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Welcome 2 France Newsletter November 2010
Hello !

This Month's Featured Apartments:

November's featured apartments are not only for rent, but also for sale!

If you are interested in purchasing your own Parisian pied-a-terre, one of these, or maybe something else,

please email Andy at:

Champs Elysees du Beloy

At 344 sq ft, this gem of a studio apartment sleeps two and has a fully equipped kitchen, with breakfast bar and casual seating. Newly refurbished, the apartment is minutes away from the Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe.

Luxury Longchamp

This spectacular three-level residence is located in a private mansion in the prestigious 16th arrondissement. The two-bedroom/bathroom apartment has elegant living and dining rooms decorated by the NY-based interior designer Etienne Coffinier.

Luxury Longchamp II

Though a one-bedroom, this spacious apartment has an open living and dining area, as well as a nicely renovated bathroom. Decorated with vibrant artwork and a sixties vibe, it is located on the ground floor of a nineteenth century building.

November Newsletter

Thanks to reader input and in keeping with my passion for Paris, I'm experimenting with a new newsletter format. Each month I'll write two main stories, followed by a short segment named for one of my favorite words: lagniappe, a Franco-American term for a small gift, a little quelquechose. I hope to close the newsletter by sharing a fun and helpful tidbit pertaining to the City of Lights.

Tour de Paris

During the massive transit strike of 1995, Parisians had to figure out in a hurry how to navigate their movement around the city. Not surprisingly, the citizens of the country who gave us the Tour de France speedily found out that getting around town was-well-as easy as riding a bike. Bicycles have since continued to be a popular mode of transport.

In the ensuing years more than 300 kilometers of dedicated bicycle lanes were added to Paris streets, most of them along the main axes of the city. There was also a proliferation of secure bike racks and efficient bike rentals, including the user-friendly Velib bike-sharing program originally set-up by Mayor Delanoe.

Though I wouldn't recommend bicycling during rush hour (inhaling car fumes and dodging vehicles is not my idea of fun), riding a bike on a sunny autumn day is a wonderful thing to do in Paris, not to mention a great way to see the city's sights from the street level.

The easiest places to go biking are in Paris's two spacious parks: to the west, the Bois de Boulogne (metro Porte Maillot, Porte Dauphine or Porte d'Auteuil) and to the east, the Bois de Vincennes (metro Chateau Vincennes or Porte Doree.) Detailed bike paths for both parks can be found in Le Guide du Sport a Paris.

On certain days (Sundays or holidays), a scheme called Paris Respire ensures that motor vehicles are banned from specific scenic routes, including along the banks of the River Seine. This makes cycling a breeze. Check the website: for dates and locations. Bike rental companies should be able to give you additional information.

Many bicycle rental companies also offer a variety of guided bike tours of the city. These vary in cost, time and distance. For those with flexibility, experience and energy, some bike tours with guides explore locales outside Paris, such as Versailles, Chartres or Giverny.

So, if you're looking to enjoy the fall while getting your exercise at the same time, it's time to get to Paris and get on your bike. Below are listed some of many bike rental and tour companies.

Gepetto & Velos
59 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine

Velo Cito
97 Rue Mademoiselle

Paris Velo,
2 Rue Fer-a-Moulin

Bike `n' Roller
137 Rue Saint-Dominique

Paris a Velo C'est Sympa
22 Rue Alphonse Baudin

Fat Tire Bike Tours
24 Rue Edgar Faure

Paris Bike Tour
38 Rue de Saintonge

Les Velos Parisien
3 Rue Abbe Gregoire

Scent of a Museum

For a city with close to 200 museums, Paris is a treasure trove for the curious mind. Some of them are famous, others less so, all are fascinating in their own right. This month my nose guided me to the Musee du Parfum Fragonard, an intimate museum above the namesake perfume shop.

Perfumes have their origins in antiquity, but during the Renaissance, France became the European center for perfumes, mass-cultivating flowers in the South of France for their use in the manufacture of scent. Louis XV's court at Versailles was even called le cour parfumee translated as the perfumed court. In the centuries since, fine perfume and specialized shops called parfumeries go hand-in-hand with all things French.

In 1926 entrepreneur Eugene Fuchs opened a perfumery in Grasse on the French Riviera, making scents and related products for direct sale to tourists. He named the business Fragonard in honor of famed local artist Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806). The Fuchs family business has since grown and includes locations in Eze and Paris.

