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Welcome 2 France Newsletter May 2009
Hello !


* Our Recent Shopping Discoveries in Paris
* May Day, Fete des Voisins/Immeubles en Fete, and Summer Sales
* Calendar of Events - May, 2009
* June, 2009, Paris Events - A Look Ahead


For the most clever use of apartment space you might ever hope to find in Paris, visit the website of the Marais-Quincampoix apartment. This two-bedroom, two bath home is arranged with privacy in mind. The water closet is separate and easily accessible to both bedrooms. The sunken tub is luxurious. Complete with a fabulous view - you gaze upon the single-most visited sight in Paris (no, not the Eiffel Tower!) but the Pompidou Centre with its world-famous Museum of Modern Art. This is definitely worth a look at Marais - Quincampoix

Nothing says "Paris" like the Avenue de Champs-Elysees, and you have the fine opportunity of spending your Parisian nights just off this best-known avenue in the world. The one-bedroom, one bath location has the beautiful wooden parquet floors that we often see in Paris. The apartment comes with all the amenities you could possibly need for a comfortable stay and the utilities, linens, housekeeping and taxes are all included! The nearest Metro stops are the Charles-de-Gaulle/Etoile (at the Arc de Triomphe) and the George V. Very ritzy, elegant neighborhood. Check it out at Champs Elysees - Bassano

Finding words to describe our third featured apartment this month was not difficult..palatial, romantic, comfortable, and classic just begin to tell its story. This one-bedroom, one-bath Parisian home has an elegant Old World feel due to its gorgeous paneling, built-in bookcases and fireplace. The king-sized bed states comfort. Situated in the area of Parisian embassies this is a must see at Victor Hugo III


My husband, Peter, and I just returned home after spending two full months in Paris this past February and March. We found the city as enjoyable as ever. Having spent so many, many months there since 2001, we opted to explore the shops of Paris in greater detail this trip than we've ever done before. From patisseries to boutiques, Paris is a delightful menu of shopping experiences.

Our apartment on rue de la Paix had us very well situated right in the center of Paris just a half a block from the glamorous Place Vendome. This beautiful Welcome2france apartment had absolutely everything we needed from a hair dryer to a washer and dryer. And, it was mere blocks from the nearest Metro. Just lovely - quiet and yet very centrally located.

To us, the most important thing to do the minute you settle down in your Paris apartment is to STOP. Try to subdue the thrill of landing in the most beautiful city in the world for just a minute and concentrate on absorbing it, instead of pursuing it, right away. We like to settle in a comfortable sidewalk cafe and let ourselves slip into the Parisian pace of life while sipping an espresso. No city could possible be more perfect for allowing your wandering spirit to guide you, instead of an itinerary. And, the slower you go, the more you will find that might be ordinarily overlooked.

Living so close to the Avenue de la Champs-Elysees this trip naturally caused us to stroll that direction on day one. This is the grandest of all grand boulevards on the planet. This is where the decadently wealthy once built mansions to outdo one another.

Today, the Avenue is ten lanes of traffic, extra-wide sidewalks and very commercialized. Still, it is THE place for strolling and shopping, although most of the stores you find there can be found in the U.S., too. We love it for its beauty - topped by the Arc de Triomphe at one end and the largest square in Paris, the Place de la Concorde at the other. The uniform trees, all neatly and symmetrically trimmed, make an elegant statement.

"Champs-Elysees" means the 'dwelling place of the most happy' in ancient mythology. The French call it "The Triumphal Way". This famous avenue, so frequently seen in movies and written of in books, is not to be missed.

All along the Avenue you will see tourists in a hurry and locals sporting the number one fashion accessory in Paris - the cell phone or IPod!

On to the shopping! No matter what rue or boulevard you find yourself on during a given day in Paris, I guarantee there will be an interesting shop to explore. Some of our recent discoveries are listed below:

IZREAL - 30, rue Francois-Miron in the 4th Arrondissement.

This little shop is a warren of tiny aisle-ways which allow only one person at a time to enter and it will fill your senses to the max. Kegs of dried fruits that look like shining jewels line the walls. Barrels of rice in so many varieties that it'll make your head spin. And, great gift ideas all around. I'd never seen Banana Jam before. The Rose Petal Jelly was glimmering. And, the 'Sirop Portes du Desert' (cactus syrup) definitely caught my eye. They have coffee mugs, enameled signs, cute metal boxes and old-fashioned scales for sale. I was so tempted to buy a huge jar of piccoline olives at 44 Euros, just because it was so beautiful. This was the only store in Paris where we found Kalamata olives, other than the street market on boulevard Raspail.

