Down and Out in Paris with Panache
Down and Out in Paris with Panache
Monday, January 8, 2007
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
Regular Paris visitor, Eva Lee Lichtenberg, a resident of Tranquility, New Jersey and attorney specializing in mediation, carries her trusty pocket digital camera wherever she goes in Paris. As a “foodie,” she is forever taking candid shots of the plates presented before her while flirting playfully with the waiters. The same goes for anything unusual she might spot along her merry way in the City of Light.
With all the news about the homeless in Paris recently, it was apropos that two photos should arrive with her note: “After seeing the SDF [“sans domicile fixe”] article from Time magazine [By Bruce Crumley],…well, here’s proof, in Paris, at least some of the Parisian SDF’s do it with panache. The first photo was taken on rue de Rivoli, across from the Louvre. The second was on boulevard Voltaire.”
The homeless in Paris are as much a part of the scene as is graffiti. They are, of course, always a reminder that not everyone is as fortunate as we are to have the basic comforts of life. It has always struck me, though, that the homeless in Paris are far better tended than those in Santa Monica (where 15,000 were reported in a 2005 census), especially after having crossed a bridge of the Canal Saint Martin one evening to afford a view of the line-up of red tents along the edge. The air was brisk and damp. It seemed like a particularly cold and unsheltered spot, but serene and beautiful. I couldn’t help but wonder how the residents along the canal felt about their view being obstructed by the city of homeless camped there. A make-shift sign renames the quai Valmy as “SDF Boulevard.”
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë said after a number of Parisians complained, “I am not looking to chase away homeless people, I am looking to support them. But I must also respond to requests from residents.”
The issue is political in nature. There are an estimated 86,000 homeless in France nationwide, with about 300 making a show of it along the canal. “The Children of Don Quixote” association set up the 100 or so tents and homeless have flocked to the site to take up residence. The purpose is deliberate and it’s working. The media attention is turning up the heat to increase and improve shelter capacity for the homeless.
Meanwhile, new laws have been enacted (“Robien-Borloo”) to encourage property investors to buy and rent more unfurnished apartments. The laws are so pro-tenant that there is a serious shortage of unfurnished apartments to add to the housing issue.
Today I came across an article in the Financial Times from yesterday by Adam Jones titled “Pig Soup Off Menu for Paris Homeless.” City officials are now arguing over the recipe (!)…the soup made of pig ears, feet and tails is accused of “discriminating against Muslims and Jews, whose religions forbid the consumption of pork” even though the volunteer organization claims it is a “hearty expression of traditional rural French cooking.” This leads me to wonder if Eva Lee has a photo of that dish, too.
I don’t mean to make light of what is a serious problem, particularly at this time of year when the weather is less than kind to those unsheltered. So take heart while roaming the streets of our beautiful city and ask yourselves, “What can I do to help?” I invite all of you to post your ideas on our Reader Comments…
A la prochaine…
P.S. Tomorrow afternoon we meet at Parler Paris Après Midi from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m at La Pierre du Marais. Don’t miss it. Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.
P.P.S. Get ready for the winter sales! Starting this Wednesday, January 10th running through February 17th, you have an opportunity to buy with as much as 50% off (and often more!) throughout the city!
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French Property Insider Consultation…your complete solution to finding, buying, renovating or renting your new dream home or apartment in France. /frenchproperty/consultation
This Week in French Property Insider…
Friday, December 29th, was an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. marathon of information about living and investing in France presented by six professionals who had come from London, Leeds, Florida and Paris to an eager group of British, Canadians and Americans. It was the 17th seminar of its kind that we have offered to those interested in both enjoying their time in France while profiting from their investment…FPI Subscribers Read On…
Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.
Excerpt from Insider Guide to Black Paris
Move your neck according to the music.
Musicians from Africa and the Caribbean often live in their home countries but use Paris as a professional base, thus music from the Diaspora is definitely present in Paris. A number of major record labels have their Paris offices, and the City of Light also attracts independents. You’ll find a good selection of sounds on the charts at FNAC and Virgin stores (International section – “Musiques du monde”), but smaller stores like those listed below, or shops in the Château-Rouge area, are the best places to find authentic, original beats and discover up-and-coming artists…for more about music in Paris, see the guide….
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Let Sibel Pinto cater your next dinner party Mediterranean style, so you can relax and enjoy entertaining your guests! Visit
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.
Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!
Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
***”Le Provençal” Studio
Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.
Still available April 6th – 15th (departure April 16th) and April 26th – May 6th (departure May 7th)!
Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html
Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:
The next gathering is January 9, 2007
So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.