War of the Noses

The Courtyard at Rue de Saintonge

War of the Noses

Parler Paris “Nouvellettre
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Paris, France

Doing ‘Something’ is Better Than ‘Nothing!’…Especially THIS ‘Something!’

Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference
March 21-22, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana

There is nothing else you can do in less time and as inexpensively to learn all you need to learn to make your dream to live and invest in France come true. Produced by Adrian Leeds and John Howell is the 23rd conference of the series, which was the first ever of its kind to be offered both in Paris and the United States. Take advantage of this two-day power-packed conference with expert speakers from France, Europe and the U.S…and these two days of conference activities include the coffee breaks, the cocktail and five course dinner at Tujague’s(!).
Reference materials and a tote bag filled with FREE gifts from Paris!

If you register now, you can SAVE $100 off the registration fee. And when you bring along your spouse, partner or friend, you can SAVE AN ADDITIONAL $200! Plus, if you bring a third person, we’ll EXTEND THE SECOND PERSON DISCOUNT!

For more information and to register, click here FrenchPropertyconference or email [email protected]


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Yesterday there was a rather thick package of paper in my “boites aux lettres” titled “Amicale du [number] rue de Saintonge.” One might have thought it the manuscript of a new screen play at first glance, but no, it’s the preparatory documents owners will need to attend the annual “assemblée générale” (meeting) of the “copropriété” (homeowners association).

The meeting will take place March 10th, just after our own “Parler Paris Après Midi” gathering, in the same location — the upstairs at La Pierre du Marais. Convenient for me…I won’t have a long commute — may not even have to change seats!

The association meetings of any group of owners is predictable. It is sure to be both dastardly and fascinating at the same time. While the meetings usually drone on with incessant conversation over the most mundane decisions (the French can ‘circle’ a discussion like driving cars around the “Etoile” (Arc de Triomphe) never to actually spin off in any direction), the interaction among the owners is always an eye- opening experience.

At one meeting of one of our clients (who owns a one-bedroom apartment in a 16th-century building in Le Marais), kicked off with a ‘duel of noses!’ Yes, you read right…a duel of noses. The father of the volunteer “syndic” (association manager), who also lived in the building and who was present to defend his son from the accusations of absconding with 10,000 euros of the association’s money, actually thrust his long French nose into the nose space of another owner and whacked it back and forth as if it was an epee!

I swear, this is true. It’s never been seen before and never been seen since, but my first thoughts were that in a weird way it was quite civilized, if not downright bizarre. Is it cultural, we might wonder?

Nonetheless, what is so interesting about the thick package of papers has more to do with the contents, which includes a friendly letter from our volunteer syndic. He’s an elderly gentleman with whom I’ve developed a very pleasant rapport over the years, mostly because in his eyes I’m a real oddity — a woman with real estate/business sense. It seems he hasn’t come across too many of those in his past experience and for that reason, must respect my opinion as he includes me in many of
the committee meetings only involving a few owners.

In his letter, he refers to the decision by the association in 1995 to manage itself rather than hire an outside agency. In an effort to ‘pat himself on the back’ a bit, he notes that of the 500,000 associations in France, representing 20 million people, 90% to 95% are managed by professional agencies, while the remaining 5% to 10%, usually of small associations, manage themselves, citing an article in Le Monde this past December. The letter goes on to say that the normal annual cost for an owner is 25,30€ per square meter while at our building, the cost is less than 9€! That’s an annual savings of more than 1,100€ for my part alone.

No doubt, I have new-found respect for the volunteer syndic who has to endure all the owners’ issues and complaints, including the rebel owner who painted her door different from the others (like me).

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds

Editor, Parler Paris


P.S. It’s surprising! “Le Provençal” actually has availabilities this month and next. Take advantage of a last minute rental in the sunniest little studio this side of the Seine at the low season rates! Visit
/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html and be sure to tell John I sent you.



