Lauren Elkies Schram reports: The Republic of France has bought a one-family dwelling on the Upper East Side for $13.9 million, according to property records spotted by Commercial Observer. The four-story property, at 222 East 62nd Street, will serve as the home of François Delattre, the Ambassador of France to the United Nations, a source with knowledge of the deal said, following last summer’s sale of France’s 18-room duplex at 740 Park Avenue for $70 million.
The 5,600-square-foot house between Second and Third Avenues is in the Treadwell Farm Historic District, according to Zillow, and has five bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms plus staff quarters. The house has an elevator from the basement to the penthouse and south terraces over the gardens from the full-floor master suite and penthouse, Zillow noted.
While the property underwent a two-and-a-half-year renovation and sold in “spic–and–span” condition, the French government will have to do some renovations before Mr. Araud moves from 740 Park Avenue into his new house.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 4, 2014
Sacré Bleu! Socialism in France as Unpopular as ‘Progressivism’ is in U.S.: Hollande Approval Ratings Freeze Over in Midterm French PollPosted: November 7, 2014
Half-way into his five-year mandate the popularity of French President Francois Hollande hit a new low on Thursday, hours before the Socialist leader addresses the nation to defend his shaky record on the economy.
“The absence of a clear vision and lack of coherence in economic policies is weighing on confidence and therefore investment and economic activity.”
– CEO Jean-Paul Chifflet
In the worst score for a president in modern-day polling, Hollande received a 12 percent approval rating in the monthly survey by pollster YouGov, down 15 percent from the prior month. Other recent polls have put his popularity at 13 percent.
Earlier the chief executive of France’s third-largest bank, Credit Agricole, slammed Hollande’s government for its uncertain efforts to kickstart the eurozone’s second largest economy. Read the rest of this entry »
Contagious Coulrophobia Epidemic in Pas-de-Calais
Béthune, France (AFP) – The party is over for a fake clown who received a six-month suspended jail term Monday for threatening passers-by while in full circus garb, a disturbing trend terrifying towns in northern France.
“They take their inspiration from American horror movies.”
Whether brandishing a rubber chicken at a children’s party or starring as the evil protagonist in a horror film, clowns have long had both the ability to entertain and terrify.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that children are held hostage by such acts.”
This fear of clowns, dubbed coulrophobia, has swept small towns in Pas-de-Calais in northern France where police report a wave of complaints over people dressed up as the tricksters and threatening passers-by.
A 19-year-old young man was arrested on Friday after waving a stick resembling a long knife while chasing a group of teenagers, who had to seek refuge in a chip stand. Read the rest of this entry »
A giant inflatable sculpture that caused outrage in Paris for its resemblance to a sex toy will not be reinstalled after being reduced to a flaccid heap by vandals, its creator said Saturday.
American artist Paul McCarthy, 69, was slapped three times in the face by an outraged passer as “The Tree” was put up on the city’s ritzy Place Vendome on Thursday next to a column topped by a statue of Napoleon.
And on Saturday vandals cut a support cable to leave the 24-metre high work — which provoked a storm of mirth on social media for its resemblance to a “butt plug” — slumped on the pavement.
The FIAC contemporary art fair, which organised for the sculpture to be put up close to the Ritz Hotel, said in a statement that “the artist was worried about potential trouble if the work was put back up”.
“Instead of a profound reflection about objects as a mode of expression with multiple meanings, we have witnessed violent reactions.”
– Artist Paul McCarthy, pretending to be unhappy about the notoriety he’s enjoying as a result of his infantile ass-toy stunt
“Individuals waited until the security guard’s attention was elsewhere and cut the cable that kept the sculpture in place,” a police source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Read the rest of this entry »
Place Vendôme Hosts Giant Inflatable Buttplug
Ruth Bender reports: Not everyone in Paris appears to like contemporary art.
A massive, green, inflatable installation by U.S. artist Paul McCarthy was vandalized in central Paris in the night from Friday to Saturday, according to a police official, after the piece of art entitled “Tree” sparked outrage.
The artwork, set up last week on the famous Place Vendôme, ignited a wave of comments on social media for its resemblance to a sex toy. It attracted even more attention after the Los Angeles artist—known for his sometimes controversial and provocative work—was attacked by a person in the street Thursday as “Tree” was being set up on the square.
“Art has all its place on the streets of Paris and no one can hunt it away,”
– Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, in a tweet condemning the attack
According to French daily Le Monde, a man approached Mr. McCarthy as he was watching “Tree” being blown up and hit him in the face three times. According to the paper, which was interviewing the artist during the incident, the man shouted at Mr. McCarthy that “he wasn’t French” and that his artwork had “nothing to do in this square.”
A spokeswoman for Mr. McCarthy didn’t respond to requests for comment. The police official said no complaint had been filed on such an incident.
In the night from Friday to Saturday, a group of individuals cut through the cords that were holding up the artwork, the police official said. A person in charge of overseeing “Tree” then deflated it to limit any damage, the official said. Read the rest of this entry »
She must battle these forces alone, trying desperately to save her marriage — faced with blackmail, a killer, and unknown terror. How could one little French girl get into so much trouble?
French man jailed for texting and calling his ex-girlfriend 21,807 times http://t.co/St8Pp0FQLT
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 5, 2014
“He presents himself as the man who doesn’t like the rich. In reality, the president doesn’t like the poor.”
Depicted as icy, obsessively ambitious and out of his depth, Mr. Hollande is picked apart in Thank You For This Moment, published Thursday, a “kiss-and-tell” account of their nine-year relationship and her 18 months at the Elysée Palace.
“This man, a left-winger, calls them in private ‘the toothless ones’ and is very pleased with his little joke.”
