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Welcome 2 France Newsletter June 2010
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June Newsletter Highlights

· Artist's Street Market in Montparnasse
· The Nissim de Camondo House Museum
· Late Night Dinner at Au Pied de Cochon
· Dreaming - and Reading - about Your Next Trip to Paris
· Calendar of Events for June
· Looking Ahead to July

This Month's Featured Apartments

Tour Eiffel - New York Avenue Penthouse

Views of the Eiffel Tower, the Champs de Mars and the boats on the Seine will delight you in this large two-level four-bedroom apartment with three marble bathrooms, plus a terrace off the living room with magnificent views. The apartment sleeps 10.

Champs Elysées - Penthievre

Only a few blocks' walk from the Champs Elysées, place de la Concorde, place de la Madeleine and the prestigious Faubourg Saint Honoré, known for its luxury shops, is this quiet one bedroom, two bath apartment with classic French decor and an amazing collection of paintings and 18th century furniture.

Madeleine I

This is an elegant one-bedroom apartment with a terrace. The building was converted from a hotel, so you'll also enjoy a reception lobby and 24-hour concierge services.

June, 2010

The summer sales have begun in Paris. You'll find terrific bargains at Le Bon Marché, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, the three large and fashionable department stores. But boutiques all over the city are also offering sales. If it's shoes you crave, try the rue de Grenelle. But be sure to make time to just sit outside with a cup of coffee and enjoy the sunshine.

Artists' Street Market in Montparnasse
It sounds like a cliché from a romantic 1950's movie to buy art on the streets of Paris, but it's still possible today to find a painting you want to take home. Every Sunday morning since 1997, the Marché Parisien de la Création takes place in Montparnasse.

The wide median of Boulevard Edgar Quinet is filled with white canvas booths extending from rue Huygens to rue du Départ, right underneath the tall Montparnasse tower that you can see from all over the city. Although the works in the street market may not be up to fine art gallery standards, chances are still good that you'll fall in love with something quite competent.

There are rules the artists who participate in this market must follow: all the art must be original and signed by the artist. If someone offers a lithograph or other printed series, there can't be more than ten copies made.

There's plenty to look at in the market: oil and watercolor paintings, handmade jewelry, sculptures large and small, and many interesting craft items. Some of the art is traditionally representative, while other pieces are dramatic and contemporary. There's also a sprinkling of hats -- practical and fancy, scarves and other clothes items, depending on the season. In all, you can usually count on about 100 booths open on any given Sunday.

On a recent visit, a friend bought an exquisite small watercolor of a rooster for her kitchen for about €40. I picked up a dramatic gold wire pin with bright splashes of pink stones for about the same amount of money. But of course you can also find paintings and prints worth hundreds of dollars here.

Many of the artists speak English. It's a very friendly place; the artists seem delighted to talk with you about their methods and designs.

The market is quite easy to find from the Montparnasse Metro station or its large city bus terminal. The market runs on Sundays from 10am to 7pm, though in very bad weather the vendors might pack up early.

Most of the same artists also exhibit in the Bastille street market on Saturdays from 9am to 6pm. That too is a very vibrant market, but if you go to Montparnasse, you can also dash over to Josselin Creperie for brunch. It sits just half a block off the market - but get there early, because there's almost always a line on Sunday mornings.
Marché Parisien de la Création
Blvd Edgar Quinet from rue Huygens to rue du Départ, 14th arrondisement
Sunday, 10am - 7pm
Metro Edgar Quinet or Montparnasse Bienvenue

The Nissim de Camondo House Museum
If you'd like to step back in time to see how the wealthy lived in the early part of the 20th century, you'll definitely want to visit the Nissim de Camondo house museum, owned today by the Musée Les Arts Décoratifs. You enter through an arched portico off the street to see the formal façade. Inside, your ticket also buys you an audioguide, so you can tour the house at your own pace. If you go first thing in the morning, you're likely to have some of the rooms to yourself.

