ABCs of life in France – Q to Z

The ABCs of life in France

In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is for Queen: Or, if you will, king, prin…
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ABCs of life in France – I to P

The ABCs of life in France In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is two-for-the-price-of-one  Intellectuals/Ideas: They really do still ex…
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ABCs of life in France – A to H

The ABCs of life in France In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is for Army: Not only are the French not patriotic, they find patriotism …
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Water in Paris, Part 3: Non-Drinking water

A series on Water in Paris. Part 3: Non-Drinking water In the 19th century, Baron Haussmann, who was in charge of reorganizing Paris to make it more sanitary hired Eugène Belgrand as Director of Water and Sewers. Mr Belgrand with great foresight created not one but two water systems. One of course for treated drinking water which is expensively processed stuff and the other a network of non-potable from the canal Saint Martin and the Seine. The less expensive untreated water is used for watering parks, decorative fountains and cleaning the streets. There are 12,000  bouches de lavage from which water flows into the gutter. They are turned on by sanitation workers with green brooms and directed by soggy rolls of old carpet. The water flow and the green broom push the accumulated debris along to the sewer openings. Tout un système! The non-potable water is also used in the high pressure sprayers that clean up after markets and festivals. 1 600 kilometers of streets are sp…
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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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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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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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90+ Eiffel and Eiffel Tower facts – part 3

Eiffel Tower facts collected for you by FUSAC. Part 3 of a 3 part series Part 1 facts 1 through 35 Part 2 facts 36 through 72 Part 3 facts 73 through 102 - we just couldn't stop! "Je vais être jaloux de cette tour. Elle est plus célèbre que moi." – Gustave Eiffel Beginning in 1997, 1000 days before turning of the millennium the Eiffel Tower began the countdown to the year 2000 when a giant fireworks display was put on. The first “coloring” of the tower was for the Chinese new year in 2004 when the lights were a scarlet red. The tower has since been blue, green and many other colors commemorating different anniversaries or events including terrorist attacks. The Eiffel Tower is stuck by lightening quite frequently, but it is hard to capture a photo. Parisian Bertrand Kulik has done it several times. There is an underground bunker which was, during WWII, the most carefully protected spot in Paris. This is where the radio operators re…
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90+ Eiffel and Eiffel Tower facts – part 1

Eiffel Tower facts collected for you by FUSAC. Part 1 of a 3 part series Part 1 facts 1 through 35 Part 2 facts 36 through 72 Part 3 facts 73 through 102 - we just couldn't stop! "Je vais être jaloux de cette tour. Elle est plus célèbre que moi." – Gustave Eiffel Completed on March 31, 1889, the tower was the world’s tallest man-made structure for 41 years until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. It is 324 meters tall (including antennas) and weighs 10,100 tons. It was the tallest structure in France until the construction of a military transmitter in the town of Saissac in 1973. The Millau Viaduct, completed in 2004, is also taller, at 343 meters. It is possible to climb to the top, but there are 1,665 steps. Most people take the lift. 45 people fit in the elevator at a time allowing the transportation of 1700 people per hour. The lifts travel a combined distance of 103,000 km a year – two and a half times the circumfer…
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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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