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“48 Hours in Paris: More than a Manoir in Meaux, Macho Men on Fire, Homos Hommes, TITs (Transies in Training ), Lipstick Chicks and Unspoiled Spoils of War!”

It’s all in a weekend’s ‘work’ in Paris.

The festivities started early on Friday by train for a 37-minute ride from the Gare de l’Est to the town of Meaux, a commune of the Seine-et-Marne, on the edge of the Ile-de-France quite near EuroDisney. Martine di Matteo, our beloved (and quite talented) Interior Designer who lives nearby, “collected” me at the station to drive another 30 kilometers to Cocherel, crossing over to the Champagne region where the Château la Trousse sits quite regally.

It is here where Imogen Bonnet and her husband, Leon Klibansky, own a luxurious three-bedroom, three-level home in a 17th-century “orangerie” on the 40-acre estate with beautiful views of the château, the traditional baroque gardens and all the ‘accoutrements

‘ of aristocratic life. The home is being sold in fractions of eight, with complete usage of the amenities on the grounds…heated swimming pool, tennis courts, vegetable gardens, orchards, pond, dry moat, salon and more.

We visited the magnificently renovated and decorated home and the grounds of the château in its entirety before sitting down to a sumptuously ‘light’ lunch prepared by Imogen and Leon. For a city girl like me, these few hours alone in such a serene environment, released a week’s worth of stress. If there had been time, I would have gladly taken a sauna in the Canadian Red Cedar Spa or a steam bath among the bronze “Bisazza” mosaic tiles…

But, since 48 hours is a lot to digest in this one missive, the details of Residence “Belle Vue du Château” at Le Château de la Trousse will be told in greater detail with more photos in a future account. For now, visit
frenchpropertyfractional.com for more information. And if you’re interested in owning a share of this dream-come-true, be sure to email Imogen at [email protected]

The RER from Val d’Europe whisked me back to Paris where I joined up with Pascal Fonquernie of http://www.Parismarais.com to be one of the thousands to witness the annual fireman’s performance at the Palais des Congrès titled appropriately, “La Nuit du Feu.”

Girls (and men of an alternative persuasion), this is an event not to be missed! You have never seen so many young, handsome, well built men in one room in your life! With the participation of the “Doriss Girls” of the Moulin Rouge, the gymnastic team of the “Pompiers de Paris,” along with their 60 band members, their choir created in 2004, and a variety of other talent recruited to produce a first-class “spectacle,” La Nuit du Feu was a highlight of the year. Three hours of non-stop entertainment and amazement backdropped by an Eiffel Tower made of fire department ladders, fire works and misty smoke effects, we remained in awe snapping our cameras and applauding their fine performance.

Parisians are awfully proud of their “Brigade de Sapeurs-Pompiers” — with good cause. These are the guys we love to love. Have a look at who they really are, by visiting their official site at www.pompiersparis.fr and then mark your calendar to meet them in person at the upcoming “Bals des Pompiers,” July 13th and 14th (visit pompiersparis.fr/1407/01.htm for the complete list of events).

Saturday afternoon is the event of the year I religiously attend. This is when being a heterosexual is like being the only one dressed in a nudist colony. It’s the annual Gay Pride Parade that works its way from Denfert Rochereau to Place de la Bastille with dozens of floats and thousands of people, both as participants and spectators. No matter which, everyone is having a ridiculous amount of fun!

Besides the elaborate costuming, besides the under and overtones of the important anti-discrimination messages, besides the blatant exhibitionism, one can revel in the total abandonment and freedom of expression alive on the streets of Paris that one long nutty afternoon. Anything goes and everything does.

There were more exposed silicone breasts than hairs on my head. Among the paraders there were lots of bared “buns” of all shapes and sizes and hairy-chested beer bellies to be proud of. Big feet were squeezed into platform shoes and naturally long torsos cinched into bustiers like Marie-Antoinette. There were more feathers on heads than at the Moulin Rouge and enough tattoos of note to fill the Louvre walls.

Favors thrown from the floats were condoms — a bit different than the Mardi Gras beads I grew up with, but a lot more useful! Yep, I caught one. Quelle chance!

And on a final weekend note, a little more sobering than all the pride and gaiety, the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme is showing 53 paintings including masterpieces by Cézanne, Delacroix, Matisse, Monet and Seurat, largely from the “MNR” (Musées Nationaux Récupération) fund — works that were confiscated from the Jews by the Nazis during World War II and later returned to their rightful owners (or not!). The works are stunning and the story fascinating. Don’t miss this historically important exhibition. For more information, visit http://mahj.org/

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
(holding a condom thrown from a float!)

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P.S. Mark your calendar to join us at next Tuesday’s Parler Paris Après Midi 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais! Visit parlerparis.com/apresmidi.html for more information

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