France is Amazing!



“Dashboard Photo”, Photo by Annalee Beverley

France is Amazing!

Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Your taste of life in Paris and France
ParlerParis.com
Monday, April 13, 2009
Paris, France


INVESTING IN FRANCE IS ONE OF THE SAFEST AND MOST PROFITABLE INVESTMENTS YOU CAN MAKE IN TODAY’S ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT!…

JOIN US IN LONDON THIS MONTH…OR PARIS IN MAY!

London
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The International Law Partnership
The Vaults, Holborn Hall
193-197 High Holborn
London WC1V 7BD
For more information vist: Live and Invest in France London
or email info@adrianleeds.com

Paris
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Chez Jenny
3, Boulevard du Temple
75003 Paris
For more information, email info@adrianleeds.com

For more information and to register, click here FrenchPropertyconference or email info@adrianleeds.com


 




La Cellette, Celles

Opéra National de Bordeaux

“La Brasserie Bordelaise”

La Rochelle


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

France is Amazing!

I wouldn’t rent a car again with Gare Montparnasse as the pick-up point — it’s more work than it’s worth just to be closer to Porte d’Orléans than from Gare de Lyon. But that’s what we did to make our way first to Celles, a tiny town (population about 550) southeast of Angoulême in the Aquitaine, Dordogne. Having gotten lost several times trying to find the way there, the trek, normally 5.5 hours from Paris by car or 2.25 hours by train, took 10 long hours…but no one minded…”France is amazing!”

That became the joke over the course of the four day circuit, from Paris through the Dordogne to Bordeaux then north to La Rochelle and back to Paris. At every turn there were pristine rolling green hillsides (or bright yellow fields of “Colza” [rape seed]), quaint centuries-old villages made up of stone cottages, usually with a church’s steeples looming over the red-roofed towns and independent farm houses nestled among barns and fields of a variety of crops. My traveling companion and long-time friend from Montreal snapped what she called “dashboard photos” — pictures with the dashboard of the car prominent in the foreground, the rain on the windshield obscuring the clarity of the scenes ahead of us.

The roads in France are “amazing” — kept in perfect condition, well marked and well functioning. Even when one moves from “A” routes (“autoroutes”) to “N” Routes (National roads) to “D” routes (Departmental roads), the quality remains high, despite the narrowness of the road or the number of lanes. We were lost for more than an hour on several
tiny roads only wide enough for one car in what seemed like the middle of nowhere — that nowhere being “La France Profonde.”

In Celles we stayed overnight at a long-time friend’s château, having been recently sold. A Dallas resident and “la châtelaine” of “La Cellette” since 1998, she’s now sadly in the process of moving out all her personal belongings in preparation for the new owners to take over every aspect of château living including the furnishings. Having been a welcome sale, it was both a happy and sad occasion to say “so-long” to the beautiful home with its ten bedrooms and stately grounds.

Bordeaux isn’t far from Celles and the Autoroute is fairly newly completed. Directional signs took us straight into the center of the city and into one of a few parking lots under the oldest and mostly pedestrian part of the city where we deposited the car for the night. The rain never let up for a moment, so, under umbrellas our first order of business was to have lunch and find a hotel. Walking around the district of the Opéra National de Bordeaux, we found a nice room at the Bordeaux Bayonne Etche-Ona, a Best Western Hotel (15 Cours de l’Intendance, 33000 Bordeaux, 05.56.48.00.88).

Bordeaux is a beautiful, elegant, pristine and stately city that bears no resemblance to Paris. The sleek snake-like trams quietly slip along the rails carrying their passengers with what seems like no effort at all. In the central district we saw few cars and the quiet calm of the city is evident. In the rain we shopped, wandered and discovered La Brasserie Bordelaise serving every sort of Bordeaux wine imaginable and every sort of other wine teeming with meat dishes such as the famed Entrecôte Charolaise, known to be some of the best meat in France. (La Brasserie Bordelaise, 50, rue Saint Rémi, 33000 Bordeaux, 05.57.87.11.91)

Easter Sunday was an important day of the trip. We set out to visit the gentleman who holds the rights of usage to the “viager” apartment I own, who has not lived in the apartment for many years, but lives with his nephew in a small village in the Charente-Maritime. Its location was between Bordeaux and La Rochelle, our next destiny. A “viager” property is a real estate agreement where property is sold on a reverse annuity basis. In this case, I own the apartment outright, but the original owner still holds the rights of usage till his death or until he is willing to give or sell the rights.

The gentleman has offered me the rights, but wants a kingly share. It seems only right that we should meet face to face — him now almost 90 years old. It wasn’t difficult to find the road or his address. Some of the houses were new, others old and renovated, with pools added and many with fresh gardens.

We knocked, but there was no one home. The neighbors were watching from their windows. I rang their bell and had a nice chat with the neighbor who told me that the gentleman had gone to a nursing home over a year ago. I left a bouquet of flowers with her to deliver to them with a note and also left a message on their phone to ring me. I’m still hopeful to make an arrangement with them so that something can be done with the vacated apartment.

(If you’d like to read the first four “chapters” of “VIAGER” WITH A VIEW,” click here /articles.php and scroll to the bottom for all four links to the articles.

Disappointed, we headed on to La Rochelle. It was a beehive of activity — a local collection of were ceramicists selling their wares at an open market along the Vieux Port. The parking lot was so full that we had no choice but pull into the parking lot of a hotel at the edge of the old city that “par hazard” had a perfect room for us. It couldn’t have been easier. The Hôtel Trianon et de la Plage (6, Rue Monnaie, 17000 La Rochelle, +33 5.46.41.21.35) is a tired old hotel, but the room was enormous with a view on the garden and the location was perfect, especially with the free parking.