A Workshop Presented by Judith Merians
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Le Pierre du Marais

The independent film market has changed radically in the last few years. Find out how you can write the script that is still in demand for the smaller film. This workshop will offer all the latest information on what kinds of independent films are being made, what types of stories are sought after, who is producing these films, what the budget ranges are, and how these films are being marketed and distributed. Learn which doors to knock on and what projects to pitch to maximize your chances of a deal. Of the 25 nominations for this year’s Oscars in the talent/film category, 18 are for independent, specialty, niche films. That business is thriving while changing – discover how to navigate the new terrain and what will interest producers and financiers.

This workshop is led by Judith Merians, who has been an entertainment lawyer and studio executive, literary agent, and film school professor in Los Angeles for over 25 years.

Join us for this 3-hour workshop session sponsored by Adrian Leeds and Parler Paris.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais in Le Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers

Time: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Only 30€ per person!

Places are limited. For more information visit /frenchproperty/conference/
To register email [email protected]


If it’s a new mortgage, then now is a perfect moment to take advantage of lower interest rates! You can refinance an existing property and can even apply for a larger amount for a longer term. Although there are usually Notaire fees payable on securing a new mortgage on a property, often, the charges can be absorbed into the loan itself. And if you already own property in France, why not release equity from your current property to purchase another one?

For more information and to apply for a low interest mortgage in France, contact John Rule, Mortgage Manager, www.FrenchPropertyLoan.com, email [email protected]


L’Institut de Français, Villefranche-sur-Mer

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 [email protected] and be sure to

tell him Adrian Leeds sent you.


Enjoy 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. The first four shares are the least expensive, so don’t miss this unique opportunity to be one of the first!

For more information visit frenchpropertyfractional.com or [email protected]


“The Paris Poetry Workshop” with International Poet Cecilia Woloch

Over the past seven years, the Paris Poetry Workshop May 10-15, 2009 led by poet Cecilia Woloch, has become a tradition in the English-speaking Paris poetry community. This is your chance to see and experience a side of Paris not readily accessible to the average tourist — an opportunity to spend time in Paris as a poet among poets. Participants generate new work, hone their craft, offer feedback and support on one another’s creative endeavors, make new friends and expand their literary horizons. The workshop is limited to 10 participants, so act now to get your place.

For more information and to register visit: /frenchproperty/conference/poetry/poetry_paris_2009.html


Welcome to Writing from the Heart…a journey into the heart of France, and into your own heart…April 21-27, 2009 in the inspiring village of Essoyes, in the heart of Champagne country, two and a half hours southeast of Paris.

“A wonderful week of writing, in a charming and welcoming French village.”

The workshop is given by Janet Hulstrand, a writer, editor, and teacher whose essays and articles have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Guide to Retirement Living, International Educator, Smithsonian.com, and other publications.

For more information visit: essoyesschool.com or email [email protected]


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.


In Le Marais on rue Charlot – Charming, sunny studio apartment, beautifully and artistically decorated à la Provençale in hand-crafted mosaic tile and totally luxurious. Not a single convenience missing. Sleeps 2.

Reserve now! Visit Parler Paris Apartments or email: [email protected]



Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants
Written and Regularly Updated by Adrian Leeds

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.c


Next Meeting March 10, 2009

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, March 10th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit Parler Paris Après Midi


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!

For further details, visit Parler Parlor

France Today The Magazine Of French Travel and Culture

France Today is an insider’s look at French culture, people and trends — your savvy guide to off-the-beaten-track places and events in Paris and all over France!

France-Amerique est vôtre lien privilégié avec la France et la langue française!”

To subscribe, visit France Today or call 1-800-901-6560

Buy and sell with Parler Paris classifieds: ParlerParis.com/advertise.html

Read past issues of Parler Paris: ParlerParis.com/issues/readpastissues.html

Know someone who would be interested in the opportunities in Parler Paris? Forward it for FREE to your friend, relative, or associate here: ParlerParis.com/tell-a-friend/index.php

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Copyright 2010, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, adrianleeds.com

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