Driving in France: what you need to know

Driving in France: what you need to know This article covers driving in France: paperwork, insurance, and how to obtain it. Buying a car. In case of accident. Items you are required to have in the car. If you are British, you may want to follow this link for regulations coming into place now that Great Britain is not part of the EU. DRIVER'S LICENSE: Generally speaking (because there are of course exceptions, this IS France) if you are in France for over a year and aren't European, French law requires you to have valid French driving papers for driving in France. This one year period starts on the date of your first carte de séjour. Etudiant status is one of the exceptions; as a student you can drive with your foreign license for the duration of your studies. Some US states and other countries allow an exchange of licenses, other states and countries do not and you'll be required to pass the French exam to obtain the French license. Keep in mind an exchange must be do…
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Valentine’s Day – When Cupid’s bow is fired…

Valentine's Day - When Cupid’s bow is fired… As far back as the early fourth century B.C., the Romans had celebrated an annual rite of passage for young men in honor of the god Lupercus. The names of willing young women were placed in a box and drawn at random by the young men. From this lottery each man was matched with a woman companion to share in mutual entertainment and pleasure (often sexual). In a year’s time a new lottery was drawn with new partners.  Needless to say the early Catholic Church fathers were determined to put an end to this practice. They decided to find a « lover’s » saint who could usurp the popularity of Lupercus. They found Valentine. In Rome in A.D. 270, Valentine, Bishop of Interamna, had performed the sacrament of matrimony for lovers in secret. Valentine was violating a law issued by the mad emperor Claudius II who believed that married men made poor soldiers because they were loath to leave their families for battle. Since the Empire needed s…
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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 date July 14, 1789, as well as July 4, 1776. Then there's the one in the Luxembourg Gardens, inside a private lobby on rue du Cirque, there is 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) n…

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New albums : Melody Gardot & Thomas Dutronc

Melody Gardot's new album came out 23 October : "Sunset in the Blue" includes the song  called "Little Something", a duet with Sting! A lovely pop/electro duet... a different style for Melody! Madame Figaro says this album is "sans doute le plus beau des albums de cette année".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 w…

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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…

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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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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…

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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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