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I Love The Filth Of Paris

“I love the filth of Paris, I love Paris in its filth. Even stepping off into Passy, in the elegant “sixteenth,” I can taste the soot in the air, a black curtain billowing after the train. And the woman who offers me petits fours, pretty petits fours on a plate – I love when she pulls her dainty chair away and lights a cigarette. How the gilded room fills with smoke and she disappears in it, crossing her legs.”
Last night Cecilia Woloch read these words from her poem entitled “Filth” from her newest book entitled “Late,” to a group of twenty poets, photographers and friends taking up every inch of sofa and chair in my own twenty-eight square-meter living room. Poignantly, she also read her poem entitled “43 rue de Saintonge,” affectionately named after my humble abode and all the time she’s spent here.

She, Jeffrey Greene and James Baker Hall are starting off the second annual Paris Poetry Workshop this morning with sessions every day this week and readings every evening. I was never interested in poetry until I heard Cecilia Woloch read her work…and then this new world opened up to me like flood gates.

I urge you to take a taste of these poetic delicacies you’ve may never have had the opportunity to savor. Thursday night, stop into Polly Maggoo at 7 p.m. to hear the best of Cecilia, Jeffrey and James, sponsored by Shakespeare and Company. It’s free and guaranteed to be enlightening. Sunday night at 7 p.m., come to hear the work of the nine poets of the workshop and have dinner with us all at Patricia Laplante-Collins Paris Soirées in her Ile Saint Louis apartment (scroll down for all the details under “Literarily Speaking.”)

Sunday night also is the kick-off of the third annual Paris Ultimate Travel Writers Workshop, a four-day intensive course spearheaded by Jennifer Stevens, and taught by the finest of writers from the International Living team. Acclaimed authors Thirza Vallois and Polly Platt are among the guest speakers. Once again, I’m hosting a farewell cocktail and dinner for the entire group! There may be some seats left if you hurry — but even if you don’t take the workshop, you can take advantage of the Special Guided Walking Tour of Paris’ Literary Left Bank or the Survival French Workshop. Scroll down for more details.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Leonard Pitt, author of “Promenades dans le Paris Disparu,” a ‘voyage’ into the time and heart of historic Paris. Written originally in English, but published in French (help…we need to find a publisher for the English version!), it’s a brilliant account of Paris past and present depicted in Pitt’s collection of vintage photography and post cards compared with the same scenes of today along with descriptions of the life in Paris that transpired between the decades. Passionate about his subject, “Paris Disparu” is a must for any Francophile’s bookshelf. (Find it and all the other books at /parlerparis/books/index.html)

More good literary news…new updated versions of the “Insider Guide to Good Value Paris Hotels” by Rose Marie Burke and the “Insider Guide to Black Paris” by Melinda Herron are now available at Insider Paris Guides. The Insider Paris Guides are a series of electronically published guides about Paris and France written by Paris-based American journalists and writers. Guides are updated regularly, so it is impossible to get such up-to-date information anywhere else. Ask any author…printed books take at least six months to reach the bookstore shelf!

So, to all you constructors of poetry and prose, journalists and travel writers, wordsmiths of all kinds, I offer to you who see Paris as your blank sheet of paper these words…
“Paris is beautiful like this; it’s the beauty of love of the body of love. Once I arrived here in winter, alone; smelled bread and tobacco and butter and piss. And what had, until then, been my heart was not so much broken as opened in sin.”

Cecilia Woloch, “Filth
A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. Jean Taquet’s May Practical Answers column deals with driving illegally without a French driver’s license and the risk of renting a vacation property without insurance. The column in its entirety is online now at /parlerparis/practicalanswers.html

Further resources:

* Need to understand how to make it work for you, then take us up on a one-on-one.

* An International Living Paris Pied-à-Terre Can Be Yours

* Take home special memories of Paris — have a portrait photographed or painted just for you!

If you wish your community announcement to be listed in the Parler Paris Previews, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to [email protected] We reserve the right to edit as necessary. Thank you, Adrian

Strictly Entertainment

Current Time Out Comedy Award winner Julie Morris will be coming to Paris in just a few days for her second appearance here after her shows with Jackie Clune in 2002… this trip will be some kind of an event because it will be the first time a female stand-up has not shared the bill with anyone else… and about time too!

Julia Morris
8:30 p.m.
20 Euros

Sunday May 9th at Hôtel du Nord
102 quai de Jemmapes
Paris 10th

Tuesday 11 May at La Java
105 rue du faubourg du Temple
Paris 10th

More on the website



Carr’s Pub & Restaurant
1 rue du Mont Thabor, 75001 Paris
Métro: Tuileries
Sundays 7:30 p.m.