SAN FRANCISCO BOOK STORE - 17, rue Monsieur-le-Prince in the 6th Arrondissement.
Metro: Odeon

I usually take two paperback books to read in Paris and in the course of two months there, I always finish them and need more. This is a bookstore filled with English books and best of all, will trade your used books for theirs. They have a small selection of interesting cookbooks, as well. By the way, 'Monsieur-le-Prince' is the moniker the French give to brothers of the king.

PORCELAIN BLANC - 119, rue Monge in the 5th Arrondissement.

A cute place filled with white porcelain dishes in every size and shape known to man. We found tiny dishes in the shape of France which make great gifts for your fellow-Francophiles back home. The nice owner asked if we were traveling so that he could package our purchases suitable for transit. A very lovely gesture.

LEWISTONE JEWELERS - 33, rue des Archives in the 4th Arrondissement.

We bought a beautiful ring for my husband in this lovely, old jewelry store. His ring size is 13, and everything on display was a size 7, and under. This proved to be no problem for the wonderful staff, who immediately took the ring into their back atelier and added more sterling to it and polished it to perfection. At NO extra cost to us. This is unheard of in the States.

The jewelry styles here range mostly from Art Deco to Art Nouveau and they have a lovely selection of gemstone pieces.

If you mention "welcome2france" while purchasing here, they will give you a 10% discount! Just ask for Emmanuel if you have any difficulty at all.

LAGUIOLE - 35, rue des Deux-Ponts on Ile-Saint-Louis in the 4th Arrondissement.

For a truly unusual collector's item, check out the knives of this famous company. They have one for every purpose, from slicing meats to playing golf. What really gained our attention was the limited series of knife sets made from stainless steel from the Concorde planes. They are numbered and designed with the shape of the Concorde in mind. Lovely and rare.

LA BOVIDA - 36, rue Montmartre in the 1st Arrondissement.

After many trips to Paris and spending months there admiring and wishing to own those simple water carafes one sees on all Bistro tables, I finally found the mother-lode. This shop caters to chefs and eatery-owners and supplies them with the basics. I would have loved to have bought some of the wonderful little paper pastry cups and molds, but they are only sold in huge numbers. The carafes were a steal at only 1,50 Euros each. I just love using them here at home and each time I do it just takes me back to Cafe Les Deux Maggots on boulevard Saint-Germain.

DIDIER LESPAGNOL - In the Creation Marche de la Bastille in the 11th Arrondissement.

Not really a 'shop' per se, because Didier is an artist who sells his watercolor prints, and originals, on weekends at the Creation Marche found on Place de la Bastille. His work shows outstanding Parisian scenes in wonderful, soft colors. His talent is great. We have bought prints from him every trip and now have an entire living-room wall covered with them. He will happily tell you where he set up his easel to paint each one and we find it great fun to seek out the location to have our photo taken in it to hang alongside the print.

Imagine our surprise one day last month, when we saw Didier and his easel set up on Pont Neuf as we whizzed past on Bus 58!

CARNIVAL DES AFFAIRS - Across from 25, boulevard de Poissonnieres in the 9th Arrondissement.

Don't be too put off when arriving here to see a storefront full of what looks like household paraphernalia and dry goods. That's exactly what it is. But, if you need a light bulb or a quirky gift or, as in my case, some really nice, cheap postcards - this is your joint. I've not seen postcards prettier or cheaper anywhere else in Paris. This trip they were 12 for 2,00 Euros.

KING OF FRIP - On the corner of rue du Roi de Sicile at rue Vieille du Temple in the 4th Arrondissement.

'Friperie' in French means old clothes. This is a second-hand clothing store that is a lot of fun. I saw a full length fur coat, in excellent condition, for 80,00 Euros and a leather trench coat for 45,00 Euros.

The Marais district is full of unusual, crazy little shops and this is no exception. The staff were helpful and very pleasant. They had lots of vintage items, too. They are open on Sunday, like most shops in the district. This is worth mentioning because the rest of Paris is closed on Sunday.

Since Parisians created fashion, I must mention a few stores in that genre:

BRAND BAZAR - 33, rue de Sevres in the 6th Arrondissement. Metro: Sevres-Babylone.

