Adrian Leeds Nouvellettre®
Your taste of life in France!

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Dear Nouvellettre® Reader…

Adrian Leeds on her laptop at a café in Nice

Some of you have been reading our Nouvellettres® since 1998, long before they were called “Nouvellettres®” and long before newsletters like this were called “blogs.” They started in 1998 as a communiqué for the members of our French-English conversation group, “Parler Parlor.” Parler Parlor doesn’t exist anymore, sadly, after 20 years of service to the Franco-Anglo community. It was how I learned French. But the Nouvellettres® are still going strong…three times a week, at least 50 weeks a year.

Photo of a group of participants from the Parler Parlor conversation group

A group of participants from Parler Parlor

Mondays we publish a lifestyle piece, usually a recount of the weekend’s events. Wednesday we publish something more important—a specific message we want to get across. We call these “dedicated letters.” Thursday we publish French Property Insider—a Nouvellettre® devoted specifically to property topics and issues for those who want to move to France or invest in a property here.

When these began, I was one of about only five other bloggers writing about Paris and France. Remember, that word didn’t exist at the time. The Internet was an infant and we were just toddlers. There was so much to say! And the audience was hungry for more. Today there are thousands of bloggers about Paris and France…too many to even begin to count.

Adrian Leeds on her laptop at a café on rue de Bretagne in Paris

Of ours, I’m the only author. There are no guest or ghost writers—I write every single one of them myself and have no editors (that might show, especially to professional writers). I have such a strong need to write and express myself, that I had to create a business to support the habit! So, no matter how many times someone suggests that we could reduce the number of weekly missives, to say once a week instead, emphatically the answer is “NO!”

Very often we are approached by others who would like to contribute to the offerings, but again, I hold tight. This is my personal time with you when I can express my views and insights in my own voice. It is very important to me that these Nouvellettres® not be “about me”—but about how what I experience can benefit you. If you pay close attention, you’ll see that the “I’s” have been removed as much as possible—a way of expressing the same idea without it being my idea, but a way for you to see it through your own eyes.

For example, I could write: “I love a café crème and baguette for breakfast.” Or I could write: “A café crème and baguette for breakfast is a perfect way to start the day.”

Notice the difference? One is about me and the other is about you.

One very popular food and lifestyle blogger who sends out one newsletter on the first of every month, almost begins every single sentence with “I.” It’s the most used word in every piece he writes, surpassing other words that normally are repeated more often, such as “the,” “be,” “to” and “of.” It shows who he really cares about, “n’est-ce pas?”

Adrian Leeds on her laptop at a café on the balcony of her apartmet in Nice

As part of the goals when writing the Nouvellettres®, a point is made not to express my opinions, but express the facts in a way that encourage you to think for yourself. You don’t need to agree with me, but it’s important to open your mind to all sorts of possibilities. If I state an opinion, then it will be clarified as “in my opinion…” or “from my perspective…” It’s fascinating how often our readers inject their own thoughts into the text, distorting what was actually said. This happens most often when the message hits a political nerve…raw as they can be! If all is written is the name “Donald Trump,” then assumptions are immediately made by those who support him that what has been written is negative, even when it’s only factual. (But, let’s not get into that!)

To clarify what our Nouvellettres® are all about: life in France from the point of view of a long-time American-born resident…namely me. It is not for first-time tourists, but for those who wish to have a deeper understanding of what life in France is like for us expatriates. Clearly, I can’t speak for everyone, so take it for what it is, but as you may have noticed, I am not afraid to “tell it like it is,” whether you like it or not or touch on subjects that might elicit strong reactions.

Adrian Leeds on her laptop at Café Charlot in Paris

This past week our list management folks issued an email to clean up the mailing list so that only those of you who really want to read them are getting them. A small portion of the list are still subscribed, but not bothering to open the newsletters. Normally our “open rate” is very high—meaning that a very large percentage of you readers out there actually bother to open them up. Whether you read or not is tough to know, except by the response mail we get…which is substantial.

Adrian Leeds on her laptop even while riding on a bus in France

We see every email or post we get and we take them all to heart. We’d love for you to participate by responding, offering up your own ideas and opinions, from which we learn a lot. And even happier if you pass these on to your friends to subscribe as well.

To subscribe, just click here.

To comment, just click at the bottom of every Nouvellettre® where it says
“Leave Adrian a comment on the blog.”

Or you can always email us at [email protected].

Special note: “Nouvellettres®” is a made-up French word that means “newsletter.” I cannot take credit for this myself; I have author Timothy Jay Smith to thank for it, but I did trademark it for safekeeping.

