To Our Newsletter Archive To Our Newsletter Archive

Welcome 2 France Newsletter May 2010
Hello !

May Newsletter Highlights

· Take a Sweets Break at Jacques Genin
· Porte de Vanves Outdoor Flea Market
· Visiting the Home of Honoré de Balzac
· Lunch at Le Pamphlet
· Calendar of Events for May
· Looking Ahead to June




This Month's Featured Apartments


Madeleine - Boissy d'Anglas



You'll love the dramatic black, white and red décor of this two-bedroom, one bath apartment near the shops and restaurants of the Champs Elysées. Large French windows flood light into the living room.



Louvre - Moliere



Stunning Parisian style distinguishes this one bedroom apartment near the Comédie Francaise and Palais Royal. It's within walking distance of the Louvre, Place Madeleine and many fine restaurants.



Marais - Bastille II



This light-filled three bedroom apartment near the Marais is perfect for up to five people. On weekends you can walk to the fabulous Bastille Market.







May, 2010

May in Paris starts with a parade - the Labor Day Parade on May 1. Many museums are closed that day, but they make it up on the Nuit des Musées, May 15, when museums all over the city stay open till 1am. And on May 23 and 24, the Champs Elysées is transformed into a three-acre farm of trees and crops.


Take a Sweets Break at Jacques Genin
"Salted caramels. The best ones in the city are made by Jacques Genin." I admit a fondness for those particular treats, and lots of people in Paris told me to search for the caramels from Jacques Genin.

Until late last year, Genin's caramels, chocolates and fancy pastries were mostly snapped up by restaurants, hotels and retail shops. But now Genin has opened a chocolate shop and tea room on the ground floor beneath a new Paris workshop, and it's definitely worth a mid-afternoon break.

After a morning spent at the Musée Carnavalet in the Marais, and lunch at Breizh Café, a friend and I walked up the rue de Turenne to its intersection with rue Charlot. The chocolate shop sits in a V where the two streets meet, so it's sparkling with light from windows on two sides. Your eye is immediately drawn to the spiral staircase leading up the workrooms. If you stand in just the right place, you can hear the bustle upstairs and catch a glimpse of the chocolatiers at work, but we weren't allowed to go up to watch.


The justly-famous caramels are sold from a brightly lit counter that reminded me of the fanciest perfume store. There are all kinds of nutty and fruity caramel flavors, but we wanted the classic caramels natures made with fleur de sel. They're not inexpensive -- €110 a kilo. But a tenth of a kilo made a nice small packet to consume later in our apartment.

The tea room is simply inviting, with blond wood floors, exposed brick walls painted white (the building dates from the last years of the 18th century), and comfortable gray upholstered chairs.

We wandered over to the chocolates and pastries to choose our treats, which were then brought to us in the tea room. One wide table featured small square chocolate ganaches in a wild array of flavors, each with a perfectly executed pattern of colors matched with its flavor. You can choose seven pieces for €6.50. Taking our time, we finally decided on Sichuan pepper, mint, grapefruit, almond praline, Tahitian vanilla, and two whose names we just couldn't translate: feu de Tonka and éphémere. Each chocolate melted in the mouth, leaving a tingle of fruity or peppery notes.

There are quite of list of pastries to consider, too. We looked at chocolate éclairs, Paris Brest, lemon or chocolate tarts, even a tart of caramel, honey and hazelnut before finally settling on a caramel éclair. At mid-afternoon on a weekday, only one other table was occupied. The staff were delighted to answer our many questions and help us make these very difficult choices of what to eat. This is definitely a place I'll go back to again and again.
La Chocolaterie de Jacques Genin, 133, rue de Turenne, 3rd arrondisement
Open Monday - Saturday, 11am - 7pm
Metro: Filles du Calvaire or République


Porte de Vanves Outdoor Flea Market
Whether you frequent flea markets at home or not, it's always fun to poke around a street market in Paris, especially when the sun is shining. The huge weekly three-day market at Clignancourt is full of great finds, but its enormous size can be daunting. Friends who live in Paris tell me that you're just as likely to find something special at the Porte de Vanves market, and it's much easier to negotiate.

