“Washing It Down, Drying It Up, A La Vie Franaise”

Photo by Erica Simone

Washing It Down, Drying It Up, A La Vie Franaise

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Paris, France

“Le Provençal” Studio


“Le Provençal” Studio

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.

LAST MINUTE RENTAL! Available March 8th – 27th and April 26th – May 6th (departure May 7th)!

Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

One of the shocks when crossing the cultural divide from the other side of the ocean to France is as mundane a subject as washing clothes. Stateside we didn’t think too much about it. There was a laundry room all to itself equipped with a large cubic foot capacity washer and separate dryer, enough space for an ironing board, hanging rack and laundry basin. The washer took about 30 minutes to do a week’s load of darks and the dryer about the same, fluffing and taking out the wrinkles all along.

Then we moved to France.

The idea of laundry in France is as different from ours as are the French themselves. We were lucky to have a machine at all in the apartment we first rented (in 1994), and it performed both functions, washing and drying, neither one all that efficiently. Washing and drying the clothing took several hours and the heat baked the wrinkles in to a permanent state. I opted to hang the clothing, sheets and towels on a rack to reduce electricity consumption, spare the ironing and believe it or not, simplify my life. It became such a habit, that when installing a new machine years later, I opted for a washer-only, a solid expandable drying rack and towels that dry to the texture of cardboard. (I’ve come to love the way they exfoliate my skin!)

The year the 20-plus-year-old Siemens washer-dryer “kicked the bucket” ended in a war with Conforama (a furniture and appliance store with locations all over France) over a machine which couldn’t keep its parts functioning for more than a week. In the course of nine months, five different machines took residence in my kitchen, everyone in the “Après Vente” department at Conforama got to know the “crazy American woman who calls every day” and I learned a new French vocabulary like “lave linge,” “sèche-linge” and “soin du linge.” I started collecting coins to use in the laundromat down the street, bought a cart that I could roll a week’s worth of laundry down the stairs and cursed both Conforama and the system that had me spinning like the clothing in the dryer.

When the last and final machine was installed in my apartment by Darty (the biggest appliance store chain in France known for its excellent service), a Siemens washer with a particularly small 4-kilogram capacity (measured by weight rather than by space), I blessed their good service and vowed to remain “fidèle.”

Over dinner last night, visiting friends remarked about how they chose their rental apartment, “If the apartment has a washer-dryer, then we don’t have to pack as much.” And when you’re carrying bags up several flights of narrow stairs, packing light is ideal, so when furnishing “Le Provençal,” I didn’t consider for one moment NOT to install a washer-dryer in the apartment, regardless of its petit size. To Darty is where I ran, spotted a Siemens brand “sèche-linge” and handed over the “carte de cédit” to a whopping 800 euros and peace of mind.

Learning how to use a French washer-dryer is akin to mastering the French language and all its accents. Don’t expect their machines to perform like ours, just as you wouldn’t expect your French friends to stop smoking for health reasons. Thank goodness, one can order up a Siemens instruction booklet in English so that renters will know how to set the drying cycle for two hours (rather than 20 minutes) and that they can’t open the door until many minutes after the cycle is complete (rather than breaking it open with a crowbar).

When traveling to the States this past Fall, I had culture shock in reverse when spotting friends’ largest capacity machine on the market today, necessary for today’s king-size bedspreads…realizing it would take another studio apartment just to house i


Washing It Down — A True Story:

Visiting friend from Hawaii, Gar Westfall, stopped into a laundromat in the 13th arrondissement to check out the price of the machines. There five young women there washing their own things when a tall, dark, good looking and well-built young man entered. Naturally all eyes followed him, until he did what they least expected.
In no time at all, he proceeded to undress…entirely…except for a T-shirt which came down only as far as his naval. Each garment went into the machine, he added the powder, the money and started it up. Then, he sat bare-bottomed on the cold plastic chair and waited for the machine to do its thing.
The young women tried to keep their eyes off him, but were having a hard time controlling their giggles! Gar went on his way, and now we’re sorry he didn’t hang around to get the end of the story for us to tell!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

Express Yourself. Click here to comment on Parler Paris…

P.S. Don’t forget to book your Sunday Lunch in Normandy with
On Rue Tatin Chef, Susan Loomis this coming January 28, 2007. Scroll down or click here to learn more


Calendar #145
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Paris, France


The Parler Paris Weekly Community Calendar is a partnership with http://www.Paris-Update.com to provide you with the most up-to-date information about upcoming events related to the Anglophone community in Paris.

We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to be listed, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to: [email protected]

We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the calendar format as your guide.

Thank you, Adrian

Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think


Let us show you just how hassle-free it can be to get a French property mortgage for your dream Paris pied-a-terre or villa in the country! /frenchproperty/loan

French Property Insider Consultation…your complete solution to finding, buying, renovating or renting your new dream home or apartment in France. /frenchproperty/consultation

On the Baie de la Somme
By Adrian Leeds


This Week in French Property Insider…

Le Crotoy on the Baie de la Somme in Picardie is about two hours from Paris by car along the A16 first to Abbeville Nord and then in the direction of Saint-Valery sur Somme. From Paris you travel along small rolling hills, through farmland heavily planted with corn and wheat…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.

To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html or email [email protected]

We wanted better guides.
So we wrote them.


Insider Paris Guides are a series of electronically published, downloadable guides about Paris and France written by journalists and writers who live and work in, and love, Paris.


font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">We cover specific, niche-interest topics that are difficult to find anywhere else. Get an insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…

For more information, visit http://www.insiderparisguides.com

Sunday Lunch in Normandy with
On Rue Tatin Chef, Susan Loomis
January 28, 2007


Come to On Rue Tatin, Susan Herrmann Loomis’ 15th-century Norman retreat, for a sumptuous Sunday lunch. Your day will begin in Paris at the Gare St. Lazare where a representative from On Rue Tatin will meet and ride to Normandy with you. An hour and twenty minutes later you will walk through the small wooden door at On Rue Tatin and enter a savory, aromatic world where culinary adventure awaits.

Click here to learn more about Sunday Lunch in Normandy with On Rue Tatin Chef, Susan Loomis

To reserve your place or for more information, email Susan Herrmann Loomis, On Rue Tatin, at [email protected]

Creative Writing Workshop
with Cecilia Woloch
Centro Pokkoli, Vitorchiano, Italy
March 4 – 10, 2007


Join poet Cecilia Woloch in the beautiful, ancient town of Vitorchiano, Italy, for the second annual creative writing workshop to be held at Centro Pokkoli, March 4 – March 10, 2007.

To read more about it and for more information, click here to download the pdf brochure or contact Cecilia Woloch at [email protected]

Please be sure to tell Cecilia that Adrian and Parler Paris sent you!

You can trust the team at Parler Paris Apartments

[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.

Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!

Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.

** Two-Bedroom Leeds Marais Apartment
Available in its entirety February 16 – 27, 2007
150 per Night, 7 Night Minimum

Located in a charming 17th century Le Marais Hôtel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for up to 4 people. Includes high speed Internet access, free international calling, housekeeping one time per week and all linens.

Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html
Email [email protected]

Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:

The next gathering is February 13, 2007

So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.




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!

* Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne
3rd arrondissement
Métro Temple, République or Arts et Métier

* Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and
* Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

13 passage Dauphine (entrance between rue Dauphine and rue Mazarine), 75006
6th arrondissement
Métro Odéon, Saint-Michel, Pont Neuf


Subscribe to the PARISMARAIS monthly newsletter FREE
The Art of Living Guide to Le Marais.




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