Remarkable trees in France

France is remarkable in many ways, including in trees. We recently published an article about the remarkable trees in Paris and now below you'll find some for the rest of France. We were out on a bike ride a few kilometers from home the other day and came across a tree planted in 1556! It was huge! And in great shape. The tree is called the Platane de Diane because it was planted by Diane de Poitiers, favorite of Henri II when she received the hunting property at les Clayes. A beautiful plantain tree that has seen not only Diane, but certainly Louis XIV walk beneath during a hunting trip, saw a first chateau built under Henri III, destroyed partially during the Revolution and another chateau built in the 19th century, burned by the Germans as they retreated at the Liberation, the telegraph line running past up on the hill, the writer Tristan Bernard and the artist Edouard Vuillard and who knows how many other famous people and events. All that in the Paris suburbs Les Clayes…
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Water in Paris, Part 2: Drinking water

A series on Water in Paris Part 2: Drinking water The Seine furnishes half of the drinking water to Paris and the region. Other water comes from aquifers and aqueducts. One of the aqueducts, the aqueduct de l'Avre, brings water, using just the force of gravity, to Paris from the Avre river in Normandy 102 kilometers away. The chief engineer for the project was Fulgence Bienvenüe who was also the creator of the Paris metro. The aqueduct entered into service in 1893. The aqueduct flows mostly underground before crossing the Seine on a bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel between Saint Cloud and the Bois de Boulogne. The bridge is a footbridge and an interesting destination for an outing. See our article. There has been indoor running water in Paris since 1781, albiet there were only 125 houses connected at that point. The great strides in indoor water came under Baron Haussmann in the mid 19th century and by 1884 two-thirds of Paris was connected. There are multiple water tr…
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Bicycle visibility – Darkness is coming

Darkness is coming - Bicycle visibility (for joggers too)! When daylight savings time ends and you have daylight from only 8 am to 4 pm there's a lot of bike riding to be done in the dark. How can you put the odds of being seen on your side? Bicycle visibility! Some things are pretty obvious: florescent shirt or jacket, reflective vest, headlights and tail lights. That's the minimum. But you can do more and with more panache too! I ride with multiple forms of light and reflectors and for that matter I use all of my visibility techniques during broad daylight too. The way I see it you can never be too visible. http://www.saintgermainenlaye.eu/en/pages-speciales/detail-decouvrir0/article/security-of-cyclists-well-seen-well-protected/ Fashion? Yes you can! Ugly yellow construction vets? OUT! OUT! OUT! Put on something with style like a well-fitted multicolored vest from Rayon Jaune.

Who is Rayon Jaune? Béatrice: Ingénieuse ès produit. Béatrice worked i…

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484,000 Trees in Paris

There are no less than 484,000 trees in Paris! This makes Paris one of the most treed cities in Europe and here we’re only counting the «public» trees. trees lining public streets (96 500); trees in parks and gardens (36 500); trees in cemeteries (34 000); trees along the Péripherique (8000); trees in school yards and sports areas (9 000); trees in the bois de Boulogne et Vincennes (300 000) for a total of 160 species. Most trees in public spaces and lining streets live to just 60 to 80 years. Trees have a tough time dealing with pollution and other incidents of city life. But there are still 222 remarkable trees in Paris that have been classified by the city. The 222 are remarkable either for their beauty or fantastic shape, their history or their rarity. Here are a few of the trees deemed remarkable in our fair city. A list and map of 60 trees worth seeing is available on  http://www.paris.fr Luxembourg Gardens Chestnut trees in the Luxe…
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A tongue-in-cheek look at the French Education System

If you have children in France, there’s a good chance that you might possess at least the stirrings of the beginnings of a stab at understanding it. Then again, you might not. If you don’t have children in France, there’s a mega-chance that your quest for grasping it will prove even more futile than your search for a short line at La Poste. No, we refer not to The Meaning of Life. We refer to…..the French education-system. So, here is a very incomplete (in the interest of space), extremely simplified (in the battle against cerebral overload) exploration of pedagogy as known and--sometimes not--loved in France and beyond. Which brings us to our first point: the “beyond” part. The French system of elementary, middle and high schools not only graces Gallic soil but also extends throughout the world in what is recognized as a unique offering that accommodates the needs of French expats and follows the same curricula, administers the same tests and delivers the same degrees as …
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Water in Paris, Part 1: La Seine

A series on Water in Paris Part 1: La Seine We all associate the Seine with Paris even though this river only runs 13 of its 776 kilometers in Paris. In fact La Seine starts not too far from Dijon on a plateau at a place called Source-Seine. Its origins are several springs of clear ground water that flow together on the surface forming a small stream. A spring has always been an important place throughout history and in this particular case the source of the Seine was known and revered back in the time of Gaul. This spring was the kingdom of the goddess or nymphe Séquanna and she gave her name to the river in about the 1st century. The Seine, in French, is called a fleuve. We don't have a specific word for this in English. A fleuve is different than a rivière. A fleuve flows into the ocean and a rivière flows into an inland body of water. France has 5 major fleuves and many, many rivières. Today the Seine's flow is controlled by a series of lakes and canals upstream tha…
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Discover 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French This cute little book that fits in your hand was inspired from the original article 20 Ways You Know You're Becoming French The article got such good response from our readers that author Shari Leslie Segall had the great idea to make it into a book. We teamed up with an artist  for watercolor illustrations and thought up more than 90+ points that are ways you know you are becoming French. Such as: would never conceive of a holiday menu without foie gras, oysters and glazed chestnuts ask everyone you know about their recent/upcoming vacances know who Marianne is Judith, an American in Paris since the 1990s, had this to say after reading the book 90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French:

"This is really funny--I actually improved my quality of life from "Becoming French". The one about saying bonjour to the bus driver and not your neighbor? I realized I didn't often greet the bus driver so …

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FUSAC in the press – By Inspirelle

FUSAC Packs 28 Years of Paris Know How into Books for Expats For years, newcomers to Paris have known that the acronym FUSAC is one of the first words to learn when adapting to their new environment. Transferring to Paris? Seek out FUSAC’s ads for apartment rentals or find great used furniture sales. Leaving? Sell off your household goods quickly by posting an ad. Job searches, advice, it’s all been there for the past 28 years. And, what’s so incredibly impressive about FUSAC is that it is founded and entirely run by a devoted couple, Lisa and John Vanden Bos, with their assistant Caroline. Many of us at INSPIRELLE can remember picking up our free copy of the FUSAC magazine at one of the English-speaking bookstores or shops in Paris. Today, FUSAC is available exclusively online, and its owners have packed all their knowledge and experience with expats into three books: 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, Speak Easy Puzzles (volume 3) and, most recently, the FUSAC Free G…
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Interview with Nancy Ing Duclos from Inspirelle

Interview with the founder of Inspirelle : Nancy Ing Duclos first came to France in 1988 to learn French in the hopes of obtaining a foreign post for her budding TV news career. When fate intervened, she quickly dropped out of her immersion classes to learn French the best way—from  her new Parisian boyfriend. She then stunned her Canadian family in Toronto by quitting her job as a reporter/producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to move to Paris. Today, Nancy lives in the French capital with her dashing photographer husband and son, and works actively as a freelance news producer for major television networks. She continues to be fascinated by French attitudes and lifestyle, and never to turn down a new challenge, is learning new skills in the digital world with the creation of  www.INSPIRELLE.com, an online lifestyle magazine for women living in and traveling to France.   When, where and how did you find your first FUSAC? Who hasn’t heard of FUSAC? I…
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