Paris est la ville de l'amour, de la lumière, et de la splendeur. Elle est une ville pleine de contradictions, de quartiers contrastés, riche de sa diversité. Elle est, surtout, une ville d'inspiration, une qui fascine ses visiteurs pendant toute l'année. Explorons le capital de la France par sa culture, sa nourriture, sa langue, ses monuments, ses backstreets, et ses personnes.

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假如你有幸 年轻时在巴黎生活过
那么你此后一生中 不论去到哪里
巴黎 是一席流动的飨宴


Sunday, April 1, 2012

France is the source of its problems – not the rest of the world 法国当自省

Europe used to be a constant in French politics: no mainstream party questioned the benefits of further integration. This year the taboo has been broken. First François Hollande, the Socialist challenger for the presidency, said that if elected, he would renegotiate the eurozone’s new fiscal pact. Then Nicolas Sarkozy declared France could pull out of the Schengen zone of border-free travel and threatened to take unilateral, protectionist measures on trade that would clearly be viewed as illegal in Brussels.在法国政治中,欧洲曾经是一个不存在变数的问题,没有哪个主流政党质疑过增进欧洲一体化的好处。然而今年,这个“禁忌”被打破了。先是向总统大权发起挑战的社会党候选人弗朗索瓦•奥朗德(François Hollande)表示,如果能够当选,就会对欧元区的新财政协定重新进行谈判。随后,尼古拉•萨科奇(Nicolas Sarkozy)又宣称法国可能退出申根(Schengen)自由跨境旅行区,还威胁采取单边的贸易保护主义措施,而这种措施在布鲁塞尔看来肯定是非法的。
Last week’s killings in Toulouse have also reignited fears – exploited by the far right – of French society under siege. The rise of anti-European sentiment, however, is just the latest “avatar” of a hostility to globalisation that has become a basic ingredient of political debate. In most developed countries, globalisation excites concern; in France, it is an obsession.上周图卢兹发生的杀戮,再一次激起了“法国社会已陷入包围”的恐惧,极右翼则对这种恐惧加以利用。然而反欧洲情绪的兴起,其实只是对全球化的敌意的最新“化身”,而后者一直是政治辩论中的一个基本话题。在多数发达国家,全球化都会引发关切,而在法国这种讨论更是挥之不去。
Each year 80m tourists visit France to sample the art de vivre for which the country is renowned. But the French themselves seem to have lost the formula: poll after poll, they appear more and more pessimistic.每年有8000万名游客为了感受法国最富盛名的“生活的艺术”(art de vivre)到法国旅行。然而法国人自己却似乎已经失去了生活的感觉,一次接一次的民调,总会显示他们变得越来越悲观了。
Overwhelmingly, they attribute their ills to globalisation: two-thirds consider it “disastrous”. This is despite the fact that the economies of Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands are all more “globalised” (taking the sum of imports and exports as a proportion of gross domestic product), while enjoying lower unemployment.绝大多数法国人将法国自身的疾患归咎于全球化:三分之二法国人认为全球化是“灾难性的”。而实际上,德国、瑞士和荷兰都更加“全球化”(以进出口总量占国内生产总值(GDP)的比例来衡量),但它们却享受着更低的失业率。
Yet globalisation is at the heart of the French malaise. French people find this spontaneous phenomenon, which no authority steers, deeply unsettling. French political culture, the legacy of absolute monarchy, Catholicism and the Jacobins – with a hint of Marxism – finds it hard to admit that something can be good if it has not been conceived to be so. Globalisation fits the Anglo-Saxon outlook – heir to Mandeville and Adam Smith – but is directly opposed to the traditional French view. For a people in love with concepts and theories, this matters.然而全球化的确处在“法国病”的核心。法国人深深地感到,全球化这个没有任何权威引导的自发现象很令人不安。法国的政治文化是绝对君权、天主教、雅各宾派(Jacobins)还有一点点马克思主义所留下的遗产,它很难承认,一种没有事先被构想成有益的事物也能够是有益的。全球化符合盎格鲁-撒克逊民族的视角——他们是曼德维尔(Mandeville)和亚当•斯密(Adam Smith)的后人——然而却与传统的法国观点截然相反。对于一个热衷于概念和理论的民族,这一点十分重要。
