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Just the Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts

Our Clients and Friends in Nice, Sunday Night in NiceOur Clients and Friends, Sunday Night in Nice

The night before I left Nice, we gathered together a group of our clients who have moved to Nice within the last year-and-a-half for a little New Year celebration at a local restaurant. About half of the group had already come to be friends and this was an opportunity to introduce a few of the newcomers to the “old-timers.” What we realized then, and have realized many times before, is that when someone works with us, they get much more than a property…they get a circle of friends — a community of like-minded people with whom they can immediately relate and enjoy their company. This doesn’t happen on its own, it happens because we make it happen, providing networking opportunities (such as Après Midi).

The conversation around the table was animated and even though there were nine of us at a long table, we were able to include everyone in every conversation. There was so much to ask…so much to answer…so much to share. I know that lots of people think that because they are moving to France, leaving the U.S. and whatever they wish never to think about again, that they want to integrate into the French community, make French friends and leave the American expat community to itself. I hear it all the time, but that can be awfully lonely and frustrating. The French don’t welcome foreigners into their lives so readily — they have their own friends and family with whom they are closely knit — and will never understand what an expat is going through to acclimate to their new world. But, another American will…completely.

So, if you are a newcomer to France, I urge you to find your compatriots first and leave making the new French friends for later. Our monthly “Après Midi” gathering is just such a venue for meeting people, making friends and learning something new.

Bill Gates on Factfulness

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Why 2018 Was the Best Year in Human History! by Nicholas Kristof

Lily Heise speaks at the next Après MidiLily Heise to speak at the next Après Midi

Yesterday, Liz Alderman, Paris-based chief European Business Correspondent for The New York Times, spoke to and with us before catching a train to London for a meeting of the “Masthead Editors” (a term I just learned, meaning the list at the top of the journal’s [normally front] page that includes the names of editors, writers, and owners, as well as the title of the newspaper or magazine) — enough time to tell us more about what it’s like to be in her shoes and answer questions about what she thinks is on the horizon for the U.S. and France in terms of politics, business and the economy.

Dealing with the facts, is of primary concern to the media, since they are in a position to constantly be defending themselves for reporting the truth. According the Liz, the New York Times has increased their spending for investigative reporting while most other journals are decreasing it. They are committed to reporting the facts and discovering the truth. I happened to have with me a book I’m reading that I find fascinating, truly enlightening and one that I (and Bill Gates) think every single person needs to read: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling.

Bill Gates found the book so important that he gave it to every 2018 college graduate in the United States. How do you like that? He called it “one of the most important books I’ve ever read — an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” He’s allowing it to be downloaded free by anyone receiving an associate’s, bachelor’s, or post-graduate degree in the U.S. (here’s how). See what Bill has to say about it in this Youtube video.

Coincidentally, while Liz was holding up the latest issue of the New York Times, a lead article on the front page was titled “Why 2018 Was the Best Year in Human History!” by Nicholas Kristof, an Opinion Columnist, in which he quotes from the book: “Everyone seems to get the world devastatingly wrong,” Dr. Hans Rosling, a brilliant scholar of international health, wrote in “Factfulness.” “Every group of people I ask thinks the world is more frightening, more violent and more hopeless — in short, more dramatic — than it really is.”

Liz has been with the New York Times since before it was the New York Times here in Paris — when it was the International Herald Tribune, after acting as the Paris bureau chief for the financial news agency BridgeNews until 1999. In 2013, she received The Times’s Nathaniel Nash Award for her “excellence in business and economics journalism.” New York Times articles by Liz can be found at We wish she could have stayed longer and enlightened us even more…but she had a train to catch and we had more “schmoozing” to do to get to know one another.

Our next Après Midi is February 12, 2019, when Lily Heise, Author and Travel Blogger will be talking with us about The Most Romantic Places in Paris. Visit Après Midi to learn more about our free monthly event (the second Tuesday of every month except August, from 3 to 5 p.m.). It’s been held since 2003, and always with a great speaker! 

See you there next time!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - in Nice, France

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

(in Nice, France)


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The Adrian Leeds Group


P.S. Is making a big change in your life on your list of resolutions? We can help you see this resolution to fruition. With over 20 years living in France, we have learned the ins and outs and the inside information on moving, living and working here. Have a look at our Working and Living in France page and contact us today!


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