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Welcome 2 France Newsletter May 2014
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By design, Paris was intended to be the epitome of art and beauty. At first glance, the shape of the metropolis-- a snail's shell spiraling outward-- may remind you of escargots, a popular French dish, but there's more to the city's unusual form than meets the eye. Beneath the Eiffel Tower's romantic façade or the Notre Dame's tall arched-windows are traces of a mathematical equation that reflects balance and perfection. As you explore the French capital, keep your eyes open for these subtle hints of Paris' beauty.

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Montmartre - Mansion

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Why is Paris Beautiful?
Unknown to many, Paris' design was inspired by a mystic architectural practice from 2,400 years ago.

Paris has long been hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it did not receive this title accidentally. Like ancient Athens, which was designed to appease the Greek gods with proportionate temples and columns, everything within Paris was built with one goal in mind: to actualize beauty and perfection. From the city's layout down to the landmarks and parks that adorn it, one can easily tell that Paris was intended to be breathtakingly beautiful.

But Paris was not always a majestic capital. In fact, before 1853, Paris was crowded, dark, and as Voltaire put it, "filthy". The French president at the time, Emperor Napoléon III, felt that Paris, being the heart of France, deserved a make-over of its own. Not long after Napoléon III's rise to power, the first wave of city-wide renovations began; and the man to thank for improving Paris, Georges-Eugene Haussmann, stood at the helm for the Hausmann Renovations of 1853 to 1870 (however, construction continued until 1927).

Although plenty of streets were removed and new buildings were erected, Hausmann retained Paris' oval shape as a testament to its early settler's fondness for the mystic Golden Spiral, which was believed to be a reflection of nature's law on beauty by the ancient Greeks. While most maps of Paris from before 1853 already showed a city with a prominent oval shape, Hausmann defined the lines of this mystic spiral opening outward when he divided the city into 20 districts. With the first district situated in the heart of Paris and the 20th bordering the outskirts, Hausmann successfully designed the largest scale model of the Golden Spiral in history.

The Golden Ratio (of which the Golden Spiral is derived from) is part of what the ancient Greeks considered "sacred geometry"; it reflects symmetry, fair proportions, and infiniteness. It is believed that an object meets the qualities of the Golden Ratio if it can be divided into smaller shapes with dimensions proportionate to the whole. Contrary to what conspiracy theorists say about it today, the Golden Ratio holds no occult significance; mathematicians, artists, and architects of yore simply considered it visually proportionate and subsequently, aesthetically pleasing.

You can find the Golden Ratio almost wherever you go in Paris. For example, it is possible to divide the façade of the Notre Dame Cathedral into multiple rectangles because it was built proportionately with the dimensions of Golden Ratio in mind. The same may be said for the Eiffel Tower which, when divided, produces a multiple number of equally proportionate squares and rectangles. Finally, the Mona Lisa in the Louvre demonstrates these mystic proportions alongside her mystic smile.

As you walk through Paris this time around, keep your eyes peeled for monuments and landmarks that reflect the Golden Ratio. Armed with this knowledge, you will be seeing Paris through a different set of eyes.

Staying Fit on Nature Trails
What's better than walking around Paris? Walking around Paris to stay fit!

There are a number of parks and gardens in Paris which may be ideal for an afternoon stroll, but if you plan to hit two birds with one stone and stay fit as you enjoy Paris' fauna, plan a trip through Paris' nature trails. Not only are these nature trails perfect for your morning workout, you can also plan a picnic in these less crowded gardens.

Promenade plantée, or literally a tree-lined walkway, is one of the most common elevated linear parks in the city which also doubles as a nature trail and cycling route; you can rent a bicycle in Paris should you wish to discover this park on wheels. To get to the promenade, simply head down to the eastern side of Opéra Bastille in the 12th district.

If you prefer a more historically significant nature path, Parc Monceau in the 8th district may be another option for you to visit. More intricately designed than Promenade plantée, this park was designed by French painter and inventor, Louis Carrogis Carmontelle, as commissioned by Phillippe, Duke of Chartres, cousin to Louis XVI. Parc Monceau was designed differently from other French gardens: its inspiration stems from English gardens which the Duke of Chartres was very fond of. Although Parc Monceau is located in an opulent area, it is a public park that is open for all.

Our Monceau Park apartment which accommodates up to 8 people has a private entrance leading to this beautiful 8-hectare landmark.

If you plan to mix nature and fine dining, you will never run out of options in Paris. Le Chalet des Iles (Lac inférieur du Bois de Boulogne, Porte de la Muette, 75016,, a classical French restaurant located in Bois de Boulogne is a stunning destination situated in the middle of a lovely, mini-forest. The restaurant exudes an American countryside feel but the cuisine is mostly French. You can enjoy a quiet stroll here and reward yourself with a French meal afterwards.

