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Paris Opera Quiz

Just for fun, test yourself on your knowledge of the Paris Opera Garnier...

1. The Paris Opera Garnier has 1900 seatsA. trueB. false

2. The crystal chandelier weighsA. 4 tonsB. 8 tonsC. 10 tons

3. The Opera Garnier is the...A. 1stB. 10thC. 13th...opera house in Paris

4. The Opera Garnier was constructed under which leaderA. Napoléon IIIB. Louis XIVC. Napoléon 1er

5. Charles Garnier, whose name is still attached to the building was the architect who won the contest to design the opera. He wasA. 55 years oldB. 40 years oldC. 35 years old

6. The French opera and ballet were founded in 1669 by Louis XIVA. TrueB. False

7. The Grand staircase is made ofA. alabasterB. several kinds of marbleC. granite

8. The Opera Garnier offers guided tours daily.A. TrueB. False

9. The other Opera in Paris is called the Opéra Bastille. In what year was it built?

A. 1989

B. 1969

10.  The official name of the Paris O…

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Historic, lovely and delicious Parisian Bread and Pastry

The idea of Parisian Bread and Pastry is obvious, but these are exceptional and historical. Important for their history and longevity, these Bread and Pastry places, that one must visit, also have invented their special iconic pastry, loaf or decor.

© Paris Tourist Office - Photographe : Amélie Dupont Stohrer

Nicolas Stohrer, as the story goes, learned his trade as pastry chef in the kitchens of King Stanislas I of Poland who was in exile in the East of France. When the King’s daughter, Marie Leszczynska, married King Louis XV of France, she brought her favorite pâtissier with her to Versailles. Five years later, in 1730, Stohrer opened his own Parisian Bread and Pastry shop on rue Montorgueil where it still is today. The creations at Stohrer are classic, reflecting centuries of French tradition. One of its most celebrated is the Puit d’Amour, or Well of Love, where a base of puff pastry gets topped with bourbon vanilla pastry cream and caramel glaze. “It’…

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New albums : Melody Gardot & Thomas Dutronc

Melody Gardot will be releasing a new album on October 23rd : "Sunset in the Blue" and has also just released a new song  called "Little Something" with Sting! A lovely pop/electro duet... a different style for Melody! For those who don't know her yet, Melody Gardot is an American jazz singer who has been influenced by blues and jazz artists such as Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and George Gershwin as well as Latin music artists such as Caetano Veloso. She has also been nominated for a Grammy Award!

She was in other musical the headlines recently. She wanted to send a strong message that art and love will always break through, even during hard times. She decided to put together a collaborative video clip that featured submissions from musicians all over the world to create a new piece of music called “From Paris with Love”. Created in isolation and made with love, this proj…

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Discover or Rediscover the secrets of Montmartre

By Patricia Killeen

Discover or Rediscover the secrets of Montmartre on the tour even Paris Expatriate “Lifers” and real Parisians take!

Eileen Grison has been living in Paris for two decades and has made Montmartre her home. Passionate about her neighbourhood, and initially showing her family and friends her favourite and often secret Montmartre corners, Eileen was encouraged by them to organize professional tours. At home in Ireland, after graduating with a degree in Italian and Cultural studies she subsequently worked as a tour guide for CIE, one of the country’s largest tour companies. In 2012, she created her company“Lingo Immersions”, offering Walking Tours of Montmartre. As someone who “loves all things culture and travel related” and having completely immersed herself in the culture of Montmartre, she was ideal for the job. I recently took one of her tours: “My Famous Artists of Montmartre” with some Parisian friends, and we had a fantas…

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The Statue of Liberty in France

The Statue of Liberty, whose full name is Liberty Enlightening the World was one of the greatest gifts ever given. The original was given by the people of France to the United States in 1886 and was installed in New York's harbor but did you know there are lots of Lady Libertys in France today? There are at least 25 in France and even more throughout the world.

In Paris alone there are quite a few. The one you need to know about is the one on the Allée des Cygnes which was a gift from the American community of Paris to Paris to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. On her tablet is the dates July 14, 1789, as well as July 4, 1776. Oliver Gee of the Earful Tower has covered five of the Parisian statues.

