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Welcome 2 France Newsletter September 2010
Hello !

This Months Featured Apartment:

Sevres Vaneau

This spacious apartment is ideal for a family or group (sleeps up to six). With an open floor plan, equipped kitchen, washer/dryer and TV/Internet access, it has everything you need to create a home away from home.

September, 2010

I wanted to say hello and introduce myself. My name is Charlotte. I'm taking over the Paris newsletter from Sheila who has regaled you with stories and kept you informed about one of the greatest cities in the world.

My own love affair with Paris-and all things French-began on a solo trip when I was a teenager. When I was fifteen-years-old, I visited my Parisienne aunt, an elegant woman who owned an art gallery.

She handed me a spare key to the apartment and a map of the Metro. Then from the living room window, she showed me the corner café. I had visited Paris before with my parents as a child, but this newly granted independence was different.

For me, it preceded a coming of age.

"Paris awaits you," my aunt said, with a sweeping gesture.

The rest is-well-history.

Years later, I returned to Paris with my husband. The trip was extra special. Not so much because I was with him, but because he had never been to Paris before. There is something magical about experiencing one's favorite city through the eyes of a newcomer.

But first, I wanted him to see Paris from the most elemental level, as I had first seen it, that of an ordinary Parisian street. There is no better place to experience the street than from a simple sidewalk café.

Cafés are integral to the streets of Paris. In the city, they are ubiquitous, always within easy reach. The café is where people meet up, take a break, read the newspaper or a book, write, hang out and people watch.

For my husband and I, there would be time for world-class museums, exquisite parks and grand boulevards. Starting our visit in a café would set the pace for our overall experience, allow us a leisurely yet true appreciation of Paris.

So, the very first thing we did after we unpacked our suitcases was go to a nearby café, one of those typical spots spilling over onto a pavement, where curve-backed bentwood chairs and marble-topped round tables lined up in neat rows beneath an awning with lettering printed upon it.

We sat shoulder-to-shoulder with other patrons, citizens and tourists alike, while a white-aproned waiter wove in out of the narrow spaces with the dexterity of a dancer, taking orders, dropping off drinks and bringing bills.

I ordered café crème for myself (the equivalent of a café latte) and Coke for him. If it were later, we would have had wine. I then watched him watch the street with its chartreuse chestnut trees, striking buildings with wrought-iron balconies and ordinary people going about their business. We had arrived.

Paris is a great place to linger.

I highly recommend making lingering in a café an early part of your Paris visit. The best thing is wherever you happen to be staying you will have several neighborhood cafés to choose from. Become a patron if only for a week or two and take the time to enjoy your street as a Parisian would.

If you want to you can go further afield looking for some of the more famous cafes. There are many to explore. Cafés have been the lifeline of artists, writers, philosophers and other intellectuals in Paris since the get-go. Just as Paris's art, architecture and history will dazzle you, so will the list of former café patrons.

Below are some of the better-known cafés in the city. Be prepared to pay more in these spots that are as much a part of Paris as its landmarks:

Café de Flore
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir frequented this glamorous café in the years following World War II. It offers an annual literary prize known as the Prix de Flore.
172 bd. St-Germain-des-Pres

Les Deux Magots
Spirited rival to the nearby Café de Flore, Les Deux Magots is named for two Chinese statues that are displayed inside. Artists Pablo Picasso and Fernand Leger were regulars.
6 pl. St-Germain-des-Pres

Café de la Paix
Renowned architect Charles Garnier, who also created the Paris Opera across the plaza, designed this café. The place buzzes with celebrities on opera nights.
5 pl. de l'Opera

Café Marly
With a prime location, the Café Marly overlooks the I.M. Pei glass pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre. It's the perfect place to take a break after exploring the museum.
93 rue de Rivoli

La Closerie des Lilas
This spot remains a bourgeois hangout. James Joyce allegedly celebrated the decision to publish Ulysees here. The café with its lilac courtyard was also a favorite with the Surrealists and Dadaists.
171 bd. Montparnasse

La Rotonde
The famous café's Art Deco interior has seen literary giants like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot come and go.
105 bd. Montparnasse

Café Beaubourg
Close to the Pompidou Centre, the hip and modern Café Beaubourg provides respite from gallery going and a chance to discern the artsy crowds.
43 rue St-Merri

Charlotte Safavi

Oxford-educated magazine and newspaper writer, Charlotte has written for many publications, including The Washington Post, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, House Beautiful, Victorian Homes, and Better Homes and Gardens.


Calendar of Events, September, 2010

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

Through September 13
Valérie Jouve Photographs
Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou, Metro Rambuteau, Hotel de Ville, Chatelet
€12 (closed Tuesdays)

September 10 - February 6, 2010
Inca's Gold
La Pinacothéque de Paris
28, place de la Madeleine, Metro Madeleine
€12 (usually open every day)

September 22 - January 24, 2011
Claude Monet (1840 - 1926)
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3, avenue du Général Eisenhower, Metro Champs Elysées Clemenceau or Franklin Roosevelt

September 24 - January 24, 2011
Rubens, Poussin and 17th Century Artists
Musée Jacquemart André
158, Blvd Haussmann, Metro Miromesnil or St. Philippe du Roule
€10 (open every day)

Through October 1
France 1500, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3, avenue du Général Eisenhower, Metro Champs Elysées Clemenceau or Franklin Roosevelt
€12 (closed Tuesdays)

Through October 3
Fleuve Congo, Art of Central Africa
Musée du Quai Branly
55 Quai Branly, Metro Alma-Marceau, Bir Hakeim, École Militaire
€8.50 (closed Mondays)

Exhibitions and Other Museums

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 October 31
Jean Paul Gaultier
Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine
Palais de Chaillot, 1 place du Trocadéro, Metro Trocadéro

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

Through September 5
Arenes de Montmartre Festival (Italian commedia dell'arte street theatre)
Various locations in Montmartre

September 9 - October 10
Richard Wagner's Flying Dutchman
Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille, Metro Bastille
€5 - 140

Through September 26
Classique au Vert (classical music concerts every weekend at 4pm)
Parc Floral de Paris - Route de la Pyramide
Bois de Vincennes, Metro Chateau de Vincennes

Through October 11
Jardin des Papillons - Butterfly Garden
Bois de Vincennes -Parc Floral
Route de la Pyramide, Metro Chateau de Vincennes

A Look Ahead for October, 2010
France Reading Festival
International Contemporary Art Fair, Grand Palais
October 11 - 17, Restaurant Tasting Week
October 28 - November 1, Salon du Chocolat

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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