Boy, to be Back in Paris, Big Time!
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
The landing in Paris Thursday morning went without a bump in the runway and I hit the ground running. When I spotted the Eiffel Tower in a distance from the “Périphérique” (the ‘ring road’ around Paris), I knew I was home and would soon be making up for lost time.
An invitation by photographer friend, Michael Honegger, to hear a young saxophone player over dinner that same evening at “La Petite Vertu” (15 rue des Vertus, 3rd), sparked my interest enough to ignore the jet lag, hustle to unpack and head over there. The ‘sax’ is the ‘sexiest’ instrument I can think of, although I couldn’t tell you per se why, and usually the guys who play it are ‘sexy,’ too. Coupled with my friend’s description as: “mild jazz with the saxophonist being one of my former models…” (nude), you can understand why it wasn’t too difficult to walk a few blocks my first evening back in town.
It was a surprise to discover that the ‘former model’ and ‘sexy saxophonist’ was in fact, someone I’ve known a while — Jeff Suzda, a regular member of our Parler Parlor French-English conversation group, which just celebrated its 11th anniversary March 17th. Jeff and his guitar-playing co-musician, Clement Pic, put on an admirable performance while La Petite Vertu put out an equally respectable meal. It was a one-time performance, but we hope “Jeff et Clement” will be back again soon…and boy, was I ever back…big time!
The next morning was breakfast with a client and our Search Consultant, Mary Ellen Gallagher (who we like to call our “search engine” because she lets no property for sale go unvisited), at the luxurious hotel, the Plaza Athénée. The mounds of fresh-baked “croissants,” “pains aux chocolats” and delicacies for which there are no names, while seated at a heavily-clothed table under massive crystal chandeliers, themselves dotted by individual crystals to create a ‘cloud of diamonds’ in the restaurant “Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée,” were very tempting strays from the diet begun the morning before (after the serious ‘pig-out’ in the “Big Easy”).
Boy, was I ever back…big time! This was Paris at its finest.
That afternoon I paid a visit to “Le Palace des Vos
ges” — our Fractional Ownership apartment at 9 Place des Vosges currently under massive renovation. At this stage, the floor is pure sand awaiting newly poured concrete to act as a base for the classic château stone flooring and the floor/ceiling between the two bedrooms is being completely reconstructed to add insulation and strength. To see it now might make it hard to imagine it as how it will be when Interior Architect, Martine di Matteo, passes her magic wand over the 81 square meter space…but if you’re interested, have a look at the video I made that day… Le Palace des Vosges Renovation…then keep up with the progress to watch this ‘caterpillar’ become the ‘butterfly.’
There had been a leak from an upstairs apartment while I was gone and the firemen had to break into it to turn off the water main. We learned that the 300 square-meter luxuriously decorated apartment had been left as is upon the artist owner’s death four years earlier, unoccupied and untouched, thanks to a dispute between his wife and his mistress as to who actually owned the apartment and the property within it — including his paintings.
Boy, was I ever back…big time! Tales of wives and mistresses were reminiscent of Mitterand’s funeral!
After a movie at mega-cinema UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles with friends (some residents, some visitors), dinner was a touch of ‘Americana’ at Joe Allen (30, Rue Pierre Lescot, 1st) where one finds burgers (surprisingly not listed on the menu) and the best “Salade Niçoise” in France…strange as that might seem. The difference in the American style salad is the tuna — Joe Allen serves a tuna steak rather than the crumbled canned tuna found on top of every other Salade Niçoise in France.
Saturday it rained on an off, the sun shining brightly between each downpour, making for a very typical Spring day in the City of Light. It also kept the dining hordes upstairs at La Pierre du Marais glued to their seats long after the normal lunch hour rendering the workshop, “The New Auto-Entrepreneur” Regime: Self-Employment in France Made Simple?” with Attorney Ann Cary Dana, with a late start and a noisy background. That did not stop the group from learning or Ann from teaching us how useful is this new regime for Expats who want to find a way to earn a living and get themselves into the social security system.
If you don’t know about it, you should. This is France’s way to jump-start a lot of new small businesses and create opportunities in what has always been a heavily-taxed and complicated business environment. From an American perspective, the new regulations which provide tax breaks and easy entry, are still riddled with protectionist and control mechanisms that place unnecessary limits on the ability to prosper. I may personally never quite understand why they (the French) can’t see that they are ‘cutting off their noses to spite their faces,’ but of course, that’s the American capitalist in me speaking.
The bottom line is this: with little effort, an individual with legal residence in France (not to be confused with citizenship), can begin to provide goods or services, up to certain limits, without paying tax on revenues not yet achieved, and benefit from the social security system: health care, retirement and unemployment. For Americans trying to find a way to get here, earn a living and take advantage of the ‘safety net’ France offers, it may be a perfect solution as at least a foot in the proverbial door.
