Discover Parisgaivillage.com
The LGBT Tourist Bureau

Every Saturday From 6pm to 8pm at Gay & Lesbian Center (CGL).
63, rue Beaubourg 75003 Paris.
M° : Arts & Metiers / Rambuteau
Phone : 33 1 43 57 21 47.

This is a great site and great service in 4 languages.... the official or not so officials involved in tourism can take an example from them.
You can meet them there to get tourist information and they even organise tours or an Individual welcoming service :

"Members of Paris Gay Village can offer you an individual welcoming service to make you discover the Paris they love and answer all your questions about the gay and lesbians life.

You will be welcomed by a member of the association in the Blue Book Paris Bookshop. He will offer you a welcoming information kit, help you to understand the town, give you tips to organize your stay (best hours to visit museums or gay venues). He will give you a LGBT planning and, of course, answer all you questions.

The welcoming service lasts around 1 hour "
Please visit the website and see one of the guided tours

The Paris Gay Pride will be this year on Saturday June 28.

CHECK LAST YEAR REPORT http://www.parismarais.com/paris-gay-pride.htm

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Londres, destination culturelle la plus onéreuse !

LONDRES, 16 mai 2008 (AFP) - Londres est la "destination culturelle" la plus onéreuse d'Europe et d'Amérique du Nord, et Varsovie la moins chère, tandis que Paris se classe septième sur dix, selon une étude publiée vendredi par la Post Office, premier bureau de change britannique.

Selon l'enquête baptisée "Le coût de la culture", un week-end culturel à Varsovie coûte moins de cent euros, si l'on se base sur les dix attractions les plus populaires, tandis qu'à Londres, il faudra débourser 387 euros.

Prague se place en deuxième position (130 euros), devant Lisbonne (137), Amsterdam (207), Rome (263) et Berlin (265).

Paris se classe septième, avec un coût de 309 euros, suivi de Barcelone (325), New York (328) et enfin Londres.Londres offre certes de nombreux musées à l'entrée gratuite, mais les spectacles et expositions sont parmi les plus onéreux au monde, souligne la Post Office, citant l'exemple du Palais de Buckingham qu'on visite pour 36 euros, tandis qu'il n'en coûte que 11 euros pour le Château de Prague ou 21 euros pour celui de Versailles.

VOUS VOYEZ, VOUS AVEZ BIEN RAISON DE PREFERER PARIS CET ÉTÉ, il y a de l'eau, du Champagne, des jolies filles, Paris Plage, et des promotions dans tous les hôtels dès le 15 juillet.

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Hotel Deals in Summertime : book online now with parismarais.com

The high value of the euro may not be helping the tourist industry in the Eurozone, and that’s why many hotels in le Marais are offering great deals you won’t believe.

Here is our selection:

The Marais House
A fabulous private guesthouse with only four rooms. Stay three nights for the price of one, and one week for the price of five nights. You are basically paying a 3-star hotel rate for a luxury château in the heart of le Marais. Book online now and mention the special Parismarais summer deal.
http://www.parismarais.com/4-star-hotel ... marais.htm

Villa Mazarin ****
Enjoy four nights for the price of three in July and August.

http://www.parismarais.com/4-star-hotel ... marais.htm

Le Bourg Tibourg ****
This fabulous boutique hotel managed by Mrs. Karen Costes is a haven of luxury in the center of le Marais. This hotel is so successful it never offers deals…until now! Ask for their special offer in August…and tell them Parismarais.com sent you.

http://www.parismarais.com/4-star-hotel ... marais.htm

Hotel Duo ****
Situated halfway between Notre Dame Cathedral and the Georges Pompidou Center, the Hotel Duo is now completely renovated and is being promoted to our 4-star category as it definitely deserves. At Hotel Duo, architectural décor, colors, space and materials merge in elegance and coziness with a warm modern theme.

In perfect harmony with the neighborhood, Hotel Duo offers great ambiance and is close to all major landmarks, restaurants, nightlife and chic boutiques. Large comfortable rooms and suites, lobby and lounge bar, private spa and fitness center make the new Hotel Duo the ultimate luxurious and trendy spot in le Marais.

Receive special rates on request in August with Parismarais.com, starting at 130€
http://www.parismarais.com/4-star-hotel ... marais.htm

Hotel Molay ***
Welcome to a 400 year old home, completely renovated in 2004. Hôtel Jacques de Molay, located on rue des Archives, just a short walk from the Archives Museum, is an experience in its own right.Enjoy a friendly and warm atmosphere in a medieval inspired décor tempered with Provençal styling.

It features 23 exquisite rooms where the modern world subtly finds its place…superb colorful bathrooms, satellite TV, Internet access and minibar. Enjoy a great breakfast buffet after a workout in the private fitness club with sauna, hammam, hydrojet showers, or you can simply relax in the lounge bar.

From July 15 to 31: Single 110€, Double or Twin 130€
From August 1 to 31: Single 80€, Double 110€

http://www.parismarais.com/3-star-hotel ... -paris.htm

Hotel des Archives ***
Located in the northern part of the Marais, the Hôtel des Archives opened its doors in June 2005. The hotel is brand new, with the building being completely renovated in a modern style. Each room is decorated with contemporary furniture, beautiful and elegant, with natural colors. Each floor has been harmoniously designed with a varied palette ranging from caramel and anise green to orange and red. Soft lighting gives the lobby and rooms a calm and cozy atmosphere. The Hôtel des Archives has 19 rooms and two penthouse suites on the top floor. All rooms are equipped with cable TV, WiFi, high speed Internet, a direct telephone line, individual safe and air conditioning.

From July 15 to August 31:
Standard room: 130€
Family room ideal for one couple and 2 kids: 180€
Suite: 230€, breakfast included

http://www.parismarais.com/3-star-hotel ... -paris.htm

Hotel Ecole Centrale ***
Hotel Ecole Centrale is located next to the fabulous Arts et Métiers Museum in the heart of the Marais. With its charming, centuries old interior crowned by splendid wood beams, this friendly hotel offers rooms with a contemporary ambiance. Features include free WiFi access, air conditioning, satellite TV, minibar, and breakfast buffet. Although the hotel is centrally located, one of the main advantages is that it is located on a quiet street with very little traffic. Should you stay on one of the upper floors, you’ll enjoy a lovely view of Paris rooftops.

ask for special UNBEATABLE deals from July 15

http://www.parismarais.com/3-star-hotel ... -paris.htm

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Come and enjoy an evening with Thirza Vallois when she will be presenting and signing her latest book "Aveyron, A Bridge to French Arcadia." A long-time Paris resident and an agrégée of the Sorbonne, Thirza Vallois is the acclaimed author of the highly acclaimed "Around and About Paris" series, "Romantic Paris". She has also written the Paris Entry for the Encarta Encyclopaedia and has appeared on BBC, PBS, CNN, NPR, Discovery, The Travel Channel, the French Cultural Channel, and contributes regularly on Paris and France to the international media the Financial Times, United Airlines' Hemispheres, and Condé Nast Traveller, among others.

After decades of devotion to her beloved Paris, Thirza Vallois ventured into the last and most remote corner of France. She has come back astounded by what she has discovered. At tonight's presentation she will share with you her amazing journey to the Averyon, where the cutting-edge Millau Viaduct and the ancient Roquefort cheese cohabit, where Knights Templar villages host anti-globalisation rallies, where Michelin-starred restaurants serve contemporary cuisine next to prehistoric monuments and by the old pilgrim road to Compostela. Above all, in a recent poll the Aveyron was voted by the French themselves as the number 1 area for its unbeatable quality of life.

Praise for Thirza Vallois

"Entertaining at all times, and full of erudition and historical anecdotes, she out-Baedekers Baedeker even at his best." Francophonie

"There are guides to every aspect of Paris... and then there are Thirza Vallois's extraordinary Around and About Paris. The Sunday Times

"Treat yourself to this treasure!" Booklist (The American Library Journal).

