Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

April 21, 2018

Just information post!

Ok so just for a temporary hold on my posts in my blog. I will delete after my return.

I will be away to an East Central African country and back next Saturday April 28; exciting trip first time in that country. I will not able to write as internet is very limited and sporadic me think.

Therefore, until next time and hopefully better news keep cool, healthy and keep on traveling, life is beautiful even if for some too short.

On a sad note my wife is sick but will see how she does in my return for now appointment with the American hospital in Paris (Neuilly sur Seine). Hoping for the best; thanks ahead for your prayers and well wishes.

Salut, chau, hasta la vista baby; ciao, a bientôt, Saludos.

April 21, 2018

Some news from France CXC

And lets get back to France, it is hot, very hot, today we got to 29C or about 84F, and the locals went to the beach. Not me, need to work but will check it out a bit tomorrow. Full sunshine and no rain of course; lovely France. And gorgeous Morbihan in Brittany on the west coast beaches!

Let me tell you a bit on what is going on of interest to many, not to mention the strikes on SNCF continues and AF is calling for days too, the University students are holding out and been kick out by the police special riots from the Universities, and so on ,that is France ,champions strikers; one way to break from the cold into the hot  spring days!

I have mentioned before of things to do in Versailles, and told you it is more than a castle well here is one update of one place we like when lived there and visit when by the city. You have on the left the Centre Commercial Parly II shopping center par excellence and we like too, on the right you have the Château de Versailles and between these mega places you have a heaven of peace with the sweetness of big trees covering about 250 fields of football/soccer and still not as well visited. The Arboretum de Chévreloup sits between the cities of Rocquencourt (Van Gogh painted on the town) and Versailles in the Yvelines dept 78 and after some renovation is open again! Normally, they had opened about 50 hectares to the public but after this major work, you can walk on 200 hectares or 494 acres! On a land that was the hunting ground of king Louis XIV and part of the Domaine de Versailles until the French revolution. It has over 2500 species of trees in geographical lineup,one of the richest collections in Europe!  The blue cedar trees are one of the biggest in the world with 800 meters on a straight line bringing you back to what the botanists were thinking when they created in the 1920’s. See it! Arboretum de Chévreloup, 30 route de Versailles, (N186) open every day from  April 1 to November 15 (except labor day May 1st) from 10h to 18h admission is 7€ adults more info at  Arboretum de Chévreloup

Major work to renovated the Grand Palais, as it is in a critical state of repairs. The main building in the Universal Exposition of 1900 ,the works planned for it will be the first since opening in a historical work site with a budget of 466 million euros , it will start in December 2020 and finish by Spring 2023 and by the summer of 2024 will be an Olympic site. The public debate on the progress will be held and decision done by May 14 . You can follow the vote and construction updates here.  building debate on the Grand Palais

And the men of the Big wheel or Grande Roue  in the place de la Concorde by the Jardin des Tuileries is at it again with the city of Paris. This time going to the Council of State the highest body to rendered a decision. Marcel Campion wants the wheel to stay here , however if the decision is negative, he will take the wheel to Red Square in Moscow. The decision by the Council of State should be by May 19 next. Marcel Campion is offering two free days to the resident of Paris with proof of domicile, on May 17 and 18. All others still need to pay admission of 12€.  Description of the Big Wheel is here in city of Paris tourist office! Big Wheel Paris tourist office

And the very busy and popular RER C station of Saint Michel is due to open to the public again by April 30. It has been closed for repairs and now there is a tentative opening day according to  SNCF  Réseau .

And as the weather is nice ,and will be for the next few days ,here is my suggestion for a nice weekend brunch in Paris. Claus Saint-Germain. 2, rue Clément (6éme). Tél. +33 (0) 1 55 26 95 10. Brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 9h to 17H formule 4 brunchs from 31-34€. More here: Claus Saint Germain

And how about those wonderful Paris terraces, well they are all over and plenty of choices for all. My favorites the last couple years have been.

Marcello. 8, rue Mabillon (6éme). Tél. +33 01 43 26 52 26. open every day carte menu 30-60€ Marcello Paris

Le Drugstore. 133, avenue des Champs-Élysées (8éme). Tél. +33 01 44 43 77 64. Open every day carte menu 40-60€. Le Drugstore Paris

And with the look alone of the Basilica Sainte Clotilde you have the quaint Le Basilic. 2, rue Casimir-Perier (7éme). Tél. +33  01 44 18 94 64. Open every day carte menu 50-70€.  Le Basilic Paris

Maison Maison. Voie Georges-Pompidou, facing  16, quai du Louvre (1éme). Open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays for lunch. carte menu 15-30€

At La Démesure (9éme)  you have your views on the Seine river on the righ bank or rive droite on a boat barge of 120 persons capacity with tables on the quays. La Démesure sur Seine. 69, port de la Rapée (12éme). Open every day except Sundays and Mondays. Carte menu 20-40€.  La Démesures sur Seine Paris

And only steps from the wonderful nice pretty a must parc Monceau,you have a huge terrase for 70 persons capacity hiding behind the gate of the Camondo museum ,see the wonderful gardens . Le Camondo. 61 bis, rue de Monceau (8éme). Tél. +33  01 45 63 40 40. Open every day except Sundays. Carte menu 45-55€. Le Camondo Paris

And of course on these brunch and terrace combination, cannot go away without telling you again my all time favorite in my favorite spots in Paris, the 16éme and quartier Muette. What was an old train station for several years a wonderful place to eat, drink and enjoy the terraces in the back overlooking the Parc Ranelegh. Restaurant Le Gare, 19 chaussée de la Muette, metro La Muette line 9 leaves you facing the restaurant to your left out of station. Open every day menu carte from 24-39€ Enjoy it. Those from my previous life in the travel forums will remember taking you there each time in Paris. Webpage: Restaurant Le Gare

And Mexico is feeling strong in Paris! La Casa Corona , a house of artists and part of Corona France (the Mexican beer people) has open a new ephemeral bar in the 11éme on what was a huge loft with a glass ceiling now has several bars, lots of vegetation, water fresheners sprays, hammocks, swingers and small corners to speak softly between friends. The invited artists will be amongst you and could expose their works in the bar where a display has been installed;nothing told in advance you just show up and see who is showing or playing there. The La Casa Corona, 71 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11éme, Will have the space open from April 19 to May 13, Tuesdays to Thursdays from 17h to midnight and from Fridays to Sundays until 02h . You pay only 5€ for a corona beer and 10€ for cocktails. Really!!! See more in their Facebook page here: La Casa Corona Paris

Well Bio is on, and even I got some stuff bio here ::) Some of the best in my opinion and they are many and more and more coming.

Wild & The Moon has six addresses in Paris (last one at the fondation Lafayette Anticipations), the green cantina of  bio, local,  ethical, in season, vegan, rich in super foods, without lactose or additives or glutens.  Loaded with sweets as well and spices see it at  Wild & The Moon. 55, rue Charlot (3éme). Tél. +33 09 51 80 22 33. Open every day carte menu 15-30€. Wild & Le Moon Paris

A few steps from the Folies Bergére there is a counter, café-restaurant, and cantina.  The first is for take out food with retreats of purchase at the Le Campanier, the second is simple dishes with lots of vegetables and the cantina for fast lunch a la carte like soup of the day, veggie burger, and  cheesecake etc etc.  See at Supernature. 8 (counters), 12 (cantinas) , and 15 (restaurant), rue de Trévise (9éme). Tél. +33 01 42 46 58 04. Open every day except Saturdays and Sundays evening. Carte menu  16-30€. Brunch  on Sundays from 11h30 to 16h, 25€.  Supernature Paris

And for the fresh bio go and done since 1989,when a group got together here to offered all bio and one of the originals of Paris with a large choice of fruits, vegetables , and groceries and take out food.  Heavy on Sundays morning, the Marché bio Raspail. Boulevard Raspail, between rue du Cherche-Midi and rue de Rennes (6éme). Sundays from 9h to 15h. Marché Bio Raspail Paris

From bio to Cognac, well it is natural too ::)

The owner of cognac Remy Martin and liqueur Cointreau and rum Mount Gay just published the financials with cognac sales of 265M euros an increase of 2,6% if exchange rates taken into account ,otherwise it would be 12,8%. The sales of cognac Remy Martin are about 75% of that are 18;3% of the growth alone. The performance is very solid in the United States its first market as well as Russia, and the travelers sales on planes airports etc. The mark is positioning on the luxury segment and expect to have 60% of their sales on products costing more than 50 USDollars per bottle to the 2019-2020 period. The group overall sales are 1,13 billion euros and growth of 7,3% for 2017-2018. The story of Remy Martin here: cognac Rémy Martin

And I close out this edition of Some news from France with something from my earlier youthful days on light airplanes. ….