France’s problem is that it has imported many of the disadvantages of globalisation but few of the advantages. The biggest companies have benefited greatly from globalisation but this brings little to France itself: its share in world trade has fallen sharply and, over the past three years, CAC 40 companies shed 4 per cent of their French workforce while their global workforce grew 5 per cent. Zealous executives show little interest in their home country while politicians give one signal after another, prompting companies and talented people to leave.法国的问题在于它引入了全球化的许多缺点,但是引入的优点则少之又少。法国最大的公司在全球化中获益颇丰,然而在这个过程中法国却获益极少:法国在全球贸易中的份额显著下降,并且在过去三年中,CAC 40指数的成分股公司裁减了4%的法国员工,而同时它们的全球员工却增加了5%。充满热忱的企业高管对法国本土几乎没有表现任何兴趣,而政客们的行为一再发出信号,导致企业和人才离开法国。
Worse: globalisation, which creates risks and opportunities everywhere, is exposing the injustice of the “French model”. The promise of equality, central to France’s republican pact, is visibly betrayed because it is always the same people who run the risks (especially that of losing their job) while others enjoy the opportunities (a good career and high salary). This reflects the social immobility of a country that puts too high a price on diplomas but where schooling perpetuates social division, with the routes to success almost closed to young people, women, ethnic minorities and those not born into “good families”. None of France’s big listed companies is run by a woman; deputies’ average age is 57, much older than in Germany, the UK or Sweden. A tiny proportion of the 882 people elected to the Assemblée nationale or Senate belong to minorities. And while 80 per cent of British billionaires are self-made men, just 30 per cent of French billionaires are.更糟糕的是,在所有地方都会带来风险和机遇的全球化,暴露出“法国模式”的不公。平等的承诺在法国的立国理想中处在核心位置,然而对这个承诺的的背叛却昭然若揭。总是同一些人在承担风险(尤其是失业的风险),而另一些人却占有机遇(好工作和高薪水)。这反映出了法国社会流动性的缺失,在这样一个极端重视文凭、学校教育却使社会分裂永远存在的国家,通往成功的道路对青年、女性、少数族裔和没有生在“好家庭”的人们几乎已经关闭了。法国大型上市公司没有一家是由女性掌管的;法国国民议会(Assemblée nationale)议员的平均年龄是57岁,比德国、英国或瑞典老很多。当选国民议会或参议院(Senate)议员的882人中,只有极小部分属于少数族裔。英国亿万富翁中有80%是白手起家,而法国的这一比例只有30%。
How can the majority of French people trust their representatives, or hope to hold power themselves, when no one in the elite looks like them? And should one really be surprised that they reject the risks globalisation brings, when they know its opportunities will go to others?如果多数法国人在精英阶层中找不到与自己相似的人,他们怎么能信任他们的代表,怎么能奢望自己掌握权力呢?既然他们知道全球化的机遇会流向别人,那么他们拒绝承担全球化带来的风险,难道真的令人惊讶吗?
These problems have nothing to do with Europe or with globalisation; everything to do with France’s closed economy and static society. This election battle should be fought on proposals to restore competitiveness, social mobility and equality of opportunity so that France can truly benefit from globalisation. So far, neither Mr Sarkozy nor Mr Hollande has any serious proposals.这些问题与欧洲和全球化没有关系,反倒是与法国封闭的经济、一潭死水的社会有很大关系。这次选战的争夺应当关注于如何恢复法国的竞争力、社会流动性和机会均等,从而使法国能够真正从全球化中获益。到目前为止,萨科奇和奥朗德都还没有拿出任何像样的提案。
So long as the election debate revolves around scapegoats – Europe or globalisation – there will be no discussion of the real causes of French people’s pessimism. These have little to do with the rest of the world: they are “made in France”.只要大选辩论还围绕着替罪羊展开,比如欧洲或全球化,导致法国人悲观情绪的真正原因就不能得到讨论。这些原因与其他国家没有没有什么关系,而完全是“法国制造”的。
The writer is president of Footprint consultants. His latest book is ‘Le pays où la vie est plus dure’作者是Footprint咨询公司总裁,其最新著作为《生活更艰难的国家》(Le pays où la vie est plus dure)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Go underground on a tour of the Paris Métro 一个英国人游巴黎地铁

Metro station "Palais Royal", Paris

一个英国人的巴黎地铁游记, 有点夸张。英国人多少还是哈法的...They just love the French touch!