The Musee du Parfum Fragonard opened in 1983 near the Paris Opera in an exquisite Napoleon III townhouse, with period furnishings and elegant décor. The free museum located on the second floor offers guided tours, covering the history of perfume manufacturing and packaging. Among the displays are both antique decorative objects associated with perfume, such as crystal bottles and scented gloves, as well as intriguing glass and copper tools once used in the production process.

The most unusual exhibit is the orgue a parfum. The so-named perfume organ, which resembles the keyboard of a cathedral organ, has tiers of ingredient bottles arranged about a scale that the perfumer uses when mixing and testing fragrances.

A gift shop on the first floor is for those who wish to indulge their senses further, buy gifts for their loved ones, and end up smelling like a rose.

Musee du Parfum Fragonard
9 Rue Scribe
Metro: Opera


Though I've always found Parisians very receptive to children, it's true that the city is not ideally set-up for young tots. My husband and I visited years ago with our then one-year-old. Pushing a stroller was as easy in Paris as it is in the US, but we never came across a restaurant with a highchair or a diaper table. When out, we ate with a toddler wedged on our laps and managed diaper changes on park benches. (I have since learned that the department stores Galerie Lafayettes and Printemps both have great diaper-changing facilities.)

Nonetheless, the experience was a complete joy and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Either way, if in Paris with young ones, I expect the occasion will call for a babysitter more often than not. Whether going to the opera, fine dining or attending a gallery opening, you may choose to leave the children home. Below are a few babysitting options. Be sure to request a bilingual babysitter and always check references.

Baby Prestige



Babychou Services

Au Paradis des Petits

The American Church in Paris

Calendar of Events, November, 2010


October 13-January 10, 2011
Nancy Spero Retrospective
Pompidou Centre, Metro: Hotel de Ville or Rambuteau
€10-12; free under 26 (Wednesday-Monday)

September 10, 2010-February 6, 2011
Inca's Gold
La Pinacothéque de Paris
28 Place de la Madeleine, Metro: Madeleine
€12 (dates vary)

September 22, 2010-January 24, 2011
Claude Monet (1840 - 1926)
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, Metro: Champs Elysées Clemenceau
€12 (closed Tuesday)

October 6, 2010-February 20, 2011
Monet: Son Musee
Musee Marmottan-Monet
2 Rue Louis-Boilly, Metro: La Muette
€9 (open daily)

September 24, 2010-January 24, 2011
Rubens, Poussin and 17th Century Artists
Musée Jacquemart André
158 Blvd Haussmann, Metro Miromesnil or St. Philippe du Roule
€10 (open daily)

April 27-May 1, 2011
La Bastille Modern Art Fair
Place de la Bastille, Metro: Bastille
€8 (open daily)

Exhibitions and Other Museums

November 5-February 20, 2011
Writers' Portrait Exhibit
Maison de Victor Hugo
6 Place des Vosges, Metro: Saint Paul or Bastille
Free (Tuesday-Sunday)

March, 2011
Art Paris
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Grande Palais
3 Avenue du General Eisenhower, Metro: Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau
€11 (dates vary)

Through November 30
Animal (animal themes and materials in the decorative arts)
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 -111 Rue de Rivoli, Metro: Palais Royale-Musée du Louvre
€8 (closed Mondays)

Music, Theater and Dance

January 27-30, 2011
International Circus Festival of Tomorrow
Pelouse de Reuilly, Bois de Vincennes, Metro: Porte Doree

November 16-December 6
Mathis Le Peintre
Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille, Metro: Bastille
€5 - 140

October 26-June 7, 2011
Les Noces de Figaro
Opera Garnier
Palais Garnier, Place de l'Opera, Metro: Opera
€5 - 180

June-July, 2011
Musiques et Jardins Festival
Les Trois Baudets
64 Bd de Clichy, Metro: Blanche or Pigalle
Free-€10 (Tuesday-Sunday)


September 9-December 31, 2010
Festival d'Automne
Locations vary
€8-36 (open daily)

March 2011
Printemps du Cinema
Locations vary
€3.50 per screening

Note: the information in the newsletter and calendar are accurate when we publish, but things do change, so it's always a good idea to check before you go.

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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