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News, Rules, Berets and Beyond

Adrian Interviewed by KCAL, CBS Los AngelesAdrian Interviewed by KCAL, CBS Los Angeles


I left for LAX a bit early knowing that the Sunday after Thanksgiving would be one of the heaviest travel days of the year. My Uber driver was a woman with an attitude who didn’t allow anyone to out-maneuver her as she managed to get me to the airport while others had been stuck in the gridlock for up to 45 minutes. She held her hand on the horn until others moved out of her way and was complaining the whole time about how disorganized the traffic patterns are surrounding the airport.

When I exited the Uber without much delay, I was immediately accosted by a reporter with a cameraman who asked if she could interview me about the traffic experience. Her name was Adrianna Weingold. “Funny, my name is Adrian,” I exclaimed, then answered her questions and headed on to check-in. I didn’t give it another thought until the actual report on KCAL, CBS in L.A., was posted on Facebook by one of my friends who happened to see it! Here it is


Oliver Gee and Lina NordinOliver Gee and Lina Nordin

Oliver Gee on airOliver Gee on air

Oliver Gee’s Earful Tower got an earful from me about renting an apartment in Paris and turned our dialog into an article titled “The golden rules for renting a place in Paris.” He’s right, “Finding a rental property in Paris can be like finding a needle in a haystack.” Oliver and his new wife, Lina Nordin, just went through the painful experience of looking for new digs, so he learned the hard way. He wrote, “But sometimes, even when you’re prepared, finding a rental can still be a time-consuming and grueling affair.”

No joke. That’s why so many apartment-hunters come to us. The first thing we do when a client comes to us to help them find an apartment for rent is narrow down the choices, so that the Paris haystack is manageable. Then, the golden rules look pretty much like this:

1. Understand what you can afford to pay for rent: no more than one-third of your disposable income.
2. Understand that the quality of the landlord is more important than the quality of the apartment.
3. Work with professionals to find your perfect apartment: the landlords will respect you more if you are well represented.
4. Do whatever you can to prove to a potential landlord that you can afford to pay the rent and will: put together a strong financial dossier and make a good impression when visiting the apartment.
5. Be aware of what you can’t change vs what you can change in every respect.
6. Be willing to make “trade-offs” for what you can live without vs what you can’t.
7. Remember that the laws are in your favor: 30-day cancellation clause on all leases in the City of Light, for example.
8. Be prepared to pay first month, last month and one month security deposit…at least! Also be prepared to put one year’s worth of rent in escrow, or negotiate to pay a lot of the rent upfront.

For this past week’s Earful Tower podcast episode, you’ll hear about the struggle from the perspective of a man who had his own tricky journey, Australian entrepreneur Mitch Pascoe. He sent in 150 applications and was once asked for three years’ rent up-front before he secured a home. Here’s the whole article and Earful Tower podcast. 

And lastly, if you’re a step ahead of the renting game and you’re ready to buy, here’s some info for you, too, from the last time I was in Oliver’s studio. 

Are you a supporter of the Earful Tower on Patreon? Now’s the time to join! Here’s the link – plenty of bonus content out there. 


Margo Lestz' Berets, Baguettes and Beyond

The House Hunters International Crew Celebrating Adrian's Beret-StyleThe House Hunters International Crew Celebrating Adrian’s Beret-Style

Margo Lestz is full of trivia for those lovers of France who can’t get enough fascinating facts about their favorite country. Since I am a lover of berets, the title really caught my eye: Berets, Baguettes, and Beyond, a collection of curious histories all related to what we know as symbols of France.

Here’s an excerpt about berets (with my personal comments in brackets []):

The French Beret

“The French beret, that little pancake of a hat, has become the recognized symbol of all things French – at least among those outside of France. The traditional French beret is just a flat circular hat of felted wool with a little “tail” poking out the top. But stick one of these on anything and it automatically becomes French.

It certainly is a practical little hat. It’s warm, waterproof, and can be tucked in your pocket when it’s not needed. [That’s one thing I love about it!] But it’s much more than just a simple head covering. It’s a statement and an attitude that adapts to anyone’s personal style. [You got that right, Margo!] This might explain why it has been worn by such diverse segments of society over the years. From shepherd to artist, soldier to film star, the beret has identified and conveyed the mood of its wearer.

Even though the beret has a strong association with France, it has been worn in many parts of the world throughout history, and the French don’t claim to have invented it. In fact, they credit Noah (from the Bible) with its invention.””

There’s plenty more…but I’ll let you read the rest for yourself. For now, I’ll close with this:

So whether you want to portray yourself as villain or hero, simpleton or intellectual, the beret can help you define your image. It’s more than just a hat — it’s a state of mind. [Margo, there’s no doubt you’re right. Where would I be without my berets?!]

If you love France and are curious about all things French, this book is for you. In it you will find stories exploring the curious histories behind everyday French symbols: From berets to baguettes, and beyond.

Order Berets, Baguettes, Beyond from Or visit Margo’s site
and subscribe to her Blog

And for a past issue of Parler Paris about berets, visit

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - by Erica Simone

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

(by Erica Simone)

Respond to Adrian

The Adrian Leeds Group


P.S. Don’t miss the re-airing of House Hunters International’s “Two Bedrooms in Paris” this Friday November, 30 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT!


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