Archive for the ‘Parisian accommodations’ Category
Daylight time is moving towards its annual peak. Parisian evening life is starting to simmer. In some other cities, the night will disappear altogether.
Paris is a symbol: of lights, of learning, of luxury. When a city calls itself “the Paris of ____”, it usually claims resemblance based on at least one of these attributes. Tromsø is the first and most significant of Scandinavian cities located above the arctic circle. If you were to make trip around the world, from pole to pole, your trip would likely lead you through Tromsø before your final journey to the North Pole. Scandinavians refer to Tromsø as the “Paris of the North”, mostly because it is a university town with a buzzing night-life. But its similarities don’t stop there.
Parisians who are unlikely to make the 2000 km trip just to experience the Norwegian café scene should at least consider the Tromsø for its light. There is something other-worldly about wandering about in a twilight that lingers over the hours. In Tromsø, the sun never sets in the summer, and hardly rises in the winter. Painters have captured the special light that exists in and around Paris. Had it been possible for them to travel to the arctic circle in their times, perhaps they would have travelled to Tromsø to portray its colourful houses in the faint glow of the midnight sun. Not to mention the northern lights, the Aureol Boralis, that is the most famous attraction for those who make such an expedition.
In fact, the expedition has become well within the reach of most. The flight from Oslo lasts only two hours and tickets can be purchased for as little as 105€ round trip. There are also direct flights from London Gatwick.
Wandering around the small island city on foot is worth at least a day. From the rather quaint 19th century style, worthy of a movie décor, to the sleek, contemporary wooden homes with spectacular views over the water, Tromsø is a feast of diversity.
Still, such features are probably insufficient to lure continentals to the edge of the world. Most of us want to go that far to get away from it all. Yes, to get away from the figurative lights, the learning, and the luxury. For those of us with the hound-like itching that makes us occasionally want to bound and run wild, Tromsø offers a virgin romping ground. Would you like to hike over and beyond and seemingly endless range of mountains, hours upon hours, without crossing paths with another Parisian (not even a local Norwegian?). This part of Norway will not disappoint you.
Need a break from hiking, but still eager to see the wild? Take a high-speed ship that will shoot you around the maze of fjords.
How about that arctic sunburn? Tromsø is the end of the gulf stream, and offers an amazingly temperate climate ranging from +16° in the summer to -10° in the winter. On a sunny summer day, you can lie out on the beach and boast at being one of the few to get an arctic tan.
What about dining? Well, we do have some excellent Parisian restaurants to recommend before you depart and as soon as you get back.
At ParisSharing, we’ve hosted guests from places from places around the world, including Norway. But not yet from Tromsø! So, if you happen to be reading this blog entry and live in Tromsø, guest what? We’ll offer you a 300 Norwegian Krone discount on booking with with ParisSharing in 2013!
Click here to see our slideshow of Tromso photos.
About Carsten Sprotte, the author
In addition to being the founder of ParisSharing, Carsten is an avid traveler who finds it difficult to divide his time and attention between Paris, the city he loves, and the rest of the wide, wide world.
In France, April Fool’s day is referred to as “April Fish day”, le jour du poisson d’avril. The fish is the symbol of any prank customarily performed on that day.
Whether you refer to the day as April Fool’s or Poisson d’Avril, legend has it that the custom originated in France back in 1564 when king Charles IX ordained that the new year would no longer begin on April 1st (the start of spring), but rather on January 1st (when the days begin to lengthen). Without mass media and Facebook, not everyone picked up on this major, counter-intuitive change, similar in many respects to the dogmatic reforms currently being pushed by the French government. And so for many years (maybe even decades? ) some silly people were still clinging and swinging to the rhythm of a springtime new year. To make fun of them, it became customary to offer fake gifts (such as a fish). Why a fish? That probably goes beyond the speculative powers of this blog entry, but legend has it that it is related to the end of the Catholic Lent period, when the last thing anybody wanted to eat was a fish (after having been deprived of meat for six weeks).
At ParisSharing, we don’t joke about hospitality, either on April Fool’s day or any other. That’s why our most recent guests, Anne & Family from Holland, were greeted in their ParisSharing apartment with a sumptuous fish made entirely of chocolate and stuffed
with little chocolates as well.
We strive to make each guest experience special, if not by such an unusual gift, by some touch of local joie de vivre. Some of our apartments are also decorated with unique or limited-series objects crafted by Parisian artists or designers, that can be purchased at the end of the stay.
For example, the apartment with the chocolate fish also featured adecorative platter hand-crafted by Isabelle Poupinel and a paper lamp from La Nomade du Design. The chocolate fish was crafted in the chocolate boutique-factory called called la Petite Fabrique just around the corner on the rue Saint-Sabin.
One last thing (and no kidding!): if you book your ParisSharing apartment before April Fool’s Day, we’ll offer you a free night if you stay five nights or longer. Simply ask for the April Fool’s discount in your booking request.
