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The Sans Papiers on rue Charlot

They say rue Charlot is the hippest street in the 3rd arrondissement. Now it’s truly “star” quality as it’s the new home to “Star Academy” at number 12. Star Academy is a “highly successful television show produced by Endemol, that has been broadcast in over 50 countries — a pop music talent contest with viewer voting and reality show elements.” (

The installation of the star-studded program caused quite a stir in the neighborhood as residents aren’t thrilled about the commotion its new location could cause on what has always been a quiet, narrow, humble street in one of the city’s oldest districts. It’s the street where several of the short term rental apartments represented by Parler Paris Apartments (/parlerparis/apartments) reside, including my own, “Le Provençal,” at number 43-45. I walk the street daily and pass the big brown doors at number 12 normally without notice.

Monday, on route home by foot returning from the Notaire’s office (because the signing of the “Promesse de Vente” [purchase contract] of “Le Palace des Vosges” [our newest Fractional Ownership Project] was postponed until the next day), the street was blocked by three “sans-papiers” making their way down toward Star Academy, disguised by three different paper personas. “Sans-papiers” are the men and women who are working and living in France without proper immigration papers. Each represented the typical employment of those without papers — a street cleaner, a restaurant dishwasher and a housekeeper.

Just up the street at number 85, the “Bourse du Travail,” about 800 African immigrants have squatted there since May of this year, causing tension with the unions, the government and the district. In further protest, they have “star-struck” the hippest street in the 3rd by squatting Star Academy! Clearly, it’s gotten lots of press and support by many of the locals. If you understand French, this video was taken while I was there taking my own photos.

The next day, like a “déja vu,” I headed back to the Notaire’s office on rue du Louvre for the very important signing of the “Promesse de Vente” of “Le Palace des Vosges.” Star struck again, as the gentleman selling the fabulous Place des Vosges apartment (so that 13 lucky fractional owners can relish it) is a celebrity physician in France, the author of books, star of TV and radio, who has urged “his countrymen to give free rein to flatulence, sweating and other bodily taboos to reduce the risk of cancer.” I dare not divulge his identity, but one article I read about his theories on health described them as this:

“The people synonymous with perfume (that heady combination of urine, whale sick and celebrity extracts), use personal hygiene products to harness their natural scent. They should resist, and keep their country the way it has been for centuries…”

“Centuries” is what lies behind the 81 square meter two bedroom “maison” in the second courtyard at number 9 Places des Vosges, not to mention the hundreds of star-studded celebrities who have lived within its walls.

Should we change its name to “Star Academy II?”

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. For those of you interested in owning one (or more) shares of “Le Palace des Vosges,” the legal reservation contracts are almost ready for purchasers to sign. Only 13 shares are available, so don’t miss this unique opportunity! For more information visit /frenchproperty/fractional/pdv/index.html or email Mary Ellen Gallagher at [email protected]


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