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Banking on the Euro and Bretagne

Volume V, Issue 16

We’re having record-breaking summer-like weather in Paris with blue skies and warm temperatures as high as 30 degrees Celsius. No one is complaining, especially me.

Meanwhile, property is moving quickly — even faster than we’ve seen it in the past. Just Tuesday, one client signed the Promesse de Vente on a 100+ square meter apartment a stone’s throw from my own on rue Charlot. That same day, another client’s offer (asking price) was accepted on an apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis with balconies and the finest view Paris has to offer…of the Seine, Notre Dame and Berthillon! And finally, after waiting 4 months, got the green light to sign the Promesse de Vente on the Viager studio with a terrace I’m purchasing in my own building. It was a happy day, to say the least.
Good properties sell within minutes. The Ile Saint-Louis property was shown our clients before it went on the market or the agent had the contract! Needless to say, he got the contract and the sale, all at the same time. The lesson to be learned with this is to be absolutely prepared to make a decision and to pay the asking price. If you really want it, it’s the only smart thing to do — as the seller is morally obligated to accept the offer if it’s their asking price.
In today’s issue, we address several important issues — how the rate of exchange affects your property investment is one of them and how to best reduce your exchange risk and cost is another. We take a look at the resent presidential campaign results and Part VII of the eight-part series from the City Hall about the future of Paris.
On another note, we take you to Bretagne, a region of myth, mystery, medieval times and undeniable tradition. My daughter was there last week taking photos that I share with you today along with a glimpse into this special area of France and some very hot properties.
In just a day or two, you’ll be hearing about the upcoming Living and Investing in France conference in San Francisco July 7 and 8, so stay tuned for more information.
A Bientôt,

Adrian Leeds
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]

P.S. Don’t forget that you can participate free of charge in the upcoming Group Consultation here in Paris and Conference Call…so scroll down for more information and be sure to reserve your spot for one or both.
Volume V, Issue 16, April 26, 2007
In this issue:

* Handling the Hot Euro
* Save Money on Overseas Currency Transfers
* Face-off in French Elections
* Seventh in a Series on Planning and Development in Paris
* Best of Bretagne
* “Remember Barbara”
* Discover What’s Hot and What’s Not in Paris Property
* Living and Investing in France Conference, July 7-8, 2007 San Francisco
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: May 15, 2007
* Hot Property Picks: Breathtaking Brittany
* On the Auction Block: May 15, May 22 and June 5, 2007
* Leasebacks: Residence Suites Home Grenoble Bonne, France, French Alps, Grenoble
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments

Turning Up the Heat on Paris and the Euro
An Excerpt from Parler Paris
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
By Adrian Leeds

I can’t ever remember an April like this one. For several weeks now, Paris has been experiencing Summer-like weather at a time of year when we’re usually still in sweaters and definitely in raincoats. Yet, everyday has been sunny and warm — the thermometer is pushing close to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and predicted to remain this way for the rest of the week.
This must be part of global warming (“réchauffment de la terre”) and while we bask in the unseasonable sun enjoying the warmth and tanning rays, I am fearful for what might follow. Anyone who thinks it’s all a hoax should take a look at my window boxes as proof. The winter was so mild this past year that my geraniums never suffered the cold and have come back in full force with happy blossoms. I am already preparing to head to Darty to purchase an air conditioner for “Le Provençal” so the vacation renters can beat the heat that is sure to befall us.
Meanwhile, the rate of exchange has passed the $1.35 = 1€ mark, just like the temperature passing the norm. Someone asked
yesterday if the Euro would ever come down to a mor
e reasonable level and I realized that his point of view was reversed — it’s not that the Euro should come down, but that the dollar should come up! The question I hear over and over again is, too: Does it affect property purchases? And the answer is both negative and positive.

If you’re buying in dollars, then yes, it can affect your buying power, but on the other hand, anything you own in Euro value is now worth more in dollars — so it’s more worthwhile owning real assets in Euro value than dollar value, n’est-ce pas?
One important point to make, too, is that if property is purchased with a mortgage, then only the down payment (normally 20%) and the taxes and Notaire fees (about 7.5%) will be transferred at the current rate of exchange. Even that can be more controlled by using a currency broker such as Moneycorp that will save about half the transfer commissions. They also provide a “buy forward” service that allows you to convert the funds while the rate is best and hold them for future transfer.
Remember, that if the property is rented, then rental rates should be in Euro value, too, so that the mortgage and any profits are not affected by the rate of exchange. So, the bottom line is that the rate of exchange can be both a deterrent and an incentive to invest in real estate in Euro currency. From the way the market continues to move and the prices continue to climb, it hardly seems to frighten away the savvy investors.
Just yesterday, under the blue skies and in the warmth of the unseasonable sun, and in spite of the rate of exchange, three properties in Paris were designated to change hands: One spacious, sprawling and sunny three-bedroom apartment on rue Charlot for which the Promesse de Vente was signed; one luxurious penthouse on the Ile Saint-Louis with a view on Nôtre Dame, for which the offer was accepted (at the highest price per square meter I’ve ever experienced!) and my own next little pied-à-terre with a terrace (to be named “Le Saint-Tropez”) located in my own building for which the date was finally (1.5 years later) set to sign the Promesse de Vente (May 11th).
Transferring Dollars to Euros?
Here’s How to Save the Most Money

