Pink Skies And White Trees


April 8, 2002


What a glorious week to have seen Montmartre from Amelie’s eyes.the Latin
Quarter from Gertrude Stein’s.and the Place des Vosges from my own. It’s
been the prettiest week in Paris I can remember, sparkling-ly bright, cool
and fresh, breezy at times. As I write this, I gaze upon the happy red
geraniums in my windows and the sun is beaming across the desk.

Paul Druckman (email:, editor of the new
BestTravelTips–Paris! newsletter, and his wife, Jean, joined me and close
friends to take Rose Marie Burke’s tour of "Montmartre of Amelie Poulain."

Trekking up and down the hills and stairs of Montmartre at dusk, exploring
the spots director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (himself a resident of Montmartre)
chose for the film was like revisiting Montmartre from a whole new
perspective. We visited the corner grocer where she shopped (still a
favorite of the neighborhood), the cafe where she worked (bustling with
locals), the streets where she escorted the blind man (rue Lepic was lively
with shoppers) and the video/sex shop where her new-found boyfriend worked
(across from the Moulin Rouge).

At the place J.B. Clement, we stopped for pastries from one of Montmartre’s
favored boulangeries while awestruck by the pink sky backdrop to the
white-flowered trees and freshly painted white apartment buildings with the
view of Paris down below, the dome of Hotel des Invalides glistening from
afar. These are the times I am reminded that Paris is really home, and I
pinch myself to make sure it’s real.

You still have time to take Rose’s tour–Wednesday, May 1st, 7 p.m. to 9
p.m. and Saturday, May 4th, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. are still available. I hope
she’ll offer it after this, too. For more information, visit
/parlerparis/guidedtours/index.html and to sign-up, email

Then over the weekend, several of us had the pleasure of taking Elizabeth
Reichert’s tour of "The Literary Left Bank", again with close friends and
author Kathy Borrus (The Fearless Shopper–How to Get the Best Deals on the
Planet), who is attending our Travel Writers Workshop later this month.
While walking over to the meeting point from my apartment, I stopped on the
Pont Saint-Louis to admire the back of Notre Dame, the trees and shrubs and
flowers in full bloom and color. I couldn’t help but take a picture, just
like a tourist, and was thankful to have brought along the camera.

We started at Place Contrescarpe at the top of rue Mouffetard and headed
through the Latin Quarter to stop along the way at the residences of Ernest
Hemingway, Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier, to see the spot where the
original Shakespeare and Company once stood that now bears a plaque about
having published "Ulysses" by James Joyce and on to Gertrude Stein’s
residence on rue de Fleurus.

Elizabeth, tall and graceful as the ballerina that she is, loves to relate
the gossipy anecdotes she’s come to know about the literary community of
that time as well as today’s community here in Paris and they both relate.
Her depth of knowledge is amazing (she is also the author of the Writers
Insider Guide to Paris at At the
end we squeezed around one small table at the Cafe de la Mairie facing
Saint-Sulpice and it’s beautiful fountained "place" for coffee (and one
pastis) to reflect on the day and all we had learned.

If you want more information about both this tour and the one Elizabeth says
is even more fascinating (Paris is a Woman) go to the site at
/parlerparis/travelwriters/literarytours.html and to sign-up,

On Sunday the Plane trees at the Place des Vosges were in full regalia. Last
year a little earlier than this point in the season, when the leaves were
just popping out, I swear I could hear them! I detoured through the square
to the Hotel Sully to see the current photo exhibit, "La photographie et le
rêve américain, 1840-1940" (the Photograph and the American Dream).
Coincidentally, there is a photo portrait of Ernest Hemingway from the age
of 16, looking awfully debonair and handsome. It seemed so apropos to the
tour we had just taken the day before.

The show is on till June 16th and definitely worth a trip: Patrimoine
Photographique; Hôtel de Sully, 62, rue Saint-Antoine, Paris 75004; tel. 01
42 74 47 75; Métro Bastille, Saint-Paul. It’s open everyday except Mondays.
For more information, visit the site at:

When I arrived home in the afternoon I could hear the din from the political
demonstrations taking place at Place de la Republique and was reminded of
the struggles taking place in the Middle East, bursting, by then, my quite
voluminous bubble.

A la prochaine fois . . .