Go underground on a tour of the Paris Métro
By Andrew Martin
Published by FT: April 3 2010 01:55 | Last updated: April 3 2010 01:55
The French have a more grown-up attitude than the British towards sex, drinking and railways. Regarding the latter, the approach is that French trains work, and so they should, given the amount of public money put into them. This leaves little room for the underdog trainspotter on the British model, a self-consciously marginal figure who presents himself shambolically in emulation of a shambolic network. But a more refined and worldly kind of rail enthusiast does exist, and one such is Julian Pepinster, whose special subject is the Paris Métro.
I first met the Anglo-French Pepinster, 37, some years ago over dinner. He was working in insurance while running a society known by the acronym Ademas (, and dedicated to appreciation of an early Métro train engineer, Frank Julian Sprague, who gave his name to the classic Métro stock phased out in the early 1980s: pretty yet spartan trains with hard wooden seats and sparks flying out from underneath.
Pepinster now works for the security department of the Métro, and has collaborated on a new book about the system, Paris Métro Style, with Mark Ovenden, author of the international bestseller (yes, really), Metro Maps of the World. Pepinster – who often travels on the Métro in his spare time “just to relax” – offered me a tour, beginning at Gare du Nord on Line 4.
The train came in after about 30 seconds. I have never waited more than two minutes for a Métro train, or been stuck in a tunnel. This is because the Métro was, in the French way, planned (rather than arising haphazardly from the schemes of speculators, as with the Tube). There’s none of that Edgware/High Barnet nonsense seen on London’s Northern Line. The Paris lines are simple. The trains go to the end, then come back.
Line 4 is one of those featuring trains with tyres. Pepinster is ambivalent about these. “They were brought in to make the trains look more like cars.” But the tyres mean faster braking. There’s a pleasing terseness to the Métro: the train stops quickly; the nearest passenger to the door flips the catch – the loqueteau – and the doors bang open. I always fantasise that I am chasing a suspect, or being chased, in a French policier when I do this.
I mentioned to Pepinster that, for all this briskness, I felt more relaxed on the Métro than the Tube, and he suggested that this was partly because Métro tunnels are not tubular, but vault-shaped: “They remind you of the wine cellar of a château, which is a pleasant thing to be reminded of.” The shape is dictated by the method of construction. A narrow hole was dug in the street, then widened out below. The tunnels were lined in white tiles with bevelled edges, “which means they sparkle”.
At Châtelet, we changed to Line 1, and went to Louvre-Rivoli station, where subtle lighting displays pieces of statuary, replicas of those in the museum above. This is one of a dozen themed stations on the Métro, and in these (again, that French severity) advertising is not allowed. My favourite is the one at Arts et Métiers. It’s lined with riveted copper, like the inside of Captain Nemo’s submarine.
We exited the station, and crossed the Rue de Rivoli towards the entrance of Palais Royal station, which looks like a bejewelled bird cage. It was created by Jean-Michel Othoniel for the Métro centenary of 2000. It’s small for a station entrance but then Métro entrances are usually small. Paris, the creators of the Métro acknowledged, was beautiful, and the street scenes ought not to be disrupted. Attention would be drawn to the system by the beauty of the entrances, not their size, hence the sinuous, green, art nouveau ironwork of Hector Guimard, which survives at a third of the 273 stations. For years after the opening of the Métro in 1900, entrances didn’t even proclaim the station name.
