Posts tagged ‘Paris’

October 26, 2020

Getting to/from Versailles!

I have done a post on this subject when I started my blog long ago. I feel it needs update so here it is folks. Hope you enjoy it

How to come to Versailles? A question many times asked and usually connected with Paris. First, an explanation on geography as I lived in Versailles and worked in Paris. We are a separate city, in a separate geographical area totally independant of Paris. We are the Capital of the state,province or as we call it , Department 78 call Yvelines in the west part of Paris. We are the de facto capital of France for any constitutional changes to the French Constitution when the government moves over to the city.

The most direct way to come to us is by car, renting one at CDG airport is the most usual route or Orly can be done too. As you know done all but still a road warrior soul. There are many route planner sites and now even GPS navigation, just sometimes does not provide the uptimum route. I found out. . Here are my routes as follows

From CDG Roissy en France ( department 95, or Val d’Oise northeast of Paris) ; You go out of airport on the N104 or Francilienne road, the signs along the route tells you that you are on the Francilienne or A104, direction Cergy-Pontoise , the entire western section got new additions and number changes (like A115) but the road remains the same, it later changes to the N104 before coming to the N184 by the intersection with the A15 (that can take you into Paris or towards Rouen in Normandy),you stay straight on the road and it brings you to the N13 road to Le Port Marly and continue on the N186 Route de Versailles onwards to Versailles going under the A13 autoroute de Normandie  by Les Chesnay-Roquencourt it becomes the D186 or Route de Saint Germain , then , boulevard Saint Antoine , at the traffic circle with the twins towers or monument to the fallen at place de la Loi turn right into boulevard du Roi , becoming Rue des Réservoirs, and you will see passing the Montansier theater (right hand side) and then the palace of Versailles! Yes the numbers change, the streets change but it is really a straight line direction Versailles!

From Orly airport in city of Orly, department 94 or Val de Marne south of Paris, you take from either terminal Ouest /West or Sud/South the road A106 direction Paris, signs N7 and take the exit to the A86 exchange direction Sceaux/Antony/Versailles that is get on the right lane and turn around towards the left or west into the A86. Follow this road to the N12 and at exit 2 /N186 Rue du Pont Colbert same into the Rue des Etats Généraux , then left on Rue de Limoges , then right on ave de Sceaux, then right on ave Général de Gaulle and left on Avenue de Paris to palace of Versailles. Again easy, the key here is to take the exit 2 above!

From Paris most folks don’t do it, so won’t go into that, but its very easy indeed as the avenue de Versailles in Paris takes you straight by the Porte Saint Cloud  to the avenue de Paris in Versailles following the old royal route on the D910/D10 now that leads to the palace of Versailles. Royale lol!

The city has plenty of parkings all over, my most useful are these: parking ave de Sceaux ,this is just after the rive gauche-château RER C train station on ave Général Charles de Gaulle, intersection with rue Royale turn left and first ramp up to the parking. Metered machines are spread out for your ticket. . Parking avenue de Saint Cloud, very easy at the avenue and corner with ave de l’Europe away from the chateau will be your right hand side, you see the flower market on your right too. Parking place du Marché Notre Dame, at the market right off rue du marechal Foch, a bit tight but very nice and elevators bring up right in the middle of the market ! Parking place Saint Louis, this one is by the Cathedral Saint Louis, the big P and Cathedrale will guide you to it. Its right off place Saint Louis. You have a smaller parking right on Parking ave de l’Europe open air but very convenient to castle and market too.  Once on avenue de l’Europe to to avenue de Paris turn sharp right into the entrance.

Some info in English from the city of Versailleshttps://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/se-deplacer/parkings/

You can park on the street , but they have meters  unless park far off the main tourist spots. I used them if moving around town because we walk here but normally for long periods and visiting I will recommend the parking garages.

Then, for the public transports inclined there are many ways too. There are by way of RER/Metro/Bus, this is RER B from CDG airport to Gare de l’Est train station in Paris, here take metro line 4 direction porte d’Orléans but stop at Strasbourg-Saint Denis to connect with metro line 9 direction Pont de Sévres and get off here. Then take bus No 171 right to the front of Chateau de Versailles on ave de Paris! One more from CDG airport is to take RER B to St Michel-Notre Dame train station in Paris, and there change to RER C to train station rive gauche-château in Versailles , which is the closest to Chateau de Versailles! While walking around Paris there are other connections on the RER C to Versailles.

You can,also, take the Le Bus Direct (old Cars Air France) on line 4 to Montparnasse train station, there take the regular train to  Chantiers train station in Versailles, the farthest from Chateau at more than one km easy for us but maybe too far for you. At Chantiers especially in high season you can take the Phebus network TRI buses to the domaine de Versailles (castle , trianons, hameau etc).

Yet another one is to take the Roissybus bus service to behind Opéra Garnier and there take at the Opera metro station connection with metro line 3 to gare Saint Lazare to take regular train to gare/station rive droite in Versailles, then connect with the Phebus network TRI buses to the Domaine as above.

From Orly airport, take the Le Bus Direct bus line 1 or 4 to Montparnasse, then regular train to Chantiers train station in Versailles. You can ,also ,take the navette bus from Orly airport to the gare de Rungis, from here RER C to gare d’Austerlitz, and again the RER C direction Versailles rive gauche-château RER station.

There are several private lines taken this route today I will just list one naturally call Versailles Express webpage: https://www.versaillesexpress.com/en

And even from low cost Beauvais-Tillé airport you can do by taking a taxi to the  gare or train station at Beauvais (11 – 15€ update prices please) ,then take the train to the  gare du Nord in Paris. There take the RER B to stop St Michel-Notre Dame, and follow that with the RER C to Versailles rive gauche-château RER station. Walking distance to the palace of Versailles.

If you are a curious visitor and like a bit of adventure into off the beaten paths places go to bus depot at avenue de l’Europe at the corner of ave de Saint Cloud. You get here walking from the palace to your left and take the ave de Saint Cloud stay on the right hand side to just before reaching avenue de l’Europe, there is the bus stop No 19  every 30 minutes or so take it stop Arboretum/Parly II , get off walk back down towards Versailles about 300 meters you will see the porte de Saint Antoine, on your right hand side. Walking in is free on the gardens and the Hameau de Marie-Antoniette is on your right as you enter, then the Trianons one after the other.Sublime!! My jogging and walking favorite spot in Versailles and there is a branch of Angelina cafe next to the Petit Trianon!

The RER C can be taken at several locations in Paris to go to Versailles in addition to St Michel-Notre Dame, there are gare d’Austerlitz, Auber, Musée d’Orsay, Invalides, Champ de Mars/tour Eiffel, Pont de l’Alma, Javel,Porte Maillot, Ave Foch, Ave Henri Martin, etc etc. Best to grab a metro/RER map right off the airport by the RER B train station in the airport.

And of course, the city has a lot more than the Château. As I told several times before, Versailles has a lot more indeed. Just walk into the districts of Notre Dame (left side facing out the chateau,and my old home) or Saint Louis (right side facing out the chateau) or go up ave de Paris into the district of Montreuil and see the mansions of the court (they want it some privacy away from the bustle of the castle so build away) here is Madame Elizabeth  (sister of louis XVI who ended in the same faith as his brother) and Madame de Provence (the sister in law who made thru the revolution) and others. See my posts on them in my blog.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and you must visit Versailles are:

The site for the ile de France region regular train service, Transilienhttps://www.transilien.com/en

The Paris and surroundings transport by RER train, bus,tram RATPhttps://www.ratp.fr/en/

The unique bus No 171 at pont de Sévres to Versailles is here: https://www.ratp.fr/plans-lignes/busratp/171

The  TRI bus service from Phebus network in Versailles. It connects arrival at all 3 Versailles gares or train station to the Château and Trianons. All local bus lines are here. However, bear in mind seasonal line in Summers, check if it will be still running next Summer when info available here: https://www.phebus.tm.fr/se-deplacer/toutes-les-fiches-horaires/horaires/main/Search/

There you go a nice way to come into my beloved Versailles, hope it helps your planning for the future. I have updated info and webpages here. I have other posts with pictures but this is just for information only. Versailles is a must visit in France!

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

October 23, 2020

Wines of France, simply the best!!!

I will update this post initially done in 2011! in my blog. I have written several wine posts ever since as it is my other passion but this general entry would like to update for you and me! Hope you enjoy it.

It is a passionate subject for me as I am a wine enthusiast. It is ,also, a very diverse and subjective issue as wine is today the center piece of many individuals and countries tastes and habits. Even if most if not all take their modern beginnings from France…I would like to concentrate on my personal experiences and share them with my readers.

My first recollection of drinking wine was when I was 8 years old and my maternal grandmother (Amparo from Tenerife) had me taste a couple of fingers of Spanish wine. I recall it tasted very bad, but she insist it was Spanish wine!!! I took it again on and off for several years until already a young adult in Florida and wanting to be once again part of the beach bums in Daytona Beach moved to the area to get whatever job I could lay my hands on.

The first job was as a store clerk at the ABC wine and liquor store in South  Yonge St almost to the corner of Granada Blvd in Ormond Beach, Florida (store still there!)under the watchful eye of store manager JD Brandy!  This was about January 1985. Once in a while I had to serve as bartender in the adjoining bar which didn’t like too much. In the store, most were gear to heavy drinkers and wines were put at a disadvantage; so much that I end up in charge of orders and inventory keeping of the wine section in the store. This allows me to mingled with other wine lovers, and go to wine pool parties as server, gaining valuable knowledge in the world of wines.

It was the beginning of something magical that has continue to my now life in France. I was instrumental in working with SOPEXA ,Food and Wines from France (now in NYC) organisation in helping French wine sellers introduce themselves to the south Florida market. At the same time passing a rigorous test on French wines from the organisation. I worked with the Commercial Office (ICEX) of Spain in NYC under director Julio Becquer to bring about Spanish wines bodegas and restaurant under the beautiful Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables for an evening of wines and tapas as an introduction to Spanish wines. I participated tireless into many wine tastings events done by the stores like ABC, Crown,and Gourmet Spain (no longer there) in South Miami under Alberto Mueller writer for the newspaper El Diario de las Americas (still going on!).https://www.diariolasamericas.com/contenidos/cultura.html

ICEXhttps://www.icex.es/icex/es/index.html

SOPEXAhttps://sopexa.com/en/

Many French , Spanish, Italian,American, Chilean, Argentinian wine growers would come to showcase their wines there in Miami. I was able to meet many of them, the most popular and biggest players in their respective countries. This contacts later materialise into visits to their wine operations in their respective countries. One memorable was meeting Pierre-Henry Gagey of Maison Jadot , Beaune, Burgundy in Miami on a Crown wine tasting evening. This was followed same year with a visit to his company in Beaune, France, and even thus he was not in house, I was treated like royalty and taken by able Commercial Manager-Europe Marc Dupin on a family personal tour of the installations and tasting 5 reds and 5 whites of great international renown. A pleasant encounter that has lasted thru time.  I was able to visit Concha y Toro in Santiago ,Chile and realised the original owners were French immigrants, the tour was personal only me and my Chilean wine salesman friend, I still have souvenirs wine glass and t-shirt from this trip in 2002!! and of course, the river has overflown since then on many visits including Michele Chiarlo in Piemonte Italy! and Ramos Pinto in Portugal and others in the Americas and Europe!! Too numerous the beforehand were the firsts!