La Rochelle is a stunning old port city on the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic Ocean and is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department. We discovered, when purchasing a bottle of “La Saintonge” — “Vin de Pays Charentais,” that “Saintonge” (the name of my street in Paris) is a small region within the Charente-Maritime “which derives its name from the ancient Gallic tribe of the Santones who lived in this area and was the center of the French Huguenots.” I felt closer to home than ever.

Today, before heading back to Paris, we’ll take a tour of the lovely and quaint Île de Ré — an island off the west coast that is completely flat, 30 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide — connected to La Rochelle by a 2.9 km (1.8 mi) bridge (the longest in France). This is where we intend to get a fair share of fresh oysters before being land-locked in the City of Light on a Monday night after four full days in “amazing France!”

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
(Visiting the “Viager”)

Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. Tuesday afternoon, don’t miss the monthly coffee gathering of Parler Paris readers at “Parler Paris Après Midi,” 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.

P.P.S. And if you haven’t already signed up for Judith Merian’s workshop, “Writing for the Independent Film Market,” it’s this coming
Saturday, April 18th, also at Le Pierre du Marais. Learn more and reserve your place by visiting /frenchproperty/conference/


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* 7/9 apartments total of 409m2 on 4 levels and 3573m2 of land.
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AS SEEN ON T.V. HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL…

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Let the Adrian Leeds Group guide you through the process with ease and peace of mind… to have your very own pied-à-terre in Paris or home in the French countryside.

Visit frenchpropertyconsultation or email info@adrianleeds.com


THIS WEEKEND! …REGISTER NOW…”WRITING FOR THE INDEPENDENT FILM MARKET”

A Workshop Presented by Judith Merians
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Le Pierre du Marais


For more information visit /frenchproperty/conference/
To register email judithmerians@aol.com


HURRY…SPACES STILL AVAILABLE…WRITE YOUR HEART OUT IN CHAMPAGNE!

Don’t delay…Writing from the Heart…a journey into the heart of France, and into your own heart…April 21-27, 2009

For more information visit: /frenchproperty/conference/


FROM STORM TO FORM…
A James Navé Creative Writing Workshop in Paris
“Playing with Form and Structure”
24 April, 2009

You’ve done your Imaginative Storm work. You’ve generated fragments, snippets, images, and story lines. Now, it’s time to play with form and structure…
For more information visit /frenchproperty/conference


DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO BE AN OWNER IN THE BEST ADDRESS IN PARIS — PLACE DES VOSGES Four Weeks a Year of Heaven in Your Own Part of “Le Palace des Vosges!”

Now you can own a share in an AMAZING “maison” — more of a house in the country than an apartment in Paris, right smack dab in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square — the Place des Vosges.

For more information visit frenchpropertyfractional.com or maryellen@adrianleeds.com


LEARN FRENCH IN FRANCE IN A FRENCH LANGUAGE SCHOOL FOR ADULTS
OFFERING TRUE FRENCH IMMERSION

L’Institut de Français, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Learn French in the warmth of a stunning villa overlooking the lovely fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur in a full immersion program with like-minded adults…For more information, visit Institut de Francais or contact Fréderic Latty at info@institutdefrancais.com and be sure to tell him Adrian Leeds sent you.


SLEEP UP TO SIX IN OUR LUXURIOUS THREE BEDROOM APARTMENTS! Parler Paris Apartments

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.

*Le Château Saint-Germain

Le Château Saint-Germain is an elegant and luxurious three-bedroom/three-bath apartment located in the very heart of the Saint-Germian-des-Prés district of Paris with a view on the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and steps from the liveliest part of the quartier. Visitors to Paris who are lucky enough to make themselves at home here will be talking about their delightful stay for years to come and return as often as they can.

*Le Penthouse Voltaire

Richard Lenoir and Voltaire – American comfort with a French flair…three-Bedroom, two-bath luxury 7th floor penthouse with two elevators, wrap-around balconies and spectacular views! Located between place de la Bastille and place de la République overlooking both boulevards Richard-Lenoir and Voltaire. Completely newly renovated and professionally decorated.

Reserve now! Visit /parlerparis/apartments or email: Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com


GET TO KNOW THE BEST OF THE GOOD-VALUE RESTAURANTS IN PARIS

Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants
Written and Regularly Updated by Adrian Leeds

You don’t need to be rich to dine well in Paris – you just need to know where to go. Enjoy fabulous three-course meals with wine for just $20 to $35, including tax and tip. Explore more than 200 hand-picked great-value restaurants. Plus, get a pull-out glossary of common food and dining terms found on French menus!

Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus, Practical Paris!

For more information, visit Insider Paris Guides at InsiderParisGuides.com


TOMORROW! MEET PARLER PARIS READERS TUESDAY “APRES MIDI.”
Next Meeting April 14, 2009

The second Tuesday of every month, Parler Paris and French Property Insider readers gather at La Pierre du Marais for a drink and a “schmooze” — it’s an opportunity to meet and chat with other like-minded people and a great way to make friends! Costs nothing except whatever you drink, so don’t miss the next gathering on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit Parler Paris Après Midi

 


PRACTICE YOUR FRENCH…OR ENGLISH!
Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

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!

For further details, visit Parler Parlor


GET AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT FRANCE
France Today The Magazine Of French Travel and Culture

France Today is an insider’s look at French culture, people and trends — your savvy guide to off-the-beaten-track places and events in Paris and all over France!

France-Amerique est vôtre lien privilégié avec la France et la langue française!”

To subscribe, visit France Today or call 1-800-901-6560


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