This weekend today at Cannes there will be the first Red Bull Air Race in France!!! with the participation of five French pilots. More here: Red Bull Air Race Cannes 2018

However, if you like to do this in while visiting France, let me give you some leads !!! The nice aerodrome of my nice Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole  and Dreux , have friendly voltage air rides for about 30-40 minutes and 240€ on a CAP 10 airplane, the most popular plane of  its class in the world. Also, in my old hangouts areas of the L’Isle-Adam, aerodrome Persan-Beaumont  are given rides of 30 minutes on an EXTRA 200 for about 526€, video souvenir included . For the same price in Coulommiers, dept 77 Seine-et-Marne, it is possible to fly for about 25 minutes on a wonderful Pitts Spécial, the mythical plane of voltage from the 1960’s and 265 Horse powers. And on the same club you can do a ride on a Robin R 2160 for 339€. Nearer me now in Ploemeur, near Lorient a ride sensation on a CAP 10 is doable for 120€.  At the Rennes airport they can give you a baptismal flight of about an hour over the Mont-Saint-Michel  for 749€.  You will do this and all along the coast in a Boeing Stearman of WWII vintage.   all of these  aerodromes can be found here. Just put the name of the town in France section. Aerodromes of France

Enjoy my belle France as I do. Have a great weekend you all. Happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all.




April 16, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXVIIII

And we have Mondays, well if we didn’t then we we will have Tuesdays so let life goes on as plan and do not think so much about it, it is what it is,another day on Earth. Enjoy it. We have sunshine today and temps up to 13C  or about 58F no rain and it seems Spring is starting to show up this week.

Let me bring you up today on some goodies in my belle France and especially on the most beautiful city in the world, Paris.

Let’s off with the bike network of Paris , Vélib has a new management firm starting this year and apparently is causing some misfortunes already. We do not want a traffic jam on bikes lol!!  Paris already has 661 stations out of a planned 1400 already but many of them find themselves empty, bikes that cannot be removed, and very bad customer service. The new management company Smovengo had promise to make an additional 200 operational by January… is under pressure. Well I imagine from whom!  More info and map here: Velib stations map in Paris

And bike or not, you will be able to to to a library in Paris on a Sunday. The first one was the library or médiathèque Edmond Rostand (17éme), and there are other  7 libraries that will open normally from 13h to 18h . The objective is to have an additional 10 open by 2020. The current list of open libraries on Sundays are  Médiathèque Marguerite Duras – 115, rue de Bagnolet (20éme) Bibliothèque du cinéma François Truffaut – Forum des Halles – 4, rue du cinéma (Iéme).this one from 12h to 19h. Médiathèque Marguerite Yourcenar – 41, rue Alleray (15éme) ;Médiathèque Françoise Sagan – 8, rue Léon Schwartzenberg (10éme ); Médiathèque de la canopée La Fontaine – 10, passage de la Canopée (Iéme). from 12h to 18h. Médiathèque Hélène Berr – 70, rue Picpus (12éme)  ;Médiathèque Edmond Rostand – 11, rue Nicolas Chuquet (17éme). Happy readings!

Did I said , Paris has it all; well here it is in next two paragraphs.

They open a naturist space in the bois de Vincennes (12éme) since last Saturday in more than  7 300 m2, between the allée Royale ,and the route Dauphine.  The area is not close, but just a panel indicating « entrée » or entrance and other panels in wood indicating «You are entering into a space for natural nudity is authorise».  The city of Paris is allowing a period of 6 months from April 14 to October 24 2018. There is even an event to visit the Palais de Tokyo on May 5 2018 totally nude and already for 160 spaces the city has received 30 000 requests!!! according to the nudist association of Paris or the Association des naturistes de Paris.

And if the above do not crack you up then hold on for this one.  Hundreds of prostitutes came out on the street protesting the fines incur by the clients!!! Coming together at the wonderful explicit place Pigalle , historical neighborhood of the prostitution in Paris on a call from their syndicate = union , the  Syndicat du travail sexuel (Strass).  The law came into effect April 13 2016 where a client asking for favors to a prostitute can be fined if caught 1500 euros ,and if repeat offender  3750 euros. So I guess not enough clients because of the law ::)

In a more mundane news you have the Carrefour starting something unique.  Walk in drive in for pedestrians to their stores one of them I know at Bio Fondary, 3, rue Fondary ,15éme and plan about 9 others all over Paris. No need for car drive in, now you can walk in yourselves….! This is already happening in other cities such as Lyon and Saint Etienne. At Lyon, you have them at avenue de Saxe and a Carrefour City Renan Jean-macé. Source Le Parisien newspaper

Infographie WEB carrefour


A historical hotel is back, built in 1925, the Hotel Madison is only steps from the statue Diderot by a corner in the boulevard Saint-Germain. An Art Déco architecture in one of the most bohemians neighborhoods of Paris. Jean Cocteau  like very much this place where he came often for a last glass while Albert Camus  lock himself always at room 65  to finalize the writing of his novel the Foreigner or L’étranger. This room is open up to the Church Saint-Germain-des-Prés, on the side of nave, with light cloths small size with a bed of 160 cm rectangular pillow with golden cords and a light luminosity. The renovation done recently allows to create 14 communicating rooms and 12 triple rooms.  The hotel puts at the reach of their young clientele small boats like those seeing in the jardin du Luxembourg that you can use there too or a pedal automobile in house.Located at  143, bd Saint-Germain, tél. +33(0) ;More info here: Hotel Madison Paris

Something new and nice from A Canadian in Paris. The roaste chicken with cauliflower is very good indeed, done by the Canadian chef Noam Gedalof (had experience with Thomas Keller in California, Pascal Barbot in Paris) and his wife Etheliya Hananova a sommelier and daughter of Russian restaurant immigrants to Canada.  Also, Joris Garcia, the sommelier from Canada as well. Etheliya was a lyrics singer before becoming a sommelier of wines! See them try them at  Comice, 31, avenue de Versailles, 16éme Tel +33 (0) My kind of neighborhood! Open for lunch Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and dinners Tuesdays to Saturdays. Menu: 46€, and 80€ (Lunch), 120€ (dinner).  A la Carte about 84€ for three dishes. More here: Comice Paris

Another find is this new place in the new “Brooklyn area of Paris”, the Pantin. My first entry point to Paris back in 1990.  On an old flour factory from 1923, and a beautiful architectural surrounding purchased by a branch of BNP Paribas bank, today housing offices,but, however, you can eat here wonderfully good. A bistrot next to the Canal! Bistrot Des Grands Moulins 1 5, 3, rue du Général Compans – Pantin. Near REC C Gare de Pantin on the other side of the Canal de l’Ourcq.nice More here: Bistrot des Grands Moulins

Now something do not write enough, but you know if read my blog from where I grew up and diplomas on wine. A passion with a cellar to look over…

Each year more than 8 billion bottles of wine is produce in my belle France, with as many choices on the market!!! literally ! Therefore, how to choose to put in your cellar?  This is the 8B question, and very personal I must said from experiences ,even tutoring with the Rothschild!  The keeping of the wine must be done to improve its attributes, the texture, taste and aromas ; more than be keep the wine improves. You can keep to have souvenirs of a moment done in a span of life always trying to improve the quality of the wines are many reasons to have a cellar for keeps. Now, even here we differ, I know m any friends who had kept their wines for 30 years (even my father in law here lol!) ; however, this is too much to dwell on in my opinion. I usually buys my wines knowing that at maximum will be kept for five years in my cellars. Unless, it is a purchase for a special occassion. For instance, it is a French tradition to buy a wine from the year your child is born, and wait until 18 to open the bottle so we did with our sons with Mouton-Rothschild first wine.

After all, we notice that about only 1% of the wines are worth conserving , more reason to have a well chosen cellar or cave in your house (and be sure it is a cellar not a basement).  We all know that the tannins are known to preserve the alive wines such as the Reds like the high labels of Bordeaux because they have the tendancy to keep their tannins longer and more of it.  The same can be said of the wines with high sugar content such as the sweet white wines that helps in avoid the deterioration; therefore , the more the white wine is sweet the more it will aged; that is why the liquorous wines lilke the Sauternes are known to aged well. In a general sense, the red wines aged better than the whites, however some types of white wines like those with Chardonnay or Rieslings of high labels can last as long.

The millésime of the wine is the date in which the grapes are harvest and not the year of which the wine is sold.  It is important to look at the best millésimes years to put in your cellar, and even more so on the name of the producer not the label but who makes the wine. Generally, if the year of harvest is bad the wine will not aged as much, but this can extended if handle by a good producer. The hot days together with cool nights all contribute to developed the aromatic potential, the maturity, and the acidic vivacity of the grape aiding the wine aged better.