By 2011, I was subscribe to the leading magazines of wine in the world,keep a healthy wine cellars in my house, and especially, travel and visit the very best wineries in France and Spain, and realised that after tasting wines from the rest of the world including even brand Viñales from Cuba !!! the very best are indeed the French ::) My concentration in the last years have been exclusively French with some bottles tasted of Spanish, and Portuguese wines. And like I notice, all of these wines are made with French wines mostly, the ageing barrels in most are purchased used in France, the method of production and winemaking are French, and many use French advisors to help them improve their wines, like Michel Rolland of St Emilion in California. Yet some dare to say their wines are better lol!

Tasting wines is an art form with over 900 identifiable smells and nuances available,you need years of top level tasting to arrive at this level of proficiency, is an ongoing learning experience even for me. Usual lenght of guarding these wines depends on the year and the producer as well as the grape varieties. Usually Champagne,Alsace, Beaujolais, Loire Touraine are between 1-5 yrs, up to 10 years are the village appelation of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone valley, Loire Chinon etc, then,  up to 20 years you can cellared Burgundy premiers and grand crus, Rhone valley Cornas, Châteauneuf du Pape, Côte Rotié, etc Bordeaux  crus bourgeois ,and Medoc etc, Loire sweet wines like Bonnezeaux, and finally those over 20 yrs are  the Jura wines, L-R Banyouls, south west sweets like Monbazillac, Jurançon, and the Bordeaux grands as well as Sauternes sweets. The grape varieties are many indeed from the well known Cab Sauvignon/Franc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Gamay, Pinot Noir, to the the less known Tannat,Malbec,Sauvignon blanc,Semillon,and the rare Duras (consider the oldest grape variety southwest France), Carignan, Cinsaut,Grenache, Grolleau,Mourvérdre, the list is endless it seems ::)

I will give you the wine official sites for the regions I like best, lots of official information can be found there. If you have any question on a particular wine don’t hesitate to contact me ok. In English when available,but  in French it has more information.

wines from the Loire region: https://www.vinsvaldeloire.fr/en

wines from the South West (Sud Ouest): https://www.vignobles-sudouest.fr/#

wines from Bordeaux region: https://www.bordeaux.com/us

wines of Champagne region: https://www.champagne.fr/en/homepage

For sentimental reasons my first and still drink from there, the Spanish site Apoloybaco , also a link on my blog roll bottom of main page on Spanish bodegas , which I collaborated many years ago at the start of the site on wines/vinos. In Spanish: http://www.apoloybaco.com/vinos/

The best magazine in France is La Revue du Vins de France as here in my blog roll : https://www.larvf.com/

My favorite online shop is Vinatishttps://www.vinatis.com/

And have visited the mains châteaux but now usually buy online the wines of Château Mouton-Rothschild and family under la Baronnie : https://www.labaronnie.fr/fr/

For wine stores here everywhere ; I look and member of  Nicolas stores.   https://www.nicolas.com/

While in the Paris area I, also, shopped at Lavinia , a Spanish chain but wines from all over and tasting bar as well at 3 boulevard de la Madeleine. https://www.lavinia.fr/fr

Or passing by going home made the effort several times to stop and shop at the  La Cave de Passy, 1 rue de Passy,16éme arrondissement. not far from the Pont Bir-Hakeim. No webpage. tel +33 01 46 47 77 12, metro Passy line 6. Over 2600 bottles to choose from.

And of course, many others over the years that we buy online usually after we visit the property far away like the Cave de Gan of the Jurançon etc. The choices like I said are endless. En Vino Veritas!

Hope you have enjoy my entry into the world of Wines, French wines continue to be a reference point for all others to follow, with French advisors, grapes, methods, and investments all over the World. China is the next frontier and already the French are there even the magazine La Revue du Vins de France has an office.  The potential for wine is great and if carefully chosen a good enjoyable investment ::)

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

October 23, 2020

France: Christmas and New Year’s!!!

Ok so this is a nice subject and the best part of the year for many including us.  I have several posts on the festivities over the years, but in some older years I like to condense them in this post. Anyway, today everything starts earlier lol! And of course, the text has been modified and update with current information.

This was 2012, Happy New Year to all my readers and friends. Walking Versailles is always glorious and seeing its vibrant streets again is super, now at Christmas time,the lights, the ambiance is great. The ice skating ring at the Hôtel de Ville for the kids is nice too. The city seems full, lots of folks to catch the last days hours of the wonderful castle museum. It was a wonderful visit back to our old home!!

Well just arrived from a wonderful trip to Brussels and its almost 21H or 9pm here in Brec’h Morbihan Bretagne France!!! rainy all way and all week but we didn’t feel it lol!!! Just want to write a post without a picture to say thank you all for following my humble blog and wishing you the best for 2013 to you and yours. And wait until i get those photos loaded for more posts from Brussels.

This is a wonderful period anywhere we were. Mine for the last 9.5 years have been held in the Paris/Versailles region with exception years in Madrid, Brussels, Trier(Germany), and now Pluvigner in the Morbihan breton. The Christmas dinner or the menu de Noêl is a wonderful family dinner that many can recreate in many restaurant all over France just with a special menu for the occassion.  Here we eat oysters, salmon, rooster, leg of ham, roast pork as the main dish, depending on the region; with the famous Bûche de Noêl dessert , or Christmas yule log as best translation can find in English.

Some of the places to be part of it in Paris that we have particularly enjoyed were:

Chez Françoise, Esplanade des Invalides  Aérogare Air France,  rue Robert-Esnault-Pelterie if you come on foot or rue Paul et Jean Lerolle if you come by automobile, 75007. webpage: https://chezfrancoise.com/

Cuba Compagnie Cafe,48 blvd Beaumarchais ,75011. Webpage: https://www.cubacompagnie.com/

Restaurant La Gare,19 Chaussée de la Muette  75016 .webpage: http://www.lagare-paris.com/

For a New Year’s meal and party I love the memories on these ones:

The Revéillon at New Morning club is fantastic, 7-9, Rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010. webpage: https://www.newmorning.com/

In addition to those above, I had like the Blue Elephant thai food par excellent in Paris. at 43-45 Rue de la Roquette Paris 75011. webpage: https://www.blueelephant.com/

I love this one and in the news for the sad events of terrorism in Paris, it has come back. The best events in my opinion, was held at the Bataclan, 50 bd Voltaire, 75011. All starts from 21h45 until 06H, several packs available. DJ sexy show, dancers, lights, confettis,dance floor of 1000 sq meters, with giant screens all over. Wonderful place for many years .webpage: https://www.bataclan.fr/

Le Ciel de Paris, 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015.  at the 56th floor  Tour Montparnasse with wonderful views of Paris! webpage: http://www.cieldeparis.com/fr/infos-pratiques.html

If you prefer the compounds of a hotel surrounded by history of France, then I suggest the Westin Paris Hotel, 3 Rue de Castiglione, 75001. metro Concorde or Tuileries lines 1,8,12. Here servers were dressed in grand Siécle or century style with dresses from the times of the 17C and 18C accompanying each dish, and music of the times. This was the old Intercontinental hotel I was based there to cover all of France for IHG. It is now name the Westin Paris Vendôme part of the Marriott chain. webpage here: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parvw-the-westin-paris-vendome

At the other property , we had the Le Grand Intercontinental and the Café de la Paix, unique, wonderful, still is. For the New Year’s Day or January , the Cafe de la Paix (decorated by Charles Garnier... ) offer an exceptionally great buffet brunch from 11h to 17h call brunch gargantuesque. Rose champagne and small dishes tapas style created by the Chef. For the kids a special place will be reserved with accordingly portions. Of course, read it is under renovation and open early 2021. webpage: https://www.cafedelapaix.fr/fr/

Another memorable spot was the Les Pavillons des étangs, 50 rue de l’Etoile, 75016. From 20h to 05h. Les deux étangs will open the door exceptionally  in a monument historic of Paris with a majestic park,  400 m² of dancefloor, 300m² of winter garden, 600m² of green garden heated area,a decorated chalet, 2 bars, space VIP  ,and a vast free parking. webpage: https://www.pavillonsdesetangs.fr/

And of course why not talk about my beloved Versailles, where the great ice skating ring was always an event and still does. Next to the Hôtel de Ville , it was opened  from November 23 to January 6 2013 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays,and Fridays from 14H to 19H and on wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10h-12h and 14h- 19h. During school vacation it was opened every day from  10h-12h and 14h-20h.

There were many events from chocolate making to theater playing at Monpensier theater, and the town is fully light up for the season, magical indeed. The district or neighborhoods will be the events of Noël aux Carrés Saint-Louis (Cathedral St Louis side) usually from  December 15 and 16 from  10h to 19h,  the merchants will have a real Christmas market or marché de Noël  with oysters, food and entertainement.

And yes! my district had the Noël  in  Notre-Dame (my old home!!) events at  place Charost , December 15 and 22, musical entertainment outdoors by the rue de la Paroisse on Dec  22 and 24 .  Noël in the district of  Montreuil : music of Noêl by rue de Montreuil with customs dresses and snow man as well as Noêl arriving in carriage on the 22 December.

For the serious side of Christmas there were a Christmas Mass held at Eglise Notre-Dame (the collegiale) Dec 24 at 18h, 20h, 22h. Dec 25 at  10h30, 18h30. Inside the chateau at the Chapelle Royale, Dec 24 at 22h ,and at the Cathédrale Saint-Louis, Dec 24 at 19h, 22h15  awaiting and mass at  23h, and December 25 at 11h.

