Posts tagged ‘Paris’

May 20, 2017

Some news from France CLVI

Here to you all surprise ! right before Krakow, there was Paris well always Paris. Some sunny nice day in Paris indeed ,and some great news from the eternal city.

An American in Paris Kristin Frederick from California just started her third restaurant in the city. The GreenHouse, 22 rue Crespin-du-Gast 11eme; just after her previous two establishement Le Camion qui Fume, 168 rue Montmartre 2eme, and the Huabu ,67 rue du Faubourg-Poissonniére 9eme.  Great to have Paris an international city.

You should go and check out the Best barman in the world from a contest sponsored by Diageo after 10K participant, Jennifer Le Nechet of Café Moderne, 19 rue Keller 11eme open Tuesdays to Saturdays 15h and 19h in evenings.

Check out one of my favorite spots in Paris, Paname Brewing Company, 41bis quai de la Loire,19eme.Views on the bassin de la Villette, with big tables and cubes at end of rooms having five boutique beers to choose from in a loft culture style. The Galeries Lafayette is stepping out until December 31 2017. weekend in style every Sundays from 11h to 19H ;brunch from Angelina, Big Fernand, L’ice cube etc.

See the wonderful harbor or ports of Paris from a bit outside the city the port of Gennevilliers(dept 92). You can have boat rides here too by the tourist office of the dept at 62 route principale du port ,Gennevilliers, metro asniéres -gennvilliers-Les Courtilles line 13 or gare de Gennevilliers RER C. Or the Port de Cergy (dept 95) with beautiful wharfs on the river Seine where I have many lunches working in the area, you can do canoe-kayak pédalo, fishing, and accrobranche, 6 quai de la Tourelle, Cergy ,gare cergy-Préfecture RER A and Line L out of St Lazare. Tel +33 (0) 1 34 24 11 77.  And of course the one inside Paris (dept 75) Port de l’Arsenal ,  just with the Bastille looking at you linking the canal de Saint Martin to the river Seine; and 170 boats enjoy the pergolas and walk the wharfs ; this is at 53 blvd de la Bastille 12eme; metro quai de la Rapée line 5 or tel +33 (0) 143 41 39 32

Two interesting anecdotes, the pool or piscine Georges Valleray, host the 1924 Olympics where Johnny Weismuller won 3 golds in swimming and in water polo, before becoming Tarzan. The pool is one of the rare ones in the city that has a covered roof covering the 50 meters pool. Admission is 3€ location: 148 avenue Gambetta,20eme.

Also, the rare and interesting Salle d’Armes Coudurier. Opened in 1886, the oldest fencing club in Paris with keeping its authentic deco. The platforms of one meter wide by 10 meters long. It host many filming events and you can even try fencing in it from Mondays to Saturdays and from 17h to 21h. 6 rue Git-le-Coeur 6eme.www.

If you want to buy baseball/softball equipment in Paris, go to the best Diamond Equipment for many years and have visited. You can find anything to play the sports here. A bit tiny  and loaded and if not there they can find it for you. See it at 75 blvd Soult, 12eme or

If you are in Paris for a while or expats and need help on housework,childcare,dog walking, household and computer repair or just watering the plants seek out Lulu les bons tuyaux , founded in 2005. Charges from 5€ to 20€ per half hour. See more at

Old reliable show at the théatre des Nouveautés, 24 blvd Poissonniére, 9eme see the show How to become Parisien in one hour, by Olivier Giraud.  tickets by calling +33 (0) 6 98 57 45 98 or

Do you know Paris is vying for the 2024 Olympic Games?  Many sites already selecting for the organising committee trying to convince the Olympic Committee to   host the games competing with Los Angeles.  They have divided the venues into Zone Grand Paris ,those around Paris like the Stade de France,Le Bourget etc, Those in Zone Paris centre like the Champ-de-Mars, Tour Eiffel,Champs-Elysées, Grand Palais, Esplanade des Invalides, parc des princes, roland Garros, etc and those in other zones or stand alone venues such as Arena 92, Zénith Paris, Chateau de Versailles, etc. It will be big and messy if the games are here but also think good for the economy of the region.

And what better place to smell sports than at the Bois de Vincennes parks. It is 3 times Central Park in NYC and covers 10% of the city land; created by Napoléon III covering 7,8 kms of creeks natural and artificial,(3,9 sq miles)  English style in a 10 square kilometers  (4,8 sq miles) space.  It receives 11 million visitors per year! You have fishing, canoe-kayak, cricket etc in a space that hosted the 1900 Olympic Games!  On the municipal velodrome (La Cipale) built in 1896 and renovated in 2015 ready to host the next games….  You have the Théatre du Soleil founded here in 1970 by Ariane Mnouchkine in the old armament factory or cartoucherie!  The Tour de France bicycle race the winner was crowned here from 1968 to 1974 such champions as Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil etc. Here we have the Institut National du Sport or the national sports institute where past and future champions in sports comes out on 25 hectares of land . We cannot forget the nice and famous hippodrome de Vincennes horse racecourse opened in 1863 hosting still prestigious events such as the Grand Prix de France, and Grand Prix d’Amerique.  We all can indulge in the Cafe Casaques for afterworks (happy hours) from 19h to 23h . Not forget the Paris colonial expo of 1931 (where you can still see the pavillon Indochina with a replica of the temple of Angkor Vat) played out here and hosting more than 8 millions visitors you can still see the old Paris colonial expo of 1907 on the western extreme part of the park.  See the temples for Cameroon and Togo  now transformed into a pagoda, and hosting one fo the biggest center of Budha in Europe with a budha statue of 9 meters high ( 14 feet). Of course, cannot forget the Parc Floral or flower park and the Zoo. All magical all Paris

So you are here for shopping, well you are at the king or queen of all shopping extravaganza and the capital of fashion . One area you should come to and not just for eating is the Mouffetard.  You go right into my favorite the Carl Marletti (previous pastry chef of the Intercontinental Paris Hotel (today Westin and see my previous post on it) . the millefeuille where he was crowned the best in Paris are to kill for as well as the mont-blanc etc. 51 rue Censier,

The thêatre Mouffetard and old marionnette theater now a show of puppets masks etc in a 230 seat theater featuring two shows and admission of -8-18€ 73 rue Mouffetard, 5eme more at  ;but also, La Tuile à Loup, 35 rue Daubenton since 1974 the lovely shop has promoted French craftmanship with a top notch selection of tableware, fabrics,pottery, ceramics and  much more.  they ,also ship abroad; more at  To have a drink visit the Cave La Bourgogne, 144 rue Mouffetard for a coffee, glass of burgundy or hearty steak with the Mouffetard market’s lively ambianc as a backdrop. nice.

Continue the tour of Mouffetard with visiting the La Maison des Trois Thés, 1 rue Saint-Médard the domain of master Tseng one of the world’s leading tea experts. Her team advises and guides you thru more than 1000 varieties of teas many aged in the premises.  Also, the Fromagerie Patrick Veron (cheese) at 105 rue Mouffetard, the last independant fromager in the street with over 40 years’s experience defending the raw milk cheeses (of course the best) An inmense selection of goat cheeses,which he ages on premises.

For a broader clothing and accessories selection see Chromatic, 67 and 92 rue Mouffetard since 1992 providing great designer jewerly and quality clothing on both sides of the street.  The library les Traversées (old librarie l’Arbre à Lettres) purchased by the employees and change name in 2013.  Don’t miss their readings and book signings at 2 rue Edouard-Quenu,  ; For toys come to the L’Epée de Bois a world of wooden toys since 1945. All French made on wood cloths dolls, and mobiles. the place to find something inspiring for Children. 12 rue de L’Epée-de-Bois 5eme. This is Mouffetard unique!

For something uniquely French try the Henri Bardouin pastis. Winner of the agriculture salon of 2017. An aromatic blend of 65 plants and spices including fennel, thyme,green anis, rosemary, star anis, guinea pepper, cardamon, clove, and south american tonka bean! Can be mix with water as an aperitif as well as summer meals. more here:  www.

