Popping The Cork On Paris Grass

PARLER PARIS: POPPING THE CORK ON PARIS GRASS


June 10, 2002


*** NOT REALLY A LAW–JUST A SUGGESTION


I just love the French. They have a way of seeing life that just
doesn’t compare to our own Anglo-Saxon straightforward points of view.
To illustrate this statement, let me share with you yesterday’s
experience.


About 25 of us from the Parler Parlor French-English conversation group
gathered at the Jardin de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne to picnic
among the roses. After we paid our 1.50 euro at the gate to enter, the
guards told us we weren’t allowed to picnic in the park, although we
could eat sandwiches sitting on the benches.


This seemed silly to us Anglo-Saxons, who think of parks as places for
picnics, tossing a ball, or just communing among the greenery. But
here, most of the grassy areas in the parks were marked "pelouse
interdit" (keep off the grass) until just a couple of years ago when
some areas of some parks were redefined. Now it is acceptable to be on
the grass at the Place des Vosges, among others. (The French quickly
took to the idea–in good weather, they flood the square and lie prone
on the grass, soaking up the sun.)


Nonetheless, we trekked into the park and discovered a somewhat
secluded spot surrounded by trees where the grass had obviously been
trodden on before. Seizing the opportunity, we spread our blankets,
popped the corks on a couple bottles of wine, passed around chips and
olives, patés and homemade olive bread while we watched a red squirrel
jump from tree to tree (a rare sight in Paris.)


We decided that if we spoke only English, and a guard came by to shoo
us off the grass, we could plead ignorance, pretend to be uninformed
tourists and hope for the best.


We didn’t have to wait long before a guard came over to us. In a few
words, he explained that to picnic on the grass was "pas authorizé."
Then he smiled and walked away, without actually making us leave.


"Mai, oui! C’est typiquement Français, ca!" Laws are just suggestions,
not necessarily to be obeyed if they don’t fit the situation. He had
done his job–told us we were breaking the rules–but he wasn’t about
to disturb our good fun since we weren’t doing any harm to anyone or
anything.


In Polly Platt’s "French or Foe?," she talks about "System D." "D"
stands for "débrouiller" meaning to untangle or sort out. An attorney
explained that "if you have an exceptional reason why the application
of the law can be suspended in this particular case, you can defend
yourself."


Once again, the French manage to see the bigger picture of life–how
one facet relates to another from the grander scheme of things. It’s
such a mature viewpoint, which clearly took centuries to achieve.


Our stroll through the roses was about as delightful as one could
imagine. We oohed and aahed at every amazing exotic variety and color,
and stopped to smell as many as we could without coming nose to nose
with a bee collecting pollen.


And, I kid you not, the rose with the best scent was named "Senteur
Royale" (royal scent). Everyone who helped smell-test as we worked our
way through the magnificent array of roses agreed. Only one other even
came close: a rose the shade of lavender, pale and dusty like none I’ve
ever seen.


A la prochaine fois…


Adrian


P.S. You’ll find a list of parks with great lawns in Paris authorized
for picnicing or sun bathing here:
http://www.parisetudiant.com/parc&jardins.htm


75006 Le Luxembourg
75013 Le Parc de Choisy
75015 Le parc Georges Brassens
75001 Les berges
75001 ou 75006 Passerelle Solférino et le Pont des Arts
75007 Champs de Mars
75007 Esplanade des Invalides
75015 Parc André Citroën
75019 Le parc des Buttes-Chaumont
75005 Jardin des Plantes


P.P.S. Polly Platt will be speaking next Sunday at the Holiday Inn
Saint-Germain-des-Prés as part of the "Journey Through Southern France"
tour offered by International Living. See below for details: TAKE A
TOUR OF PARIS PROPERTY NEXT SUNDAY


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


Parler Paris /parlerparis/
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds


Published by International Living
http://www.internationalliving.com
mailto:france@internationalliving.com


Issue Number 42, June 10, 2002


In this issue:


*** Take the Tour of the Prettiest Streets of All Paris
*** Letter From Paris, Every Month
*** New Savings on Insider Paris Guides
*** Finest Walking Tours of Paris
*** Come for the Dogs and Suds on July 4th
*** Dining Und
er the Trees
*** More to Do in Paris Than You Have Time For


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


*** TAKE A TOUR OF PARIS PROPERTY NEXT SUNDAY


Next Sunday, you could have one of the most exciting afternoons of your
time in Paris.