When it comes time to make a purchase, it’s natural for us to just contact our banks and ask them to wire transfer X amount of dollars to an account in France, converting the dollars to euros in the process. But think again. This is a big source of revenue for commercial banks…by adding commissions to the transaction. And that could cost you PLENTY.
Moneycorp is the currency broker we recommend to save you approximately one-half the cost of the commissions your commercial bank will charge when converting dollars to euros.
To prepare for the transfer, well in advance if you like, open and account with Moneycorp. It’s simple.
1. Contact Moneycorp:
Brian Westwater, Consultant
Private Client Services, Moneycorp, Inc.
250 Montgomery Street, Suite 910
San Francisco, CA 94104
Email: Brian_Westwater

Brian will send you the terms and conditions to read and sign.
2. Provide two forms of authenticated* identification: either a black and white copy of your passport photo page or photo ID drivers licence and one household utility bill, credit card or bank statement less than 3 months old (a mobile phone bill is not acceptable).
You are now ready to instruct a currency trader with your
currency purchase or sale order over the telephone.

3. Contact your Moneycorp dealer (between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday) to discuss your currency transaction: +1 (415) 678 2770
The dealers can explain suitable strategies and the mechanisms available to you but the decision to proceed is yours alone. Moneycorp can only act upon your specific instructions. It is important that you understand that the currency markets are prone to be volatile.
4. Having agreed a price you cannot change your mind as Moneycorp will buy the currency straight away. Therefore, if you are subsequently offered a better rate elsewhere, or the market improves, you cannot amend the agreed contract. Please note that the dealer’s telephone lines are digitally recorded at all times.
5. Once you have instructed Moneycorp to buy currency at an agreed rate, you will receive a Contract Note (invoice). This gives confirmation of the amount of currency bought and the exchange rate achieved. This will also contain a Telegraphic Transfer form to instruct your bank to send funds to the Moneycorp client trust account.
6. Finally, Moneycorp requires details of your onward payment instructions to enable your currency to go direct to its destination. Please allow sufficient time for your funds to progress through the various overseas banking systems.
Editor’s Note: If you have given Moneycorp an instruction to try to achieve a target exchange rate then no funds are required until that level has been breached. The Moneycorp service includes one free overseas Telegraphic Transfer payment per trade (assuming that you have completed the marketing section on page 3 of the terms and conditions). Should you require several transfers, there will be a charge small charge per extra Telegraphic Transfer This does not apply to a ‘regular payment plan’ Some overseas banks can make a charge to receive funds,however Moneycorp now guarantees that you will not have to pay this fee. If, in the unlikely event, you are charged Moneycorp will pay the fee. Please note that Moneycorp contracts to buy currency for physical delivery only. This means that you are buying/selling currency for a specific purchase or sale and not for speculative gain.
The Royal Socialist and the Son of an Immigrant
An Excerpt from Parler Paris
Monday, April 23, 2007
By Adrian Leeds
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The unseasonably warm sunny weather held up for Sunday’s momentous event — the first round of the 2007 French Election. It all boiled down to a woman socialist with a contrarian name (26%) and the son of a Hungarian immigrant who takes a tough stand on immigration (31%). Go figure! The French will never cease to amaze me.
The whole world watched as almost 85% of the French voting population stood in long lines to cast their ballots compared with 58% of American registered voters who came to the polls in the 2004 November presidential race.
In my district (3rd), almost 87% came out to vote and Ségolène (“Ségo”) Royal beat Nicolas Sarkozy (“Sarko”) with 37% compared to his 29%. This district is an eclectic mix governed by a Socialist Party mayor, so it’s not surprising. When looking at the more conservative 16th, Sarkozy overwhelmingly took the lead with 64% compared to Royal’s 11% and Bayrou had a respectable showing with 16%. On the other side of town, where immigrant populations flourish, the 20th, Royal took the lead with 42% of the vote compared to Sarkozy’s 23%.
Earlier in the week, I attended a “MeetUp” at Joe Allen Restaurant to learn more about the U.S. presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, whose name presents (for me) a constant confusion with “Osama bin Laden.” “Quelle horreur!” The Democratic Party contest between the son of an immigrant (Obama) and a woman (Hilary Clinton) who once held court in the White House seems like a mirror image of the French presidential election.
The upcoming May 6th final vote between Ségo and Sarko is sure to rock the nation either way. At least this time around there is a choice worth considering between two underdogs — a woman and an immigrant. In the last election, when Jacques Chirac’s opponent was National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, it was hardly a contest and more a vote of the lesser of two evils.
As a woman, if I could vote (permanent residency does not decree citizenship), it would be awfully tempting to cast a ballot to help put the gender in the Elysée Palace, but drowning the state in more social programs and higher taxes goes against my capitalist nature. On the other hand, the son of an immigrant who has become “plus royal que le roi” (more Royalist than the king) scares an immigrant like me. I have this fantasy of taking Ségo’s pretty face and genitalia, combining it with Sarko’s determination for change and economic prosperity to create one brilliant force against French nature…but all I get is a drag queen with a big nose in bad fashion.
In the case of Obama and Clinton, my fantasy is reversed…should I tell you or let you use your imagination?
Editor’s Note: To read commentary from readers about this issue of Parler Paris, click here: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/forum/viewtopic.php?t=159
Aménager Paris
Extending the Inner Suburbs
By Éric Lapierre
Part VII, 7th in an 8-Part Series Published by the Paris City Hall

