Rossy de Palma : a new perfume made in Le Marais 
Thanks to Etienne de Schwardt and his team…the famous perfume maker has created a new fragrance with Rossy De Palma, the Spanish actress and icon of most Pedro Almodovar movies. This perfume, Eau de protection, is dedicated to sensuality and love. As Rossy De Palma said at the end of her show:

«Protégez-vous avec ou sans parfum !»

Do come to 69 rue des archives 75003 Paris to discover Rossy’s perfume. With the scents of ginger and rose, both women and men can wear it. It is unique. It is a must. And it is the first superstar perfume born and made in le Marais!
Check http://www.etatlibredorange.com- check other great beauty options in le marais :

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Practical Paris : Doing it right! 
Practical Paris : Doing it right
by Jason Salzenstein

EDGE National Style & Travel Editor
Saturday Nov 17, 2007

Paris is a fabulous city- I needn’t tell you that. Unfortunately, it also has a bad reputation in America as being a difficult city for tourists, especially if you don’t speak the language. Well, I’m here to tell you that not only can you ’do’ Paris without knowing the language, but you can also cast aside any negativity you’ve heard about Parisians and have a great time.

Like any big city, Paris offers something for everyone. Of course the art, architecture, fashion, and culture are known worldwide, and are a major draw for many visitors. Having so much fabulosity- along with so many famous landmarks- has instilled a great sense of pride in most Parisians- and it’s this pride that has often been mistaken for rudeness. Well, that and their reacting to all the fat, loud Americans who come to the city and expect everyone to not only speak English but bow to their whims and customs. If you’re reading this though, you likely don’t fall into that camp, and needn’t worry about it.

There are definitely some easy things you can do when planning and preparing for your trip that will help make it easier and more enjoyable. I’ve assembled a few tips and tricks to help you on your way to discovering (or re-discovering) one of the best cities in the world- and my favorite!

Getting there

Getting to Paris is easy; most major US and international carriers offer daily flights from major US cities. If you’re flying from the East Coast, you can be there in about six hours, direct. During the spring and summer, Air France offers a late-night flight from Boston and NY, which puts you in Paris late morning and allows you to actually sleep overnight; we like that. I find that any major travel site comes up with about the same fares; the one that I trust when deciding when to buy tickets however, is Farecast.com, which will tell you not only what airlines have the best deals, but compare them with up to four travel sites, and let you know if you should buy a ticket now, or wait a bit when they predict (with incredible accuracy) that prices will go down.

There are a lot of websites for planning trips to France, both mainstream and LGBT-focused.

Planning Your Trip

As for guidebooks, save yourself a LOT of time in the bookstore or on Amazon.com, and pick up these three: the Wallpaper* City Guide, the Lonely Planet Paris Encounter guide, and the Moleskin City Book. All are fabulous in their own right, and each serves a different purpose.

The Wallpaper* City Guide is dedicated to the best design-focused places in Paris; landmarks, hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and shopping. They also include suggestions for late-night experiences, 24-hour stopovers, and design-tours. Small, compact, and to the point, it’s the be-all-end-all for true haute aficionados.

Lonely Planet’s Paris Encounter guide on the other hand, is down to earth, easy-to-read, and full of great suggestions, including quite a few not found in larger guidebooks (but not so obscure or particular that you’ll get lost trying to find it, or feel like a weirdo once you’re there). This is a great guide to read before you go- while you’re still planning your trip- because it offers a good insight into the city. It includes highlights and itineraries, as well as info on sights, shops, restaurants, etc. for each quarter or neighborhood. This book is great for those times when you find yourself walking around the city on a whim and decide you want to see some art or grab a cocktail because you can easily find something near you. The only thing it’s missing? Hotels.

Being fortunate enough to have spent a considerable amount of time in Paris, the one thing I’m never without is my Moleskin City Book. The quote by Aldous Huxley says it perfectly: "For every traveller who has any taste of his own, the only useful guidebook will be the one which he himself has written." And while I wouldn’t yet dispose of my other guidebooks, this one has become the one I go back to most often. Aside from great maps for the Metro, the city and neighborhoods, and a few pages of references (measurements, phone numbers, etc.), this book is largely blank. Sections are divided however, so that you can take notes, write your own directory of shops, restaurants and hotels, and jot down anything else that you’ll want to remember and return to on subsequent trips. It’s truly the best ’little black book’ you’ll ever have.