My favorites restaurants such as Au chien qui fume, 72 Rue de la Paroisse 78000; always had  a special menu . Webpage: https://www.lechienquifume.com/

And our all time favorite Christmas, New Year’s or otherwise was the Le Boeuf à la Mode ,4 rue au Pain 78000; webpage: https://www.leboeufalamode-versailles.com/

For the comfort of visitors and Parisiens alikethe public transport system was always opened for extended hours and FREE!! this was usually from Friday December 31 at 17h to Saturday january 1 at 12h (12 midday).  This includes all bus, trains, trams, or RER in all of the Ile de France region not just the city of Paris but all its region.  Most metro stations will remain open until 02h15 (2:15 am), and some like the lines 1,2,4,6,9,and 14  will remain open all night until 05h30 (5:30am) . The Noctilien night transport service will be adapted to go in extra renforcement of needed areas of the SNCF/RATP system all night from 0h30 (12:30 am) to 05h30 (5:30am). Check for this year, schedules at official webpage: https://www.ratp.fr/en/visite-paris/english/visiting-paris-and-its-surrounding-areas

In my new area the festivities are less, at Auray , at the historical Chapelle St Esprit ,Place du Four Mollet,  they had a Christmas market or Marché de Noêl , for several years. Usually, Friday December 14 from  10h -19h, Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16 from  10h -19h. Many artisans artist will show their work with gourmet ,food,and gifts displays for the season. Webpage: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/auray/chapelle-du-saint-esprit/tabid/8474/offreid/7e87038d-cd73-49e0-a688-32991827b894

And there you go a sampler, historical but repetitive, looking forward to 2020, and hope things will be better than now with the virus. The period is special and hope it continues to be this year. Best wishes for all

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

October 22, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXVIIII

And things are moving right along with the new trend covid19 and the fears eminating from governments without telling you the real story. I have contracts but will tell you briefly as some information is already surfacing. Oh yes the weather is cloudy, cool in my neck of the woods and looming colder now at 12C or about 54F. In our eternal Paris;;;; it is 16C or about 61F.

On this past Wednesday October 14,2020; the government of France had taken a new step by imposing a curfew in Île-de-France region and in eight metropolitan cities . The measure, implemented since this past Saturday, then concerned the Paris Ïle de France region but also Grenoble, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Lille, Saint-Etienne, Rouen and Toulouse. From Ile-de-France and eight cities since last Saturday, we go to 54 departments this Saturday. The other departments that are on this constraints are the

Seine-Maritime, Hérault, Haute-Garonne, Bouches-du-Rhône, Nord, Rhône, Loire, and Isère. In particular, there are Ain,   Alpes-Maritimes, Ardèche, Ardennes Ariège, Aube, Aveyron, Bas-Rhin Calvados, the Sud Corsica, the Côte d ‘Or., Drôme, Gard, Haute-Corse, Haute-Loire, Haute-Savoie, Haute-Vienne, Hautes-Alpes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Ille-et-Vilaine, Indre- et-Loire, Jura, Loiret, Lozère, Maine-et-Loire, Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrenees -Atlantiques, Pyrénées-Orientales, Saône-et-Loire, Savoie, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Var, Vaucluse. Added to this list is an overseas territory, Polynesia.

The rules are the same, all should be close between 21h and 6h for 4 weeks, maybe 6: Only certain reasons are exempt like coming home from work, arriving from a long trip, taking your dog out can be waived, provided that you have a correctly completed derogatory certificate. The “rule of six”, sucha as not to meet with more than six persons for private events (dinner with friends, birthday party, etc.). The news is that across France, the occupancy rate of Covid patients in intensive care is 44%. Nevertheless, 50% of intensive care patients are under 50 yrs old. Regarding screening, there is a rise from 1.1 million tests to 1.6 million tests per week in 15 days,these according to the current government figures.

You know it all started in Wuhan China? yes it seems many has already forgotten this small detail… The first news was that it came from an animal etc, and we /I saw the Chinese army forcing people into their homes there as well as initial doctors who spoked were taken off the radar never to be heard again. Well there is a biological warfare laboratory there P4 maximum security, it is said to be done with French technical help in 2015. There was a leak and the rest is the Wuhan virus oh no it was called coronavirus and then to be more politically correct its the covid19 now. Well one virologist from Qingdao (see my post ) did escape thru Hong Kong and now in the USA. Her name is Li-Meng Yan. More info:  https://www.foxnews.com/world/chinese-virologist-coronavirus-cover-up-flee-hong-kong-whistleblower

I know this is not travel news but the situation is so critical now we need to speak up the truth. Hope it helps you understand.

In more travel related and back to my blog there are some news in France to tell you all.

Where can you find exceptional chocolates, high quality smoked salmon, rare spices, spirits or artisanal aperitif biscuits? Very often, they are sold exclusively in the 4000 or so delicatessens in France (yes indeed!!). To promote these passionate merchants and producers, the professional magazine “Le Monde de l’Épicerie fine” has created the “Epicures”, the equivalent of the César, an event which is in its 7th edition. The winners and picking just some at random are for the grocers, Mademoiselle Amande, in Vincennes (Val-de-Marne 94) was awarded the Epicure of the Year 2020. Another award-winning brand, born from a joke between friends: the “French Federation of the aperitif ». With its points of sale in Paris and Lille and its online store. This federation for laughs offers wines, beers, cold meats, spreads and other chips made in France, everything for a successful aperitif. In terms of artisans, among those who won gold, we can cite Lissip, a Parisian producer of fruit syrups without additives, distinguished for its syrup with ginger, apple and hibiscus; the Saint-Christophe cannery, in the Bay of Somme, for its delicious mackerel rillettes with bitter beer; Café Pfaff, a Parisian roaster, for its “house blend”; or the Biscuiterie du Fort Bloque, Ploemeur , Morbihan, for its buckwheat and spirulina shortbread.

The residents of the avenue de Breteuil go to war against the Wall for Peace memorial. Deconstructed from the Champ-de-Mars to make way for the ephemeral Grand Palais, the controversial monument must be located on avenue de Breteuil 15éme arrondissement. On the spot, petitions, appeals and criticisms fuse to stop this move. Paris of today!

When the city/town hall calls on Parisians to give their idea on the transformation of parking spaces, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants to make the voice of the business world heard. The President of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), launches an appeal to economic players. He invites on Twitter business leaders, traders, artisans and all those who bring Paris to life “to make concrete proposals on professional mobility in a changing world”. It should not be that only Parisians who do not have a car and represent 50% of the population answer the questionnaire launched by the city/town hall of Paris. Economic actors who need to travel by car must also provide their opinion on the issue. Bien sùr Paris!

Unveiled with great fanfare last week, the new metro line 14 train has not carried passengers since. This new metro only carried passengers once, the time of an inaugural return trip between Olympiades and Saint-Lazare. Since then, its commissioning has been delayed. Oh yes public transport like this and roads are closed !!

And not enough the train users between Oise (dept 60) and Paris are “on edge”.  TER train users deplore a continuous deterioration of the service, in particular on the “Picard Y” line where the regularity of trains is deteriorating. Trains late, canceled … The daily life of train users between Oise and Paris can be painful. It’s been like this for a long time but nothing is done, for public transports!!

In Paris ,the museums, online booking is gaining ground. The success of the exhibitions devoted to Danish painting at the Petit Palais (8éme) and Coco Chanel at the Galliera Palace (16éme) is such that these two institutions – whose capacity is limited to 200 people – now require online reservations.  Currently, the Petit Palais and Galliera are exceptions to the rule in force at Paris-musées (an entity bringing together the 14 museums of the City of Paris: museum of modern art, Balzac house, etc.). In order not to exclude people who do not have Internet access, they do not impose online booking but recommend it. Visitors who do not reserve in advance should expect to queue, possibly not being able to enter if the gauge is full. Of course, you are better off buying ahead to all these places of tourist interest in France.

A giant solar power plant will be built in the visitor parking lot of Disneyland Paris.  It will be one of the largest sites in Europe using solar panels, on 17 hectares above the parking spaces. When complete in 2023, part of the installation will even feature a Mickey Mouse head visible from the sky. By 2023, the project will have 17 hectares of photovoltaic shade houses and 67,500 solar panels. That will look good to the local politicians lol!

The museums no longer let their funds sleep in their basements, they are devoting more and more exhibitions to these previously invisible works. This is good because I can tell plenty is there! The Pont-Aven Museum has during the lockdown, Internet users were able to draw around thirty works online out of the 2,000 stored. This joyfully participatory operation gave rise to the exhibition “Reserve, open up!” , Which opens on October 17. until   January 3, 2021. Indeed a very nice museum see post in my blog.

And this is it for now folks a short one and a hot one. Hope you enjoy your travels whenever and wherever you can. Keep Safe !

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

October 16, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXVIII

So here I am again in my belle France, never far from it. The time has change we are fully into Fall season and the weather is changing with temps going down to 5C or about 41F and now afternoon day almost over is 14C or about 58F and cloudy gray in my neck of the woods. In lovely lonely Paris is the same conditions.

I like to take a breakt to thank all those loyal readers over these years ;looking back I realised started this series of Some news from France back on December 9; 2010!! Already in its 318th edition. Thank you!!!!

Now this is my latests on what is going on in my belle France!

Since 2017, the project to redevelop Place de la Bastille has been launched. Only two months left before its complete , with the highlight being the new staircase which descends on one of the quays of the Port de l’Arsenal.

The leaning house, symbol of the effects of global warming, will leave the forecourt of the Gare du Nord 10éme arrondissement. The “Maison fond”, a work by Leandro Erlich symbolizing climate change, will be removed. It would be in bad shape. Ahh mother nature!

The Sacré-Cœur soon to be classified as a historic monument! A little more than a century after the end of the construction of the Basilica of Montmartre, the process is finally launched. Another deserving effort, do not understand why not before if only does not belong to Paris but the archdiocese!!

One-way street, cycle paths: in a few weeks, access to Paris via the Porte de la Chapelle will be transformed. The goal is to calm a very dense area, but some fear congestion. Porte de la Chapelle 18éme. On November 9, the entry of vehicles into Paris will be profoundly changed. Local residents are afraid of the big traffic jam and deplore the lack of communication. Of course, they needed to do this years ago, but now will be another traffic hell in socialist Paris.

Always a hassle to get around in Paris, the one-way street of the rue d’Alésia is annoying. Rue d’Alésia 14éme arrondissement is now one-way. If this choice makes cyclists happy, residents and shoppers are divided. Of course, free flow and no cash , Paris of the future!