16th May John Ireland “The Magic Hour”
30th May Ken Mackenzie “Is there Free Will in Hell?”
13th June Tom O’Brien “Who Killed Dmitri?”
27th June Mary Bruton Sandifer “Hunting Season”
12th September Barratt Walton “Buddha’s Aunt”

For more information, contact Stephanie Campion at: 06 14 67 18 58


The International Players present in English

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By William Shakespeare

Directed by Graham Bushnell who has also directed “Twelfth Night” for the Jardin de Shakespeare in Paris. The original music is composed by John Dawkins, musical director and conductor of the Melo’men choir and the Symphony Rainbow Orchestra.

The production will be part of the festivities to celebrate the 1300 years of the town of Le Pecq and also the centenary of the Entente Cordiale.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream occupies a special place in the works of Shakespeare: its contrasting worlds of dream and reality, its mixture of high and low comedy and its lyric beauty give it a timeless appeal. This production never loses sight of Shakespeare’s original intention: to tell a good story and to entertain.

A teacher’s pack and the complete script of the play

Thursday 3rd June, Friday 4th June, and Saturday 5th June at 20h30
Sunday 6th June at 15h00

Salle des Fêtes
Quai Voltaire , 78230 LE PECQ
RER line A: Le Vésinet-Le Pecq

Online reservations:
or phone: 06 76 27 11 07

15 euros (adults) 10 euros (students)
Reductions for groups: [email protected]

Literarily Speaking

Shakespeare and Company Bookstore Presents…

by Award-Winning Poets Cecilia Woloch, James Baker Hall and Jeffrey Greene

Thursday, May 6th, 7 p.m.
Polly Maggoo, 5 rue de Petit Pont, 75005, Paris
Métro: St Michel/Cluny-la-Sorbonne

* Monday Night Readings at Shakespeare and Company
8 p.m.
Organized by John Kirby Abraham



Thursday, May 13th, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Guy Martin, starred chef of Le Grand Véfour, and Isabelle Rozenbaum, photographer, signing their book “C’est le Sud,” published by Editions du Chêne

Wednesday, May 26th, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Nicole Seeman and Raphaële Vidaling signing three first books of a new collection from TANA Editions.


Photos by Daniel Jouanneau for FRENCH VOGUE from the ’80s
Thursday, June 3, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Exhibition of “SEA,” photos by Tan Kadam, June 3 – 29, 2004



Seminar Series on Children and Mental Health
Sponsored by the Woodward Charitable Foundation

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 8:00 PM
Prof. Daniel N. Stern M.D.
“Inside the Mind of Your Baby”

Dr. Stern will describe the newborn’s ability to form internal images (representations) of the people important to her or him, and how these images help the infant learn to interact with other humans. Among these earliest learning experiences are the ability to lump repeated patterns together to create a prototype of an activity (i.e., being fed) and the ability to imitate other humans, creating a window into other people’s feelings that provides the basis for sympathy, identification, knowing others and sharing experiences — all basic human traits.

Prof. Stern is currently Professeur Honoraire in the Faculté de Psychologie, Université de Genève, Adjunct Professor in the Dept.of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical School–New York Hospital, and Lecturer at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalysis. He trained at Harvard University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital (NY), and the National Institutes of Health (MD), among others. Prof. Stern is the author of six books, most of which have been translated into more than ten languages.

Free and open to the public.


Evenings With an Author
At the American Library in Paris
Sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation

Wednesday, May 5, 2004, 8:00 p.m.
Denny Lynch – “Paris in Photos”
Gary Kraut – Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler

Lynch has spent three decades documenting the life and beauty of the City of Light that he adores. Join us as he shares his hauntingly beautiful photographs and his insights into how he was able to capture these wonderful compositions. Lynch’s award-winning photographs have become part of the permanent collections of The Museum of The City of New York, The New York Historical Society, The Irish Arts Center, and The New York City Fire Museum. His first Paris one-man show was in July 2003.

Gary Lee Kraut, Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler

Whether a visitor or a long-term traveler by virtue of living here, Kraut’s book shows us how to see Paris with fresh eyes, giving insightful and entertaining views of both familiar and unfamiliar sights. To him, “off the beaten track” isn’t a place, it’s a way of looking and living beyond the clichés, a way of connecting with people and places so as to deepen our understanding not only of where we are but also of where we come from. “Paris Revisited: The
Guide for the Return Traveler” ( is Gary Lee Kraut’s fifth travel book. He is the winner of FrancePress’s 1995 Prix d’Excellence for his guide to France published in the Fielding Travel Book Collection.