P.S. You can check the schedul
e for any of the tours I mention above at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Parler Paris
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds

Published by International Living

Issue Number 33, April 8, 2002

In this issue:

*** Our Street Lined With Art Galleries and Boutiques
*** Get Hitched and Get Shot
*** Your Last Chance to Write in Paris
*** Where Manon de Source Swam
*** Your Week (or Two) in a Provencal Farmhouse
*** Speak French in Nine Hours?
*** "It Took me Four Tries to Get a Table" (But was Worth it)
*** More About the Louisiana Purchase

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


From April 22, International Living’s very own Paris pied-à-terre will be
available to rent . . . in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Près
neighborhood on rue Mazarine in the 6th arrondissement–"c’est la reve!"
You’ll find yourself just one block from the Seine and Pont Neuf on a
fashionable street lined with art galleries and boutiques.

The one-bedroom apartment is wood-beamed, beautifully decorated, and fully
equipped. You can rent this apartment now (in an historic 17th-century
building) by the week or month.

To read more, and see photos, click here:
/parlerparis/property/mazarine.html or to make a reservation,
write to:

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FREE TREK through primitive jungles on an Amazon safari?

If you ever dreamed about the romantic life of a travel writer, here’s a
very unusual opportunity to actually live it!

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After the flowers, family, and friends are gone, the laughs and toasts have
faded, after all of the preparations that have created your special day, the
one gift that you will cherish the most is the album of photos of those
special moments.

Like choosing a fine wine, or selecting the right music, hiring the correct
photographer to capture the essence of your day is very important. Someone
who could capture the details–such as your jewelry, beautiful flowers, the
lace or ribbon on your dress, your closest friends as they see you for the
first time, the rings, the kiss, the joy. You have only one opportunity to
truly capture these moments properly as they occur–select the right

After years living in France–having lived, loved and been educated in
Paris, Christine Foster has developed a true appreciation for that special
"French" way. She is a fine art photographer/photojournalist photographing
weddings and events in the US and abroad for more than ten years. Clientele
include socialites, rock celebrities, and ordinary folk. Her images can be
seen regularly in Elegant Wedding Magazine.

Christine would be honored to bring her team to France to celebrate your day
with you. For more information or to receive a CD of portfolio images,
please contact:


Saturday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 28, 2002.

Reserve now for this wonderful workshop to take advantage of the early
registration price through April 15th. Hotel accommodations are with the
charming Hotel Perreyve just around the corner from our meeting rooms,
Gertrude Stein’s residence and the Alliance Francaise.

Fun awaits you with many well-known and experienced professionals coming
together. Hosted by International Living, you’ll have instruction with
industry professionals and well-known published Paris authors.

Evening events include readings at famous literary cafes, dinner in an
author’s Paris home and add-on events such as dinner at the historic Le
Bouillon Racine, Survival French Workshops and Literary Paris Tours.

See all the details about this exciting workshop at


I’ve been hearing about Bandol from friends who know it well and love it
like no other part of Provence.

I’ve found a four-bedroom (sleeps 8), two-bath classic Provencal stone
farmhouse to rent, built in 1801 on 10
acres of private land in the Region
of the Cote d’Azur, in the Department of Var. It’s near the town of Le
Beausset (, only 20
minutes from Cuge-les-Pins where the movie "Manon of the Spring" was filmed.
Just 12 km from the beach and 22 km from Aix-en-Provence, the property is
surrounded by 150 hectare of protected lands. There is a view of the
Mediterranean from the house and 8 vineyards within 10 km and two vineyards
within 3 km.

Details of "La Lausiero" can be found at

It costs 2,500 euro per week from May 11 to September 16.

If you are SERIOUSLY interested in renting this property, please contact me
at to be connected directly with
the owner.

Also available is a restored farmhouse near St. Tropez. Make this exquisite
contemporary private residence your home away from home while vacationing in
Provence this spring or summer. Paradise for the person who appreciates fine
esthetics, this restored farmhouse dates as far back as 1682 is in the heart
of Provence, in the green setting of over seven acres of olive and chestnut
trees, terraces and gardens with a private pool. "La Vernatelle" is less
than 20 minutes from Saint Tropez, but nestled in the forest of La Garde
Freinet en Provence.

Details of "La Vernatelle" can be found at

Available April 8 through May 2, May 8 through June 21 and after July 27,
the rent is truly a bargain at $5,790 for a two-week period.

