Is There Life After 60?

photo: taverne maitre kanter

A big brasserie in east Paris, near République.

Tree Replanting Delayed by Nature

Paris:- Sunday, 16. April 2000:- It seems as if not a day goes by while we are getting older, without some new medical discovery popping up to suggest that life may be jolly for a lot longer than we think.

The hormone 'DHEA' - its French initials - was discovered 30 years ago by Professor Etienne-Emile Baulieu, but has only recently been revaluated after two years of tests with 280 people aged from 60 to 80.

The main benefit of DHEA is supposed to be strengthening of the bone structure - which normally weakens as we get older. It also acts to rehydrate the skin, which puts color back into it. But the main benefit may be that it is sexy.

This has given many of the people who took part in the tests an optimistic outlook - which is, in itself an attitude that may not prevent aging - but keeps you thinking 'younger' while doing it.

Being sexy and over 60 is not considered 'good form' by children and grand-children, but it is none of their business. Forphoto: chez imogene people who think that being sexy at any age is outrageous - let them be grey-skinned and fragile; if that's their choice.

The main drawback to DHEA is that it doesn't prevent hardening of the arteries - but we can't have everything as we all know.

A little neighorhood crêperie, not far from République.

Also, men do not seem to derive much benefit from additional doses of DHEA - possibly because they have more of this natural hormone to begin with. But it is possible that the test doses which worked well for women were too small to affect men.

Although discovered in France, only a three-month supply of DHEA is allowed to be legally imported - from either Switzerland or the United States. A French expert for gerontology predicted that DHEA will be available in French pharmacies within only five years.

There apparently is a 'history of Viagra' that authorities here want to avoid; a 'history' about which I know nothing. Normally French authorities don't concern themselves overmuch with the morals of residents, so the dubious Viagra 'history' might involve some other factors.

These new therapies are changing the way we think too. In the fairly recent past, people who tried to remain young were thought to be illusionists.

But with better food and better medical services, we are living longer and many are quite willing and content to start life over again at 60.

Archbishop Shuts Guides Out of Notre Dame

In an attempt to give the interior atmosphere of Notre Dame the air of a religious establishment, the Archbishop of Paris has ordered a ban on guides who exercise their profession in the church.

A sign outside asks for behavior inside the church to be in conformity with the building. Either quiet praying or outright silence is permitted.

However another sign invites pilgrims to join tours organized and operated by volunteers. Tourist industry spokesmen say this is discrimination.

Guide-interpreters with state licenses think it amounts to unfair competition because the edict cuts them off from the church's 12 million annual visitors. For some groups, Notre Dame is the only site they visit in Paris.

Church authorities claim that Notre Dame is a church first, and a tourism site only second. Basically, they want the babble stopped.

French Cars Lose Their Birthdays

In 1978, in a period of raging inflation, it was decided to select 1. July as the date for the new year of French cars. If you ordered your new wheels in June, you got last year's car.

If you ordered an identical car in July, you got next year's car. Senseless or not, this created a price difference when the time came to sell the car - when there was no difference between one purchased on 30. June and another on 1. July.

Really 'new' French cars are usually rolled into showrooms after they've been presented at the automobile salon, which is every other year in Paris. 'New' cars can also be introduced at other auto salons around Europe too - as Peugeot's new big sedan recently was.

Now cars will be dated by their real calendar age, which will move the 'new' year to 1. January. Following this reasoning, year '2000' models are going to have a long year since they were introduced to the market on 1. July 1999.

We'll see how dealers, buyers and sellers, work out the value of 18-month 'year-old' cars.

Lyon Goes International

After a trial flop and a ten-year wait, Lyon was joined to New York with a daily non-stop flight last week. The route will be jointly operated by Delta and Air France.

There are an estimated potential of a quarter-million passengers in the Lyon-Rhône-Alps area, plus American firms have about 75 subsidiaries in the region.

Aside from the suits, Americans might welcome this choice for arrival in France, for either Lyon's restaurants or for the nearby winter sports.

Big Show-Time In Paris

Since it is hard for me in front of my TV, it is equally hard to get me away from it once I get there. Because of this I haven't been aware that Paris is noted for big-cast musical shows, but since I have to read the 'Scene' columnphoto: smart, patisserie while writing it, they certainly seem to be a coming thing.

