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Shoring Up, Snapping Up, Standing Up and Gearing Up for 2023

Poster for Parisiennes Citoyennes at the Musée Carnavalet


The bad news is that eight days from now, TAC, a company devoted to the preventive and curative treatments of wood, and the reinforcements of wood and concrete structures, is coming bright and early in the morning to shore up my ceiling. Monsieur L., the architect of my building, upon voicing my complaint of what they were proposing to do to my lovely apartment, yelled at me, “Madame, I don’t want you dead!”

If you’ve followed the saga of the structural issues of which I am faced in my building, and most notably in my apartment, then you know that the entire ceiling of 17th-century beams must be replaced in order to support the two levels above mine, that were added a century or more later. Monsieur L. says that the construction at that time was “merde” and now we must deal with it. My apartment is the only one affected. What luck! (I assume you can hear the sarcasm in my voice?)

Exposed ceiling beams in Adrian Leeds' apartment in Paris

Across the room view of the torn up ceiling in Adrian Leeds' apartment in Paris

Until the entire process takes place, with the goal of starting the work next Fall, Monsieur L. doesn’t want the floors above me to come crashing down and is imposing a special support system throughout the apartment. This reminds me of what Notre Dame specialists had to do to shore up the buttresses in order to prevent a collapse while they work on the reconstruction of the centuries-old cathedral.

The reconstruction of Notre Dame in Paris

Monsieur H. from TAC explained how they were going to lay down wooden planks along the floor and from the planks, attach poles to provide support in special areas. As a result, I will be imprisoned in my own home by these poles on both sides of my living room, in both bedrooms and in the entry. I will have to move furniture to accommodate them and walk around and through them to even get to my desk or bed. The very thought of this is terrifying.

The proposed buttressing for the ceiling in Adrian Leeds' apartment in Paris

Martine di Mattéo, our designer/contractor, was present at the meeting with TAC and the architect, along with her seamstress who does her draperies. She comforted me by offering to have the holes in the ceiling, with which I’ve been living for the past year, covered with white boards so they wouldn’t look so bad and decorate the poles so that they wouldn’t be so unsightly. We’re trying to find a way that I can live with this for another 11 months.

As much as I didn’t want to involve a lawyer, it was necessary…to protect me. As it turns out, that will likely have been the smartest move, as he will ensure that I am treated fairly under the law to be compensated for my inconvenience. The “copropriété” (homeowner association) will not be able to cheat me out of what is rightfully due, nor vote against the work, just because they can!

Stay tuned till next week after TAC has done their shoring-up, and I’ll have more news, for sure (or should that be “for shore?”)


Every year I look forward to the annual Paris Photo art fair, this year November 10 to 13 at the Grand Palais Ephémère. And this year is no different. An art dealer friend from New York came in this morning to attend, so with her I know it will be loads of fun to go from gallery to gallery, saying hello to some of my friends in the industry and then of course, to drool over the works on their walls.

Poster for Paris Photo art exhibition

This is the 25th edition of Paris Photo bringing together 183 exhibitors from 31 countries including 18 new galleries compared to 2021 and 34 publishers (including four new) from nine countries, offering unique editions and avant-premiere book releases with a signature program bringing together the greatest names in photography from all over the world.

For this 25th anniversary edition, Paris Photo welcomes actress and multidisciplinary artist Rossy de Palma as the guest of honor. Model and muse for many photographers and passionate about photography herself, Rossy de Palma has curated a selection of 25 artworks which visitors will be able to discover throughout the galleries’ booths. It was an opportunity for Rossy de Palma to share her personal favorites and her aesthetic universe.

Poster for Rossy de Palma the guest of honor at Paris Photo

My favorite galleries at the fair are:

• FAHEY/KLEIN Los Angeles
• LUISOTTI Santa Monica

These are galleries with whom I have purchased photos, or sold photos, or have particular respect for the quality of the work they represent. Be sure to visit their stands, should you take the time to visit the fair. And be prepared to stay a long time so you can take it all in—as it will be overwhelming! At some point, one must learn to “edit” out the work that doesn’t interest you as much as others that do so as not to have “sensory overload.”

Next week I’ll be reporting on the fair after a couple of visits to see it all! Stay tuned!


Inside the Musée Carnavalet was a whole lot more crowded than rue des Francs Bourgeois Sunday afternoon as it steadily drizzled making it feel as if walking inside a cloud. This is the Gray Paree we all know and (not so) love. The museum was not just busy because of the rain, but because it is currently presenting “a new synthesis of the history and memory of the struggles for women’s emancipation by focusing on the history of feminism in Paris.”

Inside the Musée Carnavalet

Inside the Musée Carnavalet

The exhibition, “Parisiennes citoyennes!,” took us on an ambitious historical journey, from the French Revolution to the law on parity, on the traces of the struggles that women have led in Paris for their emancipation. I didn’t believe French women were quite as outspoken as American women, but this exhibition would prove me wrong.

