The American Enchantress of Paris

Meeting Salman Rushdie at Librairie Comme un Roman
on rue de Bretagne October 14th

The American Enchantress of Paris

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Paris, France

Community Calendar Updated Every Wednesday

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

Couscous Lady at Chez Omar

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

The full moon yesterday generated an awful lot of high spirited energy in Paris.

Parler Paris Après Midi, our monthly coffee gathering (although I opted for a “Pastis”* in place of a café crème), drew a lively mix of old friends and new faces (who quickly became new friends). Zora, the personality-plus waitress at “La Pierre du Marais” brought up a slice of “Tarte aux pommes” with a lit candle to honor my birthday celebration, then not long after, Pascal, the waiter, came up to the gathering carrying a huge chocolate mousse cake, plates and forks for everyone to enjoy…a surprise thanks to Florence Richburg, our newest staff member. (Read all about it, and see photos, by clicking on /parlerparis/apresmidi.html)

*Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur and apéritif typically containing 40–45% alcohol by volume, created when absinthe was banned in France in 1915, and the major absinthe producers (then Pernod Fils and Ricard, who have since merged as Pernod Ricard) reformulated their drink without the banned wormwood component with a heavier focus on the aniseed flavor using more star anise, sugar and a lower alcohol content.

All while we were having a raucous time getting to know everyone, down the street on rue de Bretagne, the bookstore “Comme un Roman” was preparing for author Salman Rushdie’s visit to speak and sign copies of his newest book, “Enchanteresse de Florence,” a translation from the English version, “The Enchantress of Florence.” Funny that “Florence” was again at the center of activity!

Rushdie’s story involves a tall, young, blond European tra

veler calling himself the “Mughal of Love,” who tells a tale about a mysterious woman, a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, and her impossible journey to the far-off city of Florence….a story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world. Random House, its publisher, professes it to be “Vivid, gripping, irreverent, bawdy, profoundly moving, and completely absorbing, The Enchantress of Florence is a dazzling book full of wonders by one of the world’s most important living writers.”

Our own Florence fits a similar tale…but as a newcomer to France attempting to command her own destiny in a French man’s world. Newly arrived in Paris, having moved here on exactly the same day as me, September 4th, however, 14 years later, she, like many single women I’ve known, is experiencing the male-female Franco-Anglo cultural clash as the men she meets are quickly responding to her bright, toothy smile. She’s learning fast that smiling gets you into trouble — that it’s a code meaning something very different in France than it does in the U.S. of A. (Americans smile for no reason at all, other than to be friendly or show they are happy…but when a woman smiles at a man, it’s a signal that she’s interested…)

When she’s invited out for dinner by the older gentleman who seems so sweet, she thinks, “Why not? Being treated to dinner in Paris is quite nice, and he’s such a nice man.” So, she goes happily, but then can’t understand why suddenly he’s suddenly making demands on her to wear skirts and nylons rather than her usual comfortable slacks, or why his mood turns sour when she politely thanks him and heads for home after such a lovely evening.

Being older and wiser (or at least more experienced), I’ve offered up my personal viewpoint and encouraged her to read Polly Platt’s newest book, “Love à la Française,” a tale of “What happens when Hervé meets Sally,” or in this case, when “Florence meets Pierre.” Polly Platt has ‘hit the nail on the head’ just as she has done in her past two books, to cross the cultural divides with an understanding of how American women can best enjoy their relationships with French Men.

At the recent Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference, of which 70% of our attendees were single women, they all wanted to know if Paris was a good place to be as a single woman, to which I replied emphatically, “YES!” and vowed to explain in more detail at a later date.

The answer? I’ll leave it to your imagination and perhaps to another time, but I’ll tell you this: it’s not because of French men.

Every woman thinking of moving to France hoping to find a French husband (or lover) should read Love à la Française. To get your copy, visit /parlerparis/books/booksaboutfrance.html)

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
(birthday drawing by Kathy Burke)

Share this article with a friend…

P.S. Many thanks to La Pierre du Marais, Chez Omar, all the friends and new acquaintances who helped celebrate my birthday contributing to the merriment of all!


This Week in French Property Insider…

New York vs Paris…Purchasing Property 101
By Adrian Leeds

Le ProvencalBuying property in New York was more difficult than it is here in France — I felt more like a foreigner there than here, trying to understand the strict by-laws of the “co-op” and how that differs from a “copropriété” here in France.

Eighty-five percent of the properties in New York are co-op buildings, so it’s tough to avoid. Plus both the cost and closing costs are less expensive than with condominiums, which operate more like a French copropriété…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

Own a Fraction of the Best Address in Paris!

“Le Palace des Vosges”
Fractional Ownership
9 Place des Vosges
4th Arrondissement, Paris

Now you can own a share in an AMAZING “maison” — more of a house in the country than an apartment in Paris, right smack dab in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square — the Place des Vosges. Occupancy is May 2, 2009.

Includes Two Bedrooms, Two Baths + Powder Room
With Two Parking Garages (1 = Personal Storage Lockers, 1 = Parking), 84m2 (900 sq ft)

Only 13 shares are available, so don’t miss this unique opportunity! For more information visit or email

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!

Visit Insider Paris Guides

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.

Mon Petit Château
3rd Arrondissement, Le Marais
One-Bedroom Duplex, Sleeps up to 4

A magnificent glass staircase, as unique as a work of art, is the centerpiece of this charming little country house in the middle of Paris….

Reserve now! Visit /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/balcon_plante.html
or email: mailto:

Parler Paris Après Midi

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

The next gathering is November 4, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.


France Today, The Magazine of French Travel and Culture, delivers all the information you need to indulge your passion for France: unbeatable travel advice, with top travel destinations and best local addresses, the latest trends in dining, hotels, shopping and style, an insider’s look at French culture and society, and informed political analysis.

Find out more at

Buy and sell with Parler Paris classifieds:

Read past issues of Parler Paris:

Know someone who would be interested in the opportunities in Parler Paris? Forward it for FREE to your friend, relative, or associate here:

To Subscribe:

To Cancel Your Subscription: Remove me from this list

Copyright 2010, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC,

This entry was posted in 2008, Parler Paris and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>