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“Sultry, Sexy Paris”


June 3, 2002


Paris turned sultry like a sexy woman this weekend with
temperatures in the mid 80s. Absolutely everyone was on the
street…baring their legs, their shoulders and their good
spirits. It was a perfect day for an afternoon stroll with a

When I stepped out the door from my cool courtyard, I clipped on
my sunglasses and landed right onto the annual Summer "brocante"
(rummage sale) lining rue de Bretagne and swarming with
neighborhood folks buying everything from sausages to antique

Further down into the Marais at the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville,
bikers pedaled up for a seven-hour tour of Paris by bike for the
annual "Fêtes du Vélo." So many people showed up that they ran
out of rental bikes early on, so if you didn’t bring your own,
you lost out.

Pont Saint-Louis, the tiny bridge connecting the Ile Saint-Louis
and the Ile de la Citée, was humming with outdoor diners as we
waited patiently for a table at Le Montebello, one of the three
cafés at that little "place" overlooking the Seine and the back
of Notre Dame. We vied for a spot with other waiting parties and
were lucky to land a table in the shade.

Satisfied by our light salads and fruity wine, we passed along
the side of Notre Dame through its garden before crossing over
the Seine to the 5th and through the gardens of Saint-Julien le
Pauvre, one of the oldest churches in Paris, the present
building having stood there over seven centuries. It was shady
and strewn with lazy bodies.

Westbound on boulevard Saint-Germain, not all that much was
going on, not until we stepped onto the tiny Place Furstenberg.
Hardly visible on even the most detailed of maps, it is simply a
circle of trees dead center on rue de Furstenberg just behind
Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Yesterday, it was hot pink;
entirely hot pink. A film crew had set up to use it as a
backdrop while an installation by architects "Périfériques" have
the entire circle coated in a hot pink molded fiberglass, having
created four tables with chairs and collars around each of the
five trees. It’s part of the "Parcours Saint-Germain-des-Prés,"
an event in the "quartier" which opened May 29th, continuing
through June 18th.

Another Paris "place" awash with art was Place Dauphine, one of
the swankiest hidden corners (triangular actually) which has had
such illustrious residents as Yves Montand and Simone Signoret.
There the Fêtes de la Peinture sponsored by Artistes magazine
was showing off a variety of artists’ works under white tents,
including American portrait artist, Kathy Burke, and young
budding artists posed at easels painting anything their hearts

A cool Kir (Crème de Cassis and white wine) at a café brought
the temperature down along with the sun as the shade took over
and the Summer evening began, reminding me of a remark by a
friend who just took a week’s vacation right here in her own
town…"at home in Paris–the best vacation money can buy."

A la prochaine fois…


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Parler Paris /parlerparis/
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds

Published by International Living
mailto:[email protected]

Issue Number 41, June 3, 2002

In this issue:

*** Wind Your Way Through the "Buying Maze"
in L’Escargot de Paris
*** Why it’s Easy to Retire in France
*** Not so Much "Road Rage", as "Making Friends"
*** English Theater and Singing the Blues
*** Buy Her a "Cheque-Cadeau" From Paris

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


Join us for two days of tours and lectures with real estate
professionals June 16th and 17th to learn about the
personalities and property values of all 20 arrondissements by
taking a real tour of the city. You’ll hear from experts on
purchasing, renting, investing, financing, relocating, and

This is part of the "Journey Through Southern France"
International Living Tour (June 15-24).

At The Holiday Inn Paris-Saint-Germain-des-Près
92, rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris

SUNday, JUNE 16th
1:30 PM
Welcome drink and introduction by Polly Platt, author of "French
or Foe?" and "Savoir-Flair, 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the

Paris Panoramic, Historical & Real Estate Tour (by mi
nibus) with
Thirza Vallois (author of "Around and About Paris" Volumes I, II
and II) and Adrian Leeds.

MONday, JUNE 17th
Breakfast followed by half-day seminar:

9:00 a.m.
Introductions and Welcome by Adrian Leeds.

Finding a Property, Buying and Renting in France by Glenn
Cooper, Cooper Paris Flats, Apartment Rental Agency.

Legal Aspects of Real Estate Investments In France by Jean
Taquet, Alliage Conseil, French jurist and associate member of
the Delaware Bar Association.

10:15 Coffee Break

10:30 a.m.
How to Finance your Purchase by Samina Arnoult, Financial

Answers To All Of Your Relocation Questions by Rose Burke,
Author of "Working and Living in France: The Ins and Outs."

Getting Insured in France: Medical & Life Insurance, by Oliver
Devergen, Advantage Insurance Associates.

12:30 p.m.
Lunch with speakers and real estate agents.

The afternoon is free to look at real estate properties, (we
will visit a few properties for sale and rent in Paris to give
you an idea of what is available), explore Paris on your own,
shop or relax.

$245 includes all cocktails and meals.

To register or for more information contact the IL Paris Office:
mailto:[email protected] tel.

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

It’s easy to consider moving here, especially since the dollar
has been so high against the euro. An apartment in Paris…a
farmhouse in Provence…a chateau in the Loire Valley are all
more affordable than ever before.