This street market is open all day on Saturday and Sunday, but intrepid shoppers try to get there early in the morning. It's located in the 14th arrondisement, a couple of blocks from the Porte de Vanves Metro station, on the avenue Marc Sangnier. It's easy to ask people for directions, because everybody knows the market.


You might find some big pieces of furniture here - maybe a farmhouse table or armoire. But most of the goods are brocante - old jewelry, buttons, vases, small paintings, vintage glassware and table linens, art deco pieces. There are plenty of old posters, books and maps, and record albums. If you've got a good eye, you might pick out a nice pair of Chanel earrings or a belt buckle from Hermes.

After a couple of blocks, the market turns right onto avenue Lafenestre. Down toward the end, the market's tone shifts into more recent items, including some African and Caribbean art. Chances are good that you'll find something to take home.

You could easily walk through the market in an hour, but it's fun to linger over each display that catches your eye, sorting through the pieces and talking to the vendors. If you're inclined to bargain, you might get better prices later in the day, especially on Sunday afternoon, since vendors may be more eager to sell something than to have to pack it up.
Marché aux Puces de Porte de Vanves, 14th arrondisement
Saturday and Sunday, 7am - 7pm
Metro: Porte de Vanves


Visiting the Home of Honoré de Balzac
Even if you've never read any of the ninety novels by the great French author Honoré de Balzac, some of your impressions about early 19th century France surely come from his stories. Many of his books were contained in a series he called La Comédie Humaine, which covered the lives of many linked characters moving in and out of the stories.

And we're familiar with Balzac from Rodin's well-known sculpture of him, hair flying about wildly, arms resting on his big belly. He wasn't a handsome man, but a brilliant one. Three of my favorite Balzac books are Pere Goriot, his take on the King Lear theme of ungrateful daughters; Cousin Pons, the plight of a poor musician who is swindled by his wealthy family, and Cousine Bette, the story of a malicious and resentful spinster living in fashionable Paris. Balzac's novels give us a sometimes bleak impression of human relations, but also an unerringly exact picture of various levels of Parisian society.

Although Balzac was quite successful in his time, he also lived large, so he incurred lots of debt. From 1840 - 1847, toward the end of his life, he lived in a house in what then was the village of Passy. They say he chose the house because he could dash out the back door when creditors appeared at the front gate. It's well worth a Metro or bus ride - or even a long walk - to visit his house.


When you approach the entryway on rue Raynouard, you look down from the street into a sunken green garden and the roof of a small country house. It's an oasis of rural feeling among the many-storied apartment buildings surrounding it. The double doors at street level open to a staircase leading down to the front door; entrance is free except when there are special exhibitions.

Inside, the rooms of the house are small; most no longer have their original furnishings, but you still have the distinct feeling of being in a real home. One room contains portraits of people important in Balzac's life, including Ewelina Hanska, a Polish countess with whom he had a long affair, and finally married only five months before he died.

Fortunately, Balzac's study and writing desk have been preserved, and it's possible to stand in the small room and imagine the scritch, scritch, scritch of his pen across paper. Balzac edited his works over and over, and the house has many examples of his handwritten edits. Other rooms display the cast of characters from his novels, and some of the many caricatures made of the author.

Because Balzac's house is a bit off the beaten track, it's usually not crowded, so you can stand in a room and have it all to yourself. It's also quite convenient to the 72 bus that runs along the Seine, so after your visit, you can take that scenic bus ride back anywhere along the river to the Hotel de Ville.
Maison de Balzac
47, rue Rayounard, 16th arrondisement
Closed Mondays.
Metro: Passy/La Muette


Lunch at Le Pamphlet
One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to have a leisurely lunch in a terrific restaurant, then enjoy a light dinner of salad, cheese and charcuterie in my apartment. On a recent trip to Paris, a friend and I stopped in for lunch at Le Pamphlet, run by Chef Alain Carrere, who once worked with Christian Constant.

