CHOCOLATE UNDER THE PARIS PALMS
February 11, 2002
*** TRAVEL TO EXOTIC LANDS WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR "QUARTIER"
Here in Paris we are always talking about somewhere else.
Or so it seems. In the last few weeks, you’ve read about
Buddhas from the east, bulls from Pamplona, a palace from
Tokyo, and tuna salads from the U.S. Seems ridiculous, but
that’s one of the reasons Paris is such a wonderful spot on
the planet to be.
You see, in Paris you are totally surrounded by such a
multicultural environment that you can afford the luxury of
traveling to exotic lands without even leaving your
Just yesterday, American artist Kathy Burke exhibited her
paintings featuring Hawaiian "Dancers in Movement" and
right there in her brightly lit arched-windowed atelier in
the north end of the Marais, real live Hawaiian dancers
performed dance and song . . . quite beautifully, I might
add. (For more information about Kathy Burke’s portraits
and other work, call +33 (0) 22.214.171.124.75.)
You know how things seem to happen in threes? Well, this
was no exception. From the exhibition, we headed south past
the elegant Eglise St. Eustache to the "Forum des Images"
(http://www.forumdesimages.net/) to view a silent film from
1917. It was the last of the films shown as part of the
"Kannibals et Vahines Festival de Cinema des Mers du Sud."
The film, titled "La Bouteille Enchantee" (The Enchanted
Bottle), an adaptation of Robert-Louis Stevenson’s "A
Thousand and One Nights," was restored by the "Cinemateque
de Toulouse" and was set in Hawaii, of all places! The live
musical accompaniment was played on electric ukulele,
Hawaiian guitar piano and percussion. Brilliantly composed
to fit the film (kitsch as it was), it was another example
of how the French sense of esthetics has the entire world
The third "voyage" to Hawaii came when I settled into bed
and opened this month’s "Paris Free Voice" to a palm tree
decorated ad for the "France-Hawaii Association!" It’s your
chance to learn basic dance steps, vocabulary and song.
Tel. +33 (0) 126.96.36.199.08.
This coming week there will be another "voyage," this time
to New Orleans for Mardi Gras since we’re celebrating
Tuesday at a Mardi Gras dinner at my soulfood
home-away-from-home, Bojangles Restaurant . . .
Then we’ll head back to Paris on the 14th for a Valentine’s
Day chocolate fix from "La Maison du Chocolat." (I already
have a red heart-shaped linen box of delicious delights
from an admirer!) And who’s YOUR favorite Parisian
"chocolatier?" Do tell!
A la prochaine fois . . .
email: mailto:[email protected]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds
Published by International Living
Issue Number 25, February 11, 2002
In this issue:
*** Four Steps to Publish Your Own Article About Paris
*** Insider News About a Future Retirement Community Near
Bordeaux and Biarritz
*** Live Like a Local Next Time You’re in Paris
*** Wanted: Two-Bedroom Village House Near Nimes
*** Four Years Talking Expat French
*** Save Bojangles–Join the Committee
*** Yes, Your Old Franc Stamps are Still Good
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*** IN FOUR DAYS IN PARIS THIS APRIL, YOU CAN . . .
1) Learn the secrets of becoming a travel writer, from 10
of the most successful editors, writers, and publishers in
2) Discover the little-known techniques travel writers use
to land free vacations . . . free concert tickets . . .
free meals, and more.
3) Experience Paris with 8 local writers. Literary cafés,
historic restaurants . . . even a soirée at one writer’s
apartment in the historic Marais district.
4) Walk away with a publishable Paris travel story–with
the help of 3 editors who can launch your sideline career
in this fun and exciting field.
See all the details about this exciting workshop at
And if you’d rather ease into the Parisian writer’s life in
a less intense way, you can go on the "Survival French"
immersion course by Marie-Elisabeth Crochard April 22 and
or the Literary Tours of Paris April 27 and 28 by Elizabeth
*** CAREFREE RETIREMENT IN FRANCE
We just g
ot word about the future plans for an "active
adult community"–a development of more than 988 acres
located between Bordeaux and Biarritz.