And talking about drinks what about the Les Vignerons Parisiens or parisians winemakers! they are bringing back the Parisian tradition of wine making and its newest winery. The entire winemaking process is on the premises, and you can discover the world of wine through visits, tastings and oenology courses held at the winery. 55 rue de Turbigo 3eme: more here:

And something unique for those seeking camping cars and outdoor accommodations, see Gamping. It is a combination of offering rooms or chambres d’hôtes in private lots from cabins to plaine lodges etc. you can pick your place on the site app; It already has more than 8000 places in France and abroad from the sea , to mountains, or in the middle of the vineyards to share with the owners meals, walks ,tastings etc. See more about it here:

Orlyval is celebrating 25 years !! with modern train wagons and additional signages on all its stations. Showing live time traffic on the RER B and Orlyval lines. The latest addition, the last navette leaves the airport at 23h35 (compare to 23h before) ;so you can take the last RER B to Paris in only 6 minutes! all about it in English here:

There is a new retro game area at CDG airport with 1980’s Video games on a new arcade at T2C, T3,and satellite 5 of T1; Featuring Pacman, Tetris,and Donkey Kong with a free game on each arcade. Retrogaming is the name; and by June two new areas will open at Terminal T2E hall K with 15 machines at your disposal. Passangers played 6 millions games in 2016! wow, it’s your turn!

And this is it for now folks until next time. My travels move me onwards to Brazil where I am now, soon by June more goodies in my blog. Stay healthy be good and keep on traveling Cheers!!!










May 9, 2017

Some news from France CLV

So now we are back to work and waiting for my next trip on Friday next. Today was sunny with temps in 21C or about 70F sunny nice day to be well in France. Some news before my departure! And I was just notify by WordPress, that this is my “Congratulations on writing 1000 posts on Paris1972-Versailles2003!”

You know about the Dordogne in France? and the wonderful river that meanders about ,the Dordogne from its source in Sancy in the Puy-de-Dôme until its arrival into the Gironde.  Some tourist sites to start:

It’s heaven to see the river Dordogne from the tops of the Castle of Beynac and walks the narrow streets of Beynac-et-Cazenac. Some numbers 1,5 million tourists come into the Valley of the Dordogne spending 32 millions Euros, the valley has about 400 000 hectares.

Some of the things to see here are:

Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac, long kilometers of promenades along millennium old trees settled into a stony park and its cliffs like the Belvédère at 130 meters high. Nice natural setting and one of the most sought after here. More here:

Of course, the Château de Beynac, from the 13C and 14C, fighting off the enemy from 150 meters high, and films done here including Jeanne d’Arc of Luc Besson. See the medieval times right in your face;unique, a must so visit. More here:

Another dandy, the Château de Castelnaud, on the highs as well with a great panorama of the valley, built in the 12C. It has a nice arms and armory of medieval times, and the children can climb on the machines of shooting or catapults to recreate its offensive postures. More here:

Continue to the Château de Fayrac, on the lower end of the river and now own by a rich Texan (USA), and of course closed to the visit but a sight to see, even André Malraux lived here for several weeks in 1944 when he entered the French Resistance after his brothers were taken prisioners by the Nazis. The castle is in the town of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, which is itself one of the most beautiful villages/towns of France.  A bit on it in French:

and the town page on Les Plus Beaux Villages de France here:

Continue on towards the more familiar Château des Milandes, of Josephine Baker lived here from 1937 to 1968 with her husband and 12 adopted children.  She created here in the park a world village and even had a theater, the castle was sold to pay her debts but today it is still a museum of her stayed here/ more here:

The town itself of Beynac-et-Cazenac is another of the most beautiful villages of France; nestled in a rocky rock, one of the must stops when coming to the region or even passing as I have done several times. The city page in French here:

And the tourist office in English here:

We reach the end of the river Dordogne bend and arrive at La Roque-Gageac another beautiful village of France, and a must to stop by. Old town of the bishops of Sarlat, and was completely fortified with white rock facades and many narrow  medieval streets.Nice indeed.  The city page in French here:

The site of the most beautiful villages of France in English:

And the tourist office in English:

And the trip back to Paris, you will see the last studio of Eugene Delacroix, the house was founded by George Desvalliéres and Maurice Denis after the end of WWI at place de Furstenberg in the district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In 1932 the society of Friends of Delacroix made the effort to save the house and turn it into the museum. The museum became part of the National museum title and from 2004 part of the Louvre. The museum is just finished to be renovated, and allow to come intime with Delacroix, but also, Cezanne, Picasso, Gauguin, Bernard, etc. See their work in the exhibition “Maurice Denis et Eugene Delacroix, from the Studio to the Museum” . Until August 28 at the musée Delacroix. More here:

And the best Baguette or bread of Paris has just been announce! And the winner is the Boulangerie Brun, 193, rue Tolbiac – 13eme. Open Mondays to Sundays from 7h to 20h, Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

And a new terrace with 1000 m2 name the Papa Cabane, Rue Paul Belmondo, just behind the AccorHotels arena in the 12eme. You will have good music, transats, baby-foot games Ping-Pong tables and a pétanque court. Opening May 11 2017 ,open every Thursdays in summer from 18h to 23h. For now a Facebook page here:

 A new promenade will be coming on board in Paris soon. This one to add the ones reserve for the walkers and lovers of history in the heart of Paris. There are some already by the 12eme (rue Claude Decean) , 14eme (rue des Coulmiers), 15eme (lineal of 1,3 kms and space of 3,5 hectares), 16eme (between rue d’Auteuil, and chaussée de  La Muette), and the 18 eme (rue du Ruisseau). Next the runners, walkers visitors and locals alike will be able to run/walk the Petite Ceinture that was during the Second Empire ,the railroad tracks for goods and passengers bringing 39 millions travelers each year to Paris. It is schedule to be useable for  2018, and to open by the 20eme (open to the public by the rue de la Mare and rue Ménilmontant), 14 eme (between the promenade Broussais,and the avenue du Général-Leclerc  near the old train station of Orléans-Ceinture.) ,and on the 17eme (along the boulevard Pereire west of the place de Wagram and rue de Saussure). A special site in French dedicated to the Petite Ceinture here:

And in French from the city of Paris:

something from my area to keep an eye on are:

Festival des Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix, a crazy musical rendez-vous and now the biggest music festival in France (in terms of spectators). July 13 to 16 2016. More here in French:

Closer to me come see the history and folkclore of Brittany in the Festival InterCeltique de Lorient, the annual Celtic musi and culture get together in August 4-13 2017. And this year the invited country is Scotland! More here:

Next but not least, see the Festival du Bout du Monde (end of the world festival) a music festival that blends influences from many parts of the world in an amazing setting,the Crozon peninsula; from August 4-5 2017. More here:

Ok so cut it short tonite, as will be away from this coming weekend to the last weekend of May so more or less from May 12 to May 28 2017; Poland and Brazil awaits me,and it will be good but tiring continuos trip stop and go. Hopefully will be my last before the big summer vacation break. Until then, be good, help out, smile, and live, life is beautiful but it is short. Cheers



May 3, 2017

Some news from France CLIIII

So ,therefore, we reach the half way mark of the work week. This one short as off Friday and Holiday Monday Victory 1945 day! Temps are cool in the teen C’s but sunny.

Some of the things happening in my belle France from various sources are back:

You want to follow of my the mythic of Paris , André Malraux , who save many art buildings and help made Paris a museum to the world that it is. He spent his early years at  53, rue Damrémont (18eme) ,where his parents lived, before followed his mother to Bondy in the east of Paris. At the 20’s Montparnasse by pass Montmartre and become the intellectual and artistic spot in the city. Upon his returned from Asia in 1926 he finds his friends at the restos Deux Magots, Flore, and the Brasserie Lipp on the other side in blvd Saint Germain. We see him dined with Saint-Exupéry , Drieu or Arland. He and his wife Clara (they were married on October 21 1921) lived at end 1932 on the  44, rue du Bac (7eme),  a short distance from his office and his editor , where he creates his new novel “ la Condition Humaine” ,and where on March 28 1933 his daughter Florence is born. He meets many personalities here from the literature, politics of France and abroad here. Destiny shows up on August 6 1945 when he meets Général de Gaulle at the war ministry on 14, rue Saint Dominique (6eme), seat of the Council President. The two men creates great chemistry right away, and 10 days later he entered the cabinet of Gen de Gaulle as adviser of culture, and on November 21 , 1945 becomes Minister of Information. Charles de Gaulle returns to power in 1958, and on June 1st, M. Malraux becomes the delegue minister to the presidential council in charge of information.  On January 8 1959, he becomes State Minister in charge of Cultural affairs in the government of  Michel Debré , and has office at 3, rue de Valois, where he stays 10 years. The famous law voted on August 4 1962 as the Loi Malraux (62-903) allows to protect the heritage of France in urban areas preserving their character and architectural unity like the Marais of Paris. He, also, saved against modernist opposition the Hotel Guénégaud (now musée de la Chasse et de la Nature) or the hunting and nature museum; from destruction; the only building built by François Mansart in the  Marais still intact. He died on November 23, 1976 and rest at the Panthéon since 1996 on the side of Jean Moulin. source; Le Figaro translated by me!