A prehistoric Neanderthal site discovered at the gates of Paris. This is the first Neanderthal site discovered so close to Paris in two centuries. The site has been updated on the banks of Clichy-la-Garenne (Hauts de Seine 92).

In Seine-Saint-Denis technical incidents, exasperated travelers , is the T4 tramway cursed? A series of technical incidents paralyzed the line for several days, the last station of the extension to Montfermeil (Seine Saint Denis 93) being commissioned at the end of last August. And of course, new delay of metro line 12 and the inhabitants of Aubervilliers (Seine Saint Denis 93) annoyed. RATP announced a third delay in the delivery of the extension of line 12 to Aubervilliers. The stations should be inaugurated in the spring of 2022. Oh yes cut off the roads for more transports that do not work and are not enough, Paris of the future!

The remains of a Gallo-Roman village discovered in the Val-d’Oise (95) Traces of dwellings dating from Antiquity have been unearthed in the heart of Louvres. A first, which comes as Archéa, the museum dedicated to archeology, is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The current excavation site is taking place at 95, rue de Paris.

Take-away meals, advanced service or outright closure … The curfew requires the managers of the 1004 restaurants in the department 77 Seine et Marne to find an organization to combine the need to work, respect for health protocol and customer expectations. The restaurant La Bodega Don Felipe in Melun (77) will offer take-away meals between 18h30 and 20h30 during the curfew. An innovative idea of many to survive the wuhan virus.

Take your precautions if you are leaving the area for the start of the holidays this weekend of October 16-18. Friday is classified orange in the direction of departures. In addition, several RER and Transiliens train lines are closed this weekend for works. The toll of Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines (78) of the A10 should be loaded this weekend in the direction of departures going out especially south! Always happened, they should know by now, take alternative routes but the folks continue the habits.

In Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78), PSG (Paris Saint Germain) is on every street corner. A photo exhibition is organized for the 50 years of the club. It honors everyone who made PSG from the founding in 1970 to the present day. The photos reminds all that the history of PSG has largely been written on the side of the Camp des Loges here. You got it merger of a football/soccer team from Paris and from Saint Germain (en laye) Yvelines 78!

In Versailles, street art makes the popular tourist district. This coming Saturday, tourists will be guided to the popular Bernard-de-Jussieu district (furthest near Hauts de Seine dept92) where giant frescoes have just been installed. The ten giant frescoes were painted on the gables of buildings!!

The Compiègne Memorial has a bookshop!. It is one of a kind, dedicated to history and especially to WWII. A bookshop is the result of a public-private partnership between the Memorial and the Librairie des Signes.

Well not tourist oriented but , Amazon is inaugurating a unique distribution center in France. This gigantic warehouse supplies the brand’s other sites from Senlis (Oise 60). It will eventually be able to process up to 11.5 million items per week. 342 permanent jobs have already been signed. For the Christmas period, up to 1,500 people will work at the distribution center

And finally, Matisse and his “ Intérieur aux aubergines ” or eggplants interior: an itinerary of a little-known masterpiece. The painting by the French painter, owned by the Musée de Grenoble since 1922, will finally be exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris from October 21. In the fourth room of the exhibition “ Matisse, comme un roman” or like a novel.

The gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin took another rabbit out of his hat: on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October, he is organizing a treasure hunt at the Grand Palais with, as a result, twenty works donated by the artists he represents. They will be hidden by his teams in the 16,500 m2 of the nave, which should have hosted the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) – canceled due to the virus.

An exhibition on Genghis Khan at the Nantes History Museum censored by China!! Oh those Chinese again, like not calling it the wuhan virus!!. This exhibition dedicated to the Mongol Empire had to be canceled after interventions from Beijing. It will be presented in another form in 2024. This was to be the event of the Nantes History Museum in the first half of 2021 it will ultimately not take place in its initial form due to acts of “censorship by the central Chinese authorities “, deplores Bertrand Guillet, director of the Château des Ducs de Bretagne-Nantes History Museum. Beijing’s interventions to change the content of the exhibition are an illustration, according to the director, of the “hardening of the position of the Chinese government against the Mongolian minority.” Located in northern China, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is populated by 4.2 million Mongols, who make up 17 percent of the region’s population. Demonstrations were held in September to protest against Beijing’s desire to impose Mandarin in school curricula. Hopefully the museum will not allow drastic changes to the original presentation!!!

In Bretagne, the islands want to regulate the great human tides. Oh yes we are popular, tourists welcome, but now running from the avalanche of the beauty we have here !! An increase of 10.22% in Ouessant and Molène, + 17.90% in Sein, + 6.65% in Groix; etc. This summer, the number of visitors to the Breton islands – already very high has increased almost everywhere, according to figures from the region. There is hardly any other than in Belle-Île, in the Morbihan, where it is down slightly (- 2.05%). The Île de Bréhat, between 350 and 400 inhabitants per year, welcomed more than 350,000 visitors in two months!, with peaks of more than 5,000 per day. “By day it was Mont-Saint-Michel and at night it was Ibiza,” sighs Stephan Morlevat, president of the tourist office. In Hoëdic, off the Gulf of Morbihan, the water supply was even interrupted for one afternoon, in mid-July, to prevent stocks from running out! Well little islands you better be ready because they know where you are now and you are gorgeous!

For the second time, the Jardins du Trocadéro and its sublime terrace-bar of the Paris Aquarium will host an ephemeral ice rink with the added bonus of a view of the Iron Lady. 500 m2 of sliding space and pure happiness! From November 15, 2020 to January 31, 2021, the ice rink will give all aspiring athletes time to step on the ice between two shopping sessions. Christmas music, carols and decorations, skating, tobogganing … and even a gourmet village to enjoy delicious homemade hot chocolate, sweets or spicy hot wines! Patinoire des Jardins du Trocadéro ice rink, 5, avenue Albert de Mun 16éme arrondissement 14€ for adults and 9€ for children. From November 15, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Great event one that I missed the Paris region still.

Basilic & Co. , with around 30 locations in France, has finally opened in Paris, a stone’s throw from the Bataclan. fine and gourmet dough, flavors from all over France: the Basilic & Co pizza has arrived with great fanfare. The secret? It is made in front of your eyes and has a very specific feature, it is made from semolina and not flour: The dough pushing system is very long, explains David the owner. We exploit our dough after at least two days, which gives a light and crispy dough. In addition, all the pizzas and focaccias are homemade ”. Basilic & Co. 58, Bd Voltaire 11éme arrondissement. Welcome and best of luck

The famous Bo & Mie bakery, renowned for its fruit tarts and XXL puff pastry pastries, is going to open a third Parisian address, and not the least since it will be 400 m2 opposite the Louvre museum, the new Bo & Mie bakery will be the largest in Paris. This new setting will be inaugurated on next Saturday, October 24 and will be spread over three floors for a total of 400 m2. It will be spread over three floors for a total of 400 m2 . Bo & Mie , 91, rue de Rivoli 1éme arrondissement. Welcome and best of luck.

And you may have seen, heard, the news in France , from our glorious government of patch up gang of incompetents in my opinion. There will be starting this Saturday October 17, a curfew from 21h to 06h or 9pm to 6am, for a period of four maybe six weeks. Every week, a supposedly Defense Council on Covid-19 (out of Wuhan China) is organized to put in place new measures to limit the pandemic. And they keep putting out crazy arguments that are not clear and makes sense to most in my entourage. This past Wednesday, October 14 at 20h., the head of state (very well orchestrated by Macron) took the floor to announce new restrictions as well as the re-establishment of the state of health emergency from this Saturday, October 17. A certificate will be available directly on the phone via a mobile application for professional reasons, health reasons, transport reasons – train or plane -, take out your pet or to help a loved one in a situation of dependency. On the other hand, if individuals travel without a certificate, they risk a fine of 135 €. To enforce the measures, “12,000 police officers and gendarmes will be, every night between 21h. and 06h, specially responsible for actually verifying the prohibitions mentioned. Wow an army, we got bucks when money can be made easily. “Companies, and especially those in areas where the curfew applies, are now asked to define a minimum number of days of tele working per week for positions which allow it”, declares Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Labor, Employment and Integration (which means less jobs). Direct state loans will be granted to the most troubled companies and extended until June 30, 2021. Right; welfare won’t solve the problems never has and never will. For clarification this curfew is only for the Ïle de France region (Paris, Versailles, Fontainebleau etc) , and the big cities of Lille, Grenoble, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Rouen, Saint Etienne, Montpellier, and Toulouse. Therefore, my beloved Bretagne is spare come on over!!!

So there you go folks some news and some of my enlighter rants on current events; again thank you for reading and be safe.

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

October 10, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXVII

Hello world from my belle France! Not to be away too long from my some news from France, here are the latest with some sad news due to the virus. The temp was nice today sunny and we did some gardening, now it projects to be colder next few days. Have a great time wherever you are and stay safe.

The large contemporary art center of the Bourse de Commerce will open to the public on January 23 2021 (see post). Under the 35-meter-high canopy, which is the heart of the building, the architect Ando erected a concrete cylinder 29 meters in diameter and 9.30 meters high, cutting a second circle out of the initial circle. The side floors have been reconfigured into exhibition spaces of different sizes depending on whether they will receive photography or painting – for example. The total surface open to the visitors will be 6,800 m2 divided into ten spaces distributed over the different levels.

The blues of Montmartre, deprived of the Fête des Vendages or harvest festival. The 87th edition, which was to be held this weekend, will not take place due to Covid. So sad indeed!

The 850th Saint-Martin fair is canceled in Pontoise (Val d’Oise 95). Due to the worrying spread of Covid-19, the event will not mark the start of November. A new blow for the fairgrounds already in great difficulty. Again only sad stories these days!

Due to Covid-19, it is estimated that more than 30,000 bars and restaurants could permanently close; following the new restrictions which were recently announced, the majority of bars and restaurants have had to partially close their doors in France. A decision which, on an economic level, could cause the bankruptcy and the final closure of 15% of establishments in France by the end of the year. The hotel and catering sector is one of the largest in France, comprising 168,000 restaurants and 38,800 bars and cafes. The famous Chef Etchebest alerted the authorities that around 40% of establishments could close in France. The Union of Trades and Hospitality Industries (Umih) considers that 15% of these establishments could file for bankruptcy … before the end of the year. That is more than 30,000 bars and restaurants in France!! Incompetent Macron!!! And this is not all, the virus will still be there at least until next summer 2021 , warns Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, Chairman of the Scientific Council!!!