What wine to drink with strawberries. I say this because this is the season here and the fraises or strawberries look delicious as well as one of my favorite fruits. In a sorbet, salad, tartelette or even a salted recipe the red fruits are perfumy, and acidic sweet;the ideal to accompany this is a Muscat grape dry or sweet depending on the preparation of the fruit.  In a general sense, the white wines perfumy, light, pure, and young are the perfection for the aromatic intensity of the fruit.  If you do a tartelette of Strawberries then a sparkling white or sweet white will do; a strawberry salad with mint than a muscat rosé, and on a strawberry sorbet especially if a bit of sugar on top then the best is the Champagne rosé. Enjoy it all!!!

On another angle or different thing, we have the former Royal Manufacture of coins and medals open to the public and welcoming families. This is the manufacture royale des monnaies et médailles. You can discover the history of the treasury and the French institution the oldest founded in 864AD by king Charles the Bald.  This is the last factory of Paris and today houses the manufacture and a museum. You come to the entrance and go up a stair to the first floor (US 2fl) and see the exposition room, the shops of cutting, the Grand Monnayage or foundary where the workers did their job behind glass windows. A bit further, you stop at the manufacturing room before lots of machines that tell you the route of the fabrication of the coins and medals.  There are even tours for families to show the children. Manufacture Royale des Monnaies et Médailles de Paris, 11, quai de Conti (6éme). Tuesdays to Fridays 14h to 16h check schedule and hours please. More info here in English/French: Monnaie de Paris

Another nice conversion building in Paris. The BETC agency in charge to erase the frontiers between the artists and the amateurs has created a space where all can be borrowed such as works of art for a few weeks, and show them elsewhere  following the rules of the original artists.  To this it was chosen a nice piece of history of Paris, the Magasins Généraux, once the favorite of graffitti people until 2016 the BETC renovated the building; today it offered a lot of free events and organised by the CNEAI and MediaLab93.  You can visit here the Le Poste Général, that is accessable for all. See it enjoy it by the Pantin, the new Brooklyn of Paris ::) Le Centre National Edition Art et Image – Les Magasins Généraux 1, rue de l’Ancien Canal – Pantin. More in French here: Magasins Généraux Paris

Something beefy to close out this post, is the story of Hippopotamus chain of Restaurants. Early on in my French rounds, I ate a lot in them with the family but always the same sentiments these are not good steakhouses. Then, in 2017 ,they were purchase by the groupe Bertrand (owner of many resto chains and franchiser for Burger King France). The chain Hippopotamus has a new menu and decoration with cow leather seat buckets and all you can eat french fries as well as the sauces.  The interior is already more pleasant to be in with a good ambiance with a ranch hipster look. The food the burgers are ok, and the steaks are the biggest seen here. More on the restos here and you can find your closest by going to Nos Restaurants center upper page. Hippopotamus Restaurants

The groupe Bertrand is here on restauration you can see the chains of restos and on Hotellerie ,the chains of hotels. In French: Groupe Bertrand


April 8, 2018

The story of an American in Paris, Baker!

On a rainy cloudy and cool humid what have you Sunday evening, and my game already , something in my blog. From a story by fame French presenter on the history secrets that I like, Stéphane Bern. Let me tell you a story about a lady not so much mentioned now but worth it in gold.

The story goes from Cabaret to Resistant fighter, as she was, let me tell you a bit about Josephine Baker. She was born very poor in Saint Louis ,Missouri on June 3rd 1906, her mother a laundry lady and her father never knew him, some says he was white. Her mother Carrie put her to work in rich families who mistreated her and exploited her. However, by 13 yrs old she gets into the spectacle virus and gets her first job in a small theatre., where she makes a sensational impression.

She even accepts to follow the troop of performers in exchange for menu services ,and dresser of the group Shuffle Along, a group of black performers on a musical comedy. One day a dancer is hurt ,and she replaces her, the rest is history as it is said.

By 1921, she marries here first husband Billy Baker and therefore keeps the last name, even if she divorced him to continue her dancing career. In New York she is hired by a cabaret at Broadway, the Plantation Club. It is there that Caroline Dudley finds her and brings her to Paris. There is great curiosity in Paris for black performers and there is even an exposition on Black Culture at the Museum of Decoratif Arts . In October 2 1925, it is shown the first of the Revue Négre (black review) and she plays on doors closed with some famous entrepreneurs in the place. It is also played at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées ; these shows are a complete success for her;

The queen of the wild dance becomes a star. By 1926 she plays at the Aux Folies Bergére in the review of Folie du jour or crazy day, and brief change to Vent de folie or wild wind she stays there from 1927 to 1931. She was an eternal lover and marries several times , at least five times with several lovers in addition. She married Jean Lion that allows her to become French citizen even if the union did not lasted too long,she kept in good relation with the inlaws as well as protected them during WWII. She marries orchesta leader Jean-Claude Bouillon, from which together they adopted 12 children, and also married briefly an American artist Robert Brady. By 1933 she hands out food in Montmartre in charitable organisations.

During the review La Folie du jour she encountered Giuseppe di Abatino aka Pepito, and becomes her manager,who advised her to open a nightclub and negotiates publicity contracts making the figure of Bakerfix, a lotion that does the hair as hers, and women love it. She opens at the Casino de Paris in leopart outfit with the theme Chiquita with a song calle J’ai deux amours ( I have two loves) and a cigar the show lasted 421 days! She does some cinema such as Zou Zou next to Jean Gabin in 1934 and later Princess Tam Tam in 1935 with Albert Préjean, as well as the operetta de Offenbach, La Créole receiving advise for the role from Sasha Guitry ,and becomes another success.


Josephine Baker Chiquita by photo credit Alamy

INA youtube song J’ai deux amours:

Paris chérie song by Josephine Baker just beautiful:

By 1935, Pepito obtained a contract for the Ziegfeld Follies on the great cabaret of New York. They are both disappointed with the stay of discrimination there, and the relationship with Pepito weakens.   Joséphine decided finally to open her own cabaret, Chez Joséphine that opens full while separating from Pepito. He fell sick and eventually died in 1936, so Joséphine decided to come back to Paris.

She finds a new contract at the Folies Bergére in the show En Super Folies, that became another success! ; and this is where she meets Jean Lion in 1937. With him she discovered the Dordogne region and the dream of her life,Château des Milandes; she has found her house. She retires from showbiz to concentrate on family life and sadly could not have babies, causing the divorce in 1940.

As WWII starts she find herself French from her marriage to Jean Lion, and chose to be at the service of her adopted country joining the French resistance. She was on a world tour and returning to Paris was preparing her review at the Casino de Paris. In agreement with the management she makes a visit to the front lines at the Maginot line with Maurice Chevalier to give support to the troops. A French information agent contacts her and ask for help, which she enthusiastically accepts. She refused the title of spy for the honorary correspondant and with her fame and contacts becomes an useful tool for the French resistance.

She was informed of the resistance directed from London by a Gen de Gaulle and with a spy Abtey aka Jacques François Hébert, with the title of Choreographer she makes the illusion of a tour of South America and return via London , but first Vichy where she gathered information on the nazis positions and hides on the theatre scenes sections where they find the ink to write their finds. Finally, London decide another way and she goes into Algeria, Portugal, Morocco and Spain . To disguise all this she takes the job at the Opéra de Marseille playing La Créole of Offenbach. By January 1941, and with fears of the South of France fallen to the Nazis she departs for Algeria. There she participate on a gala for support of the troops and later to Portugal with full luggage of information to the resistance and then onwards to Morocco and quickly to Spain,with fears of the invasion of Morocco, she gathered full information again.

Even sick she stays on the resistance trail of support for her adopted country. Peritone, intestinal occlusion, comas, fever, embolias, and others spending 19 months in the hospital near death. Even with this she goes into the scene in Morocco then Algeria, Egypt, Libya, and the middle east to support the troops and benefits the Red Cross. In Algers, Algeria she finally meets Gen Charles de Gaulle that pins on her a small Cross of Lorraine in gold to thank her for the services rendered to her adopted country. She put in auction this and other belongings to raise funds for the troops and do so for 300K FF at Beirut which goes to the Resistance movement. In 1943 at the Oran hospital she sings the national anthem in front of the American troops!

In 1944 ,she received the title of Sub Lieutenant of the women auxiliary corps. Upon returning to Paris she is received in great aura and she again swear to be at the service of the French army giving concerts in liberated zones, this is the period where Jo Bouillon accompany her and later becomes her husband. As such, she helps motivate the French air force out of London given a big check to the commander of this troops out of London, Alla Dumesnil-Gillet to help the resistance. Her actions are publicly thanks by De Gaulle and Churchill; thereafter receiving condecorations such as the Knight of the Legion of Honor, Cross of War. She visited the wounded of the war prisioners that were rescue and received treatment at Shenley hospital in London.

