jeudi 17 janvier 2013

Paris Passion Magazine

Some weeks ago, I mentioned my bohemian life-style to SemperFidelis when we were exchanging about our respective stays in London in the 80s.

That was then one of these episodes and it was to be followed by another, longer period of free wheeling when I was a street vendor in Paris for a certain number of magazines.

Last week I was cruising on the web and eventually landed on this page. Wow, Paris Passion magazine was just one of these magazines and specifically the one I started my street hawker career with in July 1985, three months after I've returned from London. 

Only in Wikipedia! Obviously the article has been written by an insider, possibly the founder of the magazine.

360 days per year, from 8:pm to 1:am (talk of lazy, subsidized French workers...) from July 1985 to July 1989 I would hit the streets of the Les Halles district which was one of the vibrant, trendy places where to spend an evening in Paris during the 80s.

Since making money never was my ultimate raison de vivre, I was cashing in enough to pay the rent and the bills but my reward was that my life style was immensely fun and free (*).

All in all, I've sold over 5,000 copies of that English speaking magazine which means that I've met and talked to something like 5,000 American customers (a certain number of Brits too but mainly American buyers), a number one can multiply roughly by two since I was also selling that fashion magazine which boasted to be the most expensive magazine in the world (that was the slogan).

Of course I wouldn't spend hours talking with each and every American visitor (I was making a living after all) but yet, every day I would exchange and discuss with a good many number of people from about every corner of the Great Nation (aka the Land of the Free).

So, even if I have never set foot in the US, I suppose I can say I am not totally unaware and ignorant of what people across the pond look like and how to communicate with them. Notwithstanding the daily visits to the staff at the offices of the magazine, rue du pont neuf (well, this is not the rue of course but the pont neuf where the rue comes from).

Oh! Did I mention the American innocent girls who were lost in Paris and looking for a nice and friendly Parisian to help them out but were too afraid to ask because they couldn't speak French? Oh, well, I just did my duty when the opportunity would arise sir.

So, looking back to my past,  my 30s weren't a complete waste of time after all and leading a Bohemian like life isn't deprived of some positive aspects.

(*) Recently asked whether he regretted not to be a millionaire, Jimmy Wales answered that his life was much more interesting that theirs.

23 commentaires:

Anijo a dit…

The man in this picture looks like you Flocon.

Anijo a dit…

Hmmm.. and a certain 'LouisAlain' is the author of this picture.. hmmmm.. that really must be you. ☺

Flocon a dit…

Yes mademoiselle, that is your obidient servant aged 34 and if you scroll down that page...

Ain't the world a small one?

Anijo a dit…

Yes, a small and beautiful world.

Anijo a dit…


I've always been impressed and curious about how much you understand about American English and culture. And not I know why. Thank you for sharing this.

Anijo a dit…

correction... And 'now' I know why...

Ned Ludd a dit…

I think later there was another English language paper, but I can't remember. The only useful English magazine now isn't even a magazine but an advertizing support called FUSAC. Surprisingly, it can be useful, especially for foreigners who don't speak French.

Another topic, at the Huff Post, a blogger made this point, "So France was correct about both Lance Armstrong and Iraq over a decade ago. I am no Francophile but I am highly amused at anyone who was all "freedom fries" about either situation." Quite direct and honest.

Flocon a dit…

FUSAC peut être très utile en effet avec les milliers de petites annonces qui y sont publiées. En plus, comme le journal est bien distribué et connu among the English speaking community, it probably is a very good instrument to make contact between Americans and since one bite leads to another one, once one has entered the virtuous circle of meeting someone, there are multiple possibilities to meet someone else who self knows someone who can be helpful etc.


Ned, send me one of your pics and I'll post it on whichever page of Wiki you'll ask me to.

The same goes for SemperFidelis in full regalia of course.

What about you Anijo? Not only will you have your pic on Wiki but I'll take care and will personaly deliver your copy at your hotel room.

Anijo a dit…

Actually, the last time I went to Paris I stayed here

Ned Ludd a dit…

Anijo, A friend of a friend has asked me about finding an apartment to rent in Paris for three weeks in April. She wants to be able to cook and be more independent I suppose. Do you have any experience with that type of lodging that you would recommend?

Flocon, what kind of picture are you looking for? Realistic or fantasist? Portrait or landscape or something else?

Anijo a dit…

Back when I used to go to Paris a lot, I was making a lot of money (and married to a lawyer), so I didn't have a need for inexpensive lodging.

The last time I went by myself, I only stayed a few days at the Residence which has kitchen facilities, but it's too expensive to stay for three weeks. With a quick Google search, I found this.

Flocon a dit…


Hôtel résidence des Arts.