The St Louis island or Île Saint-Louis will celebrate its Patron Saint. A solemn Mass, procession with its relics, and an exhibition will be held. The 750th anniversary of the death of Saint-Louis will be celebrated this Sunday at the Church of Saint-Louis-En-L’Île where a solemn mass in homage to Saint-Louis will be held.

Paris saffron is harvested!! on the roofs! Since 2018, the Bien Élevées company has installed five urban safranières in the region of  Ile-de-France. The 2020 harvest started this week. nearly 2,000 m2 cultivated, in Paris, Ivry (Val-de-Marne 94 ) and Montrouge (Hauts-de-Seine 92 ).

Despite the sling, there was no question of stopping work on the ponds of Corot, Ville d’Avray (Yvelines 78) see post. The Hauts-de-Seine prefecture has responded to strong criticism leveled against the proposed dam at the Corot ponds in Ville-d’Avray. And unveiled its crisis management plan, in the event of a flood. These dikes of the Corot ponds will be transformed into dams.

Gardeners get away from it all at the Chantilly Plant Days. Fans of greenery have access until Sunday to the treasures of the best nurseries in the Domaine de Chantilly on the theme “The world in my garden”. Succulents, cacti, orchids, shrubs, trees, bulb, etc. The 160 exhibitors of the Plant Days offer a huge choice for gardeners. A wonderful event I got to go with my dear late wife Martine!

Electric scooters (Trottinettes) in Paris: the price war is declared. The Parisian market now has only three operators selected by the City: Lime, Dott and TIER. Each can deploy 5,000 self-service scooters. And they are fighting over the proposed rates. An invasion of Paris!

Ile-de-France Mobilités (regional transport org) will finance an additional daily stop in Seine-et-Marne 77 and Yvelines 78 train stations of three TERs, coming from neighboring regions. A helping hand to avoid the frustration of suburban residents who see sometimes empty trains passing by. Line P trains are often loaded in the morning. A TER from the Grand-Est region will make an additional stop in La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (Seine-et-Marne 77) train station in 2021. Overloaded dear!

The Musée de l’Armée or Army Museum looks back on the gigantic shock of 1940. Through extracts from films, newspapers and other documents, sometimes unpublished, an exhibition traces the period that was lived, from May 10 to June 25, 1940, life of the French change. France experienced military defeat, foreign invasion, deaths and injuries from bombardments and battles, more fierce than one might think , the exodus of millions of civilians, the sending 1.8 million soldiers into captivity, submitting to arbitrariness of the Nazi occupier over 55% of its territory, submitting the remaining 45% to a neo fascist regime (Vichy), and finally the plundering of its resources , resulting in food rationing and daily difficulties. These are the different dimensions of this gigantic shock that retraces the exhibition « Comme en 40… » or as in 40, presented at the Army Museum, through a museography certainly classic, but pedagogically effective.

I am often wondered what are those arts in the many museums especially the Louvre or central museum of France. Half of the cases of the theft of Jewish property in France remain unfollowed to this day .The thousands of Jewish artisans and small traders dispossessed in France under the Occupation risk being overlooked by the policy of compensating anti-Semitic thefts. According to historians.

The powerful American gallery Lévy Gorvy settles in Paris, its co-founder explains her ambitions in a difficult context for the art market. Specializing in works by Calder, Fontana, Kooning or Soulages, the powerful New York gallery Lévy Gorvy moves to Paris on October 22,2020 and opens its space with an exhibition of the latest works by the 90-year-old German artist Günther Uecker. The gallery is located at 4, passage Sainte-Avoye, quartier or neighborhood of the Marais in the 3rd arrondissement or district of Paris central.

A Breton flag, the “Gwenn ha Du”, on the pediment of Nantes city/town hall, is what associations meeting this weekend want to achieve. A prelude to a possible attachment of the Loire-Atlantique department 44 to the now region of Bretagne? Yes its about time!! Almost two years after the delivery to the Loire-Atlantique departmental council of a petition signed by more than 100,000 persons asking for the organization of a referendum on “reunification”, supporters of Brittany in five departments are mobilizing; they will meet, on October 10, at the city/town hall of Nantes, to reflect on the “modalities” of installing the Breton flag on the pediment of the city/town hall. Quite a symbol indeed as most feel Breton there anyway!. And the Breton flag now flies to the gates of Nantes as it can be seen in the city/town halls of Saint-Herblain or Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire, on the outskirts of the city, where it is seen as a quiet affirmation of attachment to the Breton identity. Imagined at the beginning of the 1920s by an activist of the Breton movement and inspired by the Greek and American standards, the Gwenn ha Du was never the flag of administrative Brittany. It takes up the old ducal flag, to which nine bands were added. The bands representing the historic provinces of Bretagne; including the country of Nantes! Or the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of now pay de la loire but taken away from Bretagne due to administrative mishandling of history and Vichy and the Coty and the rest of them politicians.

The lapin Chasseur or rabbit in the hunter , recipe of chef Antoine Gerbelle on Le Monde newspaper. One of my favorite dishes in France and we did this one at home too!

Ingredients for 4 to 6 people: 1 rabbit of about 1.8 kg (about 4 lbs) cut into pieces, 4 large peeled shallots, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 100 g of smoked bacon cut into small pieces, 20 g of flour, 250 g of button mushrooms, 3 blanched tomatoes, 3 peeled and sliced carrots, ½ peeled quince and cut into large cubes, 30 ml of young, tangy and slightly sweet white wine (such as late harvest riesling), 15 cl of organic poultry broth , 1 small bunch of wild thyme (or fresh thyme), salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, polenta (raw or precooked).

Preparation: In a large cast iron casserole dish, pour 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 piece of butter and brown the shallots and coarsely chopped garlic cloves. Add the pieces of rabbit and the bacon, brown over high heat. When the rabbit begins to brown, sand it with the flour. Cut the mushrooms and tomatoes into large pieces, sweat them in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. When the vegetables have melted, pour them into the casserole dish. Add the sliced carrots and the diced quince. Wet everything with wine and broth. Add the wild thyme, salt and pepper. Close the casserole dish and place it in an oven preheated to 160 ° C (about 325 F) . Simmer for 2 hours or 2:30. Serve with very soft polenta and a plain, dry and lively white wine, Marsanne or Chenin. Bon appétit!

Measurement: 1 kg =2.204 lbs.  1 gram = .035 ounces. 1 ML = .03 fluid ounces.  Now do the calculations folks lol!!!

Thanks for reading, and remember,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 7, 2020

Paris and the Biévre!!!

Ok so this is a rather historical post , maybe long but  necessary to tell on my eternal Paris. We have heard the stories of this river and some are fascinating. I had worked assignment on 21 rue de Biévre  in the neighborhood or quartier of Saint-Victor in the 5éme district or arrondissement of Paris….. for quite some time and found out several years back about the Biévre river of Paris. Now there is some push to have it reopen into the open air, and it is interesting to know. The reason for this post, is the possibility of the Biévre river coming afloat again in Paris. Bear with the lecture please, I love history and when it comes to Paris….

The Bièvre river originates in Guyancourt (Yvelines dept 78) ; and which flows into the main collector of the Paris sewers. The Bièvre once flowed into the Seine river at the Gare d’Austerlitz train station after a 35 km route in the departments of Yvelines (78), Essonne (91), Hauts-de-Seine (92), Val-de-Marne (94) and Paris (75). The Bièvre rives rose in Guyancourt at an altitude of 150 meters, and it flows into the Seine river at the limit of the 5éme and 13éme arrondissements, at an altitude of 37 meters.

The Bièvre river, which was the second Parisian river, has been completely covered, in Paris since 1912, and in the suburb of Antony in Gentilly in the mid-1950s, except for short sections recently updated. Its course, from its source to the regional nature reserve of the Bièvre basin in Antony   (92) is, for the most part, in the open air. This stream perhaps takes its name from the Latin biber, bièvre, formerly designating the beaver, which disappeared in the 13C in this area, but beber also means: brown in color, like its waters. In 1787, the name of this river was Ruisseau des Gobelins or stream. Goblins were legendary, anthropomorphic and small creatures from medieval European folklore. However, rather than these legendary beings, the river owes its nickname to Jean Gobelin, a Flemish who settled on the banks of the Bièvre in 1443 and who was the first of a long dynasty of dyers who created the Manufacture des Gobelins district.

The Biévre river ran thru the Yvelines at Guyancourt, Buc, Les Loges-en-Josas, Jouy-en-Josas, and finally in Paris: the 5éme, 13éme, and 14éme arrondissements, at the limit of which is the confluence with the Seine river, on the left bank (rive gauche)of it. In all, the Bièvre crosses 15 towns such as  Guyancourt, Buc, Les Loges-en-Josas, Jouy-en-Josas, Bièvres, Igny, Massy, Verrières-le-Buisson, Antony, Fresnes, L’Haÿ-les-Roses, Cachan, Arcueil , Gentilly, and enters Paris at the Poplars postern between the old bastions nos. 85 and 86 of the old Thiers enclosure. The upstream course that has disappeared from the Bièvre is enhanced in Montigny-le-Bretonneux,(78) the urban center of the new town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines , built in the 1980s. The source of the Bièvre, the urban canal, the Church of Saint-Quentin des Sources and the square of the sources are an evocation of this. At the corner of avenue des Prés (nice ride sorry memories) and rue des Coquelicots in Montigny-le-Bretonneux near the Paris-Rambouillet railway line, the source is symbolically materialized by a disc 25 meters in diameter designed in 1992. Only the pond of Minière, the least extensive of the three, had been created in 1688 by Colbert to participate in the water supply of the Palace of Versailles .Downstream of the pond of Val d’Or, the Bièvre passes under the D 91 road (yes!!) then next to a wastewater treatment plant and runs through the national forest of Versailles. The Bièvre leaves the territory of the town of Guyancourt in the forest 600 meters downstream from the pond of Val d’Or and feeds the pond of Geneste dug in 1948 to protect the town of Buc (right next to Versailles) from flooding.

The Bièvre flows downstream from the Vauptain mill, the single arm flanked by the hiking trail splits shortly before it passes under the Route de Petit-Jouy road at Loges-en-Josas where the missing town’s washhouse was located. Arriving from Loges-en-Josas, the Bièvre enters the territory of Jouy divided into two branches. the natural branch to the north which runs through the Bas Prés park runs along Avenue Jean-Jaurès passing near the train station.   Then ,going to Paris it raised an artificial arm which passes under the railway line then under the Pont d’Austerlitz bridge built in 1805 by virtue of an imperial decree signed by Napoleon during the battle of Austerlitz to establish the route des Lodges. This arm which actuated the wheel of the Saint-Martin mill at the corner of the route des Loges and the rue de la Liberation then widens into a large dug along the rue de la Liberation on the other side of the domain of the castle, currently campus of HEC (One of France most prestigious grande écoles or colleges).

