Paris Eyesore or Eyecandy?

The Lobby of the Centre Pompidou — Where Were the 5.5 Million Visitors?

Paris Eyesore or Eyecandy?

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A Weekly Community Calendar for English-Speaking Paris

Click here for Community Calendar #128 or scroll down for more information

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Paris, France

Enjoy a Sensuous, Sophisticated,
and Passionate Journey…

Learn the Tango in Argentina
October 14-23, 2006

Spend 8 days exploring 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, such a nice walking city… it feels very European. And people use all the community green space — they read on benches, they stroll, they dance.

For details about this trip this October 14-23, 2006, click here:


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Last night the doors of the Centre Pompidou were open after hours for the “vernissage” (opening) by invitation only of the newest exhibit, “Les Peintres de la Vie Moderne” — works from the collection of contemporary photographs from the Caisse des Dépôts donated in 2006.

Almost all of the 680 works are on show (much to my dismay). Here is a collection created between 1991 and 2003 through direct acquisitions made by the selection committee, by commissions and by assistance in producing the work. Set up by an institution “whose public aims are closely linked with land development and long-term improvement strategies,” the Caisse des Dépôts’s collection is considered a “reflection of contemporary society, its transformations and its issues.”

Much of it is surprisingly innovative and intriguing, but most of it, whether one can appreciate the works or not, has been crammed into a small space, each piece hung within a few centimeters of one another, with what seemed like little rhyme or reason, so that no one photo could be focused on without distraction from the others.

It was a rare moment to catch a photo of the lobby of the Centre Pompidou completely void of humanity. It was a brainchild of President Georges Pompidou, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, that first opened its doors to the public in 1977. It is one of the most visited attractions in France with about 6 million people who pass through its doors each year — a total of over 150 million visitors over the last 29 years, even though it was closed for two years for massive renovation reopening on the millennium.

The Centre Pompidou houses one of the most collection of modern and contemporary art in the world, including a vast public reference library of general documentation on 20th century art. It is regularly criticized for its rebellious architecture, standing like a brightly-colored Lego toy in the middle of what is one of the oldest parts of the city. The average Parisian or visitor is known to question its harmony, or lack of, with the city of Paris and architects have held forums to debate its virtues, or lack of.

Recently I received an email from James Humberd, author of “Invitation to France” who remarked: “Two different years we visited inside the Pompidou Center in Paris. It makes less sense inside than out. It had been reported by the Office of Tourism that the Pompidou is the most popular tourist attraction in the city of Paris. I found that hard to believe, so on three different visits (we’ve visited Paris 9 different years) I conducted a poll of my own. The people I talked to, members of tour groups from several countries, said they were not here by choice, but since this is where the tour bus dropped them, what option did they have?. The tour guides figured that people are reluctant to complain when they have been dropped at an art museum that has been (mis)represented as a top tourist destination.”

According to Kelby Carr at, the top 6 Paris attractions are, as visited annually:

1) Eiffel Tower: 6.2 million visitors
2) Le Louvre: 5.7 million visitors
3) Centre Pompidou: 5.5 million visitors
4) Cite des Sciences at de l’Industrie: 2.5 million visitors
5) Musée d’Orsay: 2.1 million visitors
6) Arc de Triomphe: 1.4 million visitors

Mr. Humberd, we’re not sure where you heard it was the MOST visited, since everyone knows the Eiffel Tower is the number one destination, but I must agree, 3rd place isn’t too shabby. And while tour buses do go there, they go to the Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre, and the Ar

c de Triomphe, too, whether the passengers want to or not.

Do you know the story about how the Eiffel Tower was met with resistance from the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore (novelist Guy de Maupassant ate at a restaurant at the tower regularly, because it was the one place in Paris he was sure he wouldn’t see it!)?…and look how our opinion has changed in 100 years!

I’m one of those nuts that LOVES the Centre Pompidou, for all its color and rebellious nature, for its confidence and boldness in support of contemporary art, for its place on the horizon of a city often thought of as a museum itself. Lucky me, it’s just a 15 minute walk from home, its doors open everyday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (except for Tuesdays and May 1st) to enjoy inside or out whenever I fancy. Guess that makes me one (or a a few) of the happier 5.5. million who cross its threshold every year.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. The Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group NOW meets in a new Marais location every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.! Visit for more information.

P.P.S. Be sure to also put the 5th edition of La Nuit Blanche 2006 on your calendar for October 7th and visit the six neighborhoods highlighted this year: Quartier Goutte d’Or, Quartier Centre Marais, Quartier Bercy Tolbiac, Quartier Champs-Elyses Concorde, Quartier Beaugrenelle and Quartier Carpentier. See for more information.

Calendar #128
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Paris, France


To access the complete Community Calendar, you now have two choices:

1. Click here for the online version with hot links to your favorite sites:

2. Click here for a printer-friendly text version:


We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to appear, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to Lynda Sydney:

We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the following listings as your format guide.

