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Everything’S Coming Up Geraniums


March 18, 2002


The guys who live in the apartment building directly opposite
mine tend the most beautiful window flower boxes you have ever
seen. The colorful assortment of flowers is always dripping over
their wrought-iron rail and by the end of the summer is
overwhelming. How fortunate I am to have this view from my
windows. I am always jealous of their "green thumbs" as I watch
them water and prune on an almost daily basis. Of course, all
that "TLC" is why mine die every year…from neglect.

This year, I promised myself it would be different, so I planned
to make the trek to the flower market mid March to replant my
sadly dried-up planters with some brightly colored flowers. I
knew it would be a great adventure and looked forward to it all
week; an outting with a friend from the West Coast who keeps an
apartment here.

With my "caddy" (shopping cart) and big canvas bags in tow, we
started at Place du Chatelet and worked our way slowly down the
quai de la Megisserie toward Pont Neuf to check each vendor’s
flowers and prices. Those three short blocks plus the
greenhouses on the Ile de la Cite comprise the crux of the
city’s nurseries and pet shops. Walking along that stretch on
any sunny afternoon is as pleasant a stroll as one might have.
You’ll encounter plants and flowers of all varieties, pets of
all kinds (tropical fish, reptiles, dogs, cats, rodents, etc.)
and even farm animals (chickens, roosters, goats, pigs, etc.).
Yesterday there was also a large display of trolls just waiting
to be placed in a friendly garden spot.

Choosing flowers is no easy task — unless you’re like me and go
for the hardiest and brightest colored ones. Geraniums seem as
difficult to kill as any and came in a variety of blue-reds,
orange-reds, hot pinks, mixed pink and white and whites. "Au Bon
Cultivateur" at number 12 had the brightest, biggest and best
red geraniums for the price of all the other vendors. Fifty-one
euro bought 20 "petit pots" of geraniums and a 20-liter bag of
soil. "Le monsieur" very pleasantly wrapped the plants in paper
and packaged my cart and bags for traveling home.

We stopped for a "cafe creme" at the corner brasserie. They
didn’t mind at all the cart of flowers and as we sipped on the
warm coffee, enjoyed our view of the Conciergerie (partly
scaffolded for cleaning), the boats crusing down the Seine and
the bright newly cleaned towers of Notre Dame. Paris just
doesn’t get better.

The 96 bus took us both home and during the ride I contemplated
how I was going to get the boxes planted without making a mess
in my apartment, plus get them all up the three flights of
stairs. "Du gateau!" In the courtyard of my building is an
ancient trough with a spigot, a pefect place to pot the plants,
water them thoroughly and let them drain before carrying them up
the stairs and setting them into the waiting wire supports on
the rails. Everyone who passed me in the courtyard gave me a big
"bonjour" and a smile — indicating their approval of my task.

Mission accomplished. Now the window blinds are raised and I
have full view of the red geraniums in every window that I can
see perfectly as I sit here and write this — and guess what? —
they put the flowers across the street to shame!

A la prochaine fois…

Email: mailto:[email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Parler Paris
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds

Published by International Living
mailto:[email protected]

Issue Number 30, March 18, 2002

In this issue:

*** Ten Tips for the Saddle Shy
*** You’re in Luck — Workshop II is Now Booking!
*** Relocation Help is On the Way
*** Restauranting with Rhythm and Blues and a Vaudeville Act
*** Spend Your Vacation Overlooking Aix-en-Provence
*** Apartment Hunting Made Easy
*** For Immediate Occupancy in Paris
*** Best Brownie in Paris
*** Happenings for the Parisian Literate
*** Cheapest Phone Card in Paris

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By Rose Marie Burke

Biking is a great way to explore Paris and the surrounding
countryside. Two wheels can see the sights of Paris faster and
better than two feet. And with a bike, you are quickly out of
the city and into the country. Paris is kinder to cyclists than
most cities – geographically, meteorologically and
psychologically. If you’re saddle shy, here’s 10 tips for
becoming saddle sure.

1. Rent First. Whether it’s for a day or a week, rent a bicycle
before buying, or if learning or relearning.

Take a Tour. If you’re unsure about riding on the city
streets, sample a guided tour.

