ and more info from the city page here :https://www.versailles.fr/culture/etablissements/musee-lambinet/expositions/un-orient-sans-mirages-georges-gaste/

And from the tourist office on the museum itself: http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/patrimoine-culturel/musee-lambinet-943172

The label of Ramsar that honors around the world the best natural sites like the golfe du Morbihan near me has just given the marais de Sacy the same prestigious title.  The marshes runs over 1 073 hectares, with a expansive plains one of the biggest of France. They keep some of the species in danger in our world such as the spider Dolomedes plantarius, that is able to dive into the water to avoids its preditors as well as the rats like amphibious vole. Today, there is a trail at the south entrance to Saint-Martin-Longueau, that allows you to walk for about 1 km bordering the marshes. There is an observation tower high of 10 meters with a view of the wet lands . For more information you can contact the marais de Sacy at tel +33 (0) 3.44.28.15.11. Further info here: http://www.syndicatmixtedesmarais.sitew.fr/#Home.A

And more info on Ramsar organization here: http://www.ramsar.org/

On March 23-24 2018, at Senlis you have the wonderful garden festival or the  17 Salon du Jardin we all enjoy here all over, Senlis is a nice historical medieval city center town. More on this event here: http://salon-du-jardin-a-senlis.fr/

Jog this down in your calendar for a grand special event in the Oise region of France. October 5-7 2018 there will be at historical Senlis the next International Festival of  Saint-Fiacre.  There will be groups visiting from Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Germany,and Luxembourg. The crucial moment of the 3 days event is the Saturday October 6, the Mass of Saint-Fiacre in the Cathedral.  All the Chapels will be decorated by the different visiting délégations and in town there will be religious cérémonies as well as civil with presentation by different European groups, such as solemn Mass, benediction of the flowery chariots on the parvis of the Cathedral, worshipping the patron saint of the gardeners.  In the afternoon there will be a vegetables parade with panels, statues, and banners, flower chariots, and musical groups. For now they are looking for volunteers to help on the event, info here: Mme Nicole Picart tel +33 (0) 3.44.53.74.50. or email picart.nicole@gmail.com

Something unique in Paris is the old museum of public works or ancienne Musée des Travaux Publics at the Palais d’Iéna. 9 Place d’Iéna. open every day from 12h to 19h. It is no longer a museum but it houses an economic council, however for the architecture is worth a detour. See it all here: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/148921/Conseil-economique-social-et-environnemental-Palais-d-Iena

The army museum or musée de l’Armée  has an event on the experience of a soldier in the front entitled « dans la peau d’un soldat » or The Life of a  Soldier with visuals of 337 objects, some unique of the period of antiquity to our days.  An exposition showing to what point the military have been on the origin of many current tendances from style to designs : the expo will be until January 28 2018. More info here: http://musee-armee.fr/expoDansLaPeauDunSoldat/index-en.html

After 2,5 years of renovations the castle or Château de Rambouillet  has reopen its doors. This is the summer residence of the President of France which has seen passed by famous such as king François Ier to Nelson Mandela. A new exposition entitled the Princes of Rambouillet , family portrait or « Les princes de Rambouillet. Portraits de famille », dedicated to the illustrious previous owners as well as entertainment will be on until January 22 2018.  More here:  http://www.chateau-rambouillet.fr/en/

The forest is the invited guest to the Château de Maisons at Maisons Laffitte.You will emerge in a mysterious ambiance of a walk across storytelling and legends ; the walks are organize in 7 portraits that inspire each a imaginary representation of the forest. After the forest oexposition, you can visit the forest or forêt de Saint-Germain  with ONF on  there was once a forest or  « Il était une forêt… »,all until March 5 2018. More info here:  http://www.chateau-maisons.fr/en/

The third biannual of Flamenco art entitled the « Tablao » is on from November 10th a the  Théâtre national de la Danse for almost 3 weeks of dances.  It will let you see some espectacle of high quality like the dancer José Galvan, on for 3 exceptional dates. More here:  http://theatre-chaillot.fr/en/dance/tablao