And one dear to me because been there and pickup friends coming here from there. The old guinguette Cabassud on pylons over the waters of the Ville-d’Avray.  The same ones that inspired the  impressionists painters and also, Alphonse Daudet and Boris Vian. If you rest your arms on the railings of the park surrounding the lake you see a house with blue roof where lived Corot. The best paintings from the lake now hangs in museums from Strasbourg to  Washington DC. Today you can come to see popular themes shown here on each Thursday per month like May 25th White night, (soirée Blanche). June 22nd ,the  les Paillotes  show you the crazy years around Jazz; July 13 eve of the National Day (Bastille) a bal musette plays with the air of the  Amants de Saint-Jean and the La Java bleue.  Finally, by September, you will have wine tastings of the new millésimes or year of French producers. Go to Les Etangs de Corot,  55, rue de Versailles, Ville-d’Avray (92).Tél. +33 (0) 1 41 15 37 00. Open Thursdays and Fridays  18h30 to midnight ; Saturdays from 12h to midnight; nd Sundays from  11h to 16h. More info here:

Check this out for those using guides in Paris. About  80 of them are on strike from the company  City Wonders, based in Dublin , Ireland that employs these guide conferenciers as self employed in the big European capitals. The latest strike will be at the Arc du Carrousel du Louvre, to let the tourist and general public know of their situation. It is said that  City Wonders make work in the Louvre folks who have no professional license to be a guide, so cheaper for the company to hire. Buyer beware, Source.  Le Figaro

The great hotel de Crillon is getting closer to open with its total renovation, located at the Place de la Concorde; no photos are allowed now but the folks of Le Parisien newspaper were able to do this reporting I am translating.  the Salon des Ambassadeurs is done, an ultramodern bar is in this historic place , all historical corners of the hotel were renovated and restore to its famous glamour. In the Salon d’hiver, the ceilings a work of art has been restored completely, on the upper level the view is fantastic over the Place de la Concorde. The Salon des Aigles was a great technical knowhow to bring it to its former glory. In the basement, 90 meters long by 30 meters wide, two levels were done without having to move the façades built in 1758!  There is a pool! of 14 meters long, and on the kitchen almost all is done with 7 elevators to bring the meals quicker up. You just need to wait to fit in on its 81 rooms starting from 1 200€, or the 33 suites and 10 signature suites (where two were design by Karl Lagerfeld) at a price not yet reveal lol! This is Paris, more here:

And I have been here and one of my favorites,now a bit of history too. The library bookstore Gibert Jeune ? or Gibert Joseph ?  Two aparts libraries with a history that will become one soon according to the Livres Hebdo, a book journal here. Gibert Jeune was declared in bankrupt and now it seems will be united with its sister library.  The first library opened in 1888 at the  quai Saint-Michel by a professor named  Joseph Gibert, who became a bookstore keeper than librarian. Upon his death in 1915, his two sons took over. However, in 1929, there are différences amongst them and war starts with the company splitting in two  Gilbert Jeune and Gilbert Joseph. The eldest son opened at 60 boulevard Saint-Michel (Gibert Joseph, blue ribbon) , and the brother preserve the family name Under  Gibert Jeune (yellow ribbon).  There became over the years a reference for students where they can buy and sell their books and others like us that came for maps , travel, and history books. More here:

Watch out Ice Hockey players converge on Paris Bercy From this coming Friday to May 18, on the AccorHotels Arena (12eme) will host 30 games of the 81st world ice hockey championship. The rest of the games will be played in Koln, Germany.

The accorhotels arena here:

And a burger story in France from America and no its not the typical fast food names. Five Guys de France are opening next month their fourth property in France short distance from the Opéra Garnier. This is the same spot of my old favorite restaurants now bankrupts Chez Clément, almost across the street from Café de la Paix famous resto. They have a bigger property in the Champs-Elysées ,the biggest in the world, and always super busy. The chain was started by Jerry Murrel from Arlington, Virginia USA in 1986 and the name comes from his five sons who are involved in the business. The first restaurant was Five Guys de Bercy (Bercy Village) last August and they all the most profitable of the business with those of Dubai and New York times square.  And get this France consume 1,3 million burgers just behind the British in Europe…! I try to go to taste them at the Champs-Elysées but the lines were long….so we left. More here:

The Paris football/soccer team PSG thinking of going to the chateau of Thiverval-Grignon property for their training center change their mind ,now it will be at the 74 hectares on Terres de Poncy at Poissy in the intersection of autoroutes  A13 and A14, to be open by the season 2019-2020.  More here in French :

There are exhibition of the master call « Picasso Primitif », in the museum of du Quai Branly, until July 25th.  More here:  And the museum or musée Picasso de Paris has an exposition entitled “ Olga Picasso “, a Russian dancer and first wife of the painter, shown until September 3rd. More info:

The Norwegian agency Snøhetta created an international art center at Lascaux 4 famous caves a complex of 11 500 m2  that house the center, a giant replica of the prehistoric site old of 20 000 years. Done on an exact replica of the cave and with a temperature of 13C (about 54F)  and a lighting to resemble the original light in the cave. It has 6 salons showing the whole history of prehistoric men, open since the end of 2016 but officially opened last March . More info here:

The Fondation Cartier reopen its door after the renovation were done with a wonderful exposition entitled « Autophoto » , the automobile photograph from all angles since the early 20C by the great names, all until September 24th; more info here:

And we are cutting time from next July 2017 coming and going from Brittany to Paris. this is the new line of LGV all the way to Brest. Time to discovered this town sang by the poet  Jacques Prévert , that is hosting the 40th anniversary of his death.  The where the fresh wind, artistic, and architecture, blows in his hidden heart… OF course , some increase in fares are in order too! The LGV will allow to bring Rennes to Paris in 1h25 from the current 2h04. The price increase will be from 4-6€. More info here:

You can discovered the city of Brest (see my other post do search) and the best value are the Oceanopolis aquarium or the marine museum in the castle.  the oceanopolis has a new pavilion call Bretagne, see more here :

Some anecdotes of Brest: You have heard of the  « tonnerre de Brest »  lighting of Brest, it comes from the noise that was made with the canon shot to announce the attempt escape of a detainee in the harbor. You have heard of Jean Gabin, that made a film there “Remorques“,and asked that his ashes were disperse in town harbor that was done on November 18, 1976.  The American lieutenant James Reese (and his musicians of the 369th infantery regiment) who was the first one who played jazz in France to the public while the American troops landed in December 1917. 800 000 American soldiers landed at Brest during the First World War. The famous cake Paris-Brest ,created in 1910 by a pastry chef from Maisons-Laffitte (dept 78 Yvelines!!) in honor of the bicycle race linking the two cities ; that explains the form of the bike wheel.  The Quartz, the national scene of Brest, one of the most frequented in France.

One recommendation for lodging, do the historical hotel of Brest, Le Continental. Art Déco and rooms from 68€.

or another favorite property the  Le Mercure Brest Centre Les Voyageurs, all new ,rooms from 70€.  More here:

Other than those already given to eat ,in previous posts, the restaurant  Le Ruffé, of Thierry Beauvy and Jean-Michel Faijean has been recommended to me and will try all with local produce and meats in an modern décor.  Menu from 19€  More info here:

Enjoy France is all a movable feast ::) Cheers!


April 29, 2017

Some news from France CLIII

And I am back from a wonderful one week trip to Spain, but back in town is cold and cloudy and lots of rain announce for tomorrow. We are on a three day holiday due to May 1st been Labor Day here. Temps went up only to 17C or about 63F but right now it is 52F or 11C.

Let me tell you of an event mentioned before but it’s worth it if around Versailles, my dear old town. This is the Jumping international du Château de Versailles May 5-7. This is considered a 5 stars event ,the highest in its category. More here:

The roots on horse riding go deep here since 1670, and the king Louis XIV had built the Grande and Petite Ecuries. It is here that Bàrtabas , the founder of the Académie équestre nationale du domaine de Versailles in 2003 . More here:

This event will have over 200 horses with the best 30 jockeys of the world including four French Olympic champions. A course with 1600 spectators will be done in the stables=ecuries, and the visitors will have access to the gallery of Coaches or La Galerie des Carrosses in the Grande Ecurie as well, superb; restored in 2016. You see carriages of Napoléon Ier, the funeral carriage of Louis XVIII, fantasy trainers, etc. More here:

If need to missed this one( a pity), then , Do not forget in July ,the Longines Global Champions Tour de Chantilly, from July 13-16. More info here:

The vineyards and our wine is on the lookout, as these last few nights they have been hit by some frost and cold winds that were not expected. The most hit were Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Champagne, but, also all in general.

