Montmartre and “Mashonzha” on My Mind
Monday, August 28, 2006
Rent the personal Marais apartment of Adrian Leeds
Dear Parler Paris Reader,
It’s not often I make it up the hill to what was once a “petit village” outside of the city — Montmartre. But by sheer coincidence (or “synchronicity” as respected psychologist Carl Jung would call it), I landed there several times over the weekend, both in body and spirit.
It is classic to meet a friend at Métro Abbesses, famous for one of the Art Nouveau entrances designed by Hector Guimard at the turn of the century, and so we did, to have lunch at a hill-top bistrot. The “place” there is a key point for Montmartre residents and a pleasant spot to relax under the trees on the park benches watching assorted rendez-vous’s take place.
At this moment, it is totally under reconstruction. The city is “pedestrianizing” much of itself, enlarging sidewalks, adding trees, creating more “espaces verts” and in the process, making it almost impossible for traffic to circulate. If I had to depend on a car for my mode of transportation, I wouldn’t be so pleased, but as a pedestrian and supporter of public transportation, they can lay those pretty stones in their scalloped patterns just anywhere they like, as far as I’m concerned! Of course, this is the intention of our city planners — to create such a hell for drivers that they will park their cars forever, stop polluting the environment and making less noise, not to mention providing a better quality of life for all.
Wherever these improvements have taken place, property values have increased. The 18th arrondissement has been on an upward climb for a while now with property appreciation about 15% per year. The “quartier” with the most to gain is “Château Rouge,” the heart of the African community.
I found myself there on Sunday with another friend at the market on rue Dejean to take a stroll to discover African delicacies and have lunch at a Senegalese restaurant. You will see there all sorts of vegetables, roots, herbs and nuts you’ve never seen before. Along rue des Poissonniers, African women sit in front of their burlap bags filled with deep purple eggplants and bags and “Mashonzha” — worms that are similar to caterpillars in appearance. Along rue Myrha, the prostitutes hang-out in front of their doors waiting for a John or two while the pimps have lunch in the local restaurants. “Le Nioumré” is one of them — an inexpensive voyage into the Flavors of Senegal — “Tiébou Diène” (National dish of Senegal of fish and vegetables in a spicy red sauce over rice), “Yassa” (chicken or fish marinated in lemon juice with onions, then braised and served over rice) and “Accra” (Caribbean codfish fritters).
Boulevard Barbès is under massive reconstruction to create what the city calls “un espace civilisé.” The sidewalks are being enlarged from five to eight meters, a 1.6 kilometer-long bicycle lane and bus/taxi lanes are being added, traffic for cars is being reduced to one lane, 7 parking spots for two-wheelers have been added on adjacent streets while 33 special delivery zones are planned. To augment the 150 trees that are already there, 75 more will be planted and 110 lampposts are being added to light the area well.
The idea is to provide a safe an pleasant environment for pedestrians, bikers and skaters while reducing the speed of the traffic, improving the air quality, increasing commercial opportunities and raising the quality of life for all. It should all be complete by the end of the year, or so they predict.
The 18th arrondissement encompasses much more than the part we thi
nk of as “Montmartre” with its imposing Sacré Coeur as the undeniable landmark. The areas of the district you might not have ventured to before will soon be particularly inviting.
The city invites you to be a part.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]
P.S. Don’t forget, Parler Paris Après Midi is one week early this month. Be there on September 5th at 3 p.m. to meet, drink and be conversive! Scroll down or visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.
P.P.S. Parler Parlor French-English conversation group celebrates La Rentrée on September 23rd with its annual party — this time with Hot Dogs American style and a special offering on both 10 and 20 session membership cards! Scroll down or visit http://www.parlerparlor.com/ for more details.
* Let us show you just how hassle-free it can be to get a mortgage for your French dream property! /frenchproperty/insider/mortgage.html
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This Week in French Property Insider…
Aubais is one of those little spots on the French map in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon that particularly attracts Americans. Languedoc-Roussillon has been invaded by those British seeking vacation and retirement homes the past few years, especially as the more now as prices in the Dordogne climbed. They soon realized the region offered a better climate, beautiful landscapes, plenty of great wines and access to the sea as well as more sizzle for their sterling…FPI Subscribers Read On…
Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.
“Little Africa” Market Street
“Marché Dejean,” nicknamed the “African Market,” is a popular neighborhood market street right outside the Château-Rouge subway stop. When you come up the subway stairs to the street, you’re immediately taken miles south to another continent! The area is truly “Africa in Paris” –- you see brothers and sisters in native garb shopping, chatting and mingling – and incredibly resembles Abidjan or Dakar. On Saturday, the market and surrounding streets are extremely crowded with people who come from all over the greater Paris area to pick up foodstuffs and ingredients. For those of you who like catfish, tilapia, mullet and other fish, stop by here. If you have a taste for greens, ask for “feuilles de broccoli”.
A good number of the small shops in this neighborhood also sell produce and foodstuffs from the Continent and the Caribbean. Stroll down the rue Poulet, rue des Poissoniers, rue de Clignancourt, or rue Doudeauville. Many sell hair products, CDs, videos and fabric too. -– Haiti Market, Jardins d’Afrique, Exot d’Afrique, Elégance Exotique, Paravic (fish specialities), Chez Papa, and Eléphant d’Abidjan are just a few.
Get your copy of Insider Guide to Black Paris now. http://www.insiderparisguides.com/black/index.html
==================== ze="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Earn $100 when your refer your friends…
ze="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Earn $100 when your refer your friends…
Living and Investing in France Conference
If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a “pied-à-terre” of your own part of the year or perhaps investing in property in France, this power-packed conference is a MUST. Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly e-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co., Law Overseas, London, these two days in San Diego will arm you with all the information you need to make it happen!
Plus, earn $100 for every friend you refer…see the Web site for details.
For more information, visit Living and Investing in France Conference San Diego or email Schuyler Hoffman, [email protected]
* Rent the personal Marais apartment of Adrian Leeds
* “Le Provençal” Studio: Now Available!
Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.
Parler Paris Apartments
The next gathering is September 5, 2006
Because Adrian will be traveling to San Diego for the Living and Investing in France Conference the second week in September, the next Après Midi will be September 5th instead of September 12th.
So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.
New to France or just looking to make the most of expatriate life?
At the Expatica Welcome to France fair you will get the information you need from companies and agencies specialised in expatriate services.
You’ll find information on house hunting, finding a job, immigration and permits, staying long-term, and much more.
Meet the people who make expat life great, including the top clubs and associations, travel agents and event organisations.
Welcome to France
Tickets are FREE if you sign-up online before September 15th. For more information visit http://www.expatica.com/welcometofrance
To sign up for your FREE tickets, click here!
*** See the French Property Insider Consultation and John Howell of International Law Partnership booth number 55/56 next to the entertainment area and stay for our presentation, “Getting ready to find your dream home in France…” with John Howell and Adrian
LA RENTREE HOT DOG PARTY!
Come for Conversation! Then Have Lunch With Us !
Plus, Sign-Up That Day and Save!
*See New Rates Effective September 23, 2006
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!
“Montmartre and “”Mashonzha”" on My Mind”
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