Sunday in Ville d’Avray




The Summer Feast at Ville d’Avray

Sunday in Ville d’Avray

Parler Paris…
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Monday, June 12, 2006
Paris, France

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The Cottage in Ville d’Avray

A View of Paris
from the Parc de Saint-Cloud

Concerts Next to the Fountains


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

The warm, sunny weather of Paris these June days have beckoned us devoted urbanites to venture into greener pastures…to the countryside and even the “banlieue” (suburbs) where life is a little slower, a little more serene. For some odd reason this past week, I was drawn to the west side outside Paris, into the Ile de France, to the area around Saint-Cloud, by the invitations of a variety of different friends and events. As a student of psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s theory of “synchronicity,” a phrased he coined himself, I paid particular attention to why this should be so important in the thread of my grand life plan.

Sunday at noon, we headed for the Gare Saint-Lazare, where trains to the banlieue leave every few minutes from tracks numbers 1 through 4. The short ride took us to “Sevres-Ville d’Avray,” just past Saint-Cloud, to lunch with friends at their “cottage” nestled among a wild and vibrant garden they call “magical.”

An apéritif of Pernod Ricard pastis (anise-flavored liqueur), a traditional Summer drink throughout France (particularly in Provence), started off a very lazy afternoon. Under the umbrellas at the outdoor tables, we feasted on a large variety of fresh Oriental salads, made by a local merchant — the best I’ve ever had.

Serge Bourguignon’s 1962 melodramatic film titled “Dimanches de Ville d’Avray” set in the 1950s, is a story of a former military pilot, Pierre Kruger, who returns home from the French-Indochinese war suffering from amnesia, and becomes emotionally attached to a 12 year-old convent girl. Eventually people become suspicious of this man-child relationship, and when the police encounter the pair, they misinterpret a gesture of Pierre toward the girl, and shoot him. The story is tragic, but Ville d’Avray is certainly not a tragic place. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!

The beautiful “étangs” de Ville d’Avray (ponds) were painted by the artist Corot and supply water to the fountains of the Parc de Saint-Cloud nearby. Our friends had heard that three times every Sunday afternoon all this month, the fountains at the park simultaneously spout at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. In the fountains float several large paintings as part of a project called the “Dessein d’Eau” sponsored by the cities of Saint-Cloud and Ville d’Avray until July 15th. You might not find that the Summer’s most exciting event, but if you take a seat in front of the temporary large tent at the edge of one of the ponds, you can relax to a classical music concert beginning at 5:30 p.m. Yesterday, thousands of people were there picnicking under the tall shade trees on the cool grass enjoying the beautiful lazy day. All this is free, except for a small charge of 2,50 euros to park your car. (To get there without a car from Paris, take the Métro #9 in the direction of Pont de Sèvres to the end of the line and switch to the 179 bus.)

Next weekend, June 17th and 18th, Ville d’Avray joins in with the celebration of “La Fête des Etangs” — a cultural festival under the theme of “Le Feu et l’Eau” (Fire and Water). This is another chance to take in the spirit of Summer in music, song, and dance…out in the “banlieue” where life is a little lazier. (For more information, visit http://www.mairie-villedavray.fr/)

That was the message I left with yesterday…to slow down, smell the fresh air, take in the cool breezes from the fountains’ sprays and let the music carry me away to serenity.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email info@adrianleeds.com

P.S. See you tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais for the monthly Parler Paris Aprs Midi gathering! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.

 

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Living San Francisco Style on La Cour Damoye
By Adrian Leeds

FPI found the perfect apartment for San Francisco attorney and amateur photographer, Jan Hanson. In fact, I’ll never forget the day we discovered the Cour Damoye and this charming two room apartment that we all fell in love with at first sight…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.

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* Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants…

L’AUTRE CAFE
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Young, hip, still very French, serving great bistrot food such as “Brochette d’agneau grillée aux herbes,” “Pièce de boeuf sauce au Roquefort” and “Magret de canard,” L’Autre Café gets a regular turn-out from the neighbhorhood residents. Yellows and reds make up the décor, not too mondern, not too old-world. Check the “ardoise” for the “plats du jour.” Service is friendly and quick. Story has it that the location was once a bordel in the ’20s and be sure to visit “les toilettes” for a little surprise…for more delicious details, see the guide…

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* The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop, Denver, CO — July 20-23, 2006 Imagine if your “work” meant shopping in a market in Southern France… or hiking along the New Zealand coastline… or attending the theater in New York… or dining out in Prague’s best restaurants… It could be, you know… and a lot sooner than you might imagine. Over one power-packed weekend this summer, let some of the best writers and editors in the business show you how it’s done… Click here for details: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/denver/pp

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* Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at ParlerParisApartments.com. If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Adrian Leeds at adrian@fpinsider.com for more information.

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Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:
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The next gathering is June 13, 2006

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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. http://www.parlerparlor.com/

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