During the work at Chatelet, the representations continues in the dome of the Grand Palais. It will show the musical comedy of  Singin’ in the Rain,  from November 28 to January 11 2018.  They have done a cinema studio in the palace and will have before and during the show ; food trucks, studio photo, makeup artist, claquettes courses ,video installations and  karaoke. More here: http://chatelet-theatre.com/

I have told you previously in my blog about the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, well is now open this museum of sand . It is like an mirror, at the junction of the Arabian Gulf (Persian on the other side coast of Iran), tip of sea and military zone crossing the Emirates mixing urban and architecture as we reach the island of Saadiyat, « the island of happiness », we see like the arm of the sea, the rivers, and the canals; a vast complex very modern. More here: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/

Also, on previous posts I mentioned about the rescue of the Potager du Roi of Versailles. The vegetable garden created in 1678 by  Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie as per request of king Louis XIV. Now officially the Potager du Roi  has been retained by the World Monuments Fund (WMF). It is on the list of world sites the American   charitable organization is ready to invest and preserve as per the last Fifty years the WMF, base in New York, has help support about  800 sites in 135 countries. Amongst the generous contribution to the Fund we can count on the Prince Aga Khan, the family of perfumer Lauder, the decorator Juan Pablo Molyneux or the American company American Express. This is good news indeed!!! More here: http://www.potager-du-roi.fr/site/pot_visites/

And the WMF here: https://www.wmf.org/project/potager-du-roi

And back to Paris for the opening of a historical swimming pool open to all. Art Nouveau and a cinema decoration this is the basin where Amélie Poulain did her swims in the famous film of same name of  2001; and now the swims in this 18éme arrondissement will be able to do again. After two years of renovations the pool or piscine des Amiraux  re opened its doors to the public today. The pool is open 7/7 and will have  43 hours for swimmers per week for the general public, 30 hours for the schoolchildren, and 26 hours for the sports club.  The pool is located at 6, rue Hermann-Lachapelle (18éme),nearest metro is Simplon, line 4. Bus 56 also stops here. More info here: http://equipement.paris.fr/piscine-des-amiraux-2944

To commemorate the 100 years of the Grand Guerre or WWI the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris will light up the façade and even the interior with an illumination spectacle in 17 portraits for 23 minutes duration in four nights starting tonight  and until Saturday night on 19h30 and 21h each night. The event is free but get there early as there will be many for sure. It will have 8 huge projectors, with about 60 source of lights put on the wall of the Cathedral in addition to 80 projectors from inside the Cathedral with 400 candles. TO show the entry of Americans in WWI and it is the Americans by the Knights of Columbus organization founded in 1882 that are financing the event. More info here: http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/en/

Enjoy Paris, all of France is a movable feast. Enjoy your week and happy travels to all.Cheers!

November 5, 2017

The gates or portes de Paris!

portes-de-parisOk so we always speak about the wonderful bridges of Paris and it has plenty. However, what about the gates or portes of Paris…..There are many and some are really nice.

Without going into details on all as they are many, these are the gates of Paris today.

On the North East area on the 18éme arrondissement there is the popular Porte de la Chapelle. Then the 19éme arrondissement you have the Porte d’Aubersvilliers ,porte de la Villette, Porte de Pantin, Porte Chaumont, Porte Brunel, Porte du Pré-Saint Gervais, and Porte des Lilas. In the 20éme arrondissement you have Porte de Lilas, Porte de Ménilmontant, Porte de Bagnolet (A13 road), Porte de Montreuil (N302 road) ; the 12éme arrondissement has the Porte de Vincennes, Porte Jaune (in Bois de Vincennes) ; porte du Bel-Air (in Bois de Vincennes), Porte de Sant Mandé (in bois de Vincennes) ,porte de Momtempoivre, porte Dorée, Porte de Reuilly, Porte de Charenton (A6), Porte de Bercy (A4).