This store has been known to us since we lived above it back in 2001. It specializes in international labels from countries all over the world. Fabulous shoes can be found here, too. Their website is and is in English and French.

ANTOINE ET LILI - 3, rue du 29 Juillet in the 1st Arrondissement.
Metro: Tuileries.

You won't find the ubiquitous all black attire here! Color, and lots of it, is their thing. Most of the apparel has a Bohemian look to it, including their jewelry line. There are five other stores in Paris, so they must be doing something right!

ANNEXE DES CREATEURS - 19, rue Godot de Mauroy in the 9th Arrondissement. Metro: Madeleine.

On a narrow street, somewhat hard to find, and very tiny is this shop full of formerly uber-expensive clothing items, now reduced to bargain prices. Shoes and accessories are also here. They handle only the top designers' goods. And, I do mean only.

When we were there in February, the shop was actually divided by an passageway. The door to the Depot Vente shop was open with a sign telling us inquire at the staffed store across the passage for help. This store carries vintage items in excellent condition with 'to-die-for' pedigrees.

Their website is

CHANTAL THOMASS - 211, rue Saint-Honore in the 1st Arrondissement. Metro: Tuileries.

As Paris is known for fashion, it is equally well known for fine French lingerie. Chantal Thomass has cornered the market on chic French lingerie. Her beautiful shop, all pink and girly, is filled with items you might dare to wear. She also has a line of jewelry, hosiery, sunglasses and perfume. What a place! My husband waited outside for me while I browsed the finery!


The very best bargain in all of Paris has to be the RATP transportation pass. For a mere 55,10 Euros per person, you can travel all over Paris in each of the 20 arrondissements on buses, trams and the Metro for a full month. Weekly passes are also available.

It is called the Pass Navigo. It requires a passport-sized photo which we take with our digital camera and print on the computer printer. You assemble it with your photo and your signature.

To use it you just wave it over the purple Navigo reader at all Metro stations and on board the buses. I kept mine in the front pocket of my purse and just waved the purse! Worked very well.

To ship anything too big, or heavy, to carry home on a plane, go to the Federal Express office at 63, boulevard Haussmann in the 8th Arrondissement. We often will get the weight of an item we are considering to purchase and talk to the staff at Fed Ex before we buy it to make sure the cost of shipping isn't prohibitive. They will wrap it for you and guarantee it's safe arrival.

MAY DAY or "La Fete du Travail"
May first is more strictly observed by the French, I've heard, than Christmas or New Years' Day. In Paris, everything except the Eiffel Tower is closed.

And, over in the eastern part of Paris, the large Unions will have colorful parades and marches. It is quite a-propos that these are held in and around Place de la Bastille, the site of the former prison fortress used by royalty to surpress the working class.

On May 26, the French host their own apartment block parties. This began ten years ago and has grown to be so popular that seven other European countries are now participating as well. It is a free event. More information at

The semi-annual 'les soldes' that French stores hold in January and June are coming up next month. We found prices reduced by 70% in some cases during the Winter Sales this year.

Jean E. Arnevick, Olympia, Washington, U.S.A.



Until May 3
"Warhol TV" - Videos made by Warhol
La Maison Rouge
10, bd de la Bastille - 12th Arrondissement
4,50 - 6,50 Euros

Until May 3
Grand Marche de l'Art Contemporain - Modern Art Fair
Place de la Bastille
12th Arrondissement

May 7 - 17
Brocante/Antiques Fair - Antiques and bric-a-brac souvenirs
Place de la Bastille
12th Arrondissement

Until May 11
Asger Jorn Exhibit - Danish artist
Pompidou Centre
Rue Saint-Martin, Place Georges Pompidou - 4th Arrondissement
9,00 - 12,00 Euros; Under 18: Free

Until May 11
David LaChapelle Retrospective - American surrealist photographer
Hotel de la Monnaie
11, quai de Conti - 6th Arrondissement
Please see website for more information

May 15 - 18
Portes Ouvertes des Ateliers d'Artistes de Belleville - Artists' Workshops Open Days
Various locations
10th, 11th, 19th and 20th Arrondissements

May 16
Nuit des Musees - Night of the Museums
1000 Museums all over France
See website for more information

Until May 18
Arioste at the Louvre - Exhibition, concerts and readings of the poet
Musee du Louvre - Denon Wing
99, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement
6,00 - 9,50

Until May 18
Waldmuller at the Louvre - Portriture artist
Musee du Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement
6,00 - 9,50

