March 29, 2007


There will not be any new material on my blog the next couple of days. I have visitors and a rather heavy program. Hope to be back next week.

In a previous message I talked about a "café musical", called "Vissi d'Arte". I went there tonight. Very nice. You can spend as little as 6€ for a glass of red wine. I listened to Chostakovitch, Dvorak, Schubert, Mendelssohn... piano, violoin and violoncello. I will return! There is a concert almost every night.

The Town Hall

There is one town hall for each arrondissement in Paris. Normally, they are old 19th century buildings. In my new arrondissement, the 17th, they replaced the old one by a new one in 1971. Which one do you prefer?

Of course, the new one offers some more working space, parking facilities...

I have nothing against modern buidlings, when there is some kind of real creation behind, like Centre Pompidou, the Louvre Pyramid... , but... Any opinions?

Best "baguette" in Paris

Who sells the best "baguette"? In the same street, rue des Batignolles, there are two bakeries, one announcing to have won the competition of the best "baguette" in Paris in 2003. More ore less in front of the first one is another bakery, whith the best "baguette" in 2004.

Every year, there is an official copetition about who makes the best "baguette". Of course, with such a label, sales increase considerably. The winner becomes also the official "baguette" provider to the French President, for a year.

I don't know who won in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, the winner is not in "our" arondissement.

My daughter

My daughter complained about the photo I presented of her. A new try.
My son also complained about the photo I had chosen. I will try to look for a better one, but have not yet found it


Cergie also made a reference to Gare Saint Lazare. I took a photo of it. It looks better from the other side. I will revert.


Cergie, who visited my blog today for the first time, made a reference to Lycée Chaptal. It's certainly one of the most beautiful "lycées" in Paris, situated on Avenue des Batignolles. Here is what it looks like (with a Guimard métro entrance in front on one of the photos - good link from yesterday).
My daughter has been inside the building and it's according to her "fantastic".
The lycée is classified among the top ones in Paris. A number of famous persons have attended the school. One of them is our future president (???) Sarkozy, who doubled one year.

Thanks HPY

HPY made some "publicity" about my new blog, on her blog. A few of her regular visitors have had a look on my blog today (so far Cergie and Nathalie). I have so far given my blog address to very few people, but whoever has not visited the HPY blog, I would warmly recommend to do so; something new, nice and interesting every day. It's HPY's "fault" that I'm now also trying.

I have created a link just under the clock, on the right side.

March 28, 2007

Tomorrow I will give up my car. First alternative will be to walk, to take the métro or the bus, sometimes a taxi... the train and exceptionally rent a car. I still have some thoughts to buy a scooter, but I will "wait and see". My children and some others say that driving a scooter in Paris is dangerous.

Have you thought about how nicelooking some of the Paris métro stations are? They are the original ones, created by Hector Guimard between 1900 and 1913 in the "art nouveau" style.

...........................Je vais peut-être terminer le chapitre sur le parc. Finalement, il s'appelle le Square des Batignolles.

Ce que j'ai trouvé - en (assez) bref sur le chapitre Batignolles:

Jusqu'au Premier Empire des prés et quelques fermes couvraient le quartier des Batignolles. En 1860 la commune des Batignolles fut rattachée à Paris et devint pour partie le dix-septième arrondissement. Derrière l'église Sainte Marie des Batignolles l'ancienne promenade publique s'étendait. Sur cette place se déroulait la fête du quartier. En 1862 Napoléon III décida la création de jardins dans Paris. Adolphe Alphand dressa les plans du jardin qui allait remplacer l'ancienne promenade publique. Etait né le square des Batignolles.

Des allées entourent une pièce d'eau, un kiosque vitré se dresse sur une petite butte. Un manège de chevaux de bois tourne encore dans une allée.

Barbara ( a vu le jour à deux pas du square. Petite enfant, en famille elle venait souvent en cet endroit. Elle a passé les sept premières années de sa vie dans le quartier des Batignolles. Durant sa petite enfance le square fut le seul espace de nature qu'elle connût.

Le quartier connut une vie culturelle très active dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle. Le poète Paul Verlaine ( passa toute sa jeunesse aux Batignolles, et étudia au lycée Chaptal. Stéphane Mallarmé (, de même, habitait le quartier et réunissait autour de lui une compagnie brillante et cultivée. Le peintre Edouard Manet ( et ses amis du "groupe des Batignolles", étaient des habitués du quartier et de ses cafés.

Dans le parc il y aussi une statue d'un poète: Léon Dierx (1838-1912) ( Vous connaissez?

Just adjacent to the park, there are also two areas for playing "boules" (pétanque). Shall I try to join the "club"? I guess that for the moment I would feel "too retired" if I did.

