LE PEN…AND LE PEN
April 30, 2002
*** LITERARY LEARNING AND LORE
This has been one of the most exciting weeks I’ve ever lived
through in Paris–with demonstrations, speeches and intensive
sessions going on all day.
No, I’m not talking about Jean-Marie Le Pen, although his name
is on everyone’s lips. What I’m referring to are the literary
pens of the attendees of the first Travel Writer’s Workshop
being held here in Paris.
At the opening cocktail party, everyone was encouraged first to
have a Kir (white wine and Cassis), then make friends with the
others and get ready to polish or develop their travel writing
skills. People of all ages and professions, expats and visitors,
published writers and fresh talent, had all come to test out
their clever strokes.
Intense working sessions have been going all day, led by Jen
Stevens, Steenie Harvey, Rose Marie Burke, John Forde, and
Roisin Finlay (the International Living editor visiting from
Thirza Vallois shared her experiences as a self-published author
and Elizabeth Reichert spoke about the history of the literary
cafés and the drinking of Pastis while we downed more Kirs at
the famous Café de Flore.
Over (more) drinks and dinner at my apartment, cultural crossing
expert, Polly Platt, tickled our funny bones with tales of why
we think the French don’t smile much and how getting good
service is an earned privilege rather than an entitlement.
And we learned about the downsides too–Harriet Welty Rochefort
shared her unfortunate tale about the publisher who absconded
with her money, but thank goodness, not her rights.
To end it all, we dined lavishly at Le Bouillon Racine, founded
in 1906 and classified as a historic monument with magnificent
art nouveau decor.
Of course, there’s no ignoring recent political events. The last
time I saw Paris in such a state was the three-week RATP strike
in 1995 that stopped all trains and buses and threw the city
into complete chaos.
Throughout Paris and France, there have been "manifestations"
(demonstrations) from about 60 different political and social
groups and we are all nervous about the anticipated major public
displays this coming Wednesday, May 01, France’s official Labor
France’s immigrants (such as myself) are incensed and concerned
since Jean-Marie Le Pen won 16.86% of the vote in the first
round of the presidential race. This now qualifies the
73-year-old head of the anti-immigration National Front party to
run against incumbent conservative Jacques Chirac on May 05.
Watch this space . . . when we have our answer.
A la prochaine fois . . .
P.S. We’re delighted to have Ethan Gilsdorf, managing editor of
"Frank," film critic for "Time Out" and regular contributor to
"Poet and Writers," "Literary Review of Canada," and "Paris
Notes" join the team of speakers at the Travel Writers Workshop
III this coming May 25.
There are still a few places left in Workshop III. Go to
/parlerparis/travelwriters for more information.
P.P.S. Thanks to John Forde and his trusty digital camera, there
are now photos of him and Jen presenting at the workshop:
/parlerparis/travelwriters/index.html and Polly
speaking at the dinner:
/parlerparis/travelwriters/schedule.html and at
the Farewell Dinner, the new Assistant Director of the
International Living Paris Office, Schuyler Hoffman:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Parler Paris /parlerparis/
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds
Published by International Living
Issue Number 36, April 30, 2002
In this issue:
*** Make a Date this Saturday With Amelie From Montmartre
*** How to Take Better Travel Photographs
*** A Caveat About Joint Bank Accounts in France
*** Charming Studio on Ile St. Louis
*** Preserve Your American Voting Rights
*** Paris is Boring?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *
THE BEST-VALUE HOTELS IN PARIS
From no-star hotels to five-star palaces, Paris has an
overwhelming selection of places to stay–how can you be sure
you’re getting the best deal you can during your time in this
We’ve identified a handful of exceptional hotels in the most
desirable and central neighb
orhoods in Paris…all for under
To read more, click here:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*** THIS SATURday, DISCOVER THE MONTMARTRE
OF AMELIE POULAIN
Rediscover the romantic, authentic and whimsical 18th
arrondissement of Paris by seeing the locations in the quirky
French film "Amelie From Montmartre." Get a different slant on
this hilly "village," as residents call it. The French movie, by
director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, was nominated for five Oscars,
including Best Foreign Language Film. It’s Jeunet’s homage to
his neighborhood, where he has lived since 1975.
For more information, visit:
/parlerparis/guidedtours/index.html or to secure
your place now, email
mailto:France@InternationalLiving.com?subject=amelietour or call
*** A FEW PLACES LEFT AT TRAVEL WRITERS WORKSHOP III
There are just a few places left at the Travel Writers Workshop
III. The early registration has been extended until May 01,
2002, so you will save $200 if you contact us now:
*** TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP, MAY 23
Want to improve the photos you take . . . especially those of
Learn how to take great travel photographs–compose a picture,
how to photograph in a variety of lights and how to photograph a
variety of different types of scenes, from buildings to markets
The Paris A La Carte one-day travel photography workshop on May
23 is the perfect accompaniment to the Travel Writers Workshop
Plus, if you attend any of the Travel Writers Workshops, you
save $50 on the regular photography workshop price of $295.