The 1997 French land use plan (Plan d’Occupation des Sols ­ POS) was drawn up from a clearly neo-Haussmannian standpoint. Its essential provisions include: a return to rules governing alignment and the building envelope, increased emphasis placed on the creation of public spaces, an unconditional search for continuity and the rejection of heterogeneity. All of these principles are, by their very nature, favorable to the definition of arranged building groups comparable to those characterizing Haussmannian Paris. As from the middle of the 1970s, most of the rare sites in Paris that remained constructible or transformable were essentially to be found in the inner suburbs (the faubourgs), in other words the parts of the city annexed to Paris in 1860 by Haussmann, being the former suburbs set between the Thiers fortifications and the Fermiers Généraux barrier (1), now the 11th to 20th arrondissements. This territory, with a few rare exceptions such as the Plaine Monceau, is made up from unplanned urban forms resulting from an opportunistic juxtaposition of plots built on without any overall design guidelines (2). Throughout most of the 20th century, these types of urban forms were destined for destruction due, on the one hand, to their picturesque and apparently “chaotic” character and, on the other, the “ordinary” nature of the housing and workshops that they essentially contained. In particular, the overall plan drawn up in 1957 by the architect Raymond Lopez for the layout of the main urban renovation
operations provided for their total destruction (3).

During the middle of the 1960s, a period that saw the values of the traditional city being rediscovered, the imaginary reference point of architects and town planners was the city of stone (4) as described by Aldo Rossi in “The Architecture of the City” (5) and, more particularly, their heroes were the historic planners of the dense European city, such as Haussmann in Paris, Cerda in Barcelona, Wagner in Vienna and Berlage in Amsterdam. This imaginary urban reference point has now shifted in favor of the picturesque forms of the inner suburbs that, as a result, find themselves raised to the ranks of a heritage to be preserved and, potentially, imitated. An example of this can be found in the open block design by Christian de Portzamparc for the ZAC Paris Rive Gauche. Up until the industrial revolution, the inner suburbs were destined to be demolished and replaced by denser, more planned urban forms, but despite this policy, other inner suburbs of the same type were built alongside the new extensions. If the inner suburban forms of the 19th century were now to be demolished, it would be an irrevocable measure as the contemporary fabric of the city no longer permits the creation of these typologies and this has naturally given them particular value as a heritage. This value is further reinforced because their complexity and characteristically picturesque architectures make these districts particularly attractive to an urban population that feels at home in this combination of urban and village aesthetic.
The challenge now facing urban developers and architects is how to incorporate these particularly irregular and “free” forms within the framework of regulations that, by definition, attempt to impose unifying standards. The new local urban development plan (Plan Local d’Urbanisme ­ PLU) represents a significant step forward in resolving this problem. However, it nevertheless occasionally stumbles on the problem of the irregular heights of the buildings characterizing
the la
ndscape of the inner suburbs. For example, one of the requirements for a given plot on Rue Pernety is that no new construction can exceed the two-storey height of the existing building at this address. This type of approach ignores that the city is also built on economic rules. It is
probable that no one will ever want to build on this site under these conditions, which is another way of saying that the existing building is given a form of permanence normally only reserved for historic monuments, a role not necessarily justified by its intrinsic quality. The result is a street landscape that has become a frozen décor.