3. Shop for Substance. Many shoppers look for style – a certain
kind of saddle or handlebar. Look for a good-fitting frame.
Straddle the bike. The top bar should clear those tender parts
by at least a centimeter.

4. And Shop for Service. As you know, commerce here is about
relationships. If you buy a cheapo at Decathlon and seek a
repair at your neighborhood shop, expect a refusal.

5. Buy It Used. There’s a hot market for "previously owned"

6. Repairing Your Wreck. For new bikes, seek repairs at the
point of purchase. For old bikes, try your neighborhood shop.

7. Timing Your Ride. Weekends, major holidays, school breaks and
the summer months are great for cycling in the city.

8. Avoiding Accidents. Most bike-car accidents are due to
illegal maneuvers by bicyclists, primarily running red lights.

9. Enjoying the City. There are numerous park paths and 150
kilometers of city lanes for safer cycling.

10. Getting Out of Town. If you have a car, buy a bike rack, or
stow your bikes (front wheels released), in the trunk. If
carless, board your bike on a train.

* For a complete guide to biking in Paris, including Rose
Burke’s 10 best day trips outside Paris, see THE INSIDER GUIDE
TO BIKING IN PARIS by Rose Marie Burke. To order the guide, go

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The Ultimate Travel Writers Workshop II
Saturday, April 27 through Tuesday, April 30, 2002.

The workshop scheduled Tuesday, April 23 through Friday, April
26, 2002 is booked solid, but DON’T WORRY, there are still
places available in Workshop II! And the early registration
deadline has been extended — so when you reserve your spot
before March 31, you’ll save $200.

A workshop like this doesn’t come along very often — with so
many well-known and experienced professionals coming together.
Hosted by International Living, you’ll have instruction with Jen
Stevens, Steenie Harvey, Rose Marie Burke, John Forde, Addison
Wiggin and guestappearances with local authors Polly Platt,
Harriet Welty Rochefort, Thirza Vallois, and Elizabeth

Evening events include readings at the Cafe de Flore, dinner at
the home of Adrian Leeds and a farewell dinner at historic Le
Bouillon Racine.

See all the details about this exciting workshop at

Plus, take advantage of the SURVIVAL FRENCH 2-day intensive
workshops by Marie-Elisabeth Crochard April 22 and 23 and April
26 amd 27 /parlerparis/travelwriters/french.html

* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *

"You look out your window, past your gardener busily pruning the
lemon, cherry, and fig trees…amidst the splendor of gardenias,
hibiscus, and hollyhocks.

The sky is clear blue. The sea a deeper blue. A gentle breeze
comes drifting in from the ocean as your maid brings you
breakfast in bed. You think you have died and gone to heaven.
But this paradise is real. And very affordable…"

Yes, you can enjoy a millionaire’s retirement…on as little as
$600 per month. FREE report tells you how. Click here for

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*** Relocation – Getting Settled

Are you relocating to France anytime soon? Imagine all the
details and arrangements you’ll have to do to get settled! And
in French! Have you considered how much time, effort and money
can be saved if you have professional assistance?

ElvestNet is making a very special offer to our Parler Paris
readers on their Relocation – Getting Settled Assistance

ElvesNet is a lifestyle management company that helps
individuals, companies and their employees, simplify and balance
their personal and professional lives.

This program includes answers to your pre-move questions, a
detailed guide to your new neighborhood, a list of English
speaking doctors and professionals, help to set up your bank
accounts, install phone, long distance, Internet and cable
services…plus unlimited 30-day access to ElvesNet concierge
services ("Liberte Domestique")…and much more.

If you order it now to start within the next 60 days, you’ll get
an extra 15 days of "Liberte Domestique" services FREE plus 10%
off e-mail and Internet training (2 hour minimum)!

Order now to start within the next 60 days.

For more information, contact the International Living Office

[email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
< /p>


* Latest news:

Bojangles Restarurant celebrated Sunday night their "Save
Bojangles" campaign with a buffet dinner of "Afri-ghetti," fried
chicken wings and pineapple-upside-down cake plus an all-night
R&B with the incredible talents of singers and musicians such as
Sylvia Howard, Joan Minor, Benoit Gil, Fred Clayton, Romello
Rivers, Rassoul Siddik and Dean Bowman. The room was exploding
with talent — the truly soulful kind that no other culture can

Bojangles is now serving a 10 euro lunch Monday through Friday
and dinner weekend nights with live music.