Interview #6 in the series “Parisiennes with panache“
Isabelle Poupinel is a crafter of porcelain. Hers a world where the solid yields to liquid forms, where matter is wielded to give expression to joy and light. Her name works magic in foreign ears, rhyming like music and conjuring up images of bubbles and lace. Her hands work magic as well, transforming earth into beautiful yet functional creations. Isabelle works from her atelier near Versaille, and displays her works in numerous design exhibitions. You can see her collections on her website Isabelle Poupinel à table and on her blog.
Some of Isabelle’s works will be on display in selected ParisSharing apartments. Come for a visit and you can enjoy them during your stay, and purchase them at the end. How’s that for an offer!
We met with Isabelle in a café next to her favorite bridge in Paris, the Pont Mirabeau.
ParisSharing : Are you a parisienne from birth or of heart ?
Isabelle Poupinel : You might call me a provicial parisienne, considering that I live between Paris and Versailles. But my origins are in Toulouse, where the sunlight is more direct.
In your mind, what does it mean to be a parisienne?
IP: My image is that of a parisienne enamored with her city and her neighborhood, with good knowledge of Paris as if were her own territory. She is spontaneous with no complexes, cultivated, hard-working, combative, and so attached to her milieu that she often can’t bother to leave Paris.
Does this match with you and your home?
IP: Up to a certain point, but I also can’t do without nature. My home is near a wood, and brings together old stone and modern design. I like to make my home and garden an interaction between the functional and the refined.
At ParisSharing, we want to share with our customers a certain joie de vivre, of which Paris is a symbol in the world. What in particular do you like to share about Paris?
IP: I like to highlight the stylistic uniformity and uniqueness of Paris.
Tell us about your brand and how it contributes to joie de vivre for you and and your customers.
IP: What comes from my mind and my hands is offered to all in a spirit of creative giving. I consider it both as art and as an art of hospitality, since many of my works are used to serve something to others. You might say that I give form to the art in what we call in French l’art de recevoir and also l’art de vivre. In addition to crafting the objects, I also put great care into the caligraphy and the choice of text that adorns some of my works. There is joy in the form, in the caligraphy, and in the words.
Which are the two or three places in Paris that are dearest to you?
IP: I really enjoy the Montorgeuil quartier, and as you mentioned in the introduction, I also love bridges and in particular the Pont Mirabeau, with its elaborate baroque decoration and singular golden-green color. When you arrive in Paris from Versailles, it’s the first bridge you see. It represents for me the gateway into Paris.
Are there any “secret” addresses that you would enjoy sharing?
IP: Boulangeries/Bakeries: Paris has so many, and they often have their specialities. I enjoy experimenting, during my roaming within the city, trusting in my eye for detail and the freshness of the product. I can never get enough of pains aux raisins, and still die for the chocolate-black current macarons by Hermé.
For authentically home-style chocolate, I recommend Génin on the rue de Turenne.
My favorite restaurants?
Chez Koba (jap) rue de la Michaudière
Boco (concept)- 3, Rue Danielle Casanova, 75001 Paris
Punta ala Caffé – 3 Rue de Vienne – Paris 9ème – 01 45 22 35 71
Punta Ala Caffe – Passage Choiseul – Paris 2ème
Chez Hugo – place des Vosges (brasserie cool et jeune)
L’Astrance (étoilé) de Pascal Barbot – rue Beethoven- paris 16.
Le Chateaubriand: 129, avenue Parmentier – Paris 11ème
Some other of my favorite spots (from an artist’s point of view):
- Lieu du Design, rue du Faubourg St-Antoine
- Galerie Florence Fabre – 11, avenue de Bouvines-11ème
- Galerie VU (photo) -quartier Notre Dame de Lorette
- Photographe Thierry Prat, photography coaching (a great idea to better discover Paris and your own talent as a photographer)
Last but not least the Atelier/Show-room Isabelle Poupinel in Viroflay/Versailles, with private visits organized on demand.
Works by Isabelle Poupinel are on display and available for purchase in selected ParisSharing apartments. Specific orders can also be made in advance of your stay and delivered to your apartment, regardless of which one you choose. Contact email@example.com for more details.
So you’re coming to Paris to stay a while? Lucky you! Soon, for the first time or as a veteran, you’ll experience life in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But international moves are never simple, and moves to Paris can be even less so, because of the short supply of housing and the complexity of getting settled into the French system. Here are some of the things you’ll likely have on your list: getting your electricity, telephone and internet contracts set up, registering vehicles, working through immigration procedures, enrolling your kids in school, enrolling yourself in language courses, installing a new kitchen…to name just a few of the most common issues. That’s why it’s helpful to have professional assistance to manage all the aspects of this relocation. Put your time and energy into more interesting things!
And then there is the most significant challenge: finding a place to live, either a rental or purchase. An effective and trustworthy real estate agent is a must, unless you have a serious local network working for you.