After the war, she continues to work and raise funds and also for her dream of buying the Château des Milandes in the Dordogne. As a renter, she creates there a world village as the world capital of fraternity. She is sorraunded by several children she helped raised . She is ,also involved in the civil rights movement in the USA and lents support to Dr Martin Luther King, she is the only women to speak on the March to Washington on August 28 1963, the same scene where Martin Luther King proclaims his famous I have a dream…

Château des Milandes , the current owners have setup a museum on part of the castle to perpetuate the memory of Joséphine Baker, with photos, documents and the life of the artist with period furniture of JB, more in English here Château des Milandes and JB

Joséphine Baker spent all her fortune on the Milandes project and does all kinds of work, without accepting financial help even at the insistance of Jo Bouillon, her husband. He left the project but stays taken care of the Children. By June 1964 she calls upon the newspaper men to show the situation of the castle and ask for help finally. The first ones to come forward are the French actress Brigitte Bardot given a donation to the mama of the world (as she call joséphine). Joséphine wanted to make a college of the world to educate the children but the lawmen are knockning on the door for lack of payments and finally expulse her of the property in 1968. After this event she is force to leave the castle and comes to the Yvelines at my well known place of Roquebrune where for raising funds for the Red Cross ,the Princess Kelly of Monaco offered her a house there by 1969, but Joséphine refuse. By 1975, she goes into a retrospective of her work entitled Joséphine à Bobino in Paris, and all of Paris is there! She did owned another property that she lived partially too at Le Vésinet at town on the limits of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the Yvelines dept 78 well known to me. The house was the Villa Beau-Chêne and she used it from 1929 to 1947.

The story of her Vésinet property in French and a nice picture of the house here: Le Vésinet home Villa Beau-Chêne

A park on her name near the Chateau des Milandes: Parc Josephine Baker

After the 14th show she entered sleepy in ther house and the next day April 10th she is transferred in coma to the Pitié-Salêtriére hospital in Paris where she dies on April 12 1975. After receiving military honors and thousands of Parisiens present in ther tour to the burial. The last farewell to the well known artist but especially to the resistance fighter.  The first American woman to receive full French military honors at her funeral, Josephine Baker locked up the streets of Paris one last time before being laid to rest in Monaco.

One of her adopted children, Jean-Claude Bouillon who is the author of a book on her story call Un Château sur La Lune ( a castle on the moon) edition Hors collection. He describes his mother as a woman of eternal energy that lived   without retreating and extraordinaty generous putting all equals, humans and animals, she was carried by a mythical aura on the savage state, a human being of the sunshine. Her mother wanted to give to France what the country has given her and always sorry of the state of her native country civil rights. She adopted 12 children coming from the four corners of the world and teached them to be together as one family without differences and as well showing them their cultural roots. He said, they are still very much together as a family.

A very special lady and an inspiration by the thousands of Americans coming and living in France even today. Thank you Mrs Baker, RIP.

Her official site in English: Official Josephine Baker

Enjoy your week wherever you are, happy travels, good health and many many cheers!

April 8, 2018

Our home and work in the Morbihan!

On a leisurely lazy Sunday afternoon glue to the TV to watch my Madrid derby Real Madrid (my team for life) vs Atlético de Madrid the sidekids , (ended 1X1 ),I sat to think for my blog. Well, so much travels , vacations, and historical bits of me and my life. One thing was missing where did I work? It’s a sensitive issue as better not to give too many details in case my boss is reading lol!

When I first came to France in August 2003, (because my French wife asked me move to France lol!!) ,I needed to have a job before the move. So ,already a French citizen (since 2000) , and many trips to France/Europe; decided to go on the job hunt with the help of the internet and some colleagues from my profession in French high posts.

The search began by making my resumé as the French would like it , their curriculum vitae or CV. And of course , a letter of candidate or introduction. A photo is essential in French CV. And started posting in the normal well known sites of the times like Monster, Cadremploi, profession webpages, and the APEC a site link to the unemployment office for management positions. The search took 9 months and found my job.


last home in USA, Silver Lakes, Sapphire Bay in Broward County, Florida

The CAC 40 big French company, had me go thru 3 telephone interviews before inviting me to the Val d’Oise dept 95 site for meeting the CFO and the director of Human Resources worldwide. It was a typical formal French interview , where after about 10 minutes they gave me an offer I could not resist. Now you need to know the standard of living and cost of living to make sure the package was at least same or better than what you had at home. It was much better ,thank youuu!!!

We prepare for the move ,and we had it as well easier than most as my French wife was already working in the freight forwarders industry with a French company part of the Groupe Bolloré entities by Miami international airport. The French manager in Florida, gave us an unbelievable price for a 22 foot container to move all our belongings over , it was 1853 USDollars door to door move!!!

Shortly ,after our arrival, I told her to contact another French contact who was a VP of the company in the USA, and he recommended a friend at Roissy CDG in the same field as hers. In about a month and a half ,she found her job with a major worldwide freight forwarder at the cargo section of Roissy CDG airport!!!

Roissy CDG

happy camper pickup by yours truly at Roissy CDG cargo

Our boys were in school at the nice Collége John Zay in Vernueil sur Seine in the Yvelines dept 78, near our apartment that I had rented in August 2003, shorly we purchase a house there in July 2004. And on we move to our wonderful French life, a decision that ranks as the best ever for us.

My boys went on to high school at Lycée Blanche de Castille in Le Chesnay near Versailles and we purchase at Versailles by the Notre Dame neighborhood! Life move righ along fine, la vie est belle !!! My wife continue to work in Roissy CDG with same outfit, and I moved on to better and more exciting places with a major luxury Hotel chain with properties in Paris and Cannes (I was working  very near the Jardin des Tuileries…shhh). And I, in charge of the accounting department reporting to a CFO group. Pictures of my Notre Dame area in Versailles and the hotel below.


Old Intercontinental Hotel rue Castiglione now Westin

Life move along quite nicely, and my friends and family back home were amazed of how happy we were. And of course, we kept it low key not to make them too jealous ::)  The moment we started telling them all our perks and benefits here and our five week vacation they just drop in amazement. We had visitors from our other life in Florida USA here and they were just stunned of the things we had here;even visiting and staying in our house.

Life went along fine, and the boys went on to preparatory private schools right in Le Chesnay and one in La Verriére just south of Versailles. They were experts in public transport , lol!! Better than me, they knew all the routes of trains, buses, tramways in the Paris western part, Yvelines, and Hauts de Seine as well as Paris of course. My wife continue with the same outfit of which she worked a total of 9 years before moving to Brittany. Pictures of last schools of my boys below

Me ,the globetrotter always looking for opportunities, as my old university professor in Florida always told me ,keep your antenna up, for opportunities, never stayed put. Therefore, after several colleagues advice , I would do better in consulting on my own, did just that with an outfit in rue de Départs Montparnasse and working all over  France on missions as well as Switzerland, Nigeria and Brazil!!! Life was great moving along and always improvement that standard of living.


Place 8 mai 1945 Montparnasse work on right building

My wife had a car accident in Florida that lost her left eye,and continue working under the American system and initially in France. However, she was told here you can get an incapacity recognition and still continue with your salary. So , short of it ,she got it under Category II and was discharge from the Roissy CDG outfit with full salary, 50% by the French social security or Cramif services and 50% from her disability insurance carrier at work, Mercer. So sitting at home making the same salary as working!! Vive la France!

Then, something happened that will make our lives better nicer and happier. I was told to contact someone who was looking for a top ,lets just say accounting professional for a multinational company in the international market. I, of course, with my antenna ,contacted the person and the job was indeed good looking but in Brittany , the Bretagne west of France. Well, I have been on a business trip to Rennes , a factory, and with the family visiting Nantes for the castle of the dukes of Brittany that was not actually now in Brittany ;; tell it to the French psych!

The job turn out great, I was in charge of 18 countries and 28 branches all over the world; travel was a big part of the package. All the trimming, better salary and perks and la vie en rose of France continues. Of course, I took it after a family discussion. I moved to an apartment near Auray in the Morbihan Breton dept 56 by June 2011. We had our twin boys followed for their schooling in Lycée Kerplouz between nice Auray and Le Bono, and later our house was sold in the Yvelines, and the rest move in to the apartment. A four bedroom 2 bath apartment about 30 minutes from my job by car.


lycée Kerplouz field trip to the Alps

Afte settling in with my father who after my Mom passed away in the Yvelines continue to stay with us. He is Retire with American pension so very much independent and still do all his things except the French paperwork as a carte de séjour visiteur ,that as he does not speak French (very hard to do at 83) needs to renew every year on a routine basis, we know all the staff and takes 15 minutes with an appointment here. My oldest boy came in on an alternate work study basis and doing all kinds of jobs as in the French system of stages and interim, CDD etc as well as my twin boys. All in different fields, one sales, other in wood craftmenship, and the last in gardening/paysagiste type ready for back to Versailles! My wife continues with her wonderful French pay system at home, and good deal as her health is a lot more sensitive than mine.


my dad trying his French, ha nahh pickup pants with me

I continue in my multinational international French/Breton company here ,near Vannes ,already 7 years in it, time flies when having fun, the saying goes. It is true. I have an excellent group of people where I am the only non French born in our services and very human and nice bosses, CFO and Director as well as the President who always talks to me and emails me for direct advice sometimes. I participate or rather invited to all the Directors meetings and Finance get together which I choose to come or not if pertinent. I am on the list for trips to Asia, Americas, and Africa thru June 2018, end of our fiscal year. Actually,  it’s a castle property in ruins from 1504, all modernised, the only remaining parts are the the foundations and the outer west walls with a guard house and the old bakers oven outdoor.