Once You Arrive

Of course, if you take my advice, you’ll have no problems when you get on the ground- you’ll land, grab a café, croissant and/or (in my case, definitely "and") a pain au chocolat, and be off and running. However, if you’re looking to ease into Paris- especially if you’re on a long holiday- you may want to consult with someone on the ground who knows the (gay) city like only a local can.

The folks at Paris Gay Village are experts on Paris, and everything gay within the city. They’re also incredibly welcoming, and love to share their city. Every Saturday from 4-6, members are available to advise and share at the city’s Gay and Lesbian Center (3 rue Keller, 11th Arrondisemont, Metro Bastille). They also offer guided tours, and will even meet and welcome you at the famous local LGBT bookstore, providing you with a welcome kit with "gay" maps, coupons, invitations to bars and parties, and suggestions based on your interests.

Another great gay website is ParisMarais.com. They offer information on small gay-owned and gay-friendly hotels and apartments, as well as a shopping guide and practical information about the gay neighborhood.

book your hotel online :

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

Getting Around

If you haven’t been to Paris, getting around is easy via the Metro. Buy a weekend, week, or 10-day pass and plan on using it as much as possible- not only will it get you where you want to go quickly, you’ll also see things you’d miss in a taxi. I recommend walking as much as possible for the same reason; Paris is a city best seen on foot.

If you want to keep in touch with friends and family back home, make sure that your mobile phone will work overseas, that you’re signed up for the correct plan, and that it won’t cost you $14/minute. A great alternative is to buy a Mobal World Phone for $50 and skip the hassle. It’s not free to use, but usually much less than your American phone service.

Jason Salzenstein is the National Style & Travel Editor for EDGE Publications. In addition to writing, he’s a design consultant, professional shopper, and has contributed to numerous national and international magazines. For more information, go to www.JasonSalzenstein.com Jason welcomes all questions, comments and concerns at jsalzenstein@edgeboston.com

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world aids day in Paris - letter from Jean Luc Romero to Nicolas Sarkozy 
Letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, President of all the French. Including the HIV Infected.

