The Price Paris Pays for Freedom
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
All weekend long, the “parvis” of the Hôtel de Ville of the City of Paris had been the scene non-stop of celebration since Colombian-French politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist Ingrid Betancourt’s release from Colombia captivity on July 3rd after six and a half years of imprisonment. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë honored her here on Saturday by saying that she would forever be a citizen of Paris and hailed her freedom. Ceremoniously they pulled down the huge poster of herself that adorned the facade of the Hôtel de Ville marking her 2,321 days as a hostage.
(Witness the scene with Ingrid Betancourt honored by Mayor Bertrand Delanoë at the Hôtel de Ville on the official City Hall Web site at: http://www.paris.fr)
It’s another testament to the celebration of liberation this month — with the festivities of Canada Day (July 1st), U.S. Independence Day (July 4th) and of course, Bastille Day (July 14th).
It’s also the first anniversary of the “Vélib”(an abbreviation for “Vélo Liberté”) when on July 15th the city celebrates the success of its public bike program. When the bikes first rode the streets of Paris last July, 750 stations were opened with 10,000 bikes. Now one year later, the program can boast of more 20,000 bikes, 1,450 stations and than 26 million rentals over the course of the year.
Of course, there’s been concern over the three people who have lost their lives on the public bikes, but what price must we pay for freedom? According to city officials, even with the growing number of rentals, the bike accident rate has not increased. I find that surprising, given the way the “pedes
trians-turned-bikers” behave like pedestrians with new found wheels instead of true conductors of vehicles. Pedestrians must now watch for the bikers running right through red lights, traveling against the designated direction of the streets and riding the sidewalks. But hey, there is a price we must pay for all this freedom!
(For some fascinating statistics about the Vélib program, visit http://www.suricat.net/web/index.php/Velib)
Another form of liberation is on the horizon with the newest equivalent car rental service — “Autolib” — electric cars that drivers can pick up and drop off in stations around Paris. By the end of the year, there will be 4,000 cars placed in and around the city — the first of its kind in a capital city. Skeptics complain that bikers will resort to the cars further crowding the roads and that car-sharing schemes are more ecological.
But hey, we must pay a price for freedom, n’est-ce pas?
A la prochaine…
P.S. Plan on joining us tomorrow at Parler Paris Après Midi 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais when we meet, drink, discuss and have a barrel of laughs together! Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information
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“La Residence Belle Vue du Château” at Le Château de la Trousse
A 37-minute ride from the Gare de l’Est takes you to the town of Meaux, a commune of the Seine-et-Marne, on the edge of the Ile-de-France quite near EuroDisney. From Meaux, the drive is another 30 kilometers to the little town of Cocherel, crossing over to the Champagne region where the Château la Trousse sits quite regally…Subscribers Read On…
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Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City
“Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City,” is a beautifully illustrated, 296-page guidebook with over 200 full color photos. At just 6.25″x 7″, it fits easily into your purse, and makes a wonderful souvenir even after your trip is over.
Naughty Paris will be available in bookstores for €25 in September, but you can pre-order your own copy here, and you will receive it a month in advance, fresh off the printing press at the pre-order price of just €20!
The Naughty Paris Guide was written by Heather Stimmler-Hall, a Paris-based journalist and editor of the Secrets of Paris website since 1999.
Book Signing and Reading
Be sure to hear author Michael Genelin talk about his new book, “SIREN OF THE WATERS,” a Commander Jana Matinova Investigation.
“A terrific novel by a man who knows crime, knows Europe, and knows how to write. Siren of the Waters is a genuine pleasure.”—Thomas Perry
Author of Siren of the Waters, Michael Genelin is a resident of Paris. He’ll be signing copies after the reading Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore, 22, rue St Paul, 75004 Paris.
To order the book, visit www.parlerparis.com/books
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 the newest guide, Practical Paris!
Visit Insider Paris Guides
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.
Parler Paris Après Midi
The next gathering is July 8, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.
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!
Parler Parlor meets Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
23, boulevard de Sébastopol (at the corner of rue de la Reynie), 1st arrondissement
Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For further details, visit parlerparlor.com
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Parismarais.com, affiliated with the Tourist Bureau of Paris, is the creation of a team of journalists and advertising professionals. Passionate about their district, they want the world to discover it as well. The Parismarais.com team constantly selects and recommends the best charming hotels, inexpensive restaurants, upscale shops, museums and galleries. Their goal is to provide information to all tourists and residents. Whatever your passion, everything you want to know about le Marais, in English, is on Parismarais.com! So chic, n’est pas? parismarais.com/
Subscribe to the free Parismarais® Newsletter and each month you’ll receive a review of great bargains to be found in the district…
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To subscribe, visit francetoday.com or call 1-800-901-6560
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The Price Paris Pays for Freedom
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