Thank you, Adrian

Save money when transferring from dollars to euros!

* Make sure your money goes as far as you do… HiFX takes the pain and guesswork out of currency conversion. For more information, click here: /frenchproperty/insider/currencyonlineconvertor.html

French Property Insider Consultation…your complete solution to finding, buying, renovating or renting your new dream home or apartment in France. /frenchproperty/consultation

Reporting on the Living and Investing in France Conference…

This week in French Property Insider…

Attendees came from all over the country and Canada, but as usual, more Californians were represented than any other state. Split between couples and singles, we recognized a few familiar faces that had attended previous events. All were eager to learn how to go about investing in property in France that could become home or generate a profit…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.

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

Traditional Argentinean dining near the Sorbonne…

Excerpt from the Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants By Adrian Leeds

Traditional Argentinean, Arrondissement 5

El Palenque has been feeding the denizens of the Sorbonne district since 1965 and still packing them in. The Maître D’ stands in a partitioned welcome desk just as you enter (what a friend jokingly called her “telephone booth”) and if you’re lucky will find a spot for you (best to make reservations!) in this long narrow cozy restaurant. If you are not a beef-eater, do not bother to test this menu because meat is just about all there is, with the exception of some salads, empanadas and entrées. Dinner is simply served on wooden boards which have been worn down from the knives of many a patron. I can highly recommend the Bife Ancho for two – a thick, juicy, tender and flavorful hunk of beef, served with a green salad topped by a very nice vinaigrette. As a perfect complement to your Argentinean beef, be sure to try a South American wine – reasonably priced and quite palatable
for more delectable details, see the guide….

Yes, you can have a great three-course meal with wine and coffee in Paris for between $15 and $40 including tax and tip! Take Adrian’s advice…and discover more than 200 of the best-kept restaurant secrets in Paris. Get your copy of Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants now.

Living and Investing in France Seminar…

Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. of International Law Partnership Present the…

Living and Investing in France
One-Day Seminar

December 28, 2006
Chez Jenny, Paris, France

If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a “pied-à-terre” of your own part of the year or perhaps investing in property in France, this power-packed seminar is a MUST. Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly e-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co.,International Law Partnership, London, this one day in Paris will put you on the right footing to make it happen!

You will learn how to…

* Obtain the Right to Be in France!
* Buy and Own Property in France!
* Profit from the Leaseback Program, Corporate Housing in Paris (CHIP) and Other Investment Property Programs!
* Find Your Dream Apartment in Paris or Home in the Country!
* Get a Mortgage!
* Minimize Your Tax and Maximize the Benefits!
* Rent Your French Property for Profit!
* Reduce Your Currency Exchange Risk!
* Plus, answer all the rest of your questions during a Q and A panel with the presenters.

Details to be announced…to be on a special mailing list to be notified with complete information about the conference, email

How to Write a Script I Can Sell
How to Sell a Script I Wrote


Learn inside information and Hollywood strategies to write a script you can sell and sell the script that you wrote!…All in three short hours Saturday afternoon, October 7th, with Judith Merians, Hollywood Entertainment Lawyer, Studio Executive and Consultant to Independent Producers for the last 30 years. Judith is also a UCLA Film School Instructor of Business and Finance of Filmmaking and has also taught at the Moscow Film School, Tokyo Film School, American Film Institute and Los Angeles Film School. She regularly speaks at the Cannes Film Festival and is published in four Countries.

Bring your paper, your pen and your script. Workshop in English.

3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, October 7th, 2006
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais

96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers

30 Euros
Limited to 30

Register upon arrival
Reserve your place by emailing: Mornings Only

You can trust the team at 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.

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 q

uality 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: Now Available!

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.

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

Parler Paris Après Midi

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

The next gathering is October 10, 2006

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



Welcome to France Fair

New to France or just looking to make the most of expatriate life?

At the Expatica Welcome to France fair you will get the information you need from companies and agencies specialised in expatriate services.

You’ll find information on house hunting, finding a job, immigration and permits, staying long-term, and much more.

Meet the people who make expat life great, including the top clubs and associations, travel agents and event organisations.

Welcome to France
October 15, 2006
Carrousel de Louvre
Paris, France

Tickets are FREE if you sign-up online before September 15th. For more information visit

To sign up for your FREE tickets, click here!

*** See the French Property Insider Consultation and John Howell of International Law Partnership booth number 55/56 next to the entertainment area and stay for our presentation, “Getting ready to find your dream home in France…” with John Howell and Adrian Leeds at 3:45 p.m.

New Tuesday Location at the 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!


* Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m.

38 Avenue de l’Opéra
2nd arrondissement, Paris
Métro Opéra, RER A Auber

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

* 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


Subscribe to the PARISMARAIS monthly newsletter FREE
The Art of Living Guide to Le Marais.




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Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, /

Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, /

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