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Reflections on 2007 with an Eye on 2008

Tonight at midnight, we’ll be saying so-long to 2007. It’s a time of reflection, looking back on what events shaped our year, both positively and negatively, as well as a time to look forward to a future we know nothing of, but can only hope for or guess.

This photo of Parler Paris reader and friend, Tom Regan, as reflected in a puddle at Le Louvre, taken by his friend, Patrick, seems to symbolize just about anyone’s time spent in Paris…vividly. His note attached read, “Ain’t it grand to have children who are good with a camera?! The show was wonderful! Thank you for inviting us,” referring to my daughter’s (Erica Simone) exhibition Chez Grace this past weekend, entitled appropriately, “A Vivid World.”

For Erica, the exhibition was a retrospective of the last two years of a budding photographic career — a selection of 28 images that have very little to do with one another — a grab bag of people, places and things — but threaded cohesively like a string of multi-colored beads by her poetic text.

While guests were working their way from the beginning at image number one, titled “Hearted,” subtitled by the phrase, “Some people say that love is the most important thing in life…” and then around the room to view each image, ending with “We live in a world of beauty, passion and power. We live in
a vivid world…,” Erica was snapping shots of the guests for a reflection of her own soon to be past.

(The exhibition will still be available [in the future] for viewing by appointment Chez Grace until January 8th. To make your appointment, contact Grace at or or by email at [email protected])

Under the stained glass dome (created in 1923) at Printemps Thursday “Après Midi,” a group of us, led by Karen Henrich of Nuit Blanche Tours, toasted to the present moment in Paris. If you’ve never dined at Brasserie Printemps, it’s a treat. It’s stunning, it’s tasty, it’s moderately priced and it’s a great place for a large group of friends to be “tête-à-tête” — the acoustics are amazing for such a vacuous space! (We noticed that we could easily hear one another without talking loudly and couldn’t hear anyone near us!) Make it a plan for a future rendez-vous and test it out for yourself.

In looking ahead to a future we can be very certain of, is that Paris is about to become smoke free! As of Tuesday, January 1st, 2008, in all hotels, bars, restaurants, discotheques, casinos and all public spaces, smoking will be prohibited! Hard to believe…but true! And in anticipation that smokers will likely head outdoors, the ordinance also forbids loud conversation in the evening hours on the street, cigarette butts being thrown to the ground and holding a glass with an alcoholic drink outside of any of these establishments.

It won’t be easy, but the city is ready to educate the owners and managers of the establishments as well as the smoking customers. About 200,000 postcards, posters and bulletins are about to hit the Paris streets with a long list of educational and informational meetings, presentations, advertising, etc., targeted to make the transition as smooth as possible.

It will be a pleasure to breathe freely and easily in any café. If the non-smoking campaign is as successful here as it was in the U.S., then before long, the French won’t be smoking hardly at all! Imagine that?!

Looking a little further into Paris’ future is the annual Winter Sales Event January 9 to 20, 2008. More than 1500 shops as well as 500 hotels and restaurants are joining in the fun and economic prosperity. There are five shopping circuits the city is recommending…all on an interactive map of the city. Visit for more information and get ready to battle over the bargains!

One last day, one last moment to say…”So-long 2007. It’s been real nice knowing you. You’ve been a year to remember, forever.”

“Hello 2008. We just hope you’re as great.”

Let’s face it. It will be whatever we make of it. Happy New Year!

A la prochaine…next year!

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. Photo by Erica Simone of her mother (in “Frenchnets” and lace) this past weekend at the exhibition Chez Grace, “A Vivid World.”

P.P.S. Welcome Ginny Blackwell, of French Property Shares ( Franctional Ownership properties in France, who will be joining us in Miami at the the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference February 16-17, 2008. Don’t miss this special event! Scroll down or visit /parlerparis/liveinfrance/LIF_Miami_AF_Feb_2008/index.html for more information.


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