ints for Newcomers
indsights for Old-Timers:
Macramé and so much more or Paris classes for everything and anything
Our Hints-Hindsights posted on February 6, 2016 started: “When your spouse was offered a high-paid, top-executive position in Paris, did you declare, “We’ll move to the most beautiful city in the world only if I can find a step-aerobics class catering to my age group and ability level”? Have you said to yourself, “Now that I have played tennis in the Bois de Boulogne, skied in Grenoble and run the Marathon de Nantes, what could possibly be left for me to do?” Does your overpowering attraction to moelleux au chocolat crash full-force into your seeming inability to chase its pernicious effects from your thighs? If the answer to any of these is a resounding “YES!” you have come to the right article.” If, on the other hand, when your spouse was offered a high-paid, top-executive position in Paris, you declared, “We’ll move to the most beautiful city in the world only if I can find a macramé class, Basque-language lessons and PowerPoint-perfection training,” a future “Hints and Hindsights” might be just what you’re looking for.
And here it is, the promised article, with a mere sampling (operative words here: “mere” and “sampling”) of the entities offering so many Paris classes and activities in so many domains that you’ll find yourself with an embarras de choix* on your hands. And in your ears. And eyes. And brain.
- City Halls: In France, the centers, the hard cores, the beating hearts of activities information (and often the activities themselves) are the local city halls, or mairies: the professional home of the mairemayorwho may be a mère (mother) but likely not a mer (sea). Speaking of mothers, the matriarch of them all is Paris’s Hôtel de Ville, which is what the bigger mairies are called, with hôtel here meaning: definition. The mairies are very proud of their activities programs, as well they should be! Anglos spill a lot of ink and burn up a lot of breath bellyaching about what the French do not-so-greatly. Here is a super opportunity for praise-lavishing upon our Gallic hosts (who are far from shy about fustigating our foibles either). Keeping in mind that formation means “training” in general and une formation is a training session or program, and armed with at least a modicum of proficiency in French, your visit to https://cma.paris.fr/ (Cours Municipaux d’Adutes) > Recherche par domaine (on the left of the home page), then a click on each of the categories, and one on each of the sub-categories, and sometimes sub-sub-categories, will keep you so busy researching the offerings that you’ll hardly have time to run out and attend one. (And that’s only for PARIS! All but the most minuscule of mairies have at least paper-based documentation about local pursuits, and many have delightful websites.)
- CCI (Chambre/s de Commerce et d’Industrie): For the Paris/Ile de France area, a similar game can be played (given a similar mastery of French) at: http://www.cci-paris-idf.fr/formation/adultes-orienter-former-formation > Orientation et Formation > click on categories, etc., while a list of the many other CCIs is offered here: http://www.cci.fr/web/organisation-du-reseau/repertoire-national. Especially helpful for those wanting to explore all aspects of starting a business, the Chambres de Commerce et d’Industrie are generally appreciated for their courteous personnel et abundant information.
- WICE: Founded as the Women’s Institute for Continuing Education and ultimately becoming “WICE” as male enrolment increased, the organization is a pillar of the Anglophone and international communities. Whether you know what you’re looking for or you’re just shopping around for a “Surprise me!” moment, after clicking on every possible link here, http://www.wice-paris.org/, you’ll know why WICE has been going strong for the better part of half a century.
- KIDS: We can’t top this. So we won’t try. Click on Activities for kids in Paris …and… Activites for kids in France (there’s some overlap) > follow the links, corral the progeny and head for the door!
* roughly: You’ll be overwhelmed with choices.
Shari Leslie Segall is a writer who lives in Paris.