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An Expat-Packed Weekend

The dinner cruise on the Seine was at a slow and romantic pace as it slid silently on the water, first going east, circling the Ile Saint-Louis and then back again to circle the Allée des Cygnes where the miniature Statue of Liberty sits, finally to moor at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The meal itself was mediocre, but the ambiance for a birthday celebration with someone special was tough to beat.

In all these years, I’d only done it once, but even then as a tourist, long before becoming resident, and thinking it such a “touristy” thing to do. Sure, that’s who your fellow diners are, but who cares? The soft lights and warm atmosphere, professional service, live entertainers and views of Paris from the Seine make it all very special.

There are several cruise lines that offer the dinner service, and none are inexpensive. This one was moderately priced and reputable, a small amount more for a table by a window, but worth it. Visit for more information.

Bright and early Saturday morning, we greeted the attendees of the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference and kicked off a 12-hour marathon of presentations by 10 professionals in their fields, coming from Europe and the U.S., led by legal expert, John Howell, of John Howell & Co.

Attendees came from many parts of the globe…Australia, Connecticut, Isle sur la Sorgue, New York, Cape Town, Neuilly sur Seine, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Illinois and California. We enjoyed a three-course lunch together, coffees and cocktails to break from the intense amount of information offered about how to make the best investments in French property and what they needed to know about the process. Twelve hours is still just scratching the surface, with such an in-depth subject to cover.

Long-time waiter, François, at Chez Omar on rue de Bretagne, managed to spill cousoous all down John Howell’s striped shirt at dinner, but no matter, the meal was worth a stain or two. Across the street, the Mairie of the 3ème Arrondissement was showing the rugby match on a big screen in its courtyard. Mayor Pierre Aidenbaum was on hand while a large number of residents sat on the cobblestones to cheer for their favorite team.

< font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">The next morning we took a pot of geraniums out of my window box and headed down to the Carrousel du Louvre for the annual “I’m Not a Tourist” Fair. There John Howell, his wife, Janie, my staff intern Christa Lynn and I set up our Bronze Sponsorship booth recreating the setting of a café table and chairs next to a Marais window planted with bright red geraniums.

Vanessa Lotoux, Advertising Director of FrancePress LLC and Louis Kyle, Publisher, joined us by offering free copies of France Today Magazine from our booth. Almost all of the Adrian Leeds Group staff came at one time or another and spoke to hundreds of people, giving out Eiffel Tower key chains along with free subscriptions to French Property Insider to all those who stopped to chat. Many of the attendees from the conference took advantage of the two days of information for Expats by coming to the fair — we had a chance to say “rebonjour” and chat again about their goals and plans.

Lots and lots of Parler Paris readers made a point to come by to say hello, and old friends who we see so little due to our busy lives. All the while, there were speakers making presentations in the main arena just near our booth and in the afternoon, both John and I spoke at the more intimate setting in the back, he on saving tax and me on creating a profitable rental apartment.

To end the weekend, those of us still ‘breathing’ after such an intense 48 hours, met for a “coupe de champagne” and dinner together at one of my favorite little neighborhood bistrots, Au Trou Normand on rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud (number 9, 11th,, to help celebrate my birthday and another very successful conference and fair.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. Our next Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference is scheduled for February 16-17 in Miami, Florida at the Alliance Française. If you are interested in attending and would like to be on a special mailing list for more information, email: [email protected]


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