As we roved around the network Pepinster talked constantly, but never boringly. He does the same on the nocturnal tours of closed-down Métro stations sometimes operated by his group, Ademas. As these tours depart, Pepinster reads a Latin quote from Fulgence Bienvenüe, chief engineer of the Métro at the time of its construction: “Jovis erepto fulmine per inferna vehitur Promethei genus”, which means something like, “Prometheus’s children are transported in the underground inferno with the power of Jupiter.” The tours finish at dawn in a depot beneath Gare du Nord, with a chance to walk along an inspection pit underneath a Métro train while drinking kir royale.
We were now at Oberkampf station on Line 5. In the 1960s, it was decided that white tiling was boring – “People said, ‘Why must our stations look like bathrooms?’” – so something more psychedelic was tried in a few cases: orange tiling. The Line 5 platforms at Oberkampf are the most orange on the network. The effect is queasy, and the orange is now regarded as a mistake, as was fitting steel panelling into certain stations to accommodate advertising hoardings. (We saw an example at Trinité-d’Estienne d’Orves on Line 12). This was called “carrossage”, and it disrupted the purity of the vault, just as false ceilings or boarded-over fireplaces were beginning to spoil historic houses of the time. But a current renovation programme will restore the original purity: white tiles, white station names on blue backgrounds.
For the grande finale, Pepinster took me to Gare d’Austerlitz, where the Métro station, far from being underground, is excitingly incorporated into the glass roof of the mainline station. The line then crosses over the Seine, giving glorious vistas. Pepinster pointed out the sights, including that of the Paris Morgue on the right bank. Naturally enough, all the other Parisians in the carriage continued to read their newspapers.
‘Paris Métro Style’ is published by Capital Transport Publishing
法国人对于性、酒和地铁的态度较之英国人更为成熟。说到地铁,他们的态度是法国的地铁还不错,鉴于其中投入的公共资金数量,这是应该 的。《猜火车》 中颓废失意的英国人在这里几乎没有用武之地——那是一个具有自我意识的边缘人形象,他的好胜心在混沌的铁路网络中,浑浑噩噩地自我表现着。不过,确实存在 着较为优雅且入世型的铁路爱好者,其中之一便是朱利安·佩平斯特(Julian Pepinster),他的钟情对象是巴黎地下铁。
我在几 年前的一次晚宴上初识37岁、英法混血的佩平斯特。他当时从事保险业,同时经营着一个缩写为Ademas的社团(www.ademas-,而且沉湎于对早期地铁列车工程师弗兰克·朱利安·史普拉(Frank Julian Sprague)的激赏之中。20世纪80年代初被淘汰的经典地铁列车就曾以这位工程师命名,那是一种木质硬座、可爱但简朴的列车,开动时车轮下火花飞 溅。
佩平斯特如今为巴黎地铁的安全部门工作,正与马克·欧文顿(Mark Ovenden)合作,写一本有关这一世界的新书——《巴黎地铁风尚》(Paris Métro Style)。欧文顿是国际畅销书《世界地铁地图》(Metro Maps of the World)的作者(是的,货真价实的畅销书作者)。佩平斯特常常在空闲时间乘坐地铁,“仅仅为了消遣”,他邀我一游,行程始于四号线的火车北站 (Gare du Nord)。
列车大约30秒后进站。我等巴黎地铁的时间从未超过2分钟, 也从未有过被堵在隧道中的经历。因为巴黎地铁是 以法国方式规划的(而不是伦敦地铁纸上谈兵凭空而起的设计)。这里绝没有伦敦北线埃奇威尔(Edgware)/高巴涅(High Barne)站那样的不可理喻的景象。巴黎的轨道线简单平实。列车从头开到尾,然后再返回。
4 号线属于拥有带轮胎列车的线路之一。佩平斯特 对此颇为矛盾。“引进轮胎是为了让列车看上去更像汽车。”但轮胎意味着刹车速度更快,这对巴黎地铁来说产生了一种令人愉悦的简洁之美:列车迅速停止,最靠 门的乘客敲打着把手(按钮),车门嘭地打开。我这么做的时候,总是幻想我正在追踪嫌犯,或正被一个法国警察追踪。
我向佩平斯特提到,虽然感 觉形色匆匆,但我仍觉得法国地铁比伦敦地铁更让人放松。他表示,部分原因在于巴黎地铁的隧道不是管状而是拱形的:“它们让你想起城堡里的酒窖,这是一种美 好的回忆。”这种形式是由建筑方式造成的。从街面上打一个窄洞,然后从下面挖宽。隧道以带斜面的白色瓷砖为墙面,“这意味着它们显得熠熠生辉。”
我 们在夏德莱(Châtelet)站换乘1号线前往卢浮宫-瑞沃利站(Louvre-Rivoli station),那里,精美的灯光中展示着雕塑作品(地铁站上面博物馆里的复制品)。这是10个主题地铁站之一,在这些站点不允许发布广告(再次体现了 法式的苛刻)。我最喜欢的一个车站是工艺博物馆站(Arts et Métiers)。铜质铆钉的墙面让人如犹如置身尼莫船长(Captain Nemo)的潜艇内。
我们离开车站,穿过瑞沃利大街朝王宫站(Palais Royal station)入口而去,地铁入口犹如一个珠光宝气的鸟笼。这是由让-米歇尔·欧托尼耶(Jean-Michel Othoniel)于2000年为地铁100周年纪念而创作的。这对于一个地铁入口来说有点小,不过这里的地铁入口通常都很小。地铁创始人认为,巴黎是美 丽的城市,街道景观不应被割裂。地铁系统引入注意的应该是入口处的美感而不是其大小,正因为如此,273座地铁站中的三分之一保留了赫克托·吉马德 (Hector Guimard)的绿色盘曲状新艺术主义铁艺作品。在1900年地铁开通后的数年中,地铁入口甚至没有标注站名。
我们流 连于地铁网络之中,佩平斯特不停地讲述,但从不让人觉得乏味。有时,同样的行程被安排成夜间游,在地铁关闭时,由他的Ademas社团组织。在这些游览出 发时,佩平斯特会朗读一段拉丁文,出自巴黎地铁建造时的总工程师费尔杰斯·比耶维涅(Fulgence Bienvenüe):“Jovis erepto fulmine per inferna vehitur Promethei genus”,大意是,“普罗米修斯的孩子们在地狱里以朱庇特的神力穿行。”行程于黎明时分在北火车站的一个站点结束,在那里你有机会喝着皇家基尔 (kir royale),沿着列车下的检查平台到处走走。
现在,我们到了5号线的奥贝肯夫 站(Oberkampf station)。20世纪60年代,人们认为白色瓷砖的方式过于单调——“人们说,‘为何我们的车站一定要弄得像浴室?”于是一些更为怪诞的尝试在某些 车站出现了,那就是橙色墙面。奥贝肯夫5号线站台的橙色最为醒目。效果令人作呕,如今橙色被看成是一个错误,因此在这些车站安上钢板护墙作为广告围栏,我 们在12号线的特里尼泰-德帝安纳·多尔韦级站(Trinité-d'Estienne d'Orves)就看到了这样一个例子。这被称为“曲面”,它破坏了拱顶的纯净,就像假房顶或壁炉上的横梁开始糟蹋具有历史意义的房屋一样。不过一个正在 进行的整修项目将恢复原有的纯净:白色墙面,蓝底白字的站名。
作为盛大的结尾,佩平斯特带 我去了奥斯特里兹车站(Gare d'Austerlitz),在那里,远离地下的地铁车站惊心动魄地融入主干线车站的玻璃屋顶。轨道线随后跨过塞纳河,形成壮丽的景观。佩平斯特指点着外 面的风景,其中包括右岸的巴黎太平间(Paris Morgue)。很自然,车厢里其余的巴黎人继续看他们的报纸。
An entrance to the Paris subway