Since the valley has been backfilled to a variable depth that can reach nearly 20 meters in the south of the 13éme arrondissement of Paris, the traces of the river are rather tenuous (and no photos tant pis!).   As in Buc (78), the Bièvre was divided in Paris into two arms, the dead Bièvre, its original course, and the live Bièvre, a raised arm parallel to the east which operated the wheel of several mills. The two arms which separated at Gentilly upstream of Paris, joined in a single arm near the Saint-Médard Church in the 5éme arrondissement. The Bièvre river enters the territory of the city of Paris under the Kellermann park which was located outside the fortified enclosure of Thiers in the former park of the Lazarists depending on a religious community and then forming part of the non construction zone after the construction in 1844 of the enclosure of Thiers. This part of the town of Gentilly was not annexed to Paris until 1925. The Kellermann Park, built in 1937, has removed traces of the old river course from the town boundary with Gentilly to rue du Docteur-Leray in the 13éme arrondissement, successively under the ring road, Kellermann park, boulevard Kellermann, the Petite Ceinture and rue de l’Interne- Loeb. Beyond, the route of this sewer deviates from that of the old river. The Biévre river ran along rue du Moulin-des-Prés on the even side, passed under rue de Tolbiac forming a loop north of this street returning to the corner of rue Bobillot. After the creation of the rue de Tolbiac in 1875, the loop was removed and replaced by a bypass which ran along this street, below to the south,under the current Square des Peupliers.

After acquisition by Paris in 1881 and destruction of the Moulin des Prés, the diversion along the rue de Tolbiac was replaced by a sewer, the Pascal collector, under the rue du Docteur-Leray and the rue de la Colonie, extending into the rue Vergniaud, rue Vulpian, rue Pascal and rue Censier. Before its suppression in 1881 in this part of the 13éme arrondissement, the Bièvre river live formed a second meander to the south of the rue de Tolbiac then from the rue de la Colonie to the corner of the rue Auguste-Lançon and the rue Boussingault and then went north parallel to the current rue Vergniaud. This branch crossed the current rue Daviel at no 13. The bottom of the valley was backfilled by 14 meters during the 1880s which reduced the slope between rue Vergniaud and rue Barrault from 40% to 10% and thus allowed the extension to the Butte-aux-Cailles ,the rue Daviel, previously limited to the edge of the sharp arm. The old filled bed is occupied by gardens and outbuildings at the back of large buildings on the odd-numbered side of rue Vergniaud.

The two arms of the living and dead Bièvre river were very close under the present boulevard Auguste-Blanqui, formerly boulevard d’Italie. This boulevard was the old wall of the Fermiers-Généraux under which the first underground passages of the Bièvre, a double water postern, were built in 1784. The Cité Florale between the streets Brillat-Savarin, Auguste-Lançon and Boussingault was built on a dry pond. The passage of the sharp arm of the Bièvre is visible at 12 boulevard Arago through a low private access door, between two buildings. The open space between the buildings leads to Boulevard de Port-Royal at the cinéma Escurial . The passage de la Bièvre live under the Boulevard de Port-Royal on the side opposite the cinema Escurial is marked by a gap between the buildings at no. 12bis and no. 14 giving a view of the former reach Valence behind the rue Valence. The Biévre river branched off to the left at the location of avenue des Gobelins and flowed in front of no. 4 and no. 2. The entrances to the Pascal reach of the dead arm are visible through gaps at no. 28 on the boulevard de Port-Royal , at the other end, rue Pascal at the corner of rue Claude-Bernard. The wall built in the middle of the riverbed when it was covered in 1905 still exists, delimiting the riverside properties. Contrary to what the medallions on the ground on rue Pascal indicate under the boulevard de Port-Royal bridge and further on the sidewalk of even numbers, the Bièvre river did not pass under the street but behind the buildings and did not cross it on the corner with rue Claude-Bernard. The rue de la Clef, rue du Pont-aux-Biches on this section before 1868, crossed the river by the pont aux Biches which is manifested by a slight bulge. The university buildings between rue de la Clef and rue de Santeuil took the place of the Halle aux cuirs or leather’s hall opened in 1866 and destroyed by fire in 1906. Further downstream, the wall along the access road to the underground garage at 25 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire is the one built in the bed of the river when it was backfilled in 1904.

After rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, the Biévre river flowed between rue Poliveau and rue Buffon in the courtyard of the maison Sœur Rosalie (Sister Rosalie house currently private schools and high school) then in an area dependent from 1779 on the National Museum of Natural History (which in the time was the Jardin du Roi or King’s Garden). The curve of rue Nicolas-Houël opened in dead end in 1902 (the Museum having opposed the creation of a public road up to rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire) corresponds to the last bend of the river which then passed under Boulevard de l’Hôpital and Gare d’Austerlitz to flow into the Seine between the metro viaduct and the Charles-de-Gaulle bridge. After passing under Boulevard de l’Hôpital, the Bièvre river was divided into several arms surrounding one or more islets depending on the period and received the open sewer of the Salpêtrière, the hospital’s pollution spillway.

A bit of the history of the river I like

In the Neolithic period, the course of the Bièvre river corresponded to between the Pont d’Austerlitz bridge and the Pont de l’Alma bridge, to that of the current Seine river. During successive floods, the Seine would have captured the old course of the Bièvre from the Pont d’Austerlitz to the Pont de l’Alma. The two rivers would have swept the silt that separated them between the current train stations of Lyon and Austerlitz and the arm of the Seine to the east of the current neighborhood of the Marais was gradually filled. The current confluence of the Bièvre and the Seine was thus formed east of the Sainte-Geneviève mountain in a delta marsh between two arms of the Bièvre leading to the location of the current bridges of the Archdiocese and Austerlitz. . After wandering, the confluence would have been established upstream of the Austerlitz bridge. In the 12C, coming from Saint-Médard, the Bièvre crossed the faubourg Saint-Marcel and the lands of the abbey of Sainte-Geneviève, meanders in the middle of marshes (between the current rue Poliveau and Buffon) and flows into the Seine near the Austerlitz bridge. In the 16C, on the night of April 8 to 9, 1579, a brutal flood of the Bièvre, later qualified as the “deluge of the Faubourg Saint-Marcel”, swept away twelve buildings, drowned dozens of inhabitants surprised in their sleep, and damaged seriously the domain of Nicolas Houël, herbalist, pharmacist and philanthropist. During this flood, the water rose 4 to 5 meters, reaching the second floor of the houses. And we talk about climate change now !!

paris metro line 5 over viaduc d austerlitz feb16

At the very gates of Paris at the time, on the lands of Alez, near its natural mouth in the Seine, the Bièvre was diverted in the 12C from its natural course by a canal dug to supply the old Saint-Victor abbey. The diversion was located at the Didier bridge where a dam was built on the site of an outbuilding that the National Museum of Natural History has owned since the 18C between rue Poliveau and rue Buffon. The canal followed the Jeannel alley of the clos Patouillet , the Becquerel alley and the alpine garden in the Jardin des Plantes, passed under the culvert of rue du Ponceau (later rue de Seine, now rue Cuvier), then followed the western ditch of the Jussieu university campus to rue du Cardinal-Lemoine. The Arch of the enclosure of Philippe Auguste allowed it to cross the wall. It still exists (visit one Wednesday a month) under the post office located at the corner of rue des Écoles, at under 10 meters, altitude 17 meters, which gives an idea of the erosion of the Sainte-Geneviève mountain in five centuries. In 1356, Etienne Marcel had a ditch dug along the walls of Philippe-Auguste to the Seine which was doubled a few years later by a second larger ditch as part of the work ordered by Charles V for the fortifications of Paris. These ditches absorbing water from the intramural Victorins canal, the monks were authorized to build a new canal parallel to them as far as the Saint-Bernard gate. Its route was located east of rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, the mouth where the Aletz mill was located near the Saint-Bernard gate, currently at the site of the Institut du Monde Arabe!.

The drained intramural Victorins canal became a receptacle for refuse and was then gradually filled up until the 17C. Until the integration in 1724 of the faubourg Saint-Marcel into Paris, the course of the Bièvre river was outside Paris. The banks of the Bièvre experienced an influx of industrial activities. The tanners expelled from the surroundings of the Place de Grève ( today Place de l’Hotel-de-Ville) by a royal edict of February 1672 settled in the Faubourg Saint-Marcel, joining the dyers. The former saw the river as a sewer, while the dyers needed pure water. We can see a stone engraved on the wall of the Manufacture des Gobelins 8 rue Berbier-du-Mets .The Biévre river gave rise to complaints and recriminations against the pestilences of slaughterhouses, hospitals, sewers, tanners,and other dyers, all of whom complained in turn about the mills causing frequent interruptions of flow on such a shallow slope. The Paris City Council decided in 1826 to channel the Bièvre. The work started in 1828 was completed in 1844. The 3.6 meters wide masonry canal with 2 meters high piers was bordered by 4 meters wide banks of free access except in the ruelle des Gobelins (current rue Berbier-du-Mets) where their width was limited to 1.5 meters. The pipeline channel did little to improve the situation, as the riverside establishments continued to dump their waste, adding to the wastewater from neighboring streets.

The Bièvre river enters Paris between the Porte d’Italie and Porte de Gentilly crosses by several arms, which are only infected streams, the faubourgs Saint-Marcel and Saint-Victor, and ends in the form of a covered sewer on the quai de l ‘Hospital. This river feeds many tanneries, laundries, dyehouses and, among others, the famous Manufacture des Gobelins factory. Although the width of the Bièvre does not exceed 3 meters, this river was formidable by its floods. Haussmann and Belgrand noted as early as 1860 that the only possible solution was to suppress the Bièvre in the open air. The covering of it lasted for fifty years, encountering a lot of opposition and requiring costly expropriations. The last reaches still in the open air in intra-muros Paris, Croulebarde, Glacière and Valence under the homonymous streets were covered in 1912.

And after this long historically recount that I love to tell you and thanks for bearing with me, the main reason of this post comes to this info.