At Chablis ,water had to be pumped in to protect from deed freezing ,even with its risks. From eolians tactics to helicopters to heating elements in the fields all has been tried. At Chateau Corbin in Saint Emilion from 13 hectares 10 are totally destroyed!!! Even if the appellation Pomerol is the most affected. The effects are closer to those that happened in 1991. The temperatures going down to -4C  or 23F has affected Gaillac and Fronton where 80% of vineyards were frozen.  There are 20  000 hectares in the Languedoc that were destroyed. This the experts will tell you that in 2018 many will have nothing to offer us to drink!!!

In Champagne ,will have to dig to its reserves. Temperatures going down to 19F or 7C and about 20-25% of vineyards destroyed. In Cognac, 25K over 75K hectares were touch by this freezing 75% or more. Article read in the Le Figaro newspaper of April 29-30 2017.

A bit of history I like, that will enhance your visiting pleasures. Why not know the history is to engage in culture and understanding of the country, France. The traces of the last Bourbons kings is the latest article in Le Figaro magazine.

The article takes notice of the visit of Prince Louis Alphonse de Bourbon (legitimate king of France Louis XX) , last descendant of king Felipe V of Spain in turn grandson of king Louis XIV of France)  to Gorica, Slovania. The visit was to pay respect to the last king of France Charles X, who died in exile here, and whether to bring his body back to the Basilica of Saint Denis, north of Paris.

The current President of France, François Hollande had ordered repair the arrow tower of the basilica of Saint Denis in the north tower in a symbolic act. The question of bringing back the last kings of France is now a possibility.

king Charles X (brother of Louis XVI) ,also known as the Count of Artois,was overthrown in the 3 glorious days or trois glorieuses in 1830(also,known as the July revolution) , and died of colera on November 6 1836 in Gorizia ,the frontier of Frioul-Venetia Julienne and Slovenia. He lies in the Franciscan convent of Castagnavizza ,today call Kostanjevica in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. There, also , lies his son, Duke of Angoulême (short while king Louis XIX) his wife and cousin Mary Theresa of France, also ,called madame royale, the unfortunate daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette freed from the prison of Temple,and the grandchildren of Charles X, also, Henri V, count of Chambord, the last French Bourbon of the branch, and his wife Mary Theresa of Modena, and her sister, Louise of France; duchess of Parma.

The convent has gone thru some tough days that threaten to destroyed the coffins in it. The first was in 1914 facing the Austro-Hungarian empire and Italy ,when the convent was bombed and the coffins were saved due to Zita of  Austria, granddaughter of Louise of Parma, who transferred them to the convent of Capuchins in Vienna until 1932.  At the end of WWII,the monastery of Castagnavizza that is on a hill dominating Gorizia passed to the jurisdiction of Yugoslavia until the independence of Slovenia in 1991; where it change name to Kostanjevica,and kept by the Franciscans Monks in Nova Gorica.

Charles X is the only French king now lying in foreign soil, and there is an association trying to change that. The Association pour le Retour a Saint-Denis de Charles X: more here in French :

Victor Hugo,had already asked for the return of the king where he wrote in French: “Moi, je n’affligerai pas plus, o Charles X, Ton cercueil maintenant que ton exil jadis! Repose, fils de France,en ta tombe exile! Dormez,sire! Il convient que cette ombre voile, que ce vieux Pasteur mort sans people et sans troupeaux, Roi Presque séculaire ait au moins le repos.”

Meaning, as close as can make it in English: I will distressed no more, O Charles X your coffin now in your radiant exile, rest son of France in your grave in exile! Sleep Sir, It is convenient that this covered shade,that this old  pastor dead without people or followers; king almost secular has at least a resting place.

The association just wants to reunite the brothers , Louis XVI,Louis XVIII,and Charles X in the Basilique de Saint Denis. For this,they have the backing and support of all the relatives of Charles X living today. That is the Princes Bourbon-Parma born from his granddaughter Louise of Bourbon, and the two daughters of the Duke of Berry (second son of Charles X assassinated in 1820) had with Amy Brown: Charlotte, princess of Faucigny-Lucinge ,and Louise, Baronnesa of Charette de la Contrie. At least 50 descendant has given the ok for the transfer. The only block is that on the Will and Last Testament of the Count of Chambord (Henri V) he asked not to be buried in France as well as his wife Mary Theresa of Modena. He refuse the tricolor flag of the French republic for keeping the white flag symbol of the monarchy in 1871.

The current pretender Louis Alphonse (Alfonso born in Madrid, and legitimate Louis XX king of France), does not want to separate the grandchildren from his grandfather.  The transfer can only be done with the blessing of the French Republic and with all the honors of a sovereign monarch according to Louis Alphonse.

He professed the European unity in this speech that I have translated to English. ” Your city can be proud of being that in Europe, has without a doubt been the most marked by the presence of the princes and princesses of my family, but to the physical presence need to add memory and remembrance that remain still so  powerful. Every year, many pilgrims come from France to visit the  places of exile; I like to see it as a beautiful symbol of our Europe, seeking always to better understand its roots and who find them, just by sharing common memories across borders”

You too can come here, (it is my goal in life) to see the Cathedral where the funerals of the last French Bourbon were held and the palace Coronini Cronberg where Charles X found refuge and finally died. The prince Louis Alphonse tells the mayor of Gorizia, your town welcomed my family seeking exile in desperation ; today you town stays loyal to the Bourbons, and you host me as you did them, if your town stays loyal to the Bourbons ,we will stay loyal to Gorizia , and my sons will come here too. He lays a crown of flowers to the tomb with 3 white lys flowers symbol of the monarchy all shown on local Slovene and Italian TV( not in France).

The palace is here:

The convent where Charles X and family are buried:

The Cathedral were the funerals were held:

Prince Louis Alphonse, duke of Anjou and Bourgogne, and confirm by the House of France as the heir legimitate as king Louis XX was accompanied on this trip by Stéphane Bern a well know TV commentator, historian and actor. He wrote the piece for Le Figaro magazine.

The other sovereign of France not buried in France is that of emperor Napoléon III.  He is buried at the Abbey Chapel of Farnborough in England. He lied there with his wife emperatrice Eugénie (of the Montijo of Spain), and their son Louis who died in 1879 in a battle with the Zulus in South Africa (he would have been Napoléon IV).

At the Benedictine abbey of Saint Michael founded in 1881 by the emperatrice Eugénie that lived at Farnborough Hill.  There are the tombs of Napoléon III (1873), Eugénie (1920) and Louis (1879). In the 150th anniversary of the unification of the Savoie and county of Nice, many people ask for the repatriation of the bodies to France.

In 2008 during the bicentennial of the birth of the emperor many came here, including a representation of the French Republic by way of its ambassador in UK. Up to this date, the descendant family have always opposed to the repatriation to France.  At least ,at Farnborough the Benedictine monks pray for the emperor, who will do that in Paris? said the Princess Napoléon (I have met her at the Institut de France in Paris, salon Victor Hugo) . Difficult to bring them all as the imperial prince is buried with English military uniform! and the Invalides could not be.

Other place that I know is the Church of Saint Augustin, that has been sought after for many years as a necropolis of the empire.  Napoléon III already have sought of doing a mausoleum Bonaparte here.  The Church is well aligned in the perspective of the baron Haussmann between the Church of the Madeleine (dedicated to the grande armée), and the place Wagram. Nevertheless, the pilgrims here will be less than at Farnborough.

So there you have my historical post on France , again there is lot to see here, a lot more than on travel guides. Enjoy your weekend, Cheers.











April 20, 2017

The jewels of Paris, Intercontinental Hotels

I believe I have mentioned this briefly in my many posts on Paris since 2010 ::) However, I have not written a post on them alone. It could be a short post or long, the bottom line I have great memories of these hotels and would like to share it and have a post to remind me for a long time.

At my time, there were two properties Intercontinental Hotel or l’Inter (now the Westin Paris) on rue Castiglione near the Tuileries garden,  and the Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental and its wonderful Café de la Paix by the Opéra Garnier. Now,there is another one call the Marceau.

The newest one is at 64 Avenue Marceau, and the webpage is:

So why I have good memories of it and always will remember them? Well , I used to worked in them, and was in charge of all intercontinental hotels including Cannes, and the Holiday Inn hotels in France own outright by the group Intercontinental Hotels Group. Two wonderful years bouncing from one to the other in an top management position in the Accounting dept.

I went thru wonderful Christmas parties for the employees, to welcoming and meeting some of the famous and known such as U2, Condoleezza Rice , Sec of state USA; Stéphane Bern , French actor, presenter and many many more. Working with the upper class of the French nobility including Princess Napoléon, to the marquis and dukes of France; and the famous brands who held many events in the hotels from Louis Vuitton, to Chanel, to the fabulous Fashion Weeks of Paris.