– Valérie Trierweiler
The president’s aides said he was kept totally in the dark about its release and was “appalled” at extracts leaked Wednesday, including one recounting a desperate fight to stop Ms. Trierweiler taking sleeping pills in the presidential bedroom after his affair with Julie Gayet, the actress, hit the headlines.
Michael Barone reports: I have never eaten at a McDonald’s in France. But evidently a lot of French men and women do. Business Insider reports that France is McDonald’s most profitable country after the United States. So much for all the French cuisine snobs who lament the presence of McDonald’s in la belle France…(read more)
— Chris (@Chris_1791) August 25, 2014
What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people.”
— Caroline Doudet, Blogger
– Translated from French via Google Translate –
“New: restaurants continue their customers who dare to criticize I must say they are the judges to prove them right.”. The lawyer-blogger Maître Eolas was surprised last night of the decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bordeaux on June 30, which condemned referred blogger “The Irregular” € 1500 as a provision on damages 1000 € of costs of proceedings (Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure) for a review of a restaurant in Cap Ferret (33).
[A better analysis of this at The Corner by National Review‘s Ian Tuttle – “French Court Criminalizes Food Critic’s Google Success”]
This restaurant had just enjoyed a post “The Irregular” titled “The place to be avoided at Cap-Ferret” followed by the name of the institution (the article has since been removed but is still available in the cache here) published in August 2013, and appeared on the first page of Google when you typed the name of the restaurant.
‘The Place to be Avoided at Cap-Ferret’
The paper lamented including disruption of service in the institution and the attitude of the owner of the premises, described as a “diva”. “All that for two appetizers … take what wars” concluded the post with reference to a dark history of appetizers arrived at the same time as the main course (the blogger had therefore returned). Read the rest of this entry »
A topless member of the radical protest group Femen used a metal chisel to stab and bash in the face of Putin’s statue in a famed Paris wax museum on Thursday.
Police arrested the activist shortly after the attack, which happened near statues of US President Barack Obama and recently abdicated Spanish King Juan Carlos, both of which escaped without a scratch.
Putin is to arrive in France on Thursday to attend the 70th anniversary of D-Day events, which have attracted scores of world leaders to France. Putin arrives under the cloud of the confrontation between western powers and Russia over the annexation of Crimea. Read the rest of this entry »
Paris (AFP) – Claire Doyen reports: Thousands of students rallied across France Thursday to protest against the anti-immigration National Front party, whose historic success in EU polls they said threatened democracy.
Waving banners that read “No to the National Front”, and “Wake up, France,” demonstrators rallied in Lyon, in the east of the country, as well as in Paris, Toulouse, Rouen, Amiens, Nantes, Marseille and Bordeaux.
“We respect the result of the European elections, of democracy, but we do not accept the values of the National Front (FN),” said Silvio Philippe, one of the organisers of the Lyon rally. “French democracy is in danger.”
The FN won a nationwide election for the first time on Sunday, topping mainstream political parties to clinch 24 of France’s 74 seats in the new European parliament.
The result, which was echoed by similar gains for far-right parties in other countries such as the United Kingdom, sent shock waves through the political establishment. Read the rest of this entry »
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 22, 2014
Sacré Bleu! Leftist Front-runner or Conservative Challenger? Either way, Paris Set to Get Historic First Woman MayorPosted: March 28, 2014
PARIS – Two women are at war to be the new face of Paris, the first time in this city’s long history that the mayor won’t be a Monsieur.
The discreet, hard-working Socialist Anne Hidalgo is the favorite to win municipal elections that start Sunday, which would keep this leading tourist destination in leftist hands despite the deep unpopularity of President Francois Hollande’s Socialist national government.
“A woman at the head of one of the most important cities of the world … will have of course a very, very important influence,” Hidalgo told The Associated Press. It will also send an important message to leaders and voters in a country where women only got the vote at the end of World War II and where sexist attitudes persist toward women in power.
“A woman at the head of one of the most important cities of the world … will have of course a very, very important influence”
– Socialist Anne Hidalgo
Hidalgo, 54, has experience on her side, after 13 years as the deputy to outgoing Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. In all recent polls, Hidalgo leads center-right challenger Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a 40-year-old rising star of former President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s party known by her initials NKM.
The race for Paris mayor — one of the most coveted jobs in French politics — is one of several thousand underway across the country for municipal elections held in two rounds March 23 and 30. Read the rest of this entry »
Liberté! Egalité! Fatigué! Is France Losing its Savoir Faire? … its panache, its je ne sais quoi?
A. A. Gill writes:An Englishman and a Frenchman are discussing the definition of the expression “savoir faire.” “Well,” says the Englishman, “as I see it, savoir faire is when you come home from work early, walk in on your best friend humping your wife, and have the presence of mind to say, ‘Sorry—do carry on.’ ”
“Hollande’s perfectly predictable affair was so revealing of the French state of affairs, and affairs of state, not because it happened…but because of the utter lack of savoir faire involved…”
“Mais non,” replies the Frenchman. “That is a very Anglo-Saxon attitude. That is not savoir faire—that is your politeness. Savoir faire is husband comes home from work early, walks in on best friend on top of wife, and says, ‘Sorry—do carry on.’ The savoir faire part is being able to carry on.”
“…First, he was caught on a moped. Really, how pencil-dick is that?”
Maintenant, France looks like it’s losing its savoir faire—its adroitness, that innateje ne sais quoi understanding to do just the right thing in just the right manner. France has never looked quite so laughably en détresse as it does at the moment—so utterly out of step, so wrong-footed. Let’s begin with the marvelously dropped gâteau of President François Hollande’s love life, and what it represents for civilization’s chosen people.