You obviously know what's good for you girl ;-)

When was the last time you were in Paris Anijo? Was it on your way when you spent some days with your friend DAD in Corrèze, which would be about 5 years ago?

Flocon a dit…


Did you suggest FUSAC to the friend of the friend?

As to the pic I need, a rather realistic picture of you would be welcomed so that I can add it to this French page which lacks illustrations of supporters of the cause.

Anijo a dit…

Was it on your way when you spent some days with your friend DAD in Corrèze, which would be about 5 years ago?

Yes, that's it.

I must say that the week I spent in the Corrèze near the villages of Collonges-la-Rouge and Meyssac was one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life.

Anijo a dit…

One of the best things about that week was that not one person there who I met spoke any English at all. Well, perhaps a few words and sentences. And on the way back from the Corrèze, a Parisian woman who owns a vacation home in Noailles offered me a ride back to Paris. Such a lovely and interesting, kind woman.

Anijo a dit…

Off topic, but have you guys noted how well that the French men are doing in the tennis Australian open?

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, yes I did send FUSAC to the person and Anijo thanks for the link which I will also send. I'm not a big tennis fan. Do you know the joke:

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; those who can't teach, teach tennis.

Underestimating teachers of course.

Flocon a dit…


Do you remember that 5 year old post where you commented with Etchdi and Mark (and two other Americans).

An American woman from Dallas posted a comment on this thread 6 months later but I discover I failed to answer her. My bad.

I didn't specify at the time but now you can understand why I mentioned 5,000 Americans.

Collonges-la-Rouge like here?

And did you mean Meyssac?

You may know that both Chirac and Hollande were députés de Corrèze (the poorest French department) à l'Assemblée Nationale before they were elected at the presidency.


"not one person there who I met spoke any English at all."

Which proves how wrong is the saying according to which "They all speak English in Europe" which actually should be: "They all don't speak English in Europe, except in the UK)".

I would say that less than one hundred people speak English in Corrèze, including the 50 teachers of English...

Cela dit, good for you that you spoke French otherwise those bad boys in Corrèze would have pulled wool over your eyes, you innocent babe...

Anijo a dit…


I had forgotten all about this little exchange. I wonder whatever happened to Mark? He had a wonderful way with words and a fun sense of humor.

I also miss Etchdi and EYGH (the Catholic French woman).

On the other hand, I'm delighted that you, Semperfi, Ned and ZapPow are still around, and that Jan has joined the little group. I miss Xtine's comments here too.

Yes, that's the Collonges-la-Rouge and Meyssac of which I speak.

The boys in Corrèze were delightful. DAD took me to the 'bar du coin' in Meyssac every evening and we had a lot of interesting conversations. He threw a party for me and we spent the evening dancing and drinking and laughing.. so much fun! It was delightful wandering around these villages, going to market, and being able to observe the life of the people who lived there.

Back in Paris, my friend Jacques took me to this bookstore that had a little cave downstairs and an American jazz saxophonist performed for a small group of about twenty people. Also, an interesting and delightful evening.

So many good memories from France..

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, About the picture you asked for, how do I send it to you? Also, I don't understand its usage on a Wiki page. I certainly don't want it to be misunderstood as supporting in any way Zionism and Israel who suck, or AIPAC, whom I consider to be traitors.

Flocon a dit…


The proposition about having your pic on Wiki I made with my tongue in cheek but if you're really interested there exist three possibilities:

#1 You send me your pic at

#2 You post your pic on Image shack or any other similar hosting site and you give me the link so I can retrieve it and post it.

#3 You post it yourself on Wiki. Now you've got to know how to, which isn't rocket science but yet there are certain (easy) steps to follow.

The easiest way is probably the first one.

Of course, you chose the page on which you want the pic to appear, the size of it and the caption which goes along. Also you can delete it whenever you want

As you can imagine, your pic must have a certain relation with the topic at hand otherwise any user (just millions of them) can erase it.

Me carrying a bunch of magazines bearing the title Passion leaves no doubt that it isn't a fake and also it is relevant to the page. There's no reason why it could be deleted.

Anyway, as soon as a page is modified, it has a permanent new address which replaces the former but the page on which your pic will have been posted will "forever" be accessible (sorting it through the date).

Martin B a dit…

If I'm not mistaken, The man on the cover of the issue being held up is Paris Poet Ted Joans, author for 'Handshake Editions' and others, and who held court daily at the café a few blocks West of St Michael in St GErmain. He was close friends with Jim Haynes, well known Paris expat, who is still serving international dinners every Sunday night in the 14th.

Flocon a dit…

If me memory serves me right, I perfectly remember cette couverture (around 1986) because that was my beginning on the street selling activity.

Unfortunately, it happens that this mudician died in April 2003