In the meantime, from the apartment, we purchase a home in the nice country town of Pluvigner. 1000 square meters (about 11K sq feet) of land on a 255 square meters (about 2800 sq feet) of inhabitable home. 3 car garage, five bedroom or four as we used one for the game entertainment room, 2,5 baths, a open air terrace and an enclosed glass veranda. We had made the back on lawn or green grass and the front in Breton stone, pebbles with decorative real plants. OF course, now we have our puppy Rex almost 5 months a Borador!!! (cross pure border collier mom,and pure black Labrador dad). He is a charmer, and already well behaved in his manner: oh yes he is a boy!!! Poor wife ,she is spoiled as the only women in the family now.

Pluvigner is a small town of about 7K folks on a vast area of single homes stuck between Auray and Pontivy along the road D768 that connects to the beaches with the N165 and up to the N24 national roads to Rennes. About 1h30 to Nantes Atlantique airport and 15 minutes to the TGV line at Auray train station or sometimes for scheduling use the bigger station at Vannes which is about 35 minutes away. We have a regional TIM bus line 5 that can connect to Auray, Vannes, Baud, and onwards to Pontivy or Lorient. The town has about 8 bars and 5 bakeries, several restaurants and all the living services you need; the nurses come home to do all,and the doctor, pharmancy, etc are walking distances from home. In all ,we love it. Glad to be in the Morbiha, Brittany.

Now ,all is left is to get good health for some and continue for others and already thinking of retirement which will know officially my situation by September 2018. Shooting to do it by 2020 at the latest. Right now planning the retirement place, either we stay here, or go to Bordeaux area, or Toulouse area or south of Madrid, Spain in Castilla la Mancha. Only time and good continuous good  fortune will tell.

I have given a general view without been too positive,hope my friends do not get too jealous; it has been a wonderful experience, our best so far. Wherever the future brings, we can say we had our way and glad of all we have done as a family together, or as one famous Muskeeteers once said, One for all and all for one!!!

Enjoy some of the pictures of our new town and my current job in near Vannes.  Have a great week ,happy travels, good health and many many cheers to all. Kenavo!!




April 1, 2018

The shopping in Paris on discount!!!

As said, shopping is one of the pleasures of France. It’s haute couture and fashion mode are tops and there is a plethora of designers creators that are not really still known outside of France but still coming along.  By popular demand online and on private emails, I will redo my listing updated of course of the best places to shop at discount in Paris with some notable exception elsewhere. Of course, you can read my previous posts on shopping for first line stores.

I did a similar presentation on a previous online travel site no longer in existence. We do shop for the middle names of Pierre Cardin, Daniel Hechter, Olly Gan, Jules, and some upper names like Lacoste, Hugo Boss, and Georgio Armani. However, our main line comes from Armand Thiery and we are very satisfy by the quality price ratio and the service in all their stores.

Here I will give some food for thought on your shopping days in Paris and elsewhere in France.

These are all second hand discounted clothing stores in Paris. Of course, I have not been to all of them even most of them, but these are the stores that come up in any conversation with friends and or colleagues , when it comes to discounted and or second hand dégriffés stores in Paris. The stores are listed by arrondissement or district.

Paris 1er district we have

Stock Antoine et Lili, 17 Rue du Jour, these are past fashion period garments out of season that up to 50% off, we have been here. you come close on metro Pyramides lines 7 and 14. Several other stores in Paris webpage :

 One mentioned is Stock Ekyog, 1 Rue Montmartre, discounted to 50% open Mondays 14h-19h , Tuesdays/Wednesdays 10h30 to 14H and 15h to 19h30, Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays 10h30 to 19h30 you reach on metro line 4 Les Halles  webpage:

 Going over to Paris 2éme we have

 La Marelle, 21 Galerie Vivienne , depot sale of luxury brands, ready to wear and accessories open Mondays to Fridays from 10h30 to 18h30, Saturdays 12h30 to 18H30, nearest metro line 3 Bourse; webpage :  La Marelle

 Stock Kookai, 82 Rue Réaumur, we have been here, articles from Kookai and previous years collection with discounts from 30-70% Open Mondays to Saturdays from 10h30 to 19h30, nearest metro linees 3 and 4 Réaumur-Sébastopol. Webpage:

In the Marais 3éme and 4émé we have

Stock Jonak, 44 blvd de Sébastopol discounts of 30-40% on previous years collections open Monday 12h-14h and 14h30 to 19h Tuesday to Fridays 10h45 to 14H and 14h30 to 19h and Saturdays 10h45 to 19h. Closest Metro line 4 Etienne Marcel Webpage :

 L’Habilleur, 44 Rue du Poitou, creators collection at discount prices according to season, open Mondays to Saturdays from 12h to 19h30 nearest metro line 8 filles du calvaire. Webpage;

Stock Zadig & Voltaire 22 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, been here good one, previous years collection at discounts from 30-60% open Mondays to Fridays 11h to 19h and Saturdays 11h to 19h30 Sundays 14h to 19h30 nearest metro lines 1 and 11 Hôtel de Ville. Webpage;

Stock Azzedine Alaia 18 Rue de la Verrerie previous collections at discounts from 30-90% according to collection chosen, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h to 19h nearest metro lines 1 and 11 Hôtel de Ville. No webpage for the store but tel +33 (0) 1 42 72 19 19

Stock Sandro, 26 Rue de Sévigne , this one I have been and has collection from previous years and end of series sales , open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10h30 -19h , and Sundays 13h -19h30; nearest metro line 1 Saint Paul Webpage on paris tourist office:

Another one been to is La Piscine , 13 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, several brands high styles upper prices clothings and accessories by the best fashion houses at unbeatable prices ,several branches in Paris. Open Mondays 13h to 19h30 ,and Tuesdays to Sundays 11h to 19h30,, nearest metro line 1 Saint Paul, webpage

In the Paris 5éme we have

Stock André,59 Boulevard Saint-Michel. Reduction of stock on previous collections of the brand André, open Mondays to Saturdays 9h to 19h nearest metro is RER B Luxembourg or bus lines I have taken and take you there are the 27, 82 lines. Webpage

At the Paris 6éme we have

Le Mouton à cinq pattes 138 blvd Saint Germain, that I have been to selling men and women and exclusive modeles at discount prices ,Other stores in Paris too, open Mondays to Fridays 10h30 to 19h30 Saturdays 10h30 to 20h nearest metro line 10 Mabillon, webpage;

La Clef des Marques 122-126 blvd Raspail , another been to, selling a large choice of clothing from best brands of women men and children at discounted prices, open Mondays 12h30 to 19h and Tuesdays to Saturdays 10H30 to 19h, nearest metro line 12 Notre Dame des Champs ,facebook webpage:

Continuing on the Paris 8éme we have:

 Oulet Demarque, 3 rue du Havre, that I have been, selling discounts clothing , bags and accessories for men and women such as brands Moncler, Cerutti, Chloé, Dolce Gabbana, Galliano…nearest metro line 3, 12, 13 and 14 Saint Lazare, Yelp info webpage

Paris 10éme we have

Stock Sagone, 63 blvd de Magenta and others, for shoes of all styles men and women, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h to 19h nearest metro line 4 5 and 7 Gare de l’Est, webpage;

Stock Claudie Pierlot, 6 Rue de Marseille discounts ready to wear, shoes etc been here good stuff. open Mondays 11h to 14h and 15h to 20h ,Tuesdays to Saturdays 11H to 20h and Sundays 13h30 to 19h30 nearest metro line 5  Jacques Bonsergent , webpage:

Stock Les Petites, 11 Rue de Marseille, smaller size women open Monday to Saturdays 10h30 to 19h30, nearest metro line 5 Jacques Bonsergent, webpage;

Bel Air Outlet, 22 Rue Beaurepaire , several locations in Paris and France, discounts open Mondays to Saturdays 10h30 to 10h30 nearest metro line 5 Jacques Bonsergent. Webpage:

Karl Marc John Outlet, 65 Quai de Valmy, women and children, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h30 to 19h30 and Sundays 13h to 19h30, webpage ;

In Paris 11éme we have

Jyvé Stock, 35 bvld de Reuilly, discounts and second hand from several brands and men and women, open weekdays and Saturdays 10h45 to 19h30 ,nearest metro line 6 Dugommier and Daumesnil lines 6 and 8 webpage

In the Paris 14éme we have in just one street !!!

