Buying Blind and Other Eye-Opening Experiences
I left Nice on Friday, headed back to Paris just in time to miss the new weekend confinement measures. The pandemic hit the Côte d’Azur three times worse than most of the rest of France, so something had to be done. Mayor Christian Estrosi stepped up to the plate to do everything he could to protect the inhabitants of Nice and the entire département.
He has sped up the vaccination campaign with an allocation of 4,000 additional doses of Pfizer (in addition to the 90,300 doses planned by the end of March) and 10,000 doses of Astrazeneca in the immediate future to all people in the 50 to 64 age group with long-term illnesses (around 60,000 people affected). The next two weekends (from Friday evening 6 p.m. to Monday morning 6 a.m.), movement outside the home must be justified: essential purchases, medical reasons, business trips, compelling family motives, practice of a physical activity, walking and taking out pets for a maximum of one hour and within a radius of five kilometers around the home. All businesses are closed other than food businesses, pharmacies, medical analysis laboratories, service stations, garages, etc. These measures apply in the urbanized part of the department extending over the urban areas of Nice and Menton.
I have to say, however, that the Niçois are lax when it comes to wearing the masks…about one-third have them worn either under their noses or not at all. I wish he’d start with that…get the police out there to crack down on their “laissez-faire” attitude. That alone might make a big difference.
To view the details of the new measures, visit the Nice website.
If you read last week’s French Property Insider, then you already know that Thursday I was interviewed by France 24’s Business Editor, Stephen Carroll, for his People & Profit segment. Stephen wanted to know how Covid-19 has affected the foreign property market. With transactions down across the nation this past year, he wanted to know if our business was down, too.
France 24 has been the national news channel in France since its inception, December 2006. It broadcasts in four languages: French, English, Arabic and Spanish. The lazy side in me loves the English version and with it a lot of its special segments targeted to Anglophones and therefore foreign viewers.
The answer to Stephen’s question was “au contraire!” The segment, headlined “Buying blind: The US property hunters purchasing French homes without visiting…,” aired that day and then again about 10 times over the next few days. They describe the segment like this:
The number of homes sold in France last year fell by 5 percent, but property consultant Adrian Leeds has seen soaring demand from buyers in the United States. Despite the travel restrictions in place because of Covid-19, “they are very intent on finding homes in France”, she told FRANCE 24. “What’s happening is that literally our clients are buying sight unseen.” It’s a new departure for Leeds’ business, which works with American property hunters. “This has never really happened before, not at this scale,” she added.
If you missed it, no worries. I’ll let you find out for yourself what my answers were to his query because you can watch the interview by visiting their website here.
Just after recording the interview with France 24, suddenly I wasn’t feeling very well. It’s the way my body usually reacts to a cold or flu—scratchy throat, achy around my neck and shoulders, slight headache. You can imagine what my first thoughts were: Covid-19! Yikes!
Quick, I Googled the symptoms. Hmmm…didn’t seem like I had any of them, but I must admit, I spent the rest of the evening in a bit of a panic. Meanwhile, I began a serious immune boost regime: nasal steaming with eucalyptus (I keep a vaporizer for such occasions); double doses of Vitamin C, D and Zinc; and my secret weapon, mushroom tea. By morning I was much better, but headed out for an antigen test—free at the pharmacy on the corner with a 15-minute wait for the results. The results: negative. In this case, negative is positive! By the evening I was 100 percent fine and never learned what was trying to get me, but it certainly wasn’t Covid-19.
The mushroom tea is something I discovered a year ago when I came down with similar symptoms while traveling in Los Angeles. A little café at Venice Beach had it on the menu, so I ordered it. One cup of it changed my life. In a matter of moments I went from feeling rotten to feeling almost completely normal. It was quite miraculous.
I looked all over L.A., but didn’t find anything like it. When I got back to Paris I called the café to ask them what it was. That’s what a serious hunt I was on. They were able to tell me, so I ordered it online, had it sent to my daughter who then sent it to me and by now the investment in time, money and effort was hefty considering it was “just tea.” But, it’s not “just tea.” I am certain that the reason I was back to 100 percent was thanks to it.