"Astonighingly informative companion." The Times Literary Supplement

This is in no way a directory for tourists (get the Time Out Paris guide for that), but with its wit, erudition and lively writing, it knocks most books on the City of Light for six." Time Out

"For in-depth coverage of the sights, sounds and smells of Paris, nothing tops Thirza Vallois' Around and About Paris books... You can wear out your feet before you get through these two volumes, but you would be so entertained you wouldn't even notice." The Paris Free Voice

"This book is not written as a travel guide but a revelation. It delves so deeply into so much of the Aveyron that it brings it to life on the page. And it is so well presented by the author that every chapter is a fascinating read and hard to put down."
France on Your Own

"I urge you to get your hands on a copy of her book!"
The Right Way to Travel

Thirza Vallois is among the worlds' experts on Paris — her three volume work Aound and About Paris place her immediately in the pantheon of contemporary Paris connaisseurati. Aveyron, A Bridge to French Arcadia is an implicit acknowledgement that if you seek to understand Paris, you must go elsewhere than Paris... If the Aveyron is too far for you to visit — do not worry. Thirza Vallois will bring you there with this latest flower of what is becoming a marvelous bouquet."


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Le soleil est parmi nous et aussi sur la table de l Ambassade d'auvergne grace à Françoise Petrucci... Voici un extrait des nouveautés de la carte qui vous attendent:

Asperges blanches, vinaigrette à la crème de Châtaignes
Tartare de Saumon aux Lentilles blondes de la Planèze
Poulet fermier d'Auvergne rôti en croûte d'herbes
Travers de Porc au caramel de Gentiane
Soupe de Rhubarbe au T d'Aubrac

Le Restaurant est ouvert le Dimanche et bien sur tous les jours de la semaine ce qui est rare dans le Marais. Rare endroit à vous proposer de grands salons et plusieurs salles pour vos Réunions, vos Repas d'Affaire, vos Fêtes de Famille, l'Ambassade d'Auvergne est une adresse incontournable.


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17th MAY International Day Against Homophobia 



Paris, November 20, 2006 — Prof. Louis-Georges Tin, president of the International Committee for IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia), today announced the launching of a global petition campaign for a proposed United Nations resolution in favor of the universal decriminalization of homosexuality.

“With more than 70 countries in the world still making homosexuality a crime by law — and punishable by death in twelve of them — this is a legal scandal which the petition for a proposed U.N. resolution decriminalizing homosexuality gives people a concrete way to fight,” Tin said.

The International Committee for IDAHO coordinates world-wide annual observances of the Day Against Homophobia each May 17 — and in this, its second year, IDAHO was marked by events in over 50 countries and endorsed by the European Parliament.

IDAHO today released not only the text of the petition (FULL TEXT BELOW) but also a list of hundreds of national and international organisations, well-known cultural, political, and intellectual figures who have endorsed the campaign :

— -many international NGOs such as the ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association), the FIDH (Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme), the IUSY (International Union of Socialist Youth), the International AIDS Society, the ILGCN (International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network) etc.

— - five Nobel Prize winners:

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa, Nobel Laureate for Literature Dario Fo, Italy, Nobel Laureate for Literature José Saramago, Portugal, Nobel Laureate for Literature Elfriede Jelinek, Austria, Nobel Laureate for Economics Amartya Sen, India;

— -from the entertainment industry, Merryl Streep, Sir Elton John, David Bowie, Edward Norton, Lily Tomlin, Victoria Abril, Cyndi Lauper, directors Bernardo Bertolucci and Mike Nichols, and Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy;

— - distinguished writers and intellectuals like Salman Rushdie, Gore Vidal, Sir Tom Stoppard, Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, Noam Chomsky, Russell Banks, Judith Butler, John Patrick Shanley, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Richard Sennett, Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman, and 10 Pulitzer Prize winners;

— - leading African-American intellectuals like Cornel West and K. Anthony Appiah;

— - political leaders, including Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission; two former French Prime Ministers (Michel Rocard and Laurent Fabius); Michael Cashman, president of the Intergroup on gay and lesbian rights of the Europarliament ; Thomas Hammerberg of Sweden, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe ; former European Union Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs Antonio Vitorino of Portugal, and Mayor Bertrand Delanoe of Paris, France.


The petition — entitled, “For the Universal Decriminalization of Homosexuality” and based essentially on the articles of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights — says, in part, “We ask the United Nations to request a a universal abolition of the so-called ‘crime of homosexuality‘, of all ‘sodomy laws‘, and laws against so-called ’unnatural acts‘ in all the countries where they still exist.”

Tin said that “the object of the petition is to insure that a decriminalization resolution will be presented at the United Nations in the months to come.”

Michael Cashman, the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who is President of the EuroParliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Affairs, declared: “The members of the Intergroup unanimously support this initiative of the IDAHO Committee. We hope that it will go far, and that it will bring strong pressure to bear on the United Nations. We invite everyone who supports fundamental human rights to support this petition, and to ask their friends and co-workers to do so too.”

Alice Nkom, the African human rights lawyer who defended the 11 young men arrested earlier this year in Cameroon and imprisoned for homosexuality, said: “This proposed resolution gives us immense optimism, and we ardently hope that Louis-Georges Tin and the IDAHO Committee will achieve their goal. This is a fight for liberty and for human rights.”

Tin noted that, “In October this year, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that the imprisonment in Cameroon of 11 young men who’d been caught in a raid on a gay bar on charges of homosexuality was ‘an arbitrary deprivation of liberty‘ that violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That’s encouraging.”

Tin added that, “It is obvious that the battle to get the U.N. to pass such a resolution is a difficult one, because there are a number of Heads of State who justify and encourage homophobic violence. Despite this, we are counting on the U.N.’s own preceding jurisprudence in this matter. In 1994, the U.N.’s Commission on Human Rights (as it was called then) condemned Tasmania for making homosexuality a crime. As a result, Tasmania had to change its legislation to make it conform to the U.N.’s position. The object of our petition is to make the U.N.’s jurisprudence in the Tasmania case applicable to all the countries which still penalize homosexuality”

The petition may be signed online via the Internet at www.idahomophobia.org. But local and country associations of all kinds, including labor unions, are urged to reprint and circulate the petition — once signatures have been collected, the completed petitions should be mailed to:

Louis-Georges Tin, President, Comité IDAHO, 26 rue de Lappe, 75011 Paris, FRANCE.



Petition “For a universal decriminalization of homosexuality”


The Universal declaration of Human Rights

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.


The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force 23 March 1976)

Article 17

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.


The Human Rights Committee’s decision in Toonen v. Australia (04 April 1994)

We ask the United Nations

to request a universal abolition of the so-called “crime of homosexuality”, of all “sodomy laws”, and laws against so-called “unnatural acts” in all the countries where they still exist.

Among the first supports are :

International Organisations

- Association Européenne des Droits de l’homme
- Equality for Gays and Lesbians in the European Institutions (EGALITE)
- Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH)
- International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)
- Intergroup of the European Parliament on gay and lesbian rights
- International Aids Society
- International Gay and Lesbian Cultural Network (IGLCN)
- International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organisation (IGLYO)
- International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)
- International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)
- Nordic Rainbow Council
- Nordic Rainbow Humanists
- World Union of Meretz