The complexity of inner suburban forms cannot be dictated by regulations, and any attempt to incorporate them or bring them into line with the regulatory framework would necessarily have the effect of complicating regulations that, by definition, should be kept simple. This is why it would seem desirable to provide waivers to certain regulatory conditions which place so much emphasis on the traditional heritage that they become completely inappropriate to the fabric of the inner suburbs. This could be a way of authentically keeping alive the formal ontological wealth of the inner suburbs without falling into the trap of nostalgia.
1. For the history of this territory, see Jacques Lucan (dir.), Paris des 33 faubourgs. Formation, transformation, Paris, Pavillon de l’Arsenal and Picard Éditeur, 1996. For the Thiers fortifications, see Jean-Louis Cohen and André Lortie, Des fortifs au périf, Paris, Pavillon de l’Arsenal and Picard Éditeur, 1991.
2. Concerning this issue, see Amina Sellali, “Théorie de lotissements ­ La formation du 20e arrondissement: Belleville et Charonne”, in Lucan (dir.), op. cit., p. 38.
3. See Jacques Lucan, “Mille cinq cents hectares à reconquérir”, in Lucan (dir.), Eau et gaz à tous les étages. Paris, 100 ans de logement, Paris, Pavillon de l’Arsenal and Picard Éditeur, 1992, p. 136; and “Paris, a homogeneous or heterogeneous city”, in this book, p. 18.
4. The concept of city of stone covers the arranged traditional city.
5. Aldo Rossi, L’Architecture de la ville, Paris, Livre & communication, 1990. Original title: L’Architetture della città, Padova, Marsilio Editori, 1966.
Editor’s Note: The 256-page four color book published by the Direction de l’Urbanisme de la Ville de Paris is available for purchase online for 28.00€ at http://www.pavillon-arsenal.com/editions/modele.php

A Weekend in Brittany, Or a Lifetime?
By Adrian Leeds

Bretagne is a region of myth, mystery, medieval times and undeniable tradition. It’s a part of France flocked to by the British who have Celtic roots there and who have easy and inexpensive access by plane, train and ferry.
Being on the west coast, it has a warm temperate climate with some rain, one reason its countryside is so green and wooded. But it would be an unusual week if there was not more sun that cloud. It can get hot in the summer months, up to about 35 degrees, but unlike France south of the Loire, you are unlikely to get scorched as in the south the month of August where it can be blistering!
Breton homes are a mixture of stone cottages and medieval half-timbered houses, similar to Normandy. Old stone farmhouses are becoming increasingly harder to find and more expensive. If you love renovation and pride yourself on your accomplishments, then turning such a stone shell into a welcome Bed and Breakfast might be just your thing.
The Bretons are a very friendly lot who welcome you wherever you go — proud to serve up typical Breton fare — crèpes and cider or oysters on the half-shell — as well as sell their famous pottery and linens and show off their boats. It is a region not to be missed and seriously considered for an idyllic life in La France Profonde.
Brittany is a world of its own at the edge of the country. It looks toward the sea — a ragged coastline battered by storms, rich with marine life, fishing industries, boating harbors and ports, seaside resorts on sandy beaches, made up of vast landscapes and countless islands — a first-class refuge for birds. It is a region of myths and legends, charming towns and villages, romantic châteaux and calm, navigable rivers and canals. It has its own language, customs, cuisine and festivities.
The first culture shock you might experience is getting used to the Breton language — descendant from Brythonic
, a
modern-day Celtic language. Spoken more in lower Brittany, it was the language of the elite until the 12th-century and since, old Breton has left some vocabulary in the present day. Names of towns, streets and houses abound with it and learning how to pronounce them is part of the adventure.