Stock Sonia Rykiel ,110-112 Rue d’Alésia, all about Sonia at 50% discounts from older collections, open Tuesdays 11h to 18h45 Wednesdays to Fridays 10h45 to 18h45 and Saturdays 10h4( to 19h, nearest metro line 4 Alésia; webpage Paris tourist office :

Stock Chevignon, 122 Rue d’Alésia, basic leather and old jeans collections with discounts of 30-50% off, open Mondays to Saturdays 11h to 19h nearest metro line 4 Alésia. Tel +33 (0) 1 45 43 40 25 no Webpage for the outlet the main brand webpage here:

Stock Zapa, 139 Rue d’Alésia, discount models from previous years at great prices, open Mondays to Saturdays 10h to 19h30, nearest metro line 13 Pernety. Webpage

Stock Mac Douglas, 111 Rue d’Alésia, shopping for the famous bags brand with great prices ;open Mondays to Saturdays 11h to 19h nearest metro line 4 Alésia, webpage

Stock Daniel Hechter, 92 Rue d’Alésia, mens and women of the fashion designer, been here and to the original store in Opéra as well as Tronchet, my business vest.. fyi, at the stock or outlet you have up to 50% discount from older models. Nearest metro line 13 Pernety. Webpage official brand,

In Paris 18éme you have

Stock A P C, 20 Rue André del Sarte, discount of up to 70% on some articles and previous years collections, open Mondays to Saturdays 12h to 19h Sundays 13h to 19h, nearest metro line Château rouge. Webpage:

Moving on to Paris 20éme we have

Scalp Stock Weill , 12 blvd Charonne, , classic collection of Weill and Atika at great discounts open Monday 11h to 19h and Tuesday to Saturday 10h to 19h , nearest metro lline 1 , 2 , 6 , and 9 as RER A Nation,no webpage for outlet but tel +33 (0) 1 43 73 10 85 main webpage on first line is here:

Outside of PARIS, (better by car) there are some good ones, and in my opinion even better. These are in Val d’Oise dept 95 on the A15 direction Rouen exit 4 next to Ikea store, Quai des Marques  in the city of Franconville. Open Mondays to Saturday 10h to 20h, where my family did a lot of shopping of top names brands better than on the Disneyland side and even better than in Yvelines 78 my old department. Webpage here:


Quai des Marques entrance Franconville

And if you have a car, by dept 10 Aube in the region of Grand Est you have the city of Troyes, and there around it ,you have several outlet stores of good value such as Marques Avenue, Marquescity and McArthur Glen all next to each other really. I have visited them too and shop as well as up north in Roubaix dept Nord 59,These are their webpages.



Then you have the Paris tourist office with a listing of many of them and more.

Paris tourism:

Hope it helps your find, of course as you know, Paris has endless shopping opportunities and will be silly of me to tell you these are all or even the best. These are some and on some of them I have been the experience has been good. Hope it helps.

Enjoy your Sunday, Happy Easter and happy travels, good health and plenty of cheers!!!


March 29, 2018

The glorious shopping in/of Paris!!!

Well , I think we all like shopping. Yes , is no longer a women world, but men too like to shop; I do. The only thing is that I know what I like and go straight to it;some not so much ,like to wandered around stores for hours,not me. Paris is an experience, well is the popular city, most visited, etc. But really, shopping is heavens in France!!

I like to tell you some shopping areas of Paris as an update from my previous blog posts on the subject , that will post here now.

Paris shopping galore!

My shopping in Paris

Ok here we go with some general areas where you will find the best of France, Paris ,the world and depending on your budget for all pockets.

The everybody first stop is  Le Marais neighborhood in the 3éme and 4éme arrondissement of Paris. Lively neighborhood known for its trendy boutiques, vintage shops, restaurants and vibrant gay community . You can hop over to the wonderful and  picturesque Place des Vosges, surrounded by an arcade lined with a great mix of elegant and artistic shops.  Very chic. Then go on to the popular Forum des Halles , with a covered shopping experience in the heart of Paris . Enjoy the quaint pretty Rue Montorgueil market street, where you’ll find everything you need for a wonderful meal.

Come on over to the very tops at the Place Vendôme all is upscale filled with shops by some of Paris’ top designers as well as boutiques by up and coming and cutting edge designers.  By the gardens of the Palais Royal  other than a nice walk you will enjoy the  surrounding arcades lined with restaurants, art galleries and boutiques.  One of my favorites Rue de Rivoli with its arcade running along the Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre Museum. Walking down the shop-lined street, be prepared to find so many stores you won’t be able to visit them all in one day;  of course not. Very good Paris souvenirs here. Keep walking to the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville where you’ll find BHV ,one of Paris fable department store .



You will do wonders at the Triangle d’Or  where every woman and man dreams of shopping in Paris. This shopping mecca is formed by Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V and Rue Francois 1er in the 8éme arrondissement just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. This is the heart of Paris’ Haute Couture shops and the finest fashion houses in the world, including Dior, Chanel, Ferragamo, Dolce e Gabbana, Prada, Valentino, Bulgari, Gucci and many more.  The ever busy but sometimes crowded Avenue des Champs Elysées is another one especially for the chain stores like FNAC or the ever present Abercrombie  store. By the quaint nice and beautiful  Rue Saint Dominique and Rue de Grenelle, both lined with lovely shops, restaurants and cafés ;and do not forget the  Rue Cler market street  at the 7éme not far from the Tour Eiffel.

The Parisian feeling of the  Rue du Commerce  with over 100 shops along the way ; and do not missed the Monoprix at the corner of Rue du Commerce and Boulevard de Grenelle, for a truly Parisian experience. One of my hangouts from working days in Paris and visits now is the Place de la Madeleine walking around the Church is awesome with my favorites even the biggest wine store Nicolas and around the corner on rue de la Madeline Lavinia. Follow my footprints coming back from work along Rue Tronchet from the Church de la Madeleine and you’ll head directly toward  the huge department stores Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann. The streets here are lined with shops all along Boulevard Haussmann leading toward the beautiful Opéra Garnier. Stop in the huge Monoprix store near Galeries Lafayette for a uniquely Parisian shopping experience.


Au Printemps


Galeries Lafayette

The heart of St-Germain des Prés and into the lively Latin Quarter, Boulevard Saint Germain is a street shoppers’s paradise. Starting at the Seine River ,this pretty street is lined with trees and beautiful Parisian buildings. It’s a great spot for home décor shops, fashion boutiques and gourmet food shops. As you reach the intersection with Rue du Bac and Boulevard Raspail, you’ll enter a fabulous shopping neighborhood. Follow Boulevard Raspail down to Rue de Rennes, and along the way you’ll find many interesting stores. Follow Rue d’Assas and the streets leading by the Luxembourg Gardens and deeper into the Latin Quarter for fun shopping finds. Rue St. Placide to the left as you face the left bank department store of Paris -Bon Marché. Follow Boulevard Saint Germain into the 6éme, and enjoy the famous literary cafés—Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore and Brasserie Lipp—and high-end shopping around St-Germain des Prés.

There you have hope you do, the best shopping in the world. Enjoy your week, enjoy shopping in Paris. Happy travels, good health and Cheers to all!!!

March 27, 2018

The Churches of Paris with a twist!

And continuing with our sunny days and no rain, let me bring you up to speed or kneeling position with the Churches of Paris. I have written blog posts before that I like to showcase first here/

We do come to Paris or any other city in Europe especially, and one of the thing to do is to see these wonderful monuments to the architecture genious of the past. Even if we are not religious ,these stands as a place worth the detour.

Paris has a small anglo saxon/American Catholic Church, that of Saint Joseph at 50 avenue Hoche near the Arc de Triomphe. The Church was built by Passionate Fathers in 1868 and the new Church was done in 1987. Hardly recognisable as a Church but rather a modern building.  Parish for the English-speaking Catholic Community of Paris.  Regular Masses: Monday to Friday 8h30; Saturday 11h & 18h30 (Vigil); Sunday 9h30, 11h, 12h30, 18h30. For details of weekly activities please contact us at +33 (0) You get there on the metro CDG Etoile lines  1, 2, 6 & RER A.  The official site was not working when I try it but maybe is my firewall. It is here: Saint Joseph Catholic Church Paris

Couple of sites with info on it are:  Religious heritage Saint Joseph Church

The Paris tourist office: Paris Tourism on Saint Joseph

And their Facebook page : Facebook St Joseph Church

We then move on to the American Church.