Plan Your Great Escape at "Mystery Escape"
Inspired by room escape games (and probably Harry Houdini's own attempts at escaping tight straitjackets), Mystery Escape is a new attraction for thrill-seekers.

When was the last time you found yourself trapped all alone in a dark room? If it has been awhile, you could book yourself a thrilling escape experience at the "Mystery Escape" attraction in the 8th district.

Inspired by room escape games, the Mystery Escape is a live game you can play with up to 4 other friends. The challenge begins with you and your team trapped in a dark room illuminated only by dim lights and devices. The goal of the game is to get out of the dark and damp room within 60 minutes. Sounds easy? Not exactly. Your room is booby-trapped and the only way to get past the obstacles is to put your wits together.

Part-mystery game, part-tour, "Mystery Escape" is one of the most recent exciting attractions of have come out of Paris this year. Children aged 16 and above are welcome to participate in the "Mystery Escape" challenge, with rates starting at 22 Euros per participant.

For more details on this exciting game:

Calendar of Events


Festival Marvellous Island
07 May 2014 - 10 May 2014
Avenue de Nogent
Lac des Minimes, Bois de Vincennes, 75012

Festival Jazz for Ville
17 May 2014 - 24 May 2014
Rue Joseph-Franceschi

Designer's Days: Movement
19 May 2014 - 25 May 2014
Boulevard Haussmann

Métis Festival in Saint-Denis
21 May 2014 - 21 June 2014
Basilique cathédrale de Saint-Denis - Centre des Monuments Nationaux
1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur
93200 Saint-Denis

Versailles Festival
23 May 2014 - 08 July 2014
Château de Versailles
Établissement public du château, du musée et du domaine national de Versailles

Festival des Chemins de Traverse
21 May 2014 - 25 May 2014
Espace Michel Simon
36 rue de la République
93160 Noisy-le-Grand

Rendez-vous aux Jardins, the Child in the Garden
30 May 2014 - 01 June 2014
Place Paul-Claudel

Villette Street Festival
30 May 2014 - 01 June 2014
Grande Halle de La Villette
Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès

Entrez dans la danse
01 June 2014
Parc de Bercy
41 rue Paul Belmondo, 75012

Villette Sonique Festival
02 June 2014 - 08 June 2014
Grande Halle de La Villette
Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès

Festival de Saint-Denis
03 June 2014 - 27 June 2014
Basilique cathédrale de Saint-Denis - Centre des Monuments Nationaux
1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur

Paris Jazz Festival
07 June 2014 - 27 July 2014
Parc Floral de Paris - Jardin botanique de la Ville de Paris
Esplanade du château de Vincennes - Route de la Pyramide

Champs-Elysées Film Festival
11 June 2014 - 17 June 2014
Cinéma Gaumont Marignan
27 avenue des Champs-Élysées

Festival du Numérique
12 June 2014 - 22 June 2014
104 / Centquatre
104 rue d'Aubervilliers - 5 rue Curial

Festival international des cinémas numériques
14 June 2014 - 23 June 2014
Arènes de Lutèce
49 rue Monge

Festival du film Merveilleux et Imaginaire
26 June 2014 - 28 June 2014
Théâtre Douze
6 avenue Maurice Ravel

Solidays Festival
27 June 2014 - 29 June 2014
Hippodrome de Longchamp
Bois de Boulogne

Japan Expo
02 July 2014 - 06 July 2014
Paris Nord Villepinte - VIPARIS
82 avenue des nations - Zac Paris Nord 2

Paris Cinéma
05 July 2014 - 12 July 2014
Cinémathèque française
51 rue de Bercy

Jardin d'été au Musée du quai Branly
05 July 2014 - 31 August 2014
Musée du Quai Branly
222 rue de l'Université

Festival Classique au Vert
02 August 2014 - 14 September 2014
Parc Floral de Paris - Jardin botanique de la Ville de Paris
Esplanade du château de Vincennes - Route de la Pyramide

Rock en Seine Festival
22 August 2014 - 24 August 2014
Domaine de Saint-Cloud - Centre des Monuments Nationaux
Domaine national de Saint-Cloud

Les Solistes à Bagatelle
30 August 2014 - 14 September 2014
allée de Longchamp
Grille d'Honneur, 75016

Tokyo Crazy Kawaï Paris
20 September 2014 - 22 September 2014
Esplanade du château de Vincennes - Route de la Pyramide