At 1:30 p.m., Polly Platt, author of "French or Foe?" and
"Savoir-Flair, 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French" will be
opening our "JOURNEY THROUGH SOUTHERN FRANCE" International Living Tour
(June 15-24) over cocktails with her anecdotes about the French and
their culture and our differences!


Then, we board the bus for an amazing four-hour tour around Paris,
winding in and out of the prettiest of streets to illustrate
residential areas that have the most appeal. All 20 arrondissements
will be covered, and while author of Around and About Paris, historian
and Paris expert, Thirza Vallois, describes the history and
personalities of each, you’ll be given detailed descriptions of
property types and values.


Both authors will have signed copies of their books available, so now
is your chance to get your special copies!


The conference doesn’t stop there. On Monday morning, you’ll hear from
experts on purchasing, renting, investing, financing, relocating, and
more. And in the afternoon, agents will be taking you to see apartments
for sale in the chicest of neighborhoods–Le Marais and
Saint-Germain-des-Prés.


This is part of a tour that will take much of the group to
Provence…but if you want to participate in just these two days, you
can!


$245 covers your entire two days with cocktails and meals.


For more information or to register (and please do it now as time is
running out!!!), contact the Agora Travel Office. Email:
tours@internationalliving.com, phone: 1-800-926-6575 or 1-561-243-6276
or phone the IL Paris Office on 01.40.27.97.59.


* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *


Would you like a FREE CRUISE along the golden sands of the Chang Jiang
River…a FREE EXPEDITION exploring the ancient palaces of
Kathmandu…or a 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!


Click here now to find out more:
http://www.agora-inc.com/reports/120STWC/W120C6WB/


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


*** LETTER FROM PARIS


When you join the PARIS KEY CLUB, you’ll receive the LETTER FROM PARIS
every month.


What is the LETTER FROM PARIS?


It’s the official print publication of the PARIS KEY CLUB. Only members
will receive it.


What’s in the LETTER FROM PARIS? Information you can’t get free.
Information you can’t get anywhere else.


Experts, journalists, those who live and work in Paris, will be keeping
you informed on the ins and outs of living in Paris…for a week, a
month, a year or a lifetime.


Do you want to know about how to find the perfect apartment to rent? Or
to buy? Do you want to know how to get a loan? Open a bank account? Do
you want to find an immigration advisor? Find a job? Do you want to
know about the newest and best restaurants? Or which have the best
meals for under $20? Do you want to know what the best charming cheap
hotels are? Do you want to know the best walking tours? Do you want to
know where to find the English-language readings? Where to learn
French? What language course is right for you? Do you want to know
where to meet people? Take courses?


The answers to these questions and many more are in the LETTER FROM
PARIS.


And you get more when you join…so be sure to click here to find out:
http://www.agora-inc.com/reports/PKC/WPKCC6PP/


*** GET A DISCOUNT ON ALL INSIDER PARIS GUIDES


When you join the PARIS KEY CLUB, you’ll be entitled to a 10% discount
on your purchase of any Insider Paris Guide and when you buy two or
more, you’ll receive another 15% off your purchase!


Insider Paris Guides bring you in-depth insider information on:


Paris Restaurants
Paris Hotels
Working and Living
Writers in Paris
Practical Answers
Biking in Paris
Gay Paris
Black Paris
Soulfood Cookbooks


And coming soon…Insider Paris Guides for SINGLE WOMEN, PARIS WITH
KIDS, AND JEWISH PARIS!