National Organisations

- ABGLT - Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas e Transgêneros (Brazil)
- Act Up (France)
- ADEFHO (Cameroon)
- And Liggey (Senegal)
- Arc-en-Ciel Plus (Ivory Coast)
- An Nou Allé ! (France)
- Associação ILGA Portugal (Portugal)
- Aujourd’hui autrement (France)
- Birmingham University LGBT Association (UK)
- Blue Diamond Society (Nepal)
- Center for Constitutional Rights (USA)
- Campaign against homophobia (Poland)
- Le Centre Gai et lesbien de Paris (France)
- La CGT (France)
- Clube Safo (Portugal)
- Coordination Lesbienne en France (France)
- Le CRAN (France)
- Equality Now! Development Group (Kenya)
- La Fédération française des Centres LGBT (France)
- FELGT (Spain)
- Fondation Emergence (Canada)
- La FSU (France)
- Fundación Huesped (Argentina)
- George House Trust (UK)
- Green Party LGBT Group of England and Wales (UK)
- Grupo Dignidade, Curitiba-PR (Brazil)
- Grupo Gay da Bahia (Brazil)
- Grupo Gay Negro de Bahia (Brazil)
- Grupo Quimbanda-Dudu Negros Homossexuais (Brazil)
- Jamaica Forum For Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (Jamaica)
- Jerusalem Open House (Israel)
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans History Month (UK)
- Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Manchester (UK)
- La Ligue de l’Enseignement (France)
- La Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (France)
- La Lucarne (Belgium)
- London Pride (UK)
- Maneo (Germany)
- Meretz (Israel)
- Le Mouvement des Jeunes Socialistes (France)
- Le MRAP (France)
- Não te prives - Grupo de Defesa dos Direitos Sexuais (Portugal)
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (USA)
- OutRage! (UK)
- Panteras Rosas - Frente de Combate à Lesbigaytransfobia (Portugal)
- Le Parti Communiste (France)
- Le Parti Radical de Gauche (France)
- The Progressive magazine (USA)
- Project GayRussia (Russia)
- Les Putes (France)
- Le RAVAD (France)
- Sans Contrefaçon (France)
- School’s Out (UK)
- SOS Homophobie (France)
- SOS Racisme (France)
- Syndicat National des Entreprises Gaies (France)
- L’UNEF (France)
- UNSA Education (France)
- Les Verts (France)


- Tom O. Abongo (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Victoria Abril (actress, Spain)
- Janet Afary (president of the International Society of Iranian Scholars, Iran)
- Eddie Aït, (national secretary in the questions LGBT of the Radical left party, France)
- Edward Albee (playwright, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, USA)
- Nikolai Alekseev (co-organiser of the first Pride in Moscow, Russia)
- Lord Waheed Alli (member of the House of Lords, UK)
- Dennis Altman (academic, author of Homosexual : Oppression and Liberation, Australia)
- Martin Amis (writer, UK)
- Tom Ammiano (member and former president of the Municipal Council of San Francisco, USA)
- Claude Angeli (co-chief editor of the Canard Enchaîné, France)
- Ronald Aronson (author, professor of Humanities and Inter-disciplinary Studies, Wayne State University, Michigan, USA)
- Dorothy Atieno (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Irene Atieno (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Mouloud Aounit (president of the MRAP, France)
- Kwame Anthony Appiah (author, philosopher, Princeton University, USA)
- James Awasi (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Susan Awino (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Nicolas Bacchus (musician, singer, France)
- Roselyne Bachelot (member of European Parliament, France)
- Robert Badinter (senator, former minister of justice, France)
- Elisabeth Badinter (philosopher, France)
- Jon Robin Baitz (playwright-scenarist, 4 Tony Awards, USA)
- Russell Banks (president of the International Parliament of Writers, USA)
- Jean-Michel Baylet (president of the Radical left party, France)
- François Bayrou (president of the liberal party, UDF, France)
- Yossi Beilin (Member of the Parliament, former minister of justice, chairman of Meretz, Israel)
- John Berendt (writer, author of Midnight in the garden of Evil and Good, former head of the New York Magazine, USA)
- Pierre Bergé (businessman, France)
- Bernardo Bertolucci (film maker, Italy)
- Jacqueline Bhabha (Executive Director, University Committee on Human Rights Studies, Harvard University, USA)
- Patrick Bloche (member of Parliament, France)
- Marc Blondel (former president of the Union FO, France)
- Stephen L. Borello (judge, Court of appeals of Michigan, USA)
- Malek Boutih (national secretary of the Socialist Party, France)
- David Bowie (singer, UK)
- Janir Branco (mayor of Rio Grande, Brazil)
- Chris Bryant (member of Parliament, UK)
- Judith Butler (philosopher, USA)
- Marie-George Buffet (leader of the Communist Party, France)
- Pedro Cahn (President of the International AIDS Society, Argentina)
- Yves Cantraine (film maker, Belgium)
- Eric Cara (art director, Belgium)
- Peter Carey, novelist, scenarist (Commonwealth Writers Prize winner, Australia)
- Bob Carr (former Prime minister of New South Wales, Australia)
- Michael Cashman (member of European Parliament, UK)
- Marcelo Cerqueira (human rights campaigner, Brazil)
- Michael Chabon (novelist, scenarist, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, USA)
- George Chauncey (historian, Yale University, author of Gay New York, USA)
- Noam Chomsky (linguist, USA)
- Maryse Condé (writer, France)
- Clovis Cornillac (actor, France)
- Nilo Cruz (playwright, Pulitzer Prize Winner, USA)
- Michael Cunningham (novelist, Pulitzer Prize winner, USA)
- Alain Dantinne (writer, Belgium)
- Eugenia Debrianskaya (Leader of the Russian Lesbian Movement, Russia)
- Bertrand Delanoë (mayor of Paris, France)
- Jacques Delors (former president of the European Commission, France)
- Christine Delphy (philosopher, France)
- Roxane Descortes (member of the municipal council of Paris, France)
- Thierry Delaval (general representative of the Région Wallone to the European Union, Belgium)
- Michel Dorais (professor, researcher, Université Laval, Canada)
- Ariel Dorfman (writer, author of Death and the Maiden, Chile)
- Martin Duberman (historian, Pulitzer prize winner, USA)
- Jean-Pierre Dubois (president of the League of human rights, France)
- Laurent Fabius (former prime minister, member of Parliament, France)
- Eric Fassin (sociologist, France)
- Jean-Charles Fischoff (editor, France)
- Dario Fo (playwright, actor, Nobel literature prize winner, Italy)
- Matt Foreman (leader of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, USA)
- Chris Fox (Lead Officer for Gay Mens Issues, Manchester City Council, UK)
- Geneviève Fraisse (philosopher, former member of the European Parliament, France)
- Lady Antonia Fraser (historian, UK)
- David Furnish (film maker, Canada)
- Monseigneur Gaillot (bishop of Parthénia, France)
- Françoise Gaspard (sociologist, France)
- Michel Giliberti (writer, painter, France)
- Christophe Girard (deputy mayor of Paris in charge of culture, France)
- Maurice Godelier (anthropologist, France)
- Ana Gomes (member of the European Parliament, Portugal)
- Patrick Gonthier (general secretary of the UNSA Education Union, France)
- Lissi Groener (Member of European Parliament, Germany)
- John Guare (playwright, scenarist, USA)
- Jann Halexander (singer, France)
- David Halperin (academic, USA)
- Thomas Hammarberg (commissionner of the Council of Europe on human rights, Sweden)
- Marie-Elisabeth Handman (anthropologist, France)
- Adeline Hazan (national secretary of the Socialist Party, France)
- Serge Hefez (psychiatrist, France)
- Christopher Hitchens (writer and journalist)
- Manuela Hoelterhoff (journalist, Pulitzer Prize Winner, USA)
- Indochine (musical band, France)
- Sophie In’t Veld (Member of European Parliament, vice-president of the Intergroup on gay and lesbian righst, Holland)
- Doug Ireland (journalist, USA)
- Yves Jégo (member of Parliament, France)
- Elfriede Jelinek (writer, Nobel literature Prize winner, Austria)
- Sir Elton John (singer, composer, UK)
- Carole Seymour Jones (biographer, UK)
- Bruno Julliard (president of the UNEF Union, France)
- Liliane Kandel (member of the reading committee on Les Temps modernes, France)
- Michel Kazatchkine (ambassador in charge of the fight against aids, France)
- Kathleen Kennedy (producer, USA)
- Rory Kennedy (documentary film maker, USA)
- Larry Kramer (writer, playwright, co-founder of Act Up, USA)
- Tony Kushner (playwright, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for Angels in America, USA)
- Francis Lambert (cultural worker, human rights campaigner, Belgium)
- Jean Lambert (member of the European Parliament, UK)
- Olivier Laouchez (president of Trace TV, France)
- Jack Lang (member of parliament, minister of culture, France)
- Cyndi Lauper (singer, actress, Grammy and Emmy Award winner, USA)
- John Leonard (writer, USA)
- Sue Leonard (writer, USA)
- Lord Anthony Lester (member of the House of lords, UK)
- Jonathan Lethem (novelist, National Book Critic’s Circle Award winner for Motherless Brooklyn, USA)
- Bernard-Henri Lévy (philosopher, France)
- Lara Li (singer, Portugal)
- Sébastien Lifshitz (movie maker, France)
- Judith Light (actress, USA)
- Scott Long (Human Rights Watch, USA)
- Patrick Lowie (writer, playwright, Belgium)
- Patrick Lozès (president of the CRAN, France)
- Caroline Lucas (member of the European Parliament)
- Vincent Mac Doom (artist, France)
- Magloire (TV presentator, France)
- Noël Mamère (member of Parliament, France)
- Paul Martin (chief Executive, The Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Manchester, UK)
- Karen Maseto (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Ali Mazera (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Serigne Mbodji (human rights campaigner, Senegal)
- Neil Mc Kenna (writer, UK)
- Jacques-Alain Miller (psychanalyst, France)
- Frédéric Mitterrand (movie maker, France)
- Edward Murzin (Member of the Parliament of Bashkortostan, Russia)
- Stephen Musweti (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Meshack Musyoki (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Azar Nafisi (writer, director of International studies at John Hopkins University, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Iran)
- Tasliman Nasreen (writer, feminist human rights campaigner, Bengladesh)
- Elizabeth Ngesa (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Alice Nkom (lawyer, Cameroon)
- Edward Norton (actor, USA)
- Benedict Ojwang Awich (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Michel Onfray (philosopher, France)
- Ken Owino (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Rose Oyuko (human rights campaigner, Kenya)
- Michael Palin (actor, writer, UK)
- Pierre Palmade (humorist, France)
- Sunil Babu Pant (human rights campaigner, Nepal)
- Michelle Perrot (historian, France)
- Helena Pinto (member of Parliament)
- Stéphane Pocrain (politician, France)
- Jason Pollock (chief Executive of London Pride, UK)
- Miguel Portas (member of the European Parliament, Portugal)
- Olivier Py (writer, France)
- Pierre et Gilles (artists, France)
- Alexandre Quintanilha (scientist, Portugal)
- Franca Rame (playwright, actress, Italy)
- Marc Ramsbottom (member of the council of the City of Manchester, UK)
- Michelle Reid (chief Executive, George House Trust, Manchester, UK)
- Michel Rocard (former prime minister, France)
- Jean-Luc Roméro (president of Aujourd’hui autrement, France)
- Matthew Rothschild (editor-in-chief, The Progressive Magazine, USA)
- Elisabeth Roudinesco (psychanalyst, France)
- Yvette Roudy (former minister for women rights, France)
- Ségolène Royal (member of Parliament, France)
- Raul Romeva Rueda (Member of the European Parliament, vice-president of the Intergroup on gay and lesbian rights, Spain)
- Elio Di Rupo (vice-president of the Socialist International, president of the Belgium Socialist Party, minister of the Région Walonne, Belgium)
- Salmon Rushdie (writer, UK)
- Christian Saout (president of Aides, France)
- José Saramago (writer, winner of the Nobel Literature prize, Portugal)
- Amartya Sen (Nobel Economy Prize, India)
- Richard Sennett (sociologist, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, USA)
- Claude Servan Schreiber (journalist, France)
- John Patrick Shanley (playwright and screenwriter, Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award (Oscar) Winner, USA)
- Lord Chris Smith (member of the House of Lords, UK)
- Alipio de Sousa Filho (sociologist, Brazil)
- Fodé Sylla (member of the Economical and social Council, France)
- João Silvério Trevisan (writer, Brazil)
- Yoav Sivan (human rights campaigner, LGBT coordinnator of the IUSY, Israel)
- Dominique Sopo (president of SOS Racisme, France)
- Sir Tom Stoppard (playwright, UK)
- Dominique Strauss-Kahn (member of the Parliament, former minister of economy, France)
- Meryl Streep (actress, twice Academy Award [Oscar] winner, USA)
- Alexander Stubb (Member of the European Parliament, vice-president of the Intergroup on gay and lesbian rights, Finland)
- Lindsay Tanner (MP, Shadow Finance Minister, Australia)
- Peter Tatchell (human rights campaigner, UK)
- Alex Taylor (journalist, UK)
- Paula Teixeira da Cruz (lawyer and President of the Municipal Assembly of Lisbon)
- Shirley M. Tilghman (President of Princeton University, USA)
- Lily Tomlin (actress, humorist, Oscar of the Academy Award for her role in Nashville, Tony Award for One Woman Show, USA)
- Desmond Tutu (bishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner, South Africa)
- Miguel Vale de Almeida (anthropologist, Portugal)
- Christiane Vienne (minister of health, social action and equal opportunity of the Wallon government, Belgium)
- Bruce Vilanch (artist, writer, USA)
- António Vitorino (lawyer and former EU Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs)
- Paula Vogel (playwright, Pulitzer Prize winner, USA)
- Roberto Luiz Warken (sociologist, Brazil)
- Yann Wehrling (leader of the Green Party, France)
- Peter Weiss (lawyer, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, USA)
- Cornel West (professor, Princeton University, USA)
- Edmund White (writer, USA)
- Michel Wieviorka (sociologist, France)
- Robert Wintemute (professor of human rights law, UK)
- Doug Wright (playwright, scenarist, Pulitzer Prize winner, USA)
- Ana Zanatti (actress, Portugal)
- Malik Zidi (actor, France)