The American Church was the first American Church to established themselves outside the USA.  It was created in 1814 ; located at 65, Quai d’Orsay, in the 7éme arrondissement, not far from the Seine river. The current Church was built in 1931.

By 1814, many Protestants Americans in Paris were welcome in homes around Paris than on a temple de l’Oratoire du Louvre from  1816 under the protection of  Talleyrand.  The first American Chapel was built in 1857 at 21, rue de Berri.  It was in 1858 that emperor Napoléon III  officially recognized the American Church of Paris. In  1925, the Church acquired land on the quai d’Orsay  and ordered architect Carrol Greenough  the construction of a big neo gothic Church.  The construction was finished on March 6 1931 even if the first stone was done on March 1st 1926. The American Church is frequented by anglo saxons Protestants of Paris coming from 40 different countries and 35 Christian groups at last count.

The stained glass on the north and those on the nerf are all the same dimensions. Some themes on the glass gives honor to the American fallen in WWI. The Organ buffet has gothic sculptures  and the organ has four keyboards and  3 375 ring cables manufacture in Hambourg,Germany ; and open up with a series of concerts in 1988. The Chapel has a portrait as Christ looking at Jerusalem by a  Canadien Frank M. Armington that was behind the altar but now moved to give space to the organ . the nearest metro station is Invalides  lines 8 and 13 and the gare des Invalides RER C is close by.

American Church webpage: American Church

Paris tourist office on it: Paris Tourism on American Church

Their Facebook page: Facebook American Church

I must say here that the two above I have been maybe once or twice since been in France; and especially the American Church is worth a detour for tourist reasons alone.

Now this one , I have been several times. The American Cathedral of Paris.


American Cathedral shot from pont de l’Alma

The American Cathedral also known as the  Holy Trinity Cathedral or Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité  is an American Church dating from the end of the 19C of the Anglican cult and serving as the Cathedral of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe of the Episcopal Church of the United States.  It is located wonderfully at  23, avenue George-V near the Champs-Élysées and Pont de l’Alma in the 8éme arrondissement.  The origins dates back to the 1830s when American Episcopalians began to meet together for services in the garden pavilion of the Hôtel Matignon, now the official residence of the French prime minister, then the home of American expatriate Colonel Herman Thorn (1783–1859).  In 1859, the formal establishment of a parish took place and in 1864 the first church building was consecrated on Rue Bayard . The Consecration of the church took place on Thanksgiving Day on November 25, 1886, which coincided with the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York. Holy Trinity became a cathedral in 1922, continuing as a parish church and also serving as the official seat of the bishop in charge of Episcopal churches in Europe.

It was built from 1881 on a neo gothic style under the plans of English architect George Edmund Street, and opened in 1886.  The stained glass which numbered 42 came from glassmaker  James Bell, that did them from 1883 to 1893 on the theme of Te Deum. It was later completed by the addition of a arrow tower designed between 1904-1906 by Arthur Edmond Street, son of the original architect that had passed away. Later in  1911 was added a presbytery , and finally in  1923  a memorial to the fallen American soldiers of WWI.

You have many concerts held here that are nice indeed; and well located to do all the good things you all enjoy of Paris. The Cathedral was recently renovated especially the tower and the stained glass by a donation from the US base World Monument Fund.

webpage here: World Monument Fund

The official webpage : American Cathedral Paris

Paris Tourism: Paris Tourism American Cathedral

Facebook page: Facebook American Cathedral

There you go something different from your regular visits to our beautiful Paris, eternal and well beyond words Paris. I hope you have enjoyed the trip and do see these off the beaten path wonderful places of my Paris.

Enjoy your week wherever you are, happy travels, good health and live life to the fullest. Cheers!



March 20, 2018

Some news from France CLXXXVIII

So the week moves on and so do I. Nice day today on the first day of Spring!!! the sun came out and temps in the 10C or 50F no rain, just a bit sprinkle on way home but stop. My puppy Rex is moving alone nicely and the family is happy.

Saint Nolffs

view from my office nice and sunny

But heck, let me tell you a bit more of what is going on in my belle France!

McDonald’s, Burger King, or even the new small chain Five Guys.  Does that tells you something? Well the hamburger is on  85 %  of restaurant menus in France! And for the first time in 2017, the sales are passing those of the traditional French sandwhich the jambon-beurre, or ham/butter according to the cabinet Gira Conseil.  According to the survey over 1,46 billion burgers were sold with an increase of 9% . If you go by city, the cabinet Gira Conseil uses the indicator of the French sandwich jambon-beurre  to determine the purchasing power of the French. The average price in 2017  was 2,94 euros .  Paris, of course, is the most expensive city with for the ham and butter sandwich you pay  4 euros  on average an increase of +14,94 %, followed by Lyon  and Bordeaux  even at 3,34 euros (no surprise here either).  The least expensive was at Tulle for 2,48 euros. This is the cabinet:

SNCF train monopoly ,the branch Gares & Connexions, has announced the names of three architect firms to hold the improvements on the Gare du Nord . These finalists are the  Altarea-Cogedim with the group BTP Besix Belgium, Architecte Dietmar Feichtinger, Apsys with the sem Paris-Seine, Vinci, la Caisse des depots,and  Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and the Immochan with Eiffage and Valode et Pistre. The final choice will be decided in July 2018.

In other the three main unions of the RATP ( CGT,Unsa and SUD) are calling for a strike on Thursday March 22nd to support the announced strike by the SNCF. The strike will start on Wednesday March 21st at 21h and will lasts until Friday March 23 at 8h.  Stay on alert as the unions CGT-Cheminots, Unsa, SUD-Rail ,and CFDT are planning other strikes by periods of two days starting April 3rd and lasting three months. This according to them is to opposed the will of the government to continue by ordinances the reform of the train network system in France. Which is needed for sure.

And to continue to the problems of transportation, the place de la Bastille is getting ready to say goodbye to the traffic circle this summer.  As well as the works to make one way by more than half the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine , this according to the city of Paris and the mayor’s office of the 11éme arrondissement.  From September next, the automobilists will not be able to take this road making about 1,1 km between the rue Faidherbe , and the place de la Bastille.


Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine

Bit of anecdote, the Tour Eiffel was closed for the most part Sunday due to the snow! and cold!!, it finally reopened by 16h30 after a security control. This is for about 3-4 inches of snow that fell in the City of Lights!

Another new find, and anecdote me think. If you go down cement steps on a tight spot you will come back to 80 years of history. You will need a flashlight or torch but once lighted you will be brought back in history with chills in your spine (so say the announcement). They have discovered a bunker to protect the bus drivers  from air attacks ,done in late 1930’s. A discovery made by the RATP at the Centre Bus RATP de Saint-Maur with all the furniture preserved, benches to sit, instruction panels etc. Now they will try to make it known to all as a new attraction of Paris.  The bunker goes in two directions until the Marne river on one side and the Abbey on the other. This is the Centre bus de St – Maur  4, bd Maurice Berteaux  94 100 St – Maur Tel +33  01 40 02 44 14.  Where garage the lines 101, 106, 107, 108/110, 111, 112, 201, 306, 317, and Noctambus H .  There is no webpage yet , you need to ask the RATP agent at Saint Maur to let you in, but I imagine they will need to work on it to have it open to the public, stay tune.

On the occasion of the Royal Regattas organized in the famous Grand Canal of the Chateau de Versailles ,the biannual event reunited 1 200 rowers and 40 clubs; webpage of the  centre nautique de Versailles


rowers in the Grand Canal photo Le Parisien B.D. credit

Until March 25 the all first barber shop truck will land in Paris direct from the USA . It will go to mythic spots in Paris to shave you nicely , places such as  Abbesses, Pigalle, le Marais, Belleville, Etienne Marcel, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  Free admission walk ins allowed . This is done by the firm  Redken Brews  and the team of salon barbers  “Bonhomme”, inspired by the Brooklyn style. You can ask questions here email:

Redken Truck : Wednesday March 21 11h-20h;  Pigalle : 1, rue Fromentin – 9e, Thursday March 22nd 11h-20h ;  Le Marais : 14, rue de Bretagne – 3e, Friday March 23  11h-20h;  Belleville : 102, boulevard de Belleville – 20e, Saturday March 24 11h-20h ;  Etienne Marcel : 52-54, rue Etienne-Marcel – 2e, Sunday March 25th 11h-16h;  Saint-Germain-des-Prés : place Saint-Germain-des-Prés 6.  The official site in French is here :

The magnificent residence of Napoléon Ier and his wife Joséphine.  Where they divorced she lived here until her death in 1814. Before, she renovated the gardens and brought exotic animals and will tell you the history as to how the Consulat, from 1801 -1802, took the great decision of its time like the French Code civil, Légion d’Honneur, etc.  Today the property domain has two castles , Bois-Préau  and Malmaison  as a museum of the  châteaux de Malmaison and Bois-Préau  where you can visit the apartments of the Emperor and his family ,admire his works of arts and even the oval room where the Emperatrice died on May 29 1814.  Château Malmaison, Avenue du Château de Malmaison, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison, go from Paris on the RER A : Rueil-Malmaison

At the Les Fils à Maman, we say have lunch without a fix price.  This restaurant has no price you eat and you pay what you eat known as participating lunches you fix your price on what you eat . Every Friday noon you can do this with a menu of the day dessert for the price of your choice . The menu is unique ,as long as there is food, when no more the service stops! Here you eat without waste that is the idea of Les Fils à Maman, 6, rue Aristide-Bruant – 18e

Ok so you want to see Paris from afar and wonderful view before your eyes, a few places can do this but I give you three here.