In the South left bank on the 13éme arrondissement you have the Porte de la Gare, Porte de Vitry, Porte d’Ivry, Porte de Choisy (N305) , porte d’Italie (N7), Poterne des Peupliers, and Porte de Gentilly.  Moving to the 14éme arrondissement you have the Porte de Gentilly, Porte d’Arcueil, Porte d’Orléans (N20), Porte de Montrouge, Porte de Chatillon, Porte Didot, and Porte de Vanves. In the 15éme arrondissement ,you have the Porte Brancion, Porte de Plaisance, Porte de la Plaine, Porte de Versailles, Porte d’Issy, Porte de Sévres, and Porte du Bas-Meudon (quai d’Issy).

In the West on the 16éme arrondissement, you have the porte du Pont-du-Jour, Porte de Saint Cloud (N10), Porte Molitor, Porte de Boulogne (bois de Boulogne), Porte de l’Hippodrome (bois de Boulogne), Porte d’Auteuil (A13), Porte de Passy, Porte de la Muette, Porte Dauphine, Porte de la Seine (bois de Boulogne), Porte de Bagatelle (bois de Boulogne) , Porte de Madrid (bois de Boulogne), Porte Saint-James (bois de Boulogne) ; Porte de Neuilly (Bois de Boulogne), Porte des Sablons (bois de Boulogne) ; and Porte Maillot (N13).

While in the North West ,in the 17éme arrondissement you have the Porte de Ternes, Porte de Villiers, Porte de Champerret, Porte de Courcelles, Porte d’Asniéres, Porte de Clichy, Porte Pouchet. In the 18éme arrondissement you have the Porte de Saint Ouen, Porte de Montmartre, Porte de Clignancourt (N14) Porte des Poissonniers.

To go into some examples as the text is very long,on my favorite district 16 of Paris the Porte Saint Cloud is on the same route as the Bourbon kings had planned the road of the Avenue de Paris in Versailles to Paris Porte Saint Cloud to reach the Louvre fortress and you can still do this route by car!

There is a nice map of many if not all of them I have joined here and some of my pictures passing by them.

There are some special such as the Porte Saint Martin (b 1674) in honor of king Louix XIV and Porte Saint Denis (b 1672) to king Louix XIV on the 10éme arrondissement as well.

The Porte de Pantin was my first entry by car into Paris coming from Meaux in Seine-et-Marne (native town of my wife). Built in early 19C and name as such since WWII.  Another I have gone thru or walked thru often are the Porte d’Orléans, Porte d’Italie , Porte de Gentilly, Porte de Montrouge, Porte de l’Hippodrome , Porte d’Auteuil (A13), Porte de Passy, Porte de la Muette, Porte Dauphine,  Porte de Bagatelle (bois de Boulogne) , Porte de Madrid, and Porte Maillot. The Porte de Champerret, and Porte de Clichy.

Again, they provide a free traffic flow into the city and out, with a bit of history and architectural taste to make your walking or driving very pleasant. Enjoy the gates of Paris , enjoy your Sunday wherever you are. Cheers!

 

 

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November 4, 2017

The bridges or ponts of Paris!

 

 

On a cloudy rainy day with temps in the 15C in my neck of the woods and about the same in Paris, I have become nostalgic maybe even romantic to write about Paris and its bridges. Lots of beauty, romance and history on the bridges of Paris; they numbered about 37 over the Seine river.

We all have our favorites, I happened to have passed by them all either by car or on foot or both ways over the years. The Bridges of Paris or Les Ponts de Paris are sublime. One old record from the city of Paris shows that there are 37 bridges over the Seine river, 58 bridges over Parisien streets, 10 bridges used by the trains RATP, 33 bridges used by the trains SNCF, 148 bridges over the boulevard Périphérique beltway road around Paris, and 49 pedestrian bridges!!