Arts and Exhibitions

Salon Antiquités Brocante
08 May 2014 - 18 May 2014
Place de la Bastille

Les Puces du Design
15 May 2014 - 18 May 2014
Bercy Village
Cour Saint-Émilion

Naturally Fair
13 June 2014 - 16 June 2014
1 place de la Porte de Versailles

Summer Sales 2014
25 June 2014 - 29 July 2014
Boulevard Hausmann

Paris International Motor Show
04 October 2014 - 19 October 2014
1 place de la Porte de Versailles

02 April 2014 - 14 July 2017
Esplanade des Invalides - 129 rue de Grenelle

Once Upon The Orient-Express
04 April 2014 - 31 August 2014
Institut du Monde Arabe
1 rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard

08 April 2014 - 21 September 2014
Musée Rodin
79 rue de Varenne

The Cleopatra Myth
10 April 2014 - 07 September 2014
Pinacothèque de Paris
28 place de la Madeleine

Does the Soul have a Face?
17 April 2014 - Sunday 31 August 2014
Maison de Victor Hugo
6 place des Vosges, 75004

10 May 2014 - 22 June 2014
Nef du Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill

Martial Raysse
14 May 2014 - 22 September 2014
Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou

Unedited History
16 May 2014 - 24 August 2014
Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
11 avenue du Président Wilson

Paris Plage as seen by Daumier
01 June 2014 - 30 September 2014
Maison de Balzac
47 rue Raynouard

Forme Publique
19 June 2014 to 19 June 2015
Esplanade de La Défense
92 Paris La Défense

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875)
24 June 2014 - 28 September 2014
Musée d'Orsay
1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007

Tiki Pop
24 June 2014 - 28 September 2014
Musée du Quai Branly
222 rue de l'Université,75007

The Fifties
03 July 2014 - 16 November 2014
Musée Galliera - Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris
10 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116

Musée Jacquemart-André
158 boulevard Haussmann, 75008


Tous à l'Opéra
10 May 2014 - 11 May 2014
Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier
Place de l'Opéra, 75009

Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou
11 May 2014
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
15 avenue Montaigne, 75008

The Quatuor Ebène and Stacey Kent
12 May 2014
Théâtre du Châtelet
2 rue Edouard Colonne, 75001

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis
17 May 2014
Salle Pleyel
252 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008

Improvisation Night
18 May 2014
Théâtre du Châtelet
2 rue Edouard Colonne, 75001

Anna Netrebko, la Philharmonie Baden-Baden
24 May 2014
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
15 avenue Montaigne, 75008

Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard
27 May 2014
Salle Gaveau
45-47 rue de la Boétie, 75008

Krystian Zimerman
06 June 2014
Salle Pleyel
252 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008

Ramón Vargas, Ildar Abdramazakov, Mzia Bhatouridze
11 June 2014
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
15 avenue Montaigne, 75008

The Great Historical Show in Meaux
14 June 2014 - 14 September 2014
Place Charles-de-Gaulle

Les Grandes Eaux
21 June 2014 - 12 September 2014
Les Grandes Eaux nocturnes, show
place d'Armes, 78000

Philippe Jaroussky, Dominique Visse, L'Arpeggiata
25 June 2014
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
15 avenue Montaigne, 75008


19 May 2014 - 27 May 2014
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
15 avenue Montaigne, 75008

02 June 2014 - 20 June 2014
Opéra National de Paris - Opéra Bastille
Place de la Bastille, 75012

Le Point Virgule fait l'Olympia
12 June 2014
L'Olympia Bruno Coquatrix
28 boulevard des Capucines, 75009

Les Etés de la danse de Paris
09 July 2014 - 27 July 2014
Théâtre du Châtelet
2 rue Edouard Colonne, 75001

Le Cirque Plume
24 September 2014 - 28 December 2014
Avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019


The French Open at Roland Garros
25 May 2014 - 08 June 2014
Stade Roland-Garros
2 avenue Gordon Bennett, 75016

We Own the Night
08 June 2014
Place de la Bastille, 75012

Prix de Diane
15 June 2014
16 avenue du Général Leclerc - 209 BP 90
60631 Chantilly

La Parisienne
12 September 2014 - 14 September 2014
Parc du Champ-de-Mars
Quai Branly - Avenue de la Motte Picquet

Les Chasseurs de temps
21 September 2014 - 23 September 2014
Bois de Vincennes, 75012

Qatar, Arc de Triomphe Prize
04 October 2014 - 05 October 2014
Hippodrome de Longchamp
Bois de Boulogne, 75016

BNP Paribas Masters 2014
27 October 2014 - 02 November 2014
Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy
8 boulevard de Bercy, 75012

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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