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Festivities and Fireworks on the 4th and 14th

I can imagine all of you Stateside right about now preparing the grill for the burgers and hot dogs, sweltering under Summer heat, while we Parisians are suffering cold, rainy, gloomy days. It’s becoming “insupportable,” but we all know that temperatures will climb in July and August when we will wish for a little more of “June gloom.”

Regardless, friends are preparing their own celebrations for July 4th right here in Paris, as no matter how long we Americans might be resident, we are loathe to forget our roots. There will be a number of gatherings by American-based organizations, not to mention private parties. Normally every year I make bacon cheese burgers topped with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, accompanied by pickles, potato chips, Cole slaw and Coca Cola.

This year I’ve opted out to pack for tomorrow’s flight to San Francisco for the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference, which is supposed to be cool and very sunny this weekend. New Orleans, the second leg of the journey, is predicted for the high 90s with scattered showers the weekend of Bastille Day when my family will be celebrating our mother’s 90th birthday. It’s the first year to be missing the Bals des Pompiers on July 13th and the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on the 14th… sadly. These are events well worth being in Paris for!

My favorite Bal is at 7, rue de Sévigné in the 4th on both nights of the 13th and 14th from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Get there early so you have a chance to flirt with the beautiful young firemen before there’s too much competition! For this year’s list of Bals des Pompiers, visit:

The fireworks from the Eiffel Tower this year pay homage to the cinema. Three tons of powder and more than 6500 works will be set off from all sides — of the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars, the shores of the Seine and the gardens of the Trocadéro. Like a massive cinema screen, the facade of the Palais du

Trocadéro will be used just at the right moment…and the fireworks display will be orchestrated to the music of such monumental films as Star Wars.

Every year the fireworks are more impressive than the year before. If that holds true for this year, you wouldn’t want to miss it. They start at sundown, so get to the Champ de Mars with your picnic and friends about 8 p.m. or earlier to get a good seat (dead center) and wait for the sun to go down and the excitement to build. You won’t want it to end.

Next week I’ll be reporting from the City by the Bay and all that transpired over two days at the Alliance Française of San Francisco where we will be holding the Conference and the celebration dinner with guest speakers Leonard Pitt and Cara Black at La Cave. It will be very exciting to meet many of you readers…with the conference sold out filling all 75 seats in the AF theater!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris



P.S. Be sure to read about yesterday’s gathering at Après Midi — a congenial group around one sprawling table, by visiting: /parlerparis/apresmidi.html and don’t forget, there’s no gathering in August while we take a Summer break.


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