Funny stories from how to keep famous groups in the hotel because the money was late in arriving, to doing special invoicing for Louis Vuitton and Sanofi pharma group; to helping with the princesses and prince of the Middle East; and of course helping my colleagues from serving as English/French  translator for the film crew from South Korea (needed to spent a night in the hotel ,junior suite looking at the Eiffel tower!); and helping out the expat community on providing free host in the great salon (historical monuments of France) for charitable events (raising funds for the hurricane Katrina of New Orleans LA USA fame).

The Intercontinental Paris-Le Grand webpage is here:

and it’s attach Café de la Paix is here:

The ceilings of the Café de la Paix were done by Charles Garnier of the opera fame and many others, they are historical monument of France and the intricate work you see, has even more value than those in the hotels. You do not have to eat in to just past in and see the ceiling.

The Le Grand hotel at the corner of 2 rue Scribe,and 12 blvd des Capucines, has a wonderful bar with leather sofa seats and piano music to soothe your soul in Paris. It ,also, has a great I-Spa by Algotherm. La Verriére is a wonderful garden style bistro with a great glass cupola right in the middle of the hotel. It was built between 1861 and 1862 for the coming of the Universal Exposition of 1867. The palace hotel was opened in great pomp by the Emperatrice Eugénie as well as the Café de la Paix in May 1862 ( soon to have 155 yrs old). The salon a historical monument of France here is call Salon Opéra and on the side is facing the Opéra Garnier!

My offices were in the mezzanine section off the general public but we needed to walk into the public areas unassumed and enjoy the beauty ::)

The HQ handling all the hotels was at the Intercontinental Paris or affectionally called L’Inter. It was at the corner of the streets 3 rue de Castiglione and rue Rivoli. It opened in 1878 as the Hôtel Continental. It was built at the lot of the old Ministry of Finances burned in the uprisings of 1871 ; the Grand Dukes of Russia stayed here each time passing by Paris.  The hotel was renamed  the Inter-Continental Paris in the 1970’s then the The Westin Paris in 2005 ,and now call the The Westin Paris -Vendôme from  2010. The historical monument of France here is call Salon Napoléon.

It ,also has a Spa, Six Senses, and great bar ;these are Le First, and Le Terrace under the cupola in the garden center of the hotel; but my favorite and always around here was Le Tuileries Bar ,very cozy sofas and great drinks, taking you back to the 19C: more on it here:

The offices were again in the mezzanine area off the general public but we could walk all over, and I did as my job will take me to see the restaurants/bar personnel as well as the rooms. The walks between the l’Inter and Le Grand were sublime passing by the Place Vendôme into the Place de l’Opéra!!  Many of the colleagues working in non management positions are still there as well as some who have move up to management position now. A good bunch of people.

One other IHG property I was responsible for was in Cannes, the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in the Croisette! I visited there,and knew all the management staff;some came over to Paris later on. A rich history as well since 1913 as the Carlton Hotel catering to rich and noble Russians from the Grand Duke down. In 1922 the first league of United Nations was held here,and the film Festival of Cannes was done here in 1939.  The Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief was done here in 1954, and Grace Kelly Princess of Monaco had it as almost her personal residence. It became as we know it today in 1982 when the IHG took majority interest.

In all, in those early years of 2004-2006, I was, also, responsible for the Holiday Inn -pl de la République in Paris (now a Crown plaza hotel), and the Holiday Inn Disneyland ,who of course, I not only visited on business but also stayed with the family while going to Disneyland Paris(the hotel is now call the Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel).

Those days were good and the ambiance fantastic, I always stayed now in these hotels even in other visited abroad like the Intercontinental Castellana in Madrid, or the Athenatum in Athens Greece or the Intercontinental Dusseldorf in Germany. And many Holiday Inns all over.

As to why the journey was over, well as it happened in our world, I and all the management class was dismissed when our employment contract was held at the l’Inter and it was sold to a pension fund from Singapore ,who in turn gave the management to the Starwood chain, and they decided to change the name to the Westin along with dismissing the management personnel on a nice transaction deal in my belle France.  The package was nice, the leaving was hard ,even today I missed the ambiance, the friends, the place.

And now that you know from where I am coming from, well do stay there, eat there, drink there, is a Paris France institution and worth the detour for all. Cheers!Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris


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April 18, 2017

Some news from France CLII

And once again that pep talk about France. The sun tried to come up today but was up and down with temps in the 15C or about 62F. We have a nice four day week and then its the weekend again ,and my trip to Spain !!!

For now let’s keep cool in la belle France shall we:

Flixbus , bus service intercity is offering the La Défense.  From May 18 it will serve the business district from the underground bus terminal of terminal Jules-Verne on the line N 709 that will be extended to Rouen.  This night line will have daily connections towards Lyon  with a departure at 23h15  from the La Défense.  There will be two stops in Lyon, one at  the  gare de Vaise at 5h15 and the second at the gare La Part-Dieu at 5h50.  On the trip back from there the bus will arrive at  La Défense at 6h45 and will leave from gare La Part-Dieu  at 23h59 , and the gare de Vaise at 00H35. Of course check the times as from now to then they may change. More here:

As already mentioned in my previous post, the Villages Nature, has started construction, due to finish by June 30 2017.  This is the entertainement activities park done by Pierre & Vacances(Center Parcs)  ,and Euro Disney  at Villeneuve-le-Comte, a few kilometers south of Disneyland Paris. The park should open to the public by mid August 2017.  It consists of a park divided into five themes, such as Aqualagon, Ferme BelleVie, Forêt des légendes, Jardins extraordinaires ,and the Promenade du lac. More in French here:

Another update coming from the Domaine de Méréville. About 50 guided visits are planned this year.  To start , they are limited to the picturesque garden ,one of the last examples in Europe of a Anglo-Chinese passages park as we would have seen them in the 18C.  There is a castle where lived the Marquis Jean-Joseph de Laborde,but still not ready to welcome visitors. However, the almost 400 hectares of park are done. You can ask update if passing by to visit it, worth the detour at  tourist office or office de tourisme d’Étampes, tel +33 (0) or email:  The next dates available for the guided tours are April 22, 23, 29 , 30, and May  6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28.  More here:

And more info in French on the Domaine from the dept tourist office of the Essonne ,dept 91.

For it’s 70th anniversary the Festival de Cannes,has played with the cards on the selection of films. It is expected that Michael Haneke will have his 3rd palme d’or, that will be historical. However ,even if the idea is to bring the lesser known artists to the Festival, you can’t escape to think folks like Sofia Coppola, Jacques Doillon, François Ozon or Michel Hazanavicius are not your type of unknown artists as such.  The rest that were kept for the competition are indeed less known and with great projects such as Naomi Kawase, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lynne Ramsay, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Hong Sangsoo, Todd Haynes, Noah Baumbach, and Fatih Akin.  More info here:
The house of Louis Vuitton continues it’s incursion into the world of Arts. Associating with the plastic artist Jeff Koons to reveal the collection where the master word is transmission.  The American artist will inspire here by the « Gazing Ball » a series of reproduce works of arts by the great masters,and to post on the great bags and small leather goods of the Louis Vuitton. The works that will appear are such as  « La Joconde »(mona lisa) of  Léonard de Vinci, the  « La chasse au tigre » by Rubens, the  « La Gimblette » by Fragonard,  the  « Champ de blé avec cyprès » by Van Gogh and as well the « Mars, Vénus et Cupidon »  of Titien.  The famous « Rabbit » of Jeff Koons  will ,also be there in accessories.  The artist even played with the famous monogram letter of Louis Vuitton by signing the works as « J.K. ».  All ready to become collectors items and shown from April 28. More here:
We have great cold cuts here , all over the country, and Paris is central;  you can have a wonderful saussages too like from black pigs of Bigorre done by  Pierre Matayron,;just the meat, pepper, and dry as wanted for 12€ Boucherie Terroirs d’Avenir : 6, rue du Nil, 2eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 85 09 84 48.  More info here, the real thing of my belle France:

Another is known for his wonderful hams, with a great taste at 9,45€; this is at Lastre Sans Apostrophe : 188, rue de Grenelle, 7eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 40 60 70 webpage but worth a detour You will find it near the école militaire.