Until May 24
La Fabrique des Reves - Giorgio de Chirico
Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11, avenue du President Wilson - 16th Arrondissement
Please see website for more information

May 27 - May 24, 2010
Elles@centrepompidou - Modern Art works of 200 females
Pompidou Centre
Rue Saint-Martin, Place Georges Pompidou - 4th Arrondissement
10,00 - 12,00

Until May 31
Leaving Rodin Behind - European sculpture post-Rodin
Musee d'Orsay
2, rue Bellechasse - 7th Arrondissement
5,50 - 8,00

All of May - June 1
La Force de l'Art Modern Art Show
Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill - 8th Arrondissement
3,00 - 5,00

All of May - June 21
De Sienne a Florence - Italian pre-Renaissance art
Musee Jacquemart-Andre
158, bd Haussmann - 8th Arrondissement
7,50 -10,00; Under 7: Free

All of May - June 28
William Blake - 130 canvasses by the Romantic visionary
Musee des Beaux-Arts in Musee des Beaux-Arts
Avenue Winston Churchill - 8th Arrondissement

All of May - July 12
Zadkine on Paper - 50 of his preparatory drawings
Musee Zadkine
100 bis, rue d'Assas - 6th Arrondissement
3,00 - 4,00

All of May - July 13
Le Grand Monde d'Andy Warhol - Pop artist
Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill - 8th Arrondissement
8,00 - 11,00

All of May - July 19
See Italy and Die - Photography & painting in 19th century Italy
Musee d'Orsay
2, rue Bellechasse - 7th Arrondissement
5,50 - 8,00

All of May - August 10
Kandinsky - 20th century abstract artist
Pompidou Centre
Rue Saint-Martin, Place Georges Pompidou - 4th Arrondissement
9,00 - 12,00

All of May - September 15
Suzanne Valadon et Maurice Utrillo - Mother and son's art
La Pinacotheque
28, place de la Madeleine - 8th Arrondissement
7,00 - 9,00


Until May 17
Name or Number - Works by German artist, Ulla von Brandenburg
Le Plateau
Place Hannah Arendt - 19th Arrondissement

May 21 - 24
Salon de l'Immobilier Marocain - Maroccan Real Estate Exhibition
Porte de Versailles Expo Centre
Paris - 15th Arrondissement
Please see website for price info

Until May 24
Jasper Morrison - English product designer
Musee des Arts Decoratifs
107-111, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement
6,50 - 8,00

May 26 - 28
HIT - Health Information Technologies
Porte de Versailles Expo Centre - Hall 7.3
Paris - 15th Arrondissment
Please see website for price info

Until May 31
David LaChapelle Retrospective - American surrealist photographer
Hotel de la Monnaie
11, quai dde Conti - 6th Arrondissement
Please see website for more information

All of May - June 29
Jazz Century - 1000 objects relating to Jazz
Musee du Quai Branly
37, quai Branly - 7th Arrondissement
6,00 - 8,50

All of May - June 29
Les Portes du Ciel - Gates of Heaven
Musee du Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli - 1st Arrondissement

All of May - August 16
Epidemik - History of epidemics
Cite des Sciences
30, avenue Corentin-Celtou - 19th Arrondissement
6,00 - 8,00


All of May
Festival Presences: Musical Creation - Contemporary music festival
Cite de la Musique
21, avenue Jaures - 19th Arrondissement

Until May 3
Warhol TV - His Film Archives
La Maison Rouge - Fondation Antoine de Galbert
10, bd de la Bastille - 12th Arrondissement
4,50 - 6,50

May 1 - October 5
Le Jardin Shakespeare's Open-Air Theatre
Bois de Boulogne - Chapiteau Alexis Gruss
Allee de la Reine Marguerite - 16th Arrondissement
Prices vary by event

May 5
Beyonce - I AM Tour
Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy
8, boulevard de Bercy - 12th Arrondissement
52,50 - 70,50

May 6
Every Little Defect Deserves Respect - Live show featuring Peaches
Elysee Montmartre
72, boulevard Rochechouart - 18th Arrondissement

May 10 - 25
Saint Germain Jazz Festival
Various venues in Paris
Please see website for full information

May 14 - 24
Quinzaine des Realisateurs - Directors' Fortnight film festival
Forum des Images in Forum des Halles
Porte Saint-Eustache - 1st Arrondissement
Price varies by film

May 20
Lenny Kravitz - in concert
Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy
8, boulevard de Bercy - 12th Arrondissement
51,00 - 73,00