Another post for Parisiennes Citoyennes titled Women Bicyclers in Bloomers

Alongside certain key figures, from Olympe de Gouges (a French playwright and political activist whose writings on women’s rights and abolitionism reached a large audience in various countries) to Gisèle Halimi (a Tunisian-French lawyer, politician, essayist and feminist activist), a large amount of space is given to lesser-known or anonymous Parisian women: revolutionary citizens of 1789, 1830, 1848, Communards (members and supporters of the short-lived 1871 Paris Commune formed in the wake of the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War), suffragettes, pacifists, resistance fighters, political women or trade unionists, feminist activists, artists and intellectuals, workers on strike, immigrant women’s groups and more.

Old photo of suffragettes in Paris on display at Parisieenes Citoyennes

The exhibition is intense. Take your best reading glasses and don’t go on a Sunday when we did, as it was near to impossible to get close enough to see it all, or read it all, with so many vying for the same position. It follows a chronological thread that begins with the demand for the “droit de cité” (right of citizenship*) for women, during the Revolution, and ends with the law on parity, in 2000. Between these two dates, the emancipation of women is explored in all its dimensions: it involves the right to education as well as the right to work, civil rights and civil rights, so difficult to obtain, but also the freedom to dispose of one’s body and access to artistic and cultural creation.

Photo of modern day women protesting in Paris

Paintings, sculptures, photographs, films, archives, posters, manuscripts, and other militant or even unusual objects reflect the diversity of the struggles and the ways in which they made demands. Parisian women citizens have a thousand and one faces in the service of countless causes, in a capital that creates the event, makes icons and makes possible avant-garde and collective struggles. A portrait of George Sand (a.k.a. Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin de Francueil) among the works on display, a French novelist, memoirist, and journalist, more renowned than both Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac in England in the 1830s and 1840s. I found a description of Marie-Sophie German, whose name graces the high school my daughter attended in the Marais, and who was a self-educated French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher.

Painting by Georges Sand

I learned that what we call a “Flapper” is a “Garçonne” in French. These young (mostly Western) women were the rebels who wore short skirts (knee height at the time), cut their hair short (bobbed), had the audacity to listen to jazz, wore make-up (what was considered too much), drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, drove automobiles and guess what else they did? Yep, have casual sex! “Garçonne,” beyond the style of dressing and behaving like men, was a statement for emancipation and gender equality.

Don’t miss this important exhibit, and through it realize how we women came so far…then how far in reverse we have gone in the United States in this past year. Let us pray for a bit of balance as a result of tomorrow’s mid-term elections!

* The right of citizenship is a civil law term that defines various civic rights in the modern world such as the right to vote. In Roman antiquity, the right of citizenship (jus civitatis) originally belonged to all inhabitants of Rome and its territory.

Watch a short video about the exhibition on Youtube.


Meme for the North American Expats in France Financial ForumOur next Zoom North American Expats in France Quarterly Financial Forum is coming up Wednesday, November 16th, so don’t miss this opportunity to discuss year-end planning strategies and preparing for 2023. Join Dunhill Financial and me as we discuss tax matters for American Expats in France.

Items that we will discuss include the following:

– IRA/Roth IRA Contributions
– Roth IRA Conversions
– Required Minimum Distributions
– Tax Harvesting
– Charitable Contributions
– Adjusting budgets for inflation
– Insurance Review
– Employee benefits review
– Planning for your children’s education
+ many more planning topics to consider in preparation for 2023

Wed, November 16, 2022, 7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. France Time, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific Time, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time

Click here to register online.

Note: Brian Dunhill is a Financial Planner with a core emphasis on concentrated positions, and retirement planning for Expatriates. Past positions have led him to work in many capacities for prestigious firms on Wall Street including UBS, Lehman Brothers, and A.G. Edwards. Working as an analyst, in compliance and as a Financial Advisor has given him the full perspective on the operations of a financial firm. Learn more about Dunhill Financial here.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds with Brian DunhillAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Adrian with Brian Dunhill

P.S. Fractional ownership is a perfect way of combining lifestyle with investments! To learn more, visit our website and see all of our fractional ownership properties on the market today!



  1. Anna Sweeney on November 7, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    Dear Adrian,
    If you are going to live with the columns for a long time, I suggest that you encase them in mirror. They will then somewhat disappear as much as possible. Due to expense, maybe just do the ones in the living room? I’m an interior designer and we have done this is many times in ultra chic homes and it looks amazing. It’s a fantastic trompe-oeil.
    Bonne Chance!

    • Adrian Leeds Group on November 16, 2022 at 3:35 am

      Great idea! But much too difficult and expensive.

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