Cultural Crossing Only on the Striped Lines



“Tous les jours, on traverse en dehors des clous. Et un jour, on y reste.”

Cultural Crossing Only on the Striped Lines

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Monday, March 5, 2007
Paris, France

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The Improfessionals

The Clam Exhibition By Mizani

Purim Dancers on Rue des Rosiers

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, 1892
by John Singer Sargent

The Garden at Le Petit Palais

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

We landed at Charles de Gaulle early Thursday morning. The line at passport control snaked quickly, quietly and orderly. The luggage arrived immediately and a taxi awaited us to whisk us home. In spite of delayed traffic due to an accident on the Autoroute, not a single car horn was heard. That was re-entry to Paris and the reverse culture shock from having just experienced maddening chaos prior to boarding the Air France flight at Indira Gandhi Airport in New Delhi.

Re-acclimation to life in Paris was a quick and easy transition over the first weekend back.

The “Improfessionals” English language improvisational theater troupe kept us all laughing (in spite of my jet lag) at Au Café de Paris on rue Oberkampf in the 11th as they directed and enacted stories in various genres, while the audience became the jury and voted for the award winning director of the evening. I was hoping for a “Bollywood” film, and one audience member was campaigning for “Swedish Porn,” but instead they chose a genre less controversial, like “Musical Comedy.” (For their upcoming shows, visit http://www.improfessionals.com)

Speaking French again at the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group on Saturday morning was a welcome pleasure as author (“Adventures of a Continental Drifter”) and journalist Elliott Hester kept me in stitches with his first impressions as a new resident of the City of Light. You’re going to love his blog at http://travelblogs.latimes.com/paris/ and keep an eye out for future articles in the L.A. Times. (Don’t forget to reserve soon for the group’s 9th Anniversary Party on March 17th. Scroll down or visit http://www.parlerparlor.com for more details.)

The beautiful full moon Saturday night (that later during the early morning was lunar eclipsed!) shown brightly over the terrace where a photo exhibition was held sponsored by Mizani Technologie Professionnelle Loréal, products for Afro and frizzy hair care, in their spacious studio on rue Moret, just around the corner from Au Café de Paris. Our client and friend, Leon Saperstein, had a few of his best fashion photos on display, while trendy young Parisians mingled and networked. The people watching was sublime.

A friend told me she spotted a “streaker” on avenue Montaigne on Sunday morning. Perhaps a result of the full moon…often blamed for wild happenings and strange behavior among people and animals. So, it wasn’t too strange that Sunday afternoon costumed dancers were on rue des Rosiers (4th) who greeted us and the others on the now pedestrian street with little b

ags of candy, pennies and “Hamantashen” — triangular shaped cookies with a filling in the middle symbolizing the hat worn by Haman, the evil character in the Purim story. Like the medieval festival of fools, Purim is celebrated by excesses of food and drink, masquerades, and making fun of everything. It began the evening before and continued through Sunday, enlivening the Marais even more than usual and while Purim is a carnival of silliness and joy, it actually recalls a rather dramatic story found in the Book of Esther, called a “Megillah.” There’s a Jewish expression, a “big megillah” which means a long, sometimes drawn-out or long-winded story (like this one!)…which comes from this Biblical story of Esther.

In the stack of mail from our 2-week absence was this month’s “A Paris” magazine, a publication the city hall distributes free of charge. I laughed out loud when I saw the back cover ad — a photo of a crosswalk and a man walking alongside it, but not on it. The caption: “Tous les jours, on traverse en dehors des clous. Et un jour, on y reste.” In other words, “Everyday we go outside the lines and someday, we will just stay there.” Then passing the Hôtel de Ville on a long walk from Le Marais to the Petit Palais, crossing through Le Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries and Place de la Concorde, to visit the “Peintres de la lumière, Sargent et Sorolla” exhibition (until May 13, 2007), I spotted posters lining rue de Rivoli mirroring the same sentiment and caught a walker doing exactly that!…jay-walking just as we always anarchistically do here in Paris (but NEVER in Los Angeles!).

The city is obviously trying to convince pedestrians to respect the traffic rules, and I suppose will also try to convince drivers to respect the pedestrians in an effort to save lives. Imagine my culture shock having just come from such anarchy and chaos, where in India there are no crosswalks, no traffic lanes, hardly any traffic lights, much less curbs or sidewalks to really speak of!