A few days in Bretagne is barely a glimpse of this rich and varied corner of France, so there is plenty to miss, and an abundance to see. Start off from Paris by Autoroute via Le Mans to Rennes, the capital of Bretagne in the department of Ile-et-Vilaine. Rennes, named for the Celtic tribe, Redones, was founded pre-Roman times and served as the transportation center for Amorica. It didn’t become part of France until 1532 and soon after, the Parliament of Brittany was established making it the seat of the duchy of Brittany. The Old Town (Vieux Rennes) escaped the fires of 1720 Vannesand is now mostly pedestrianized, a center for bars, crêperies and boutiques, oozing with charm thanks to its medieval half-timbered houses with colorful facades.
From Rennes the national road takes you to Vannes, the capital of the Department of Morbihan and an historic town configured in the shape of an amphitheater, one mile inland from the Golfe de Morbihan. Originally known as Darioritum, it was the ancient capital of the Veneti, a seafaring Celtic people whom the Romans conquered in 56 BC. Vannes has grown well beyond the old walled town that was perched upon a hill. Its ramparts, linked to gates and towers, are well preserved on the eastern side of the town. The picturesque old city is enclosed by the ramparts and is grouped about its cathedral. From the ramparts, there is a view of the massive one-time moat, now a beautifully manicured public garden.
Leaving Vannes in the direction of Carnac you will pass several of the area’s most famous and some of the oldest Kerlescan Menhirshuman monuments on Earth at Kerlescan — the megalithic tombs and stone circles of the Neolithic Revolution (planted over 5000 years ago to mark burial sites), set amidst the picturesque countryside. In addition to 2792 “menhirs” (massive stones erected by tribes who inhabited the region before the arrival of the Gauls), the area is studded with burial places, semicircles, and tumuli. This field is the smallest and most eastern, but is the best preserved with 555 stones on 13 rows. They reminded us of the wonder of life itself and I took dozens of photos as if in a trance under La Trinité sur Mertheir spell of mysticism.
Tasting Bretagne is yet another important part of the adventure. Fresh Brittany oysters come mainly from Cancale, Saint-Brieuc, or Morlaix on the channel coast. Atlantic oysters come from the Morbihan estuaries.
If you have time, make a full circle of the Golfe de Morbihan or take a trip to Le Belle Ile, but a quick trip to the Pointe de Kerpenhir past Locmariaquer will take you to more Neolithic sites and stunning views of the gulf. From the point, you can easily see Port Navalo at the eastern side of the gulf, reachable by ferry. The area around the gulf is a sailor’s dream, studded with hundreds of tiny islands, coves, harbors, ports.
You may want to trek to the Presqu’ile de Pont AvenQuiberon, a peninsula only by virtue of a tiny strip of land connecting it to the mainland. It is also a hotbed of megalithic stones and traces of ancient human occupation…or head along the coast to the tiny town of Pont-Aven, known as the “city of the painters” in the “valley of willows” at the top of the estuary, where the sea air meets the light of the countryside and where, miraculously, a hundred years ago, blew the breath of inspiration. Pont-Aven is a place to see, with all its charm, shop windows and galleries Concarneauand memories of Gauguin and Emile Bernard. Cross the bridges, wander in the streets and dine in the fresh air overlooking the harbor.
If you are so inclined, make a stop at Concarneau, the first French fishing port and an important holiday resort which has developed around the Ville-Close, and old fortified town dating back to the 14th century, modified by Vauban in the 17th-century. Unfortunately, Ville-Close is more a tourist haven than one might like — souvenir shops Pont l’Abbéhave taken away from the charm and mystery it might otherwise offer.
Driving the department roads of France is the highlight of any motor tour of France and Bretagne’s are every bit as stunning as any other region, dotted with old stone farmhouses, tiny villages anchored by gothic stone churches, rolling hills and luscious landscapes. At Pont l’Abbé, further west, visit the stately abbey after which it was named to allow you to be meditative and reflective.
Further on, Quimper is well-known for being an active center of “faience” pottery production since when it was part of the Roman Empire. Situated on the river Odet, throughout its history, Quimper was a shelter and crossing point. Today it is a beautiful and elegant commercial center, with symmetrically architectural style homes along the river and half-timbered medieval houses in a mostly pedestrian center.
No trip to Bretagne is complete without tasting the typical specialty — “crèpes” (pancakes). “Crèpes de LocranonFoment” from the west of the peninsular, and black flour “galettes” from upper Brittany, were both eaten by peasants in the 19th-century, either with a slice of butter or simply an egg. Cider is the perfect drink to accompany the crèpes. Obtained by fermenting apple juice, it is made with Muscadet and wine of the Rhuys. The best vintages come from Fouesnand et Beg-Meil in Brittany and those from the Val d’Auge in Normandy.
Sainte-Anne-la-Palus Only a few kilometers from Sainte-Anne-Le-Palud, stand in the thick green grass on the sloping plane and view the Baie de Douarnenez, the winged stretches of land jutting out into the sea. It can be calm and misty, serene and mysterious.
Before heading back to Paris, take a tour to Brest. Brest was virtually destroyed during World War II leaving a modern, industrial, and rather uninteresting metropolis. Do you know Jacques Prevert’s poem Le Conquet”Barbara?”: “Rappelle-toi Barbara, Il pleuvait sans cesse sur Brest ce jour-la…”
Editor’s Notes: Scroll down for some of Bretagne’s hottest properties and for Jacques Prevert’s poem, read on.