For all of these needs, ParisSharing recommends Sofime Relocation, specialized in full-service relocation. Sophie Girault, the founder, has considerable international experience as well as concise knowledge of the Paris real estate market.
When you relocate, there is often a period when you have not yet chosen your place to live, or even if you have chosen, it is not yet available. During this period, instead of staying in a hotel, we recommend a ParisSharing apartment in the area where you are considering to get settled. ParisSharing offers spacious, family apartments in all areas of Paris. Living for a few days, weeks, or months in a ParisSharing apartment will allow you to get a real feel for the quartier and decide if it’s for you.
For example, the 8th arrondissement is part of the “golden triangle” of very expensive properties, but living down the street from the Elysée Palace doesn’t exactly allow you to enjoy the simple pleasures of Paris as would the Oberkampf quartier on the east side of the city. The price of fresh produce can easily double from one part of town to another, and restaurants (for the same food) can easily vary 30%. The same astounding variations also apply for apartment rentals.
ParisSharing is a community of world citizens. Its members open their doors to others and enjoy sharing those things, admirable or surprising, that their city and neighborhood have to offer. The ParisSharing blog welcomes contributions from those its members who desire to share their particular knowledge of Paris.
We are pleased to welcome Christian Ponty for the first time on our blog, who will share with us some unexpected discoveries in places that are so close to our day-to-day comings and goings, and fully blended into our familiar Paris. With his wife Marie, Christian is also an admirable host, the captain of the the boat named “Powell”, where you can enjoy an extraodinary stay on the Seine.
As an American in Paris and the founder of the website ParisSharing.com, I am particularly touched by the live of the Marquis de la Fayette that Christian has chosen to relate. Vive l’amitié franco-américaine ! Long live the friendship between the French and the Americans.
- Carsten Sprotte
Numerous walks and places of rest in Paris attest to the long-lasting friendship between the French and Americans. The Marquis de Lafayette is an emblematic hero of these two worlds, the old and the new. He is the perfect starting place for my chronicles of the ongoing strong ties between the French and Americans.
A young aristocrat, orphined at the age of 12, Gilbert du Motier, future Marquis de la Fayette, at the age of 17 married Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles, a descendant of one of the oldest and most prestigious families of the French nobility. She introduced him within the Maison militaire of the king in Versailles.
This is where he will befriend Benjamin Franklin, the ambassador who, along with Sillas Deane and Arthur Lee, came to plead the cause of the 13 colonies to Louis XVI, king of France.
Affronting the royal authority that offered him a life of luxury, he clandestinely embarqued abord the Victoire, disguised as a woman, and lands two months later in Philadelphia where he would serve alongside the American rebels, for the cause of the enlightened ideas of liberty and independence. It is the cause that will allow the United States of America to become a nation in quest of its own destiny.
Thirteen years later in 1789, Lafayette will again distinguish himself, returning to France during her own revolutionary tumult to present to the Assembly a bill to abolish slavery and a declaration Human Rights.
Lafayette died in Paris on May 20, 1834. His funeral took place a the ancien covent des filles de l’Assomption (currently the Polish Church of Paris). He was then buried alongside his wife in the Picpus cemetery, that is the only remaining private cemetery in Paris, a peaceful place of rest in a wooded park, aligning a rose garden, located in the 12th arrondissement.
Under the same earth are buried 1306 victims of the French revolutionary Terror, beheaded at the nearby Place de la Nation between June and July of 1794.
Several weeks after Lafayette’s burial, a bit of American soil was added to his grave, sealing forever the bond between France and the USA. The soil was brought from Yorktown on the Brandywine where the famous battle of September 11, 1777 took place in which he fought and was wounded in front of George Washington, who henceforth held him in his highest estime. Lafayette became the first French citizen of the United States of America with the rank of General Major.
Ever since, on each Independence Day, the US ambassador pays a visit to his grave in memory of the decisive help given by the Marquis de la Fayette, along with other Frenchmen such as the Admiral de Grasse, victor over Lord Charles Cornwallis at the Chesapeake naval battle, as well as the General Jean-Baptise Donatien de Vimeur, count of Rochambeau, who headed up a reinforcement of 11 000 soldiers.
During one of these commemoration ceremonies on July 4th, 1917, the American lieutenant colonel Charles E. Stanton, representing General Pershing, spoke the famous words “La Fayette, Nous voilà!” to symbolize the American commitment to France during the first world war.
Each 4th of July, the American ambassador to France comes to replace the American flag that hangs above his tomb, and sends the previous flag to one of the 50 American states, chosen at random. This homage has such symbolic importance that even during the Nazie occupation, the German authorities decided not to remove this flag above La Fayette’s tomb.
The Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783 in the presence of Benjamin Franklin, marked the end of the war of Independence, officially recognizing the United States of America and a new nation
- Orginal text in French written by Christian William Ponty
- Translation by Carsten Sprotte