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Premier jour de neige de l'hiver 2009 à Paris

Le 17 décembre, premier jour de neige de l'hiver 2009 à Paris.

Pont Alexandre III à Paris by john-aïves-1946.
Paris la nuit sous la neige by Ph.Germanaz (pipo).
Escalier de l'Arche sous la neige - La Défense - Paris #1 by louistib.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

King of His Castles: The art of collecting and renovating châteaux 当你拥有自己的城堡...

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French impressionist Yves Lecoq talks about renovating châteaux

Essonne, France
[king of his castles] 
Roland Beaufre
Yves Lecoq's Château de Maisonseule in the Ardèche

Behind massive wrought iron gates extends a golden autumnal avenue, positioned to deny the passer-by a view of Château de Villiers. The gates swing open electronically and, deeper into the grounds, I finally come upon an imposing Louis XIII edifice. Inside, in the oak-panelled and tapestry-hung winter drawing room, within a mantel of veined ox blood marble, logs crackle behind an embroidered screen. On a circular wooden table, beneath a chandelier, a bottle of Krug champagne nestles next to a box of Lenôtre chocolates from which someone has already plucked his favorites.
The scene has been set by owner Yves Lecoq who, despite employing a maître d'hôtel, makes me midmorning coffee. When I comment on the flavor he switches from French to English and, in George Clooney's voice, says, "It's Nespresso -- what else?"
Jean Cazals
At Château de Villiers Yves Lecoq enjoys the peace of the countryside.