The project will include 75 houses, 250 apartments, and a
130-bed medical facility, along with leisure facilities
that include an 18-hole golf course, riding facilities,
trap and skeet range, swimming pools, thermal baths, tennis
courts, and a playground for grandchildren. Dining
facilities and shops will provide fine French cooking and
regional products. The medical facility will be operated by
local medical personnel, assisted by English-speaking
"medical concierge" assistants, and talks are already under
way with French and American health partners to provide
support for assisted living, Alzheimer’s support, and
terminal hospice care.
Housing units will be sold, not rented, through a
securitized corporate structure that takes advantage of
international tax treaties to minimize capital gains on
If you would like to be put on a mailing list to receive
more information in the future, please email Adrian at
* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *
** Paris’ best bistro is just off the stylish Place des
Victoires . . . but you’ve probably never heard of it.
** One of the best leather shops in the world is tucked
away on Milan’s Galleria Victor Emanuele.
** London’s best-kept restaurant secret is located right
behind the new Four Season’s hotel . . .where few tourists
If you want to take advantage of the best, but least-known
travel secrets in the world–and save money at the same
time–throw away your outdated guidebooks and stake
advantage of a new way of traveling:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*** BECOME A PARISIAN IN YOUR OWN PIED-A-TERRE . . .
Instead of booking that hotel on your next trip, become a
Parisian in your own pied-a-terre–just by renting a
furnished apartment, completely equipped and well cared
We personally recommend several agencies in Paris who can
provide you with quality apartments for rental by the week
and the month at a range of prices.
For our recommendations, click here:
email us at mailto:[email protected]
* If you should contact these agencies, be sure to let them
know Adrian Leeds and Parler Paris sent you!
*** PROPERTY SEEKERS AND FINDERS
* Anne M.M. is seeking to purchase a two-bedroom village
house either in Lourmarin, Uzes, Aix en Provence or
villages further west near Nimes, etc. (Provence) for as
low price as possible.
* Ashley N. is seeking an unfurnished very quiet two-room
apartment in Paris near shops and Metro, 35 to 50 square
meters, from the 1st of March for a long-term rental, for
less than 1,000 euro per month in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and
14th arrondissements (or others).
* Janet M. is seeking a furnished studio or one-bedroom
apartment in Paris from June 30 to August 1 for a maximum
of 1,200 euro per month in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th or
15th arrondissements. It must have a real bed, a TV, a
telephone, a table large enough to use as a small desk, an
iron and ironing board, and be on an upper floor. And
would LOVE a washing machine. Must have simple and clean
* If you own an apartment or property that fits these
requests or you would like to sell or rent your property,
contact me, Adrian, at
* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *
"Motorola Predicts 10% Drop in Sales, Will Lay Off 9,400
More Employees"–Dec ’01
"Boeing Notifies 1,737 of Layoffs; 16,637 Jobs Cut in 3
"AT&T Records $1 Billion Charge, Mostly Due to Cutting
10,000 Jobs"–Jan ’02
These Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones headlines are bad
news for most people. But for me, it means an income of
about $2,400 a day in the coming months.
Here’s my secret: http://www.myresumebiz.com/opportunity1
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*** COME TO OUR 4TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
This coming Saint Patrick’s day, Parler Parlor celebrates 4
years of conversational exchange in Paris. It’s hard to
believe that so many sessions have passed, so many
memberships have been enjoyed and so many nationalities
have come through our doors (more than 50), since we first
started meeting in early ’98.
On March 16th, EVERYONE is invited to attend the
conversation group at 11 a.m. then have lunch with us at 1
p.m. at a nearby restaurant and in honor of our
anniversary, and new members and renewing members can take
an additional 10% off their registration that day.
To reserve for lunch on March 17th or for more information:
Ask for Elisabeth 01.44.19.76.61 or Adrian 01.40.27.97.59
Parler Parlor French/English Conversation Group
*** JOIN THE COMMITTEE TO SAVE BOJANGLES
Bojangles is in a financial crisis that threatens to close
its doors. A call for help via email elicited an
extraordinary response from around the world of people who
want to see Bojangles remain open in Paris so that they can
continue to be a home-away-from-home for people who love
good food, good music and good times.
