Bastille Day is approaching: here are the events

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The French national holiday on July 14th is a huge celebratory event in Paris. From morning to night there’s something to see and do. Here’s the lineup for 2015:

Military Parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées

• 10am: arrival of the President of the French Republic at Avenue de Friedland. Welcome by Chief of Defence Staff, and the Military Governor of Paris. Review of troops.
• tribute paid to the President of the French Republic. Welcome by the prime minister, the Minister of Defence, and secretary of state for veterans affairs.
• opening event.
• opening fly-past
• parade of troops on foot
• Motorized troops and parade of mounted troops,
•  closing event.
• 12 noon: Departure of the President of the French Republic.

Fireman’s ball in the fire stations
On 13 and 14 July, from 9pm to 4am, fire stations welcome Parisians and tourists. There may be an entrance fee. If not, the traditional ‘barrel’ will be left out for those who wish to make donations.The money collected will be used to improve the working conditions of staff.

Night of 13 to 14 July 2015 (From 9pm to 4am)
• 1° Cie CS CHALIGNY – 26, rue de Chaligny – Paris 12e – Métro Reuilly Diderot
• 3° Cie CS PORT-ROYAL – 53-55, boulevard Port-Royal – Paris 13e – Métro Les Gobelins / RER Port Royal
• 4° Cie CS COLOMBIER – 11, rue du Vieux Colombier – Paris 6e – Métro Saint-Sulpice
• 6° Cie CS GRENELLE – 6, place Violet – Paris 15e – Métro Commerce
• 7° Cie CS BLANCHE – 28, rue Blanche – Paris 9e – Métro Trinité d’Estienne d’Orves
• 8° Cie CS ROUSSEAU – 21, rue du Jour – Paris 1er – Métro Les Halles
• 10° Cie CS BITCHE – Centre de secours et voie publique 2, place de Bitche – Paris 19e – Métro Crimée
• 11° Cie CS SEVIGNE – 7-9, rue de Sévigné – Paris 4e – Métro Saint-Paul
• 12° Cie CS MENILMONTANT – 47, rue Saint-Fargeau – Paris 20e – Métro Pelleport
• 19°Cie / 2° Cie : CS MASSENA – 37, boulevard Masséna – Paris 13e – Métro Porte d’Ivry
• 20° Cie / 9° Cie CS MONTMARTRE – 12, rue Carpeaux – Paris 18e – Métro Guy Moquet
• 20° Cie / 9° Cie CS BOURSAULT – Centre de secours et voie publique, 27, rue Boursault – Paris 17e – Métro Rome
• 29°Cie /CCL 5 – Arènes de Lutèce, 47-59, rue Monge – Paris 5e – Métro Place Monge
Night of 14 to 15 July 2015 (from 9pm to 4am)
• 1° Cie CS CHALIGNY – 26, rue de Chaligny – Paris 12e – Métro Reuilly Diderot
• 3° Cie CS PORT-ROYAL – 53-55, boulevard Port-Royal – Paris 13e – Métro Les Gobelins / RER Port Royal
• 4° Cie CS COLOMBIER – 11, rue du Vieux Colombier – Paris 6e – Métro Saint-Sulpice
• 6° Cie CS GRENELLE – 6, place Violet – Paris 15e – Métro Commerce
• 8° Cie CS ROUSSEAU – 21, rue du Jour – Paris 1er – Métro Les Halles
• 11° Cie CS SEVIGNE – 7-9, rue de Sévigné – Paris 4e – Métro Saint-Paul

Île-de-France greets its soldiers. After the parade on the Champs-Elysées, Paris and towns in the Paris region welcome soldiers

July 14th fireworks
A spectacular fireworks display will be set off from the Eiffel Tower and the ornamental ponds at Trocadéro. The public will be able to view the display from the Champs de Mars and Trocadéro. The firework display will start at around 11pm and will last 35 minutes. Theme for 2015: “Paris accueille le monde”.

The best places to admire the fireworks:
Book a dinner cruise on a boat navigating on the Seine. The perfect place to admire the event far from the crowds.

Bateaux-Mouches
Port de la Conférence , Paris 75008

Boats
District : Champs-Élysées
Metro : Alma – Marceau

Bateaux Parisiens
Port de la Bourdonnais , Paris 75007

Boats
District : Eiffel Tower – Invalides
Metro : Bir-Hakeim – RER : Pont de l’Alma

Other recommendations for the national holiday
Free entry at the Louvre, balls, a free matinee performance at the opera

Attention Parisian Tourists: Want help, event info?

