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More Than Just a Valentine’s Day

A couple lovingly embracing on a wall along the Seine in Paris

Happy Valentine’s Day from Paris!

Paris is known to be the most romantic city in the world. Where would you rather be to enjoy a new lover, have a honeymoon or celebrate a wedding anniversary? I can’t think of another city with as much passion oozing from its cobblestones.

Adrian Leeds standing in front of a chocolate shop in Paris decked out for Valentine's Day

The city website says that “Pampered, arty, gourmet or quirky—there are a thousand ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Paris!” Just about anything you do in Paris can be romantic, but here are some of the ways you can celebrate this day of love and romance (according to the city officials).

A couple lounging on a bench in Paris, him with his head in her lap

Financial Forum Fun

For those who missed our 1st Quarter North American Expats in France Quarterly Financial Forum on Zoom last Wednesday night, don’t fret! You can watch it on Youtube. We four panelists, Brian Dunhill from Dunhill Financial, Benjamin Pik with Pik Consulting (CPA + Expert Comptable), Jonathan Hadida (International Tax Attorney) and myself (see our website for more information about these resources) had an awful lot of fun bantering about taxation in France. These amazing professionals have all the financial-related answers for expatriates who have a foot in both worlds, like all of us do. Believe me—you will find this one hour of insight worth watching and listening to!

Screenshot from the Expat Financial Forum showing Brian Dunhill, Benjamin Pik, Jonathan Hadida, and Adrian Leeds

Our next forum will take place Wednesday, May 4th at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, 1 p.m. Eastern Time and 7 p.m. France Time. We intend to discuss inheritance tax issues in France, so if you own property or are tax resident in France, you may not want to miss this. Learn more about it here, or register directly by clicking here.

Super Bowl Sunday

I may be the only person in the world who doesn’t lose any sleep over Super Bowl Sunday. In fact, I hate to admit that if you asked me what it was, I might know that it has to do with American football, but that’s as far as my knowledge goes. I grew up in a house of women: my mother, three sisters, a grandmother and a female dog who had a litter of four female puppies. My poor father was completely outnumbered. When a big game such as Superbowl Sunday would roll around, we’d find him in his reclining easy chair with the TV on in front of him and earphones connected to one (or sometimes two) transistor radios so he could watch and listen to as many games or aspects of one game as possible. We dared not disturb him at those times, but none of us girls cared one iota about it.

Photo of a football game for Super Bowl Sunday 2022

If you are in France, then the game festivities started at about 12:30 a.m., so either you were snoozing like I was, or staying up awfully late on a school night, just because you didn’t want to miss the big event. In the past, I have been known to stay up all night watching election results, but that’s as far as I’ll go for losing precious sleep! (I apologize for this information being after the fact, but here’s a great link for where you could have watched it, if not at home with your VPN and streaming devices.)

For those of you who are as clueless as I am, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“The Super Bowl is the annual playoff championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Beginning in 2022, the game will be played on the second Sunday in February. Prior Super Bowls were played on Sundays in early to mid-January from 1967 to 1978, late January from 1979 to 2003, and the first Sunday of February from 2004 to 2021. Winning teams are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the eponymous coach who won the first two Super Bowls. Due to the NFL restricting use of its “Super Bowl” trademark, it is frequently referred to as the “big game” or other generic terms by non-sponsoring corporations. The day the game is played is often referred to as Super Bowl Sunday/Super Sunday.”

And by the time you read this, we’ll all know who won the game and we’ll have seen half-time activities and commercials replayed a dozen times on various news channels and social media.

Oyster Sunday

Annually (except for 2021), friends, Geraldine and Jeffrey, from Ann Arbor, Michigan who I met in 1998, come to Paris for two months—January and February. They have come to habitually visit the Bastille market (or other market, depending on where they are renting an apartment at the time) every Sunday morning to purchase fresh oysters for their Sunday lunch. Fortunately for me, the habit has included me as a willing guest for downing about a dozen of the succulent mollusks with a bottle of Sancerre or other chilled crispy white wine.

Plate of French oysters in Paris

Plate of French oysters in Paris

This past Sunday was our first in two years, since the Covid-19 pandemic that kept them from coming to France. Jeffrey is an ace at opening them and all three of us are masters of swallowing them with a shpritz of lemon. While French oysters are not the same animals as the plump, sweet Gulf of Mexico oysters I grew up on (battered and fried or downed raw with hot sauce and Saltine crackers), these smaller translucent briny varieties are down right tasty, to say the least. The French love their oysters and are known to eat about 5 kilos per year per person! But while swallowing the salty morsels, I was dreaming of Gulf of Mexico oysters, fried, place on New Orleans French bread with lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise: the classic Oyster Po-Boy! (If you have never had one, you haven’t lived!)

Plate of Gulf oysters

Plate of Gulf oysters

An oyster poboy sandwich from New Orleans, photo by Vicky Wasiki

An oyster poboy from New Orleans, photo by Vicky Wasiki

The Carnaval de Nice and Fat Tuesday

No, it’s not spelled incorrectly. “Carnival” in English is “Carnaval” in French and the Carnaval de Nice is similar, but very different to Mardi Gras or Carnival in New Orleans.

Poster for for Carnaval Nice 2022

The annual event kicked off this past weekend on February 11th under the theme of “Roi des animaux” or “King of beasts” in English. The festival takes place over 16 days, from February 11th through the 27th, so I’m heading down to Nice on Wednesday for the main purpose of attending the Saturday night parade in seats on the bleachers on Place Masséna.

There was no carnival last year, for the obvious reason of Covid-19, so the city is more excited than ever to be back! Patty Sadauskas managed to capture a photo from her 5th floor apartment as the floats were headed to line up for the parade this past weekend. For photos from the 2020 carnival, visit this webste or stay tuned for the ones I take for our Nouvellettre® one week from today.

Carnaval Nice Parade floats moving to the parade staging area, photo by Patty Sadauskas

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) in New Orleans is Tuesday, March 1st, but carnival season began on the 12th Night (literally Carnival begins at the moment when Christmas ends), January 6th. See the official parade schedule here.

Floats and onlookers for Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Stay tuned for a first hand report of Carnaval de Nice in next week’s Nouvellettre®!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds as a cartoon for Valentine's DayAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. Tune in to Paris Underground Radio Monday, February 28th and the following Monday, March 7th for an interview with Adrian Leeds by Gail Bosclair and Marie Pistinier about Fractional Ownership in France!



  1. Ralph Rocchiccioli on February 14, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    I enjoyed the US Expats in France – Financial Forum and found it very informative.

  2. Goodman Peter on February 14, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Belon oysters are superb!! The tables in front of restaurants with oyster on ice and the purveyors ready to flip them open with a crisp glass of Muscadet – sweet memories

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