For more information, contact Schuyler Hoffman at
*** "PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY DOES NOT EXIST IN FRANCE"…AND OTHER
REASONS TO BE WARY OF JOINT ACCOUNTS
— Jean Taquet, Practical Answers For Living in France,
I live in France, and my husband and I recently split up before
starting a divorce procedure. He has since moved out of France.
We have a joint French bank account. I stopped receiving bank
statements, so I contacted the bank and was told that I should
get them in the mail soon, but they never came. When I contacted
the bank again I was told that my husband had asked for
everything to be sent to his new address. I asked when my
husband had requested this, and where the statements were now
going, but the person to whom I spoke said he could not tell me.
Given that this is a joint account, under two names, is the bank
not required by law to supply me with all the details regarding
All the people named on a joint account must agree on the way
the account is handled. Should a dispute arise, the account
should be closed right away. Indeed, all the parties are liable
for all the consequences related to the use and misuse of the
account. I think the account should be closed right away.
Maintaining such an account and not getting the related
statements is very dangerous for you. Your estranged husband
could overdraw the account, and, since you are in France, you
would be liable for the entire amount of his debts, with no
right to dispute this. Personal bankruptcy does not exist in
France, but if you are reported to the Banque de France(the
French central bank) for being overdrawn, you lose the right to
use checks and credit cards, and to obtain loans, for five
Now, the banker must obey either party named on the account, and
can only assume that the parties are in agreement about its
handling. Once he realized that this was not the case, he should
have informed you of the situation. But, under the
circumstances, talking about what the bank did wrong would be a
waste of time. The bottom line is, the joint account must be
closed and separate accounts opened. In the meantime, I strongly
advise you to ask in writing for the statements to be sent to
your address. The law now requires banks to disclose to their
clients all information related to their accounts, so, once this
information has been officially requested, you should have
access to the information you need.
* Jean Taquet’s "The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for
Living in France" contains real-life stories from those
confronted by practical situations that will inevitably resemble
those you might face when living abroad. Let their situations
give you a wealth of experiential information on which you can
build your Paris-life. Taquet’s Qs & As offer a practical
know-how you will soon find invaluable. Each month, Jean’s
latest Q’s and A’s are added to the guide, so the issue you
receive is always the latest edition.
To read Jean Taquet’s Monthly Column posted each month in Parler
Paris, visit /parlerparis/practicalanswers.html
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— LET US HELP YOU FIND YOUR OWN APARTMENT IN PARIS
We’re constantly seeking out great apartments for sale in
Paris…and we want to keep you informed as we find them through
owners, agents and friends . . .
If you’ve already contacted us, a request form is on its way for
you to fill out. Or, you can download it here:
Simply complete it and email it to:
— RENT A CHARMING ILE ST LOUIS STUDIO FOR THE YEAR
The most charming studio apartment I have ever seen, right on
the Quai d’Anjou of the Ile St. Louis, is available immediately
for a one-year lease.
There is a bedroom on a mezzanine up a sweet flight of stairs, a
huge window overlooking a beautiful courtyard, a large bath with
the WC in the room and a small kitchenette. It’s bright, it’s
quiet and it’s a little jewel.
For 850 euro per month, this one is going to go fast–send an
email today at
— HEART OF THE CITY
* Available immediately for short-term rental, a bright and well
equipped one-bedroom 50-square-meter apartment on rue Tiquetonne
just near the Montergeuil market street. Sleeps 4. $1,200 per
To rent this apartments, send an email to:
* Available immediately for rental by the week is our very own
pied-a-terre on rue Mazarine, in a charming 17th-century
building and in one of the best locations in town. One-bedroom,
sleeps 4. $1,400 per week. #rdvmazarine
See our latest photos (with the previous owners furnishings)
— SAVE 10% ON LAST MINUTE APARTMENT RENTALS
* Rue de l’Arbre Sec (75001)–Louvre. Nicely furnished, very
quiet, studio apartment a few feet from the Louvre and Palais
Royal. US$800/week less 10% for last-minute rentals.
* Rue St. Gilles (75003)–Marais-Place des Vosges. Very charming
one-bedroom apartment located in quiet building. Very sunny and
bright, in the heart of the Marais, next to the Place des
Vosges. US$900/week less 10% for last minute rental.
* Rue Poncelet (75017)–Poncelet Market, Champs Elysées. Very
quiet one-bedroom apartment, located in the heart of the famous
Poncelet Market street. Near the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs
Elysées. US$950/week less 10% for last minute rental.