In addition there is another one on the roof of a peniche near the Eiffel Tower and one in the Musée d'Orsay. Yet another is very tiny and hard to see; it is incrusted in the torso of César's Cenataure (place Michel Debré Paris 6th) near hi…

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New Arrivals at Bill & Rosa’s Book Room – English Books Paris

Each week in the Book Room online, we recommend newly published English books we love. We also present some in French or bilingual, for kids or adults, fiction or non. Many are books about France of course, but there are many different subjects. To discover all our titles come visit Bill & Rosa's Book Room.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdoODVrfv4c This week's theme in the Book Room: Halloween

HALLOWEEN COLORING BOOK. This book comes with a brush and needs only water to make the magic paint appear. 16 Halloween-esque scenes are full of bright color and rich detail once simply wet with the brush. There's a haunted house, trick or treat, witches and more. On the practical side the cover folds over to prevent splashy painters from getting the whole book soaked at once! The same publisher has many other subjects in this same format and series: Christmas, nature,…

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SOME OTHER PARIS – A totally different look at the City of Lights (Streaming on YouTube)

An unconventional look at current life in the City of Light, Some Other Parisexamines everything from the Yellow Vest protests to the Parisian art scene through the eyes of expats, immigrants and French citizens. The documentary takes viewers far beyond the Eiffel Tower, past the fancy fashion houses and the haute cuisine. It is an immersive journey through the Paris of artists and intellectuals; inhabitants of a densely populated, expensive city, dodging around the cost of living, tightly packed public transportation, pollution and dog poop on the sidewalk.Directed by James H. Jewell III and executive produced by Kara Jewell, thisdocumentary film features twenty interviews with artists, musicians, poets,novelists, playwrights, radio personalities, a journalist, a real estate broker, a gamer, a charity worker, a costume designer/refugee worker, a sign language tour guide, and a rabbi. Residing in Paris is perhaps the only common denominator this diverse cast of c…

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BBI Boulogne-Billancourt Information talks about Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

BBI Boulogne-Billancourt Information - it's a pretty dull title for a magazine, but a really nice municipal publication just like Boulogne-billancourt is a really nice town. We read it every month to see what is going on in sports, culture, politics, business and best of all the history pages of our city. Julie Fagard, the journalist who interviewed us, clearly enjoys her job. She was lovely, interested and asked some great questions. She very much liked the concept we have put forth. The Book Room is rather unique in Boulogne as there are no English book shops and no used book shops in this town of nearly 110,000. The article has already brought in a dozen customers on the first day we were open after publication! I looks like we've hit a chord. We're happy to give back to Boulogne-Billancourt, the second largest city in Ile de France after Paris (and 30th largest in France), as it is a great place where people are friendly and smiling. There's great shopping on the vibra…

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ICS Paris is a unique international school in Paris

Formerly known as EIB – The Victor Hugo School, ICS Paris is an international school in Paris hosting students from Nursery to Grade 12 in the heart of the 15th district. A member of ICS, Leading International Baccalaureat (IB) School Group in Europe, ICS Paris fosters all the values at the heart of an IB education from Primary to High School leading our students towards the IB Diploma.

With a small-class policy, ICS Paris welcomes over 600 students from 70 different nationalities and educational backgrounds. With more than 30 years of experience in education, ICS Paris is a well-known international institution in Paris, unique because of its tailored English-speaking curriculum, enhanced by compulsory French lessons from the age of three. Our international and rich curriculum follows the IB Diploma for our High School, IGCSE for the Middle School (currently also MYP candidate) and Cambridge and IPC for our Primary School.

Students at ICS Paris…

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A Passion for Complication

A slightly adapted excerpt from Demystifying the French: How to Love Them and Make them Love You, published by Winged Words Publishing, 2019. Copyright Janet Hulstrand, all rights reserved.

It’s best, whenever possible, to give the merchant exact change when buying something in France. “I do not know why, but I do know that French people really, really, really want you to give them exact change if you possibly can. They just do,” I tell my students.

This can lead to a confusing situation for Anglophones, because the word for “change” in French is monnaie. So if a French person looks at the money you have given them and says “Vous n’avez pas de monnaie?” you might understandably be confused. After all, haven’t you just given them monnaie?

But no, you see, you have not. You have given them argent, which means, literally “silver,” and is the word used for money. Or you have given them espèce, which means “cash”: but you have not given them exact c…

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Having a baby in France (part 2)

Here is part 2 of our article about having a baby in France. Part 1 was about products (https://www.fusac.fr/having-a-baby-in-france-part-1) and Part 2 is about resources: groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

Being a parent is not always easy and it can feel quite lonely if you don't have enough support. It can be even more difficult if you are an English speaker having a baby in France! The support group Message started in 1984 with a few young English-speaking mothers wanting to connect with others for support in raising their children while living away from local customs, traditions and family. In the past 35 years, it has grown into a vibrant and thriving community of parents who continue, year after year, to support one another, share openly, forge new friendships, and build bright futures for families in France. You can join as an individual (50 euros for a new member) or as a family (70 euros) for 12 months. Message runs hu…

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Why is it called? Part 1: Pastries and desserts

Why is it called … Part 1: PASTRIES and DESSERTS Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Why are croissants, pain aux raisins and pains au chocolats called viennoiseries for example? How do things get named? Here is a short list of French pastries and desserts and how they got their names. We invite readers to add their own favorite pastries and dessert to the comments. Viennoiserie A pastry was created in Vienna in celebration of the end of the Turkish siege of 1683 in the shape of the Turkish crescent (croissant). An Austrian army officer named August Zang and his associate Ernest Schwarzer, a nobleman from Vienna opened the Boulangerie Viennoise at 92 rue de Richelieu in Paris in 1838. They were the first to make the pastries which were to become known as viennoiserie. Ironically even though the French name viennoiserie makes a reference to Vienna which is the origin of the pasrties, in English these baked delights are called Danish pastri…
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Les Maréchaux?