For your copy of Insider Paris Guides, click on:
http://www.insiderparisguides.com


For more information or to join the PARIS KEY CLUB, click here:
http://www.agora-inc.com/reports/PKC/WPKC
C6PP/


*** MY MERCREDI FROM DAVID APPLEFIELD
Week of June
10, 2002


Ask Alison this week–things to get Dad for Father’s Day from Paris
(Father’s Day in France and the US is June 16th). Lisa Pasold’s Paris
Strut, the finest walking tours of Paris, takes us to the elegant Passy
area of town, where Honoré Balzac resided. Looking for a French penpal?
My Mercredi can help. Read how. David Applefield takes a look at a few
of Paris’s funniest named streets. And of course, catch the latest on
the French legislative elections (first round). Plus a look at Bedri
Baykam’s art opening, Girly Plots, at Galerie Lavigne-Bastille on the
rue de Charonne. One French woman in Paris is looking to buy a business
that involves both France and the US. She’s serious. Click for a full
dose:
http://www.internationalliving.com/paris/show_postcard.cfm?pcard=2136


* * * * 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 city?


We’ve identified a handful of exceptional hotels in the most desirable
and central neighborhoods in Paris…all for under $100.


To read more, click here:
http://www.insiderparisguides.com/hotels/index.html


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


*** HOT DOGS AND BEER ON JULY 4TH


Join the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation group on Thursday,
July 4th for conversation and hot dogs and beer to celebrate AMERICA’S
INDEPENDENCE DAY!


OPEN TO EVERYONE (no need to be a member to come)–and FREE for the
conversation, just 10 euro for dinner…includes hot dogs, drinks,
"sides" and dessert.


Starts at 6:30 p.m. Dinner at 8 p.m. at Coprom Langues, 14 rue
Lafayette, 9th 4th Floor. Métro: Chausée d’Antin.


To reserve your spot or for more information, visit:
http://www.parlerparlor.com or email mailto:info@parlerparlor.com or
call 01.44.19.76.61 or 01.40.27.97.59.


*** TABLES ON THE TERRACE


An excerpt from the LEEDS GOOD VALUE GUIDE TO PARIS RESTAURANTS
http://www.insiderparisguides.com/restaurants/index.html


AUX TABLES DE LA FONTAINE
Traditional French
33, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud and 2, rue des 3 Bornes, Arrondissement 11
Phone 01.43,57.26.00
Métro Parmentier
Open Every Day
11.50 euro 2-Course Lunch Menu with Coffee, 21 euro 3-Course Menu


Owner Laurent Flandin is keeping the "Tables de la Fontaine" filled
night after night with old-world charm, good food, low prices and
friendly service. A brasserie-turned-bistrot, it sits where two streets
meet forming a triangular "place," leaving two windowed-door sides open
to the streets and one on the "place." A skylight-style awning was
added and the windowed-doors open so that in good weather, tables spill
onto the sidewalk. Even its deep wine colored walls and delicate etched
glass ceiling lights give it charm and by the vivaciousness of its
patrons, it’s clear everyone is enjoying the ambience. It’s a perfect
spot for a Springtime or Summertime meal, if you’re hankering for a
"terrace."


The menu is a mixture of traditional dishes and not-so-traditional
dishes and there are always specials of the day to choose from. Since
it’s always changing, things I’ve tried in the past may not be there in
the future…but I can recommend the "Beignets de sardines fraiches
coulis de tomate, "Carpaccio de Saint Jacques," "Cuisse de lapin aux
abricots," "Effiloché de raie, risotto citron-safran, crevettes au
sesame," "Medaillon de veau au romarin," "Flan de Crab à la crème de
ciboulette," "Rascasse au safran et broccolis à la vapeur" and "Crème
aux pruneaux à l’Armangnac," "Fondant aux deux chocolats. "


When we asked for a simple salad not found on the menu, the answer was
"bien sûr" (of course). The quality of the cuisine is well above what
you’d expect at this price–all in all, a delightful meal for about 28
euro and well worth it.


