Nightly News, Stressless Cities, Paris Politics and PUMa (Not the Shoes!)
The first Saturday of October, every year since 2001, the city of Paris does an “all nighter” of cultural activity named after a French film, “La Nuit Blanche.” Museums, private and public art galleries, and other cultural institutions will be open and free of charge this coming October 7th, with the streets themselves providing space for a cornucopia of installations and performances, as well as social gatherings and anything else that suits the fancy of the public.
Jean Blaise, the founder of the Research Center for Cultural Development in Nantes, conceived of the festival as long ago as 1984 and in 1989, Helsinki beat us all to the punch with their “Night of the Arts” “when every gallery, museum and bookshop is open until midnight or later and the whole city becomes one giant performance and carnival venue.” That’s when the mayor of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, along with Blaise, created an all-night festival, then called “Les Allumées” (“The Lighted”).
When Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë took office, he invited Blaise to create the event here in Paris and La Nuit Blanche was born. Other cities to follow have been Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Buenos Aires, Naples, Cairo and Havana — but it’s since spread like wildfire now to more than 120 cities around the world. Paris, Brussels, Rome, Madrid, Riga, Bucharest and Valletta have chosen to pool their efforts as “Les Nuits Blanches Europe.”
Of special note is that the first time the festival was held in Paris, an assailant touring the Hôtel de Ville managed to stab Mayor Delanoë in the stomach as he was walking around the City Hall by a man who didn’t like politicians, and in particular gay ones. No news of the stabbing came until the next morning so that no panic would set in while the festival was going on.
I’ll be missing the sleepless night this year as I’ll be star-gazing from the Baie des Anges in Nice, but if you’re in Paris, you won’t BE ABLE to miss it. Even if you try to sleep, it will be difficult with all the ruckus on the streets, particularly in the center of the city, so don’t even try!
NICE REALLY IS NICE
According to a new study by Zipjet, it’s no joke that Nice is nice. In fact, Nice happens to be the second least stressful city in France, with Bordeaux ranking first, and is the fourteenth least stressful city in the world. (I know from personal experience that the moment I land in Nice, all tension seems to melt away!) Other cities that rival the two French cities are Stuttgart, Luxembourg, Hanover, Bern and Munich.
The study examined “the overall mental health of a city, and then considered all of the major stress-inducing factors, including unemployment, debt per capita, traffic, public transport, security, pollution and density.” They also considered elements such as lack of sunshine hours which has been linked to poor mental health…and since Nice claims about 300 days a year of the glorious rays, it had a good chance of scoring big…and it did.
NOTRE DRAME DE PARIS
One day while lunching at Café Charlot, like I do most days, the mayor of the 3rd arrondissement, Pierre Aidenbaum, sat at a table in the center of the café waiting for someone to accompany him. Much time later, a woman showed up and slid into the round booth next to him — who else (?) but Madame le Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. I personally have a particular lack of fondness for the socialist politician, and began fantasizing about all the things I could do to show my disapproval of her…like walk by and knock the ketchup into her lap, give a big hello to M. Aidenbaum while ignoring her presence, shimmy up next to her and blast her with my opinion, etc., etc. It was fun fantasizing, but of course, I did none of that and sat there minding my own business while seething.
I’m not the only one who isn’t wild about Madame. Airy Routier and Nadia Le Brun have exposed the truth about our illustrious Paris mayor in their recent pamphlet, “Notre Drame de Paris,” that they claim is “not an indictment, not a settling of accounts, nor a hagiography either!” But, they do claim it is “worse than that: an investigation.” It clearly takes a sarcastic tone to bring light to the situation. According to the authors, who are both journalists and investigative reporters as well as columnists, they are exposing the truth about an elected official who has made the life of 10 million inhabitants of the City of Paris and the entire Ile-de-France “unbearable,” while pretending to improve it.
I have to agree with them. I’ve noticed the streets are dirtier, just as they have. Anyone will tell you that the traffic is paralyzed, especially your taxi and Uber drivers, as they bitterly complain about the anti-pollution policies that are creating massive traffic jams and creating even more pollution as a result. The housing policies, which are most dear to my heart, are completely blind to the needs of property owners, migrants and visitors, while creating the very problems she professes to be addressing. In addition, they point out that she’s not listening to her advisors which is worrying our newly elected president, who btw, we understand she dislikes as much as he dislikes her.
Routier and Le Brun must have been particularly annoyed to have detailed her management skills in this exposé which they describe as “calamitous.” The two authors were interviewed by Jean-François Arnaud for Challenges.fr (in French, sorry). According to their answers, she refused an interview with them. I wonder why? (Sarcasm.) They claim she is full of paradoxes, which mirrors my own sentiments about her “talking out of both sides of her mouth.”
Her term in office is six years, having been elected in 2014. With three years more in office, we have more on the horizon from our Paris mayor. Five surprising things to know about her, according to an article in Time Online are:
1) She’s not from France.
2) She’s all about the environment.
3) She’s really, really against Scientology.
4) Her wardrobe won’t be in the spotlight.
5) She doesn’t have much company among mayors.
And she may have even less “company among mayors” come the next election.
SPECIAL NEWS ABOUT PUMa (Protection Universelle Maladie)
From our Recommended Immigration Specialists, Fragomen
The decrees implementing new social security rules, which came into force in January 2016, provide healthcare coverage for all the persons living in France on a continuous and legal basis. This new protection is called “la PUMa” (Protection Universelle Maladie) and covers healthcare costs. The health cover is also applicable to anyone who has been residing in France for at least three months and is not covered by a health coverage in another country, and there is no requirement for the individual to have been working in France. Their income will determine whether they owe PUMa contributions.
As per the “Arrêté du 10 mai 2017 fixant la liste des titres de séjour prévu au I de l’article R. 111-3 du code de la sécurité sociale,” the individual holding a long stay visitor visa has the right to benefit from the PUMa after three months of residing in France. If you are not covered by the social security in the USA, you are allowed to request the PUMa in France without any issue.
Please note that since this rule is really new, the agents working at the CPAM (the authorities in charge of the French social security) may not be aware of all the changes. I would recommend to mention the legal text listed above in your application letter when you file your application at the CPAM.
For more information and assistance, contact Christine Sullivan, Attorney and Manager Worldwide Private Client Practice: [email protected].
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. Speaking of Nice…for those who wish to visit, my apartment, “Le Matisse,” is available to friends of Adrian Leeds and Parler Paris readers for the pleasure of visiting the Côte d’Azur. Learn more by visiting Le Matisse or email [email protected] to book your stay!