A la prochaine…

Reflection of Adrian Leeds in a knife at a table in Café CharlotAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Headline and photo for The Local article on Top tips for Americans who want to retire to ParisP.S. As I wrote on Monday, I was interviewed by a journalist for The Local who was asking about the feasibility for retired Americans to move to Paris (or France, for that matter). “We are looking to advise our readers on the steps they should take before making the move,” he wrote in a preliminary email. Sam Bradpiece wasted no time, as the article appeared yesterday: “Top tips for Americans who want to retire to Paris.”

One must be a member of The Local to read the article in its entirety, but the subscription is well worth it for anyone wanting in-depth news and information on life in France, particularly from the expatriate point of view. I highly recommend subscribing to the free to their newsletter and then coughing up a mere €49.99 per year. It is a cornucopia of good information on which all of us expatriates rely.

P.P.S. Next week while I am visiting Los Angeles, I will be taking the week off from writing these Nouvellettres®, but we will reprint some memorable issues—from about the same time two years ago just before Covid-19 became our life. So, your inbox won’t be void of missives from me and the Adrian Leeds Group!

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27 Comments

  1. Carol Reden on January 19, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. I look forward to reading every issue.

  2. Elizabeth Scott on January 19, 2022 at 8:58 am

    Adrian,
    During these times of exile, your newsletter gives me a welcome, ongoing connection to France. I move north and south with you, take the TGV with you, sniff the coffee with you, and peek into the France I miss. Keep it up!
    Zabby ( one of your ‘loosers’ 😉 )

  3. Sonja Rossi Lind on January 19, 2022 at 9:05 am

    I have enjoyed reading all of your Nouvellettre. Very informative and factual, and I know I will continue to reading them.
    You are the best!
    Sending to friends, who are
    very happy to received all the information you give.

    May you enjoy all the best this New Year has to offer especially good health.
    Sincerely
    Sonja

  4. Yolanda Croney on January 19, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Have to let you know that I am an avid fan of your newsletters which were introduced to me by a friend in NY about 6 years ago. I am a retired senior living in Toronto, Canada. Unfortunately I am not in a financial bracket that could afford living in Paris, but during my years in the travel industry had the pleasure of spending a few days in Provence and Paris and absolutely loved it. I adore your writing and love watching your HGTV episodes. So thank you for the joy and pleasure you give this old lady

  5. Sherry Frank on January 19, 2022 at 9:46 am

    We had one of the best burgers ever at Cafe Charlot. And that is a very nice manicure. Hope to get back to France one day.

  6. Ronny Rubin on January 19, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Don’t change a thing dear. Keep those poignant and honest opinions coming on the full range of issues. We love you “just the way you are”! (Should i copyright that😄?)

  7. Lorraine Lerner on January 19, 2022 at 9:50 am

    Adrian,
    I love your articles and topics. I look forward to all of them! Keep them coming.
    I live in Los Angeles and wish you were doing something out here for your fans in person. I understand you are visiting family.
    Thank you

  8. Martha Bills on January 19, 2022 at 10:27 am

    I have been a follower of Adrian since 2002 and I value her insight, her advice, and above all, the lovely pictures she paints about Paris and now Nice. Reading these nouvellettres makes me feel as if I am actually in Paris sipping my own cafe creme!

  9. Barbara Marks on January 19, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Adrian, I read and love everything you send out. Age and health will probably prevent me from further trips to France but at least I can live vicariously through your writing! Please don’t drop me from your subcriber list, it is always such a joy to read your vlogs.

  10. Jayne Boyle on January 19, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Thank you for transporting me to France when I am unable to be there physically. I have been in love with France and its language and culture since I was in grade school. I attended the University of Nice in 1977 and was fortunate enough to live and teach outside of Paris (Melun) on a Fulbright Teaching Exchange Grant during my 30-year career teaching French. I was recently able to obtain Irish citizenship and am looking forward to taking advantage of my EU passport by spending more time in France! I am so thankful for the opportunities that have been afforded me to travel in and experience France. Thank you for sharing your beautiful homes, meals, views and adventures with your readers!

  11. Linda Holt on January 19, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Dear Adrian – Don’t ever stop writing! Your writing style is both engaging and informative, and I always feel we’re having a chat at Cafe Charlot as I read. Have a great time in LA. Stay safe. And however you finessed that photo of you in the knife, it’s brilliant! Hoping to meet again the next time we’re in Paris!

  12. Mary Jo Kolb on January 19, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Thanks for all your hard work over the years, Adrian, in bringing France to us—especially during these times that we can’t get to her! Your love of life is infectious and uplifting. Have a safe trip to LA and back and enjoy the sunshine.

  13. Margery Marino on January 19, 2022 at 11:39 am

    While I am past the age to be able to retire to France, I am a retired French teacher and love both your missives to help me keep in touch with life in France. Expect to return to Paris in the future though. Keep up the great work and lovely photos. Vicarious living for me.

