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Welcome 2 France Newsletter June 2011
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This Month's Featured Apartments

Foch - General Appert

This sunny one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment is located in the desirable 16th district. The comfortable living room sofa opens into a Queen-size bed, if needed. Other highlights include a lushly planted eat-in terrace and elevator access.

Champs Elysées - Ponthieu

Live opulently in this grand two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment minutes from the Champs Elysées. Roomy quarters work beautifully for entertaining guests while in Paris and there is an additional study/library to boot.

Champs Elysées - Clement Marot I

Perfect for a family, this centrally located apartment sleeps 1-6 with three-bedrooms and two-bathrooms. The dining table seats a comfortable 8. The decor is modern and user-friendly.

June Newsletter

A Walk on the Tracks

There's a secret spot in the 12th arrondissement where you can experience natural beauty and artisanal shopping in one original Parisian loop.

Located atop a disused elevated railway line is a delightful string of gardens known as the Promenade Plantée and below them in the arches of the old viaduct is a long row of artisanal shops guaranteed to please the most discerning shopper.

Originally part of the Vincennes railway, the viaduct was built in 1859 and shut down in 1969. Repurposed a few decades later, the three-mile pedestrian walkway running in place of the train track starts east at the Bastille and finishes at the western end of the Bois de Vincennes.

The Promenade Plantée's main entrance is by stairs from Avenue Daumesnil. From the top, there are glorious views of Parisian rooftops, glimpses of the city life below and unexpected visual treats, such as a replica of Michelangelo's Dying Slave on the police station façade.

The walkway has several access points and widens in parts into four named gardens: Hector-Malot, de Reuilly, de la Gare de Reuilly and Charles-Péguy. In season, cherry blossoms, chartreuse chestnut trees and bamboo stalks line the Promenade Plantée, as do vibrantly colored perennials. There are also trails and bike paths leading in-and-out of the Bois de Vincennes.

Below in the arched viaduct are some 50 or so businesses, mostly artisanal shops. In addition to being able to buy the work of different craftsmen, ranging from textiles and furniture to pottery and instruments, you can also watch them at work on their craft.

There are also specific stores that specialize in professional restoration and conservation of all manner of things, including artwork, paper and china.

1-129 Avenue Daumesnil, 12th
Metro: Port Dorée


A Parisian Mosque

If you're looking for a change from visiting historic Parisian churches, be sure to stop by the Mosquée de Paris in the vibrant Latin Quarter. The Paris Mosque was completed in 1926 to commemorate the 100,000 or so Muslims who died for France during the First World War.

The serene white mosque is in the Moorish architectural style of Spain and North Africa, complete with minaret and arcades. It also has a lovely central courtyard and sunken garden, with an ablutions fountain surrounded by intricate blue, gold and aqua hued mosaic tiles.

Mosque tours can be booked, whereby guides show visitors around the buildings, while giving a brief oral history of Islam. Inside, make note of the magnificent carpets in the prayer room.

The two other big attractions when visiting the mosque, other than architecture and history, are the marble Turkish baths and a Moroccan cafe, both of which are open to the public.

Men can use the Turkish baths on Tuesdays and Sundays only, and women on all other days. In the café, adjoining the courtyard, Moroccan couscous and sweetened mint tea are served daily. Due to the proximity of university campuses, be sure to book for lunch or show up early for food when school is in session, because the café is a popular student hangout.

Paris Mosque
39 rue G. St. Hilaire
Place du Puits-de-l'Ermite, 5e
Metro: Monge

Hours: Saturday-Thursday times vary

Elevated Oil

Only in France do you find a boutique dedicated to cooking oils. The L'Huilerie Artisanal J. Leblanc et Fils in St.-Germain-des-Prés is just that.

Anne Leblanc opened the shop in the 1990's. It has since become a haven where chefs and gourmands alike buy and sample a wide variety of culinary oils, which have been ground and pressed at the Leblanc family factory in Iguerande, Burgundy, since 1878.

