Merriment in Le Marais and Montmartre
Merriment in Le Marais and Montmartre
Monday, December 25, 2006
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,
Normally I stay here to welcome friends who don’t live year-round in Paris and make this their holiday destination. Thousands of North Americans use this vacation time to experience the wonders of Christmas in Paris and up until that magic moment when the city empties out, it’s sheer delight.
Saturday afternoon, the last real shopping day before Christmas, the streets were bustling with activity and the restaurants and cafés were elbow to elbow with cheery diners gulping down fresh oysters and champagne. By chance I bumped into a whole range of friends and acquaintances on route home from the morning’s Parler Parlor conversation group, including Monsieur le Mayor of the district, Pierre Aidenbaum, who is often on rue de Bretagne shaking hands with his constituents.
In front of the Mairie of the 3rd Arrondissement, a white horse-driven buggy was circling transporting a jolly Santa and kids from the “quartier” sporting big smiles. I wondered how they had gotten so lucky!…I wanted to hop on and give Santa my wish list.
Just after catching a few snapshots, a knock on the window of our neighborhood café, La Pierre du Marais, caught my attention from an American couple who will be attending this Friday’s Living and Investing in France Real Estate Seminar and who were checking email on their laptop, taking advantage of the free WiFi it offers. It was still filled with activity, but by Saturday evening, the city had started to quiet down. Many folks on the buses and Métro that day were toting luggage on route to the nearest train stations to head out to their families in other parts of the country.
In what must be the reverse order from the usual, rather than venturing out during the day on Christmas Eve, I didn’t emerge from my warm cocoon of an apartment until 7 p.m. to meet up with friends for a drink and dinner. The cold mist had settled in over the city blurring the lights and dampening the bones. There only a few souls on the streets, but they were all carrying lots of packages…gifts, I imagined. Almost every shop, café and restaurant was shutting down tight. You could see the chairs stacked high and settled in for a long rest. A few glimmers of light came from the “Arab” markets — the little markets mostly run by North Africans which are the Paris version of what we know as a “Seven-Eleven.”
The Eglise Saint-Paul Saint-Louis was the only center of activity to be found as I happened upon the very moment when the priests proceeded into the church carrying a huge cross. The family mass had started at 6 p.m. and all were invited to organ music to be played at 11 p.m. in advance of midnight mass. Th
e soft light from the candles lit within the church were casting a warm glow on the misty air.
From Saint-Paul, the Métro was sparsely populated and on the normally busy street of Abbesses in Montmartre the last “traiteur” was closing, one café was still open and one restaurant (La Moscotte), each filled to the brim with lost souls such as myself. The streets of Montmartre were deserted, but we luckily found dinner at one tiny spot on rue Caulaincourt and for the first time ever, I was totally alone riding the large elevator from the street to the platform at Métro Lamarck.
Today, only an occasional car can be heard on the streets of Le Marais as I write this. I don’t expect much more when I venture out at noon to an unusual Christmas day…having my portrait painted by friend and artist, Kathy Burke, over paté, wine and chocolate truffles.
Happy Holidays to all, regardless of your religion or faith — ’tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la la, la la, la la.
A la prochaine…
P.S. Parler Parlor reopens January 2nd at La Pierre du Marais. Visit http://www.parlerparlor.com for more information.
P.P.S. Don’t forget that Friday is your opportunity to be in Paris and take advantage of the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Seminar. There is no future seminar or conference of its kind planned for the future, so this may be your last chance to take part! Visit /frenchproperty/conference and sign up today while there is still room!
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This Week in French Property Insider…
By moving to France, you will have quite a lot of administrative procedures to follow. It will take time and very often, you will be confronted with the burden of the heavy French bureaucracy. Soon, you will realize that the levels of French tax is very high, as well: income tax, property tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax, social security tax, etc….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.
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Excerpt from the Writers Insider Guide to Paris
A brief overview of Paris-based publishing cannot go without mentioning perhaps one of the most significant and long-standing journals created during the postwar period: The Paris Review. As Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno writes in The Continual Pilgrimage, “The early history of The Paris Review is in many ways the story of the Parisian expatriate literary community itself. Almost every Anglophone writer and would-be writer in Paris in the early to middle 1950s seemed to be at one time or another involved with the review, as contributor, advisory editor, or playmate.”…For more on the fascinating history of Paris publishing, see the guide…
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.
*** ATTIC LUMIÈRE
This newly renovated one-bedroom suite is located on rue Charlot, one of the most fashionable streets in the Marais district. The apartment style is contemporary, yet very warm and cozy, inspired by Alpine architecture with wonderful natural oak beams and materials such as marble and teak-wood floors. The large attic opens to the sky, thanks to a glass roof, perfect for those who wish to enjoy a bright environment, full of peace and serenity. The en-suite private bathroom with its extra large shower system of power hydro jets, makes the whole space extremely enjoyable and replenishing.
Air conditioned! 5th floor, no elevator. Sleeps 2 adults.
Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/atticlumiere.html
*** LE PANTHEON
This very cozy, typically Parisian one-bedroom apartment is situated on a beautiful, cobblestoned, pedestrian street directly across from the famous “Coupe Chou” restaurant in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Located on the 2nd floor (European, no elevator) of a traditional 17th-century building, with secure digicode entry, the apartment overlooks both the quiet tree-lined courtyard and the tiny, charming street. Exposed and preserved wood beams adorn the ceilings throughout the apartment, complimenting the warm decoration and home furnishings.
Sleeps up to 4.
Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/pantheon.html
Celles, Dorgogne – Gorgeous 15th century château, heart of French countryside, sleeps up to 18, private bathrooms in every room. The restored château, next to the church in the very center of Celles, whose bells toll three times a day, is vintage 15th-century built by the family of Dulau d’Allemans. Their name is identified in the letterpress edition of the papers of George Washington. It was a ruin until the current owner employed a master architect from the region who fully understood the character of the house, and whose investigative powers led him to find the hidden massive stone fireplaces and secret stairwells. Together they restored the 15th-century manor into a 21st-century splendor.
Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/cellette.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.
ng and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!
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