Why are the boulevards on the edge of Paris (where the Tramway and PC bus run) referred to as “Les maréchaux“? This ring of roads, which totals 33 kilometres and connects the portes de Paris, has different sections each named after a French field marshal. Lannes, Brune, Kellerman... Les boulevards des Maréchaux were originally the military route that gave access to the ramparts, built by Thiers in 1840, which circled Paris protecting it from invaders and sieges. In 1860 Paris annexed the towns on the periphery as well as the ramparts and glacis (A glacis is the open grassy slope on the outside of the ramparts – As with many military terms we use the same word in English, but it comes from Old French glacier ‘to slip’, from glace ‘ice’, based on Latin glacies) which created a wide gap in the urban landscape. The gap was gradually filled in by the ramshackle housing of the less fortunate. In the 1920s the ramparts were removed and the area since called «la zone» was rebuilt with …
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Faux Amis

BEWARE THOSE FAUX AMIS (WORDS THAT LOOK ALIKE IN TWO LANGUAGES BUT HAVE DIFFERENT MEANINGS, SOMETIMES DANGEROUSLY SO) AND INACCURATE TRANSLATIONS! You’re the Chief Information Officer of the French branch of a sprawling multinational, and you’ve been told to upgrade the entire system. Everything. The Works. There are hundreds of thousands of euros to be spent on software, hardware, related staff training and, in conjunction with the Marketing Department, a glossy communication campaign to let the universe know how ultra-wired you are. With almost puerile excitement you grab the phone, call the most renowned supplier in the world and are transferred to an eager young French sales-rep delighted at the opportunity to practice his English. You explain what you’re after. The young man says he’s thrilled to help but his own system is out today. Could you call back tomorrow, he asks, when he’ll hopefully have access to the documents he needs for his pitch. You call the next day. “The…
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Moving to Paris or France

Moving to Paris

So you are moving to the city of light! Good news! However, Paris and the French organization in general can be painful for the unprepared. Several Japanese tourists moving to Paris have suffered the so-called “Paris syndrome” - a shock after discovering the difference between the dream city they imagined and the reality of Paris. For example unsafe streets (compared to Japan perhaps, but Paris is not unsafe compared to many other cities), a crowded metro and administrative hassle. The following guide lists some frequent questions newcomers ask when moving to Paris or France.

How to find an apartment?

First, choose the area! Paris is divided into arrondissements from 1st to 20th, often written in roman numerals:

I, II, III, IV, V, VI are very central, with mostly old pre-Hausmann Parisian buildings. They are well suited for wealthy students or workers, but don't even imagine parking a car.VII, VIII, XIV, XV, XVI and XVII are usuall…
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Break in?! Pickpocketed? Emergency?! Bike stolen?!

Break in?! Pickpocketed? Emergency?! Bike stolen?!

Was your apartment or vehicle broken into? Your bag or car stolen? Your home tagged with grafitti? We certainly hope not, but sometimes it is necessary to make a police declaration for theft or damage. The good news is that you can do a pre-declaration online and avoid waiting at the commissariat. Not only will you save time by not having to personally go to the station and wait in line, you can also fill out the form calmly in your own home with a dctionary handy and without pressure to speak French. Once the pre-declaration is transmitted you will be contacted within 24 hours by a police agent who will process the complaint then ask you to stop by to sign (within a month) and finalize the complaint. www.pre-plainte-en-ligne.gouv.fr I can personally vouch for the efficacity of this system. I used it when my bike was stolen. It makes making a complaint quite simple and stress free and thus encourages actually &…

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To Mask or not to Mask that is the question

We used to wear masks over our eyes for theatre, play, to sleep or perfidity, now we've got them on our mouths and noses for... protection. Whether the throw-away kind or reuseable cloth, bought or homemade, white or bright colors, solid colored or print masks are here to stay for a while. By desire or force they have become part of our everyday accessories, as important to pick up when going out as your phone. You'll always remember the year that those vacation pictures were taken. 2020 is clearly discernible. Here are 3 different mask experiences, thoughts and analyses from Italy, Canada and Paris. It's interesting to have perspective from a variety of places. (PS: If you would like a free homemade washable mask, just stop by Bill & Rosa's Book Room!)

Basilica San Vitale Ravenna, Italy Italy

Our "cousin" website and magazine Easy Milano, which serves English speakers in the Milan, Italy area, has recently published an article titled English Speakers Di…

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