Of the 37 bridges over the Seine , 5 are pedestrians and 2 are train bridges. 3 link the Île Saint Louis to the rest of Paris and 8 do the same for the île de la Cité, and one link the islands. The 37 are:

Pont Amont at the edge of the river entry to the city in the boulevard Périphérique; Pont National, Pont de Tolbiac, Passarelle Simone de Beauvoir (pedestrian), Pont de Bercy (railroad bridge carrying line 6 of the Métro and another lane for road traffic); Pont Charles de Gaulle, viaduct d’Austerlitz (railroad bridge on line 5 of the Métro ) following the rive droite by the viaduct du quai de la Rapée; Pont d’Austerlitz, Pont de Sully (eastern edge of ïle Saint Louis), Pont de la Tournelle (between rive gauche and ïle Saint Louis); Pont Marie (between Ïle Saint Louis and the rive droite); Pont Louis Philippe (between ïle Saint Louis and the rive droite, Pont Saint Louis (pedestrian between ïle Saint Louis and ïle de la  Cité); Pont de l’Archevêché (between the rive gauche and ïle de la Cité); Pont au Double (between rive gauche and ïle de la Cité); Pont d’Arcole (between ïle de la Cité and rive droite); Petit Pont (between rive gauche and ïle de la Cité), Pont Notre Dame (between ïle de la Cité and the rive droite); Pont Saint MIchel (between rive gauche and île de la Cité), Pont au Change (between ïle de la Cité and the rive droite); Pont Neuf, (oldest bridge at western tip of ïle de la Cité; Passerelle des Arts (pedestrian), Pont du Carrousel, Pont Royal, Passerelle Léopold Sédar Senghor (formerly passerelle de Solférino); Pont de la Concorde, Pont Alexandre III, Pont des Invalides, Pont de l’Alma, Passerelle Debilly (pedestrian); Pont d’Iéna, Pont de Bir-Hakeim (crossing île aux Cygnes with Métro line 6 and another road traffic lane); Pont Rouelle ( train viaduct of RER C crossing ïle aux Cygnes); Pont de Grenelle (crossing ïle aux Cygnes), Pont Mirabeau, Pont du Garigliano, and Pont Aval (boulevard Périphérique at river exit from the city) . Voilà!!

Out of all of these , I have my favorites of course, listed here with some notes.

Pont de la Tournelle : The first bridge built on the site was completed in 1620. The present-day bridge dates from 1928. A tall pylon flanks the bridge, topped by a statue of St. Geneviève, the Patron Saint of Paris.

Pont Marie:  Built in 1614-1635, : the bridge is one of the oldest in Paris. It is named after its lead engineer Christophe Marie.

Pont au Double:  There has been a bridge spanning the river on the site from 1626. The latest version, a single arch cast-iron bridge, dates from 1883. The bridge connects the left bank with the Île de la Cité and leads directly to the Place du Parvis Notre Dame, right in front of the Notre Dame Chathedral.

Pont au Change: Linking the Île de la Cité to the Right Bank, the first version of the bridge dated to the 9C  . It bears the initials of Emperor Napoleon III. Today’s bridge was built in 1860 as a masonry arch bridge and connects the Châtelet Square with the Conciergerie at the ïle de la Cité. Its name is derived from the goldsmiths and jewellers that had their shops here between the 14C-17C.

Pont Neuf : Ironically this is the city’s oldest bridge, built in 1607. At the time of its construction the Pont Neuf (which means ‘new bridge’) was the first bridge in Paris with no houses built upon it. The bridge connects the left bank with the right bank over the western tip of the ïle de la Cité.

Pont des Arts (Passarelle des Arts)  The footbridge offers one of the most romantic views of Paris. In the distance the Île de la Cité can be seen and the medieval-looking bridge of Pont-Neuf which links the Right and Left banks.

Pont Alexandre III :  The bridge named after the Tsar of Russia was built during the Belle Époque opened just in time for the Universal Exposition of 1900. The bridge is decorated with lampposts and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs. Tall pillars on either side of the bridge are topped with large gilded statues, and connects the Invalides to the Grand and Petit Palais.

