Sunday 19 October 2008

Americans Register to Vote in Paris

With the US election taking place in just a few weeks, time is running out for Americans to register their vote.

US Citizens are also entitled to vote from abroad. In Paris today tables were set up outside Shakespeare's English language bookshop to register Americans who find themselves outside of their country. Eavesdropping on the conversations of those in the queue it seems that sentiments lay exclusively with the Democrats.

Is that significant? If the election is close will it be Paris wot wins it for Obama?

Friday 17 October 2008

Cafes San Jose Paris

Here we have one of may favourite cafes in Paris.
It's called Cafés San José 30 rue des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris.

In general I fine the coffee in Paris cafes pretty disappointing. I have often paid up to 3 Euros for, a little cup of caffeinated muddy water. However, Cafés San Jose is a rare exception not only is the coffee first rate but it's cheap too.

An espresso will set you back a mere one Euro with a chocolate thrown in for good measure while a baby cappuccino served in an espresso cup is just 1.20 Euros.

You can also buy beans and ground coffee here as well as a wide selection of teas. As you enter you step back in time to an era when Edith Piaf was singing Non, je ne regrette rien in smoke filled clubs. But don't except a sofa of even a chair to rest your weary backside as this place is standing room only. If you want comfy couches and bucket sized coffee cocktails then head to Starbucks around the (every) corner, if you want a good coffee and a genuine Paris experience then now you know the way to Cafes San Jose.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

The Tamils of Paris

Little Jafna Paris
Originally uploaded by malias.

In the 10th arrondissement, between metros Gare de Nord and La Chapelle you will find Paris’ Tamil community which numbers around 40,000 people. This area has mistakenly been referred to as “Little India” but the vast majority of the Asians in the neighbourhood are Tamils from Sri Lanka. “Little Jafna” is the more appropriate name for the area.

Most of the Tamils came to France during the 1980s to escape the civil war raging in Sri Lanka. Many were granted refugee status. However, rules have been tightened since 1991. The neighbourhood is an interesting one to explore. Most of it is situated on and around Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris 75010. If you want to buy a sari, bollywood DVDs (normally sub-titled in English) or souvenirs from the Asian sub-continent then this is the place to head to. It’s also the best place in Paris to get a curry and vegetarians need not be aware since many Tamils being Hindu are themselves vegetarians.

You can also visit the area's Hindu Temple, Sri Manicka Vinayakar, 72 Rue Philippe de Girard paris 75010 open every day between 9:30 am and 8:30 pm. Visitors welcome. And once a year during the festival of Ganesha Chathurthi which falls between the middle of August and the middle of September. The highlight of which is the Chariot procession.