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BARCELONE (Espagne), 13 mai 2008 (AFP) -

Un premier bateau-citerne rempli d'eau potable est arrivé mardi à Barcelone pour approvisionner la capitale de la Catalogne (nord-est), en proie à une sécheresse historique qui menace 5,5 millions d'habitants de restrictions drastiques d'ici l'automne.

Cette initiative suscite l'embarras dans les milieux économiques locaux, qui craignent qu'elle ne nuise à l’ image touristique de Barcelone, à l'approche de la saison estivale.

"Si nous ne faisons rien et s'il ne pleut pas, cinq millions d'habitants de la région de Barcelone n'auront plus d'eau à boire en octobre", avait commenté sa vice-présidente, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega.

"L'arrivée d'un bateau chargé d'eau est l'image de l'échec absolu des administrations que ne méritent ni Barcelone ni la Catalogne", a critiqué le secrétaire général de la Confédération du Commerce de Catalogne, Miguel Angel Fraile, jugeant cette mesure "alarmiste" néfaste pour le "prestige" régional.

Le président de l'association hôtelière de Barcelone, Jordi Clos, cité par le journal La Vanguardia, a évoqué un "moindre mal", tant que des solutions durables n'auront pas été trouvées.

Des coupures d'eau en plein été, "c'est cette image que Barcelone ne pourrait supporter au plan touristique", a-t-il averti.


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Où etre à l'aise dans des canapés confortables avec de l'espace, de l'air un cadre design et divin, avec une clientèle sélectionnée internationale au cœur du marais ? Rendez vous 11 rue du Temple juste derrière le Bazar de l'hotel de Ville du Mardi au samedi de 18h à minuit. After work or before diner ? à vous de choisir, ici vous profitez de cocktails délicieux, d'une carte de grands vins et champagnes, à partir de 10 euros... Venez en duo ou en trio au duo, mais venez vite , l'endroit est exclusif et sympathique à la fois...

et si l idée vous plait de vous offrir une suite, réservez en ligne l'hotel Duo au meilleur prix sur ce site :http://www.parismarais.com/4-star-hotels-paris-marais.htm

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Personne ne le sait, mais la saison creuse pour la capitale c'est la periode du 15 juillet au 30 aout. c'est non seulement la période des soldes pour faire vos emplettes à moitié prix, mais c'est aussi le moment de vous offrir les plus beaux hotels du centre de Paris à des prix vraiment tres bas... entre 30 et 40% de réduction en général.. les 4 etoiles au prix de 3 et les 3 étoiles au prix de 2... profitez-en.

