On the third floor of an 18th-century building in a great Marais location near the corner of rue Charlot on rue de Poitou, La Fleur de Poitou has been fully transformed into a regal home away from home. Renovated from stem to stern in 2011 by Interior Architect Martine di Mattéo, the apartment is a colorful and shining example of what is possible when good taste and savoir faire are combined.
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
The French people have spoken. Emmanuel Macron, leader of the new "Le March!" "movement" will go head-to-head on May 7th with leader of the National Front party, Marine Le Pen, for the presidency of France. It's been an historical election, with neither of the traditional parties, Socialist and Republican, which have held the office for 30 years, winning in the first round.
Emmanuel Macron, leader of the new "Le March!" "movement" (Photo by AFP)
Tagged Le Pen poster
March for Science Brain Hat (by Patty Sadauskas)
April in Paris Tours (by Patty Sadauskas)
The Old Book Market
Parc Georges Brassens (by Patty Sadauskas)
Our Picnic Parc Georges Brassens (by Patty Sadauskas)
Flowers in the park (by Patty Sadauskas)
Macron, with the support of most of the other nine candidates, could very easily be the next president of France. They are already predicting he'll get two-thirds of the vote come May 7th in the final round. There is so much opposition by the other parties against the National Front, that already two of the other leading candidates, François Fillon and Benoît Hamon, have pledged their vote for him. Jean-Luc Mélenchon refused to accept the partial results last night and wouldn't give over his vote to Macron as the others had so readily done. When Hamon spoke, he said, "I make a distinction between a political adversary and an enemy of the Republic" and when Macron gave his acceptance speech, he acknowledged all the other candidates, omitting Marine Le Pen...very coy of him.
When you do a Google search for the name "Macron," the funny thing is that results include the word "macaron." I'll bet that's destined to be a nickname for the the young, "sweet" new politician. He's not even 40 years old (the youngest candidate in the history of France) and he's no longer part of any of the traditional parties having started his own -- what he calls a "movement," not a party. He was the Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs under François Hollande and is married to a woman who was his French teacher at a Jesuit college in Amiens who is 24 years his senior...what a guy! He's already breaking all the rules.
One of the things I noticed during the past two weeks leading up to the election is that the posters of the candidates at the voting stations were tagged, but not one candidate had as much graffiti as Marine Le Pen, whether in the southwest where I traveled last week to Paris.
I need not reiterate what you can find in all of the media about this ground-breaking election, but I can personally say, I think this victory is a good sign that France is on the right road to a brighter future. Before the election, Barack Obama called Macron to wish him good luck and the French have been calling him the "French Obama." This morning there was debate in the media about how M. Macron will deal with U.S. President Donald Trump -- the sentiment being that he's going to stay far, far away from him and his ideology that divides the people.
BRAINS TAKE TO THE STREETS OF PARIS
Not to miss a single opportunity to have a voice against bad politics, I and "the usual suspects" participated in the March for Science on Saturday here in Paris. It was a very different ambience than the Women's March on Paris on January 21st, right after Donald Trump was sworn into office. The women were angry, exhilarated, chanting, powerful and en masse. The supporters of science and truth were a much more subdued crowd, walking quietly through the streets of Paris with a somewhat limited number of signs. The men and women participating were about equal numbers and I guessed highly international from the many languages I heard spoken and the signs they held in English, French, Spanish and others. Saturday's showing in Paris was estimated to be about 5,000 -- a respectable number nonetheless.
The iconic pussy hats were replaced by brain hats in celebration of intelligence and truth. Some wore white lab coats. Anyone who deals with discovery of the truth is clearly appalled that what is proven to be true is overshadowed by ideology coming out of the current U.S. administration. We understood what the reference to "la menace orange en Amérique" meant. When laying out his platform, Emmanuel Macron "called Trump's skepticism toward the Paris Agreement to fight global warming 'a deep mistake' and expressed opposition to proposed U.S. protectionist trade measures." At least here in France, we can now be assured the science community will be respected.
REDISCOVERING PARIS IN APRIL WITH APRIL
Most tourists don't venture down into the depths of the 15th arrondissement to discover a market or a park or the life of the average Parisian. Even long-time residents such as myself don't normally bother. But when April of "April in Paris Tours" offered up an opportunity to shop at the open-air market along rue de la Convention followed by a picnic at the Parc Georges Brassens, I and others grabbed the chance. Hard to believe, but I'd never been to the market nor the park in all my years of living here.
The market along rue de la Convention, between rues Alain-Chartier and l'Abbé-Groult is open three days a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It lines both sides of the street and is one of the biggest, best and most authentic markets in Paris. The crowded stalls and long lines of customers proves this to be true. I pitied those who live directly above the stalls who must endure the traffic on a thrice-weekly basis, but to live nearby could be a slice of Paris heaven.
We bought and brought a few picnic goodies then headed to a grassy plane in the park nearby to spread our blanket and take a break in the sun. Soon after we were sated and our bellies full, April had us on our feet again to explore the park and all it has to offer. It was a perfect day to stroll through the paths and take it all in.
Brassens was a singer and poet who lived not far from the park, and other than the park sporting his name, there is only one other reference to him in the form of a bust made in 1989 by the sculptor André Greck. If you blink, you'll miss it as there is a wonderland of things to do and see in the park. The park is relatively new, having opened in 1984 on what was once the site of a former fish market, horse market and slaughterhouse dating back to 1894. Remnants of its past are evident, from the old market structures to the statues of bulls at the entrance gateway to the bell tower of the old fish market to the iron-framed shelter of the horse market which now houses a weekend market for old books. At the edge is a pre-school, a senior citizens center, the Monfort theater and a Préfecture de Police as well as a vineyard. One can take in a variety of fresh scents from the rose and herb garden, or just the beautiful sights of the colorful flowers. At the center is a fountain and pond and artificial stones designed for the adventuresome youth to climb. A collection of active beehives at the high spot in the park is working hard at making honey -- the Parisian variety thought to be "liquid gold."
April Pett, founder of April in Paris Tours, isn't just "April in Paris" -- April IS Paris. She is full of information and insight into the City of Light of which the average Parisian and long-time residents such as myself are still clueless...and she is full of life, big smiles and good times. Join her on her next adventure. Visit her website for more information and be sure to tell her "Adrian sent you."
P.S. Thanks to all of you who commented on the most recent episode of House Hunters International, "Two Bedrooms in Paris!" So glad you enjoyed it -- it was as much fun to tape as it was to watch. This week we're filming another episode and there's another one "in the can" for which we're awaiting the air date. So, stay tuned for more information!
North American Expat Financial Forum - Paris
Sponsored by Dunhill Financial and the Adrian Leeds Group
May 30, 2017 4 to 8 p.m. Chez Jenny, Paris, France
Seven international speakers are coming together for this very special event in Paris, France!:
• Brian Dunhill, Dunhill Financial • Christelle Colairo , Moneycorp Exchange Experts • Michael Larsen, American Citizens Abroad • Adrian Leeds, Adrian Leeds Group • Carl Mir, Mir Enterprises US • Amaury de Monclin, Blue Sky Finance • Peter Zipper, Caye International Bank
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