Trading the Eiffel for the Empire

View from the Window of Barrow Street, Greenwich Village

Trading the Eiffel for the Empire

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, June 16, 2008
Paris, France

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Thank you, Adrian

Register now for the…
Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conferences

London – June 22, 2008
San Francisco – July 26-27, 2008


Date: June 22, 2008
Limit: 25 people

To learn more and reserve your place, click here: frenchpropertyconference/LIF_London_June_2008





Living and Investing in France ConferenceSan Francisco
An Alliance Française of San Francisco Special Event!

Date: July 26-27, 2008
Limit: 80 people

To learn more and reserve your place, click here: frenchpropertyconference/LIF_SF_2008



Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Going to New York wasn’t what I had in mind, with the weather in Paris picture perfect and an abundance of things to do in the city that are tough to miss (such as the Shakespeare and Company Literary Festival that took place this past weekend), but I really had no choice.

The zany story (if you haven’t followed it) began with the idea of buying an apartment for my daughter in New York while the rate of exchange was favorable from the euro point of view. Last November, we found a small, but great apartment in a “co-op” in the West Village and long standing associate lender Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier (BPI) granted us an equity release mortgage to purchase it. To comply with the co-op board application, the mortgage money was transferred into a U.S. dollar account (thanks to Moneycorp Global Money Services at a rate of exchange which then was far less than it is now. To apply to the co-op board for approval was an arduous task taking many hours and many months, including one visit to New York to hand deliver the nine copies, that cost over $300 just to make at Kinko’s. Then, without disclosure of ‘why,’ were denied! (No, they don’t have to disclose why they didn’t want us living in their ‘precious’ building on Jane Street.)

If the rate of exchange had been better, I would have transferred the mortgage back into euros and more happily and safely invested it into a property in Paris, but the loss would have been too healthy a sum to even consider. Instead, the mortgage money is sitting in an interest bearing account, while the interest payments have been deferred (thanks to BPI) until we could find a suitable property that would surely reap greater rewards.

Erica started to re-hunt on her own with able agents Klara Madlin and Maryann Johnson and found an apartment in SOHO (“South of Houston”) we both felt ‘had our names on it.’ We quickly made an offer 10% HIGHER than the asking price, but lost it to one of the 15 other bidders! (In France, the seller is MORALLY obligated to accept asking price, but not in New York! One could see how if a property sells for much higher than the normal market value, it would naturally create the “bubble” we all fear.)

So, seeing how another one ‘bit the dust,’ last Wednesday I ‘hopped’ the big pond heading west and told myself six days in my daughter’s shared loft in Chelsea wouldn’t be too bad as long as she had air conditioning (New York has been sweltering and the portable unit was cheaper than six days in The Hampton Hotel across the street at $250-plus a night).

Reversing roles from “Property Consultant” to “Client,” Maryann showed us six apartments in Lower Manhattan on Thursday afternoon. Like Paris, there is little on the market in prime areas, and what is, sells quickly. One particular apartment in the heart of Greenwich Village fit our requirements perfectly and so we wasted no time in making an offer. They wasted no time in accepting it!

Like finding a “pied-à-terre” in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower, this little 525 square feet studio with high ceilings in an old converted factory built in 1897 on Barrow Street just at Sheridan Place, has a straight-shot view of what is once again the tallest building in the world — the Empire State Building!

The Empire State Building WAS the world’s tallest building from 1931 until 1972 with 102 stories (1250 feet) when it was surpassed by the World Trade Center with 110 stories. With the WTC sadly gone, it has regained its status, surpassing the Eiffel Tower by 336 feet. It was named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986, ranked number one on the List of America’s Favorite Architecture and is without a doubt, every bit as symbolic of New York City as is the Eiffel Tower symbolic of Paris.

So, if one has to trade Paris for New York, then this clearly makes the best of it. N’est-ce pas?

Adrian Leeds in New YorkA la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Be sure to read all about last week’s Parler Paris Après Midi gathering — with lots of newcomers and regulars who came to share their fascinating stories. Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html

Your Complete Solution to a New Home in France…

Adrian Leeds and her team of property professionals can help make your dream to live or invest in France come true. These experienced property experts provide comprehensive services including property search, purchase, mortgage and other after-the-sale services, such as renovation and rental management.

Let the Adrian Leeds Group guide you through the process with ease and peace of mind… to have your very own pied-à-terre in Paris or home in the French countryside.

Visit /frenchproperty/consultation or email

This Week in French Property Insider…

Ile de la CiteHow to Score the Property You Want: The Art of Negotiation
By Adrian Leeds

Negotiating the purchase of a property in France has little relation to what you may have experienced in the U.S. or other Anglo-Saxon culture. So, it’s best to remove all preconceived notions about the strategy before proceeding on the French property marketSubscribers Read On…

Learn ho

w 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

AWAI’s Breaking into Food Writing Workshop
Denver, CO – June 21, 2008

Join us for a one-day workshop in Denver, this June and get an instant leg up in your travel writing when you learn the tricks to writing well about food and dining.

This workshop isn’t just for people who want to write exclusively about food, you’ll find it helpful if you’re looking to include any restaurant or dining experience in your articles too.

Writing about food isn’t hard when you know the insider’s secrets… and Jen Stevens and Kyle Wagner will be there to share them with you.

Go here to read all the details:

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.

Le Déco
One-Bedroom, Sleeps up to 4

From the quiet, residential rue Saint-Sébastien, walk up a mere dozen steps into this beautiful, newly renovated one-bedroom apartment. No effort has been spared to create a sophisticated, comfortable environment that provides you with all the modern conveniences, and the opportunity to experience romantic Paris to the fullest, whether as first time tourists, or as seasoned visitors who prefer to live like Parisians. Le Déco’s stylish interior combines contemporary design with Art Deco flourishes, while retaining elements of its 19th-century French heritage in its original wood beamed ceiling and marble fireplace. Its three large French windows with wrought iron railings provide a pleasant view of the rue Saint-Sébastien neighborhood.

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

Parler Paris Après Midi

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

The next gathering is July 8, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.

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 Discover the number one travel guide to central Paris, affiliated with the Tourist Bureau of Paris, is the creation of a team of journalists and advertising professionals. Passionate about their district, they want the world to discover it as well. The team constantly selects and recommends the best charming hotels, inexpensive restaurants, upscale shops, museums and galleries. Their goal is to provide information to all tourists and residents. Whatever your passion, everything you want to know about le Marais, in English, is on! So chic, n’est pas?

Subscribe to the free Parismarais® Newsletter and each month you’ll receive a review of great bargains to be found in the district…

Every day, check out what’s new in central Paris on the Parismarais Blog:

Book the best luxury hotels in

France Today, The Magazine of French Travel and Culture, delivers all the information you need to indulge your passion for France: travel advice you won’t find anywhere else, off-the-beaten-path trips, the inside track on trends in dining, hotels, shopping and style, and the culture scene.

To subscribe, visit or call 1-800-901-6560

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Adrian Leeds Group, LLC,


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