To this end, a "Save Bojangles" committee is now in
formation, and I’m on it.
Only 100 people with $250 each is what Bojangles needs to
keep its doors open. Each person who serves on the
committee will receive a 10% discount at Bojangles between
now and December 31, 2002 and will have their name and
photo placed on a "Pillar of Support" that is prominently
displayed in the restaurant dining hall.
The campaign is on now through March 17 . Attend a party on
Sunday, 17 March 2002 to show your support!
If you are interested in serving on the committee–or just
making a contribution–send an email to
mailto:[email protected] and be sure to tell them Adrian
at Parler Paris sent you.
If you haven’t been to the real Bojangles and are dying to
taste Sharon Morgan’s famous Louisiana Gumbo, you can
always get "The Bojangles Book of Gumbo" by Sharon Leslie
Morgan available from Insider Paris Guides at
47 rue Rodier, 75009 Paris
+33 1 42 81 98 20
*** LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
* What’s the status of my old franc-denominated stamps?
"PARIS, Aug 12 (AFP)–Although the franc will cease to
exist after the euro becomes legal tender in 2002, figures
on French stamps can look forward to many more years of
"The franc will be pulled from circulation on February 17,
but franc stamps "will conserve their face value for an
indefinite period," indicated Antoine di Maggio, head of
the postage stamp and collectors department at the French
The rest of this article can be found at:
* We are desperate to determine the situation with
recycling in France (especially Paris). We have a community
glass depository down the street and newspaper recycling at
our building. I previously stayed with a friend in the 16th
and she had recycle bins in her building for glass, paper,
plastic and aluminum.
I have been told by friends that France has a system in
which trash goes to central place and gets sorted for
recycling thus we needn’t worry about separating trash but
I have never seen anything to corroborate this. Please help
us desperate Yankee recyclers! Thanks.
Heather and Craig B.
Dear Heather and Craig,
By 2002, there are expected to be nearly 4,000 civic
amenity centers in France in operation.
Glass collection is well established in the public
consciousness and has been taking place in France since
1974. In 1996, 1.35 million tons of glass were recycled,
representing a 50% recycling rate and by 2002, it is
confidently expected that nearly 2 million tons of glass
will be recycled.
(Have you seen the big green canisters all over Paris?)
Recycling of other products such as newspapers, cardboard
and plastic packaging, although still less developed than
glass, is also increasing.
(Have you seen the special green waste cans with the blue
tops, special for paper?)
For more information, here are some sites to help you:
* Dear Gary N.,
Here’s more advice for you about what U.S. tools and other
electrical devices (that plug into an outlet) to bring with
you to Sucy-en- Brie. As for your tools, they will function
as a transformer or converter will step up the voltage to
France’s 220v. But because it doesn’t bring down the cycles
to France’s 50Hz, you may n
ote a drop in performance. I
did. (Note that converters are for short-term use with
simple electrical devices while transformers are for
longer-term use and for electronics.) Check out these Web
pages for authoritative information about these issues and
about buying transformers, multi-system TVs and VCRs,
dual-voltage appliances, plug adapters and telephone
conversion jacks. DVD Overseas Electronics:
World Gift Center: http://www.world-import.com/info.htm
Helpful advice also came your way from Craig, an engineer
"For my tools, I brought my battery powered stuff. For
some, the charger worked with the transformer. For others,
I found the equivalent local charger which still was less
expensive than the tool. For the power tools, I bought new.
Just as with kitchen appliances, things are made
differently here, and it has been a joy to experience
European tools. US tools will work with a transformer, they
will run slightly slower because of 50Hz instead of 60Hz.
"A wide variety of things work, and a wide variety don’t. I
brought most with, and now I am bringing quite a few back.
It works OK, because each time I travel to the US, I need
to bring suitcases to bring US goods back. Whether they are
empty traveling to America, or full of returns, matters
Sensible advice for your smaller electrical items. I
wouldn’t try that with the refrigerator though! I suggest
selling the U.S. "white goods," especially, and buying
French, as you are planning to move here permanently.
Author of "Working and Living in France: the Ins and Outs"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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