While strolling casually from one end of the city to the other, in the bright sunlight of a lazyish Sunday afternoon, with hordes of Parisians and tourists taking in the same beautiful scenery and relishing in the first signs of Spring, I came to realize fully not only why Paris had become such an addictive “drug” for me, but how really special life here is and why it would be so difficult to give up…even if it meant crossing only on the striped lines. (I wonder if the “streaker” stayed within the lines, too?)

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

Express Yourself. Click here to comment on Parler Paris…

P.S. A complete article of our travels through India can be read at /parlerparis/articles/incredible_india.html and more photos by Erica Simone are online at http://www.EricaSimone.com

P.P.S. Mark your calendar for joining us at Parler Paris Après Midi on March 13th. See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.

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Paris Property Prices: On a Slower Rise
By Adrian Leeds

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This Week in French Property Insider…

For the first time since 2002, the price of resale apartments in Paris rose just under 10% — an estimated 9.9% average for the city, at a square meter price of 5,675€, based on reported figures by the Chambre de Notaires for 3rd quarter 2005 to 3rd quarter 2006...FPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.

Special Offer — Learn the Seven Steps to Your Own Pied-à-Terre
With Adrian Leeds and the French Property Consultation Team

Between now and March 11, 2007, when you subscribe to French Property Insider for two years ($79.50 — less than 80 cents an issue) or renew your current subscription for just one more year ($49.50 — 99 cents an issue), we’re going to make it possible for you to get good advice on purchasing property in France absolu

tely free!

First, you can participate in our FREE one hour Conference Call on Sunday, March 11, 2007 at 7 p.m. Paris time.

Then, if you’re in Paris, join us for a one-and-one-half hour Group Consultation on Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 6:30 p.m.

To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html

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Insider Paris Guides are a series of electronically published, downloadable guides about Paris and France written by journalists and writers who live and work in, and love, Paris.

We cover specific, niche-interest topics that are difficult to find anywhere else. Get an insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…

For more information, visit http://www.insiderparisguides.com

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LEARN TO TANGO IN ARGENTINA
April 28-May 7 2007
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The flick of a leg, the tug of a hand, the tap of a foot, the arch of an eyebrow… the tango provides an unspoken language, a window to a world where the subtleties of movement speak volumes. Join our friends at Agora Travel to explore gracious Buenos Aires while you learn to tango, and discover for yourself one of the most exciting cities on earth. It has a sophisticated, genteel Latin American influence… but it’s as cosmopolitan as New York or Paris. Large boulevards, expansive parks and plazas, tall trees… and space to stroll and dance. For details, visit: http://www.agoratravel.com/tango/pp

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PARLER PARIS APARTMENTS
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Email: Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com

Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.

Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!

Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.

*** “Le Provençal” Studio

Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence. Available March 19 – 27 and May 1 – 6.

Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html

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Parler Paris Après Midi
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Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:
/parlerparis/apresmidi.html

The next gathering is March 13, 2007

So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.

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Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group
http://www.parlerparlor.com/
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Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

MARAIS LOCATION
* Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais

96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003
3rd arrondissement, Paris
Métro Temple, République or Arts et Métier

AT EUROCENTRES
* Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and
* Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
13 passage Dauphine (entrance between rue Dauphine and rue Mazarine), 6th arrondissement
Métro Odéon, Saint-Michel, Pont Neuf

PARLER PARLOR
ANNIVERSARY DINNER PARTY
SATURday, MARCH 17, 8 P.M.

Come out and celebrate the 9th Anniversary of the
Parler Parlor French English Conversation Group at La Pierre du Marais!

(corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, Paris, 3rd Arrondissement)

Menu: Kir, Confit de Canard, Gratin Dauphinois, Salad, Moelleux au Chocolat, Wine and Coffee
All for only 25€!

Plus, take advantage of these special anniversary prices:

12 SESSIONS FOR THE PRICE OF A 10-SESSION CARD
24 SESSIONS FOR A 20-SESSION CARD THAT NIGHT


Reservations:
info@parlerparlor.com or http://www.parlerparlor.com

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The Art of Living Guide to Le Marais.
http://www.parismarais.com/parismarais-newsletter.htm

 

 

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