Janet Hulstrand, Writer, Editor, Writing Coach and Teacher
"Demystifing the French"
Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher who divides her time between Essoyes, a village in southern Champagne, and various parts of the United States. She writes frequently for Bonjour Paris, France Today, France Revisited, and for her blog, Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road. She created, and has taught “Paris Through the Eyes of Travelers” for the City University of New York in Paris nearly every summer since 1997, and since 2008 she has also led “Writing from the Heart” workshop/retreats in the French countryside.
Demystifing the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You is Janet’s newest book, which she'll be talking about with copies avaiable for purchase.
Don't miss it!
The second Tuesday of every month 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
It was almost like the fever broke and then there was life. One minute, it was so hot that being outdoors in Paris was totally energy-draining, if not downright painful. The next minute, the cool air came rushing in, the windows were closed, the fans were turned off and we were back to donning sweaters. Go figure...I simply can't keep up with Paris weather.
These July days are busy, busy, busy planning for events on the horizon in the City of Light. While the French aren't paying much attention to July 4th, we Americans ARE and celebrate it in spite of our not being on U.S. soil. Instead, we plan our picnics on French earth — or at least French grass, if it hasn't gotten scorched from the overzealous sun. This year, my friends and I have chosen to make our spread on the grass at the Jardin Tino Rossi that stretches along the riverbanks of the Seine between the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Jardin des Plantes. Many well-known artists' sculptures are displayed there including Brancusi, César, Rougemont, Zadkine and Schoffer, among others. From there we'll be able to watch the boats go by and take in the landscape with Notre Dame in the background...that is, what is left of the badly burned iconic cathedral. There may even be a bit of tango or other dancing with which we can participate.
Just a week later we'll be celebrating another independence day, this one appropriately on French soil, as July 14th (Bastille Day) is the day the Bastille prison was stormed marking the turning point of the French revolution. It's a seriously important day in France, beginning with a military parade along the Champs Elysées and ending with fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. It's a day I have always treasured, even if my experiences that day haven't always been so pleasurable.
The night before, on the 13th of July as well as on the 14th, too, the firemen (famous for being the handsomest bunch of guys in France) open their "casernes" (stations) to the public to host big parties all over France. They are known as "Les Bals de Pompiers," or the Fireman's Balls and it's all part of the merriment. These events are the main reason I stick around in Paris until the partying dies down...before heading south for the rest of the summer.
The Paris Tourist Office website is a great place to find everything being offered so I won't have to bore you with the details, but I will tell you this: you won't want to miss any of it if you can help it. I'll be reporting on it as the events take place, but for now, organize your picnic gear, get out your dancing shoes and be prepared to have a whole lot of fun in the City of Light.
P.S. Does summer have you thinking about creating a life in Paris? While others are enjoying lazy summer days, we're here to help you make your dream come true. With our network of professionals, we can provide as much assistance as you need. Contact us to discuss your interests and we'll get to work for you. Do it today!
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