If you’re thinking about setting up a new life in France…if
you’re thinking about enriching your life with all that France
has to offer…then you will want to know everything you need to
make that dream come true. Just click here:

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by Jean Taquet, "Practical Answers For Living in France",

QUESTION: I am a diplomat posted in Paris. I am finishing my
third year and would like to retire here. Most of the people who
have done this from our embassy are married to a French person
or someone from the EU. Since I am not, how can I get residency
in France? I have been told that diplomats can retire here
without having to return "home" and that they can get a resident
card. However, no one has been able to tell me how to go about
this. Could I continue to work in France?

ANSWER: Getting the right to stay once you retire is rather
easy. You have to prove three things. You need to have the
financial means to live in France without working; your pension
should be sufficient. You need to have comprehensive health
coverage that is valid in France; you should be able to continue
the policy that comes with your current position, or you could
buy a new health insurance policy either in France (under the
couverture maladie universelle) or from abroad. And you need a
place to live in France, which I am sure you have. When you
present your residency request, you should explain your reasons
for wanting to stay in France. Since you have been living in
France for some years now, the reason is fairly obvious. You
should then get a carte de séjour mention visiteur, which allows
you to remain in France but not to work. The carte de séjour can
be renewed indefinitely, on an annual basis, as long as you
present proof that you have adhered to the requirements.

Getting the right to work is a different issue. It depends on
the type of work you want to do. The authorities have the right
to veto any request to take a job paying less than 3,700 Euro a
month (gross) unless your specialty is in great demand in
France. If your request is not vetoed, you should get a carte de
séjour mention salarié.

If, on the other hand, you want to become a consultant, it is a
different story. Receiving the right to practice as a consultant
in France is quite simple, but handling the related paperwork
and general red tape, once you register with URSSAF, is not.
Furthermore, it takes some preparation to submit a request
strong enough to ensure that the Préfecture will accept it: You
have to show that you have enough potential business to support
yourself and that you have the means to finan

ce the start-up of
your business. You can then get a carte de séjour mention
visiteur. There are several subsections within the visitor

The bottom line is, if you have a sound professional project and
if you do not mind this latter choice, you most likely are going
to get everything you’re hoping for.

* Jean Taquet’s "The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for
Living in France" contains real-life stories from those
confronted by practical situations that will inevitably resemble
those you might face when living abroad. Let their situations
give you a wealth of experiential information on which you can
build your Paris-life. Taquet’s Qs & As offer a practical
know-how you will soon find invaluable. Each month, Jean’s
latest Qs and As are added to the guide, so the issue you
receive is always the latest edition.

To read Jean Taquet’s complete monthly column posted each month
in Parler Paris, visit


See you next Sunday at the Bagatelle Gardens–the roses should
be in full bloom! Pack your picnic lunch and meet the PARLER
PARLOR gang (the French-English conversation group) at the Parc
de Bagatelle, June 9th, at 1 p.m. just inside the entrance of
the garden.

For more information about Parler Parlor, visit: email: mailto:[email protected]
or call Elisabeth at tel. 01 44 19 76 61 or Adrian at 01 40 27
97 59.

P.S. Next event…4th of July celebration. Watch this space…


by Polly Platt

French people are Latin. They have an extraordinary range of
sound. They’ve perfected a technique of silent talk so that try
as you may, you can’t catch what a bank teller or sales person
is saying to a colleague one foot away from you.

Our rather loud American voices in public make them (and also
other Americans who have been in France a while) shudder. On the
other hand, when they raise their voices, it can be deafening.

Without wishing to at all, you might provoke such an outburst in
a French stranger, if you’re not very, very careful. This is
likely to happen if you contradict them, seem to be dissatisfied
with their work or make an unwelcome, not carefully worded
comment about their merchandise. It has to do with losing face.
French people, particularly south of the Loire, are what my
husband calls "soupe au lait," or a soup made with milk. They
overflow. Suddenly and dramatically. But only for a minute.

You’re pretty sure to experience this if a Frenchman runs into
your car with his. Particularly during a hot summer. The thing
to do is to stick to your guns. As they have a fondness for
tailgating, this is most likely to happen after lunch and some
good Bordeaux on one of the big routes nationales when you turn

It happened to me near Périgueux in the Dordogne. It was new
territory for me, and a sign ahead to the right appeared to
indicate my route sooner than expected. As I turned, perhaps a
little suddenly, up to the sidewalk on the right to inspect my
map, a huge truck rammed my left rear light. The driver slammed
on the brakes, jumped out of his truck and strode towards me
waving his arms fiercely. Showing lots of missing teeth, he
shouted–"harangued" is really the word–that this was "unheard
of," "unbelievable," he had "never seen such a thing," that I
should learn how to drive, etc.