The name of the restaurant comes from the political flyers that were common in the 18th century, often harshly criticizing the government. Several examples of the antique tracts are on display.


One thing I love about Le Pamphlet is the ambiance. Even from the outside, it looks like a quiet country house, with mullioned windows facing the street. Inside, the painted stone walls, exposed ceiling beams, tablecloths, carpet and curtains are all in a soft taupe, the same color family as the exterior facade. Upholstered chairs provide splashes of red. It's all very tranquil and elegant - especially because the tables are spaced far apart, something not so common in Paris.

There's a three-course meal at lunch for €38. But if you care to eat less, you can elect to have the "Sur la Pouce" menu - just the main course - for €20. The menu changes every week, but it's always focused on foods influenced by the south of France. At my recent lunch, I ate a terrific duck confit with potatoes and carrots, while my friend had grilled sea bass with mashed turnips. Before the meal, we were served a tiny glass pot of goose rillettes with toasts. With a glass of wine, we didn't need another thing to have a deliciously satisfying lunch.

If you want to truly experience Chef Carrere's flair, you might try his dinner tasting menu, for about €70.
Le Pamphlet
38, rue Debelleyme, 3rd arrondisement
Closed Sunday and lunch on Saturday and Monday
Metro Filles du Calvaire




Note: all the times and fees we've quoted in this month's newsletter were accurate when we published, but things do change, so it's always a good idea to check before you go.



Sheila Campbell, Washington, DC Web: sheilacampbell.com

Do you have a favorite place in Paris you'd like to tell us about for the newsletter? We'd love to hear your suggestions. Just click on www.welcome2france.com/?suggest and give us your ideas.
(Please address all other inquiries to info@welcome2france.com.



Calendar of Events, April, 2010

Art

Through May 2
La Bastille Modern Art Fair (Market of Contemporary Art)
Place de la Bastille, Metro Bastille
€8
Web: joel-garcia-organisation.fr

Through May 9
Charlie Toorop Retrospective
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11, avenue du Président Wilson, Metro Alma Marceau or Iéna
€9 (closed Mondays)
Web: mam.paris.fr

Through May 16
Pergola: German artist Charlotte Posenenske
Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson, Metro Alma Marceau or Iéna
€6 (closed Mondays)
Web: palaisdetokyo.com

Through May 24
Turner and the Old Masters
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3, avenue du Général Eisenhower, Metro Champs Elysées Clemenceau or Franklin Roosevelt
€11 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: grandpalais.fr

Through May 24
Paris, the Radiant City (artworks from famous 13th century Paris buildings)
Musée du Moyen-Age/Musée de Cluny
6, place Paul Painlevé, Metro Cluny-la-Sorbonne, Saint Michel or Odéon
€8.50 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: musee-moyenage.fr

Through May 24
Holy Russia: Russian Art through Peter the Great
Musée du Louvre, Metro Musée du Louvre or Louvre Rivoli
€9 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: louvre.fr

Through May 29
Izis: Paris of Dreams (photographs from the 1951 MOMA exhibit)
Hotel de Ville
5, rue Lobau, Metro Hotel de Ville
Free (closed Sundays)

Through June 10
Armenian artist Sarkis installations
Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou, Metro Rambuteau, Hotel de Ville, Chatelet
€12 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: centrepompidou.fr

Through June 13
The Hidden Master: Meijer de Haan (1852-1895)
Musée d'Orsay
2, rue Bellechasse, Metro Assemblée Nationale or Solférino
€9.50 (closed Mondays)
Web: musee-orsay.fr

Through June 21
Toussaint Dubreuil, Henri IV's Court Painter
Musée du Louvre, Metro Musée du Louvre or Louvre Rivoli
€9 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: louvre.fr