A project for the rebirth of the Bièvre river is supported by many actors, associations, in particular by the association Amis de la Vallée de la Bièvre and by planning unions bringing together the communities concerned, the Mixed Syndicate of the Bièvre watershed SMBVB for the whole valley and SIAVB for the upstream part. The realization of these developments began in 2008. The Kellerman Park was remodeled in order to become a lagoon by its organization and the water plants which are arranged there, and in which one finds in a spontaneous way mallards and herons. A body of water was created in 2015 in the 13éme arrondissement in the Jardin Charles-Trenet garden on the edge of the Rungis train station eco-district in memory of the nearby passage de la Bièvre. Every year in the spring, a Bièvre walk is organized from the Seine river with the departure from the square of Notre-Dame at midnight to the source in Guyancourt with 4 trails. The one I have friends telling me about is the marche Nordique or Nordic walking of 11 km departure from Versailles at 8h.

Some webpages to help you understand the above even if in French….

The marches or walks of the Biévrehttp://marche.bievre.org/index.html

The Biévre Friends organisation on history and more! http://www.bievre.org/

The Project to restore the Biévre in Paris SMBVBhttp://www.smbvb.fr/

The Project to restore the Biévre outside Paris SIAVB: https://www.siavb.fr/riviere.aspx

So there you go maybe one day a historical river of Paris will see the light again, and that I am totally in favor of. Looking forward to the event, follow my posts. The Biévre is the living history of Paris somehow hidden under its streets. Hope you enjoy the post as I did telling you.

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

October 4, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXVI

And here I am on a nice sunny Sunday with the rain gone for now, and the latest on my series some news from France, now in its 316th edition.  The temperature in my neck of the woods is at 10C or about 50F but it feels like 8C, we are expecting light rain in the afternoon evening. Elsewhere in my dear Paris area the temp is also 50F or 10C and cloudy however no rain is predicted. And we survive the storm Alex!

We had couple of trees down in my town and the firefighters were there early to cut them off; one electrical post was down but the electrical company Enedis was there early and did not notice short of electricity. The rest of the dept 56 Morbihan was harder hit with some trees blocking streets especially around Auray. The upper Bretagne ,Morlaix is still this morning in watch over possible flooding and on the coastal areas some boats were overturned.  However, in the south and especially Alpes-Maritimes dept 06 the situation is catastrophic in hilly towns especially Saint Martin Vésubie , Saint Laurent du Var and Roquebilliere.

The results of the passage of the storm Alex in the Alpes-Maritimes could amount to now 18 persons missing, according to the provisional accounts of this Sunday morning. In France, the army, regularly called in as reinforcements in bad weather, was mobilized to help. All the train stations in the department 06 were closed and no train will run before midday yesterday. Flights were suspended from Nice airport. Many roads remain cut. The rebuilding is going on but it will take time as even bridges were cut off.  In all about twelve towns were hit hard especially in the valleys of the Vésubie, la Roya ,and la Tinée, located in the mountains.

And continuing with the Paris degradation in my opinion, we have the upper quays of the Seine in Paris central 1-4 arrondissement are the next attack of the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. After the pedestrianization of the tracks on the bank in 2016, the City of Paris is considering the ban on the upper quays of the right bank for combustion vehicles from individuals. I told you Paris is gone, now go there and walk or use the petit train lol!!!

And it has its detractors as a collective of environmental defense associations calls for demonstrations at 5, quai d’Ivry 13éme  arrondissement to prevent the disappearance of around twenty plane trees. The works that will be launched are road works linked to the creation of a two-way bicycle path and the passage of the future TZen5 tramway, a new line which will link the 13éme arrondissement or district to Choisy-le-Roi in the Val-de-Marne dept 94   and the preparation of the extension of line 10 of the metro. The France nature environment Paris association urgently filed a summary to try to obtain a reprieve for the threatened trees. So now no trains either lol!!! Paris wake up when you have time.

The stencil attributed to the British artist Banksy,at rue Maître-Albert in the Maubert neighborhood of the 5eme arrondissement, was repainted at the request of the mayor of Paris. So now no paint on the building Paris is not the same anymore.

For lighter news we have:

The 19th edition of the white night or nuit blanche free contemporary art event could well take place this past Saturday evening. But, due to the Covid epidemic, this vintage will obviously be particular with compulsory wearing of the mask, imposed physical distancing and reduced gauges. And the night will be shortened since the animations will end at 2h (2 am), instead of 7h (7am) as usual.

This is unique in France, where each show is usually dedicated to a single family of animals. This Sunday (today), 10,000 animals from six different families will be gathered under one roof, in the Parc Floral, in the Bois de Vincennes 12éme arrondissement. Sunday from 10h to 19h at the Parc floral de Paris,. Metro Vincennes or Château de Vincennes. Full price entry 14€.

Régine Tagliana recounts in a book “Du Café de la Mairie à la Maison Van Gogh” how her parents Micheline and Roger participated in the rebirth of the inn where the painter Van Gogh had stayed. The Auberge Ravoux, where Vincent Van Gogh lived, in Auvers-sur-Oise, that has become a must-see for tourists eager to learn more about the painter.

The Ministry of Culture has just validated the candidacy of the “Domaine de Fontainebleau”, where the wooded massif forest joins the castle already classified since 1981. The verdict, it will not be delivered before 2024. This candidacy received a strong support with a shock godmother, who is none other than Brigitte Macron, the First Lady of France, last summer! It is the most visited natural site in France with 11 million walkers per year over 22,000 ha, 1,500 km of trails, but also 15,000 animal and plant species and 100% of the surfaces included in the Natura 2,000 network … this massif has 2,440 ha classified as biological reserves. Great!!!

The pressure is mounting a few days before the final. Two thirty-year-olds from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Julien Lepage and Matthieu Potin, respectively employee and manager of the La Vignery store, will compete on October 19 for the title of best wine merchant (caviste) in France. This is the first time in the history of this event, created in the 19C and brought up to date in 2014, that two professionals working in the same establishment have climbed to the final. In addition, among the last eight candidates in the running, six are from the Ile-de-France region. While waiting for the fateful date and the appointment at the Le Marois hotel in Paris 8éme arrondissement, a public prize already allows Internet users to vote until Sunday for their favorite candidate. Voted! You can too at https://www.terredevins.com/actualites/concours-du-meilleur-caviste-de-france-votez-pour-le-prix-du-public

At Parc Asterix, Halloween will be celebrated despite everything. In a health context made complicated by Covid-19, the attractions site is going all out for Halloween. The Parc Saint-Paul and the Mer de Sable are also doing the same.

We are talking about the Grande Allée in the Jardin des Tuileries, which requires extensive renovation with 92 majestic elms to replant. You take it without knowing it, but the Grande Allée, designed by André Le Nôtre in 1665, was once bordered by a row of trees which outlined the perspective of the Tuileries Palace as far as the future avenue des Champs-Élysées. Their slaughter during the French revolution transformed the promenade into a large space where the ride is still much less pleasant. In short, the idea is to lend a hand and for that nothing could be simpler, you can make a donation for the Louvre donations at http://www.tousmecenes.fr/fr/parrainer-un-arbre-ou-un-banc /

Soon, two other women will lend their names to our Parisian metro stations. In particular, line 4, which will host two stations named after singer Barbara and resistant Lucie Aubrac. The vote by Parisians was voted online to choose the name of the future metro stations 4, which will extend to the south of the line, towards the towns of Montrouge and Bagneux. One was easy and will be call “Bagneux – Lucie -ubrac”. The other was a tighter vote from “Fort de Montrouge”, “Coluche” or “Barbara”. Barbara took it away, probably because she rests in the cemetery of Montrouge, accessible by the south exit of the station.

Albert Khan at the City of Architecture   quipped with a cinematograph and an autochrome ; the first industrial color photography process by Albert Kahn will travel the world and will thus leave behind no less than 72,000 autochromes, 4,000 stereoscopies and 180,000 meters of cinema film. . These images, which you can discover at the City of Architecture and Heritage, reveal a double face of Paris: a timeless capital with its emblematic monuments and, on the other hand, a modern city undergoing rapid change. See it at Paris 1910-1937   Promenades dans les collections Albert Kahn. Done with cooperation of the Département des Hauts-de-Seine, Musée départemental Albert-Kahn. Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine. 1 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre , 16éme arrondissement until January 11 2020 More at https://www.citedelarchitecture.fr/fr

Until next January, the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny will offer us a wide panorama of landscape art as practiced by American artists during the period of French Impressionism. With more than 90 paintings, lithographs and watercolors from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the exhibition offers several insights into the evolution of this art. L’Atelier de la Nature 1860-1910. Collection Terra , Musée de Giverny, 99 rue Claude Monet, Giverny ,until January 3 2021. More here : https://www.mdig.fr/expositions-et-activites/expositions/l-atelier-de-la-nature-1860-1910/

The three originally from the North of France and from a modest background, working as miners, plumbers or cafetiers, nothing predestined Augustin Lesage, Victor Simon and Fleury-Joseph Crépin to painting, until voices urged them to to do. Strange works of exceptional thoroughness and high plastic quality are born. The spiritist current, which first appeared in the United States in the middle of the 19C, was emulated in Europe, survived and ended up shining beyond painting. Bewitching!!! Esprit ,es-tu là? Musée Maillol , 59-61 rue de Grenelle , 7eme arrondissement , until November 1 2020. More here : https://www.museemaillol.com/fr/esprit-es-tu-peintres-et-voix-lau-dela

The Musée de l’Homme takes us on a journey through time to discover food remains from the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Last Meal in Pompeii offers a thematic stroll around the different Roman food practices. Four spaces – bakery, kitchen, dining room and “laboratory” allow us to discover Roman food practices and understand how the food remains presented were studied by archaeobotanists. Dernier repas à Pompéi, Musée de l’Homme, 17 place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 16eme arrondissement. Until January 4 2021.More here : http://www.museedelhomme.fr/fr/programme/expositions-galerie-lhomme/dernier-repas-pompei-4102

If you are in love with art or simply curious, know that it is possible to discover or to deepen its history thanks to the “à la carte” courses of the Grand Palais. Histoires d’art offers a unique approach to art led by lecturers from the Rmn-Grand Palais, passionate and experienced art historians, through 9 formulas of 130 different courses Cours d’histoire à la Rmn; Grand Palais, from September 11 2020. More info here: https://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/cours-histoires-dart

And there you go in times of changing to Fall, the weather is unpredictable and now there is plenty of help from the Red Cross and others to help the communities hit harder by Alex, the storm. I am lucky my area is close but away from the coast so life continues as normal here. Be safe and be careful of mother nature, it can be bad! Oh just another personal news, my oldest son purchase his first car of course a Ford! Fiesta with help from Dad and Grandpa so all very happy, he already went to work with it! In a sadder news my father is beginning his lost of memory but he has nurses coming home and the grandsons and me to help out at home.