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Eiffel Tower

Sort through this and you’ll be well informed.  It’s directly from the Paris Region Tourism Board:

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For walking tours consult your No Worries Paris guidebook:

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A French dessert timeout for foodies: mouthwatering clafouti

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clafoutis

Llight and custardy, made with cherries (traditionally), figs, raspberries, apples, pears, or blueberries soaked in cognac, put this on your summer menu.  Here’s a Julia Child recipe or, if you’re too lazy to make it, fly to Paris and go directly to one of the addresses below for a genuine sample. Most good neighborhood patisseries have their own variation, the list is just a starting point. Can’t pronounce?  Just point but remember to smile, say “bonjour” and “merci”. Not exactly finger food.

Make it yourself (no low-fat substitutions or the custard won’t be creamy):

SERVINGS6-8
1 1⁄4cups milk or half-and-half
2⁄3cup sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1⁄8teaspoon salt
1⁄2cup flour
3 cups cherries, pitted or whatever fresh fruit you have on hand
powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.
Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish, and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.
Place dish into the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven (but don’t turn the oven off, yet).
Distribute the pitted cherries over the set batter in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the clafouti is puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

clatafouis

Gerard Mulot, 76 rue de Seine, Paris 75006

Roger la Grenouille
Saint-Michel/Odéon, 6ème
26-28 rue des Grands Augustins, 75006
75006 Paris

Legay Choc (patisserie)
Marais, Beaubourg, 4ème
45 rue Ste Croix la Bretonnerie, 75004

Le Bistrot d’Henri
Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, 6ème
16 rue Princesse, 75006

Spring, 6 rue Bailleul, 75001

Caillebotte
Pigalle, 9ème
8 rue Hippolyte-Lebas, 75009

Liberté (patisserie)
Canal St Martin/Gare de l’Est, 10ème
39 rue des Vinaigriers

The magnificent Musée d’Orsay

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What I like most about this museum: they’re always upgrading it. They call their present project Nouvel Orsay. From their website: “We are going to try and establish a different rhythm in the presentation, whilst still respecting the various “schools” and great artistic personalities. We will try to bring out more meaning, and introduce more stimulating questions […] It has to be surprising, thought-provoking. Through this new interdisciplinary approach, presenting the works in relation to other disciplines, we are getting back to the essence of the original project.

I would like to create the best possible conditions for the visitor to view the works in a way that is well informed, unconstrained and imaginative. The works will have more space; the display cases will be less intrusive. They will invite dialogue with the artists all around them. The presentation will be more “polyphonic”; the categories will be less assertive”.

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Events you should mark:

Pierre Bonnard. Painting Arcadia
17 March – 19 July 2015

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Dolce Vita? From the Liberty to Italian Design (1900-1940)
14 April – 13 September 2015

Splendors and Miseries. Pictures of Prostitution in France (1850-1910)
22 September 2015 – 17 January 2016

Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers?
Second Part: 1914-1945
13 October 2015 – 24 January 2016

view from the roof of the museum

view from the roof of the museum

Musée d’Orsay
1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007
Metro: line 12, to Solférino
RER: line C, to Musée d’Orsay
Bus: 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94

Tips for inexperienced Paris vacation renters

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Realities:

1. Your apartment will pale in complexion to what you can get in the U.S. for the same price unless you want to spend an exorbitant rental rate (like $500 a night).

2. Kitchens are miniature, bathrooms are even more extreme (think knees touching walls) and apartment hallways and stairs date from the middle ages. To open your apartment with a key you have to rely on the time you’ve pressed the button for hall light. It can sometimes last less than a minute.

3. Landlords come in all sizes. Some speak English, some none at all, and there are a variety of payment methods (watch out for bank transfers). Don’t be forced into making a rush decision. Use your telephone, speak with the landlord and evaluate from there. Are you dealing with a management company or the owner? Some vacation rental management companies are super efficient and make transactions easier. Ask me for referrals.

4. Know the location you want to stay. The 6th is trendy/touristy, the 7th is conservative and the 8th can be pricey and unworthy of a high rental fee. Check out how far it is away from the metro stop or the grocery store.

5. Photos: examine the bedroom first (real bed? pullout? sofa bed? suspended from ceiling? Murphy? loft?). Does it look cozy, clean? Is it in a separate room? Kitchen: how many burners, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher? in-house clothes washer? Worth the extra dollars.

6. Which floor: are you in the maid’s quarters on the roof, 7th floor? Can you stand up straight in the apartment? Does the elevator take you there? Has the photograph been taken with a “fisheye” lens making it look a lot bigger. Look at the square footage.

7. High speed internet, tv? How loud is the sound coming from your neighbor (sometimes hard to get the truth)? Ask if it’s quiet or put 2 and 2 together: are you on the street? How thin are the walls? How old is the building? Cement buildings are some of the best if you are seeking quiet.

8. The landlord and the reviews: can you communicate easily and what do other travelers say about the property.

9. Gut feeling. If you are communicating easily with the landlord or manager, this is a plus. PayPal is a good way to pay for the deposit; bank transfer sometimes signals “hacker”.  100% refund if you decide not to go 60 days ahead of time?