May 27 - 31
Vilette Sonique - Music festival
Le Parc de Villette
211, avenue Jean Jaures - 19th Arrondissement
9,00 - 25,00

All of May - June 29
"Jazz Century" - 1000 collectible objects on display
Musee du Quai Branly
37, quai Branly - 7th Arrondissement
6,00 - 8,50 Euros


All of May
Web Flash Festival - Internet art festival
Pompidou Centre
Rue Saint-Martin, Place Georges Pompidou - 4th Arrondissement

Until May 10
"Foire de Paris" - Interior design expo
Porte de Versailles
15th Arrondissement
9,50 - 12,00; Under 14: 7,00

May 10 - October 12
Jardin des Papillons - Butterfly Garden
Bois de Vincennes -Parc Floral
Route de la Pyramide - 12th Arrondissement

May 15 - 17
Finales de la Coupe de France de Basket - Basketball Finals
Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy
8, boulevard de Bercy - 12th Arrondissement
5,00 - 35,00

May 16 - 17
Salon de la Revue du Vin de France - French Wine Fair
Palais de la Bourse
Rue Notre-Dame des Victoires - 2nd Arrondissement
16,00 -25,00

May 22 - July 5
Foire Saint-Germain - Street fair since Medieval times
Place Saint-Sulpice
6th Arrondissement

May 24 - June 7
French Open
Stade Roland Garros
Bois de Boulogne - 16th Arrondissement
12,50 - 67,50

May 25
Great Paris Steeplechase - Premier event of the French horseracing season
Hippodrome d'Auteuil
Bois de Boulogne, Allee des Fortifications - 16th Arrondissement
4,00 - 8,00; Under 18: Free

All of May - January 3, 2010
Crimexpo - Interactive display of crime scene investigation
Cite des Sciences
30, avenue Corentin Celtou - 19th Arrondissement
7,00 - 10,00; Under 7: Free

All of May - June 1
Foire du Trone
Bois de Vincennes
Pelouse de Reuilly - 12th Arrondissement
Various prices; Pass: 34,00

All of May - June 7, 2010
Darwin Year: La Ruee Vers l'Homme - Celebrating Darwin's bicentennial year
Cite des Sciences
30, avenue Corentin Celtou - 19th Arrondissement
6,00 - 8,00

All of May - June 30
Chroniques Parisiennes Photo Exhibition - 70 photos of Parisian Life
Eiffel Tower
Champs-de-Mars - 7th Arrondissement
Free with entry ticket to Tower

All of May - September 20
Barbie - Exhibition of her first 50 years
Musee de la Poupee
Impasse Berthaud, near 22, rue Beaubourg - 3rd Arrondissement
5,00 - 7,00

All of May - December 29
Grande Ecurie - Grand Stables of Versailles
Chateau de Versailles
Avenue Rockfeller - Versailles, France


June 4 - 7
Carre Rive Gauche Fair - Rue du Bac

June 5
Eden Park Beach Rugby - Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy

June 7 - July 7
Saint-Denis Festival - Music

June 7
National Quigong Day - Martial Arts

June 11 - 14
Pocket Film Festival - Pompidou Centre

June 12
AC/DC - Concert at Stade de France

June 12 - 14
Bougez - Salon des Sports et Loisirs - Sports/Leisure Expo

June 15 - 21
Paris Air Show - Bourget Airport

June 19 - 28 New Soloists Festival

June 21
Fete de la Musique

June 24 - January 31, 2010
Madeleine Vionnet at the Arts Decoratifs - French fashion designer

June 27
Depeche Mode - Concert at Stade de France

June 27 - 29
Paris Bridal Fair - Porte de Versailles

Offenbach at the Open-Air Opera

100 Dessuss Dessous Festival - Performing Arts

Le Carre Rive Gauche Antique Fair:

Philippe parreno at the Pompidou

Midsummer Fireworks

Beach Volleyball Grand Slam - Place Joffre

June - July
Paris Chopin Festival

June - July
Paris Jazz Festival - Parc Floral de Paris

June - August
Summer Sales - Major department stores' semi-annual mark-downs

June - August
Vilette Sur Mer - Music festival on man-made beach

Jean E. Arnevick, Olympia, Washington, U.S.A.

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

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Thank you for your interest and best regards,

The Welcome 2 France team
Tel. 1 (650) 267-4328
(free local call number in U.S. or Canada)

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