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Newsletter #23: April 2002

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*** Secrets of Paris Newsletter #23: April 3, 2002 ***


* From the Home Office
* Alcazar CD Launch Soirée
* On the Dance Floor
* Life of an Artisan
* Urban Gardening Time
* Travel Writer Courses in Paris
* Parler Parlor
* Sell Your Used CDs and DVDs
* Jean Taquet and the Insider Paris Guides
* Disney Studios

* From the Home Office *
Lots going on lately in Franceland. I’ve been trying to register myself as a writer with AGESSA (self-employment social security office) and buy a house all in one month. That’s not only a lot of new vocabulary to learn, it’s also a real test in patience. Luckily I’ve built up a number of great resources over the years, people who can give sound advice and sympathize with my frustrations. I admire the newcomers to France who jump right into the hard stuff without knowing what they’re in for. For Americans, especially, there’s a tendency to want to do everything one’s self, so "What are the rules?" Unfortunately it’s not quite as straightforward in France, so the best thing to do is to gather as much info as possible before relocating/buying property/picking a school/looking for a job/paying taxes and so on. There are fabulous resources on Paris, books and websites, but the people are your best resource of all. I’ve listed some great people down below who every expat and repeat visitor in Paris should know. BTW, you now have to be a group member to get this newsletter, so if you’re forwarding it to friends, please ask them to sign up so I can get a good idea of how many of you there are. Thanks! -H

* Alcazar CD Launch Soirée*
Lounge fans won’t want to miss the launch of the Alcazar’s latest compilation: La Mezzanine de l’Alcazar, Vol. 2. The ‘lancement’ takes place this Friday, April 5, with the live DJs Fabrice Lamy (Part 1:Dinner Time) and Chloe (Part 2: Seduction Time). There’s an open bar from 9pm-10pm. Be sure to call and reserve your places in advance:
Mezzanine de l’Alcazar
62 rue Mazarine, 6th arr., Metro Odéon
Free entrance, open daily 9pm-2am.
RSVP 01-53-10-19-99

* On the Dance Floor *
If lounge is too lethargic for your itchy feet, then check out these great parties guaranteed to get you on the floor. The HIFI Party takes place every Wednesday night at the classic Montparnasse landmark, La Coupole. With live DJs from all over the world, HIFI is sponsored by the club scene connoisseurs at Parissi.com. If you miss tonight’s Brazilian Beats, try next week’s Love Mix with DJ couple Léa Lisa and DJ Touch. If you register at their website, you get free entry passes e-mailed to you (saves the 8€ fee!):
La Coupole, 102 blvd du Montparnasse, 14th arr., Metro Vavin
Every Wednesday from 10:30pm
http://www.hifiparty.com (you can listen to great mixes on their site)

The Batofar is always a sure bet for groovin’ tunes. For fans of the soul and hip hop scene, AIM and Beat Phreaks are scheduled for next Thursday, April 11, from 9pm-3am, 9.50Euros. AIM is a British trio who’ve mixed Lil’ Kim, Texas and Ian Brown of Stone Roses. Beat Phreaks take their inspiration from the funk king James Brown. You can buy tickets in advance at FNAC and Virgin stores.
11, Quai François Mauriac, 13th arr., Metro Bibliothèque or Quai de la Gare
Infoline: 01-40-33-37-17

* Life of an Artisan *
The first artisan salon, Artisan Passions, takes place from April 5-8 at the Hippodrome d’Auteuil (Porte d’Auteuil), showcasing the crafts of leatherworking, jewellery making, stone sculpting, tapestry, glassblowing, and more. Over 100 artisan studios will be giving demonstrations of their profession, selling one-of-a-kind works, and offering information on apprenticeships and formal studies for young aspiring artisans.

For listings of other salons and fairs in Paris and throughout France, check out this website (in French only):

* Urban Gardening Time *
Even if you live in the center of Paris and don’t have a terrace, you can still get into the gardening spirit with a few potted plants and a beach chair strategically placed under a sunny window. Or you can just visit the gardening exposition at Printemps de la Maison from April 18 through the end of summer. There’ll be everything from garden furniture and decorative pots to real plants and experts to help turn your terrace into a solarium.
Printemps de la Maison
64, blvd Haussmann, 9th arr.

* Travel Writing Courses in Paris *
So popular they’ve added a third course: The Ultimate Travel Writers Workshop III! Not that I need the competition, but all budding or wannabe travel writers should check this out. Hosted by International Living, you’ll have instruction with industry professionals and well-known published Paris authors. Evening events include readings at famous literary cafes, dinner in an author’s Paris home and add-on events such as dinner at the historic Le Bouillon Racine, Survival French Workshops and Literary Paris Tours. Are we salivating yet? Tell Adrian I sent you!
The Ultimate Travel Writers Workshop III: May 24 – May 27, 2002
For more info: http://www.parlerparis.com/travelwriters/index.html

* Parler Parlor *
And you may wonder, who’s this Adrian person? Adrian Leeds is well-known to most resident expats for her Leeds Good Value Guides to Paris Restaurants, as well as her popular Parler Parlor. This is a conversation group that meets in Paris for casual conversing amongst native English and French speaking members. The other host of the groups is Elisabeth Crochard, president of Babel Communications and past director of Berlitz France. Not only is it a great way to really put to use those language skills, you also get to meet lots of great people, both expats and local natives. The first time you go is free, so no excuses!
Email: info@parlerparlor.com

* Sell Your Used CDs and DVDs *
If you’re looking to buy or sell used books, CDs, DVDs, or video games, there’s a great French site, PriceMinister.com, that does this very efficiently. If you’re looking to buy, you can do a search or just browse. There are lots of great deals out there. Selling is quite easy, with no fees until you actually sell something (then they take 15%), and they collect the payment for you BEFORE you send out your goods. Books are 99% French, and you may want to check if VHS are in VO or VF. Happy hunting!

* Jean Taquet and the Insider Paris Guides *
Do EU citizens need to get the French Carte du Séjour? Where does an American citizen get a ‘certificat du coutume’ to get married in France? Do I really have to pay French taxes? Questions like this are best left to the experts, and Jean Taquet is definitely a name you’ll want to know for all of those pesky bureaucratic and legal knots you’ll encounter in France. After 8 years answering expat questions in the Paris Voice Q&A, he’s just published his e-book, Practical Answers for Living in France. The table of contents are available at the Insider Paris Guides website, showing every aspect of French life that’s covered in the book. Jean Taquet is French, but studied law in the US and married an American before moving back to Paris, so he’s familiar with the cross-cultural confusions of living abroad! Other Insider Paris Guides include Black Paris, Biking in Paris, Gay Paris, Working & Living, and a soon-to-be-released Jewish Paris guide.

* Disney Studios Paris *
Claire and I got to check out the new Disney Studios at the Disney Resort Paris. The Aerosmith Rockin’ Rollercoaster is worth the entry fee alone, but I would definitely make a weekend of it if you’re going out there. The Disney Resort has five hotels (all with different themes, of course), a golf course, the Disney Village (highly recommend the Hurricane nightclub) and, of course, Disneyland Paris. The official Ten-Year Anniversary of Disneyland Paris is April 10, 2002, and since it falls on a Wednesday should be full of little Parisian children! Read my entire report on the Disney Studios Grand Opening at:

* Check out my Archives *
There are over 55 articles and 175 links archived on my Secrets of Paris website at Suite101.com. Photos, too! Go have a peek: http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/4820

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