L'hotel Molay propose dès le 15 juillet des prix très doux aux environs de 100 euros, de même pour l'Hotel des Archives... La villa mazarin 4 etoiles propose 4 nuits pour le prix de trois. Pour bénéficier de ces offres spéciales, réservez exclusivement via parismarais.com, le 1er guide touristique dédié au cœur de Paris.

réservez dès maintenant pour cet été : http://www.parismarais.com/3-star-hotel ... -paris.htm

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Podium Paris en concert les 15 et 16 mai

Podium Paris est LE chœur gays de musique de variété de la capitale. « Podium », comme le célèbre magazine de Cloclo des années 70, car son répertoire est intégralement composé de titres de variétés, françaises et étrangères. Podium Paris est ainsi le seul chœur d’hommes (Ténors 1, Ténors 2, Basses, Barytons) de variétés aussi important en France.

Et ce n’est pas sa seule originalité… C’est la seule chorale de France à proposer la traduction systématique de ses concerts en langue des signes, grâce à ses traducteurs bénévoles, permettant ainsi de faire tomber la discrimination dont soufrent les sourds.

Fondé en septembre 2005, ce chœur gay compte déjà 70 choristes qui, sous la direction de leurs deux chefs de chœur et de deux pianistes, en ont déjà fait un des chœurs incontournables de la capitale : animateur du char de l’Inter-LGBT à la marche des fiertés, organisateur du Concert du même nom au jardin du Luxembourg chaque lendemain de marche, Podium Paris produit aussi chaque printemps son concert annuel.

Cette année, c’est de nouveau à la salle Jean Dame dans le quartier Montorgueil que Podium Paris se produira les 15 et 16 mai prochains. L’an dernier, sur chaque place payante, 1 € a été reversé à SOS Homophobie, et cette année, l’opération est reconduite au profit de l’Association des Parents Gays et Lesbiens (APGL).

De Jacques Brel à Amel Bent et Christophe Willem, en passant par Charles Aznavour, Michel Berger, Desireless, Lara Fabian, Linda Lemay, Madonna, Rita Mitsouko, Marie Myriam, Michel Polnareff, Véronique Sanson, Sylvie Vartan, Queen, Simon & Garfunkel, Podium Paris ravira son public qui pourra redécouvrir les tubes les plus célèbres, harmonisés pour quatre voix d’hommes. Ainsi, l’émotion que l’on croit liée à l’individualité de l’interprètes, se fera collective, portée par la multiplicité des voix !

Podium Paris
17 rue du Bourg-Tibourg
75004 PARIS
06 31 78 73 44

Jeudi 15 et vendredi 16 mai 2008 – 20 heures
Salle Jean Dame, 17 rue Léopold Bellan, Paris 2e (M° Sentier)
TP : 8 € - TP : 13 €

Pour toute réservation, rendez-vous sur le site www.podiumparis.fr, ou écrivez à reservation@podiumparis.fr, ou rendez-vous dans les magasins fnacs et carrefours.

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Un nouveau bar exquis chic et sympa vient de naitre dans le marais. Animé Par Dj Hervé personnage haut en couleur et dynamisme qui est deja le celèbre animateur de la nuit des follivores, la nuit des crazyvores ( happy birgday pour les 10 ans ! ) et DJ du célèbre Bal du Jeudi aux bains douches...

snacking gourmand dès 18h et le soir, petits prix, jolie petite terrase et surtout bonne humeur ... à deux pas de beaubourg, c'est qand meme plus sympa que les snacks à touristes de la piazza et le snobisme georgien... clientèle gay friendly et de noctambules cultivés. Champagne délicieux et accueil souriant,que demander de plus... so chic n'est ce pas ?

Au Mange Disque. 15 rue de la Reynie. 75004 Paris. M° : Châtelet - Les Halles. Téléphone : 01 48 04 78 17. Ouvert de 18H00 à 02H00.


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Richard Nahem, editor of Eye Prefer Paris Tours meets Jonathan Buckles concierge at Le Pavillon de la Reine.

The Pavillon de la Reine is a beautiful, small gem of a four-star hotel on one of the loveliest squares in Paris, the Place de Vosges. It’s always a stop on my Marais tours and whenever I show it to clients, not only are they amazed by the stunning surroundings, but also the gracious and friendly concierge Jonathan Buckles charms them.

Jonathan Buckles is the concierge on Mondays through Wednesdays and I met him for a chat after work last week in the elegant and cozy lobby with dark wood beams and a fireplace. Jonathan is quite tall, over six feet, and is a striking presence in his uniform of a royal blue waistcoat, navy blue vest with gold buttons and crisp white shirt with a shimmering, orange tie. His ruddy cheeks and pale skin are a give away that he is English and he was born in Ashford, England to a French mother and English father. He lived in Ipswich until the family moved to Marly le Roi, a suburb of Paris, when he was 10 years old. When he was 15, he moved to Paris and has always lived in the 8th arr. He took a year off to live in Costa Rica and is fluent in French, English, and Spanish.

He started his hotel career at 18 as a bellboy at The Ritz Hotel, followed by a stint as a bellman and later behind the reception desk at the George V, then made his way to the Pavillon de la Reine, having now worked there for the last 18 months.

His favorite part of the job is speaking to the guests and hearing them share their stories from around the globe, which he considers like traveling the world without ever moving from behind his desk. Many of the guests have become friends and have invited him to visit when they returned home. The majority is from the U.S., England and Italy and some have fallen in love with the Marais so much, that they have enlisted Jonathan to assist them in buying apartments in the neighborhood. The secret to his popularity is being a good host and treating people like they were guests in his own home.

I asked Jonathan what was the most unusual request he ever had from a guest, and he told me it was making elaborate and extremely detailed arrangements for a wedding proposal. It involved shipping furniture from the U.S. to place in Butte Chaumont Park for the first half of the proposal, then having the bride to be whisked away in a specific car, blindfolded so she didn’t know where she was going, and timing it so that she would arrive just in time to see the sparkle lights go off on the hour.

The hotel has had its share of celebrity clients who like the home-like ambiance and low- key feel to it. A top French fashion designer lived in one of the suites for two years.

Jonathan prides himself on knowing all best restaurants, shops and sites to see in the Marais and all over Paris.

Below are some of his Marais recommendations.


Carre des Vosges - 15 rue St. Gilles
Gaspard de la Nuit - 6 rue de Tournelles
L’Ambroisie -9 Place des Vosges
L Enoteca - 25 rue St. Charles
Chez Janou - 2 rue Roger Verlomme

Rue des Rosiers
Rue Vieille de Temple
Franc Bourgeois
Hotel Sully
Cognac-Jay Museum
Place Sainte Catherine
Village Saint Paul
Rue Louis en l’Ile


Ted Baker -20 Rue Francs Bourgeois
The Red Wheelbarrow - 22 rue St. Paul
Florence Finkelsztajn - 24 rue des Ecouffes
Jamin Puech - 68 Rue Vieille du Temple
Exceptions Gourmand - 4 Place du Marché Sainte Catherine

Pavillon de la Reine
28 Place des Vosges, 75003 Paris
book online at best price directly with the hotel with parismarais.com


Richard Nahem's tours : http://www.eyepreferparistours.com/

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Don't want to see Paris through the window of a crowded bus with a bunch of noisy tourists? Don't want to go on the Eiffel Tower or Da Vinci Code tour? Don't want to see the same Paris sites you saw last time you were here?

See the Paris that Tourists Never See
Come on an Eye Prefer Paris Tour and see Paris from the
inside on one of Richard Nahem's fun, offbeat tours.
Richard bases his tours on interesting out-of-the way places
customized to your own interests, and is dedicated to showing
you a piece of Paris you'd never see on your own. After years
of raves from friends and colleagues who loved Richard's own
private tours of “his” Paris, he decided to go public.