Passerelle Debilly :  This pedestrianized built in 1900. :It offers spectacular views over the Eiffel Tower.

Pont d’Iéna : The bridge dates from 1814. It is very famous for its remarkable position, linking the Trocadéro to the Eiffel Tower and Champ-de-Mars. It was named after the German city of Jena (Iéna in French) where Napoléon had defeated the Prussian army in 1806. The statues were added in 1853 and in 1937 the bridge was widened to 35m (115ft).

Pont de Bir-Hakeim:  The particularity of the double-decked bridge from 1878 and 1905 is that it was designed for both road and métro traffic.

Pont de Grenelle : The bridge is a bland modern steel bridge built in 1966. The bridge passes along the southern tip of the Île des Cygnes (Swan Island) where you find a replica of the Statue of Liberty. The 9 meter high statue was given as a present from the United States, who had earlier received the original Statue of Liberty as a gift from France.

Pont de la Concorde: The Pont de la Concorde (Bridge of Concord) leads from the Place de ma Concorde to the Palais Bourbon, home of the French Parliament’s lower house. Already planned in 1725, the bridge was built after much delay, between 1787 and 1791. The width of the bridge was doubled in 1932 to 34m (112ft) to accommodate the increasing traffic.

Pont d’Arcole: The first permanent bridge connecting the City Hall of Paris (Hôtel de Ville) and the Île de la Cité was built in 1828. This small pedestrian bridge with a central pillar was replaced by a wider and stronger bridge in 1854. The for its time advanced bridge with no central pillar still stands today.

Of course , the history of these bridges has a lot more to offer and tell, they are magical on its own. As an example for the curious I will expand on the Pont Saint Michel.

The construction of the bridge of St Michael or pont Saint Michel was ordered in 1378 and finished in 1387; to link the ïle de la Cité with the rive gauche (left bank) of the Seine. It took the name of St Michel for a small chapel that occupied the southwest angle of the court or cour de la Sainte Chapelle in the interior of the Justice palace (palais de la justice). It was broken by the ices cold front of 1408, 1547 and 1616 rebuilt in stones as well as in wood, it was necessary to rebuilt it with stone the year 1616 for a company that won the right to built 32 houses that were still visible in the first years of the 20C, and were not demolished from a decree order of emperor Napoléon Ier,in  1807  from the war field of Tilsitt. The pont Saint-Michel is held by four arches in the center, of 61 meters and wide of 25 meters between the heads. On each column there is a N in capital letter inscrits on the stone to remind us of the reign of emperor Napoléon III.

You can see more in the Paris tourist office in English here:  https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/Paris-a-fabulous-heritage/visiting-parisian-outdoor-heritage/Paris-the-Seine-with-its-bridges-and-footbridges

And more beautiful photos and history site Paris1900 that I used a lot here for my belle France and now sharing with the world. http://paris1900.lartnouveau.com/paris_les_ponts.htm

Gorgeous photos on the bridges of Paris above!!!

Paris

Enjoy the bridges of Paris whether you are just walking around or driving on them as I do both, it is sublime , see Paris above ground. Please walk Paris ,if still driving makes it difficult for you, then take transports in and walk walk walk Paris; as my other posts said, Paris is an open air Museum !!! Enjoy your weekend. Cheers

 

 

 

 

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November 3, 2017

The Wines of Bordeaux, France, simply the best!!!

Bordeaux BordeauxWell here I go again with Bordeaux and its wines. I am a wine aficionado but seldom write about them. This is another try at it. For a starter, I am certified diploma from ICEX the Commercial office of Spain abroad and SOPEXA, Food and Wines from France; as well as working for a large wines store chain in charge of the ordering and inventory of the store as ABC chain in Florida. I have my own cellar now numbering about 50 bottles as said before I enjoy drinking them not storing them!

My previous post on Bordeaux is here:  https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/10/20/the-wines-of-bordeaux/

Above link you can find many places to buy the wines even if not able to visit the properties which of course is tops.