The house was built in 1915 by Count Moise de Camondo, a wealthy Jewish banker of the Ottoman Empire, who moved his family to Paris from Istanbul. Camondo was a dedicated collector of objets d'art and furnishings. He hired architect René Sergent to design the house in imitation of the Petit Trianon at Versailles.

Each room is impeccably furnished; the audioguide tells stories of the often years-long efforts Camondo made to locate just the right pieces for each place. Many of the Savonnerie carpets were originally woven in 1678 for the Louvre. There are paintings by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun and Guardi and a bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon. Everywhere are antique handmade tables and chests crafted by some of the most well-known of French cabinetmakers: Oeben, Riesener and Jacob.

One room showcases part of Camondo's exquisite collection of table settings, including the Orloff silver dinner service commissioned by Catherine II of Russia in 1770 and a Sevres porcelain service from the 1789s with a bird theme.

The house backs onto the Parc Monceau, a jewel of green lawn and small follies. I particularly liked getting the glimpses of the park through the tall windows. The visit covers three floors: the main level has formal reception and dining rooms; the first floor (second floor to Americans) has bedrooms and wonderfully modern (for the time) white-tiled bathrooms. On the lower floor are the huge kitchens.

Camondo built the house with the intention of leaving it to his son Nissim. Sadly, Nissim was killed in an air battle in 1917 during World War I. Moise Camondo continued to live in the house till his death in 1934, when the building and all its contents were bequeathed to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Further tragedy struck the family in World War II. Camondo's daughter Béatrice, her husband Léon Reinach and their children, Fanny and Bertrand, were killed at Auschwitz in the Holocaust. They were the last descendents of Moise de Camondo; the family no longer exists.
Musée Nissim de Camondo
63, rue de Monceau, 8th arrondisement
Metro Villiers or Monceau
Open 10am - 5:30pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Late Night Dinner at Au Pied de Cochon
Back when Les Halles was the bustling wholesale food market of Paris, fishmongers, vegetable vendors and flower merchants arrived in the wee hours of the morning.and they needed to eat. Restaurants sprang up in the area, many of them open 24 hours a day.

Les Halles is much quieter today since the markets have been moved out to Rungis. It's mostly distinguished (or undistinguished, depending on your point of view) by an underground mall that extends like a rabbit warren, and a rather sterile park above ground. Rue Montorgeuil, a lively food shopping street, runs nearby, but the early morning cacophony of trucks and vendors is no more.

And no more also are the many all-night restaurants - except for one block on rue Coquilliere, right near several cookware stores which have operated around Les Halles since the 1800s. In this block, neon lights alert you to a line of restaurants like a mini-Las Vegas. Prominent among them is Au Pied de Cochon. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day; they haven't closed their doors, they declare, since 1946. It's definitely a place where you can get a hearty meal after a late night out.

It's also a place, truth be told, where lots of tourists go, but you also see local Parisians there. The restaurant is huge, but reservations are still recommended if you go in the prime dining hours from 8 - 10pm. I was prepared for it to be bustling and loud, but I was surprised by the décor: elegant red leather banquettes, dark wood paneling and mirrors, elaborate glass chandeliers and scones dripping with glass grapes, glass panels with classical food motifs inset into the walls. There are several floors of dining rooms.

Frankly, I went to Au Pied de Cochon expecting to eat a mighty fine pork chop. But there aren't any pork chops or roasts or ribs on the menu. Oh, there are huge platters of fresh oysters going by, and crusty bowls of fragrant onion soup. But, in keeping with the name of the place, this is a restaurant that offers the other parts of the pig: feet, belly, ears.

What everyone around us seemed to be eating was fried pig's trotters, and they assured us they were delicious. Now if you don't know, a trotter is basically a young pig's leg, here rolled in bread crumbs and fried whole, served with a side of frites. It's very bony; you pick apart the knuckles to find the tasty pork morsels. It's also, truth be told, mostly gelatinous. I can't say I loved it, but the French were gobbling it down, so I chalked it up to cultural experience. And isn't that what we come to France for?