Through June 27
Crime and Punishment
Musée d'Orsay
2, rue Bellechasse, Metro Assemblée Nationale or Solférino
€9.50 (closed Mondays)
Web: musee-orsay.fr

Through July 4
Treasures of the Crown of Spain from the Golden Age of Flemish Tapestries
Galerie des Gobelins
42, avenue des Gobelins, Metro Gobelins
€6 (closed Mondays)
Web: mobiliernational.culture.gouv.fr

Through July 4
Sculptors Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 -111, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement, Metro Palais Royale - Musée du Louvre
€8.00 (closed Mondays)
Web: lesartsdecoratifs.fr

Through July 4
Brittany: Traveling in Color, Autochromes 1907 - 1929
Musée Albert Kahn
10-14 rue du Port, Boulogne-Billancourt, Metro: Boulogne-Porte de Saint-Cloud.
€1.50 (closed Mondays)
Web: albert-kahn.fr

Through July 18
Edvard Munch Retrospective
La Pinacothéque
28, place de la Madeleine, Metro Madeleine
€10 (open every day)
Web: pinacotheque.com

Through July 19
Lucien Freud Retrospective
Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou, Metro Rambuteau, Hotel de Ville, Chatelet
€12 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: centrepompidou.fr

Through August 1
From El Greco to Dalí: Great Spanish Masters from the Pérez Simón Collection
Musée Jacquemart André
158, Blvd Haussmann, Metro Miromesnil or St. Philippe du Roule
€10 (open every day)
Web: musee-jacquemart-andre.com

Through August 22
Body and Décor: Rodin and the Decorative Arts
Musée Rodin
79, rue de Varenne, Metro Varenne or Invalides
€10 (closed Mondays)
Web: musee-rodin.fr

Through September 9
Meroe, Empire on the Nile
Musée du Louvre, Metro Musée du Louvre or Louvre Rivoli
€9 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: louvre.fr


Exhibitions and Other Museums

Through May 2
What the Dinosaurs Ate
Le Palais de la Découverte
avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Metro Champs Elysées Clemenceau or Franklin Roosevelt
€7 (closed Mondays)
Web: palais-decouverte.fr

Through May 9
Once upon a Time Playmobil
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 -111, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement, Metro Palais Royale - Musée du Louvre
€8 (closed Mondays)
Web: lesartsdecoratifs.fr

Through May 10
Always Faster: A History of France's Great Locomotives
Musée des Arts et Métiers
60, rue Réaumur, Metro Arts et Métiers or Réaumur-Sébastopol
€6.50 (closed Mondays)
Web: arts-et-metiers.net

Through May 29
20th Century Photographs by Izis
Hotel de Ville
5, rue de Lobau, Metro Hotel de Ville
Free (closed Sundays)

Through June 10
My Raw Earth for Building Tomorrow
Cité des Sciences
30, avenue Corentin Celtou, Metro Porte de La Villette
€8 (closed Mondays)
Web: cite-sciences.fr

Through July 4
The Impossible Photograph: Paris Prisons (1851 - 2010)
Musée Carnavalet
23, rue de Sévigné, Metro Saint Paul or Chemin Vert
€5 (closed Mondays)
Web: carnavalet.paris.fr

Through July 4
The Orientals: Visions of Delacroix, Géricault, Chassériau and Their Contemporaries
Maison de Victor Hugo
6, place des Vosges, Metro Saint Paul
€7 (closed Mondays)
Web: musee-hugo.paris.fr

Through July 5
The Path of Tao: Another Way of Being
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3, avenue du Général Eisenhower, Metro Champs Elysées Clemenceau or Franklin Roosevelt
€11 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: grandpalais.fr

Through July 11
The Art of Being a Man: Male Costumes in Africa and Oceania
Musée Dapper
35 bis rue Paul Valéry, Metro Victor Hugo
€6 (closed Tuesdays)
Web: dapper.com.fr