And get on with steakhouses rare but some good ones here too. One of them is the Greffeuille ,120 rue Saint Denis, metro Etienne Marcel line 4 as closest. If you like the sausages such as the Andouillette ,lamb from the Aveyron, serving the great chefs of France with quality meats and good tasting on site in a butcher shop.  Here is their store in Paris,

Another one is Clover Grill,  6 rue Bailleul, nearest metro line 1   Louvre – Rivoli. The steak here is king with the famous Entrecôte beef black from the Baltic  , aged in oak with the aromas of whisky, or try the undercut of beef from Kansas,USA, tender to please the most of the  globetrotters or the amateurs of the ancient sauces. More here:

Finally , see the Café des Abattoirs,  10 rue Gomboust , metro pyramides lines 7 or 14 as closest. The last one of the Rostang family, setup in a crowded resto with tables very close to each others, again the entrecôte, come to be the king. The best beef coming from the Breton Côtes-d’Armor, dept 22 of Nantes or Armoriques races of 400 grams of beef at least. More info here:

The next exposition at the musée Ludique that is at 34 quai d’Austerlitz in the 13eme of Paris will be dedicated to the super heroes of DC Comics. The expo will be until September 10 2017 and it’s entitled L’art de DC -L’aube des super héros. You will find about 250 originals models created by Bob Kane, Frank Miller or Alex Ross. More than 300 works recherché for the cinema and costumes and accessories from films. You will see the original costume for Superman worned by Christopher Reeves and the series Wonder Woman done by Lynda Carter, Batman from 1989 of the Joker, and accessories from the batman vault. the visitors to the exposition will recreate the history of their super heros from the 1930’s to our days. More info here:

The high gastronomy is not just for the restaurants but, also ,in hotels of Paris and France. The hotels deluxe with their codes sought of by Auguste Escoffier, the genius that opened in the end of the 19C the Ritz on the place Vendome and Savoy of London.  Now we have Christian Le Squer to continue the legacy. At the  Au Cinq, the restaurant in the Four Seasons Hôtel George V, he show you the traditions of the trade. M.  Le Squer has reinvented the gratinée à l’oignon.  Instead of serving it liquefy in a deep plate he presented it solid on a pure white dish with small caramels onions around it. It is served with a Madeira 1986 Verdelho d’Oliveiras.  You can indulged at the Le Cinq. Four Seasons Hotel George V: 31, avenue George-V, 8eme. Tél. +33 (0) 1 49 52 70 10. Of course be prepare to pay dearly but the very top of French cuisine.  More here:

And on the continuing elimination of the auto from Paris, the mayor Hidalgo keeps bringing more bicycle lanes to Paris. This time is the section from Nation to République . This is the future lane that will be created along boulevard Voltaire. The work will be for 3 kms and will have the day before 2020. IN the plan there is work to do for 700 kms of bicycle lanes in all Paris. Several publication such as Le Parisien. and see the photo from Le Parisien newspaper showing losing as much as 90 hours in traffic jams in the Paris area;which couple with the pedestrian ideas cutting off traffic into Paris on the voie Georges Pompidou is just creating more traffic havocs.


You have the exposition of “De Zurbaran à Rothko – Collection Alicia Koplowitz – Grupo Omega Capital“; Until July 10 2017. the collection from the Spanish business women Alicia Koplowitz to be seen in the musée Jacquemart-André.  There is nice works of arts here such as the “the Virgins” of  Zurbarán , and from Luis de Morales,a portrait of the 16C of Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, but, also, of  Goya, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec. You can see as well masters such as De Kooning, Rothko, Lucian Freud, Louise Bourgeois, and Miquel Barceló.  A very nice presentation in a wonderful place. More here:

Great libraries in Paris, some of them down right historical. However, many not as well known and just as historical and nice. One of my favorites is the La librairie du cinéma du Panthéon ,15 rue Victor-Cousin, metro line 10 or RER A Luxembourg.  Taken the works from the library Ciné Reflet and under the patronage of the Thé des Ecrivans, you come to a cine club library open since 2013. You have all novels, travel , youth books here. An oasis of calm and knowledge in Paris.  More info in French here:

And last, pay tribute to a great one of Paris and the world, Colette. Actresse, dancer, mimic, romancier, newspaperwomen (in 1914-18 WWI) , creator of a cosmetic line, the leading figure of women avant garde with a strong connection to nature. The first women president of the Académie Goncourt.  Today, her maternal home reborn with her youthful days; open to the public since 2016 at the  rue Colette (before  rue de l’Hospice). It is done loyal to the writing of the actor with bourgeois decoration and the status of a rich family whose members were musicians or music lovers;  Colette played the piano, and mom went to the Opéra. The house or La Maison de Colette, 10, rue Colette, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye ; guided visits of the house and gardens  from Wednesdays to Sundays from 10h-19h and Fridays to Sundays from 10h-17h ; from November 1st to March 30th. Reservation is recommended at tel +33 (0) 3 86 45 66 20. admission is 9€ adults open every day from 10h to 18h . IN the castle of the town ; small Library. you can go by car in about 1h30 from Paris . By train from gare de Bercy, to Joigny or Auxerre. More info on the house here:   and on the museum  Inside castle here:

Enjoy France, is as a whole a movable feast ::) Cheers!

April 15, 2017

Some news from France CLI

So we hit the low point as the weather has turn cloudy and cool breezy here just on the Easter weekend, which in France is given as Easter Monday off, therefore a backward 3 day weekend.

We had some errands to do in order to be free Sunday for the football/soccer matches and see what we do on Monday; always a last minute family type except the big vacations in the Summer and Christmas times. The summer vacation is taken already, will be again Spain, of course!

We are already thinking Christmas will be somewhere in France. Every year we change over most of the time ::)

Things happening in my belle France, are:

There is a new or fairly new thing to do in Paris, it is the Timescope (see photo from the Les Echos business journal ) and it lets you see in 3D Paris of yesteryear actually way back.. It is already 389 years since April of 1628 ,and if you go to the now pedestrian street of voie Georges Pompidou and get yourself behind the telescope or Timescope, you will be able to see Paris as it were on that date!!! The Timescope  telescope machine is by the bridge or pont d’Arcole. It is on that date that the city hall or Hôtel de Ville was built, and the place de Gréve takes form with its colorful houses , the trading harbor on the banks of the Seine river and its boats with the people living underneath the bridges. The first of these timescopes was installed at the boulevard Richard Lenoir in front of the place de la Bastille.  Here for 2€ with an online ordered ticket, you can see the Bastille in 1416, and on the eve of the French revolution in 1789. In the parc Rives de Seine, there is reconstruction work in detail of these events. There is even a film in 3D by just turning the eyeglasses on the machine around you in 360°. More info and ordering directions here, which you can turn to English at bottom right:

The parc Rives de Seine, in French here:

Things are coming along on the Publicis Drugstore; it has plan to be open by May 15 at 133 avenue des Champs-Elysées with a wonderful cafeteria style café of 2000 sq meters space open 7/7 and until 02H or 2am. Keep an eye for this opening here, a must when visiting the area;

A wonderful event in a historic romantic area of Paris. Everything moves around Pigalle, rue Lepic, Sacré Coeur, Moulin Rouge etc, this area inspired many movie producers:directors from the beginnings of the 7th art. The museum or Musée de Montmartre will have an exposition with the Décor de Cinéma ; showing of this period in black and white and color as well.  The collection of the Cinémathéque Française, Fondation Jerome Seydoux-Pathé, muse Gaumont, Archives Pathé-Gaumont, Societé Femis, société d’histoire et archeology de le vieux Montmartre and Moulin Rouge will be showing until January 14 2018! ;more here:

Do you know cher visitors that in the Périphérique de Paris or beltway there are 99 cameras capturing on 750 devices with as much as 80 frames at the same time to see what you all do on the 35 kms of the beltway: yes big brother is watching you . Of course, some locals do not even know of this, too bad, I do ,I am on the road and do keep tracks of these devices. Mind you these are not speed radars but rather surveillance cameras ::) You can read more in French here:

And now on one of my favorite subjects but lazy to write about it ,with so much to write on in the belle France of course. Let’s talk about wines!!!

Do you know we have a sleeping giant in China coming along. It is ,already, the second biggest country in vineyard area just behind Spain.  However, advancing rapidly, last year it grew its area by 17% according to from where I am getting these notes the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV).

847 000 hectares of vineyards just 100K behind Spain! with France and Italy coming in as third and fourth respectively (the world has 7,5 million hectares of vines) . China is the fourth biggest importer of wine in the world with two times less volume than Germany, the No 1 and the same volume of 2B€; its purchases have increase 15% and 22% if we count bottles, a symbol of the quality of wines imported.  As of 2016, the biggest consumers of wine were the United States, 13%; France 11%, Italy 9%; Germany 8%, and China 7%.  As far as wine produce, the world total is at 267 million hectoliters in 2016 with Italy in first place, followed by France, and Spain.