Filtering out what you like and don’t like takes time. Though landlords will try to rush you, don’t buy into it. You’re spending a lot of money and if you start your hunt way in advance of your travels (say 6 months) you will be ahead of the game. Landlords are more likely to reduce the fee, especially if you’re staying longer than 2 weeks or during low season (dead of winter).

Remember expectations. Think tiny, think romantic, think historic, think location, think PARIS. Where you stay is a major decision and will definitely impact your vacation. Don’t rush it. Feel good about your choice. And mind your manners. When communicating the landlords or vacation management personnel, be on your best behavior. “Please” and “thank you” should pepper your sentences.

Good luck!

Stopping at Jardin Palais Royale plus a few good surrounding places to eat

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One of my favorite places to recharge and renew. It’s almost always quiet and the historic scenery and botanical beauty can’t be beat. Here are a few good places to hunt down in the vicinity once your stomach starts to growl.

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AntiCafé
10 Rue de Richelieu
7Sat-Sun :10h00 – 21h30
http://anticafe.eu/en/

For few euros per hour they provide you unlimitedly with :
• coffee and tea
• snacks and fruits
• fast Wi-Fi
• access to their projector, printer, scanner and board games
• in addition, you are welcome to bring in your own food/soft drinks

AntiCafé is a shared space designed both for work and fun. It feels like home. Two locations: Louvre and Beaubourg

cafe

Try these too:
Au Caveau Montpensier 


15 rue Montpensier
Great cocktail bar

Tea by thé
2 place du Palais Royal

Ten leaf teas kept freshly brewed in glass teapots behind the service counter. Fast service.

Kunitoraya
1 rue Villedo
Get your udon fix here.

For a handful of good walking ideas in the area, consult your No Worries Paris guide.

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Souvenirs: cheapest places to buy in Paris

Wacky, sleazy, iconic or quasi-chic, here are some addresses. Load up and remember to negotiate. Most vendors speak trinket-English. Walk the stalls and compare prices. Have small change, don’t pull out 100 euro bills.

souvenirs

trinkets

Where to get best prices and lots of variety: streets around Notre Dame, rue Rivoli, streets below Sacre Coeur (rue Steinkerque), the Monoprix supermarches. Make sure the foodstuffs are sealed in plastic: no raw cheeses or fresh fois gras. Tour Eiffel or outside Louvre not recommended.

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Versailles: A short trip to the outskirts of Paris

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So many beautiful walks at Versailles. This week-end, for Pentecost (23-24 May), expect a very high attendance.If possible, we advise you to postpone your visit of the Palace and plan to spend the whole day in the palacial gardens. The Musical Fountain Show will be playing or go to the Palaces of Trianon after noon.

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Versailles pathway

Versailles pathway

Packed for #Paris? Some health tips to know before you go.

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Paris health emergencies

Translations when you’re calling for help (pronounce as best you can):

Accident: Un accident
I have had an accident: J’ai eu un accident
Injured: Blessé(e)
Unconscious: Perdre connaissance
Bleeding: Hémorragie
Heart attack: Crise cardiaque
Stroke AVC: Un accident vasculaire cérébral
Drowning: Noyade
Burn: Brûlure

Very sick: très malade

Need a doctor: Besoin un médécin (Il me faut un médécin)

Need an ambulance Besoin une ambulance (Il me faut une ambulance)
Fire: Feu. The house is on fire: La maison a pris feu
The car is on fire La voiture a pris feu
Burglar/intruder: Cambrioleur/Intrus
I am being burgled: Je suis en train de me faire cambrioler
Someone is in the house: Quelqu’un est chez moi
Emergency: Une urgence
Help me: Aidez moi

Understanding the French Emergency Services
In the event of an emergency dial the appropriate number: medical (SAMU) 15, police 17, fire and accident 18 or the Pan-European number 112

Explain the situation to the operator. English may be spoken but there is no guarantee. Calls to 112 are received by either SAMU or the fire brigade and then instantly rerouted to the appropriate service or handled on the spot.
The services reached by dialling 15 and 18 operate in conjunction with the emergency teams having skills, training and facilities suitable to many situations. “Firefighters” are qualified to provide first rescue and ambulance services.

Medical emergencies and accidents: SAMU. The Emergency Medical Assistance Service (Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence) reached by dialling 15 or 112.

There is always a qualified doctor on hand to determine the most suitable response to a call and implement it. This may involve giving the caller information or advice, or sending the appropriate emergency vehicle:

an ambulance for a street accident or home emergency
a private ambulance
a mobile resuscitation or intensive care vehicle or medical helicopter

P.S: 1. Never skimp on trip insurance.  2. Pharmacists in France can offer good advice and provide helpful over-the-counter meds (antibiotics, aspirin).

A two minute trip to Paris

No airline tickets required.

Don’t forget your walking guide:

No Worries Paris

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