I Love Touring Paris - The Sixteenth Arrondissement

The sixteenth arrondissement is located on the Right Bank of the Seine River in western Paris. This arrondissement hosts the famous chestnut tree lined Avenue Foch, the widest street in Paris, and lots and lots of embassies. If you're getting the idea that it's one of the richest corners of the city, you're right on. Its land area is about 6.3 square miles (16.3 square kilometers) but if you exclude the Bois de Boulogne the size drops in half to 3 square miles (about 7.8 square kilometers). The population numbers slightly over one hundred sixty thousand and the district hosts over one hundred thousand jobs. This is the only arrondissement to merit two postal codes, both considered exclusive.

Passy is in the northern part of the district. It was once a village and served as home away from home to Benjamin Franklin for many years. That's where in 1782 he printed a pamphlet "A Project for Perpetual Peace" that presented his vision for a permanent peace in Europe. In spite of his inability to predict the future, Parisians have honored him with a rue Franklin. You may want to visit the Cimetière de Passy (Passy Cemetery) burial grounds for the painter Édouard Manet and the composer Claude Debussy. It is the only cemetery in Paris to have a heated waiting-room. Perhaps that's why it was once "the place" in Paris to be buried. If you go make sure to see the retaining wall memorial to soldiers who fell in World War I. Another Passy site of interest is the house where the famous writer Honoré de Balzac lived and wrote.

I Love Touring Paris - The Fifteenth Arrondissement

I love touring Paris so much that I am doing a series on both the well known and the rarely visited tourist attractions of Paris's twenty arrondissements (districts). This article visits the fifteenth arrondissement in southwestern Paris. We suggest French wine and food to increase your touring pleasure. The fifteenth arrondissement is located in southwest Paris on the Left Bank of the Seine River. Its land area slightly exceeds 3.2 square miles (a tad over 8.5 square kilometers). It is the most populous of the twenty arrondissements, weighing in at over two hundred twenty five thousand residents and provides almost one hundred fifty thousand jobs.

The Gare Montparnasse is one of six large Parisian railway stations. It first opened in 1840 and was expanded only a few years later. In 1895 a runaway train rode through a two foot (sixty centimeter) wall, left the premises, and toppled onto the street thirty feet (ten meters) below. The train finished this wild tour on its nose, as shown on the cover of the Lean Into It album produced by the hard rock group Mr. Big. No passengers were killed in this grand voyage, but several were injured and a passerby was killed.

I Love French Wine and Food - A Burgundy Aligote

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the world famous Burgundy region in eastern France. Although it's fairly rare, you may even find a bargain, and I hope that you'll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a local white wine based on the Aligote grape.

Among France’s eleven wine-growing regions Burgundy ranks fourth in acreage if you include the Beaujolais region, which most people do in spite of their considerable differences. Partisans, and they are many, claim that Burgundy is really the number one or number two wine-producing region in France, if not in the world. The wine reviewed below comes from somewhere in Burgundy, whose wine production is almost 90% white, almost exclusively Chardonnay. The Aligoté grape is Burgundy’s number two white grape, but remains fairly unknown. We’ll find out whether this lack of notoriety is deserved or not. In addition to Burgundy Aligoté is grown in Bulgaria, a not a very-well known wine producer but one that is occasionally generates bargains. The best Aligoté wines are said to come from the village of Bouzeron and its environs, located in the Côte Chalonnaise region of Burgundy. These wines are occasionally a blend of Aligoté and Chardonnay. To the best of our knowledge the reviewed wine is pure Aligoté and does not come from the Bouzeron area of Burgundy.

I Love Touring Paris - The Fourteenth Arrondissement

 The fourteenth arrondissement is located in southern Paris on the Left Bank of the Seine River. It covers about 2.2 square miles (over five and a half square kilometers) and is home to over one hundred thirty thousand residents and about seventy thousand jobs.

Some people will want to visit its famous Catacombs, Roman limestone quarries converted to burial grounds more than two hundred years ago. In all my years in Paris (actually less than two) I never saw the Catacombs and never felt that I missed them. But hey, that’s just me. The Catacombs were created because improper burials caused lots of disease in the famous Les Halles market district and in fact all over Paris. These quarries, by no means limited to the fourteenth arrondissement definitely reduced disease but did cause many safety problems. During the construction of Paris’s newest subway line an elementary school courtyard collapsed. What luck that no children were present.

 {jumi [jumi/AllPosters_France_Paris_Arcetechure.html]}

You can take an authorized tour of the catacombs or strike out on your own. There’s a word for such people, cataphiles. Among the authors fascinated by the Catacombs are Umberto Eco and Edgar Allan Poe. With all the underground visits it is interesting to note that only a single death has been confirmed in the Catacombs during the last 250 years.

I Love French Wine and Food - A Saumur (Loire Valley) White

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Loire Valley region of central France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you’ll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a white Chenin Blanc from Anjou-Saumur in the central part of the region.

Among France’s eleven wine-growing regions the Loire Valley ranks number three when it comes to the acreage devoted to vineyards. The Loire is France’s longest river running for 620 miles one thousand kilometers) across the center of the country. In many ways the Loire Valley can be considered as a series of regions. Here they are running from west to east: Nantais whose primary grape is the white Muscadet, Anjou-Saumur whose primary grapes are the white Chenin Blanc and the red Cabernet Franc, Touraine whose primary white grapes are Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc and whose primary red grape is Cabernet Franc, and Central Vineyards whose primary white grape is Sauvignon Blanc and whose primary red grape is Pinot Noir. We will review at least one wine from each of these four areas.  {jumi[jumi/AllPosters_France_FoodBeverage.html]}