The thing to do in France is never to admit you’re in the wrong.
He didn’t. Nor did I. I protested vehemently that it was I who
was shocked and furious, he had been driving much too close,
totally illegally, was he so blind he couldn’t see my blinker,
etc. Then he went back to his truck. When he returned with his
car papers, he was quiet as a lamb. I noticed his clean, smartly
pressed, elegant shirt and that he was quite attractive when he
didn’t show his few remaining teeth. He was politeness itself as
we filled out the damage claims together, and when he saw that I
had a Lauzun address nearby, he was transported with neighborly
joy. We chatted about the charms of the Dordogne, and parted

Editor’s Note: Polly Platt (, whose
company, Culture Crossings, gives cross-cultural seminars for
corporate transfers and their spouses, is the author of the
bestseller, French or Foe? now in its second edition and tenth
printing in English, second printing in French and third
printing in Japanese. This is an excerpt from her recent book,
Savoir- Flair! 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French.)

Polly will be speaking at the upcoming "Journey Through Southern
France" here in Paris on June 16th. For more information, click
here:, call toll free
on (800) 926-6575, or email:
mailto:[email protected]

* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *


You’ll know how to see Paris for free…pay less for an
apartment rental than anyone else…where to go to get the
best–and cheapest–antiques in the city…where to get twice
the meal for a quarter of the price…the places to avoid at all
costs…and more…

Here’s how:

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



Just ask yourself–do you really KNOW the guy who sits across
from you at work?

A reading of the play "Deletions" by Randall Holden, with
Geoffrey Bateman, Geoffrey Greenhill, Derrick Brenner, Steve
Croce, and directed by Madeleine Barchevska, will take place on
Sunday, June 9th at 7:30 p.m. at Carr’s Restaurant (1 rue du
Mont Thabor, 75001 Paris, Métro: Tuileries.)

For more information, contact Stefanie Campion at: tel. 01 44 93
59 72 or 06 14 67 18 58.


Well glory be, the glory gospel singers and god are checking it
out! The Moving Parts Theater Company presents a reading of a
joyful juicy musical mystery, "Gospel Truth", book and score by
Manda Djinn. With Madeleine Barchevska, Stefanie Campion, Manda
Djinn, Bremner Duthie, Sharon Evans, Ben Harrison, Raphaàl
Loison, David Andrew Platzer, Thomas Pollard, and Rebecca
Venture, on Sunday June 16th at 7:30 p.m., also at Carr’s

For more information, contact Stefanie Campion at: tel. 01 44 93
59 72 or 06 14 67 18 58.


by artist Kathy Burke

In her atelier, on Sunday, June 9th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 55 rue
Meslay, 75003 Paris, Métro: République Interphone A27 + Appel or


American singer with Duo Jac Bouniard on Piano and Thierry
Carpentier on Bass Saturday, June 8th at 8:30 p.m.

Pari’s Aller/Retour, 25 rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris, Métro St.


"Singing the Blues" with the Gajo Trio on Friday, June 7th and
Saturday, June 8th at 9:30 p.m. in Les 7 Lézards (10 rue des
Rosiers, 75004 Paris, Métro St. Paul.)


Saturday, June 8th at 8:00 p.m., at 26, rue de l’Avenir 92170
Vanves, a potluck dinner and a theme from the ’60s–Peace and
Love–so please dress in 60s style and bring any music of that
period along.

For upcoming Café Philo events, visit the site at:

For more information, contact: Gale Prawda, Ph.D., email :
mailto:[email protected]; tel., fax


* Not everyone agreed with my positive comments last week, about
the Surcouf computer store:

"Are you kidding?!" Surcouf has never ceased to dissatisfy me,
with the long wait times, the incredible bureaucracy, and the
lack of knowledgeable sales people (okay, they may be helpful if
you happen to get lucky and hit on a good one–but they don’t
have very in-depth knowledge). Seekers of bargains will find
much better ones around the corner, at any of the shops on the
rue Montgallet. and in general, the Chinese in these shops are
much more knowledgeable than Surcouf’s staff.

* Your latest newsletter correctly raves about Surcouf. You fail
to mention one problem which you may or may not have noticed: as
has become the habit in most French department stores, separate
brands have separate stands with one "vendeur" assigned to each
so if that guy (or gal) has wandered off, you are out of luck.
The other day I needed a copy of Adobe Photoshop, but the person
in charge of the Adobe stand was off for a long time (lunch at 3
p.m.?) and I was unable to buy it, had to go to the FNAC. The
stores in the Montgallet area all look alike, but an insider has
pointed out that LCD International (192 rue de Charenton 75012
Paris phone 01 43 43 24 40/ 01 43 43 10 04 fax: 01 43 46 13 17)
was there even before Surcouf. I tried them and have been very
pleased with their advice and "Service Apres Vente." So next
time you or some friend of yours needs computer-related stuff,
you may want to check them out.

* QUESTION: I would like to send a gift certificate by e-mail to
a person in Paris. I tried Galeries Lafayette and they told me
that it is possible. I called them several times but they cannot
understand how to do it. If you know any other places that I can
buy gift certificates through e-mail from a nice store in Paris,
let me know.

ANSWER: Search the net for "cheque cadeaux" and you’ll find

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

TO JOIN THE PARIS KEY CLUB: If you are not a member of the Paris
Key Club, and would like t

o be, click here for more information:

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


Go to /parlerparis/

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


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

If you have links about Paris or France and would like
reciprocal links, please email me at
mailto:[email protected]

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