Seven Wonders of Living in Paris
1. PEOPLE HATING OTHER PEOPLE
There was a long list of topics for today’s missive, but we all woke up to the news that Marine Le Pen and her National Front (FN) party took top position of the regional elections in the first round of voting yesterday with 28% of the vote (compared the Republican Party [formerly Sarkozy’s UMP Party] WITH 27%) in six of 13 regions. The Socialists suffered with 23.5%, but no one is surprised by that!
Help! Isn’t this exactly what the terrorists want?: more hate. People hating other people. Perfect. Just the kind of world we all want to live in, right? Le Pen calls her constituents “patriots.” That’s a joke. Being a patriot of France doesn’t mean taking on her anti-everyone-who-is-not-French sentiments: “Feed them, warm them up, and send them back where they came from,” she told reporters earlier this year referring to immigration and the Syrian refugees.
With the FN’s strong showing in the regional elections, France is in for a three-‘horse’ race and Madame Le Pen has a fighting chance to win. This scares me more than any terrorist attack from ‘outside’ with so much hatred building from within. I’m an immigrant. All of my American friends are immigrants. We may not look like the ‘kind’ of immigrants she and her party hate, but we are not French and still sit among the unchosen few. Hollande’s Socialist party took a real beating and while many of us think he deserves it, none of us deserve the results to where his inability to govern has led us.
2. UP IN SMOKE
last year’s Nouvellettre® describing the event that rendered me hysterical — the most emotional outburst I’ve ever experienced in my life. Watching your humble abode go up in smoke is just about as bad a trauma it gets. Thanks to a neighbor who saved our lives by phoning to tell us to leave the apartment ASAP was our saving grace. Of all my neighbors, only did she have my phone number. If it were not for her, we might have burned or died of asphyxiation.One year ago Saturday, December 5th, 2014, a fire broke out in the little metal factory on the ground level of my apartment building at the cocktail hour. You may recall
I couldn’t help but think of that night and of her, so I brought her a small gift of appreciation. She hobbled to the door to answer my knock, in recovery from a recent hip operation, and when she saw my teary-eyed face and gift in hand, she wept, too, and hugged me hard. Neighbors like this are the ones we must be thankful for. She is one of those jewels, for which I will continue to give thanks — as she is also the one to whom I have given full use of a cellar in the building I own. “Madame, it’s yours as long as you live and want it.”
3. TINY HOUSE WORLD IN PARIS AND ON SKYPE
Tiny House World aired our first episode “Petit Château,” featuring my niece, Shari, my daughter, Erica and me Saturday night at 10 p.m. EST — meaning that was 4 a.m. Paris time. My niece cooked up a storm on her new stove and held a party at her Brooklyn home while my daughter held a party with a bunch of our old friends in Los Angeles to view and celebrate the show.FYI’s
“Brooklynite Shari has always dreamed of having her very own “little château” in Paris. It’s a family affair as her aunt Adrian and cousin Erica join her on her tiny house hunt through the City of Light. Shari’s looking for a place with plenty of light, in a great location and with some Parisian charm but with her modest budget she may be looking in the wrong city.”
Not to be left out, I awoke anxiously even before the alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. to get in front of the computer on Skype to be a part of the party in L.A. and see the show in real time for myself. Erica set up her laptop so that the camera was focused on their TV screen while we were all saying our hellos and being amazed at our 2015 ability to all be there at the same time thanks to Skype. Erica took a photo of me on screen as I took a Screen Shot of her and together we watched the show, commented and laughed a lot!
We said our good-nights at 5 a.m. and as you can guess, I took a “grasse matinée” (sleeping late).
Kit Schroeder commented on Facebook that it’s on again TONIGHT at 11:30 p.m. EST in case you missed it the first time. To learn more and read or make comments, join our Facebook page.
4. LAURA FIGUEROA SHARES HER FIGURES OF HORSES
Laura Figueroa, a new purchaser of a Paris “pied-à-terre,” had a lot to be happy about Friday night as she was brimming with pride that her beautiful sculptures were on display at the ArAnimA (Association Internationale des Artistes Animaliers et Paysagers) exhibition at the Galerie Thullier. See them and the other beautiful works till December 17th (13, rue de Thorigny, 75003 — near the Musée Picasso).
5. THE STANDING MARCH ON PICASSO
How perfect for art lovers as the same night, just down the street from Laura’s exhibition, projected on the back of the Musée Picasso, was renowned French artist JR‘s and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky‘s collaborative major public artwork created for the UN COP21 climate conference in Paris, “The Standing March.” It visited several locations around the city between November 29th and December 6th: the Assemblée Nationale, the Musée d’Orsay, the Panthéon, the Musée Picasso (our luck!), the Bibliothèque and the City Hall (Mairie) of the 19th district.
“The video represents more than 500 persons from different backgrounds united around the idea that the conference must end up with meaningful agreements between the countries. The protagonists, who joined the artists after a call for participation, have been filmed separately, rotating themselves on a green background and united to create a representation of humanity. 3D from the British group Massive Attack has composed the original soundtrack.”
6. PARIS YOUR WAY: A WALK IN THE 20TH WITH MARGIE RUBIN
Margie Rubin of Paris Your Way showed off a part of Paris I didn’t know even existed and doubt you’d ever find without such insider information.
This is the Charonne Quartier of the 20th arrondissement featuring “two ‘petits villages’ of picturesque houses and authentic atmosphere.” Borrowing from Margie’s words — these tiny pockets of countryside in the middle of urban Paris evoke bygone days — rare oases of calm, undiscovered by visitors and many locals, as well.
Her walk began at the Porte de Bagnolet Métro stop, around the winding cobblestoned streets of Irène Blanc and Jules Siegfried, via the Place Édith-Piaf where the Belgrand open-air market takes place on the mornings of Wednesdays and Saturdays to rue Saint-Blaise, the heart of a rural village that was annexed by Paris in 1860. It was here we lunched at one of the many charming cafés.
Margie’s insider information is just what every tourist (and local like me) needs for a better than great visit to the City of Light. Let her plan your itinerary…so you can “see Paris as you wish, on your schedule, your way.”
7. THE HERITAGE OF LE MARAIS AT LE MUSEE CARNAVALET
Le Marais is home, but it might not have been if it weren’t for Minister of Culture André Malraux whose law of August 4th, 1962 to preserve and protect the historic centers of cities such as Lyon, Chartres, Clermont-Ferrand and Aix-en-Provence changed the face of Le Marais and all of France.
This centuries-old part of Paris overflowing with important history would have been destroyed, were it not for this law. Just think of all we would have lost! Don’t miss this exhibition including testimonies, photographs, films, cards, models, instruments, samples, posters, in situ drawings, samples and architectural elements that tell the story of a district that is alive and constantly evolving. On until February 28th, 2016 at the Musée Carnavalet. Visit their Web site for more information.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(in the middle of the night on Skype)
P.S. TOMORROW! Parler Paris Après Midi December. 8 with guest Sibel Pinto Chef-instructor, University Lecturer, Author, speaking on “The sweet and sour journey of the Turkish Sephardic cuisine.” Details on our Après Midi page. Don’t miss it!
P.P.S. I wanted to include you all on an article I wrote that was published recently in International Living