Mr President,

I believe you like the epistolary style. Please allow me to send you this letter, Mr President, President of all the French, including the HIV infected. Today I feel a little left out. And yet it is the World Aids Prevention Day. A day of mobilization and of action. A day of fighting. A day of anger. But also a day of sadness. What else can one feel when one thinks of the 5700 lives Aids will be claiming today?
I would not like you to think that I am a somewhat insolent moaner- it is the season of confrontations-but I also have some demands. To be heard I cannot go on strike- stop treatment? That would be suicidal and I who have been HIV positive for the past 20 years keep repeating that Aids is an obstinately lethal disease.
So I am writing to you. I am writing to say that my life is not very bright, that the life of an HIV infected person is more like survival .I hear around me that Aids has become a simple chronic disease, that one can even get cured! Lies. Killer lies. Too many of my friends have gone, for me to bear such allegations, for me to hear such nonsense. So yes, I am going to moan, since it is a typically French attitude.
You have created a slogan ”Work more to earn more” Whatever our political stand might be,since the purchasing power is a priority for most, this could be a good solution.
However for an HIV infected person, keeping a job is a real problem: how to manage the weariness, the secondary effects of treatment which are very hard to bear ? The necessary adjustments have not been put into place. Simultaneously 43% of HIV infected people who have the age to work have no professional activity. Not because they do not want to work but because they can’t. Indeed ,if the person cannot bear the work load due to secondary effects of treatment, he (she) might lose the handicapped adult allowance(AAH) and find himself (herself) unemployed and earning the minimum wage, which would have dramatic consequences on the follow-up of treatment. Let me remind you that 25% of HIV infected people benefit from AAH. This help, which cannot be added to a salary, amounts to 621 Euros. Less than the minimum wage…..Could one not imagine a AAH which would be as much as the minimum wage to guarantee a minimum to those who, as you know, have not chosen to be infected? Today I know that you would agree with me, Mr President, that we have to stop reasoning as if it is more of a risk than a chance for a HIV infected person to resume work.
On the other hand you declared that you wanted a France of owners. This is a dream that can be fulfilled by those who are not HIV infected. It remains unattainable for those who are infected. Indeed the access to insurance and therefore to loans for those who are infected depends on a conventional system. It has been considerably improved by the signing of the AREAS convention. But as your health minister recently said, there is a long way to go before the conditions for the granting of a loan are made more flexible, a really long way.. Please allow me to make this observation:12 % of HIV infected people have no place of their own to live in.
Last little complaint, if I may, Mr President. Not long ago I wanted to go to the United States because just like you, I love that country sincerely. But unfortunately I am not allowed to enter, I have been banished for life. Please do not think that I committed any crime or offence that would justify this lifelong sentence. NO! In actual fact, this sentence is totally unfair : I am Hiv infected and because of that, I am not allowed to set my foot on the US territory, just like 33 million people in this world. Without wanting to dwell on primary anti-americanism, I am nearly sorry that our ancestors have given the Statue of Liberty to the United States ! Of course I could choose some other destination but in 12 other countries in this world, I am not allowed to set my foot either because of my being HIV positive. Globally, in half of the UNO member states,I am not allowed to live or to reside for more than 3 months. Mr President, even if France –and this is something to be proud of- is not concerned by this scandalous restriction, I know that your sense of justice can only be upset by a totally intolerable measure and that you will feel compelled to denounce it internationally.
So, that’s it, Mr President. To be HIV infected is tough and I feel that one forgets it sometimes. To be HIV positive is to suffer from a disease from which one will die, it is to be bearer of a virus which discriminates and makes your life precarious. It is more like being guilty than like being ill. That is why I appeal to you, Mr President. Because I know you want to make things move.
Oh and yes, before I forget : if you have taken the time to read this letter, which I very much hope, you have taken five minutes of your time. While you were reading, 20 people died of Aids in the world…
Yours most sincerely

President of “Elus locaux contre le Sida”

Lettre à Nicolas Sarkozy, Président de tous les Français… séropositifs compris

Monsieur le Président de la République,

Je crois savoir que le style épistolaire vous plaît. Permettez-moi donc de vous adresser cette lettre, monsieur le Président, président de tous les Français, séropositifs compris. Aujourd’hui, j’ai l’impression que l’on nous oublie un peu. Pourtant, c’est la Journée mondiale de lutte contre le sida. Journée de mobilisation et de revendications. Journée de combat. Journée de colère. Mais aussi Journée de tristesse. Quel autre sentiment éprouver quand on pense aux 5.700 vies que le sida emportera aujourd’hui ?

Je ne voudrais pas passer pour un râleur un peu effronté - c’est la saison des contestations -
mais, moi aussi, j’ai des revendications. Pour me faire entendre, je ne peux pas faire grève : grève des traitements ? Cela serait courir au suicide, moi qui suis séropositif depuis plus de 20 ans et alors que, je ne cesse de le rappeler, le sida reste une maladie obstinément mortelle.

Alors je vous écris. Je vous écris pour vous dire que ma vie n’est pas bien rose, que la vie d’un séropositif ressemble plus à de la survie. J’entends dire que le sida serait devenu une simple maladie chronique, qu’on pourrait même en guérir ! Mensonges. Mensonges meurtriers. Bien trop de mes amis sont partis pour que je puisse supporter de telles allégations, pour que je puisse entendre ces inepties. Alors oui, je vais, trait d’humeur assez français, râler.