You climb the 250 steps to see what of the best views of Paris in a real green balcony but very urban. This is the  Butte d’Orgemont  or Orgemont hill where you see a windmill and a nice lawn at  176, avenue de Stalingrad – Argenteuil , Gare d’Argenteuil – Line J

then you have the Butte des Châtaigniers  at 125 meters high but you need to climb 360 steps to view the panorama of the Tour Eiffel, Montmartre, La Défense  and others at  15, boulevard Youri-Gagarine – Argenteuil Gare de Sannois – Line J

A stylish panorama on a hill of 170 meters, and if not up to climbing you can visit the Military fort of Cormeilles  below it, very nicely preserve and open each first Sunday of the month . Forêt régionale des Buttes du Parisis – 95240 Cormeilles-en-Parisis; Gare de la Frette Montigny – Line J

You come to see a huge pool of 8 meters long by 4 meters deep a special ballon in an ocean of bubbles or try the aquagym courses in version bubble, with licorne bouys .  AFterward, you will be pampered with ice cream for free!! you will be at the transats from  16h-18h). see it , Bubble Party until March 25th on the place des Étoiles,  Val d’Europe with free animations every day from 11h to 20h. The pool is open for sessions of 10 persons, easy for all, even less than 3 yrs old with supervision qualified ;

On the Artsy side we have good ones coming up in Paris.

Foujita, les années folles . Going back to the women, the cats, natural death, the children, and the auto portraits marking the career of  Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Japanese artist and French citizen. See it at the  musée Maillol with an exposition dedicated to him until July 15 2018 with hundreds of works tracing his crazy years in  Montparnasse  between  1913 to 1931. musée Maillol,  61, rue de Grenelle

Margiela, les années Hermès ; the years of Hermés, Margiela, see the exposition tracing the work in the house of Hermès  showing at the museum or musée des Arts Décoratifs. From 1997 to 2003,the Belgian designer did several collections ready to wear under an innovating and luxe times.  This is a collaboration of the MoMu (Musée de la Mode d’Anvers)and  Martin Margiela, in the exposition there are 120 silhouettes interacting with you in view. Musée des Arts Décoratifs , 107, rue de Rivoli running from March 22nd to September 2 2018:

To find it in same building as the Louvre, old pavillion Marsan wing of the old façade de palais des Tuileries (now gone)

Guernica, on the 80th anniversary of the creation of the work by Picasso. the Musée Picasso gives an exposition on Guernica, principal work of Picasso ,and counting as among the best known work in the world. It is preserved since  1981 in Madrid , where it is shown on a permanent basis. The exposition also offersa history lecture and clarification on the political involvement of Picasso. Musée Picasso,  5, rue de Thorigny  3éme; from March 27 to July 29 2018

Delacroix  in cooperation with the Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York, the museum of the Louvre  presents an exposition retracing the career of Eugène Delacroix.  There will be over 180 works of the master with the majority of paintings from the best showing of the 1820’s until his last creations little known of the public. Musée du Louvre , Rue de Rivoli showing from March 28 to July 23 2018

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malévitch. L’avant-garde russe à Vitebsk (1918-1922)  or the forefront Russian of artists mentioned to know them , backgrounds and classics of our days. At total of 250 works will be shown put together by the Centre Pompidou  that shows light into the post revolutionary years far from the Russian metropolis, art history written by Vitebsk, city of Bielorussia. Centre Pompidou , place Georges Pompidou ,4éme , from March 28 to July 16 2018.

Néanderthal , for a long time we thought it was a primitive creature, it is today known and accepted as Human. See the evolution in the  Musée de l’Homme, 17, place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre 16éme; from March 28 to January 7 2019

The museum Louis Vuitton in  Asnières-sur-Seine open its doors exceptionally to the public every weekend until April 15 2018.  A simple request is all it takes to come in and see behind the scenes the creation of the French heritage house without spending a cent. Come and see at the  La Galerie Louis Vuitton 18, rue Louis Vuitton – Asnières-sur-Seine reservations here :

And of course food is everywhere here!!! Last but not least; I bring you the Rungis international market. Once passing the admission of 3,60€ if comes with a pro or 15€ full admission individual all it cost to see the biggest agriculture market in the world! A city within a city all dedicated to food. Behind the scene the ambiance change, there are no rules here, the truck traffic is chaotic and deliveries go and come. The visit by the public is possible (was there once with my job pros) all here :

and how to get there:

Hope you find something you like and will consider coming, Paris is a state of mind; once bitten the virus never goes away!! As Paris itself, it is eternal. Enjoy your week, happy travels, good health to all. Cheers!



March 18, 2018

My travels in the Morbihan, LXI

I am coming back home, this is a bit of a wrap up on the many small towns we have here, all special. In the department 56 of the Morbihan Breton in Brittany ,where else! My zigzagging has taken me to many smallish towns, some I have written individually and others in a My Travels sequel posts, all unique. I like to give you an overview on them.

The names of the town will not be on many if any tourist board ,but I think the history in these towns is very nice and talks about the beliefs deeply rooted of the Breton people.  A frame of mind, I have adapted quite well thank you ::)

The towns are Ambon, Arradon, Baud, Beignon, Belz, Bignan , Billio, Brandivy, Brech, Camors, Campeneac, Colpo, Crach, Damgan , Elven, Erdeven, Etel, Grand Champ, Guehenno , Gourméne-sur-Scoff, Guer, Guillac, Kenascleden, La Chapelle Caro, La Gacilly, Landevant, Langonnet, , Lanvaudan, Larmor Baden, Larmor Plage, Le Bono, Le Faouet  Le Govello, Le Roc St Andre, Locmine, Locoal Mendon , Maletroit, Meriadec, Merlevenez, Moustoir-AC, Muzillac, Nostang , Noyal Muzillac, Plescop, Ploemel , Ploemeur, Ploeren, Ploermel, Plouay, Plouhinec, Plumelec ,Pumelin, Plumergat, Pluneret Port Louis, Questembert, Quily, Saint Avé, Saint Cado, Séné, St Grave, St Jean Brevelay,St Malo de Beignon, St Marcel, St Martin sur Oust, St Nolff, St Philibert, Sulniac, Surzur, Theix-Noyalo, and Trédion.

Some representative pictures of my Morbihan:

The river Auray going into the Altantic by Brech

The beach men er beleg in St Philibert

The calvary of Guehenno

There you have it, so many quaint nice small towns of the Morbihan.  Some webpage to help you plan your trip in addition to asking me ::)

The department tourist office:

Historical Heritage sites of Morbihan:

Most beautiful Villages of France:

And you can look up my previous blog posts on the towns above with plenty of pictures here:

You remember , I told you the name of Morbihan comes from the Breton language Mor-Bihan meaning Petite Mer in French or small sea (due to the Gulf of Morbihan), (only French department not French in name) ,and the greater definition of Mor Braz or Grande Mer or big sea as locals call the area in the bay between Quiberon and Le Croisic.  It is surrounded by the dept 29 Finistére to the west, dept 22 Côtes-d’Armor to the north, dept 35 Ille-et-Vilaine to the east and the dept 44 Loire Atlantique to the southeast; all bordered by the Atlantic ocean creating the megalith coast or Côte des Megalithes (for the big stones of Brittany).

Yes, quite a reading task for the week huh ::) But all worth it ,I can assure you. There is so much history and beauty in my belle France, and concentrating here in my beloved Bretagne/Brittany/Breizh is all sublime. I hope too, you will feel the same as my friends already has when they visited me here from my previous life in travel forums to my blog, and then a visit ,nice!

And my weekend is now coming to an end, back to reality tomorrow and snow is call for but luckily not in my Morbihan, hope they are right. Happy Sunday, Travels and good Health. Cheers!!!

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