'Notre-Dame de Paris' is currently playing at the Palais des Congrès at Porte Maillot. Last week, between one performance and the next, the cast of the 'Dix Commandements' - which will begin at the Palais des Sports in October - showed up to perform for a taping of a 'commercial' for the new show.

For some reason, Fiat 500's were absent during the week. This is the only reason this 'Smart' is here.

The new show apparently has a 'hit song' in it and the show's producers want to get this on the air by Monday, 15. May. The show's album will follow in June. Last week's taping will produce a 'clip' that will be run endlessly on TV at the end of this month.

This means we will know the show's closing song, and possibly have purchased the album, long before the show has its first public performance. If the music is a 'hit', maybe the producers will abandon the show to avoid its high overhead.

Okay, if this happens, then we won't see the dancers and we won't see Sonia Rykiel's costumes, but we won't be deprived of Pascal Obispo's lyrics. According to the report, 100,000 tickets have already been sold for the 'live' performance.

After Robert Hossein's big show about De Gaulle - the 'Man Who Said No' - and what I believe is the currently running big show based on the resurrection, I am willing to predict that the musical version of World War One cannot be far off.

This is a natural, because it has an even more extravagant sequel.

Storm Timing Upsets Tree Replanting

Of the 500 trees ripped up in Paris during last December's storm, only 14 have been replanted. None of the 163 knocked downphoto: no name cafe in Paris' cemeteries have been replaced. The clean-ups of the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes are not completed either.

This was predicted on Friday, 7. January by Françoise de Panaflieu, who has become one of many RPR candidates for the mayor's seat in the meantime.

Of all the bars and cafés in Paris, some seem to be without names; like this one.

Back in January she predicted that the replanting would take place this coming autumn. At the time of this pronouncement she was responsible for Paris' green spaces, but has since been fired by the mayor - for disloyally becoming a mayoralty candidate.

Paris has 1200 trees on order from tree vendors around Europe. City gardeners say they have 866 street trees to plant and another 1630 are needed for the cemeteries - but the tree planting 'season' ended on 31. March.

According to nature's laws, planting can resume on 1. November. The first priority then will be the street trees and the parks. It may be a couple of years until the cemeteries are restored, and the two big 'Bois' will need three or four years for full restoration.

All of the above sounds as if Paris has been denuded of trees. I assure all readers that this is far from the case, and whole streets of trees everywhere in Paris are coming along quite handily with their change-over from the bareness of winter, to the green fuzz of what passes for spring in this area of the world.

Sports News

The amateur football team of Calais squashed Bordeaux's professional football team by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday night in Lens, giving Calais' part-time players aphoto: bar les 3 tetaros chance to beat the socks off Nante's pro team in the final on Sunday, 7. May, to be played in Paris' Stade de France.

This bar is called something like the 'Bar les 3 Tetaros,' but I'm not absolutely sure.

This is for the French Cup and the Calais team's win is historic. It is the first time a 4th-division team has ever competed in this final. Le Parisien puts up a couple of fake 'ifs' - the 1933 RC Roubaix team and the Nîmes team of 1996 - but they were not so completely amateur as Calais.

According to TV-news, Calais fans are professional winners and the citizens of the channel port provided TV-news with good scenes of how celebrations are done, over long periods of time.

French Web Life

8th Prix Möbius

Each year the International Möbius Festival seeks to award the world's best multimedia productions - based on CD-ROMs, DVDs or Web sites. This year the festival takes place at the Centre Cultural Pompidou and the public is invited on Friday and Saturday, 5. and 6. May.

For a preview, give the Prix Möbius Web site a glance, but be sure to have 'Flash' installed before you decide to take a look at your multimedia future.

Alpine Artisans

During the long winters not everybody is skiing in the Alps. Some people are busy in their workshops and ateliers, making ceramics, glassware, and working with earth, bronze and raku. Eh? What's 'raku?' If you want to find out, take a look at the 'Art-Alps' Web site.

Paris' Peace Wall

The URL for Paris' Peace Wall on the Champ de Mars is: 'Mur Pour la Paix,' which is a Dot-Com and not a Dot-Org. You can also learn how to read the word 'peace' in 32 languages.

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