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

October 1, 2020

Paris and my parking spot!!

So moving along with my eternal Paris and giving away some of the off the beaten paths spots or even recalling famous one on a personal basis; let me tell you about my favorite parking spot in Paris!  YES you can drive in Paris even today!

My old spot for parking in Paris when wanted to come to work by car or bring the family over was at the former New-York Garage, 38, rue du Mont-Thabor ,1éme Paris. This is very near where I used to work in my eternal Paris!

For info, I came on trains into Paris at Gare Saint Lazare station, which is officially at 108 rue Saint Lazare 8éme arrondissement or district, and is about 1.1 km from my place of work. Also, if heavy rains took the metro line 1 or 12 at stops Tuileries or Concorde. I, also, walked from the Gare Saint Lazare along the Grand Magasins into rue Tronchet and the Place de la Madeleine into rue Saint Honoré/Rue Cambron and into Rue du Mont Thabor! About 18 minutes marvellous!!!

These were the marvelous days before the virus, and that I still find sentimental as well as many Christmas parties at Vendôme with the family so chic so Paris! The New York garage now is private so the new alternative if coming by car is at the parking Saemes Louvre-Pyramides ,15, rue des Pyramides 1éme Arrondissement.  Info on this parking here: https://www.saemes.fr/fr/parking/parking-louvre-pyramides

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

My boys going in !!!

As everything good comes to an end unfortunately, the garage was also victims of the new owners who wanted a private place. This was not a garage parking per se. They did mechanical work and service here too and had a space for parking to select clients who were recommended as I was. Now no longer the case no spaces for parking. oh well! As Paris is changing too….

The street where I work and already told you what was the firm, huh! Let me tell you about the street where the parking was and just corner with the entrance to work at rue Rouget-de-L’Isle . The rue du Mont Thabor starts at rue Mondovi all the way to rue d´Alger, the whole is parallel to rue de Rivoli next to the jardin des Tuileries and rue Saint Honoré. In all a very chic part of Paris.

A bit of history I like

The rue du Mont-Thabor is in the 1éme of Paris .This street was named in honor of the victory of General Bonaparte, at Mont-Thabor in Syria, on April 27, 1799 over the Turks. This street, generally oriented east-west and parallel to the rue Saint-Honoré was partly opened in 1802 on the site of the convent of the Assumption and the two gardens, the large and the small, of the Capuchin convent, where it ends up forming an elbow with rue Mondovi on one side and the rue de Castiglione on the other. The extension of this first part was traced in 1832 through the Feuillants garden and that of the Hôtel de Noailles to the rue Louis-Philippe-Ier, which received the same name in the same year; later rue d’Alger which it still wears.

At the corners of Rue du Mont-Thabor, rue Cambon and rue de Mondovi was the location of the hotel of the king’s bodyguards on foot. On the even side of the rue du Mont-Thabor was a secondary entrance to the Cirque-Olympique installed from 1807 to 1816 in the hippodrome b. 1801 of the rue Saint-Honoré by the squires family Franconi. At No 6 was the home and death place of the poet Alfred de Musset. A plaque in honor of Alfred de Musset is shown now.

Memorable places where ate many times on business and while working nearby were the No 36 Rue du Mont Thabor Le Soufflé restaurant on French cuisine, and soufflés …Also, at No 28 the L’Ardoise restaurant, French cuisine, and at No 26 Le Cozy  restaurant, French cuisine , of course!

Now I feel better again to have this nostalgic place in my eternal Paris in my blog. The idea is to have my life in it and it has proven to be very rewarding thanks to many of you who appreciate my writings and your comments. Thank you Merci beaucoup!

Paris has many books, magazines, newsletters, blogs on it, but all together would not be enough to tell you about it. Paris is eternal  or A moveable feast indeed!! Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path post!

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

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October 1, 2020

Paris and La Muette!!!

Well I need to come back to Paris, always Paris, my eternal Paris. I am going back to my vault of older photos to bring memories back into my blog. I have been so many times by La Muette that it has become my favorite spot in Paris,and just able to visit often even just from the start of the virus paranoïaque! Of course, I have brief mentions of it in previous post and even a general overview of quartiers or neighborhoods of Paris, but this needs more, so here it is folks. Hope you enjoy it as I do.

One of my favorites in Paris, maybe the most. I love to walk by here, and shop and eat, and just plain fun. Even when my boys were younger took them here at the park garden Ranelagh beautiful memories never to be forgotten. I have written on the neighborhood or quartier of La Muette in the 16éme district or arrondissement of Paris.

The metro station La Muette is on line 9 , directions Pont de Sèvres /Mairie de Montreuil. The station is located under the beginning of Avenue Mozart, south of the intersection with Chaussée de la Muette . The station opened on November 8, 1922 with the commissioning of the first section of line 9 between Trocadéro and Exelmans. Its name comes from the Château de la Muette, which gave its name to the neighborhood, a name itself probably coming from the pack which was used for hunting in the Bois de Boulogne. The name could also come from a hunting lodge of Charles IX, located near Passy, where moults of antlers of fallen deer in autumn were kept.

A bit on the construction taken time since the 1950’s when the piers are covered with a metallic camber with red horizontal uprights (for those at the top) and gray (for those at the bottom) and illuminated golden advertising frames; the metal beams supporting the station’s ceiling are painted green. These modifications are then widely used in Parisian metro stations as an inexpensive way to renovate quickly. Before this body was removed in 2009 for refurbishment of the station as part of the RATP “Renouveau du métro” or metro renewal program, it was completed with red style seats.

The station La Muette has two accesses as no 1 call “chaussée de la Muette”(my exit), consisting of a fixed staircase decorated with a Val d’Osne candelabra, opening at the corner formed by avenue Mozart and the chaussée de la Silent; and access no. 2 “avenue Mozart”, made up of an escalator going up allowing only the exit, located to the right of number 5 of the avenue. The distribution room is established in the form of a mezzanine overlooking the tracks, in the station. Thus, the platforms are visible from the room and the information counter. La Muette is a standard configuration station with two platforms separated by the metro tracks. Established flush with the ground, the ceiling consists of a metal deck, the beams of which, silver in color, are supported by vertical piers. The bevelled white ceramic tiles cover the piers, the tympanum and the hopper staircases giving access to the RER C.

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For info as never taken these the La Muette station is served in correspondence by the RER C stop Boulainvilliers and bus lines station at 1 rue de la Pompe . 22, place Possoz, 32 place de Passy, and 52 Les Vignes-Boulainvilliers. If need to , believe took it once there is a taxi stand directly in front of the pharmacy de la Muette. Taxis are regular during the day at this station. In the evening from 21h opt for the Trocadéro.

The official RATP on line 9 La Muettehttps://www.ratp.fr/en/plans-lignes/metro/9

Some of the things to see from this La Muette metro station and they are all wonderful are the Jardin du Ranelagh at avenue du Ranelagh – avenue Ingres – avenue Prudhon – avenue Raphaël only 220 meters away. The Marmottan Monet Museum 2 rue Louis Boilly at  600 meters . Maison de Balzac 47 rue Raynouard at 580 meters. The musée du vin de Paris wine museum square Charles Dickens at 1000 meters. The Clemenceau Museum 8 rue Benjamin Franklin at 950 meters. The Ïle aux Cygnes or swan island and the Pont de Grenelle, and Pont Bir Hakeim bridges at 920 meters The Passy cemetery (where rest in peace Manet, Georges Mandel and Claude Debussy amongst others) 2 rue du Commandant Schloesing at 1000 meters. The Parish Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption of Passy 88 rue de l’Assomption at  550 meters. A bit further but doable on foot as we do here are the Jardins du Trocadéro at 1200 meters, Eiffel Tower at 1500 meters and the Roland Garros stadium at 1750 meters. Bear in mind 1000 meters is one Km or about 0.6213 miles.

La Muette, away from traditional tourist circuits, are truly emblematic neighborhoods of Paris,  the chic Paris of luxury buildings and shops, the sixteenth Paris as they say. And yet, barely 150 years ago, they were still independent villages of the capital, which had known how to attract the aristocracy and the artists, etc To explore them will give you the opportunity of a day unlike any other in this Paris that we think we know!

You ,also, have wonderful architecture here in chic La Muette of the 16éme such as the Hôtel Guimard, Castel Béranger, and Hôtel Mezzara. All these sublime buildings were created by the immense art nouveau architect Hector Guimard. Super size mansions or villas as well as many Haussmann buildings ,and some with the option of a view of the Eiffel Tower!, also populate the neighborhood. That’s wonderful ! And to complicate your directions, the neighborhood or quartier de La Muette is further divided administerily into Muette south and north. The quartier Muette Sud extends from the rue de l’Assomption to the rue de Passy.  And the quartier Muette Nord extends from the rue de Passy until the avenues Henri Martin and Georges Mandel. As a whole , the La Muette is the 62nd neighborhood or quartier of Paris, of course in the 16éme arrondissement or district. Tu as bien compris mes amis!!

I have post on my eating escapades here so do not want to repeat photos but this one is a good one because it shows in the back the Jardin Ranelagh and my fav La Gare resto. For the memories of always!

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Also, do not forget to stop by the La Grande Épicerie de Paris at 80 rue de Passy . Here you have several levels, thousands of products and culinary creations all available before your eyes and numerous tasting areas. You a space of 2800 m2 a restaurant,and many universes as well as more than 6000 references. Outside, the two green facades of rue de Passy and avenue Paul Doumer will amaze you with their wealth and countless plants, created from mint, thyme or rosemary. Sublime my eternal Paris If you go down to the basement (sous sol), you will discover the immense vaults which give way to the wines and their exceptional allies which are cheeses and hams. If you go up to the first floor , you will be immersed in the realm of dry, salty or sweet products. The historic dome, central and majestic element, made up of more than two thousand three hundred glass prisms, shines its light throughout the store and shines with all its lights. Superbe!!!

The Paris tourist office on walks around this neighborhood sights in English: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/walks-in-paris/paris-and-its-neighbourhoods/paris-eiffel-tower/Trocad%C3%A9ro-and-Passy

And there you go another dandy in my eternal Paris. Always Paris, my eternal Paris, is a state of mind really!! Hope you enjoy this bit of memory lane by yours truly, and I thank you for reading it.

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

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