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Star-Studded Summer Parisian Night

There aren’t many Parisians left in Paris, but the ones who are here are the smart ones. That’s what a visiting friend and I decided — that with less traffic, less doggy poop on the sidewalks, daylight till late, gorgeous weather and lots of things to do, this is simply the best season in the City of Light.

Saturday night we took advantage of the free film at the Place des Vosges sponsored by the Forum des Images as part of the Festival Cinéma au Clair de Lune. The film started at 9:30 p.m. just after sundown. Chairs had been set up to seat a few hundred, but we opted for the grass. It was a perfect spot. By 8 p.m. we had spread a blanket, popped the cork on a bottle of red wine, spread out our pot-luck picnic goodies and prepared to dine together on the grassy plain of the stunningly beautiful square.

While the square was filling with picnickers and spectators, a few individuals equipped with square baskets slung from their necks, like the candy vendors at the movie theaters, were handing out free loaves of bread — a promotional gimmick for their sponsor, Retrodor La Baguette! I must admit, I’d never seen anything like that before.

Everyone was in such good humor. A young woman politely asked if we had more plastic cups to share with them. Bien sûr! And another asked if she could borrow our cork screw. Pourquoi pas? Then when it broke by our own doing, a nearby gentleman rescued us by popping the cork by hand. In thanks we poured him a tall cup and got settled in for the film.

“Cartouche” with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Claudia Cardinale and Jean Rochefort from 1962 is a hilarious swash-buckling adventure about a prodigious thief in 18th-century France, belonging to a band of pick-pockets who takes over as leader. He and his followers acquire unimaginable wealth by targeting the idle rich. In the process, he rescues a young gypsy woman from soldiers, and although he is in love with her, his attentions are soon drawn to an aristocratic woman (how French is that!?). Belmondo as hero is pure gusto, Cardinale as damsel in distress is pure sex appeal and the never-ending slapstick antics are knee-slapping.

We all agreed…these are some of the finest moments of living in Paris. Where else could we do so much, so culturally enriching, have so much fun, for such little expense?

For the films to come, visit

A la prochaine…







Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. We’ve moved the Invest in France Seminar venue to Chez Jenny on boulevard du Temple in the 3rd arrondissement, just a few blocks from the Jardins du Marais hotel…providing a three-course lunch with wine! When you register, you will get a ONE HOUR FREE CONSULTATION (valid any time prior to December 31, 2005). There are still a few seats left, so don’t delay. Register today: /frenchproperty/conference/IIF_AUG_2005/IIF_order_form.html or contact Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]


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