• A 19th century mansion with the world's largest collection of Monet's
• An artisan's atelier where jewelry is hand-made right in front of you
• The best food market in Paris, hidden in a courtyard
• A lush garden oasis on an abandoned railroad track high above the city
• The lavishly decorated domes of a mosque where you can sip Moroccan
mint tea on the patio and take a real Turkish bath
• Boutique hotels with drop dead gorgeous lobbies and hip bars
• A charming café with the most delicious desserts in Paris
• The only discount designer outlet in the Marais

Price: 175 Euros for a 3-hour tour
Come taste, feel, smell, and touch an unforgettable Paris today with an EYE PREFER PARIS tour. book online, write to r.nahem@gmail.com.

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Tels Rastignac, les chocolats "MEERT" se lancent à l'assaut de la capitale. Ils ont choisi leur boutique dans le Marais. Il s'agit de ce local à l'angle des rues du Parc Royal et Elzévir, connu sous l'enseigne 'hétéroclite", qui est resté fermé pendant plusieurs années, laissant ainsi sa porte ouverte aux supputations les plus folles.

Le magasin est encore en travaux. Une artiste décoratrice fignole le décor, inspiré du style XVIIIe siècle lillois. La Maison MEERT, en effet, est implantée dans la métropole flamande depuis 1761.

Placé tout près du musée Picasso, avec à deux pas les "Caves Elzévir" où trouver le breuvage qui peut rendre meilleure encore la dégustation des chocolats fins, ce nouveau commerce va contribuer à rendre plus attrayant cet espace Thorigny encore un peu trop minéral. Nous espérons une ouverture rapide et lui souhaitons un succès à la hauteur des efforts qu'il consent pour rendre son cadre chaleureux, profitant de l'élan de ces autres ch'tis qui ont séduit la France en crevant l'écran.

MAISON MEERT, 16 rue Elzévir - IIIe - 01 42 71 10 18

article initialement publié dans Vivrelemarais, un blog formidable créé par Gérard Simonet et des habitants du marais pour les tenir informés de l'actualité politique sociale et économique locale

à découvrir absolument:

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Par Emmanuel Delarue, éditeur du blog l'indépendant du 4e

La flamme olympique est passée à Paris lundi 7 avril. Elle a fait un passage dans le 4e arrondissement place de l'Hôtel de ville. En tant que Parisien, je trouve cela très discutable.

La République Populaire de Chine est la plus grande prison du monde. Elle a réussir à lier le capitalisme avec un système politique proche du totalitarisme. Pour mémoire, plusieurs milliers de personnes sont condamnées à mort chaque année. Des millions de Chinois sont dans des camps de travail (le "Laogaï") qui rappellent beaucoup les Goulags de l'URSS. Le Tibet et le Xinjiang (la région du Nord Ouest de la chine majoritairement turcophone) sont soumis à un régime de terreur permanente pour faire taire les mouvements indépendantistes ou autonomistes. Rappelons qu'encore la semaine dernière, un militant des droits de l'Homme, Hu Jia a été condamné à 3 ans 1/2 de prison pour "incitation à la subversion".

Je suis consterné par l'attitude des dirigeants de tous bords. Rappelons que pendant la campagne présidentielle Ségolène Royal s'était laissée à vanter la rapidité de la Justice chinoise (elle parlait paraît-il de la justice commerciale). Il s'agissait vraiment d'une désolante "bravitude". Quant à Nicolas Sarkozy, j'avais cru comprendre dans plusieurs de ses discours qu'il serait pour le monde entier le président des droits de l'Homme. J'ai même assisté à un meeting où André Glucksmann était présent et où des engagements avaient été pris pour dénoncer les massacres commis en Tchétchénie par Vladimir Poutine. On peut comprendre que la raison d'Etat et les intérêts commerciaux fassent réfléchir à deux fois nos dirigeants avant de prendre des positions fortes contre la Chine et la Russie. Mais, finalement, il s'agit en fait de laisser une partie de l'humanité subir la peur pour pouvoir, nous, continuer à vivre tranquillement. Alain Juppé sur son blog a raison d'ironiser avec l'idée de demander aux dirigeants chinois de "tuer avec retenue" (tout en ayant l'honnêteté de s'interroger sur ce qu'il aurait fait s'il avait été au pouvoir).

Certaines leçons de l'histoire doivent faire réfléchir : les accords de Munich de 1938 nous rappellent qu'à trop pactiser avec des dictateurs et à céder sur le plan de l'honneur on finit par tout perdre. Justement, deux ans avant ces accords, un débat avait eu lieu sur la participation aux J.O. de Berlin de 1936. Lors de la cérémonie d'ouverture, la délégation française se laissa aller à saluer Hitler avec le bras droit levé -un geste de bonne volonté envers leur hôte !! -. Jusqu'où faut-il aller au nom de l'olympisme ?

En ce qui concerne les J.O. de Pékin, l'erreur initiale est due au Comité International Olympique quand il a fait le choix de cette ville. Je comprends que les sportifs souhaitent participer aux épreuves car les J.O. sont souvent le rêve de toute une vie et il ne serait pas normal qu'ils paient pour les autres. C'est donc dans tous les gestes symboliques qu'il faut montrer une réaction.

Je ne suis pas sûr que le fait d'ajouter un badge ou un bandeau "Pour un monde meilleur" change grand chose. Ironiquement, cela rappelle même le titre du livre de Huxley "Le meilleur des mondes" (Brave New World) qui justement dénonçait en 1932 les risques du tototalitarisme. Ce qui aurait un sens, c'est que chaque athlète parraine un prisonnier politique chinois et porte la mention (en français et en chinois) : "Libérez untel ou unetelle".

Le maire de Paris a annoncé qu'il mettrait une banderole sur l'Hôtel de ville pour rappeler que tous les pays doivent respecter les droits de l'Homme. C'est très insuffisant. La ville de Paris aurait vraiment eu un geste fort si elle avait refusé de participer à une mascarade qui va permettre aux autorités chinoises de montrer que la Chine a partout dans le monde, même dans la capitale de la "patrie des droits de l'Homme", une bonne image.

Je soutiens donc l'action de Reporters Sans Frontières qui dénonce la participation de la ville de Paris à cette célébration.

Emmanuel Delarue , publié pour la première fois dans l'indépendant du 4e le 8 avril 2008.

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Le Marais Through A Straight Eye
Written by Nancy Bear, PA (Paris addict)

I suppose everyone copes with some form of addiction -- mine is voyeurism. Not the depraved sort, but the want to poke my nose into people’s lives, cultures, countries, make them mine and write about them. So, it was no fluke that propelled me to Paris recently--it was strictly need of a fix. Why Paris? That’s easy -- I get all soft and mushy for this alluring city of light and ten days of moseying along it’s winding cobblestone streets and stalwart Boulevards, ogling it’s treasures, gives me a buzz.

It was my intention to base myself in Le Marais for the entire visit, but for sake of economy, I booked a bargain Air France package in advance, which included four nights in a two star hotel in Bercy Village, a very decent and boring suburb with many cloned condos, and far from the center of the city. Two nights away from the dazzling lights of Paris was all I could bear, so I spent the next two at the three star Standard Design Hotel in the Bastille. That was a good move--nicely designed, indeed. Totally black and white, including the china in the lovely breakfast café on the top floor. Breakfast was perfect. The bread baskets were continually refilled with warm, fresh croissants. It was an easy walk to the Marais, however, I wanted a hotel in the 3e or 4e district--not easy to come by due to a Transit strike. Commuters were stranded and filled hotel rooms throughout the city. Many booked in anticipation, so for me, it was a night here, two nights there. I didn’t mind. I had never actually stayed in this area, so it was an opportunity to check it out. Two stars or three, the hotels are always clean and friendly, though the rooms are small. Sometimes breakfast is included, which is nice. Not to say I don’t enjoy the sybaritic pleasures of a luxury hotel, which leaves more to say about the hotel situation, but am saving the best for last.

