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So Much Has Changed…So Much Remains Unchanged

There was just something very magical about being seated dead center in front of the Hôtel de Ville last night surrounded by friends and thousands of other Parisians as we watched “Is Paris Burning?” on the big screen under the moon and stars. We brought picnic foods and wine, used the chairs and our laps for tables, passed around whatever we had each contributed and felt a sense of real belonging. At least, I did.

The Hôtel de Ville is repudiated as Paris’ most beautiful building. As a backdrop to the film, that would be tough to argue. The grandeur of the setting created a sensation of real importance…to be in that place at that time…so few of us had the privilege.

Leslie Caron spoke briefly, who I had once had the honor of hosting in my Marais apartment to discuss business related to her precious auberge in Burgundy. She is just as lovely now as she was in the film as the young Resistance fighter. The real footage of Paris during the time of the Liberation and the recreated scenes for the movie were very well integrated. To see Paris as it was then gave me a thrill…I could recognize just about every “petit coin” — so much has changed…so much has remained unchanged.

When the Americans came into the city and “saved the day,” a young and hopeful soldier played by Antony Perkins, who had always dreamed of coming to Paris, was ecstatic that day he and his pal drove in by jeep. He remarked that it was just as he had imagined…”to be in a little bistrot like this with red checkered table cloths,” as he sipped on red wine with a new-found French comrade. A moment later he was gunned down by a German soldier, never to have realized more of his dream than just that.

At an exhibition currently on at the Arc de Triomphe (open everyday until November 13th from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) called “Regards sur la Libération de Paris, photographies, août 1944,” are 92 photos taken during the Liberation by masters photographers. One set of images were taken on rue de la Huchette. Resistance fighters were standing in the doorway at number 4, the very same building where International Living has one of its rental apartments. Sandbags were laid at the corner of rue du Petit Pont just two steps away and the photos were titled “La Barricade de La Huchette.”

Again, I felt such a sense of belonging…I’d gone in that door dozens of times without a clue that it had been immortalized from that important day.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
[email protected]

P.S. Today’s Property Picks are all from the area around the Hôtel de Ville — the 4th Arrondissment just north of rue de Rivoli in the Marais. This is a lively part of Paris, extremely centrally located and a great place for a pied-à-terre that will rent well on a short-term basis.

P.P.S. Readers of French Property Insider just got the latest issue yesterday outlining the latest statistics on Paris property…prices up once again by an average of 12.3%! If you are serious about investing in France, then this is information you need to know. Visit /frenchproperty/insider to learn how to make your dream come true.

Each week Paris Property Picks features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various districts of Paris. As we are not a real estate agency, these properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit /frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html

*** 3 ROOMS, 80 M², PARIS 4TH (75004)

On rue des Archives, in a in a beautiful pierre de taille building with elevator, three rooms to renovate, very sunny. Living room, dining room, separate kitchen, bedroom, bath. Ideal for a senior couple or single.

Asking Price: 509,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee

*** 3 ROOMS, 71 M², PARIS 4TH (75004)

Location: Vieille du Temple

Apartment situated on the 2nd floor with an elevator of a modern building (19

90) in the heart of the Marais. Entry, equipped kitchen, double living room, bedroom, bath and separate toilet. Superb planted terrace of 50 m². Parking possible in a building nearby. Very quiet and sunny. Cellar, digicode, videophone and interphone.

Asking Price: 585,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee

*** 3 ROOMS, 70 M², PARIS 4TH (75004)

On rue Vieille du Temple in a building of recent standing, three rooms, entry, double living room, bedroom, American kitchen, bath, separate toilet, in good condition, closets, cellar, terrace of 40m². Parking possible.

Asking Price: 590,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee


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