I share this bit of good advice here: Mushroom Hero by Rishi Tea & Botanicals. It’s very strong, so make a pot with one sachet and drink it all day long, hot or cold. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
I can’t remember when I first adorned my four windows with red geraniums, but it was very soon after moving in that I set out to add the plants and their bright red flowers. They didn’t normally last through the winter, so it became a ritual to head out around mid-March to purchase and replant new plants, usually visiting the nurseries along the Seine on the quai de la Mégisserie to choose the best of the bunch. With climate change the last few years, they not only weathered the frost but blossomed, so the trip to the nursery wasn’t necessary…until this year.
When I left for Nice February 10th, they were perfectly fine. When I returned to Paris I found them dead as a doornail, thanks to the frosty weather, I could only suppose. Instead of returning to the quai de la Mégisserie, Sunday I took advantage of the beautiful sunny weather in Paris to walk to La Bastille and along the Bassin de l’Arsenal to the Jardinerie Truffaut, a large nursery to which I’d never had the pleasure of visiting.
This branch is new for Truffaut, having opened this past July in the midst of Covid-19 confinement when there seemed to be a frenzy for people buying plants to liven up their homes and balconies. Normally their garden centers (65 in France) are about 5,000 square meters, but this one is a smaller version at just 1,500 square meters to sell plants, aquariums, hamster cages and candle holders. Neophytes of “the vegetable patch” have never been so numerous in France until this health crisis. People, when confined to their homes last spring for two months, went on a frenzy of purchasing seeds, plants, then garden furniture and barbecues…everywhere in France.
All in all, the store was a delight and the selection of house plants was impressive, but I didn’t find it to be a bargain, nor was their selection of geraniums overwhelming, at least not yet…since it’s a bit early for the season. Still, I scored 18 small plants that will end up in my windows before the week is up. Stay tuned for photos in next week’s Nouvellettre®!
THE WARMTH OF OUR SONGS
In an effort to help American musicians in France who are suffering without work—as restaurants, cafés, clubs, festivals, etc. have been closed or cancelled—Joanne and David Burke, documentary filmmakers specializing in the African American experience in France, have turned their attention and energy to helping some of our musician friends. The result is a beautiful CD, “The Warmth of our Songs,” jazz and spirituals by Ursuline Kairson, Darryl Hall and friends.
The goal is to make CD’s to sell and also to generate some sort of income to help them through these less prosperous times, so a fundraising has been initiated. In their words, “Just anything that you might be able to spare, mirroring ‘The Obama Way.'”
To learn much more and make your donation, visit their gofundme page.
A TRIBUTE TO JIM HAYNES
In a tribute to the late Jim Haynes, the producers are offering a free online screening event of the award-winning, feature-length documentary MEETING JIM.
Thousands of people from all around the world heard the sad news of Jim Haynes’ passing on January 6th, 2021. Jim Haynes was named “the godfather of social networking” by The Guardian and was recently called “the man who invited the world over for dinner” by BBC News. He was one of the underground key figures of the cultural scene in the ’60s and kept the spirit of the era throughout his life. Jim’s initial principle was to be accessible to everyone and to be open to everything. As he never locked his door, thousands walked into his home and he always enjoyed saying thanks for coming to every single person arriving or leaving. It didn’t matter to him if it was a big rock star or the postman, he would become equally happy to meet them. Jim had one main aim in life: to introduce everyone around him to each other as he believed that the world would become a better place if more people could meet. Meeting Jim, in cooperation with BBC Scotland and Zweitausendeins, is opening its doors for the whole world to watch, as a tribute to Jim Haynes and everything he stood for his whole life. The film is an international co-production and has traveled to numerous festivals from all around the world after its world premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2018.
For the UK audience, Meeting Jim will be re-broadcast on BBC Scotland (and simultaneously on Freeview/YouView, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media and BBC iPlayer) under the title Meet Jim, Citizen of the World at 9 p.m. (GMT) on March 6th, 2021, on the day that marks two months since Jim Haynes’ passing. After the broadcast, the film will be available to watch for free on BBC’s VOD platform BBC iPlayer for a limited period of time. For the rest of the world, the documentary will be accessible for free for 72 hours on the film’s website from 7 p.m. (GMT+1) March 5th to 7 p.m. (GMT+1) March 8th. A kind of extended Sunday Dinner that will go on all weekend. Everyone is invited to the tribute screenings of Meeting Jim, which Neil Young from The Hollywood Reporter described as “a documentary as genial, accessible and likable as its subject”.
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
P.S. Look into the Après-Midi future and see who will be speaking next and what their presentations will be. And plan to attend them all!