Never a Dull Moment in the City of Light
What a week. What a weekend. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with one’s own life…especially here in Paris. You may not come here for the weather, but I can assure you, there is never a dull moment and that’s reason enough to be here.
Believe it or not, I still keep a paper agenda in which I write all my appointments. Any given week, the two-page spread can get so filled with notes, in blue, black and red inks, that there’s no white space left for breathing room. This was one of those weeks. I’ve been keeping these paper agendas since the beginning of my working life (too long ago to admit) when I began using a system called “Day-Timers.” Remember those? They still exist, but I graduated to the French Quo Vadis agendas when I moved here. All of the past agendas are kept in boxes safely put away as they really tell a detailed story of my life — a kind of skeleton diary or journal — one reason I refuse to move to an electronic version.
This, of course, has nothing to do with everything I’d like to share with you about what transpired this week, along with some things that will be taking place in the future that you will want to know about. So, sit back and take a leisurely read, then get out your own agendas (paper or electronic as you choose) and mark your calendars for those events in which you wish to participate.
Working backwards in time:
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
(Photos of the March for Our Lives Rally by Patty Sadauskas)
Saturday afternoon was gloriously sunny and a lot less chilly than it’s been recently and just in time for the rally that took place at the Trocadero in coordination with the March for Our Lives rallies that took place in Washington, DC, and in many other cities across the U.S. and the world. A host of American organizations sponsored the event here in Paris and held other events earlier this week in addition to the rally — such as Democrats Abroad and the American Church.
With the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop against a very blue sky, the gathering of Americans and other supporters was a sea of young people (as well as a good showing of us older-timers), some of whom got up and spoke with the fervor that showed real determination to make a difference and attempt to stop the epidemic of gun violence across the United States. The youth are out in force around the world.
The message: “We’ve had enough. Gun safety legislation must happen. Vote OUT the lawmakers who oppose and vote IN those who support gun control.”
The media were there, naturally. I was interviewed by one journalist, in French, who asked me, “Isn’t it difficult to change the second amendment of the U.S. constitution?”
To which I replied, “It’s not a question of changing the constitution! It’s about controlling who has the right to own guns and what kinds of guns should be in those hands.” Of course, I responded in my still rather pathetic French, so this is an interpretation of what I wanted to say, even if it didn’t come out exactly that way.
I researched the fundamentals of the second amendment about which is all this hullabaloo: “The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that THE RIGHT IS NOT UNLIMITED AND DOES NOT PROHIBIT ALL REGULATION OF EITHER FIREARMS OR SIMILAR DEVICES. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right, per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.” (Wikipedia.org)
The debate about the second amendment has a fascinating history that has taken place since the very beginning of the constitution’s writing. The current movement, March for Our Lives, is not about changing the constitution, but is about voting and using our rights as citizens to vote OUT the lawmakers who oppose and vote IN those who support better gun control laws.
It seems there is a major misunderstanding that must be clarified and is the very problem we face in getting reform. A majority of the public is not asking to abolish the second amendment, or “the right to bear arms” — but only to LIMIT AND REGULATE THE SALE AND USAGE of firearms in a more reasonable manner. How can we get this message across? And how can anyone in their right mind not agree with this? The only people I can think of who wouldn’t be for such reform are those who wish to own and use firearms to some sinister purpose. I can’t get my head around any other way of thinking, but I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want a gun anywhere near me for any reason whatsoever.
My message to you, too, is to vote, even if living abroad — these coming elections and every election — to vote out the lawmakers who oppose and vote in those who support better/smarter gun legislation.
To register to vote if living in the U.S., go here.
Or if you’re living outside of the United States, go here.
Make your voice heard.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG FOR PLANTING GERANIUMS TIME
The morning before the rally, I was fed up with my seriously dead and unhappy geraniums which had suffered the snowy winter and not shown any signs of new life. Every year, mid March, is the time I designate for rejuvenating and/or replanting the sweet fellows, and why should this year be any different? There’s a lovely little florist in the Marché des Enfants Rouge (the oldest covered market in the city, dating back to 1615), just nearby, that happily sold me 14 plants with bright red flowers easy to cart home in big plastic bags. They sat on the sill outside the kitchen window all week long waiting for Saturday morning when my housekeeper and I could attack the planter boxes together and then clean up after making such a big mess.
I was ready with gardening tools purchased at Leroy Merlin, a bag of dirt, big paper bags to open up and spread on the floor in the foyer (where it’s tiled and the mess is minimal), rubber gloves to protect my precious manicure and of course, the new geranium plants. Within 45 minutes working at the speed of light, Tess and I pulled out the old and replanted the new — five window boxes plus one ceramic pot, then put them back in the windows and beamed with pride.
Now that the happy red flowers are there looking back at me, I know it’s really spring.
DISCOVER RUE VIEILLE DU TEMPLE — AN EARFUL TOWER WALK SHOW
Thursday afternoon, Oliver Gee, podcaster of the Earful Tower and I took a 30-minute walk up rue Vieille du Temple together, with him recording our little venture along the route while he and I bantered about Le Marais and the ancient street of rue Vieille du Temple.
We began at the beautiful rue du Trésor and wound our way north, dodging the pedestrians and stream of vehicles bumper to bumper as it was rush hour.