In each corner of "my" park, there is some space for children to play. The two girls kindly waved at me when they realised that they had their photo taken.

This is what I saw when I stepped out of the metro station yesterday afternoon. The Sacre-Coeur in the background reminded me about a small celebration which took place recently. Kaisa from Kemi once had a dream: To drink a glass (or two) of champagne on the steps in front of the church. So when she was in Paris together with some other Stora Enso friends in the beginning of the month - Gabi, Maria, Valérie and Jürgen - we did it! We then had a dinner and some more champagne in my new flat. I like champagne - and to be together with friends. Welcome back! Also others are welcome... there is always a bottle in my fridge.

March 27, 2007

On one of the below pictures, you can see where I live (the Google Earth picture, under "I have moved"). In the upper left corner, you can find some rail tracks. This was previously a railway goods terminal. For the Olympic games in 2012, which Paris did not get, it was decided to tranform this area to be the Olympic village. Some of the plans will anyhow be executed and most of the area will be transformed into a park, "Clichy Batignolles". Part of it should be ready in July this year. This is what it looked like this morning. I will take a new picture in July.

Some more pictures from my small walk this morning.
The sun is shining, the spring is back (?). The two persons are sitting in front of the bistro, called "Manoir", 50 m from where I live. It's full, day and night, and the menu is at 11€. I have tried it; it's good.
One picture is from the covered market "Marché de Batignolles", 100 m from where I live. You can find anything you wish to eat or drink. As a curiosity, there is a stand, where you can find some Swedish specialities, like "Läkerol", "Göteborgs kex", "Fenix" red cabbage, "Kung Gustaf" sardines, "Daim"...

I took a small walk this morning, to learn to know the area where I just settled. Again, "just around the corner", there is a "café musical" called "Vissi d'Arte". I have not yet been there, but they offer concerts more or less every evening, mostly "free of charge", meaning that you are supposed to give "something" to the artists and, I suppose, consume something.

I found their site which is well updated. You can see that they have a program for this week which includes "Récital chant piano" 27/3, "Récital chant piano" 28/3, "Trio violon, violoncelle, piano" 29/3, "Récital quatour baroque" 30/3... I will go there soonest... and give you a report. Somebody would like to join?

March 26, 2007

I went to a concert tonight (Monday 26/3). Just round the corner. This is the entrance with the publicity for the concert "scotched" on the door.

The theatre is called "Théâtre des Muses", has some 50 places, whereof I guess finally 40 were occupied. In the same building there is a school for music and dancing and a shop where you can find all kinds of partitures and books about music.

We listened to a Japanese young pianist, called Kanae Endo. She played Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Liszt. I think it was extremely good. However, if you consider that the concert was free of charge (you were free to participate if you felt like it - which I did) and if you also consider the years of training and preparation to reach such a level... you feel somehow ashamed that you have been earning your life with so comparatively limited skills, even in your own "speciality".

She had been winning some prizes and I hope she will have a lot of success! But there are so many of them...

Les Copains D'Abord

Voici un salon de coiffure, dans la rue voisine, Les Copains d'Abord.
Je suis fidèle à ma coiffeuse depuis quelques années (elle est adorable), mais ce salon me tente. Regardez la vitrine!
Aujourd'hui (lundi), c'était fermé et mes cheveux ne sont pas encore assez longs pour être coupés, mais...

En ce moment, il y a un "salon" de brocante autour du parc (de Batignolles). Ca dure jusqu'au 1er avril. Si vous passez dans le quartier, on peut boire en verre ensemble?

I already talked about the Park, just round the corner from my new flat.
This morning I took some pictures. Did you see the black swans?

Why in English?

Obviously I have started to write in English. Warum? Je ne sais pas. Kanske för att de senaste àren har jag mest uttryckt mig pà engelska - àtminstone i skrift? Comme HPY, je vais peut-être varier un peu? ... pero no en finlandés.

I have moved

Retiring. Moving to a smaller flat. My address is now
11, rue des Moines, in the 17th arrondissement.
The area is called "Batignolles". I like it. The street is full of bars, restaurants, shops...
The park you can see on the picture is only one minute away. It's beatuiful. I can now sit on a park bench, read a book or talk to other retired people. (I will try to find some other activities.)

March 25, 2007

Children and grandchildren

Patrick and Stéphanie

Paloma and Mattias

I'm trying again...

Yes, I'm trying to find out how it all works. This is just a test. A souvenir from two fantastic days in the Along archipelago.

March 22, 2007


I have now managed to put some photos of my children and grand-children, but I have not yet managed to get things formatted the way I wish...

Getting started

I'm trying to get started. First time. So far, I have no idea of how it works....