For more information, visit the site at

47 rue Rodier
75009 Paris, France
+33 1 42 81 98 20
Email mailto:[email protected]

* And my restaurant pick of the week:

An excellent meal was had this past week with International
Living Publisher Kathleen Peddicord at Le Vaudeville. Service
was particularly friendly and efficient. Food was excellent.

Excerpt taken from the Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris
Restaurants (

Traditional French
29, rue Vivienne, Arrondissement 2
Phone, Fax
Métro Bourse
Open Everyday 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
30.50 euro 3-Course Menu with Wine and Kir, Seafood Platters
from 15.00 euro, 9 euro 2-Course Children’s Menu

Not off the beaten track just facing the Bourse and not unknown
to the world at large, Le Vaudeville continues to get my vote.
Amazingly not overrun by tourists, it’s still attracting a very
Parisian crowd. It’s one of Paris’ finer grand brasseries in a
style of the ’30’s, complete with a beautiful "terrasse" open in
lovely weather. Open 20 hours a day, you can easily have
breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and late night snack in
this same spot. How rare for Paris! Cuisine is perfectly
"correct" for the price and the ambiance is superb – similar to
La Coupole but more intimate. Service is professional, friendly
and attentive. Bill and Beth Colsher wrote: "Absolutely no
problem getting a table here unless you come at the peak hours
for Parisian dining. So it’s perfect for Americans who are still
adjusting to the time change and the traditional late Parisian
dinners. We ate dinner here twice, the first time off the 30.50
euro menu, the second the somewhat more expensive al a carte. My
wife loved the beautiful crab she had for a starter the second
night – huge (the menu says 800 grams) and perfectly cooked. The
waiters were very friendly, although they seemed a bit
nonplussed to see someone looking for food at 7:00 p.m. This
place can get very loud indeed. Just go with it."

* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *

Fine wine…excellent cuisine…beautiful countryside…fields
of lavender and sunflowers in every direction…ancient stone
farmhouses…plus Paris, the world’s most beautiful and exciting

Yes, for lovers of France, France always makes sense, but, right
now, it makes more sense than ever.

The dollar has been high against the euro. As I write this, US$1
buys 1.12 euros. A farmhouse…a chateau…even a Paris
pied-à-terre is more affordable right now than it has been in
years past. This is a window of opportunity worth paying
attention to.

How about, for example, a two-bedroom 17th-century cottage in a
picturesque little medieval town for less than $20,000? For more
details, have a look:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Available April 3 – May 28.

Rent this 50-square-meter guest house on top of a hill
overlooking beautiful Aix-en-Provence (only 4 km away by car or
public bus) for yourself and your kids (accommodates up to 4)
with 1 bedroom upstairs (double bed), living room downstairs
(sofa bed) with 2 full baths, completely surrounded by an oak
grove, a view of the countryside and with access to a swimming
pool. Minimum stay one week.

Rental Fee Weekly $295 – 450 per week (depends on season),
deposit Fee $270

For more information, write me at
mailto:[email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


When you stay in an apartment in Paris, you’ll have all the
comforts of home . . . and get the sense of what it’s like to
really live here. Now, we’re making it easy and simple for you
to find the perfect Paris vacation apartment.

Apartments start at $45

0 per week for studios and rage to a 3-
bedroom apartment in a prime location for $3900 per week.

We’ve put together a simple online form that you can submit to
several rental agencies at once. It’s easy to do, and it costs
nothing. If our contacts have an apartment that suits your
needs, you’ll hear directly from them shortly after.

Take a look here:

Try it out for your next trip to Paris!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


These short-term rental apartments are currently available. I am
familiar with these apartments so I personally recommend them
and trust their managers to give you good service.


