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The Warm Glow of the Flames of Paris

Paris couldn’t look more beautiful. The weekend was cold, but sunny and bright, with blue skies and bustling with activity. Nighttime comes early, but the City of Light is all aglow with holiday lights not only at the department stores, but also at the twelve “quartiers” that are participating in the city’s second edition of “Paris Illume Paris 2005.” (See the entire list at /parlerparis/calendar.html or visit http://www.paris.fr/)

I couldn’t help but stop a moment before entering the Métro to take a photo of “Les flammes de Rivoli” — a creation by lighting designers Jean-Pierre Maquair of the Société de Cour à Jardin and Christophe Canadell of the Société Nocta Bene. The suspended colorful and animated lights represent candles that form a vaulted ceiling over rue de Rivoli, from the Hôtel de Ville to the Louvre.

Counting down to the last few days, the shops are topping out with gift buyers and the restaurants are filled to the brim with visitors to the city. It’s that amazing time of year when the holiday spirit puts everyone in a good mood and people muster up more patience than usual to wait in long lines to pay for their purchase or get a good table. I’m not complaining, although the waits are longer than usual.

Family and friends are filtering in one by one. My daughter landed for a month of vacation from her studies in New York with a new camera in hand to take pictures of Paris commissioned by a text book publisher (I hope she will share some with you, too!) and old friends are nesting themselves in their pied-à-terres, making plans to pop the corks, down fresh Brittany oysters and spread foie gras on toast together.

The following week promises to be particularly hectic, as we all wind down to the next two important weekends. Unlike Summer vacation, business meetings haven’t wavered for a moment as everyone is doing double time to allow for the time off. There is also almost too much to do, too much to see, too much to fit into every hour, every minute as Paris is overflowing with great exhibits, concerts, theater performances, Christmas markets and special events all vying for attention.

This can be both an exhilarating and depressing time of year, as being alone can be no fun at all, but being with friends and family particularly special. This goes for anywhere, I suppose, but at least in Paris, you are never really alone — as I have always believed, Paris can be your most devoted lover.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. We have exciting news as we say so-long to 2005 — The upcoming Living and Investing in France Conferences are ready to go and so are we! Make it Paris in March or New Orleans in May! Either way, this is your best and biggest chance to learn everything you need to know to make your dream to live or invest in France come true. Visit /frenchproperty/conference/index.html to learn more.

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