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Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! (Happy Bastille Day!)

10-7-13 Ed Keller by Wendy PatonChef Keller – photo by Wendy Paton10-7-13GertBeerman at95.5yearsoldMiss Gertrude10-7-13NOLAbastilledayBastille Day in New Orleans10-7-13lespompiersathebarLes Pompiers at the bar, waiting10-7-13kissingpompierA Pompiers kiss10-7-13balsdespompiers 2009 CapeauxMore good looking Pompiers10-7-13caserne carpeauxThe “caserne” at 12, rue Carpeaux10-7-13balsdespompierscasernesevigneEntertainment at the bal at rue de Sévigné10-7-13 14-juillet-defile-Champs-Elysees-630x405-C-OTCP-Marc-Bertrand-I-165-01Military parade at the Champs-Elysées10-7-13 meet the soldiers 14juillet2013Meet the soldiers on the 14th10-7-13champsdemarsThe Champs de Mars10-7-13 14-juillet-feu-artifice-Tour-Eiffel-630x405-C-OTCP-Amelie-Dupont-I-124-0614th of July fireworks at the Effiel Tower10-7-13EiffelTowerFireworksbyEricaSimone2007More fireworks – photo by Eric Simone

The windows were open, the sun and the warmth poured into the upper level at La Pierre du Marais yesterday afternoon as Edward Keller from “Carotte et Caviar” enlightened the attendees of Parler Paris Après Midi with his wisdom on French cuisine. This was one of our most entertaining afternoons of all time — so well received that not only was the applause overwhelming, but there were a few “bravos” called out to show even more enthusiasm.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that Edward demonstrated how to make a perfect mayonnaise or how he turned it into a  perfect dip for “crudités” (raw veggies) or that he passed it and the veggies around for everyone to taste. He is a formidable speaker, is clearly a likable guy who really knows his stuff, has a fascinating CV as a chef (L’Escargot, Jacques Cagne and Le Grand Vefour).

I’m sure you’ll want to read more about the afternoon, more about what Carotte et Caviar does to bring French cuisine into your home and see the photos from the afternoon…so just visit the write-up at and you’ll regret you missed it! (Note: Après Midi is closed for August, but we’ll be back in September on the 10th with Antonio Meza and Amanda Frost, of Akrobatas Creative Empowerment Tools with “The Make it Happen Circle” — A Mastermind Program. Read more about it. 

At yesterday’s gathering, I promised everyone that today’s Nouvellettre® would be devoted to my ‘secrets’ for the upcoming events — Les Bals des Pompiers and Bastille Day.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris this coming weekend, then you won’t want to miss these festive highlights of the whole year. And please do them on my behalf (!) as I’ll be in “La Nouvelle Orléans” celebrating my mother’s 96th birthday (July 13th) and taking in some of the activities scheduled in the “Big Easy” (

(For those who travel to New Orleans, our own long time staff member, Schuyler Hoffman, owns and operates a B&B called Chez Palmiers and long time Parler Paris reader, Ray Ruiz runs one called Le Dauphine — both great places to stay in the Faubourg Marigny.)

Next Monday, you’ll be hearing all about the debauchery of the visit to my home town (where I am sure to gain 10 pounds eating fresh boiled seafood and “beignets” and then sweat some of it off thanks to the intense heat), but for now, let’s concentrate on what you should be doing right here in Paris!

First, don’t miss the Fireman’s Balls that take place both the nights of July 13th and 14th. From 9 p.m. on, be prepared to drink champagne, kiss the stunningly handsome young “pompiers” (for you women, that is) and dance to live music until the wee hours of the morn (4 a.m. at least). Most are free, or there may be a small ‘donation’ to enter, a traditional thing to do. Go early so you can avoid the long lines to enter, miss the wait at the bar and watch the sun go down as the fire station fills with people.

To get an idea of what’s in store, just visit the official site that has posted videos from past “Bals” (

The “caserne” at 12, rue Carpeaux in the 18th arrondissement, was the first to host a ball (1937), and I can attest to it’s splendor! The first night on the 13th these guys will be really rockin’!

My favorite is still the one on rue de Sévigné in the 4th. The 17th-century “hôtel particulier” in which it is housed is stunning and it will be rockin’ and rollin’ both nights, the 13th and 14th! But, whichever you choose, there are many around town where you can bring your dancing shoes and high spirits:

CHALIGNY – 26, rue de Chaligny, 75012: Both nights, 13th and 14th   
COLOMBIER – 11, rue du Vieux Colombier, 75006: Both nights, 13th and 14th
GRENELLE – 6, Place Violet, 75015: Both nights, 13th and 14th
BLANCHE – 28, rue Blanche, 75009: First night, 13th
ROUSSEAU – 21, rue du Jour, 75001: Both nights, 13th and 14th
LANDON – 188, quai de Valmy, 75010: First night, 13th
BITCHE – 2, place de Bitche, 75019: Both nights, 13th and 14th
MENILMONTANT – 47, rue Saint-Fargeau, 75020: Both nights, 13th and 14th
MASSENA Р37, boulevard Mass̩na, 75013: First night, 13th
MONTMARTRE – 12, rue Carpeaux, 75018: First night, 13th  
BOURSAULT – 27, rue Boursault, 75017 PARIS – First night, 13th  
PORT-ROYAL(CS) – 53-55, boulevard Port-Royal, 75013 PARIS – Both nights, 13th and 14th

