Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
My idea of a vacation — a real vacation — is lying on a beach watching and listening to the surf, allowing all thought to drain from the brain. There is no more relaxing fantasy and for most of my life, while the energy of a bustling city such as Paris keeps life going at a refreshingly whirlwind pace, the beach is my haven.
Paris boasts of “Paris Plage,” and even though the Seine is a magnificent backdrop for the sandy strip, it’s a rather zealous substitute for the real thing. So, it’s not every day an American-turned-Parisian has the chance to head for a real bona fide ‘beach.’
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August 10, 2009 10:00 PM ET/PT
Parler Paris Nouvellettre® continued…When old friends from Germany suggested we meet in Greece to celebrate our acquaintance there 30 years ago, the only logical answer was YES. It was so easy to book the flights to the island of Santorini (also known as “Thira”) and very lucky to get the last available room at the “Aroma Suites” where they would be staying.
Clearly the room was meant for me to have — a cozy white stucco-formed mini-apartment named “Kanela” (The Cinnamon Room) with a semi-private balcony overlooking the sea and the entire western coastline of the crescent-shaped island backdropped by the capital city of Fira.
The apartment was so much like the little “viager” studio with the terrace on rue de Saintonge for which I (finally!) signed the deed Friday before leaving for Greece, that it gave me lots of ideas for how to make “Le Saint-Tropez” (the name I’ve bestowed on it) the perfect beach-like haven in Paris. The only thing missing is the view of the “caldera” (crater), but the substitute of the rooftops of Paris is as beautiful a view in a very different respect.
The range of colors one finds in Santorini are similar to the colors of Saint-Tropez: whites of the stucco houses nestled into the hillsides, blues of both the sea and sky, greens of the vegetation with touches of fuchsia from the bougainvillea that drips over the round shapes of the dome-like homes and churches. The arm chairs and tables on the balconies were made of wicker. The plants in terra cotta pots were succulents to thrive in the sun with little need of water. In Santorini, the sand and pebbles on the beaches (almost all) are black from the volcanic rock — very different from the white powdery sand in Saint-Tropez.
Santorini is made up of a small group of volcanic islands in the Cyclades that has recreated itself as one of the most romantic tourist destinations in the world. Like the Riviera, Greece makes a perfect summer vacation spot for those who want total R and R. Every spot on the island is designed to awaken your senses making it impossible not to throw your cares to the wind — letting the sun and surf soothe your deepest anxieties.
Young lovers embracing are at every turn. Newlyweds abound. They are tan, happy and very much in love. The hotels and restaurants cater to romance on every level (pun intended — one must step up or down to arrive anywhere!). The tiny streets of the larger villages are overrun with jewelry stores anxiously awaiting the display of a gentleman’s affection for his lover.
The town of Oia in the north is charming — and famous for its sunset for which hundreds of people flock daily. We’re not really sure why — as we discovered the sunset from our own balcony to rival it fully.
The cuisine in Santorini focuses on fresh grilled seafood. That, along with a traditional Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives and feta cheese makes a delightfully light summer meal. Add a plate of “tzatziki” to start with along with a glass of white Santorini-produced wine and dining gets close to perfect. Almost any taverna can serve up these simple elements for under 20 euros, yet there are many more sophisticated and expensive restaurants should one choose to splurge.
It crossed my mind that Monsieur N. who held the rights of usage of “Le Saint-Tropez” for until relinquishing them to me last week, must have been of Greek descent, considering how the architecture and interior design of the little studio so closely resembles that of Santorini. It is all white stucco, hand molded with arches and curved shapes. He must have been thinking of his homeland when he created the decor and painted the mural of a beach on the back wall. I’ve often wondered what beach it was!
Now that I am back in Paris the renovation can begin to first demolish and then rebuild the studio apartment mirroring the old with new ideas gathered in Greece and on a research mission to the Riviera planned for mid September. The reunion in Greece was “synchronistic” with the apartment plans — to prepare me for the months ahead of renovation to turn the apartment into the haven I long for and know rental guests will enjoy.
This week, my sister, an interior designer, arrives from New Orleans to help me finish the details on the fractional ownership apartment, “Le Palace des Vosges” — to choose the final accessories and prepare it for occupancy at the beginning of September. She is also being recruited to assist in the plans for Le Saint-Tropez. Together we look forward to a weekend stay at Le Palace des Vosges to equip it and ‘get the bugs out’ — ensuring its perfection for the lucky 13 who will own it together, as well as shop for ideas for the “Viager with a View.“
A la prochaine…
P.S. There is no Parler Paris Après Midi coffee gathering in August, but do join me for the Thre
e Musketeers at the Place des Vosges on August 13th. Meet from 7:30 p.m. with picnic goodies in hand and a blanket to spread on the grass. See you there!
P.P.S. Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group is open all summer long! Now’s your chance to practice speaking French and English. For further details, visit http://www.parlerparlor.com
You Can Own A Fraction of The Best Address in Paris!
Imagine having a share of “Le Palace des Vosges!”
Two Bedrooms, Two Baths + Powder Room With Usage of Two Parking Garages (1 = Personal Storage Lockers, 1 = Parking), 81m2 (872 sq ft)…designed and decorated by Interior Architect, Martine di Matteo…
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. The first four shares are the least expensive, so don’t miss this unique opportunity to be one of the first!
For more information visit: Le Palace des Vosges Fractional Ownership Property
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French Property Insider — how to live and invest in France!
Insights, recommendations, tips and discoveries about property in both Paris and France. French Property Insider
Every Thursday, hundreds of investment-minded folks receive an electronic magazine (“E-Zine”) called “French Property Insider.” For those who are even remotely interested in having their own “pied-à-terre” in Paris or stone cottage in the countryside of France…it all starts with French Property Insider!
The entire year – 50 issues of everything you need to know to make your dream to live and invest in France come true…Don’t Miss Out…
You don’t need to be rich to dine well in Paris – you just need to know where to go.
Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants
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!
For more information, visit Insider Paris Guides at InsiderParisGuides.com
Last Minute Deal at all Parler Paris Apartments. All stays of 4 nights or more will be priced at the weekly reduced rate for stays during the month of August…
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
“La Table du Roi” (“The Kings’s Table) is a one bedroom slice of old world charm, destined to please those looking for luxury and elegance. On the first floor (European) of a 17th-century building on rue du Roi de Sicile in the heart of Le Marais (4th arrondissement), it is steps from rue de Rivoli, rue Vieille du Temple, the Hôtel de Ville, Place de la Bastille, the River Seine and everything that Le Marais has to offer. Portable air conditioning keeps La Table du Roi cool through the warmest periods.
NEXT MEETING : September 8, 2009 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (closed August)
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. Don’t miss the next gathering, Tues, Sept 8th, 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 insiders 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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