Secrets of Paris Newsletter #42: January 30, 2004


IN THIS ISSUE:

* From the Home Office
* What happened to the Web Bar?
* Valentine’s Day Plans
* Nova Fooding Guide Online
* More Paris Links
* Women’s History Tour
* Summer Photography Workshop
* Cheap and Cheerful Hotel Stella
* An Evening with Molly Ivins
* Americans Abroad: Put Down the Remote and Pick Up a Ballot!
* One Month Free of the Figaroscope
* Get Your Tickets Now
* Extreme Sports Bar Opening
* From France to Philly

* From the Home Office *
Not much news to report this month…so far 2004 (and the year of “le singe”) has been pretty quiet. After a trip back to the States to catch up with the family, I started applying for “real jobs” back here in France. Freelancing may be fun for the 9am daily sleep-ins and the ability to work in my pjs, but every once in awhile it’s nice to have a steady income. The local prospects down here on the Riviera aren’t very good, so Mr. Heather and I will probably end up back in Paris within a month or two. Seeing the snow blanketing the Paris suburbs on last nights newscast doesn’t make a mid-winter move seem so ideal. On the plus side, the newsletter will be even better (if I can find all this stuff by visiting once a month, imagine what I’d find living there again). Send all of your good luck vibes this way – I’ll need them! - H

* What Happened to the Web Bar? *
I meant to as this in the last issue, but somehow accidentally deleted it. The Web Bar has been closed for at least two months now, and when I stopped by in December the shopkeeper across the street said it had a new owner who was just changing the décor. But the phone number is no longer in service, so it’s a bit difficult to find out. If anyone passing through the Temple quarter gets a chance to see what’s going on, please drop me an email…

* Valentine’s Day Plans *
Valentine’s Day isn’t commercialized in France nearly as much as it is in the US, although expect some tempting window displays in the city’s fine jewellery boutiques and gourmet chocolate shops such as La Maison du Chocolat, Pierre Hermé, Jean-Paul Hévin, Debauve & Gallais, and Ladurée. Looking for something to do after dinner? The Musée de l’Erotisme (72 Blvd de Clichy, 18th) has an S&M and Fetish exposition (don’t worry, it’s not all dungeons and chains…), open daily until 2am, tickets €7. Those of you living in Paris may have noticed the Mairie’s “panneaux lulineux” with the latest news located throughout the city: send you Valentine a free message on the one nearest to his/her abode through the Mairie’s website: www.paris.fr. Finally, for a very luxurious lovers nest, forget about hotels and rent a private flat in Paris from Time & Place. They’re not cheap, but after browsing the photos, it’s hard not to be seduced!

* Nova Fooding Guide Online *
The 2004 issue of Nova Magazine’s annual restaurant guide, Boire & Manger, is now online at their website Nova Planet. The photos don’t really go, and the reviews can be full of confusing French slang, but it’s a great insider resource, divided into nine categories including Petit Prix, Vin sur Vin and Bio.

* More Paris Links *
There’s always new Paris links out there worth a visit. Here are a few you may find handy: Simply Going Around Paris (links for Paris), Paris Eiffel Tower News (lots of photos and hotel info), France on Your Own (recently redone, with some very good links and articles on France in general), Gastronomie (all of the classic French recipes in French) and French Food & Cook (classic French recipes in English).

* Women’s History Tour *
Looking for a truly once-in-a-lifetime Parisian experience? The next Spirited Women in History Tours taking place in Paris will be June 16-24, and includes 8 days at the Hotel Saint James and Albany (historic, 4-star hotel across from the Tuileries Gardens), a trip to a 1920s hammam (oriental spa), a Medieval festival in the countryside, access to private rooms in the Opéra Garnier, and receptions with female artists, historians, performers, and aristocrats. This is a very rare kind of Paris tour, and I highly recommend it for those of you who can afford such a treat!

* Summer Photography Workshop *
Don Smith of Left Bank Lens is hosting week-long photography workshops in Paris throughout the month of June, with hotel included for participants from out of town. Don takes his mall groups to the best places around town to capture the most original images of Paris. He also does private photo tours from 2 hours to 4 days. See the website for more info: Paris Photo Workshops

* Cheap and Cheerful Hotel Stella *
I’ve had two friends highly recommend the Hotel Stella, a typically Parisian budget hotel between St-Germain-des-Prés and the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th. Rates are about €50 for a double (rates may vary in high season), no credit cards. Have a look at the room photos on their website: Hotel Stella

* An Evening with Molly Ivins
The hilarious Texan political commentator Molly Ivins will be speaking this Tuesday, February 3, at the Union du Cercle Interallié (33 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, 8th), 7pm. Tickets cost €40 and include drinks and hors d’oeuvres (€35 for students and seniors on request). RSVP to Connie Borde at 01 45 49 14 70. Hosted by the Democrats Abroad (see below).

* Americans Abroad: Put Down the Remote and Pick Up a Ballot!
Okay folks, admit it. How many of you didn’t bother voting for the 2000 Presidential Elections because you thought it would be difficult to register and cast your ballot? And we all saw how well that election turned out! For most of us living abroad, all you need to do is fill out and mail the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) found online: Voter Assistance Guide. Even if you haven’t been a US resident for many years and never intend to return, you can still vote in federal elections through the state where you last resided in the US. More information about voting abroad can be found through the Democrats Abroad – they’re holding the Official Democratic Party Caucus for France on February 6th in Paris – or Republicans Abroad.

* One Month Free of the Figaroscope *
For those of you who like to read about the latest dining, shopping and cultural events going on in and around Paris (in French, bien sûr!), the Figaroscope’s website is offering free access to its articles for one month (sign up online, offer valid through March): FigaroScope.fr

* Get Your Tickets Now *
Diva Diana Ross appears at l’Olympia on March 8th (tickets €66-€130). The famous French electro-pop group Air will be in concert at the Zénith on March 11th (all seats €30.80). The rock group Pink appear at Bercy on March 17th (tickets €35.50-€46.50). Charles Aznavour, “The French Frank Sinatra”, sings at the Palais des Congrès April 17-21 (tickets €30-€110). And Jazz singer Norah Jones performs at the Palais des Congrès May 29, 30 and 31st (tickets €37.50-€59.50).

* Extreme Sports Bar Opening *
Still looking for something to do this weekend? The Xtremes Bar grand opening party is this Sunday, (February 1) from 2pm-6pm, with lounge/chill-out music on the top floor and the Superbowl broadcast live from the bar on the ground floor. Located near the Madeleine at 10 Rue Caumartin, 9th. Visit their website for more info.

* From France to Philly *
After two years of avoiding travel to the US, I finally went back to see the family in January for two weeks. Amazing how cheap those flights are during Orange Alerts…read about my ranting and reverse food cravings in my article “Do Americans Really Hate the French?” at Suite101.com.

 

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