If you have survived the balls and can be up and out early, head for the annual military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées on the 14th starting at 9:10 a.m.! Here’s the schedule:

9:10: End of the introduction of troops on foot and motorized at the Etoile / Champs-Elysées.
1:20: Inspection of the troops by General Officer Commanding the parade on foot and motorized.
9:45: Establishment of honor detachment of the Republican Guard, Place de l’Etoile and Place de la Concorde.
10:00: Arrival of the President of the Republic Avenue de Friedland. Home by Admiral Edouard Guillaud, Chief of Defence Staff, and Lieutenant General Hervé Charpentier Army, Military Governor of Paris. Review of troops.
10:15: Honors presented to the President of the Republic, Place de la Concorde in the 1st Infantry Regiment of the Republican Guard.
10:20: Opening animation.
10:35: Air opening parade commanded by Lieutenant General Air Thierry Caspar-Fille-Lambie, commander of the air defense and air operations.
10:40: Parade of foot soldiers commanded by Brigadier General Henry Bazin, deputy general commitments to the military governor of Paris.
1:25: Parade of mounted troops, followed by the parade of motorized troops commanded by General Philippe Ponties, commanding the staff strength 3.
11:40: Closing flypast.
11:45: Closing animation.
12 noon: Departure of President of the Republic.

In the afternoon and all over the city, Paris will be welcoming France’s soldiers: “Les Parisiens et les franciliens accueillent leurs soldats” — an event that is an opportunity for people to discover the men and women who are part of today’s defense system — talk with them about their job, their missions.

It takes place at seven sites in Paris, including the two most — at the Esplanade des Invalides and the Place de la Nation:

Esplanade des Invalides (7th)
Place de la Nation (11th, 12th and 20th)
Place Saint Sulpice (6th)
Place de l’Opéra (9th)
Parc Montsouris (14th)
Place Péclet (15th)
Place Armand Carrel (19)

You can learn more about each venue and event.

But nothing beats the fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower. The city Web site lists great places from which you can see the fireworks, but I have my own take on it…

They fire off the works from the basins at the Trocadero and begin about 11 p.m., lasting about 35 minutes. This year’s theme is “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.” How unoriginal is that? But no matter! Over the years, I’ve discovered the perfect spot from which to see the fireworks — just south of dead center of the Champs de Mars!

Go early — about 3 p.m. Take the Métro to La Tour-Maubourg or Ecole Militaire and walk to where avenue du Général Margueritte meets dead center on the Champs de Mars. Take a BIG blanket so you can take up a lot of grassy space — this way you can invite ALL your friends. Bring a colorful umbrella for shade if you need it, but to double as a ‘flag’ so that your friends can find you (cell phones won’t be working well with so many thousands of people on the network). Have enough food and drink with you to last ALL DAY LONG. (Hide the wine in soda bottles as it’s not officially allowed!) You may even want to take some board games or cards to play. Then relax and wait for the fireworks to begin!

There are public toilets and food vendors, so no worries about managing all day and once you relax on the grass, have a snooze or just read a book — it’s guaranteed to be fun! Plus, you have never in your life seen such outstanding fireworks as these!

(Special note for exiting when it’s over: Before the fireworks begin, get organized and ready to make a quick exit. The police will be funneling the crowds into the Métro stations with as much order as possible. (And don’t miss the last train like I did one year when I had to walk all the way home… by myself… carrying all the paraphernalia!)

And one last thing: Say “Happy Bastille Day” to La Tour Eiffel for me!

A la prochaine…

adrian bastille day 2011Adrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC

(waiting for fireworks on Bastille Day)


Respond to Adrian



10-7-13ParisSoireesAudreyApplebyP.S. For something different to do — to meet new friends in Paris instead of picnicking on your own, enjoy Patricia Laplante Collins’ Paris Soirées on the 14th when Audrey Appleby will sing. There will be plenty of cheap cocktails along with Jazz, Latin, and Euro Chill Music! Starts at 7 p.m. at a fun loft in the center of Paris (at Métro Château d’Eau). Cost 24€ complete with dinner and free-flowing wine. For more information, contact Patricia at 33(0)

P.P.S. If you’re searching for a longer term apartment rental in Paris or the areas surrounding the City of Light for stays of 3 months to 3 years, the Adrian Leeds Group can help! We can assist you in finding the ideal furnished or unfurnished apartment based on your specific preferences, needs and budget, or view an apartment you’ve already found. For details or to book our services, visit Long-term Apartment Search or email [email protected].


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