Life in a Paris Café

Photo by Erica Simone

Life in a Paris Café

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, July 21, 2008
Paris, France

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Living and Investing in France ConferenceIt’s this Saturday!
Time is running out — register now for the…

Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference

San Francisco
An Alliance Française of San Francisco Special Event!
July 26-27, 2008

Don’t miss our 22nd Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference! Learn how to live and invest in France…profitably.

Parler Paris Readers, FPI Subscribers, Alliance Française Members can save $50!

To learn more about the conference and this special offer and to reserve your place, click here: /frenchproperty/conference/LIF_SF_2008/index.html

For more information, email

Café Français

Etoile Manquante by Tim O’Rielly

Café Charlot

Café du Marché
Café de la Paix

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

There simply isn’t anything like it…a Paris café.

Writers have spent their lives recording their thoughts in them. Love affairs have begun in them. Friends have become enemies and enemies have become friends in them. Business deals have been made in them.

I suspect that anything that’s ever been done has been done in them…at least at one time or another.

A Paris café is not about eating or drinking or smoking (and now only at the tables on the sidewalk!). It’s not about what they serve, to whom it’s s

erved or who serves it. It’s not about the kind of tables or chairs that fill them.

A Paris café is about communication. It’s the stage that is set for every form of exchange of ideas and emotions. It’s about language…the language of words, of love, of music.

There are more than 2000 cafés in the City of Light…these centers of intercourse, connection, conversation, exchange…and life itself. They beckon you: “Come, have a seat. Refresh yourself. Take notice of life around you. Talk with friends. Or just gaze at humanity itself. Dream. Contemplate. Plan. Stay as long as you like.”

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t patronize at least one Paris café. Each one is just a little bit different. Each one takes on the personality of its owner. Each one takes on the ambiance of its patrons. I wonder often how it happens so easily that the patrons mirror the “patron” — or is it any wonder at all?

We all have our favorites and do we know why? Who can explain why at the “Café Français” I’ve met the important loves of my life? Or why is it that when approaching “L’Etoile Manquante,” a front row seat always opens up just in time to take it. The “Café du Marché” on the shady side of the street rivals The “Café Charlot” for the sunworshipers, but why is it that it feels like home while its rival seems so foreign? The same faces line the bar at “Le Petit Trou” — would yours become one of them? Or do you prefer the “Café de Flore” for all its “glore?” rather than “Les Deux Magots” for those not in the know. And at Café de la Paix, are you willing to “paie” too much for a coffee just for a view of the Opéra Garnier?

There are cafés that are “chic” and cafés that are just plain “cheap.” If the tables are round, the conversation is often profound. If the tables are square, more likely you’ll be one of a pair. Sit in the sun — it’s clearly more fun. Go ahead, surf the Net — if there’s a signal to get.

There is life in a Paris café. Your life. My life. Their life. It’s old. It’s young. It’s naive. It’s wise. Go ahead. Take a seat. Find your spot. Tell your tales. Leave your mark…in a Paris café.

Which one will it be?




A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

Share this article with a friend…

P.S. Wednesday morning I board the plane headed for the City by the Bay — San Francisco, where John Howell, Mary Fort, Jody Cracknell, Peter Zipper, Steven Navaro, Schuyler Hoffman and a host of others, will be teaching you how to live and invest in France…for pleasure and profit. There is still time to register. Visit frenchpropertyconference to sign up now.

Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think…

Let us show you just how hassle-free it can be to get a French property mortgage for your dream Paris pied-à-terre or villa in the country!

Visit or contact Mortgage Manager John Rule at

This Week in French Property Insider…

The Synchronistic Property Search
By Adrian Leeds

It had been a “blue” week. Nothing seemed to go right. Everything was out of “synch.” Then yesterday Terry C. came to Paris. She and her niece happily installed themselves in “Le Provençal” to begin a week-plus-long search for the perfect Paris pied-à-terre…buy a large one — two bedrooms, two baths of more than 100 square meters…Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France!

French Property Insider is a weekly e-zine, sharing insights, recommendations, tips, and discoveries about Paris real estate and French property. Each information-packed issue is devoted to educating its readers on how to effectively, efficiently and profitably purchase property in France.

For more information visit or email

Writing from the Heart…
journey into the heart of France, and into your own heart…
October 21-27, 2008
Essoyes, France

Janet Hulstrand, workshop instructor, is a writer, editor, and teacher whose essays and articles have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Guide to Retirement Living, International Educator,, and other publications. She has taught writing and literature at Hunter and Queens Colleges of the City University of New York. Her first book, Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home, was widely praised. She is currently working on her next book, A Long Way from Iowa, a literary memoir. 

Cost: 1175 Euros* (payable in dollars at current rate of exchange)
Application deadline:  August 15, 2008. Enrollment limited to 10.

More information available at: or

We wanted better guides. So we wrote them.

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 the newest guide, Practical Paris!

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Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is September 9, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.

Please note: There is no meeting in August.

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!

Parler Parlor meets Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

23, boulevard de Sébastopol (at the corner of rue de la Reynie), 1st arrondissement
3rd Floor on the Left (read notice on door to obtain entry code)
Métro Châtelet, Les Halles

Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
14 rue Mabillon, 6th arrondissement
(at rue Guisarde and Le Marché Saint-Germain) 1st Floor
Métro Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Mabillon, Odéon

For further details, visit Discover the number one tra

vel guide to central Paris, affiliated with the Tourist Bureau of Paris, is the creation of a team of journalists and advertising professionals. Passionate about their district, they want the world to discover it as well. The team constantly selects and recommends the best charming hotels, inexpensive restaurants, upscale shops, museums and galleries. Their goal is to provide information to all tourists and residents. Whatever your passion, everything you want to know about le Marais, in English, is on! So chic, n’est pas?

Subscribe to the free Parismarais® Newsletter and each month you’ll receive a review of great bargains to be found in the district…

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