Monday, October 26, 2009

French Converastion and Parisian History

This morning I woke up from a week-long dream of 'holding on tight',to a very nice American man, as we strolled down the streets of Paris. My left side feels empty, since he's no longer standing beside me in a dream. But my heart is full, since there are so many wonderful memories of laughter, encouragement, and shared dreams.

Paris embraces me with friends like family, beauty, love, great food, adventure and always dessert. I spent this afternoon 'hanging out' and practicing French with Daniele at her home. She a French author, Sociologists and a new Parisian friend.


Practicing French with Daniel at her home before I start evening classes at Lutece Langue

After French and English conversation, Daniele showed me her favorite Paris views, that she's loved since the 1960's, when she first bought her apartment.

A View from Daniele's Neighborhood

Daniele tells me all about this beautiful 370 year old piece of real estate was the old Hotel Lambert on Ile Saint-Louis, built in 1639 by architect Louis Le Vau, who also designed the Chateau de Versailles.

It is now a huge topic of discussion for the French government since a Qatari Prince bought it 2 years ago and wants to do $60 million in major renovations. The problem is the French Minister of Culture approved the renovations, but the French preservationists are fighting the change. (I vote to preserve the integrity of the the building.)

Prince Hamad bin Abdullah al-Thani from Qatar, bought the hotel from the Rothschilds in 2007 for $88 million, and plans to retore it to it's 17th Century glory, which would include (adding elevators, air-conditioning and an underground parking garage) Who knew they had all that back in the 17th century?!

If the Prince gets to restore the building back to the 17th century, it would demolish the 19th century fireplaces and all the dormor windows that Polish Prince Adam Czartoryski installed when the Polish Royal family owned the building for 132 years from 1843 to 1975. Needless to say, the Polish are also fighting the renovation plans. The French news reports that a decison will be made in the next few weeks.

French conversation and Paris history will never get old.

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