These last 3 countries accounts between them anyway from 55-57% of the world commercialization whether we speak of volumes or values. France has 28,5% of the value exchange and in first place far ahead of Italy with 19,3%. France has increase its importations of 3,6% in volume and 9% in value due to several mediocre harvests and a deficit on low level wines that she had to import from Spain.

In other parts of our world, the United States had a strong increase in production while the rest of the American continent especially Argentina, Chile, and Brazil suffered from the climatic effect of El Niño. South Africa had a strong dry season that, also, penalized the production. However, Australia and New Zealand increase their production by 9,5% and 34% respectively. These last two has created a niche in European sales.

More of the story in French from the business journal Les Echos here:

And if passing by Bordeaux , do not missed the wonderful Italian connection of ” Il Meneghino“, a place in the Milanese scene now here since May 2016. located at 121 123 Cours Victor Hugo down on the rue Sainte Catherine of much pedestrian shopping and near the bridge or pont de pierre by the Garonne river. More info and menu here:

Ah and almost forgot, the La Cité du Vin at Bordeaux, it’s first exposition until June 21 2017; Bistrot! de Baudelaire à Picasso. It will show about a hundred works of the masters with paintings, photograph, designs, film ,and literature. It will shed light on the essential role of the cafés and bistros to the creation of society at the end of the 18C to our days. It will leave us sometimes our France to come into Europe and the United States mixing traditional mediums of photography and films celebrating the wonderful links of films and cafés to the world of arts. More info here:

Get wet in the basin de la Villette! The 3rd edition of the course  Open Swim Stars Paris will be held June 17 and 18 on the water basins of the Villette, and Pantin. You can sign up from today!There will be five courses between the two days going from 1 to 5 km. The compétition is open to all license or not swimmers as long as space available. 500 for the 5 kms and 1000 for the other swims. The swimmers who are not license will need to provide a medical certificate of at less than one month old; the water temperature will be between  18C and 22C (about 62 to 72 F). this course is inspire by the mythical La Traversée de Paris  that was organized between 1906 and 1940 on the Seine river. More info here in their facebook page:

And as we are in Easter, where to find your eggs in Paris or elsewhere as m favorites, when my boys entered France already French, they enjoyed these events; such as the wonderful Seine-et-Marne dept 77 castle of  Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte ; activities until April 17 from 10h to 17h More info here:

And from 10h , April 16, the Jardin d’Acclimatation , bois de Boulogne just off the Place Maillot you can still take the little train and admission combine. More here

And of course to buy that Easter chocolate, well so many places but if have to pick a couple it will be :

Hugo & Victor  40, boulevard Raspail (7eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 44 39 97 73 ; 7, rue Gomboust (1eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 42 96 10 20. Buy the figurines or Personnages T’choupi  from 5€. More here:

Christophe Michalak, 8, rue du Vieux-Colombier (6eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 45 49 44 90 ; 16, rue de la Verrerie (4eme), tél. +33 (0) 1 40 27 90 13 ; 60, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière (10eme),  tél. +33 (0) 1 42 46 10 45. try the boucliers garnis; like saucer shape (milk chocoalte, bronce color ; black chocolate, color red ;dulcey chocolate, color blue) price 25€. More here:

Happy Easter y’all !!!!! Cheers!


April 8, 2017

Some news from France, CL

So still things to tell you about Noirmoutier and even more in Brittany, but need to tell you and update on things happening in my belle France. Today we had the best day so far with temps that went up to 25C or 77F in my part of the world ,and I was by dept 29 Finistére in Brittany region.

OF course , the roads are beginning to be pack and accidents too, one big on the N165 towards Quimper, the car was just squeeze in like an accordion poor folks inside do not think they made it. Then ,driving another big truck just did a zig zag evasion maneuver to avoid two idiots standing in the middle of a expressway!!! I went right along nicely thank you.

What we have is first from the world of horses, wonderful shows we have.

First, my beloved Versailles, where in the stables built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart for the Royal Academy in 1830 Bàrtabas has done wonders; this is the Grand Ecuries.  From here it has spread tremendously to Chantilly and Saumur. Anécdote, the French proclaim the birth of their equestrian prowess on 1593 when the publication of “Cavalarice François” by Salomon de La Broue. The National school of horseriding has a library with 21600 documents of which 17400 are numerise or microfiche.

What’s the agenda!

At Saumur, “Le Printemps des écuyers” by the Cadre Noir de Saumur and their camargue horses April 21-23.  Also, on the Grand Manége, shows on May 26-28, July 28-29, and September 16-17. More here:

At Versailles, “La Voie de l’écuyer” Saturdays at 18H, Sundays at 15h, Wednesday April 12 and Monday April 17 at 15h; Also, the Matinales each Sunday at 10h and 12h; and the Jumping International from May 5-7 2017. More info here:

At Chantilly, “Métamorphoses” on Saturdays,Sundays, and Thursdays until early November 2017. More here:

Not to forget the wonderful  museum of the horse or Musée du Cheval open 10h to 18H. More info here:

At the castle of Monte Cristo, open in 1847 by 600 guests in what was the home of Dumas for four years, exposed here the cartoons or BD of Patrick de Jacquelot a collection to deliver a message tot he father of the 3 Musketeers and the Cound of Monte Cristo, continues without him…More on the cartoons here:

Exhibition until June 10th from Tuesdays to Fridays from 10h to 12h30 and 14h to 18h; price 5-7€, for info contact +33 (0) 1 39 16 49 49 and here:

We continue with the “Triumph of the waters:La Fête at Saint-Cloud”  from 1775-1780 by Jean Honoré Fragonard. In the basin fountain a large water jet of 30 meters ( about 100 feet) by simple gravity shoots water in abundance always the pride of the Monsieur , brother of the King to the grand displeasure of King Louis XIV as it was lacking at Versailles. The great show at the Orleans park overlooking the Seine river  to the great spring in the Grand Cascade built by Le Pautre in 1660. Domaine de Saint Cloud, 92210, open daily from sunrise to sunset. More here:

The spirit of the herbaria: the treasure of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1708). This is the botanist physician had bequesthed to King Louis XIV his Herbarium a wonderful book with hundreds of new plants gleaned during his travels even to the Levant. The former garden of the King to therapeutic vocation became in 1793, the National Museum of Natural History. The tree planted by Buffon in 1785 was the Lebanon Cedar brought from the East to England by Bernard de Jussieu in 1734, the Robinia planted by his son around 1630 and the Sephora from China by missionaries in the 19C. Further, the School of Botanical Garden  and the Alpine garden with 2000 species of altitude, the tropical greenhouse, the laberinth, the beautiful central axis and the combed lawns, the menagerie or petting zoo…All in the Jardin des Plantes more here:

The Herbarium is here in French:

See the wonderful  “Bed of Daisies” (1893) by Gustave Caillebotte. the painter creates his first paintings in the gardens of the Yerres, the property of his father a wealthy Parisian purchased in 1860. 11 hectares or about 27 acres on English garden full of winding alleys, vegetable garden, enclosed by walls, a Casino, resort to the house of Palladian colonnades, and the river Yerres flowing at the side.  Walk in time of Caillebotte in a garden of delightful pictorial evocation. You can get here by RER D from Gare de Lyon in Paris,direction Melun, stop at Yerres walk 10 minutes or take Bus F; more here:

The “Water Lilies” (1916-1919) by  Claude Monet. In 1893, he finished his flower garden and acquired the path of Roy that borders his property of the Clos Normand, where he installed a small pond while curves of bamboo, and iris spaned by a Japanese bridge shaded in wisteria. At the heart the foliage of the King, with floating red, pink, yellow, water lilies. You have a water landscape, game materials, color and glare light, the water at the Giverny garden is lived through the eyes of the artist as a series of fleeting impressions. More at Fondation Claude Monet,

The Castle and the Park of Méréville” (built c. 1790),done by  Hubert Robert Bellanger to the Marquis of Laborde a wealthy sponsor and big fan. The former feudal moat, the building overlooks a valley where the rivers winds down along amazing mills, Chinese bridge, and temple of piety, recall the son of the Marquis lost at sea with La Perouse. Created over the suspended tracks of Bellanger, bridges of stone and caves to sensational waters and on the hill a Trajan column watching over the park. Ultimate fantasy of a world dazzle by the death of the Marquis de Laborde guillotined in 1794; Méréville is an extraordinary dream. See the tourist office of Etampes for guided visits to the Méréville park.  More in French here:

So see, plenty to enjoy my belle France; indeed it’s a movable feast as a whole! Enjoy your weekend; Cheers.









April 5, 2017

Always an excuse to visit Paris!

So I got my excuse on a business luncheon and took off on it. Paris is worth the hassle of round trip in one day anytime. Used to worked here for those new to my blog and always find the excuse to be back.