Along the way, we got stopped by a fan of House Hunters International, and then later by a fan of Oliver’s podcasts. Oliver surprised me at one point by bringing out of his pocket a black beret to wear so we could be “twins.”
When we approached the big blue doors of the Archives Nationales at number 87, someone was exiting so we took that opportunity to grab the door and step inside the massive courtyard. This is a world very few people see. This eastern end of the compound that house the national archives is the Hôtel de Rohan, built in 1705, and classified as a national monument in 1924. The courtyard was vast and void of life; even greenery was sparse. We trespassed in as far as we could until someone came out of their office to shoo us off the premises.
“We’re leaving, we’re leaving,” we said as we scurried out.
We also ran straight into several street poles fitted with “sweaters” — knitted covers called “yarn bombing” — at the corner of the Vieille du Temple and rue des Quatre-Fils. This newest form of graffiti/street art uses knitted or crocheted yarn to cover a variety of street fixtures. It’s popping up all over Paris. It can also be called yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting, or graffiti knitting.
Patty Sadauskas happened to recently come across the same knitted poles and took a photo of them. When she posted it on Instagram, the artist herself, “Kitty Knitter,” responded with “Hi, thanks for noticing my work.” Patty was surprised that the artist had in turn come across her post.
If you want to watch the entire 30-minute Walk Show, become a member of the The Earful Tower Flaneurs group on Facebook.
This Facebook group is only accessible for Patreon members of The Earful Tower who sign up at the Flaneur club level, a subscription that costs $10 a month and has weekly live Walk Shows. Well worth it, and one of the ways Oliver can support his efforts. All signup information can be found on “Patreon.”
Feel free to share away!
WHY PARIS? COME TO THE LIVE PODCAST ON APRIL 18TH!
You’ll have a chance to witness one of Oliver Gee’s podcasts this coming Wednesday, April 18th when he interviews me live at 7 p.m. at Café Méricourt, 22 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris. Be in the audience for an estimated 45-minute interaction between Oliver and myself when we discuss the topic of “Why Paris?”
Why Paris? Why do we live in Paris? Why do others want to live in Paris? What makes Paris so great…especially when recent reports claim Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live and beaten out by dozens of others for quality of living?
Be there when we debate this question that hits us all right in the heart! For just €10, you can be a part of the podcast’s audience. Have a drink or two at the café and then stay for dinner if you like.
Café Méricourt can only seat up to 40, so be sure to register early! Here’s how: email [email protected]?email@example.com&subject=Reserve_Me_For_Live_Podcast_with_Adrian_Leeds.
The April 18th interview podcast will be streamed live in another closed Facebook group: The Friends of the Earful Tower. This group is $5 a month and has live streams from Monthly Live Interviews.
OUR NEWEST HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL AIRS NEXT WEEK
Last fall, we filmed a House Hunters International (HGTV) episodeepisode in the tiny town of Premian, Languedoc-Roussillon with photographer Renée Jacobs and her partner, Wendy Hicks. Mark your calendar to watch the episode for the first time!:
“Living Large in Languedoc”
Tuesday, April 3 — 11:30 p.m. EDT 10:30 CDT
Wednesday, April 4 — 2:30 a.m. EDT 1:30 CDT
For more information, visit HHI.
HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL AT APRES MIDI
Now’s your chance to see House Hunters International, right here in Paris at Après Midi! This coming April 10th, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Café de la Mairie, the screen will go up and the speakers plugged in to show you some of our favorite episodes of the popular TV show. I’ve filmed 32 episodes since 2006…as a French property consultant who helps people realize their dream of owning property in Paris and all of France! Join me as I comb the romantic streets of Paris to find the perfect pied-à-terre or journey to the French countryside in search of the ideal home for our clients. Two or three episodes of House Hunters International will be shown and I will talk about my experience filming the shows plus open the forum to questions.
Don’t miss it and get there early to get a good seat! See our Après Midi page for more information.
ANOTHER GREAT NORTH AMERICAN EXPAT FINANCIAL FORUM — FREE!
Put May 30th on your calendar for another great North American Expat Financial Forum! Sponsored by Dunhill Financial, Caye International Bank, Moneycorp Exchange Experts and the Adrian Leeds Group, along with a host of international speakers. We’ll take just a few hours of your time in the luxury of the meeting rooms at the historic Chez Jenny to learn all you need to know about planning for a successful financial future.
Sure, it’s complicated, particularly for expats living on both sides of the big pond, but that’s why our team of experts will be discussing and enlightening you with the basics you need to know in order to plan and invest in France successfully, finance your property investments, minimize your taxes, protect your assets and deal with currency exchange to your benefit. Our speakers, all professionals and experts in their field, will share with you their knowledge and experience on a variety of financial subjects designed specifically for North American expats.
Stay tuned for more information and how to register for the FREE event!
PARLER NICE AND YES, NICE IS NICE!
As you read this, I’ll be on a train headed to Nice for the week, so Wednesday be prepared for a “Parler Nice Nouvelettre®.”
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. Planning a trip to Paris in the summer? Now’s the time to find your apartment. Contact our Bookings Manager, Patty, and find your perfect home away from home today!