by Jacques Prevert

Rappelle-toi Barbara
Il pleuvait sans cesse sur Brest ce jour-la
Et tu marchais souriante
Epanouie ravie ruisselante
Sous la pluie
Rappelle-toi Barbara
Il pleuvait sans cesse sur Brest
Et je t’ai croisee rue de Siam
Tu souriais
Et moi je souriais de meme
Rappelle-toi Barbara
Toi que je ne connaissais pas
Toi qui ne me connaissais pas
Rappelle-toi quand meme ce jour-la
N’oublie pas
Un homme sous un porche s’abritait
Et il a crie ton nom
Et tu as couru vers lui sous la pluie
Ruisselante ravie epanouie
Et tu t’es jetee dans ses bras
Rappelle-toi cela Barbara
Et ne m’en veux pas si je te tutoie
Je dis tu a tous ceux que j’aime
Meme si je ne les ai vus qu’une seule fois
Je dis tu a tous ceux qui s’aiment
Meme si je ne les connais pas
Rappelle-toi Barbara
N’oublie pas
Cette pluie sage et heureuse
Sur ton visage heureux
Sur cette ville heureuse
Cette pluie sur la mer
Sur l’arsenal
Sur le bateau d’Ouessant
Oh Barbara
Quelle connerie la guerre
Qu’es-tu devenue maintenant
Sous cette pluie de fer
De feu d’acier de sang
Et celui qui te serrait dans ses bras
Est-il mort disparu ou bien encore vivant
Oh Barbara
Il pleut sans cesse sur Brest
Comme il pleuvait avant
Mais ce n’est plus pareil et tout est abime
C’est une pluie de deuil terrible et desolee
Ce n’est meme plus l’orage
De fer d’acier de sang
Tout simplement des nuages
Qui crevent comme des chiens
Des chiens qui disparaissent
Au fil de l’eau sur Brest
Et vont pourrir au loin
Au loin tres loin de Brest
Dont il ne reste rien.
English Translation:
Remember Barbara
It rained all day on Brest that day
And you walked smiling
Flushed enraptured streaming-wet
In the rain
Remember Barbara
It rained all day on Brest that day
And I ran into you in Siam Street
You were smiling
And I smiled too
Remember Barbara
You whom I didn’t know
You who didn’t know me
Remember that day still
Don’t forget
A man was taking cover on a porch
And he cried your name
And you ran to him in the rain
Streaming-wet enraptured flushed
And you threw yourself in his arms
Remember that Barbara
And don’t be mad if I speak familiarly
I speak familiarly to everyone I love
Even if I’ve seen them only once
I speak familiarly to all who are in love
Even if I don’t know them
Remember Barbara
Don’t forget
That good and happy rain
On your happy face
On that happy town
That rain upon the sea
Upon the arsenal
Upon the Ushant boat
Oh Barbara
What shitstupidity the war
Now what’s become of you
Under this iron rain
Of fire and steel and blood
And he who held you in his arms
Is he dead and gone or still so much alive
Oh Barbara
It’s rained all day on Brest today
As it was raining before
But it isn’t the same anymore
And everything is wrecked
It’s a rain of mourning terrible and desolate
Nor is it still a storm
Of iron and steel and blood
But simply clouds
That die like dogs
Dogs that disappear
In the downpour drowning Brest
And float away to rot
A long way off
A long long way from Brest
Of which there’s nothing left.

Translation © Lawrence Ferlinghetti

What’s Hot and What’s Not…An Insider’s View on Where to Buy Property in Paris
A Special Offer from FPI

Free to all FPI subscribers…
Join us for a one-and-one-half hour GROUP CONSULTATION with me and the French Property Consultation Team on Thursday, May 10th, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais, Paris, France. Live and in person, we’ll give you the inside scoop on where in Paris you can maximize your property purchase investment…then, you’ll have an opportunity to ask our team of experts all your questions about living, investing or purchasing property in Paris or France.
If you can’t be in Paris for the Group Consultation, then any subscriber anywhere in the world can participate in our FREE One-Hour CONFERENCE CALL on Sunday, May 6, 2007 at 7 p.m. Paris Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time, 10 a.m. Pacific Time). You’ll be given a Toll Free U.S. or Direct Dial access number so you won’t be calling long distance to France!…but we’ll all be there with you to give you inside scoop on where in Paris you can maximize your property purchase investment, then you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions about living, investing, or purchasing property in Paris or France. This is your chance from wherever you live to learn more about how to make your dream to own a property of your own in France come true!
The opportunity is yours….FREE. For more information visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/conference/
To reserve for one or both, email [email protected]
Living and Investing in France Conference
July 7-8, 2007
An Alliance Française of San Francisco Special Event!