Free and open to the public.

American Library in Paris
10 rue du Général Camou,
75007 Paris
Métro: Ecole Militaire, Alma-Marceau, RER C Pont de l’Alma
Bus: 42,63,69,80,82 and 92
For more information, please call 01 53 59 12 63 or e-mail [email protected]


USO Paris Presents


Highly-acclaimed author of “Around and About Paris” series and “Romantic Paris”

Thirza Vallois will take you on a virtual romantic trip through Paris present and past. Funny, moving, outrageous love stories involving famous historical figures will also be part of the feast, always accompanied by wonderful slides. You will also get an insight into Paris at its most exquisite and most secret. If you think you have nothing more to learn about this city, by the end of the journey you will be amazed how much more there is to explore about “the civilized world’s eternal and splendid courtesan”, as William Faulkner described her.

Acknowledged worldwide as a Paris expert, Thirza Vallois has not only written several books, she has also contributes regularly to radio and television-BBC, PBS, CNN, Discovery, The Travel Channel, The French 5th Channel- and to such publications as Hemispheres, Condé Nast Traveler, the Financial Times. Her Three Perfect Days in Paris video was aired on all United Airlines international flights. She is also the author of the Paris entry to the 2002 edition of the Encarta Encyclopaedia.

“We come to Paris as to a stage on which to enact an episode of our love life, but before we know it we are caught under the spell and find out, to our astonishment, that it is Paris herself that has got under our skin, the one love that has no rival and that even time will never erode”

Thursday, May 13th, 2004 at 7:00 pm
US Marine House
22 Quai du 4 Septembre, Boulogne
Information and reservations: Vicky or Lydia at 01 40 70 99 68.
Fee: 5 euros
All proceeds of the event will benefit USO Paris Center Programs and Services.


Nine American poets in Paris, writers with the 2004 Paris Poetry Workshop, a special event headed by award-winning poets Cecilia Woloch, James Baker Hall and Jeffrey Greene, will read their finest works, fresh with the inspiration of the City of Light, with guitar interludes by Yves Cutulic.

18 rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris
(Just Across the bridge on the Ile St-Louis ­ A 2 Minute Walk)

After the performances, we’ll walk across the historic Pont Marie Bridge to Ile St-Louis and the Quai d’Anjou for dinner At Patricia’s: 35 quai d’Anjou, 75004 Paris

It’s 20 Euros in an envelope with your name, home telephone and email if we don’t already have it. Please include your business card.

Cité International des Arts, 18 rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, M° Pont-Marie/St. Paul.


Please reserve via email. If you do not receive an email confirmation by Saturday morning, please call us: Patricia’s Tel:, E-mail: [email protected]

Musical Interludes


According to singer/actress Gay Marshall, “JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS…”

Gay Marshall, Gourmandises, Sabine Drabawitch and Arnelle Dumoulin will be singing songs from Broadway to Brel!

May 5 – 8 and 12 – 15, 8:30 p.m.
Théâtre Essaion
6 rue Pierre au Lard
75004 Paris, M° Hôtel de Ville or Rambuteau
15 Euros / 10 Euros Reduced Rate
Reservations: [email protected] or phone 01 42 78 46 42 Information:,



Southwestern Missouri State University Concert Chorale
Under the direction of Guy Webb

Thursday, May 27, 2004, 12:45 p.m.
Eglise de la Trinité
Metro la Trinité
Free Entry
For more information, email Andrea Rose at [email protected]

May 25, 2004,
Eglise Saint-Sulpice
Métro Saint-Sulpice

Bonnes Soirées and Great Gatherings



Scroll up to see the details in “Literarily Speaking.”

Parler Paris Après-Midi

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers

Knowledge is Power — Conferences, Workshops and Seminars

Paint or Draw Portraits and Self Portraits with American Portrait Artist Kathy Burke in her beautiful Marais atelier…

245 Euros 3-hour private session
490 Euros 3-hour session with 2 to 6 people
Includes all materials.

For more information, [email protected]

in the South of France
June 13th – 18th, 2004

Join us for a fun-filled week of creative writing in the South of France…

Harriet Welty Rochefort, author of “French Toast”

, the successful memoir about her life in France and her reaction to mind-boggling cultural differences, will help you shape your thoughts and buckle down to put them on paper in a writing workshop devoted to getting the best out of yourself and your memories and experiences.

