Study French in Paris

French speaking talking bears in a Paris toy store

This article has been updated with Conversation Exchange ideas.
The Paris Mayor’s Office has added a “Learning French” page to their Website with tips on who can take classes and where. Staying in Paris awhile? Check your with your local mayor’s office (each arrondissement has one) for information on municipal classes. No restrictions on nationality or residence status. You must be over 18.

Exhibit: Viollet-le-Duc, Visions of an Architect

Lady walking in front of the poster for Viollet le Duc exhibit at Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine

Viollet-le-Duc renovated the crumbling walls and put his imprint on about one hundred French monuments, including Vézelay, Pierrefonds, Notre-Dame de Paris, Carcassonne, Saint-Sernin. At la Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine until March 9, 2015, all of the signage and labels are in French and English. An opportunity for the public to see for the first time a considerable quantity of newly acquired graphic drawings and writing and relate to the public the various facets of this temperamental artist. This retrospective exhibit celebrates the two hundredth anniversary of his birth.

Ironies in Paris-Rue Nicolas Appert, a New History

Nicolas Appert street sign Charlie Hebdo offices

Street names in Paris are one way to discover the history of France. With over 5,000 streets, avenues, boulevards, cul-de-sacs and dead ends the name of the street often has a simply-phrased history beneath the name. An example is rue Nicolas Appert in the eleventh arrondissement. Nicolas Appert, a French confectioner who made pastries and candies, invented the method for conserving food in a tin can and lived between 1749 and 1841. Direct Matin is one of the free metro newspapers in France. They have a section called “Pourquoi…” … about Nicolas Appert’s invention.

“Je Suis Charlie” – I Am Charlie

Je Suis Charlie - text that appeared immediately after cartoonists from CharlieHebdo were assassinated along with two policemen

“Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) is the slogan used immediately after assassinations at a satirical newspaper in Paris. The slogan is in memory of the cartoonists and others assassinated in Paris on Wednesday morning, January 7, 2015 near the Bastille and metro Richard Lenoir. For anyone who writes and has an opinion and likes to express the opinion, we are all Charlie. The name Charlie represents the satirical newspaper, “CharlieHebdo”. For Americans “MAD” magazine comes to my mind for outrageous satire. You either read it or you don’t. ….

Happy New Year 2015 from Paris!

Barefoot college, Tilonia, India, man sitting next to Merry Xmas/Happy New Year banner

The Paris Mayor’s Office brought in the new year with a spectacular display of “video-morphing” on the Arc-de-Triomphe. The spectacle lasted 20 minutes and ended with fireworks from the top. Wherever you were on December 31 (I was almost a month in northwest and central India), you can relive a slice of the moment virtually on their Daily Motion (French YouTube) channel.