If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own “pied-à-terre” in Paris or home in the Provinces of France, perhaps as a future retirement home or for now as investment property rented part of the year…this power-packed conference is a MUST.
Hosted by Adrian Leeds, long time resident of Paris, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly E-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for the International Law Partnership, London, these two afternoons in San Francisco will point you in the right direction to make it really happen! Includes cocktail reception Saturday evening followed by an optional dinner with special guest speakers.
Watch this space for more information coming soon or email
[email protected]/parlerparis

Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions

Let French Property Insider expert property consultants find your dream home in France for you. We consult with you to help you make the best decisions, ferret out the finest properties to meet your criteria, schedule the visits and accompany you, negotiate with the agencies and owners, recommend the Notaires and other professionals, schedule the signings and oversee the purchase with you from start to finish! You could never do it so easily on your own. Let us take the time and effort off your hands.
FPI Offers More Relocation Solutions!
Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property and relocation services normally only provided by employer hired relocation firms…but at a price much more affordable for individuals.
Download Complete Brochure



Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.

Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:

The charts below are updated every ten seconds.

The prices shown are “inter bank” exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.
Parler Paris Après-Midi
NEXT MEETING: May 15th (closed May 8th for Victory Day), 2007 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local
professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.

Upstairs at La Pierre du 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

HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Breathtaking Brittany
Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.
As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/consultation
*** Brittany, Historic House, 6 bedrooms
Magnificent and historic property from 1724 totally renovated comprising 3 parts currently used as gites. The first house has a living room with chimney, kitchen, 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 toilets and several mezzanines, boiler room. Partly enclosed grounds. Beaches, towns and airport within 15 minutes.
Asking Price: €583,208 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Brittany, Master House
Magnificent maison de maitre in the centre of the very popular market town of Dinan, the property includes part of Dinan’s famous ramparts! On the first floor are 3 large reception rooms, an entrance hall, 2 extra rooms, toilet. On the first floor are 4 bedrooms, 2 extra rooms and a toilet. On the second floor are 4 more bedrooms and another room. Outside there is a large enclosed gravelled area with big iron gates, 2 further stone buildings to renovate and an absolutely superb view across Dinan from a unique vantage point.
Asking Price: €731,800 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Brittany, House
The best spot ever! Superb house overlooking the beach. Access via the garden to the beaches and coastal path for this magnificent character home of extremely high quality. Spacious, elegant and beautifully planned. Patio overlooking the sea in direct light most of the day. A dream!
Asking Price: €1,459,900 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Paris Auctions

Next Sessions: May 15, May 22, and June 5, 2007 at 2 p.m.
Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Paris 1st

Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the Web site at http://www.encheres-Paris.com/ Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t reliable to work.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:

May 15, 2007

2 rooms 32,4 m²
11 rue des 5 Diamants
75013 PARIS 13th
Opening Bid: 130,000 €
Deposit: 26,000 €
House 237 m² with land 90 m²
30 rue de Crimée
75019 PARIS 19th
Opening Bid: 750,000 €
Deposit: 150,000 €
2 rooms 36,7 m²
39 rue de la Chapelle
75018 PARIS 18th
Opening Bid: 98,000 €
Deposit: 19,600 €

May 22, 2007

3 rooms 76 m²
15 rue du Louvre
75001 PARIS 1st
Opening Bid: 415,000 €
Deposit: 83,000 €
3 rooms 87,19 m²
51 rue Saint-Sauveur
75002 PARIS 2th
Opening Bid: 370,000 €
Deposit: 74,000 €
3 rooms 52,20 m² + parking
62/74 boulevard Garibaldi
75015 PARIS 15th
Opening Bid: 220,000 €
Deposit: 44,000 €
4 rooms 95,90 m² + maid’s room 7,16 m²
70 avenue de Versailles
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: not stated
Deposit: not stated

June 5, 2007

6 rooms 179,90 m² + terraces + parking
7 avenue Franco-Russe
75007 PARIS 7th
Opening Bid: 1,000,000 €
Deposit: 200,000 €

France, French Alps, Grenoble

Studio 18m² to 29m² €92,000 to €144,000
One Bedroom 27m² to 39m² €135,000 to €195,000
Two Bedrooms 56m² to 56m² €269,000 to €274,000
Guaranteed Buy to Let – Leaseback

