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Un Sac Mélangé — A Mixed Bag


The Trump/Macron handshake

Erica Simone in GhanaErica Simone in Ghana

Beauty for Freedom (Photo by Erica Simone)Beauty for Freedom (photo by Erica Simone)

African Queen (by Erica Simone)African Queen (by Erica Simone)

Out came the raincoats, umbrellas, scarves and closed-toed shoes this past weekend while Paris did a 180 degree turn from the previous couple of weeks of intense sun and heat. If you live in a place where the weather barely changes (like Los Angeles) and you prefer the four seasons, then Paris is the perfect answer — all four seasons can manifest themselves inside of 24 hours, much less 12 months! Word to the wise to summer visitors: be prepared for just about anything.


As you may already know from last week’s French Property Insider (or other publications, including the New York Times), French President Emmanuel Macron invited U.S. President Donald Trump to attend the annual Bastille Day military parade in Paris on July 14th…and he accepted. Not everyone is thrilled. One former French presidential candidate said “Donald Trump is violent and there’s no reason for him being here.” Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the France Unbowed movement, said “He is not welcome. That’s clear.”

Democrats Abroad, an international organization of Democrats living outside the U.S., is already planning to make their voices heard in protest as part of what they are calling “Resistance Summer.” How they hope to get the attention of both heads of state is not yet known, but as soon as their plans are final, I’ll be sure to let you know. (I’m planning on being a part of it.) As I noted in last week’s article, my only hope is that M. Macron has an opportunity to thank Mr. Trump for sending so many Americans his way!


My daughter, Erica Simone is currently in Ghana as a volunteer for Beauty for Freedom, a non-profit foundation devoted “to battle the crisis of human trafficking and empower survivors.” They raise money in order to invest in educational programs that will fulfill their mission. She has been with them teaching photography and art in some of the most acutely affected places on the planet, such as Cambodia, but this time, she’s in the West African country working with the local organization, Challenging Heights.

To read more about it, visit her article titled “Into The Field” as part of their workshop diaries along with several of her photos.


Buzzfeed found that there are “17 Tweets That Basically Sum Up ‘House Hunters International.'” You’re going to get a kick out of these, and be sure to check out numbers 7 and 16!

So you’re looking for an American-style house with a big backyard in Central London?!

House Hunters International

Adrian on BUZZFEED

1. When the couple on the episode immediately say or do something stupid right at the beginning and you know you’re just tuning in to hate-watch: Literally happening right now…moving to Switzerland and bringing surfboards?!

2. When you wonder if they really thought out the decision they’re making: “We’re moving to Bogotá, Colombia!” “We don’t speak Spanish.” “We don’t have jobs.” “Or any savings.”

3. When you wonder how the hell these people with no real jobs can afford to move abroad: I am a basket weaver and my husband glues googly eyes on fruit. Our budget is 5 million dollars.

4. When the couple or person brushes over an interesting tidbit about themselves and you’re left thinking, “Fuck the house hunt, I need to spend the next 20 minutes with you telling me about the crazy shit going on in your life!”: Come again? You went on a “first date” as step-sister/brother? Interesting.

5. When the argument over buying or renting a FANTASTIC place is over something really trivial: I want a Thanksgiving update for all these people who complain about not having ovens big enough to cook a turkey.

6. When all they do is ask for a house with “lots of local charm and character” and then reject it when shown one: People on House Hunters International looking at a house in Mexico, complaining that it looks too Mexican.

7. When you wonder if they even bothered to google what the rents go for in that city: I want 6 bedrooms and a backyard in the center of Paris for $200, but the street can’t be noisy or crowded.

8. Or if they know anything about the country they’re relocating to: Watching House Hunters International where a couple is moving to Dubai. Top complaint: “there’s so much sand.”…What the actual f–k?

9. When you honestly just wonder if they’ve ever been outside the US: When Americans looking for a western bathroom in Europe with a peanut budget.

10. When you can tell that the episode is going to lead to a fight about going over budget: It is always the spouse who isn’t working who is so flexible on budget.

11. When you’re just really surprised about the direction the episode goes: I just watched a man on House Hunters International buy a f–king pirate ship to live on in Amsterdam…

12. When the real estate agent is just over their demanding clients: House Hunters International realtor just said “to get something in your budget, you need to cut back on your hopes and dreams.”

13. When you can see a big mistake a mile away: Couple has 9 kids and is concerned about shoving them into bedrooms but says a 3 bedroom apartment is okay.

14. When no matter how large of a place they see, it’s never BIG enough: The real estate agent showed you a drug lord’s castle and you said the kitchen was too small.

15. When you just want to hate-watch an episode, but instead cringe the entire time: This entire episode is a hot Monaco mess.

16. When you start to think that there is only one real estate agent in all of Paris: If you’re on House Hunters International in Paris, you bet your bottom dollar Adrian Leeds is your realtor.

17. And finally, when they pick the wrong house: The three phases of watching House Hunters International.


Visages Villages - France

French-American artist, JR does it again. He teamed up with film director Agnès Varda to create “Faces, Places” (French title “Visages, Villages”) to win the L’Oeil d’Or at Cannes, the best documentary of 2017. The unlikely pair marry their talents as film-makers, photographers, artists, creators, as well as friends, to take you through the countryside of France and meet the people who make France tick. See the trailer —  and don’t miss seeing it — it will surprise and charm you.


Happy July 4th to all…


A la prochaine…



Adrian Leeds - by Erica Simone

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P.S. It’s not even the middle of summer yet, but fall bookings for apartment rentals are already pouring in. See our listings and check on availability at Adrian Leeds Group Apartments. Don’t miss out on the apartment you want for the dates you want!


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