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One Key Opens All The Doors In Paris

The Hôtel de Ville of Paris, one of the most beautiful buildings in France, will be open for viewing Saturday and Sunday during Les Journées du Patrimoine

One Key Opens All the Doors in Paris

Parler Paris–your daily taste of life in Paris and France

Thursday, September 18, 2003
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

The word for today is KEY. In French — clef (“clay”).

Last night I learned from Laurent Queige, the “Adjoint au Maire de Paris chargé du tourisme,” who will be our KEYnote speaker at the upcoming Working and Living in France Conference, that there is ONE KEY that opens every door in Paris! You should have seen my eyebrows raise in astonishment!

During the inauguration of this past Paris Plage, I witnessed Mayor Bertrand Delanoë give a KEY TO THE CITY to Tony Parker, but no, that wasn’t the same KEY. Laurent explained that only very specific people can have possession of this key, controlled by the Post Office, to enter every building in Paris in order to deliver printed material in our mail boxes. This explains how I received the letter from the Mairie about next Monday’s “En Ville Sans Ma Voiture” campaign that I wrote about yesterday.

Last week, we had a new lock installed at the International Living pied-à-terre on rue de la Huchette (costing 950 Euro!) and four KEYS were provided with the lock. With it came a little card with a code number to order more. My locksmith ordered one more, to the tune of 75 Euro and 15 days wait. To have a KEY made for the lock entering the building, I called the “Syndic” (homeowner’s association), sent a signed fax to acknowledge my authority over the property, and am sure to see a hefty bill when the key is delivered weeks later. Both KEYS are flat, long and silver, but one looks like a Stegosaurus back and other looks like Swiss cheese. These are not KEYS that we Americans are used to seeing — they are complicated and they are FRENCH.

This coming weekend is the annual Journées des Patrimoine. On the cover of the special edition of Le Parisien is a collage of KEYS representing the open doors to 1400 major monuments and sites that are welcoming the public during this two-day event. The Hôtel de Ville will be open 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. both days and if you’ve never seen it, put it high on your list for a visit — it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in France. It’s truly the KEY TO THE CITY.

For a complete listing, visit or for more information call

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. A special thanks to Laurent Queige, our liaison with the city of Paris, who is an important component in all the wonderful activities the city has offered since this current administration took office. We look forward to having him welcome the participants to the Working and Living in France Conference. To visit the official site of the city of Paris, click here

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* Further resources:

* These are the more than 200 QUESTIONS from REAL people and all the PRACTICAL ANSWERS for LIVING IN FRANCE . . .

* Distinguish yourself from the tourist herd.

* See you next week Après Midi.

* * * * * CLASSIFIED * * * * * *


2-bedroom/2-bath apartment 4 blocks from the river. Sunny, spacious 72 square meters, elevator, gorgeous views of tree-lined avenue. Perfect rental apartment, completely remodelled this past year, beautiful restored oak parquet. Spacious living/dining room with 2 sets of French doors to decorative balconies with view towards the river. Second bedroom/office opens with large sliding doors to create spacious living area, empire-style sofa bed, desk, TV, etc. New bathroom tiled in beige limestone ensuite, fixed shower and sink. Large master bedroom ensuite with marble bath faces quiet courtyard. Large and completely remodelled kitchen, white cabinets and granite worktops, separate WC off entry with oak closets plus dressing room for plenty of storage. Surrounded by restaurants, café’s and shops. One block from rue Cler market, 1 block to the American University of Paris, 5 blocks to Invalides, 5 blocks to avenue Montaigne.

Asking price is 560,000 euros.

Serious inquiries, contact owner

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Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
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