Exceptionally rare 4 star leaseback in the dynamic city of Grenoble boasting over 60,000 students and 16,000 researchers. The city of Grenoble has actively developed 3 sectors of economic and industrial excellence: energy (ECA, Synchrotron, CNRS…), biotechnology and numerical. It is thus natural that it was chosen to accommodate MINATEC, the first European scientific complex, and to become thus the cradle of the microphone and nanotechnology. Grenoble is a pioneer in durable terms of development and is exemplary in regards to HQE (High Environmental Quality). In addition Grenoble provides a wonderfully natural environment for its multiple sporting possibilities and a rich and varied cultural life. Residents and tourists alike are attracted to the very high quality of life found in Grenoble.
Located between the Hyper Centre and the Grand Boulevards, the complete renovation of the Caserne de Bonne presents an exceptional opportunity. Located in Grenoble centre, in the middle of a 5 hectare park, containing residences, a shopping centre, commercial centre and a school all within a stunningly beautiful and protected site. This is the leading development project in Grenoble. In addition, the residence will be ideally located within walking distance from the 3rd Tram line making public transport easy and practical for tenants. This will be a serviced residence consisting of 100 luxury apartments organized over 4 floors. This project is a complete renovation of one of the protected period buildings overlooking the beautiful Cour d’Honneur. Considerably large by leaseback standards offering high period ceilings typical of 19th century French architecture emphasized by a contemporary interior design. Communal areas will include a reception area with lounge, breakfast room, sauna, gymnasium, relaxation area with travel goods shop and laundry.
An established management company specializing in student residences reinforces the quality of this highly sought after property. Realistic pricing for the area and hassle free maintenance make for an appealing investment venture. With up to 4.5% guaranteed rental income and a tax refund, this investment cannot be missed. France is one of the strongest outlets for foreign direct investment and among the world’s top investment destinations – the perfect reason to choose Leaseback.


When you make a purchase as important as a piece of real estate in a foreign country, you want to know that you can trust the people you are dealing with. Adrian Leeds has developed a network of professionals that meet only the highest of standards. With the expertise and experience of Adrian and her team, you can depend on getting the best advice and support to feel completely confident that you are making an informed investment decision.
Let us help you secure a mortgage in France at a competitive interest rate. Visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/loan for more information or contact [email protected]

Managing Your French Property Insider Subscription is Easy!
We receive many emails from French Property Insider Subscribers who want to change their email address, or update personal information. But did you know that you can make these changes yourself?
It’s easy…
1. Go to https://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider
2. Click on “Manage Subscription.” You’ll find it under the “Subscribers Only” section in the sidebar.
3. Enter your username and password.
4. On the Welcome Page, go to “Manage Your Account” and click on “Change Password/Edit Profile”
5. Once you’ve made the changes, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Save Profile.”
Of course, we’re always happy to help, so if you do need assistance, send an email to [email protected]
Insider Paris Guides Have a New Home

Insider Paris Guides started almost 10 years ago with the idea of creating an online electronic regularly updated listing of my favorite good-value restaurants. I wrote it one summer, listed 50 Paris restaurants and we called it the Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants. It sold from the moment it hit cyberspace and over the years, guides were added to the roster. Today there are four guides:

Good Value Restaurants

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 $30, including tax and tip. Explore more than 200 hand-picked great-value restaurants.

Living in France

France may seem familiar, but nearly everything … from paying taxes to having a baby … is done quite differently. Get the practical answers to nearly 300 questions about making a life in France.

Expat Writers

Are you, like so many great writers past and present, drawn to and intoxicated by the City of Light? Discover the ins-and-outs of literary Paris whether you are a novelist, journalist, poet or just a dreamer.

Black Culture

his is the first guide of its kind, devoted to understanding and exploring the rich Black culture and vibrant Black community in Paris. Make the most of Paris’s multicultural sites, sounds and tastes.

Bastille Media took over the publishing responsibilities of the Insider Paris Guides this month and yes(!), we will continue to offer a discount to FPI subscribers.

The discount will be 10% off any guide and up to 25% off the entire
purchase (if two or more guides are purchased at the same time). But
the way you as a subscriber to FPI will take advantage of the discount has changed a bit. Here’s how it works:

1. Click on special Web link we give you just for FPI subscribers.

2. Then order one or more guide(s) and use the promotion code “ED762.” This promotion code gives you 10% off your total

3. If you order two or more guides, then an additional 15% will be taken off automatically. There is no promotion code needed.

Here is the special “coupon” Web link just for you: http://www.insiderparisguides.com/offer/fpi_offer.htm



To access password protected pages: click on any of the links on the left panel of the home page of FrenchPropertyInsider.com under “Subscriber’s Only,” then type in your personal username and password.

Past issues of FPI are available on the website. You will find the
“Past Issues” link on the left under “Subscribers Only” or by going to

To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on



1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet

1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres

For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/


Email: [email protected]/parlerparis

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.



If you’re not a regular reader of the Parler Paris daily e-letter, and would like to be, simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s free!): http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis


Copyright 2010, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, http://www.adrianleeds.com


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