What’s It Like to Live in Fraaaance!?

Gertrude Beerman Celebrates Her 90th Birthday
at Antoine’s in New Orleans
Photos by Erica Simone

What’s It Like to Live in Fraaaance!?

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France

Monday, July 16, 2007
Paris, France

Community Calendar Updated Every Wednesday

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

It’s the first time in all these years to have missed the annual Bastille Day celebrations at the “Bals des Pompiers” and the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower…for good cause. Bastille Day celebrates the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789, a symbol of the birth of a modern French nation…and we here in “Nouvelle Orleans” celebrated the birth of my mother on July 13th, 1917. She was born here in the American city that was founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.

Named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France at the time, New Orleans was ceded in 1763 to the Spanish Empire and remained under Spanish control for 40 years. Louisiana then reverted to French control in 1801, but Napoleon sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase just two years later. Little did he know…

Today, it is recovering from the devastation caused by the flooding after Hurricane Katrina almost two years ago. We took a driving tour one rainy afternoon, while sheets of water turned the already humid air into a waterfall and the broken-up streets became massive pools of summer rainwater, to see how the city was fairing. I’d have to report that there are positive signs of devoted residents rebuilding their homes, but still lots left untouched. The family home situated one block from one of the levees that broke remains a shell of its former self, while my sister’s house has been totally rebuilt to perfection. The French Quarter didn’t suffer so badly. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s new/old home in the French Quarter looked stunning behind the drops of rain (we couldn’t resist taking a peek).

I’m the only one of the family that has chosen to live abroad, so I guess that makes me a bit of an oddity. Relatives and friends wanted to know what it’s like to live in “Fraaaance.” I just love the way New Orleanians say “Fraaaance,” with the “a” high in their nasal passages. It’s so particular to New Orleans, that a few years ago, there was a local commercial on television with a little boy who said it emphatically, “I live in Fraaaance!” just like that, and it stuck as a local joke.

Those who had seen the new Michael Moore movie, “Sicko,” wanted to know if the French health care system was as good as it’s cracked up to be. Fortunately for those of us on French social security or with inexpensive French private health insurance and the care of health professionals who aren’t so concerned with the ‘bottom line,

‘ the answer the yes. My health care has never been better and I’ve never been healthier, thanks to lots of natural exercise climbing 70 steps to my apartment and a healthier diet of normal sized portions. After almost a week in New Orleans, it will take several additional weeks to recover from the excessive eating of fried foods we’ve tasted…and tasted…and tasted. One restaurant is better than the next and you don’t need to spend more than $10 to be blown away by the party that takes place in your mouth with every bite. No where can you eat better, even in France, but I didn’t say healthier.

They also wanted to know if I’d ever move back, to the U.S., that is. The answer to that is a fairly emphatic, “no!” It’s difficult to go in reverse to seeing the world with blinders on after living on the other side of the pond, but the fact is, there is only one place I’d ever consider, and that’s New Orleans.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris



P.S. We’ll be back in Paris on Wednesday, settling into the charming Marais apartment we call home, ready to bring you news of all that’s happening in Paris. To rent your own high-quality, luxurious Paris apartment for your next visit to the City of Light, visit /parlerparis/apartments.

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This Week in French Property Insider…

Managing Your Money Overseas
By Adrian Leeds

It’s tough enough to manage your money when you’re a tourist traveling to a foreign country with a different currency. Imagine what it’s like to manage your finances when dealing in two currencies on two continents? That’s what you may be dealing with should you choose to spend any length of time in France or own property here…

Learn how to buy property in France.
Visit /frenchproperty/insider

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Offer ends July 31, 2007
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Own Your Own Pied-à-Terre in Paris…at a fraction of the cost!

Paris Home Shares offers Fractional Ownership of select apartments in premium Paris locations.

Our newest offering, LE JARDIN SAINT-PAUL, features a spacious two-bedroom apartment in the historique and centrally located Marais district — take advantage of the investment and the pleasure of owning your own home in the City of Light.

For more information, visit /frenchproperty/consultation/sales/fractional/jardinstpaul.html or contact Steve Navaro at steve@navaro.com

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 Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…Visit http://www.insiderparisguides.com


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.

NEW! Le Penthouse Voltaire

American comfort with French flair! Overlooking Boulevards Richard Lenoir and Voltaire, in the 11th Arrondissement. This three-bedroom, two-bath luxury penthouse with wrap-around balconies and spectacular views, sleeps 6.

Reserve now! Visit /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/voltaire.html
or email: Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com

Parler Paris Après Midi

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

The next gathering is September 11, 2007 and every second Tuesday of the month.

Note: There is no meeting in August.

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!

NEW Saturday Location! And still meeting Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the same great locations!

For further details, visit http://www.parlerparlor.com

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