One chilly November day, as I sat at an outdoor Café (a Salon de The on the Place du Marche) A revelation came my way: You don’t need to be Gay to love the Marais

That is my straight eye observation of the Marais. This neighborhood, in addition to being the center of gay/lesbian life, is also Senegal in the Marais and if you go to Rue des Rosiers (The Street of Rose Bushes), which was the heart of the Medieval Jewish quarter, (the Pletzl) you will find vestiges of the halcyon days of the Jewish ghetto. And now, there are Kosher butchers and bakers as well as a Synagogue designed by Hector Guimard, who was a leading light in the French Art Nouveau Movement. You know him; he designed the fan lighted Metro entrances.

The French have a keen appreciation of beauty created in the past as well as the present, and an innate understanding of the artistry of fashion attested to, by the ubiquitous Museums throughout the city. As Paris continues to redefine elegance, it remains the “Capitale de la Creation”, and so the Marais has it’s own panache. Once the core of high culture, it had it’s sordid period-- falling into severe disrepair following the Revolution. Revitalized in several incarnations, it retained the best from each and is now the coolest, chicest quarter in town, attracting all the young trendy designers. Same with galleries. The Picasso Museum is probably the best known of the many museums in the Marais. It’s an extraordinary collection, more than 3000 pieces, donated by the heirs to pay inheritance taxes. In addition to the broad spectrum of Picasso’s work, you will also see Picasso’s private collection of works by many of his friends, including Braque, Cezanne, Rousseau.

It is impossible not to collide with spectacular landmarks while roaming about -- spectacular by day, wickedly dazzling at night. Pont Neuf, for example -- the oldest bridge in Paris, which dates from 1607. It was a major thoroughfare with turrets for jugglers and acrobats. Legend has it that “You can’t cross Pont Neuf without meeting a monk, a whore and a white stallion”. Well, that’s what I hear. Another landmark fact that is hard to believe is that the Cathedral of Notre-Dame plunked itself in the Seine in the 10th century. And that’s the truth.

As an American, I feel compelled to address the subject of “attitude”, before it is assumed that I am blinded by love -- you know, the Parisians who claim not to understand your high school French. Well, my experience is that as my infatuation with Paris grew and I developed a bond with the city, my high-school French was not only tolerated, but appreciated. I did , however, discern “attitude” from Air France people. I guess they weren’t aware that I had become one of them. Their loss.

To return to Le Marais and the oldest and most gorgeous square in Paris, maybe the world -- the Place des Vosges. More than four hundred years ago, King Henri IV built a so-called King’s pavilion in the center of the southern side of this perfectly square plaza. On the northern side is a duplicate; the Queen’s pavilion. He ordered all thirty-five other buildings bordering the square to replicate the same design and so, to this day, the park is surrounded by slate roofed red brick buildings with white stone facades. It was known as ‘Place Royale’ and it was Napoleon who changed the name to Place des Vosges. It went back and forth again and finally in 1870, once and for all, became known as Place des Vosges. Victor Hugo of Hunchback and Miserable fame, lived at #6, which is now his own museum. My favorite café at Place des Vosges carries his name -- Hugo. What is more serene than sitting at a heated café, sipping an aperitif while listening to Vivaldi being performed by young musicians under one of the arches which support the surrounding buildings. The acoustics were surprisingly excellent, but why not? This is Paris, after all.

Walking across the fastidiously kept park -- it appears the leaves are collected as they fall, I see the fountains still carry the name of King Louis XIII who was in power when the square was completed. I’m not sure that they had mini sand pits and climbing things for children’s amusement then, but they did have a magnificent carousel to celebrate the wedding of Louis and Anne of Austria when the square was inaugurated in 1612. Seems like only yesterday. Continuing along the arcades under the arches, are shops and restaurants, cafes and galleries, even the home of Cardinal Richelieu. On the north side is the well-known Gallery Vivendi and next to that at #28, the entrance through the gateway under the Queen’s Pavilion is the hotel, Pavillon de la Reine. This is where I spent my final night in Paris. And I have saved the best, on the subject of hotels, for last.

Pavillon de la Reine represents a universal quiet elegance, a sense of authenticity. It is a place I would like to call home. There is a total of 56 rooms and suites and it appears as a very modest size mansion-not a hotel at all. The furnishings, the carpets, the flowers, to say nothing of Louis XIII style antiques, gives a sense of well being. There is not a bar, but rather a parlor where guests help themselves, making their own drinks and miraculously someone appears with nibbles. I took advantage of an available computer in a private little room on the ground floor. I was leaving in the morning, so it was time to start making the transition. The rooms and suites are all different from one another, all equally stylish. My bed was the largest and most comfortable of the trip and I had the best night’s sleep of the whole ten days.

When I awoke, it was as Alice in Wonderland--was it all a fantasy? The breakfast room was under the vaults of the cellar decorated with Dutch tapestries. There was every wonderful fresh fruit, cheeses, meats, warm baked things -- ideal last meal in Paris and at the Place des Vosges to boot. To book at le Pavillon de la Reine: http://www.parismarais.com/5-star-hotel ... -paris.htm

Nancy Bear is a long time editor and journalist who travels the world and writes about it and it’s inhabitants. She has authored hundreds of magazine articles and was the recipient of the prestigious PATA Gold Award for Journalism. She lives in New York City.

This article was first published on www.frenchsoiree.com <http://www.frenchsoiree.com>

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Avez vous envie de vous offrir un Palace pour un grand week end? c'est tout à fait possible en choisissant de bonnes dates. A Paris, dans le Marais la basse saison va du 15 juillet au 30 aout 2008, vous pouvez négocier des réductions jusqu'à 40% dans la plupart des 4 étoiles. Dans la grandes destinations européennes, les periodes creuses sont souvent différentes... pour le midi de la France c'est en novembre que vous aurez les meilleurs prix ... ou en février. Pour le prix d'un 3 etoiles à Paris en haute sasion, vous pourrez vous offrir en basse saison l'un des mythiques hotels de la cote d'azur : l'Hermitage à Monaco, Le West End à Nice, La Réserve à Beaulieu et pourquoi pas le Danieli ou le Gritti Palace à Venise, tous ces hotels sont en ligne au meilleur prix sur parismarais.com

http://www.parismarais.com/hotels-europ ... onte-Carlo

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Located in the Marais, around the corner from the Pompidou Center and at the very center of this City of Light, the Paris GlobalCampus offers a curriculum of unique and engaging courses taught by outstanding Professors who are committed to helping you understand the context and significance of today’s global issues and the political impulses and cultural creativity they generate here in this city of art, politics and romance: Paris.

Programs & Academics proposed are :

International Business :
* Strategies in Global Leadership
* Green Collar Business
* E-Commerce: Europe & the Global Market

Foundations in Studio Arts
* Haute Couture in France: History of Style and Fashion
* Introduction to Photography
* Introduction to Drawing

Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
* Anthropology of Food
* War and Terrorism in the New World Order
* Urban Social Photography

French Language & Liberal Arts
* French Language
* Intermediate French Conversation
* 20th Century Art: A History of Modernism

Find out more about CEA :http://www.gowithcea.com/programs/france/paris.html

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Tom was born is le Marais? Well in a way it’s true! The Scandinavian artist known as Tom of Finland died about 20 years ago, but his drawings, re-edited by Taschen editions (www.tashen.com), are known worldwide.
Visit http://www.tomoffinlandfoundation.org/ The great perfume maker Etienne de Swardt is located in le Marais at number 69 (no joke!) rue des Archives, 75003 Paris.

This month, Etat Libre d’Orange is launching TOM OF FINLAND as a men’s fragrance. This is an international launch, starting with Harvey Nichols in London. As sexy as ever, Tom’s drawings are a great way to sell anything, even perfume. For over 40 years, Tom’s drawings have had a cult following on the gay scene. There is a Tom’s bar in Hamburg where some original drawings – now worth millions – are exposed under protective glass before you access a dark sex labyrinth. There is also a Tom’s Bar and a Tom’s Guesthouse in Berlin. In most of Northern Europe, Tom is the gay equivalent of Marilyn. If you feel butch enough to wear Tom, dare to buy it and especially enjoy the xxx packaging – inside you’ll find x-rated drawings that we can’t show you here…

Visit http://www.etatlibredorange.com/

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Interview by Peter Lebaron

Do you love the idea of owning a pied-à-terre in the Marais, but don’t want to deal with upkeep and repairs, nor the worry over generating enough rental income to cover your mortgage? Are you apprehensive about spending weeks or even months looking for the perfect place, and then dealing with renovation and furnishing from thousands of miles away? Do you love the services of luxury hotels, but dislike living out of a suitcase? You’re not alone.