And why Bordeaux well after tasting wines from Chile to California, South Africa to Germany, and all of France and Spain, I come to the conclusion that the best are from Bordeaux; I am not alone, it’s the world most recognizable quality wines ever. You want to know officially more of  Bordeaux wines here: https://www.bordeaux.com/us/

I do not want to get into something technical or winelogy talk but rather a primer to tell you about this wonderful region, which by the way has one of the best beaches in France where my family vacationed many summers.

The Bordeaux wine world is divided into sections based on quality, historical trends and efforts by the winegrowers to showcase their particular area. These designation tells pretty much the price and quality of the bottles in a general sense. These are:

Crus Artisans  Small artisan producers of the Médoc; Crus Bourgeois  For producers in the Médoc based on quality assessment of regional character ; Crus Classés de Graves  A classification of producers in Graves from 1953 (amended in 1959); Crus Classés de Saint-Émilion  A classification of top quality producers in Saint-Émilion that is revisited every 10 years. Crus Classés de 1855  A 5-tier classification of producers in Médoc and Graves (and sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac) from 1855. One producer moved up a tier in 1973 (Mouton-Rothschild).

The Gironde estuary cuts through the center of the region creating two banks: a left bank and a right bank. It is a winery’s location on either bank that determines the proportion of Merlot to Cabernet inside each wine. If the winery is located on the Left Bank, (rive gauche)  (rive droite) the blend created will have more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. If the winery is instead located on the Right Bank of the river, the wine will have more Merlot in the blend than Cabernet Sauvignon. Left Bank blends tend to be higher in tannins, alcohol and acidity. They are powerful, rich wines that are said to age a bit better than wines from the Right Bank. This is also the bank that made the region famous. Right bank blends tend to be softer, less tannic and lower in alcohol and acidity. Because Merlot is the dominant grape, they are much more juicy and usually ready to be drunk much earlier than Left Bank Bordeaux, and they’re often less expensive.

Some have it more simple designation base on general geography and subzones such as Bordeaux & Bordeaux Supérieur ; Le Médoc ; Blaye & Sauternais ; Le Libournais ; and L’Entre-deux-mer.

The varierities of grapes use are many and are as follows  for the Red : Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Carménére. For the whites they are  Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle, Ugni Blanc, Colombard , and Sauvignon gris.

The red wines come from these designations Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Margaux, Médoc, Moulis, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Julien, Graves , Pessac-Léognan , Bordeaux Supérieur, Blaye, Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux, Bourg & Côtes de Bourg , Côtes de Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg , Canon Fronsac, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux Fronsac, Lalande-De-Pomerol, Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Montagne Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Puisseguin Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Saint Georges Saint-Émilion, Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux, Graves de Vayres , and Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux .

The whites coming from these designations Bordeaux , Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux , Bourg & Côtes de Bourg , Côtes de Blaye , Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux , Bordeaux Haut-Benauge,  Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire , Entre-Deux-Mers, Entre-Deux-Mers Haut-Bénauge, Graves de Vayres, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux. As well as the sweet designations that are not my cup of tea but Sauternes, comes to mind.

Lately, the Le Figaro vins section of the newspaper came with an article on the new Bordeaux giving some great properties as suggestions to be the best. I read the section religiously and abide by Le Figaro always. The link for their wine section in French is here: http://avis-vin.lefigaro.fr/

The rest of the post is from that article and some of my input in English.

It has been a bit over 5 years that Le Figaro created a webpage dedicated to the world of wines or oenology ,and today it has 455 000 visitors per month and many more in Facebook and Twitter.  It has become quickly the French site of reference for the lovers of the vineyards. In the previous centuries Bordeaux has become a symbol of living and knowing about the wine French style.