At the end of the meal, we were given a little dish of water with lemon to clean our hands, and a plate of tiny pink piggy meringues.
Au Pied de Cochon
6, rue Coquilliere, 1st arrondisement, Metro Les Halles

Dreaming - and Reading - about Your Next Trip to Paris
Two new books about Paris will whet your appetite for another trip to France in different ways.

Paris Patisseries: History, Shops, Recipes is not, despite its name, a cookbook. Instead, it's a luscious picture book of the work of twenty of Paris's most celebrated pastry chefs. Yes, there's a recipe here and there (a total of about 25 or so), but what you'll really drool over are the photographs: page after page of macarons, baba au rum, éclairs, meringues, gateaux and many other sweets, plus croissants and brioches. The book tells you what to order at each of the many famous patisseries and tea rooms featured.

The photographs by Christian Sarramon will make you want to book a flight today. Chef Pierre Hermé, reputed to make the best macarons in Paris, wrote the forward, and throughout the book you get a history of sweet shops in the city, with emphasis on the most recent and well-known pastry chefs and chocolatiers. At the back is an address book of all the shops featured, so you can plan your next trip around them.

Another recent book, Paris and Her Remarkable Women by Lorraine Liscio, presents sixteen mini-biographies of women whose lives influenced Paris. They begin with Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, and end with Simone de Beauvoir. Along the way you get new insights into the lives of women you probably already know about, like Sarah Bernhardt and Coco Chanel, as well as some women perhaps not so familiar, like 18th century Madame du Chatelet, an early physicist; Madame de Maintenon who was married to Louis XIV at Versailles; Camille Claudel, mistress of Auguste Rodin and often thought to be as great a sculptor as he was; and Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun, whose paintings of women and children hang in the Louvre.

What makes this book particularly useful is that the author links the biographies to specific places in Paris associated with each woman. You can pick the woman and her time period and walk (well, almost) in her footsteps.

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 Blog:

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 and give us your ideas.
(Please address all other inquiries to

Calendar of Events, June, 2010

Through June 6
Women Painters and Salons in the Time of Proust
Musée Marmottan-Monet
2, rue Louis-Boilly, Metro La Muette
€9 (open every day)

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

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)

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

Through June 27
Crime and Punishment
Musée d'Orsay
2, rue Bellechasse, Metro Assemblée Nationale or Solférino
€9.50 (closed Mondays)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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)

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

Through August 22
Willy Ronis Photography Retrospective
La Monnaie de Paris
11, quai de Conti, Metro Odéon
€7 (closed Mondays)

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

Exhibitions and Other Museums

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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)

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

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)

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)

Music, Theater and Dance

June 18 - July 14
Paris Chopin Festival
Orangerie in the Parc de Bagatelle of the Bois de Boulogne
Metro to Porte Maillot or Pont de Neuilly, then bus to Bagatelle
€ 10 - 34

June 21
Fete de la Musique
Free concerts in parks and open spaces all over Paris

Through July 4
Les Misérables (in English)
Théâtre du Châtelet
1, place du Châtelet, Metro Châtelet
€10 - 98

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)


Through June 6
French Open
Roland Garros
2, avenue Gordon Bennett, Metro Porte d'Auteil
$295 - 1,950

June 18 - 20
Storytelling and Politics
Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore Literary Festival
37, rue de la Bucherie, Metro Cluny - La Sorbonne

June 24
Midsummer Fireworks on the Ile St. Louis
Quai Saint-Bernard, Metro Jussieu

June 26
Paris Gay Pride Parade
Route from boulevard Montparnasse to Place de la Bastille

A Look Ahead for July, 2010
July 1 - 4, French Open Golf Tournament
July 3 - 13, Paris Cinema Festival
July 5 - 8, Haute Couture Fashion Week
July 7 - 24, Paris Dance Festival, Theatre du Chatelet
July 13 - 14, Bastille Day celebrations

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

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