Newlyweds follow a job opportunity to Paris, France, so they can enjoy one last move before buying a house and having kids. He's a true romantic and has his heart set on finding a home with Parisian charm in the city center, no matter the cost. However, she's concerned about the budget and wants to save on a home so they have money left over to travel.
Set your DVRs now!
Dear Parler Paris and Parler Nice Reader,
Artichokes for Dinner on New Year's Eve
Watching the Fireworks on the Champs Elysées
New Year's Eve on the Champs Elysées
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris on New Year's Eve
Place Masséna on New Year's Eve
Nice, Old Port, New Year's Day
Apollo, The Neptune Fountain, Place Masséna
Strolling Along the Promenade des Anglais
Jeanne Calment, on Her 121st Birthday? Really?
Mairie du 3ème New Year's Wishes
NEW YEAR'S EVE IN PARIS
I spent New Year's Eve in Nice, around freshly marinated artichokes and a beautiful dinner at the home of old friends...but, hundreds of thousands of people spent their count-down to 2019 on the Champs Elysées surrounded by lots of security, good cheer and fabulous fireworks accompanied by a light show on the Arc de Triomphe. If you missed it, here's your chance to see it for yourself.
NICE NICER THAN EVER
Nice is nicer than ever with beautiful blue skies and warm air starting off the New Year with sun on our faces. Like just about every other Niçois and tourist, we spent our January 1st afternoon strolling to take in the sites from the Carré d'Or, along the Promenade de Paillon, to the Old Port, around the Château de Nice, and along the water's edge on the Promenade des Anglais before arriving home again. The beauty of the Baie des Anges never ceases to amaze and thrill me. I'm not the only one...obviously!
CLEVER HOAX FROM THE GRAVE OF THE OLDEST LIVING WOMAN?
The new year starts off with a story that shocks my world: it turns out that history's oldest living woman, 122-year-old Jeanne Calment, may have actually been a 99 year-old fraud. What makes this particularly fascinating is that she is also famous for having sold her Arles house in 1965 (as a "viager"), at the (supposed) age of 90 and without an heir, to her notary, André-François Raffray. At the age of 47 he agreed to pay her 2,500 francs a month until her death (thinking this a safe bet), but he died in 1995 at the age of 77. Then, his wife continued to pay her until her death, too in on August 4th, 1997. In total, the Raffrays paid more than twice the price of the house to Jeanne Calment, without being able to occupy it, according to the rules of a "viager."
What makes this particularly interesting for me is that I am currently writing a memoir, with a "viager" as the center core of the story about a property I once owned...also a viager. A viager is a kind of life annuity property, or reverse mortgage, where an elderly person sells his house in return for a life annuity, normally (but, not always) retaining the right to live there until his death. The seller benefits from a right of usufruct — the right to use it (and sometimes the right to collect the rents).
The change in Jeanne's story doesn't change much about my own story, but it's certainly a burst of the old bubble to find out that 21 year-old story may have all been a clever hoax to dodge an inheritance tax bill. French officials have discounted the claim, one official saying, “We never found anything to suggest a slightest doubt on her age.”
That being said, if the hoax is true, then it seems some people will do just about anything to avoid paying taxes!
PARIS NEW YEAR NOTES
Our slam poet friend, James Navé, sent me a special New Year's Day message (he sends me off-the-cuff poems from time to time) — a poem for a bright and productive 2019 I thought you might also enjoy.
Recipe for an afternoon off:
4 cups of spring water 1 dozen walnuts 6 pieces of velvet 1 dash of mist 6 guitar strings 17 lines of poetry 1 redwood tree 1 upright piano 2 streets in Paris 3 river stones Whip vigorously 'til fluffy Pour in a pan Bake on low heat for 4 hours Remove from oven Invite 3 friends Walk to the edge of a lake Serve warm.
WANT TO MEET THE MAYOR OF PARIS?
Now's your chance. Saturday, January 12th, at 12 noon at the Carreau du Temple, Pierre Aidenbaum, Mayor of the 3rd Arrondissement, and his team will be welcoming Madame Le Maire Anne Hidalgo. Be prepared for the entire space to be dedicated to the children with various "animations," a kind of brunch and other surprises...as well as meeting the mayor.
P.S. See you Tuesday, January 8th at Après Midi when Liz Alderman, Business Editor of International Herald Tribune S.A.S. talks to us about what it's like to be in her shoes! Ms. Alderman is a specialist in monetary policy (Federal Reserve and ECB) and macroeconomics. She joined the IHT from the financial news agency BridgeNews, where she served as Paris bureau chief overseeing coverage of the French and eurozone economies and French corporate and political news. She was the Federal Reserve correspondent from 1995 to 1999 in Washington D.C., covering the American economy. As a Greenspan-watcher, she made television appearances on CNBC and Public Television's “Nightly Business Report” programs. She also covered banking issues in the early 1990's, including U.S. bank regulatory reform and the Whitewater hearings. Her Broadcast experience includes: CNBC and Public Television's "Nightly Business Report." Ms. Alderman graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. degree in English Literature and Language.It's free and it's always fun. Visit our Après Midi page for more information.
FIRST RE-AIRING OF A NEW HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL (First of Three):
A freelance travel photographer who spent years saving her money is convinced now is the time to move to the city that stole her heart -- Paris. She brings a friend along to help search for a spacious apartment that can double as a photography studio, but they quickly realize finding such a place is nearly impossible.
Copyright 2019 Adrian Leeds® Adrian Leeds Group® http://www.adrianleeds.com Adrian Leeds® is a registered trademark in France. INPI: March 10, 2006, #063416238. Adrian Leeds Group® is a registered trademark in France. INPI: December 22, 2014, # 14/4144068. Anyone using these brand names or any kind of advertising without permission may be prosecuted. AdrianLeeds.com, AdrianLeedsGroup.com and AdrianLeedsEnterprises.com are reserved domains for exclusive use of Adrian Leeds® and Adrian Leeds Group®.