Location: Le Bois des Dames located in the Rhone Valley.
Limited to 10 participants
Cost: 2,295 Euro (with early bird special)

Lodging and meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks and wine) included (double occupancy). Early bird special: A 200 Euro discount will be applied for registration before April 30th, a 50% deposit is required at this time. See registration form for refund info.

For more information and registration please visit /parlerparis/travelwriters/rochefortmemoirs/index.html or contact:

Jane Malleval
Bois des Dames
[email protected]
+33 (0)


May 9-12, 2004
Sponsored by The American Writers & Artists Institute
Hosted by the International Living Paris Office

Learn how you can earn extra income traveling the world as a VIP, meeting new people and enjoying the freedom and independence of a writer’s life…

This is the workshop we’ve hosted for the third year here in Paris taught by the best in the industry: Jennifer Stevens, John Forde, Steenie Harvey with guest speakers Rose Marie Burke, Thirza Vallois, Polly Platt and me!

Signing up before April 1, 2004, save $100 and pay $1,297 to enroll.

There may only be a few seats left, so act now. Visit
or contact Agora Travel and Conference Services (On behalf of AWAI)
Phone: (800) 926-6575 and (561) 243-6276 Fax: (561) 278-8765
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

The International Living Paris Office Presents Our Upcoming Conferences to Make Your Dream to Live in France Come True…

If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a “pied-à-terre” of your own part of the year or investing in property in France, these power-packed conferences are a MUST. Hosted by the International Living Paris Office and Adrian Leeds, Editorial Director and Editor of the Parler Paris daily newsletter, these few days will arm you with all the information you need to make it happen! The line-up for the conferences include seminars, discussions, dinners, cocktails — with well-known Paris, Europe and U.S.-based experts.

Choose the one that’s right for you!…

Working and Living in France
Paris, France
Home Plazza Bastille
June 18 – 20, 2004
For more information: /frenchproperty/conference/wlif/wlif_home.html

Living and Investing in France
Washington, DC
September 10 – 12, 2004

Working and Living in France
Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Fall 2004

Read what our past participants have to say about our Paris Office Conferences and Tours…/frenchproperty/conference/conferencements.html

Reservations and information:

If you’d like to know more about the conferences or reserve your place, visit /frenchproperty/conference/index.html or email Schuyler Hoffman:

Schuyler Hoffman, Special Conference Coordinator
Toll Free in the U.S. 1-877-457-2747
Email: [email protected]

Trekking and Tours

As Part of the
Ultimate Travel Writers Workshop
Special Guided Walking Tour

Take a journey on foot with renowned Paris expert Thirza Vallois into the depths of Paris’ literary Left Bank. As Thirza puts it: “Scratch beneath the surface to probe into the souls and lives of the restless people, both high and low, who throughout the ages have never ceased to shape and reshape it.

Spanning three centuries of intellectual and artistic life, Thirza Vallois will walk you from the western edge of the Latin Quarter to the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a tiny (and visually exquisite) territory where so much of it took place. We shall start from the city’s first café, which opened back in the late 17th century. And we shall find out why…,
followed by many answers to many other questions, as the neighborhood unfolds its secrets.

“Paris is a city of perpetual change, a hectic building site of destruction and reconstruction, of restoration and renovation, where fashions are no sooner created than forsaken, a city in perpetual motion whose rounds of pleasure are periodically broken by maelstroms of social fury and bloodshed and whose throbbing pulse has always exerted a magnetic power on creative minds from far and wide, who have bequeathed to the world great schools of art and thought.”

Schedule: May 10, 2004 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Carrefour de l’Odéon
Price: $30 for workshop participants, $40 for non-participants


Agora Travel and Conference Services
(On behalf of AWAI)
In the U.S. or Canada
Phone: (800) 926-6575 and (561) 243-6276
Fax: (561) 278-8765
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:
235 NE 4th Avenue, Suite 102,
Delray Beach, FL 33483 USA

Learning la Langue Française


Need to know just a few basics to get by while you’re here in Paris? This 9-hour intensive workshop is OPEN TO EVERYONE
(You do not need to be participating in the IL workshops or conferences to attend!!!)

Taught by French language expert Marie-ElisabethCrochard, former director of Berlitz Champs Elysées and co-coordinator of Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group!