At the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, today are 300  négociants members that distribute 2/3 of the Wines of Bordeaux so, therefore  80%  of the territory shipping to 170 countries of our world . More here: http://www.vins-bordeaux-negoce.com/?lang=en

In 1855, on orders of emperor Napoléon III on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of Paris that he ask for a classification of the crus of Médoc. 61 properties divided in 5 levels were created; a club one of the world’s closed and private company that has never has been put to doubts, except in 1973 when Mouton-Rothschild moves up from 2nd to Premier cru classé. The classification provides an excellent tool for promotion that rarely if ever is challenge. Even thus, Bordeaux stay a land ready for recherché and advice.  There are many many vineyards that took the example of Bordeaux to improve their quality, including hiring consultants from Bordeaux such as Michel Rolland, Stéphane Derenoncourt, Hubert de Boüard or Eric Boissenot.  They have gone to the USA, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Greece, Lebanon, even India and China to export the know how of the Bordelais wines.  Bordeaux, is this incredible machine capable thanks to its  120.000 hectares of vineyards propose the whole of the wine markets a quality wine in all the brands levels of price. As long as the actors of the Bordeaux wine scene keep producing crus capable of attract consumers to it, Bordeaux will remain the reference in the World.

Starting from a large data base, the journalists could determine designation by designation (appellations) which are the chateaux the most attractive, and most desire of the public. This precious information has enable Le Figaro to create the Top 100 Bordelais properties.  Especially the Top 100 that takes us to like them for their influence in the Bordeaux market and their great properties in the wine world of 2017,whether real or numeric; which Le Figaro brings along all experts in internet communication including winemakers and other professionals.  They came up with these 3 points;

  1. Bordeaux is very well into the digital revolution.
  2. The image of the vineyard and properties on the web is conforming to what the professionals had in the middle of the 19C.
  3. The young generation of property owners mix well with centuries of tradition and an excellent e-reputation.

The Bordelais  is the most hierarchical vineyard in the world; the dynamic of its price, the critics notes, and the judgment of the professionals help to build solidify or weaken their status. The external problems and emerging values could allows us to understand what can happen even in Bordeaux; the price is only and indicator of the status of the property but with only a commercial look.

The notes of consumers on all platforms with a large following could be an element of instability in the reputation of the crus.  The amateur of wines 2.0 improvise the critiques on the social media via a blog or on applications web. We have gone from an horizontal dialogue (between consumers) to a culture of participation where the public is the co creator of content and choice. The reputation can be issue from the place of production made more accessable, welcoming, open, hospible and beautiful and not just by architectural spectacles. Bordeaux in the last years has had its revolution bringing to the market a huge quantiy of affordable wines , many times under 10€.  However, there still a job to do in selling the brands of a  Côtes de Castillon,  Côtes de Bourg, or Bordeaux supérieurs; a new model is needed on distribution and marketing.

Here are some of the finding TOP 10 on many designations or appellations of Bordeaux

From Saint Emilion, we have in order ;Cheval Blanc, Angelus, Fombrauge, la Gaffeliére, Figéac Ausone, Dassault, Pavie , Grand Pontet ,and La Dominique.

From Pomerol, Petrus, Clos Réné, Tailleffer, Beauregard, La Conseillante,  La Pointe , Gazin , Le Pin, Nenin, and Clinet.

From Pauillac, Mouton Rothschild, Latour, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Lynch-Moussas, Pontet-Canet, Lynch-Bages, Croizet-Bages, Grand Puy Ducasse, Batailley, and Pedésclaux.

From St Estèphe,  Haut-Marbuzet, Beau- Site, Cos d’Estournel, Phélan Segur, Lafon-Rochet, Montrose, Calon Segur, Meyney, Ormes de Pez, and Lillian Ladouys.

From St Julian, Talbot, Lagrange, Ducru Beaucaillou, Gloria, Gruaud Larose, Branaire Ducru, Beychevelle, Leoville Las Cases , Leoville Poyferré, and Glana.

The whole article in French in Le Figaro is here: http://avis-vin.lefigaro.fr/vins-bordeaux/o134218-les-100-chateaux-qui-font-bordeaux-sur-le-web

Enjoy the wines in moderation but always drink them, not only good for your health but culturally enriching, and chic, with cachet ::) Salut!!!

Bordeaux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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