* Beautiful studio on a courtyard near Le Musee Picasso with
three windows overlooking a quiet, peaceful and romantic
courtyard. It is outfitted with two large, high quality single
beds that together make a King size bed, TV, VCR and films in
English, hairdryer, iron + ironing board, digitcode and intercom
entry, telephone and answering machine, Internet access, Hi-Fi,
safe, kitchenette with fridge, two-burner stove, microwave oven,
coffee maker, toaster and all the basics needed to have a snack
or dinner at home, plus a welcome kit including breakfast basics
and complimentary drinks and French wine. Hand and bath towels
are provided for everyday’s use. 100 euro per day, minimum 5

To inquire about the above apartment, email me directly
at mailto:[email protected] and please be
sure to copy and paste into the email the description of the
apartment. Thank you.


* Rue de Temple large 1-bedroom luxury apartment
$1,500/week, $4,000/month)

In the heart of the Marais, Paris’ historical center, this
spacious very upscale one bedroom apartment is perfectly
suitable for a couple with elegant taste. It is located on the
Rue du Temple, right in the heart of the historic Marais
district, well known for its trendy night spots and happenings
all around the clock. This sunny, spacious apartment is located
on the main number 1 metro line at the Hotel de Ville, and is
within walking distance of Chatelet, all Marais sites, St.
Michel, Ile St. Louis, St. Paul and the Louvre. This spacious
one bedroom apartment is located up one flight of stairs. The
living room overlooks the street and you can see the Centre
Pompidou in the distance. The bedroom is facing the courtyard,
for quiet nights. The bedroom has a queen size bed, the living
room has a one person sleeper sofa, the kitchen has a washing
machine/dryer, all modern appliances, and cable tv. Sleeps 2-3

* 1-bedroom loft apartment on rue de Rivoli
$1,200/week, $3,700/month

In the heart of the Marais, Paris’ historical center, this
spacious one-bedroom duplex loft apartment is perfectly suitable
for a couple with trendy funky taste. It is located facing the
Hotel de Ville, Paris’ City Hall, at the entrance to the Marais
district, well known for its trendy night spots and happenings
all around the clock. This well furnished stylish apartment is
located on the main number 1 metro line at the Hotel de Ville,
and is within walking distance of Chatelet, all Marais sites,
St. Michel, Ile St. Louis, St. Paul and the Louvre. This
spacious one bedroom duplex is located on the ground floor and
includes an open staircase leading up to the bedroom and
bathroom on the 1st floor. This comfortable apartment contains a
bedroom with a queen size bed, a trendy living-room, an open
completely equipped kitchen with dishwasher and washing machine,
a redone bathroom, telephone, TV and even a small terrace.
Sleeps 2 people.

* 1-bedroom apartment on rue St. Gilles
$900/week, $2,750/month

Right behind the beautiful Place des Vosges, this apartment is
located in the heart of Paris’ historic Marais district. A quiet
sunny cozy third floor apartment overlooks a courtyard (no
elevator). Recently decorated, in perfect shape, this "pied-a-
terre" contains a bedroom with a queen size bed, a living-room
(with sleeper sofa), an open kitchen area, a modern bathroom,
washing-machine, telephone, TV (with cable). Sleeps 4 people.

* 1-bedroom apartment on rue St. Claude
$800/week, $2,500/month

Very close to the Place des Vosges and the Carnavalet Museum,
this apartment is located in the heart of Paris’ historic Marais
district. A quiet studio apartment facing a church on a quiet
side street, this apartment is perfect for guests looking to
capture a piece of history. The apartment is up two flights of
stairs and has windows in the main room and the kitchen.
Furnished with a number of antique pieces collected by the owner
over the years, the St. Claude is a very unique place. This
"pied-a-terre" contains a bedroom with a double bed, a living-
room with cable TV, a full kitchen, a modern bathroom, washing-
machine/dryer and telephone, Sleeps 2 people.

To inquire about any of the above apartments, email me directly
at mailto:[email protected] and please be
sure to copy and paste into the email the description of the
apartment. Thank you.



* Rue Livingstone Penthouse Studio, available April 2 – 22
reduced from
$1,000 a week to $850 a week!!

This beautiful and completely renovated apartment is located on
the 7th and top floor (with elevator) of a typical 1930’s
Parisian building with a spectacular view of sky, Parisian
rooftops and all of Basilique Sacré-Coeur. Perfect for a couple
with a child or three friends traveling together.

