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Seeing Life from the Other Side of the Big Apple Pond

A Brooklyn View of Manhattan
Photo by Erica Simone

Seeing Life from the Other Side of the Big Apple Pond

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France

Monday, May 22, 2006
Paris, France

Bulletin from Parler Paris

There’s still time to join us in New Orleans this Saturday…

Living and Investing in France Round Table
An Afternoon with Adrian Leeds

May 27, 2006, 1:00 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Plus Cocktails and Dinner at Historic Tujague’s Restaurant, New Orleans

If you’ve ever dreamed of moving to France, creating a new life in Paris, purchasing a “pied-à-terre” of your own or perhaps investing in other property in France, this amazing afternoon is a very small investment to make that dream come true, sooner than you might have imagined. These few hours will provide enough information to get you on the right road in the right direction for a successful investment and life in France!

We’re pleased to announce a very special addition to the program — John Howell of John Howell & Co., Solicitors & International Lawyers, London. John is internationally well known for his thoroughly entertaining and brilliantly informative seminars about all aspects of buying property and living overseas.

And the best part is, we’re adding another two hours to the program, without adding another penny to the cost of the program! You’ll get even more priceless information for the same price.

Plus, invite your friends and relatives to join you for a celebration cocktails and dinner at historic Tujague’s Restaurant, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans. Everyone is welcome!

For more information or to register, click here or contact Project Manager Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

I always go through a mild culture shock the first 24 to 48 hours after arrival in the States. The moment I get a hit of “Americana,” it acts as a mirror reflection of my Franco-European cultural crossings. Like a rude awakening, it forces me to realize how much I have changed in the last eleven-plus years living in a very different world.

This re-entry into the U.S. started with a bigger bang than usual. Each time I go through passport control, because my passport was lost or stolen in 1994 and never recovered, I am escorted to a special office for clearance. There is an office to which I can write to ask that this be removed from my record, but in today’s world of extra security, that may never happen.

The taxi to Manhattan was a slow ride in pouring rain and heavy traffic, but the doorman at my friend’s upper east side apartment was gracious and settling in was easy, until…I discovered that the locks on my suitcase wouldn’t open, no matter how hard I tried. Luckily, the “Super” in the building gallantly rescued me by prying them open. When I opened the big blue heavy bag, not one easily mistaken for another, it took three looks before realizing it wasn’t mine at all!

Panic! No time for lunch or leisurely welcome to the Big Apple — Back to Kennedy airport I went, with my daughter chuckling at me all the way, first in a taxi to Grand Central Station, then by bus to the airport. Pleasure came at the sight of my identical suitcase waiting for me, but with guilt at the pain I had caused the other owner who had flown on to Austin, Texas without her belongings.

Déja vu…another taxi ride in pouring rain back to Manhattan (less expensive than a taxi to Charles de Gaulle) with the right suitcase and a huge appetite sent us flying out on to the streets where we found some of the best Sushi I’ve ever eaten at a tiny restaurant on York Avenue at 83rd Street named “Suki.” Sushi in Paris is plentiful, but dreadfully uncreative. Point scored for the good ol’ U.S. of A. where tradition is tossed to the wind for “new” and “better.”

A manicure can be had on just about any corner for a whopping $10, so we treated ourselves to this small luxury. While sitting in the chair having my hands massaged and cuticles trimmed, I realized how just about every woman and many, many men, in the States, particularly in urban areas where nail salons are plentiful, keep their hands and feet in perfect condition. Nail salons have boomed in Paris the last ten years, but the price for a regular manicure is about 25 Euros ($32 at today’s rate of exchange), so I stopped indulging long ago. For this reason, very few Parisians are well manicured, and there’s no peer pressure to do anything different.

The next morning I met a young cou

ple who is thinking of moving to Paris in the next few years — where else (?), but in a Starbucks in Soho. Culture shock always sets in when first reading the menu board and the smallest coffee you can order is a “Tall” (it’s three times larger than a normal cup). Just the semi-self-serve system is not the usual French café style and when doctoring the brew found no normal white sugar — just raw (brown) and an assortment of sugar substitutes. As you may know, Starbucks has infiltrated Paris to a disheartening proportion (disheartening for us Americans who wince at the encroachment of Americana into our French world). There are 20 now in the City of Light, and the French have taken wholeheartedly to the big frothy coffees, both hot and cold, and the overstuffed chairs where one can sit for hours.