Vous avez fait vôtre ce slogan : « Travailler plus pour gagner plus ». Quel que soit le positionnement politique de chacun, le pouvoir d’achat étant une priorité, cela peut être une solution tout à fait valable. Mais, pour une personne touchée par le VIH/sida, le maintien dans l’emploi est un vrai problème : comment gérer la fatigabilité, les effets secondaires des traitements, effets très lourds ? Les aménagements nécessaires sont clairement insuffisamment mis en œuvre. Parallèlement, 43% des personnes séropositives en âge de travailler n’ont pas d’activité professionnelle. Non pas qu’elles ne le veulent pas, bien sûr, mais elles ne le peuvent pas. En effet, si la personne ne supporte pas la charge de travail imposée à cause des effets secondaires des traitements, elle peut perdre l’allocation adulte handicapées (AAH) et donc se retrouver au RMI ce qui aurait évidemment des conséquences dramatiques sur la continuation des soins. Rappelons que 25% des séropositifs sont bénéficiaires de l’AAH. Le montant de cette aide, qui ne peut se cumuler avec un emploi : 621 euros. Moins que le seuil de pauvreté… Ne pourrait-on pas envisager une hausse de l’AAH à hauteur du SMIC pour garantir un minimum à des personnes qui, vous le savez, n’ont pas choisi d’être malades ? Ou ne faudrait-il pas garantir la réversibilité de l‘AAH ? Aujourd’hui, je sais que vous serez d’accord avec moi, monsieur le Président, pour dire qu’il faut sortir de la logique selon laquelle reprendre un travail serait un risque et pas une chance pour une personne séropositive.
Par ailleurs, vous avez déclaré que vous souhaitiez une France de propriétaires. C’est un rêve réalisable pour les séronégatifs, un rêve toujours inaccessible pour les séropositifs. En effet, l’accès à l’assurance et donc aux prêts pour les personnes touchées dépend d’un régime conventionnel. Il a été considérablement amélioré via la signature de la convention AREAS. Mais, comme en convenait récemment votre ministre de la santé, il reste beaucoup à faire pour assouplir les conditions d’octroi d’un prêt, vraiment beaucoup… Permettez-moi également cette remarque : 12% des personnes séropositives n’ont pas de logement personnel…

Dernière petite râlerie, si vous me le permettez, monsieur le Président. Dernièrement, je voulais me rendre aux Etats-Unis parce que, tout comme vous, j’aime sincèrement ce pays. Mais malheureusement, je n’en ai pas le droit, j’en suis banni à vie. N’allez pas croire que j’ai pu commettre quelques crimes ou délits qui me vaudraient cette peine à perpétuité. Non ! En fait, cette peine est complètement injuste : je suis séropositif et parce que je suis malade, je n’ai pas le droit de mettre un pied sur le territoire des Etats-Unis, tout comme 33 millions de personnes dans le monde. J’en viendrai presque, sans faire de l’anti-américanisme primaire, à regretter que nos ancêtres aient pu donner la Statue de la Liberté aux Etats-Unis ! C’est vrai, je pourrais choisir une autre destination mais, dans 12 autres pays dans le monde, je suis également interdit de déplacement pour cause de séropositivité. Globalement, dans la moitié des pays membres de l’ONU, je n’ai pas le droit de m’installer ou de séjourner plus de 3 mois. Monsieur le Président, même si la France n’est pas, et c’est tout à son honneur, concernée par cette scandaleuse restriction, je sais que votre sens de la justice ne peut qu’être heurté par une mesure totalement intolérable et que vous aurez à cœur d’intervenir au niveau international pour la dénoncer.

Voilà, monsieur le Président. Etre séropositif, c’est dur et j’ai la forte impression que, quelques fois, on l’oublie. Etre séropositif, c’est être atteint d’une maladie dont on va mourir, c’est avoir un virus qui discrimine et précarise. C’est être plus coupable que malade. C’est pour cela que je fais appel à vous, monsieur le Président. Parce que je connais votre volonté de faire bouger les choses.

Ah oui ! Dernière chose : si vous avez lu avec attention cette lettre, ce que j’espère vivement, vous avez pris 5 minutes de votre temps. Pendant votre lecture, 20 personnes sont mortes du sida dans le monde…

Je vous prie de croire, monsieur le Président de la République, à l’expression de ma respectueuse considération.

Jean-Luc Romero
Président d’Elus Locaux Contre le Sida

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