The uncannily good impersonation is no surprise. As France's leading impressionist, Mr. Lecoq has a repertoire of 200 voices, from Woody Allen to Zidane Zinedine. Not to mention his controversial takeoff of the nation's first jogging president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
What's less well known about our host is that thanks to more than 30 years of show business success and a French fiscal regime that deals kindly with owners of officially classified historic properties, he has become a collector of châteaux. Since 1975, when he was 29 years old, he has purchased five, all in states of disrepair.
"There's a sort of love affair between myself and these buildings. When I first discover them it's like love at first sight," says Mr. Lecoq, whose lavishly illustrated book, "Fou de châteaux" ("Crazy about Châteaux"), is published this month by Editions du Chêne.
His main home at Villiers-le-Bâcle is in a pretty countryside 30 minutes drive south-west of central Paris. Set within wooded 40-hectare grounds where deer and wild boar roam, the 40 rooms are furnished in a finely judged mix of period style and modern comfort (central heating, flat-screen TVs concealed behind framed Louis XIV tapestries.)

the manor house at Chambes near river Charente in western France
Roland Beaufre
The manor house at Chambes near river Charente in western France

Having rescued the property from Sleeping Beauty dilapidation, Mr. Lecoq plays tour guide with great courtesy. Were he in a more reclusive mood, however, he could retreat to Château de Maisonseule, his fortified medieval manor secluded deep within the rugged mountain ranges of the Ardèche in south-central France.
"There's silence there and a great sense of well-being," says Mr. Lecoq. "It's a place where, when I encounter disappointments, I can go and recharge my batteries and get back on track."
Should he hanker for a rustic riverside idyll, he could head to Chambes, his 16th-century manor in Charente Limousine, western France.
"Villiers is about my everyday existence," he says. "At Chambes, I get away from it all. I feel very much at peace there."
The interior of Château de Maisonseule.

Far from being born into grandeur, Mr. Lecoq is the son of a navy officer turned sales rep for agricultural equipment and was raised the youngest of five children in a cramped attic apartment within the grounds of a 17th-century mansion in Paris. As a boy he peered down longingly at the magnificent residence below and followed the comings and goings of the marquess who lived there.
From his maternal grandmother, an antique dealer, Mr. Lecoq inherited a love of art and of architectural beauty. Through her marriage to a baron he is entitled to the surname Lecoquierre-Duboys de La Vigerie. When I ask him why he doesn't use it every day, he says simply, "It's unpronounceable." Nevertheless, at 63, with his height, well-cut features and clear blue gaze, Mr. Lecoq has a naturally aristocratic appearance, coupled with great warmth.
Ironically, Mr. Lecoq can indulge his château habit because of money earned imitating -- and often making fun of -- the rich and famous. At six, he entertained his family by singing like French songsters Gilbert Bécaud and Juliette Greco. By 18, his repertoire included Cliff Richard and Sacha Distel. School friends nicknamed him "Juke Box."
[Hunting trophies from bygone days at Chⴥau de Villiers]  
Jean Cazals
Hunting trophies from bygone days at Château de Villiers.

After gaining a degree in art history and archaeology at the Sorbonne, he took over his grandmother's shop and worked as an antique dealer and interior decorator. However, at 28 -- with acclaimed debuts on television, radio and stage -- his show-business career took off.
Today, the TV show he is best known for introduces a cold blast of irreverence into the often unhealthily cosy relationship between French politicians and the media. Inspired by British television's "Spitting Image" series of the Thatcher years, "Les Guignols de l'info" presents spoof newscasts featuring latex puppets of anyone who's anyone in French politics and also foreign leaders such as Barack Obama.
Running for more than 20 years, the primetime series on Canal+ attracts three million-plus viewers each weeknight. Lately, the sketches sending up a pint-sized Nicolas Sarkozy and the meteoric ascent of his student son (both voices courtesy of Mr. Lecoq) are said to have stirred presidential displeasure.
The first house Mr. Lecoq bought, at 27, was a restoration project on a modest scale -- a suburban villa with garden, but without heating or bathroom. It was when he began thinking of a half-timbered farmhouse in the country that his agent handed him the French property bible, "Indicateur Bertrand," saying, "For the same budget, why not buy a château?"

in the 18-meter-long gallery at Chⴥau de Villiers, a hand forged door handle is one of the details in which Mr. Lecoq takes delight
Jean Cazals
In the 18-meter-long gallery at Château de Villiers, a hand forged door handle is one of the details in which Mr. Lecoq takes delight.

