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BIG Times and TINY Times in the City of Light

It’s a BIG day, a BIG week, a BIG month and a BIG year in the City of Light.

Today is a BIG day (for me personally) because I am signing the “Acte de Vente” (sales deed) on the first investment property I purchased in Paris — “Le Provençal.” The person buying the 16.5 square meter slice of heaven just happens to be a close member of the family and therefore it is with great pleasure for both of us that this sweet little sunny apartment will pass from one generation to another.

While waiting to be sold, “No Love Locks” Lisa Anselmo made it her home-away-from-home since her own apartment is currently uninhabitable (thanks to a major leak in the building) and wrote in her blog “‘You cannot be sad here!,’ the little apartment declared, bathed in sunlight from three windows facing a large, verdant courtyard. ‘I’m happy!,’ it said. ‘Happy! Happy!’ It smiled with ebullient decor evoking a Provençale landscape: sunflower-yellow walls trimmed with mosaics of bold yellow-orange, red, and purple. For its size, it offered its own amenities including plenty of storage. How could a person be anything but happy here? Even someone prone to depression, like me, had no choice but to surrender to its warm embrace.” (See the entire article on her blog, My Part Time Paris Life.)

It’s true. It’s impossible to be depressed in Le Provençal, even though it is TINY. The apartment will take on a new name and a new persona along with the new owner, who will likely want lots of guests to enjoy it, too.

The week is definitely going to be BIG because we’re filming a new TV show for a new network — FYI’s series called TINY House Nation —  with my niece and daughter — a family affair involving Paris “tout petit appartements.” This is the first international show for TINY House Nation and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. For three solid days, we’ll be filming the visits to three TINY apartments — the TINIEST one about 8 square meters (!!), the largest one not quite 17 square meters!

Filming with members of the family is sure to be an interesting affair, and no doubt the show is going to be BIG fun when we show off how livable such TINY spaces in the City of Light can be.

The week ends BIG with “Fête de la Musique” on June 21st, the Summer Solstice. It’s heavenly that the sun sets so late — at 21:58 p.m. (The sun sets later here because of the position of the city by longitude and latitude, as well as elevation. We have 1.5 hours more sunlight than New Yorkers, where the sun will set on June 21st at 8:31 p.m.)

Launched in Paris by the French Ministry for culture, the Summer Solstice festival is now BIGGER than ever, held in more than 100 countries in Europe and in other cities across the globe. It’s a free and public event, open to any participant (amateur or professional musicians) who wants to perform in it. And for those of us who are not musicians or performers, we are lucky enough to be on the listening end, here to enjoy every minute.

The BIG place to be this year is the Jardin du Palais-Royal. On the occasion of this 34th festival, the Ministry of Culture and Communication’s theme this year is “Vivre ensemble la musique” (“Living together with music”) and has organized free concerts throughout the day in the gardens. Start off at 2:30 p.m. with “The Amazing Key Stone BIG Band” — a BIG jazz orchestra, then stay the entire day if you like for more to come until well into the evening.

If you just want to wander the streets and find what strikes your fancy, you will discover various performances, both official and not-so-official at the museums and monuments, concert halls, gardens and parks, train stations, “mairies” (city halls), churches, hospitals and of course, just along the streets, on the corners and in the squares…just about anywhere and everywhere! Le Marais is one of the best spots in town, particularly around Place des Vosges where the acoustics are particularly special and conducive to singers and classical music.

While you’re out and about, grab a grilled “merguez” (spicy mutton or beef-based North African sausage) from a make-shift stand or find an outdoor spot for dinner, then head out to take it all in. And let’s hope for pleasant weather to make it one of the best Fête de la Musiques ever!

For more information, visit the official Web site. You may search the program or visit their Facebook page.

Finally, the month is sure to be BIG because just a week later, on June 27th, we’ll be celebrating Gay Pride by watching the annual parade pass by! Gay or straight, the event is one of the BIGGEST and a guaranteed blast! This year, the parade starts at 2 p.m. at Place Edmond Rostand (Luxembourg Gardens) in the direction de la place de la République along boulevard Saint-Michel, boulevard Saint-Germain, Pont de Sully, boulevard Henri IV, place de la Bastille, and boulevard Beaumarchais arriving at Place de la République about 5 p.m. where there will be a BIG concert at the end of the march.

You can count on me being there to have a very BIG time!

A la prochaine,

Adrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group

(getting her Pride on, 2014)

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