Blowing Our Own Horns

Les Journées du Patrimoine at the Palais Royal

Blowing Our Own Horns

Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, September 21, 2009
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Since 1984, the third weekend in September is devoted to honoring French heritage during a festival known as “Les Journées du Patrimoine.” It all began with the French, but now it’s celebrated in 49 countries and was appropriately renamed “Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine.”

In 2008, there were 15,000 sites open to the public, 24,000 events and 12 million visits, but strangely, ask almost any non-European and they will not know much about it.

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Nonetheless, it’s an event designed to ‘blow our own horns,’ ‘pat ourselves on the back’ by and for the Europeans, so it’s not meant to inspire non-Europeans. It’s no wonder that they just don’t care.

The locals are clearly inspired, however. The streets this weekend were teeming with life seeking a gander at one monument or another — standing in long lines to get a glimpse of the inside of the Palais d’Elysée (the President’s residence) or the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall).

Two-hundred-fifty-nine venues within the 20 districts of Paris were open to the public, most of which would not have been otherwise, including Senate at the Palais du Luxembourg, the Prime Minister’s residence and many of the ambassadors’ residences of such countries as Russia, Switzerland, Poland and Great Britain.

Those who didn’t have the patience to wait in line, simply wandered from one location to another, enjoying the side shows on the street. This is the category in which we fell — as each time we’d come upon another open-door of interest, the wait to enter meant whiling away [valuable] time.

To add to the festivity, there was no shortage of outdoor activities to entertain those left visit-less: rummage sales, street artists and loads of musicians willing to play for the lingering crowds. At every turn, there was another group of music-makers to entertain you. At Place Colette, an orchestra played classical music. Near the Mairie of the 2nd Arrondissement, there was a young jazz band and in front of the Bourse de Paris, a singer was wailing French tunes.

Most unusual of all was a group of religious Jews — what appeared to be a family of mixed ages — standing tightly together in the Place des Vosges blowing the “shofar.” The shofar is a sort of ‘trumpet’ made of (usually) a ram’s horn, used symbolically to announce the holidays. The current holiday is the most important of the whole year — the new year (“Rosh Hashanah” of the year 5770 in the Hebrew Metonic calendar) and “Yom Kippur,” the day of atonement.

Click on the video below to see and hear them blow the Shofar!


If you can’t see the video and you want to hear the shofar, click here.

If you receive or hear a message such as “L’Shanah Tovah ” — you’ll know it means “Happy New Year.” Even U.S. President Barack Obama uttered these words in a Rosh Hashanah greeting this past week to Jews the world over, calling for the rejection of “the impulse to harden ourselves to others’ suffering,” urging empathy and “compassion to those in need.” Do you think he tried to blow the shofar, too?

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Hope you can come to the annual Rentrée Breakfast Party of the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group this coming Saturday at 11 a.m. — save when you sign up that day!

P.P.S. Check out the last minute special rates on Le Provençal (and other Parler Paris Apartments) now available for the Fall! Scroll down for more information or visit Parler Paris Apartments or email: [email protected]

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A Photographic Project-Journey through Volunteering in Cambodian Orphanages

Finally after years of dreaming and research, Erica Simone has begun a project where she will be teaching and helping orphaned children in need in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The project starts in early May 2010 and lasts for 3-4 weeks. In addition to volunteering, the goal is to raise awareness by documenting photographically, as well as in writing, the Cambodian orphanages, lifestyle, culture, landscape and most importantly the beauty and optimism of its people, as well as its struggles and poverty. Erica Simone will to return with thousands of photographs, the best of which will be turned into one or several important photo exhibits, as well as a self-published book.

In exchange for financial contributions, she is offering a limited number of quality photographs, but more importantly, as a sponsor, you will be helping to fund something very positive and powerful.

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Special Note: If the goal of $4111 is not raised in it’s entirety, the project will not be realized and your donation will be refunded. Please help gather as much support as possible.

Click here for more information and to make your pledge.

Visit Erica Simone Photography or Email Erica Simone at [email protected]

This Saturday…Rentrée Breakfast Party!

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 11AM

Come for Conversation and Have Breakfast FREE!
Coffee, Tea, Juice, Croissants, Pains au Chocolats and more.

Lutèce Langues, 23 bd de Sébastopol, 1st

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24 Sessions for the Price of a 20-Session Card!*
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Money Matters for Women Conference
Saturday, October 17, 2009

MONEY MATTERS FOR WOMEN is a half-day conference held in Paris, France for today’s global woman who wants to understand her current financial situation, plan intelligently and take proactive steps in managing her money.

The Money Matters for Women 2009 conference is presented by WICE and hosted by The American University of Paris. Special thanks to Smart Women Products for their continued support of this conference.

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NEXT MEETING : October 13, 2009 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The second Tuesday of every month, Parler Paris and French Property Insider readers gather at La Pierre du Marais for a drink and a “schmooze” –It’s an opportunity to meet and chat with other like-minded people and a great way to make friends! Costs nothing except whatever you drink. Don’t miss the next gathering, Tues, Sept 8th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit Parler Paris Après Midi

Practice Your French…or English!
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!

For further details, visit Parler Parlor

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France-Amerique est vôtre lien privilégié avec la France et la langue française!”
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