What I believe M. Sarkozy didn’t count on, is that the limitations will likely create even more of a black market than they already have (why make an effort to earn more or report more than the limit if it’s going to cost more and benefit nothing?) and will also create a wave of new immigration of people who previously didn’t think it possible.
And BTW (by the way), understanding the complexity of the new regime is a far cry from being ‘simple.’ Boy, was I ever back…big time! (For more information, visit Auto-Entrepreneur or contact Ann Cary Dana for personal advice at [email protected])
To top off the action-packed return to Paris was an enlightenment over dinner at my favorite ‘cantine,’ Chez Omar, with new found friend, Paula Harvan Rosdol. She’s an accomplished entrepreneurial type whose philosophies on love and life closely mirror my own, as we quickly discovered. At midlife, she set out to find true love, approaching it with the same devotion and hard work as she would any of her missions and convictions. She did manage to find the love of her life, but more importantly, she learned a lot about herself and how to teach others how to have the same success.
While I was flirting with the cute, young waiters at Chez Omar, Paula told me that with each new encounter, having met on the Internet or in any other fashion, hope (not expect) only to have a nice time and learn something about oneself…that is what would make for a successful ‘date.’ And do I dare tell you (?) that we both agreed that American women should come to Europe where they would be pleased to discover that with European men, they can really be the women they truly are. American men…take notice. We urge you, too, to come to Europe and discover why women feel that way! (If you’re looking for love in your mid-life and haven’t yet found it, contact Paula at Silver Lining Unlimited and tell her I sent you!)
Boy, was I ever back…big time.
g src=”/parlerparis/images/adrian_mar_2009.jpg” title=”Adrian Leeds” width=”200″ height=”224″ align=”left”/>A la prochaine…
P.S. Thanks to all of you who saw the House Hunters International episode Friday night and commented on it. I have not yet seen it, but heard, thanks to calls in the middle of the night Paris time, and all your very kind letters, that it was well received. If you’re wondering which apartment Jeff and Mary ended up buying and renovating, you’ll find it at Le_Beau_Marais.html and if you’d like to see how the other apartments they visited went from ‘caterpillar’ to ‘butterfly,’ visit Parler Paris Apartments and make your own guesses…they are ALL there! For more information about the program, visit
RESERVE NOW FOR UPCOMING LIVING AND INVESTING IN FRANCE REAL ESTATE CONFERENCES…
DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO BE AN OWNER IN THE BEST ADDRESS IN PARIS — PLACE DES VOSGES
Four Weeks a Year of Heaven in Your Own Part of “Le Palace des Vosges!”
Now you can own a share in an AMAZING “maison” — more of a house in the country than an apartment in Paris, right smack dab in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square — the Place des Vosges.
ATTENTION WRITERS! FROM STORM TO FORM…
You’ve done your Imaginative Storm work. You’ve generated fragments, snippets, images, and story lines. Now, it’s time to play with form and structure…
DON’T MISS…”WRITING FOR THE INDEPENDENT FILM MARKET”
A Workshop Presented by Judith Merians
READY TO SHOP IN PARIS?
LEARN FRENCH IN FRANCE IN A FRENCH LANGUAGE SCHOOL FOR ADULTS
Learn French in the warmth of a stunning villa overlooking the
lovely fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur in a full immersion program with like-minded adults…For more information, visit Institut de Francais or contact Fréderic Latty at inf[email protected] and be sure to tell him Adrian Leeds sent you.
SLEEP UP TO SIX IN OUR LUXURIOUS THREE BEDROOM APARTMENTS! Parler Paris Apartments
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 Château Saint-Germain is an elegant and luxurious three-bedroom/three-bath apartment located in the very heart of the Saint-Germian-des-Prés district of Paris with a view on the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and steps from the liveliest part of the quartier. Visitors to Paris who are lucky enough to make themselves at home here will be talking about their delightful stay for years to come and return as often as they can.
Richard Lenoir and Voltaire – American comfort with a French flair…three-Bedroom, two-bath luxury 7th floor penthouse with two elevators, wrap-around balconies and spectacular views! Located between place de la Bastille and place de la République overlooking both boulevards Richard-Lenoir and Voltaire. Completely newly renovated and professionally decorated.
GET TO KNOW THE BEST OF THE GOOD-VALUE RESTAURANTS IN PARIS
Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants
You don’t need to be rich to dine well in Paris – you just need to know where to go. Enjoy fabulous three-course meals with wine for just $20 to $35, including tax and tip. Explore more than 200 hand-picked great-value restaurants. Plus, get a pull-out glossary of common food and dining terms found on French menus!
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, Practical Paris!
For more information, visit Insider Paris Guides at InsiderParisGuides.com
MEET PARLER PARIS READERS TUESDAY “APRES MIDI.”
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, so don’t miss the next gathering on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit Parler Paris Après Midi
PRACTICE YOUR FRENCH…OR ENGLISH!
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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