Choices include the most basic oils, like olive, sunflower and corn oil, as well as the exotic, like argan, grilled rapeseed and truffle oil. There are also nut oils, pecan, almond and hazelnut to name a few. Most important, tips can be given on what foods go best with what oils.

If you don't like oil, try the smaller selection of gourmet vinegars and artisanal mustards, sure to add a certain je ne sais quoi to your sandwich or salad.

For those who are most adventurous, a trip to the factory itself in southern Burgundy can be arranged.

L'Huilerie Artisanal J. Leblanc et Fils
6 rue Jacob, 6th


Charlotte Safavi 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, June 2011


March 25-July 11
Caillebotte Brothers Exhibition
Musée Jacquemart Andre
158 blvd Haussmann, Metro: Miromesnil
€10; under 7 free (open daily 10:00am-6:00pm, Monday until 9:30pm)

International Contemporary Art Fair
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, Metro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau
€28 (Times vary)

Slick Contemporary Art Fair
Palais de Tokyo
13 ave du Président Wilson, Metro: Iéna
€9 (Times vary)

Chic Art Fair
Cité de la Mode et du Design
15 passage des Lilas
34 Quai d'Austerlitz, Metro: Gare d'Austerlitz
€5; (not Tues, various dates)

La Bastille Modern Art Fair
Philosophy Cafés
Philosophy Cafés, Metro: Bastille
€8; (open daily 11:00am-8:00pm)

Exhibitions and Other Museums

March 8-July 17
Romantic French Gardens Exhibition (1770-1840)
Musée de la Vie Romantique
16 rue Chaptal, Metro: Blanche or Saint Georges
€7 (Tues-Sun 10am-6pm)
Web: Musee de la Vie Romantique

Paris Model Show (model planes, cars, trains, boats and figures)
Porte de Versailles
€ (Time and cost varies)

Music, Theater and Dance

Arènes de Montmartre Festival
Arènes de Montmartre
Rue Chappe, Metro: Abesses
€ (Time and cost varies)

Le Jardin Shakespeare's Open-Air Theater
Jardin du Pré Catelan, Bois de Boulogne, Metro: Bois de Boulogne
€ (Time and cost varies)

Paris Dance Festival
Théâtre du Châtelet
1 Place du Châtelet, Metro: Châtelet-Les Halles and Châtelet

June 29-July 15
The Anatomy of Sensation
Opèra Bastille
Place de la Bastille, Metro: Bastille

June 16-Jul 16
Cosi Fan Tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Opèra Garnier
Place de l'Opèra, Metro: Opèra

Paris Chopin Festival
Orangerie de Bagatelle
Orangerie de Bagatelle, Metro: Port Maillot, then bus to Bagatelle
€ (time and programs vary)

June 21
Fête de la Musique in the Musée d'Orsay
Musée d'Orsay, Metro: Solferino
€ Free

Paris Chopin Festival
Orangerie de Bagatelle, Metro: Porte Maillot, then bus to Bagatelle
€ Unknown at this time

Musiques et Jardins Festival
Les Trois Baudets, Metro: Blanche or Pigale
€ Free-10 (Tues-Sun)

Classique au Vert
Parc Floral de Paris
Rte de la Pyramide, Metro: Chateau de Vincennes
€5 (weekends only)

Festival Ile de France
Different locations
€5-25; some free


Moonlit Cinema in Paris
Paris - different locations
€ Free (weekends only)

Paris Autumn Festival
16 Rue de Rivoli
€ 8-36 (Daily)

Open-Air Cinema at La Villette
Parc de la Villette, Metro: Porte de la Villette
€ Free

International Photographic Flea Market
Bievres, RER C to Bievres
€ Free (weekends only)
Web: Check for times at 06-84-28-29-76

Japan Expo
Parc des Expositions Paris-Nord Villepinte, RER: B3

Tour de France
€ Free (Time varies)

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

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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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