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I See My Youth and My Future “En Terrasse”

Parler Paris Nouvellelettre® by Adrian Leeds - En Terrasse
Last Summer...Dining "En Terrasse"—and come this May 19th!


I stand corrected. Jean Cocteau’s hand-written poem on a plaque on rue Obscure in Villefranche-sur-Mer, as I reported in our Nouvellettre® “Emily on the Côte d’Azur, Adrian in the Jardin du Luxembourg” this past May 3, 2021, was a seriously poor translation. Thanks to you readers who set me straight, the truth is that it reads:

“Quand je regarde Villefranche, je voir ma jeunesse, fassent les hommes qu’elle ne change jamais.”

English: “When I see Villefranche, I see my youth. May men make sure it never changes.”

Plaque by Jean Cocteau on rue Obscure in Villefranche-sur-Mer

A hand-painted plaque on the ground on rue Obscure, Villefranche-sur-Mer

This is what he wrote about Villefranche-sur-Mer, but the restaurant, La Mère Germaine, now “hangs its hat” on the phrase. In fact, Cocteau set up his headquarters at the port-side café in 1956 when he was decorating the Saint-Pierre chapel just nearby.

An old photo of the staff at La Mère Germain in Villefranche-sur-Mer France

La Mère Germain in Villefranche-sur-Mer

You will be reading more about this Riviera port town from us in the future. It has one of the deepest natural harbors of any port in the Mediterranean Sea reaching depths of 320 feet (95 meters) between the Cape of Nice and Cap Ferrat. Soon we will be offering up a Fractional Ownership property in the Old Town we call “La Belle Terrasse” directly overlooking the harbor from a large terrace. (For those of you who would like to claim a share even in advance of our official launch, email us now because we’re working on creating pre-sale contracts to secure your share as early as possible!)

The view from La Belle Terrasse, Villefranche-sur-Mer

The view from La Belle Terrasse, Villefranche-sur-Mer


This Victory Day was not the usual Victory Day, as nothing is normal these days. I can remember the years I went to the Champs Elysées to see the military parade and the times I stayed at home, but watched the event on TV. Not this year. It came and went virtually unnoticed.

French President Emmanuel Macron and a restricted number of public officials and military attended the commemorative wreath-laying ceremony on the Champs-Elysées that marks the end of World War II in Europe. But Covid-19 got in the way of just about anyone else attending. This is the day that Nazi Germany surrendered in 1945. It’s a public holiday in France, but because it fell on a Saturday this year, workers failed to get an extra day off.

Want to watch it for yourself? There’s not much, but here you go.

French President Emmanuel Macron officiates the Victory Day ceremony in Paris, May 8th, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron officiates the Victory Day ceremony in Paris, May 8th, 2021


Wednesday I’m boarding an Air France jet headed to Atlanta with Nice in Nice author and Adrian Leeds Group Search Consultant, Ella Dyer, sitting next to me. That’s her final destination, but I’ll be racing off the plane to catch the next flight to New Orleans where I will spend 10 days visiting with family and attending my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. This will be the most “normal” time I will have experienced in many months, as restaurants are open and life is no where near as restricted as it is here.

May 3rd ended the necessity for permission forms to travel more than 10 kilometers outside of our home for non-essential reasons (do they call “sanity” an essential reason?), but non-essential shops stayed closed and the 7 p.m. curfew remain unchanged. While I’m in the “Big Easy” on May 19th, the curfew in France will be pushed back to a whopping 9 p.m. and shops can reopen as long as they respect strict health rules and limit the number of customers allowed in at the same time. Museums, cinemas and theaters will reopen too, but with the same limitations.

I don’t much care about that, but the biggest and best news of all is that cafés, bars and restaurant terraces can reopen (no dining inside) for tables of up to six people. This means that when I return to Paris, life will go back to a kind of almost normal—I can actually revert to my old habit of eating in restaurants twice a day, while stopping the daily shopping at the market and cooking and cleaning. You have no idea how happy I will be. Café Charlot, here I come! (I hope they will remember me!)

Dining "En Terrasse," rue de Saintonge, June 2020

Dining “En Terrasse,” rue de Saintonge, June 2020

For those who like sporting events, stadiums can reopen but spectators are limited to 800 indoors and 1,000 in outdoor venues. The gyms remain closed. You can invite up to 10 friends to gather in a public place, such as a park, but no more (it’s currently only six are allowed). Thermal spa treatments prescribed by a doctor are allowed, but you can’t just go on your own.

A couple weeks later, on June 9th, all hell breaks loose. The curfew will go to 11 p.m.! Oh my, we won’t know what to do with ourselves! Gyms will reopen with some limitations. Cultural and sporting events will take place with up to 5,000 people, but only on the condition that you have proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test or have been vaccinated for the virus. This special EU health pass, “Tous Anti Covid Carnet,” will be made available at the end of June so that Europeans can travel more freely. It’s now in the testing stages. See this website for more information.

A twitter post for the Tous Anti-Covid Carnet for traveling easily all over Europe

Coming soon…the Tous Anti-Covid Carnet for traveling easily all over Europe

By then, salons and fairs can reopen and the number of people will be limited to 5,000, but a health pass will be required to enter. Non-EU tourists will be allowed back into France, also with a valid health pass. Yeah! Welcome back Americans!!! We have really missed you.

And on June 30th, the curfew ends. Now, let’s just hope we have this thing under control and by this time next year, our nightmare will be over. For those of you who won’t vaccinate, better get used to getting tested often. That’s okay, it’s a choice you have to make.

I got tested for Covid-19 Sunday afternoon in time for traveling, plus I’ll have my vaccination certificates with me, so I’m good to go. Next week I’ll be writing from my home town and reporting on what life is like there…in the southern heat, eating fresh boiled seafood and hopefully having a whole lot more normal existence than it’s been in France.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds on computer at cafeAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Adrian reflecting at Café Charlot

William Jordan to speak at Après-MidiP.S. Don’t miss tomorrow’s Après-Midi with William Jordan president of Association of Americans Resident Overseas. Thanks to AARO and William, he will make a special AARO membership offer during his presentation. It’s TOMORROW!


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