Capitalizing on an Apple Tarte

Photo by Harry Hamburg

Capitalizing on an Apple Tarte

Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, November 30, 2009
Paris, France

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SPECIAL NOTE: Today’s newsletter is not an editorial designed to change your opinions, but only to act as a reflection on your own view points so you can make your own decisions… as the last few days of events have offered an opportunity to think, reflect and affect my own.

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

It seemed apropos to go see Michael Moore’s latest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” during Thanksgiving weekend, when being a “gourmand” (French) is synonymous with “greed.”

Thursday evening we were “gourmands” in the English sense of the word — “a person who enjoys eating large amounts of food” (Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary). I cooked up a 4.5 kilo French turkey (that cost 36€, or $54), made the best stuffing I’d ever made (without a clue why this year’s creative concoction worked better than any other) and everyone brought their favorite dishes from sweet potatoes to Brussels sprouts and the biggest apple tarte I’d ever seen.

In fact, by sheer coincidence, our friends visiting from the States, whose only job was to come up with an apple tarte, managed to stumble into one of our very favorite bakeries — Le Bon Panneton on rue Saint-Charles in the 15th arrondissement (number 105). It is there that they purchased an enormous tarte sliced into 10 that would have fed 20. It is also Le Bon Panneton that makes the best chocolate tarte in the city, if not the world! (Perhaps you remember a Parler Paris Nouvellettre® from October 2004 raving about this “gourmet’s delight,” or should I say “gourmand’s delight?” (See if you want to seriously drool!)

When you stop to think about the tradition of the Thanksgiving Holiday, which is purely an American celebration, it’s really all about “capitalist prosperity.” That’s the true meaning.

Some Americans want to turn it into a religious experience, by ‘spinning’ the basic economic prosperity of the Pilgrims into their devotion to God as does j2999eph Farah in “But it wasn’t just an economic system that allowed the Pilgrims to prosper. It was their devotion to God and His laws. And that’s what Thanksgiving is really all about. The Pilgrims recognized that everything we have is a gift from God – even our sorrows. Their Thanksgiving tradition was established to honor God and thank Him for His blessings and His grace.”

Perhaps this provides some solace, but this is a celebration Capitalistic prosperity with a Capital “C.” In this same article, Farah himself wrote: “As a result, the Pilgrims soon found they had more food than they could eat themselves. They set up trading posts and exchanged

goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London much faster than expected. The success of the Plymouth colony thus attracted more Europeans and set off what we call the ‘Great Puritan Migration.’”

And so our culture of capitalism began in simple roots and we celebrate it to this day with “gourmand” gusto. I’m every bit as guilty as the next one and have loved this holiday above all others…mostly because of the lack of guilt one can have while being a downright “gourmand” and eating an extra piece of apple tarte the waistline doesn’t need.

But let’s look at the French meaning of “gourmand” and consider it isn’t about eating a lot, but about being “greedy.”

Whether you like Michael Moore or not…and it’s easy to be critical of his film(s) or any of his points of view on American life, but there’s one thing anyone must admit about his tactics: he holds up a big mirror and says “Hey you guys, have a good look at yourselves and then judge if you like what you see or not.”

Guess what? The system of Capitalism developed in Europe in the 16th-century, although capitalist-like organizations have existed in the ancient world and flourished during the late Middle Ages. So, the Pilgrims came by it quite honestly and naturally. And nothing about capitalism says one must be “greedy.”

The truth is that capitalism itself may not be ‘evil’ as Moore clearly states in his film, but it’s the ‘greed’ that it has ‘civilized’ that could easily be the ‘fall of the American empire.’ In the opening of the film he juxtapositions ancient Rome against current America with just that tumbling of power in mind.

Meanwhile, we capitalist Americans who have made their homes in socialist democracies such as France, constantly see the push-pull of the two ideals and how the extremes of each create an imbalance of a kind of ‘greed’ by both opposing parties. There can be turmoil within us as we wrestle with those parts of socialized living we enjoy (universal health care, high quality free education) compared with those parts we don’t (high taxation, stiff regulations). Still, we choose to give up being ‘gourmand’ for more equally distributed benefits without much complaint, keeping our waistlines a little slimmer.

It’s all ‘food’ for thought, and makes one a ‘gourmand’ for new ideas, if not for apple tarte.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
(photo by Harry Hamburg, holding the Apple Tarte in its box)

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P.S. Check out our newest Parler Paris Apartment…Le Grand Ciel! And take advantage of stays prior to December 20th at a 10% to 15% discount. Visit Parler Paris Apartments for more information.




Your Complete Solution to a New Home in France...

French Property Consultation.

Let the Adrian Leeds Group guide you through the process with ease and peace of mind… to have your very own pied-à-terre in Paris or home in the French countryside.

Visit frenchpropertyconsultation or email [email protected]

Book Now for December at 10% to 15% off!

Take advantage of a 10% to 15% discount off rental rates at Parler Paris Apartments when you stay in one of our apartments anytime from now until December 20th, 2009!

To view our apartments and check availability, visit the Parler Paris Apartments site or email us at [email protected] for our recommendations.

Plus, view our newest apartments­-all are luxurious and well-located with attention to every detail, to make your stay in the City of Light as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

This Week, Watch Adrian Leeds & French Property Consultation on T.V.
House Hunters International – New Dates

***”Settling Down in Paris” – Episode HHINT-1A05

December 4, 2009 7:00 P

December 14, 2009 12:00 AM ET/PT

House Hunters International Episode HHINT-402

To learn more, visit or email Adrian Leeds, at [email protected]

A Farewell to Paris by Kathleen Spivack at the Village Voice!
December 6, 2009, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Kathleen Spivack and the Village Voice invite you to Kathleen’s Farewell and Thank You party in Paris on Sunday afternoon, December 6, between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Village Voice Bookshop. Kathleen will present a brief excerpt from her forthcoming book, “Tempests in a Teapot.”

To Learn More Visit:

Don’t Miss Cocktails and Crime Somewhere in Paris.

Cara Black, Mystery writer is Special Guest at Paris Soirées, Author of: “Murder In The Latin Quarter,” and more…

The evening takes place in the Latin Quarter.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Reserve Now:
[email protected]

For more information visit: /parlerparis/calendar.html

You don’t need to be rich to dine well in Paris – you just need to know where to go.

Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants
The first online restaurant guide to Paris! Published since 1996.
Written and Regularly Updated by Adrian Leeds

For more information, visit Insider Paris Guides at

Le Palace des Vosges

It’s Called French Property Fractional.

If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, visit: French Property Fractional for more information.


Practice Your French…or English! New Wednesday Location.
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!

Note: Closed between Christmas and New Year’s, December 25, 2009 through January 4, 2010

For further details, visit Parler Parlor

A Photographic Project-Journey through Volunteering in Cambodian Orphanages

Click here for more information and to learn how to receive Erica Simone original prints when you make your pledge.

Visit: Erica Simone Photography or email Erica: [email protected]

NEXT MEETING: December 8th, 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, December 8th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit Parler

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