Through July 11
The Image Factory
Musée du Quai Branly
55 Quai Branly, Metro Alma-Marceau, Bir Hakeim, École Militaire
€8.50 (closed Mondays)
Web: quaibranly.fr

Through July 11
Frederic Chopin, the Blue Note (Paris years 1831 - 1849)
Musée de la Vie Romantique
16, rue Chaptal, Metro Blanche
Permanent Collection free; special exhibitions €3.30 - 9
Web: vie-romantique.paris.fr

Through July 18
Radical Jewish Culture Scene (1980 - 2000)
Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme
71, rue du Temple, Metro Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville
€6.80 (closed Saturdays)
Web: mahj.org

Through August 29
The World of Yves St. Laurent
Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill, Metro Champs Elysées-Clemenceau or Concorde
€11 (closed Mondays)
Web: petitpalais.paris.fr

Through October 10
The Story of Contemporary Fashion, Volume 1: 1970 - 1979
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 -111, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement, Metro Palais Royale - Musée du Louvre
€8 (closed Mondays)
Web: lesartsdecoratifs.fr

Through November 30
Animal (animal themes and materials in the decorative arts)
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 -111, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement, Metro Palais Royale - Musée du Louvre
€8 (closed Mondays)
Web: lesartsdecoratifs.fr


Music, Theater and Dance

Through May 8
Tribute to Jerome Robbins
Palais Garnier
Intersection of rues Scribe and Auber, Metro Opéra
€6 - 54
Web: operadeparis.fr

May 16 - 30
Saint Germain Jazz Festival
Various locations.
Prices vary by artist.
Web: festivaljazzsaintgermain.com

Through August 1
Paris - Berlin - Hollywood, 1910 - 1939
La Cinématheque Francaise
51, rue de Bercy, Metro Bercy
€6.50 films, €5.00 museum and exhibitions (closed Tuesdays)
Web: cinematheque.fr


Other

May 1
May Day Parade (Labor Day)
Place de la Bastille, Metro Bastille
Free

May 8 - 9
French Wine Fair (Salon de la Revue du Vin de France)
Palais Brongniart
Place de la Bourse, rue Notre Dame des Victoires, Metro Bourse Grands Boulevards
Various prices.
Web: larvf.com

May 6 - 16
Bastille Antiques Fair
Place de la Bastille, Metro Bastille
€8
Web: joel-garcia-organisation.fr

May 15
Nuit des Musées
Many museums open 7pm to 1am.
Entrance free at participating museums.
Web: nuitdesmusees.culture.fr

May 22 - 24
Capitol Nature, A Work Poetic and Exhilarating
The Champs Elysées is transformed into three acres of trees and crops.
Entrance free, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Rond Point
Web: naturecapitale.com

Through May 31
Trone Funfair
Pelouse de Reuilly, Metro Porte Dorée/Porte de Charenton
Web: foiredutrone.com



A Look Ahead for June, 2010

June 18 - 20, Shakespeare & Co. Literary Festival
June 18 - July 14, Paris Chopin Festival
June 21, Fete de la Musique
June 24, Midsummer Fireworks on the Ile Saint-Louis
June 26, Paris Gay Pride Parade
June 30, Summer Sales Begin


We highly appreciate our readers help in making this newsletter as interesting and helpful as possible.
If you have any comments or suggestions, they are quite welcome on our

Comments and Suggestions Page





Thank you for your interest and best regards,

The Welcome 2 France team

www.welcome2france.com
Tel. 1 (650) 267-4328
(free local call number in U.S. or Canada)














Cannes apartment rentals - Apartment hotel Paris - Corporate apartment rental in Paris
Furnished Paris apartment rental - Paris vacation apartment rental - Paris Apartment
Paris apartment for rent - Paris apartment rental - Paris apartment short term rental
Paris apartment weekly rental - Temporary apartment Paris - Business apartment in Paris
Standing Paris apartment rentals - Paris apartment rentals - Paris luxury apartment rentals
Paris apartments for business - High standard apartment rentals in Paris -