To inquire about any of the above apartments, email me directly
at mailto:[email protected] and please be
sure to copy and paste into the email the description of the
apartment. Thank you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


We had a great turn-out for burgers and ribs at TGI Friday’s for
Saturday’s lunch in celebration of Parler Parlor’s 4th

The French learned to eat ribs with their fingers and the rest
of us discovered that TGI Friday’s was downright good for
American- style food. The Caesar salad, burgers and ribs were
very good, but the prize goes to the nutty brownie with whipped
cream! The TGI Friday’s wait-crew sang Happy Birthday and we
blew out our "few" candles.

If you don’t already know — Parler Parlor is a great place to
brush up on your French and meet people from all over the world.
The first session is free and Anglophones benefit from a 10%

Parler Parlor
French-English Conversation Group
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.
Coprom Langues, 14 rue Lafayette, 9th, 4th floor

For more information, visit the site at or email Adrian at
mailto:[email protected] or call Elisabeth or

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


* Alfred Kessler, author of The Eighth Day of the Week, will be
reading with his daughter, actress Patricia Kessler, April 2nd
at 7 pm from his novel set in Brooklyn Heights in the 1950s.

William Wharton described his novel as "a book which makes you
think about the nature of reality and relationships, the
possible and the impossible, the bizarre manifestations of what
we call love.

At the Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore, 13 rue Charles V, 75004 Paris

* In honor of "British Week", be sure to see the musical
"Oliver!" May 23rd – 26th at the Salles des Fetes in Le Pecq —

Book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart by arrangement with The
Southbrook Group and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, directed by Fiona
Morel and musical direction by John Dawkins

For more information and tickets, visit
Email: mailto:[email protected]

* Literary Tours:

"The Literary Left Bank", led by Elizabeth Reichert, author of
The Writer’s Insider Guide to Paris
Saturday, April 27th, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"Paris is a Woman", also led by by Elizabeth Reichert
Sunday, April 28th 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You can read more about these tours mentioned here, by visiting
the Web site: /parlerparis/guidedtours/index.html;
writing to [email protected]; or calling


* If anyone knows the answer to Margaret’s question:

Please, can anyone tell me where Henri Louis Chatelain is buried
in Paris. He died in a military hospital in Paris in August,

He was a French professor at Birmingham university, England. He
volunteered to fight with the 4th volunteers at Soissons where
he took ill. Merci.

Plese email her directly at
mailto:[email protected]

* Hello Adrian,

We have recently moved here, and need inexpensive international
calling card. I purchased the France Telecome Ticket Universel,
which was supposed to have 98 minutes of international calls and
after a few LOCAL calls, it said that I used all my minutes.
Could you kindly recommend any?

Thank you.


Dear Gulnara,

Just happens I’ve come across the least expensive calling card
I’ve ever! For 15.24 euros you can have 753 minutes to the US
and they sell cards equally as inexpensive for other
destinations. This translates to approximate 1.7 cents per
minute and can be used within two months of acti


It’s called "Soleil" and it can be purchased at only two
locations in Paris: 62 rue de Tolbiac in the 13th and 133 rue de
Charonne in the 11th.

Happy phoning, Adrian

* I would like to send my teenage daughter(will be graduating
from High School in 2003) to spend several weeks in France with
a family or school and improve her French. She has about 4-5
years of French in school. Any ideas?


Paul D’Souza
Portland, Oregon, USA


Try one of these sites for more information:


Academy of French Language and Culture in Paris

Best of luck, Adrian

* Adrian,

I do hope you can locate a cooling rack for me. They are found
in junk or antique stores and are a fairly high priced. I can’t
pay over $100, but if you come across one, PLEEZ let me hear. I
have wanted one FOREVER!! I do have a round one, about 14"
diameter, but the one I really want is rectangular, larger,
about 10" x 14"— something like that.

Thanx for your trouble. I would really appreciate any info re
any cooling rack you can locate during your "travels."


Does anyone have one they want to sell Bettie???



If you would like to have your message read by the subscribers
of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre®, please email me at
[email protected]

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