DAY ONE — MAY 7, 2004:
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lunch Break
2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

DAY TWO — MAY 8, 2004:
9 a.m. to 12 Noon


DAY ONE — JUNE 21, 2004:
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

DAY TWO — JUNE 22, 2004:
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Lunch Break
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Includes nine hours of classroom instruction. Learn how to survive on your own in Paris, master the basics — greetings, learn how to order your croissant, ask for the check, the price of an item, sizes, colors, numbers, asking for the time and all the key questions: who, what, where, when, how…, the use of the 10 basic verbs and where the Musée d’Orsay is located. Also, become skilled at exchanging pleasantries with the French — learning about the social protocols most often misunderstood by tourists.

13 Passage Dauphine (entrance at at 30 rue Dauphine), 6th Arrondissement
Métro Odéon or Pont Neuf

$195 Workshop/Conference Participants
$245 Non-Travel Workshop/Conference Participants


Adrian Leeds or [email protected]

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

*Special Holiday Closings: May 8, May 22


Join us at the Parler Parlor conversation group in Paris France for free-form conversation with native French and English speakers.
Practice speaking 45 minutes in French, 45 minutes in English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily, in groups of six to eight, each in its own acoustically sound private room.


Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m.

14 rue Lafayette, 4th Floor
9th arrondissement, Paris
Métro Chaussée d’Antin, Opéra,
RER A Auber

Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

13 passage Dauphine (entrance between rue Dauphine and rue Mazarine), 6th arrondissement
Métro Odéon, Saint-Michel

Email: [email protected]
Elisabeth Crochard, Tel: 01 44 19 76 61
Adrian Leeds, Tel: 01 40 27 97 59

What’s On in The City of Light

Fête de la Musique June 21, 2004

Paris Jazz Festival – Program 2004

June 5 – July 25, 2004, 3:30 p.m.
Entrance to Parc Floral: 3 euros
Parc Floral de Paris – Esplanade du Château de Vincennes – 75012

Special Announcements


From Voting Equipment to Voting Systems: the Breakdown of American Democracy

Tuesday May 18th at 6:45 PM At the home of Connie Borde 240 bis boulevard St-Germain 75007, Paris (Métro Bac)

Steven Hill is senior analyst for the Center for Voting and Democracy ( His recent book “Fixing Elections: The Failure Of America’s Winner-Take-All Politics” (Routledge Press) has been called by author Michael Lind “the most important book on American democracy that has come out in many years.” Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor of The New Yorker, has written, “Here’s the eye-opening news from Steven Hill’s Fixing Elections: our ‘winner-take-all’ electoral system is a mug’s game that makes losers of us all. He explains why — convincingly. And he tells us what we can do about it.”

His articles and commentaries have appeared in dozens of national newspapers and magazines including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Nation,, and many others. He has been a guest on many TV & radio programs and has addressed audiences all over the country. His book, Fixing Elections, was selected for NPR’s Cambridge Forum, and Books of our Times (a nationwide TV show run by Massachusetts School of Law and AT&T broadband cable).

Steve lives in California and was campaign manager for a recent ballot proposition that passed instant runoff voting in San Francisco; he was also one of the organizers (with California Common Cause) of a successful San Francisco ballot measure for public financing of elections.

Contribution: 10 euros

RSVP by return email: [email protected]
and send check of 10 Euros (Democrats Abroad France) to:
Jason Levin, 15-17 rue des Mathurins, 75009 Paris



First Tuesday will be held on Wednesday next month!

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
7:30 PM Drinks 8:00 Dinner

Religion in Politics: Where are we Headed?

Religion has become a focal point in world conflict and foreign policy, and it is also a deepening fault line in American politics. Our distinguished speakers will help clarify what is at stake both at home and abroad in the new religious wars.

Dr. Neal Blough
Pastor and Director of the Mennonite Center in Paris, Theologian who teaches at the Catholic University on Wars and Religion

Jamin Raskin
Professor of constitutional law at American University, author of Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court vs. The American People

Moderator: Rey Riemer
Vice-Chair of Democrats Abroad France

To be held at Les Noces de Jeannette
Corner of 14 rue Favart and 9 rue d’Amboise
75002 Paris, Tel: 01 42 96 36 89
Métros: Richelieu-Drouot, Bourse, Quatre-Septembre

Please send your check for 32 Euros to Cathy Decavèle, 22 Chemin de la Rousterie, 78460 La Chevreuse, made out to Democrats Abroad France To pay at the door, call for reservations: Cathy Decavele at 01 30 52 34 92 or Ellie Schaffer at 01 43 20 78 01.


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