For most people, buying property in another country usually entails some headache, and the whole process can be exhausting, whatever the budget. The fantasy would be to own a beautiful, professionally decorated and furnished apartment in your favorite neighborhood, and have someone else deal with upkeep and maintenance thus making your ownership trouble-free. The great thing is that this scenario is no longer a fantasy, there are companies offering exactly this. Called fractional ownership, this new kind of property ownership allows you to have it all without the stress normally involved in buying your own property abroad.

Already popular in the United States and gaining steam abroad, fractional ownership is the vacation home solution for busy professionals or travel-bug retirees looking to maximize vacation time while building a solid investment portfolio. And now fractional ownership has arrived in Paris.

Peter Lebaron of Parismarais.com recently sat down with Miranda Bothe, Managing Director of Paris Property Finders, to discuss fractional ownership and a new fractional project that her company is marketing in the Marais.

PL: So what exactly is fractional ownership?
MB: Fractional ownership is essentially partial ownership of a property. With fractional ownership, a property is owned and shared by several individuals. The owners each get a share of the use of the property, and share in the costs of management, maintenance and upkeep. The price is but a fraction of the cost of buying a property on your own, which leaves buyers with more cash available for other investments, whether in property or otherwise.
PL: How does it work?

MB: To understand fractional ownership, think about a large, and expensive, property that may be difficult to purchase and maintain on your own. Instead of becoming the sole owner of the property, you purchase a share along with a group of other people. Now, you own a fraction of the property, with a proportional right to use it, and a proportional share in the maintenance and carrying costs. What was once not attainable is now fully affordable since you share the purchase with others. What’s more, for most folks, the use time correlates with the amount of time you would normally use the vacation property anyway, and frees you from the responsibility of renting or managing the property for the other 40+ weeks a year.

PL: Isn’t a fractional property just a timeshare?

MB: Fractional ownership and timeshare are both common ownership structures for vacation properties, and both allow their owners to use a certain amount of time in the property each year. However, with timeshare, buyers own the time, not the underlying equity in the property. With fractional ownership, you actually own the property with your fellow co-owners. Now you’re building equity on every vacation, and each fraction is owned outright, meaning you are completely free to sell the share or pass it on to children and grandchildren.

PL: How does this differ from destination clubs?

MB: Again, the key element is ownership: with a travel or destination club, also called “non-equity clubs,” members own the right to use the club’s properties, but do not own them. Membership fees are partially reimbursed if you leave the club, but members are not benefiting from the growth in equity of the properties. Moreover, the risk that the membership is worth nothing cannot be avoided; as has happened before, if a destination club goes out of business, the membership is worth nothing at all. With fractional ownership, the property belongs 100% to its owners.

PL: How does the management of the project work?

MB: In our fractional properties, calendar management, maintenance and administrative details are in the hands of a professional manager acting on behalf of the owners. Everything is managed behind the scenes, which leaves more time for shopping, dining with family and friends or otherwise enjoying the world’s most beautiful city. The management is paid for by low monthly dues, which also cover housekeeping, flowers, and even champagne. Luxury concierge and spa services are available at an additional cost.

PL: Tell me more about the Marais fractional property that you are marketing?

MB: We’re really excited about our newest offering in the heart of the Marais: an 800 square foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment in the historic Saint Paul district, steps from the rue des Rosiers and a 3-minute walk to the Place des Vosges. Located on the 1st floor (2nd floor US) of a 200-year old building, its crown mouldings, original fireplaces and chevron wood floors are the epitome of French sophistication. The apartment’s best feature is a beautiful 100 square foot, professionally landscaped private terrace which gives onto a secluded courtyard – it’s very exclusive and secret garden feeling. As you know, outdoor space is extremely rare in the Marais.

We have a fantastic design team that is going to deliver an extremely luxurious product. Our architect, Anne Jacquet, designed the Chanel boutique on rue Cambron as well as Karl Lagerfeld’s personal studio; and our interior designer, Monte Laster, has decorated exclusive apartments and homes all over Paris and Provence.

We’re offering 12 shares in rue Malher for €120,000 each. Each share comes with the right to use the property for 4 weeks a year, in perpetuity, or until you sell your share. All the details and the usage calendar are at www.fractionalparis.com.

PL: Who chooses what weeks each owner uses? How are time disputes resolved?

MB: What’s great is that each owner chooses for themselves. With our Marais property, owners can select either four fixed weeks, the same calendar weeks every year; four floating weeks, which rotate through the seasons on a fixed schedule in perpetuity; or, a combination of the two. There are no usage time disputes, since the floating calendar is set at the get-go, meaning that each owner can see their weeks years into the future. This clarity allows you to plan for your Paris visits well in advance, or to trade time with your fellow owners, with other vacation properties through our membership in a trade to travel network, or to give your use time to family and friends.

PL: Fractional sounds great but really, why should someone go for it?

MB: First of all, it’s extremely interesting because it’s a real equity investment, yet one where you only pay your share of the upfront and ongoing costs. You benefit from the capital appreciation and have satisfaction and pride of true ownership, but the capital outlay is much less than if you were to own the same thing yourself, and you don’t need to worry about renting it out or making use of all the time when you are not using the property. And, what’s key for most folks is that someone else takes care of the headache and hassles of management from abroad while you simply jet in twice a year to enjoy your time in Paris in your very own pied-à-terre.

PL: It can’t all be great - what should people watch out for?

MB: As with any real estate investment, make sure the asset is truly something special - whether that means an exceptional view, spectacular architecture, or rare outdoor space - be certain that the unique features set it apart from the standard market fare. Of course never forget the real estate maxim for any property: location, location, location.

The investment value with fractional properties is a function of both the quality of the product, its furnishings, its amenities, as well as its continued management over the years. So it’s important to examine exactly what is on offer. Also, make sure that any ownership agreement clearly lays out rules and regulations and makes provisions for eventualities.

What you give up with fractional versus sole ownership is clear: you do not have full control over the property, and must share the rights and responsibilities with your fellow owners. This shared approach is not for everyone, and each buyer needs to decide for themselves how the benefits and drawbacks of fractional ownership weigh out for them personally.

PL: Why did your company get into this?
I am often approached by international buyers looking for a pied-à-terre in Paris that they will use a few weeks a year and then rent out on a short-term basis to tourists the rest of the time. The reality is that the market of studio and one-bedroom apartments in the Marais and Saint Germain des Près is saturated, and only a fabulous, standout property of this size will have a chance of generating a significant income. For budgets less than 500,000€, we can find you a property in these popular areas, but it would most likely not generate enough income to cover your ongoing costs.
If you are looking for a sole ownership solution with solid rental income in the current market, your minimum size needs to be a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. For that, the minimum investment all-told is going to be at least 800,000€ in the Marais, and 1 million plus in Saint Germain.
What was exciting about fractional ownership for me was to finally be able to give buyers a viable, intelligent option: a solution that met the desire to own a sizeable, elegant property in the heart of Paris, yet at a fraction of the cost of full ownership. The fractional solution has been extremely popular thus far, the first two projects we marketed in Saint Germain des Près sold out before renovation was even completed, and interest in our Marais property is extremely strong. We are about to sign the purchase agreement on the third Saint Germain property and are excited to continue bringing special properties to Paris lovers.
About Paris Property Finders and Fractional Paris
Fractional Paris is a division of Paris Property Finders, the first licensed real estate buyer's agent in Paris and the market leader in France.
With over 15 years of combined experience in real estate and construction, we've spent years assembling the best teams to find, renovate and decorate the ideal property in Paris. Whether for private or fractional ownership, our highly competent design, construction and management teams ensure that everything is done right and that your purchase is hassle-free.

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