*** LOTS GOING ON IN PARIS!


* WHO KILLED SISTER ROSA?


Well glory be, the glory gospel singers and god are checking it out!
The Moving Parts Theater Company presents a reading of a joyful juicy
musical mystery, "Gospel Truth", book and score by Manda Djinn. With
Madeleine Barchevska, Stefanie Campion, Manda Djinn, Bremner Duthie,
Sharon Evans, Ben Harrison, Raphaàl Loison, David Andrew Platzer,
Thomas Pollard, and Rebecca Venture, on Sunday June 16th at 7:30 p.m.,
also at Carr’s Restaurant.


For more information, contact Stefanie Campion at: tel. 01 44 93 59 72
or 06 14 67 18 58.


* Double Change presents a bilingual "NEW VOICES" poetry reading with
American
poets Rachel Levitsky and Ethan Gilsdorf and French poets
Lionel Destremau and Daniel Pozner.


At La Maroquinerie, 23 rue Boyer, 20th, Métro: Gambetta.
Saturday June 15, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Free of charge


For more information, visit http://www.doublechange.com/ or email
mailto:ladislask@free.fr or call 01.43.56.12.31.


* GAY PRIDE PARADE JUNE 29TH
The annual parade starts at Montparnasse, finishing at Place de la
Bastille, passing by rue de Rennes, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, boulevard
Saint-Germain and l’avenue Henri IV.
http://www.2002.gaypride.fr/pages/versionhtml/home.php


* FÊTE DE LA MUSIQUE JUNE 21ST
The 21st Fête de la Musique, June 21st (Summer Solstice)–800,000
amateur and professional musicians will participate in 10,000 concerts
and 10 to 12 million spectators are expected to attend across France.
http://fetedelamusique.culture.fr/fr/presse/061_esprit.htm


*** READERS ASK ABOUT RESTAURANTS, RETIRING AND INSURANCE!


* Just wondered if on your travels you have come across Le Chartier
(undoubtedly you have)?


But of course! Chartier is one of the oldest establishments in the city
and it has great atmosphere I’m sure everyone can enjoy! Unfortunately,
even at it’s low prices, the food is so under par that I’d never
recommend it. There are many others much more worthwhile in Paris.
Finding them is what the Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants is
all about. http://www.insiderparisguides.com


* I want to buy a book on how to retire in France. I would need an
affordable place where I could commute to Paris. I know 20 people in
Paris. I have no idea how I could find a job that would involve regular
travel from Washington DC to Paris but I want to find out. I love my
friends in Paris.


* One thing we have had a great deal of trouble dealing with is the
lack of substantive, succinct, practical information about how ex-pats
deal with health insurance and how it relates to the French health care
system. How do ex-pats get health care? Is this something that you
could address in one of your mailings or could you possibly offer any
advice on where we can get answers ourselves?


To both of the above questions, my best advice is to get a copy of
"Working and Living in France: The Ins and Outs" by Rose Marie Burke!
Rose covers it all, with answers to all these questions and more with
more than 200 live links to helpful sites and recommendations for
professionals you can trust. http://www.insiderparisguides.com


Our recommended insurance firm for expats is:
Olivier Devergne
ADVANTAGE INSURANCE ASSOCIATES
Cabinet Jacques Homo S.A.
17 rue de Chateaudun, 75009 PARIS
Tél: 01.44.63.53.63
Fax: 01.48.74.81.56
email: mailto:jhomo@adinas.net


M. Devergne will be speaking at our upcoming "Journey Through Southern
France" tour next Monday!


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


TO JOIN THE PARIS KEY CLUB:


If you are not a member of the Paris Key Club, and would like to be,
click here for more information:
http://www.agora-inc.com/reports/PKC/WPKCC523/


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


TO READ MORE:


Go to /parlerparis/


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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
mailto:paris@internationalliving.com


If you have links about Paris or France and would like reciprocal
links, please email me at mailto:france@internationalliving.com


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