I have mentioned I was by the Vendée area last week but need to tell you about this trip to Paris first. Maybe folks coming here had it worse but this is my first time ever had a traffic jam on the TGV trains lol!

I was to take an easy as usual trip from Vannes to Montparnasse Paris on the TGV. Just as  we were arriving Rennes , the loudspeaker of the train informed us that there was an accident on the tunnel by Massy and the train will have to be re directed towards Chartres , arriving at Montparnasse 1h30 later than anticipated. This was catastrophic as we had to be there by 12h15 and the rerouting will make us reach there by 13h or 1pm

Well, here we go trying to beat the system is not easy as all is well calibrated and programmed. We knew that there are trains from Le Mans to Massy, so we took the chance on this TGV without any extra charge. The ride was good and we still hope to beat the clock as previously announced. Well forgot to include the pictures so here they are!Massy Massy Massy Massy Massy le mans

We arrived at Massy ,mind you I have been by here before, but not in these circumstances. Here at Massy, we went over from the TGV terminal to the RER B terminal and took that at our cost to Luxembourg garden stop in Paris. We were ahead a bit and continue on.

Here at Luxembourg, we took bus 82 to Champs de Mars-Suffren stop which was near our meeting office as always. Once we got there, we have save about 25 minutes from the SNCF suggestion! Ok not much but on public transport here that is a world of savings.

We were still late for lunch at the wonderful Le CasseNoix restaurant at 56 rue de la Fédération. Where we had a nice entrée on tuna and main dish for me of Merlu fish in sauce. So this was the highlight of the trip as had eaten here before and always a gem, recommended for real Parisien experience; more here:

Then, the return trip was just the same. I left the meeting on bus 82 a nice way to see Paris above ground . Do not understand why folks visiting here take the metro/subway/tube underground do not see nothing and I believe you come to Paris to see the most beautiful city in the world above ground! More on the bus line here :

This time took the bus from the Champs de Mars-Suffren stop to the Pl 18 Juin 1940 in Montparnasse right into the TGV train station for my return to Vannes. Wow! it was a mess!  As I have posted before, today was to be the first day of installing bornes or automatic opening walls in the platform of the train at Montparnasse, and apparently someone push the red button and the electricity on the train went bust!

So all trains were delay as much as 1h30 as well lol!!!  We got reunited at the station in Montparnasse and tried to take the earlier train but it was packed ,even taking folks out overloaded practically trying to squeeze two trains into one! We just took a deep breath and waited for our schedule train that arrived 45 minutes late….

We finally took our train at almost 18h or 6pm! and took a ride on this TGV as we made exceptional stops along the way picking up and discharging folks in more towns that I could count!!! We finally arrived at Vannes at 21h30 or 9:30pm

Luckily, my car was there in free parking and was able to hit the road home for another 35 minutes ride. The ending could have been worse as I hit the hind legs of a huge deer crossing the road by 22h!!! Luckily the deer was ok and so was my car !!!

Like I said, a horrendous ride ,the worse I ever had here in 14 years living in France.

The ride on the bus 82 as always was wonderful seeing above ground the wonderful architecture of Paris buildings, and passing by the church St François Xavier:

See passing the wonderful statue of  Marshal Lyautey  in the place Cochin facing the Ecole Militaire, the wonderful view of the Invalides from my office window, the view walking by the Luxembourg garden; the view of the Panthéon, passing by old favorites like the La Terrace resto at place de l’école militaire; the beautiful slender view of the tour Montparnasse; and not to forget my wonderful train station at Vannes with its Ibis Hotel  across the street. And not to least the great Gare Montparnasse of Paris and the havoc crowds of a unique day to be remembered.

After all ,enjoy Paris is a movable feast, always something happening ,and always beautiful no matter what happened!  Cheers

Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes






April 3, 2017

Some news from France CXLIX

I am at it again folks, back from wonderful trip to the Vendée (more later on ) and tomorrow to Paris, what else is better in life ! Here the sun has come back and temps are very nice in the 18C or 64F during the day.

Some of the things going on in my belle France are:

According to an article in the newspaper Le Parisien the first automatic bars on the trains of Paris will see the light officially at gare Montparnasse in Paris (where I will be arriving tomorrow) and voilà it is said will be the first day of them tomorrow Tuesday April 4 2017. I will see ! As in the metro, the passengers will have to show proof on the digital machines before allow to pass, and they will open automatically if the ticket is good. After Montparnasse ,they will be up at 12 other stations such as Marseille, Rennes, Nantes, Aix-TGV, Lyon-Perrache, Lyon Part-Dieu, Gare de Lyon, Gard du Nord and Gare de l’Est in Paris ,and onwards as well as Bordeaux, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (Tours) from now to 2018. This is an effort to stop fraud and have everyone do pay their ticket to the trains.

 And it’s official, the quais and voies or wharfs and roads along the Seine river in Paris will be pedestrian. Only allow will be cyclists, joggers, and walkers so the car is out. The opening will be today at 14h30 on the ramp of the square Garcia-Lorca facing the Hôtel de Ville. This in addition to the pedestrian areas of the rive Gauche and rive Droite that now extends over 7 kms  (bit over 4 miles) on to the bassin de l’Arsenal  to Bastille ,and until the Champs-de-Mars at the foot of the Tour Eiffel; this is a space of 10 hectares (almost 25 acres) taken away from the car. It will be dotted with restaurants and activities for all, see the photo.

One for the car the exchange of the autoroute A4  at Bailly-Romainvilliers  will be ready for the opening of the Villages Nature, expected for end of July.  First, the traffic will be open to the road taking résidents to Villages Nature at Disneyland Paris, as well as the road taking the automobilist coming from Paris towards Villages Nature.  There has been some delays due to conflict between the regional gov and the State etc because they have ask for a toll booth between the A4 and the N36 to get around the toll at Coutevroult , and the city center/downtown of Bailly-Romainvilliers.  For this reason, they are still working on the traffic circle that will take you from the Villages Nature, and the access road to the camping ranch of Davy-Crockett.

More happing for some local news but I think will impact the visitors as there is talk of a nice hotel been built there. The Ile de France region has finally agree to the re construction of the high school or lycée Jules-Ferry  of  Versailles on the plains of Satory (not my kids school but off the Sceaux street leaving from the palace.  This will allow a space of 20K M2 (about 215K sq ft)  an open area in the district of Saint-Louis.  The new school will be on the area of the old caserne Fesch or headquarters Fesch at the entry to the plain of Satory. This can be done by 2023. On the empty space left from the school at Saint-Louis, the space will be divided in two parts of the rue rue du Maréchal-Joffre,that will be put up for sales and could host an apartment complex of good standing and a luxury hotel.  More again from the Le Parisien newspaper here:

And now we are going to control the restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, and slaughterhouses and businesses in the meat supermarket, market and farm direct sales with notes! It will be posted on the government site Alim Confiance or food trust site here :

This type of initiative is already on in 8 European countries such as UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark , Finland, Lithuania, and Norway. Awaiting to do it are Germany and Sweden.  They have found improvement on the health issues and sanitary conditions; for example in ten years in Denmark the improvements have been around the 20% on hygiene.  Of course, this will weed out the unscrupulous business owners trying to squeeze an euro from the public and the tourist visitor. It will , also, add to the costs of things I am sure.

A bit from my recently visited area I like:

At Saint-Jean de Monts on April 14 you can see art from Johannes Vermeer, and the Dutch painting school. This will be on at the Médiathéque Espace Culturel at 19H for free. this is the town library folks info at email: or tel +33 (0) 2 51 58 91 12

You can have Paris style cabaret shows at the La Belle Entrée, Rue de la Paix, St André Goule d’Oie. It’s the biggest of its kind in all of Pays de la Loire region. They offered lunch and dinner spectacles, for more check their site here:

The famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball show will pass by this area on April 23rd, at the Salle Michel Vrignaud, Challans, more info here:

Kyle Eastwood, (yes you know it the son of Cliff) is a great jazz player and will be performing at the salle de L’Echiquier, at Pouzauges on april 8 at 20h30. He compose the music of many of his Dad’s films such as Mystic River, Gran Torino ,Invictus; and came out with his first solo record in ” From There to There” in 1998. He will be there with his vocal Joni Mitchel and his English quintet, and one Cuban drummer.  Nice to see indeed; more info here:

For a roller coaster event and BMX, disco roller, and crazy cart come to Notre Dame de Monts at the Esplanade and avenue de la mer from 11h to 20h on April 22-23. “Tous en Roller” awaits you there: more info here:

And of course , these are just my favorite, there is a whole lot more in my belle France!