Which is how, before turning 30, Mr. Lecoq acquired Château d'Hédauville in northern France, an 18th-century construction with classic stone and red brick façades but also a leaking roof and gardens turned to cattle pasture. He reinstated its original glory and furnished it with antiques gleaned when touring the country with his own stage show.
When burglars struck he lost many treasures but the insurance payout and then sale of Hédauville helped fund the purchase of an even more spectacular property nearby -- Château de Suzanne, a turreted Louis XIII edifice, renovated during the reign of Napoleon III with a grand marble staircase and painted ceilings reminiscent of Versailles. On this palatial scale, builders and decorators were busy for 18 years.
Not in the ranks of the super-wealthy, Mr. Lecoq borrows money to realize his dreams. Villiers, he says, he expects to "earn its keep," mostly by rentals to film crews. When the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer take over the master bedroom -- as she did for the filming of Stephen Frears's "Chéri" last year -- Mr. Lecoq decamps to the presbytery on the grounds.
Financial considerations forced him to sell Suzanne. By then, however, he'd acquired Maisonseule and Villiers and last year he fell for Chambes, a two-tower country house with water mill, close to where one of his ancestors served as administrator in the days of Louis XIV. (He also has a traditional style white-walled villa in Tunisia with direct access to the beach at Hammamet and an unimpeded view of the Ottoman fortress.) No wonder estate agents continue to call Mr. Lecoq with fresh propositions.

two veteran horses roam the grounds at Chⴥau de Villiers
Jean Cazals
Two veteran horses roam the grounds at Château de Villiers.

As with all previous restoration projects, Mr. Lecoq is often on site at Chambes and acts as his own interior designer, taking equal delight in picking up a hand-forged period door handle in a flea market as in more ambitious schemes. At Maisonseule, he had a walled stone enclosure built overlooking the valley. From below, it looks like an ancient annex but it actually conceals an outdoor swimming pool with a breathtaking mountain panorama.
Mr. Lecoq considers the time and money invested in his properties as his contribution to the national heritage. I ask whether his homes make him feel like a true lord of the manor.
"It's a term I don't like to hear because everyone knows that I'm the curator and the project manager," he replies. "There are fleeting moments, like today when I'm sitting at the fireside, or I'm in the middle of a dinner, when I have a sense of playing lord of the manor. After nearly 40 years of restoration projects I think I'm entitled to feel like that from time to time. But it's not the real life of a lord of the manor. That belongs to another age."

—Lennox Morrison is a writer based in Paris.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Les meilleures stations thermales en France 6家法国最著名、风景最优美的温泉疗养站

Les stations thermales en France
Personne ne sait très bien qui, des Chinois, des Egyptiens ou des Romains, peut revendiquer la paternité des premières cures thermales. Améliorée au fil du temps, cette médecine plusieurs fois millénaire est restée fidèle à son principe fondateur : traiter par les eaux minérales.
Il existe en France plus de 1 200 sources d’eaux bienfaisantes. Leur composition chimique particulière leur confère des vertus thérapeutiques reconnues par l’Académie de Médecine.
Ce statut leur donne des obligations, puisqu’elles doivent être délivrées pures, dans l’état où elles se trouvent à l’émergence. Les eaux minérales sont classées en cinq grandes catégories – bicarbonatées, sulfatées, sulfurées, chlorurées et oligo-métalliques faiblement minéralisées – et sont utilisées dans douze orientations thérapeutiques. 