To rent these apartments, send an email to
(be sure to include the reference at the end of each listing)
— COURTYARD APARTMENT ON BOULEVARD VOLTAIRE
Recently redecorated, this charming two-room apartment, is
located near rue de la Roquette on bouldevard Voltaire, close to
Métro Voltaire and several bus lines. There are two mezzanines
for storage or for sleeping spaces. Kitchenette, separate bath
and WC areas. Lively neighborhood with great cafés and
restaurants, food shops, Monoprix, within walking distance of
cinemas and the Place de la Bastille and the Marais. Ideal for a
writer or a couple. 1,430 euro a month; 550 euro a week.
To rent this apartments, email:
— HOME SWEET HOME IN PARIS
Shop the markets, make your breakfast, wash your clothing and
invite your friends . . . all the things you can do when you
stay in an apartment in Paris instead of a hotel.
Apartments start at $450 for simple studios to $3,900 for luxury
three-bedroom apartments in prime locations.
let the agents and managers do the rest.
— TAKE A SABBATICAL
Stay for a month or more and rent a furnished apartment . . .
easy to say, but tough to find. We’ve made it easier. Just click
living.com/paris/apartments and post
your message on the International Living bulletin board.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*** ELECTION REFORM FOR VOTERS OVERSEAS
A special message from Stephen Pierce, Director of the American
Chamber of Commerce, Paris:
AmCham France strongly supports S. 565, the Martin Luther King
Jr. Equal Protection of Voting Rights Act which has passed
overwhelmingly in the Senate, and must now be harmonized with
HR. 3295, the Help America Vote Act of 2001 which passed in the
House in November. All Americans should now encourage their
legislators to reach a final bill which preserves and
consolidates the voting rights of all Americans including those
who happen to live abroad.
We like to salute FAWCO and many other American organizations
who have spearheaded this drive and have been diligent in
helping Americans overseas preserve their voting rights.
The Chamber urges you to sign the petition on Election Reform
for Overseas Voters at:
Please encourage the members of your organization, your family
and friends to do the same.
We apologize to those of you who may have received this from
other organizations, but the time constraints make it difficult
to avoid duplication.
Thank you for your support!
Stephen B. Pierce-Managing Director
America’s oldest international business organization, serving
American interests in France since 1894
156, boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris France; email:
http://www.amchamfrance.org; tel. +33 1 5643 4561; fax: +33 1
*** LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
* It is the first time I read Parler Paris and I really enjoyed
it, even though I’m French and I’ve been living in Paris for 10
years. I’ll try to join one of the tours you mention one of
these days. I can’t help being a tourist in Paris, there is so
much to see!
I ‘d like to share with you one of my favorite moments in Paris:
If you like great voices, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, take a
walk to the Palais Royal gardens, round 4 p.m. You will find
there many opera singers. Some sing duets and make a real show,
have people participate (sing chorus)… A magic moment you will
find nowhere else than in Paris!
Thanks for the tip–This is one of Paris’ most lovely spots.
Subject: Hilarious article
* In case you didn’t have a chance to read Libération
There was a terrific article that said the current French
presidential election isn’t the first time that voters have had
a choice between a crook and a fascist. It referred to the 1991
Louisiana gubernatorial race after David Duke had beaten Buddy
Roemer for the Republican nomination. That left Duke to run
against Edwin Edwards, who was under indictment for the 200th
time or something like that. In any event, the choice was so bad
that popular bumper sticker in Louisiana was "Vote for the
crook, it’s important!" The implication of the Libération
article is that French voters should make a similar choice on 5
Hope all is well,
Thank goodness we can get a chuckle in the middle of this
frightening turn of events! For those of you who do not know
that I am a native New Orleanian or who David Duke is, he
happens to be a past Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux
Klan and was elected to the Louisiana State Legislature in
1989–my mother’s own district.
* Hi, I have been enjoying your [post] cards on International
Living for a couple of months now and thought I would write to
you to ask the dumb questions….We are coming to France in the
late summer for a couple of months to shop for a barge to live
on—no problems there, but we will want to stay in Europe,
primarily France, for several years once we get the boat. What
do I need to do about visas, etc. Can you tell me who to start
with and what some pitfalls are that I might avoid.
Thanks so much for your notes—I miss France every day and love
reading your notes, just to experience "being there"…
Thank you in advance for your help.
Jennifer, the best advice I can give you is to check out Rose
Marie Burke’s "Insider Guide to Working and Living in France:
The Ins and Outs." which will explain the kinds of visa you will
need and how to go about applying for it. For more information,
visit the site at
* I wish you would cover other parts of France than Paris, such
as Provence, the Spanish/French border are, the Riviera etc. It
is really boring.
Sorry, JR, but Paris is our beat. Until we know as much about
the rest of France as we do about this city, then Parler Paris
will continue to discuss…well, Paris.
For great info on the Riviera, however, we highly recommend
visiting http://www.rivierawriter.com/, Heather Stimmler Hall’s
*** TO READ MORE:
Go to /parlerparis/
*** HAVE A SPECIAL MESSAGE? WANT TO EXCHANGE LINKS?
If you would like to have your message read by the subscribers
of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre®, please email me at
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reciprocal links, please email me at
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