  14. Carla on January 19, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Hi Adrian,
    I’ve been reading your blog for years. It is very informative and helpful. Since I started I’ve looked for and bought a house in the south of France. Your information is encouraging and inspiring. My future move is to live in France for most of the year. Thank you for all that you do and for your blogs!
    Carla

  15. Anne Keefe on January 19, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Every morning when I open my laptop and before I look at my work email, I look for yours to start off my day! I often forward to our friend Thomas who has visions of retiring in Bordeaux. We visited Paris, St. Emilion, and Bordeaux in October and were quite taken with the area. If we had more time we would have added Nice to the itinerary. Have fun in Los Angeles!

  16. Anne-Marie Fontaine on January 19, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Adrian,

    I look forward to receiving each one of your Nouvellettres. My husband and I lived in Lille for a few years and often visited Paris to dine, shop and see the sites. Your newsletter always brings back fond memories of our time in France. We now live in Ottawa, Canada, and look forward to going back to France in the future. Please keep doing what you do! We appreciate the connection.

  17. Nita Hiltner on January 19, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    I LOVE each and every email I get from you and I read them first! I would love for you to have a weekly show on HHI because I love yours sooooooo much. The more Adrian, the better!

  18. Barclay Jackson on January 19, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    Having been an avid reader for decades I expect to keep reading as long as you keep writing!

  19. Patricia Weiser on January 19, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for the ‘lesson’ on writing. It is difficult for me to not start sentences with ‘I’.
    My husband and I love Paris so much. Before the plague we were able to visit several times, always in a rented apartment and tried to live like Parisians. Well, Parisians vacationing in their own city. A number of health problems and age will prevent any other long-term visits, so your newsletter keeps it all alive for us. Thank you so much for doing what you do. It keeps our ‘unfulfillable’ dream alive of retiring to Paris.

  20. Derin Altay-Gemignani on January 19, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    Dear Adrian, I read every single one of your missives. They make me feel as if I am actually in Paris/France and I look forward to them arriving in my email box. And.. I will always appreciate your perspective on all things French. Bravo, mon amie,

    Amicalement, Ms. Derin Gemignani

  21. Janet Patterson on January 19, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    You and your posts are most often the very best part of my inbox! I so look forward to reading what you’ve written. Thank you for taking us all along with you and sharing your French life with us. Glad you’re able to visit family and friends in LA. Bon voyage! Et Merci from this Wisconsin Francophile

  22. Norman Levy on January 19, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    Love your opinions and everything you do! Safe travels. Hugs

  23. JP fenton on January 19, 2022 at 11:06 pm

    Have been reading your commentaires de France since you were writing for another service, finding your Nouvellettres ever more enjoyable, especially those more opinionated. Nice to follow your expansion from a quartier de Paris to Le France profound.

  24. Doug Dinnella on January 20, 2022 at 8:50 am

    Adrain,
    I have looked forward to your blog since, maybe, the beginning.
    I opened this issue immediately because I was afraid that you might be ending this after all these years.
    Some issues may not be opened due to my own time restraints or your particular subject of the day isn’t of burning interest to me.
    There are times when I know that it would tug at my heartstrings to see the pictures and read about another beautiful little apartment in Paris.
    I forward copies to other Paris loving friends.
    Please keep it up. You keep me in touch when I can’t get to France some years.
    Don’t stop. At least not yet. Please.

  25. Pierre Bourgault on January 20, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Hi Adrian:
    My wife and I are retired from the airline industry (pilot and flight attendant). We enjoyed flying to Paris for years and miss it very much. Now living in Florida full time for twenty- three years but still longing for returning to France … Maybe once all the restrictions are lifted. In the mean time we keep reading your Nouvelletrre so please keep it up!
    Pierre & Pamela Bourgault

  26. Deborah Spanfelner on January 20, 2022 at 10:32 am

    Bonjour, Adrian

    I so look forward to reading your blog. It brightens up my day to get news from France. It gives me the feeling that I am there.
    I also enjoy Apres-Midi when it is on zoom. So much to learn. You offer us so much! Sometimes I live the French experience vicariously through you.

    Debbie
    Binghamton, New York (I’ll have to get to the Cafe Charlot someday)

  27. Susan Brower on January 21, 2022 at 6:33 am

    Hats off to you, Adrian! I get what you’re doing with this newsletter. It’s making a huge contribution to Bruce’s and my time here in Paris. Not only is it so well written and fun to read, it alerts me to events and exhibits I may not have known about and definitely want to attend (including Après Midi ;-). Keep on writing!!

    xo,
    Susan

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