If you are SERIOUSLY interested in renting this property, please contact me
at to be connected directly with
the owner.

* * * * * * * * * * *


Hotels are great if what you want is service, but if you want to feel like
you live here, then rent an apartment instead–you’ll have all the comforts
of home . . . be able to shop the markets and make your breakfast, wash your
clothing and invite your friends.

Apartments start at $450 for simple studios to $3,900 for luxury
three-bedroom apartments in prime locations.

Now, we’re making it simple and easy for you to track down exactly what you
want–simply go to:
/parlerparis/property/rentalrequestform.html, fill out the
form and submit it–it then goes to all our trusted contacts who have
apartments to offer you.

Try it out for your next trip to Paris!


If you are looking for an apartment or home in Paris or elsewhere in France
to rent for more than a month, or if you have one you’d like to find a
tenant for, we are making it simple and easy for you. Simply click on and post your message on
our new bulletin board.

This service is brought to you by International Living completely free of
charge. Individual letters to our IL Paris Office may or may not be answered
quickly, so please take advantage of this opportunity.


There are a few last minute Paris apartment rentals to take advantage of . .

– Rue de l’Arbre Sec: Upscale studio, located next to the Louvre. Brand new,
nicely furnished, quiet. US$800/week. From April 21.

– Rue St. Gilles: Very charming one-bedroom, located next to the Place des
Vosges in the Marais. Very quiet and sunny. US$950/week. From April 10th.

– Rue de Rivoli: Beautiful one bedroom duplex, facing the Hotel de Ville in
the Marais. Quiet and elegantly furnished. US$1,200/week. From April 25th.

– Rue Duguay Trouin: One-bedroom apartment next to Luxembourg Gardens in the
6th. Elevator building 5th floor. US$950/week. Available now until April

– Rue Poncelet: One-bedroom, located in the heart of the Famous Poncelet
market street, near the Arc de Triomphe. US$950/week. Available from April

– Avenue des Ternes. Spacious, sunny one-bedroom apartment, located between
the Arc de Triomphe and the Porte Maillot in a luxury building.
US$1,200/week. From May 1st.

To contact the agency/manager of these apartments, please email: and please specify which
apartment(s) you are interested in.

* * * * * * * * * * *


Elisabeth Crochard, co-coordinator of the Parler Parlor French/English
Conversation Group and ex-director of Berlitz, will
get you speaking the
basics of French in this 9-hour intensive workshop OPEN TO EVERYONE at
Langues: learn how to survive on your own in Paris, master the basics
greetings, learn how to order your croissant, ask for the check, the price
of an item, sizes, colors, numbers, asking for the time and all the key
questions: who, what, where, when, how . . . , the use of the 10 basic verbs
and where the Musée d’Orsay is located.

Also, become skilled at exchanging pleasantries with the French, learning
about the social protocols most often misunderstood by tourists.

Workshop I:
Monday, April 21 and Tuesday, April 22

Workshop II:
Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27

Workshop III:
Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25

$195 Travel Writers Workshop participant
$245 Non-Workshop participant

Then, when you can speak a little, be sure to practice what you’ve learned
at Parler Parlor–meet people from all over the world and practice speaking
45 minutes in French, 45 minutes in English. The first session is free and
Anglophones benefit from a 10% discount.

No need to call–just come a few minutes ahead:

Parler Parlor
French-English Conversation Group
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.
Coprom Langues, 14 rue Lafayette, 4th floor, 9th, near Métro
Chausee d’Antin

For more information, visit the site at or email or call Elisabeth or

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Get up-to-the-minute insider information on Paris:

* Discover the LITTLE-KNOWN corners of Paris you never knew

* Learn the ins and outs of maneuvering the French legal,
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* Experience Paris as though you lived there EVERY DAY…

* Get the insider’s take on WORKING AND LIVING in Paris…

No trip to the bookstore, no shipping to pay:

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Traditional Périgourdine French/Cuisine du Terroir
10, rue Saint Augustin, Arrondissement 2
Métro Bourse, Opera
Closed Saturday Lunch and Sunday
7.50 euro 3-Course Lunch Formule, Average Dinner with Wine and Coffee Under
20 euro

It’s already tough to get in so reserve in advance–it took me four tries to
finally get a table. Jean Guillot’s opened Le Domaine de Lintillac two years
ago in the same spot as a restaurant I used to frequent and write about,
Atlas Opera. Pleasantly decorated with comfy booths made of "Naugahyde"
(yes, it still exists!) and red check cloths on the tables, it is filled
with young French who like traditional cooking.