One thing I found very disturbing on the New York city landscape that Paris has perfected is the city ‘garbage.’ Mountains, and I mean mountains, of refuse in plastic bags, not all so perfectly tied and secured, are piled high along the edge of the sidewalks awaiting a pick-up, that only comes twice a week. While Paris is still battling the blight of the doggy poop, New York needs to take notice of the green plastic bins that contain French waste and get picked up daily. I heard from friends that a sanitation workers’ strike in the middle of Summer in New York isn’t fun!

Outside the Museum of Modern Art Store in Soho, while waiting for the personnel to open their doors to start the day, a few minutes PAST the appointed hour, a woman waiting there was becoming increasingly impatient. I remarked, “They’re just taking their time,” to which she replied, “No, they are taking OUR time.” I smiled at her, thinking how different my expectations had become over the years living in Paris, where it’s not unusual at all for a shop to close at any time, maybe with a sticker on the door noting “Be Back Soon,” or closed for lunch or vacation or whatever, with no real thought about who was wasting whose time…and I replied, “Well, I guess you could look at it that way.”

That’s when I fully realized how differently I see life now.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. More to come on Wednesday, then off we go to the Big Easy for the Living and Investing in France Round Table on Saturday, May 27th. Tujague’s says they can seat up to 60! So, don’t hesitate to register at the last minute. For more information, visit /frenchproperty/conference/LIF_NOLA_2006/LIF_NOLA_home.html or email Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]


Latest News from
French Property Consultation

French Property Insider Consultation…your complete solution to finding, buying, renovating or renting your new dream home or apartment in France. /frenchproperty/consultation

* Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will help make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property consultation and search services…visit

This Week in
French Property Insider

The A to Z Process of Property Purchasing in France
By Adrian Leeds

Distill the details of property ownership in France and this is what you get: The Process. This is what it takes to get from point A to point B, finally ending with Z when you are the proud and happy owner of your own “pied-à-terre,” “maison de compagne,” “château” or “manoir”…FPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. If you’d like to learn about the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week, now’s a special opportunity.

May Special Offer!
Save As Much As $50 on a Private Consultation with Adrian Leeds!

Subscribe to French Property Insider today for one year and you’ll receive $30 off your personal consultation with Adrian Leeds, and receive $50 off with a two-year subscription.

Already a subscriber? You can extend your subscription by one or two years to take advantage of this special limited time offer — until May 31, 2006 only.

To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html

Excerpt from
Insider Paris Guides

* Writers Insider Guide to Paris…

In 1922, while still residing in his flat above the sawm

ill on rue Nôtre-Dame-des-Champs, a young Ernest Hemingway visited his mentor Gertrude Stein who was then living at 27 rue de Fleurus. Having experienced troubles with her old Model T Ford, Stein had taken her car to a garage where the inept repair man had been scolded by his patron: “You are all a génération perdue,” said the man to the boy. In recounting the tale to Hemingway, who would later recount their conversation in his Paris memoirs, A Moveable Feast, Stein told him “That’s what you are. All of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation … You have no respect for anything. You drink yourselves to death…” To read more about the historical, romantic and practical side of the writer’s life in Paris, see the guide….

Novelists, journalists, poets, dreamers and doers…discover the writing life in Paris. It is possible, click here to find out how….

News About
Living and Investing in France

* Speak French? Speak it better! Improve your language skills with Champs-Elysées audio magazines for intermediate-to-advanced speakers of French. Each monthly issue of this fascinating cultural language program comes with a 1-hour CD/cassette, full transcript, notes and glossary in English. Available worldwide with full money back guarantee.

* Experience Food and Cooking the French Way! At on Rue Tatin Cooking School, class sizes are small, giving you plenty of hands-on learning, and the recipes are geared to daily home cooking. For more information on week long courses or special themed classes visit or e-mail [email protected]

Coming Soon…
Parler Paris Apartments

Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Adrian Leeds at [email protected] for more information.

For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at /parlerparis/apartments or
/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.


Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:

The next gathering is June 13, 2006

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like.


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