  巴斯克地区的高山和尼芙河河谷给康波温泉疗养中心带来了得天独厚的地理环境,这里的温泉水和宜人的地区小气候早在12世纪就远近闻名了。下康波(Bas Campo)是个温馨的小村庄,具有典型的巴斯克特色,绝对值得游览,其中最不应当错过的是康波教堂。尼芙河的对岸,中世纪的古老建筑则展示着另一种风情。 
   莫利池温泉站是比利牛斯山区和地中海沿岸的一片绿洲,这个依山傍水的村庄提供的是最简单、健康的生活方式。人们可以骑车、步行甚至骑驴到周边漫游,而且 一年四季都可以在导游的带领下登山。莫利池保留有不少修道院,还有非常值得参观的几处现代艺术场馆。它传统的一面主要体现在节日期间和每年举办的滚球比赛 上。烤蜗牛配蒜泥蛋黄酱和新出炉的面包绝对值得品尝。 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

La Tour Eiffel fait la fête tous les soirs 艾菲尔铁塔120年庆生

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Tour Eiffel offrira chaque soir quatre spectacles lumineux : après les 5 minutes de scintillement habituelles, une séquence d’éclairage dynamique évoque l’extraordinaire chantier de la construction de la Tour il ya plus de 120 ans. Suivent une pluies de lumière, découpages par strates, par facettes, effets stroboscopiques, respirations, mélanges de couleurs, soit 12 minutes de magie.

Pour la première fois, grâce à un dispositif de projecteurs à leds dernière génération, la façade côté Trocadéro va s’animer de couleurs, mouvements, modulations pour offrir un spectacle totalement surprenant et magique. Le spectacle est présenté quatre fois chaque soir jusqu'au 31 décembre: 20h, 21h, 22h et 23h.

Après les 5 minutes de scintillement habituelles, le spectacle d’une durée de 12 minutes, commence par une séquence d’éclairage dynamique évoquant l’extraordinaire chantier de la construction de la Tour.
Puis, pluies de lumière, découpages par strates, par facettes, effets stroboscopiques, respirations, mélanges de couleurs…. rendront hommage à la Tour et à la magie architecturale et festive qu’elle incarne. Durant tout le spectacle l’éclairage des autres faces du monument varie accompagnant le scénario. Des projections d’images animent le parvis.

Cette animation est possible grâce à l’équipement de toute la face Trocadéro de la Tour de plus de 400 projecteurs à diodes électroluminescentes (leds) en trichromie. Outre les effets de lumière multiples et innovants qu’apporte cette technologie, cette dernière offre des performances énergétiques particulièrement intéressantes qui permettent de réduire la consommation d’électricité par rapport à l’illumination traditionnelle de la Tour.

Le spectacle est conçu par Bernard Schmitt et Jacques Rouveyrollis, et réalisé par Citelum avec Magnum. Citroën, partenaire historique des illuminations de la tour Eiffel (1925-1934), contribue cette fois encore à l’habillage lumineux de la Tour. La fondation d’entreprise Eiffage est mécène des 120 ans de la tour Eiffel

Friday, October 9, 2009

巴黎最后的一个葡萄园熟了 Fête nostalgique à Montmartre

La Fête des Vendanges se déroule jusqu'à dimanche. Dégustations, jeux et concerts sont au programme.

Les vignes de Montmartre

Les vignes de Montmartre

Photo : AFP

Le vieux Montmartre se réveille ce week-end à l'occasion de la 76e édition de la fameuse Fête des vendanges. Les animations rendent hommage aux Trois Baudets, salle de concerts mythique qui a rouvert en février dernier et à son fondateur, Jacques Canelli.

Des dégustations. Les visites guidées des vignes du Clos Montmartre sont complètes. En revanche, il est possible de déguster le vin. Vendredi, de 10 à 22 heures, samedi de 9 à 23 heures et dimanche de 9 à 19 heures, un "parcours du goût" est proposé sur l'ensemble de la butte. Rue Azaïs, un "village des Régions" présente des productions viticoles régionales. On peut aussi manger, rue Saint Eleuthère, rue du Cardinal Guibert et sur le parvis du Sacré-Coeur, grâce au "village des marchés".

Des concerts. Dans les bars de la butte, au centre Barbara (Goutte d'Or) et sur l'ensemble du XVIIIe, des groupes proposent vendredi soir et samedi, de 18h30 à 20 heures, des concerts gratuits. Les Trois Baudets proposent vendredi soir, dès 20h30, un concert slam-hip-hop (15 euros). Vendredi soir et samedi, de 22 heures à 2 heures, "Jazz à Montmartre" s'invite au restaurant Autour de midi… et minuit (8-12 euros). Dimanche, à 16h30, un spectacle réunira au Trianon théâtre François Morel, Anne Roumanoff, Jeanne Cherhal ou encore La Grande Sophie (18 euros).