The ventilation is good, so you won’t notice the smoke. With a list of his
"produits du terroir" (purchasable at the restaurant) and a menu of
traditional Périgourdine specialties, M. Guillot is surprising everyone with
incredible quality at a price half of what it should be. I suspect that
sooner or later, his prices will creep up, but for now, take advantage of
this great little find.

The most expensive bottle of wine on the menu is a mere 22.70 euro, so
splurge and it still won’t break the bank. A kir to start is an unheard of
1.40 euro. But most importantly, you will not be disappointed by "Le pâté de
canard à l’orange," "La salade de Cabécous chauds," "Les deux boudins aux
chataîgnes" or the "La coupe Corrézinne de la truffe noire." The last time I
found a restaurant this much of a good value was Les Fêtes Galantes in the
5th, the most commented-on restaurant in the "Good Value Guide to Paris


* Our announcement last week about FRENCH CITIZENSHIP FOR LOUISIANA PURCHASE
RESIDENTS received a lot of response!

I found this letter to Jean Taquet most interesting . . .

Dear Mr. Taquet,

I heard about this Louisiana Purchase/French Citizenship thing a few years
ago, and asked around 1999 at the French Embassy in Rome if I, as a person
born in Chicago could have an easier path to French Citizenship than others.
They said "No." I found out that the only practical way to get citizenship
was either to:

1) Marry a French person. Duration: about 5 years.

2) Or to overstay "illegally" in France and then eventually get registered
as a resident during one of the amnesties. That process would take 15 years
or so.

If you know of a single person in the world who has gotten citizenship based
on the Louisiana Purchase theory, in the last 50 years, I would be glad to
volunteer to write a book about it. It is a potential great seller, both as
an adventure book, and a "how to do it."

I actually have written several books on oddball subjects! I would certainly
buy such a book or report right now, if it existed.

And if there is a lawyer who has had any success with this, I would hire him
today to handle my application! Obviously, there are maybe 100 million
people from the Central USA and Canada who would qualify … I don’t see how
France could cope with the flood if it was true.

I personally have been in and out of France for the past 25 years, and would
just love to become a French citizen based upon birth in the former
jurisdiction of Fort DeTroit and Fort Dearborn (now Chicago).

Where can I get any solid info on this? Thanks!

E. Lee

Dear E. Lee,

I do not know if you personally received a response from Jean. What he
stated is how the law reads. How it is interpreted by the "functionnaires"
(clerks) is yet another story, and I’m sure each one has his own!

I am particularly interested, as a native of New Orleans, a resident with a
carte de sejour the last 8 years and a willingness to become a citizen!

We look forward to Jean’s response.


* Dear Adrian,

You put my mind at ease re buying geraniums now. I, too, thought it was the
time to go out and get some and found little pots, only sold by 10, and ONLY
same color. No mixing and matching at this place (the big florist at the
Porte d’Auteuil).

So, I thought I’d go out again and try to find a few pots of white geraniums
to break up the (yes, red) color scheme. Only to be told by several shops
that "Madame, it is too early in the season, we aren’t selling them yet.
Come back in a few weeks."

What are they worried about? A sudden Spring frost? So, I worriedly looked
at my planters out on my small balcony, wondering if I had made a big
mistake. . . Then, read your opening editorial. If the Marche aux Fleurs is
selling geraniums now, then it is OK.

Thank you!
From a (reassured) fan, Nancy S.


Hope yours are doing as well as mine!!! They are stunning and they are 10
times better than the guys’ across the street.


* Bonjour Adrian,

I will be visiting Paris for the first time in May. I’ll be there from
5/15-5/29 2002. What is the weather like? I don’t know what type of clothing
I’ll need. Any help will be greatly appreciated.




Hopefully it will be warm and spring-like but one May I can remember wearing
my overcoat and boots. Check the weather report before you go, be prepared
for many changes during the day or week and always, always carry an
umbrella! Also, if you don’t want to be spotted as a tourist (a mark for
pickpockets), wear city clothing (like you’ve got a business meeting or
interview) with dark shoes and hide your camera.


Go to /parlerparis/


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