Summer 2015

Côte d’Azur Homecoming: Let Summer Begin!

June 23, 2015

Hop aboard your favourite Uber vehicle and travel with us as we launch French Lessons 2015. A couple young visitors play “spot the difference” between our Canadian hometown and Antibes, our summer home, while a local friend declares, “Ça y est les vacances!” Let summer begin!

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Cap d’Antibes: Real Estate Revolution

June 30, 2015

Amid international headlines to the contrary, French Lessons discovers that Cap d’Antibes’ real estate market is floundering with the latest Russian exodus. We search for green shoots with Angela, our colourful property agent, while recalling the glory days when our northerly neighbours lived large on the peninsula.

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French Cooking: A Fish Story

July 7, 2015

It takes a (French) village to teach this Canadian-American how to cook. A simple trip to buy fish at the poissonnerie in Antibes’ Place Nationale turns into a full-blown meal, thanks to unsolicited recommendations, serial pieces of wisdom and a stern warning or two from passionate local vendors.

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French: One Language Divided by Two Lingos

July 14, 2015

When our favourite taxi driver arrives at Bellevue dressed in a canary yellow dress and rhinestone high-heels – all dressed up to the nines – she unwittingly launches a debate over les deux françaises.   Who knew that French French and Quebecois French could be so different for little apparent reason?

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Photo Essay: Côte d’Azur by Sea (Part 1)

July 23, 2015

This week French Lessons asks you to don your life vests. Together we embark on a photographic journey of the eastern Côte d’Azur – from Antibes to Monaco – witnessing the landscape, its beloved charms and eccentricities from a perspective that most visitors will miss.

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French Collège: Increasing the Fun Factor

July 29, 2015

France’s education ministry is brewing up plans to reform its collèges, or middle schools, in order to make them more equitable – and with luck, a bit more fun. From dry teaching to unforgiving grading systems and unsavoury attitudes, French Lessons learns the inside scoop from those invested most.

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L’Uberization of France

August 5, 2015

French Lessons welcomes back Philippe for his annual one-man show. Insightful and entertaining as ever, he regales us with his latest musings about the French economy – this time with nods to the hotly discussed Uberization, a foundational book Sapiens, and les Dames Pipi.

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Photo Essay: Côte d’Azur by Sea (Part 2)

August 13, 2015

French Lessons sets sail on Part 2 of our photographic journey along the Côte d’Azur, this time leaving Antibes’ port in the direction of St-Tropez. Colourful histories, offbeat innovations and a secluded beach pepper our sun- and salt-soaked journey – as do James Bond and a small-time king.

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Bellevue: A Tale of Two 10-Year Olds

August 21, 2015

When my daughter Lolo tags along on a visit to elderly friends, we compare the lives of two 10-year-old girls living within the walls of our home, Bellevue – stories that are separated by a full 75 years. An iPad and a runaway apple remind us of today’s prosperity.

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Profile: Tania Laveder, World War II Survivor

August 28, 2015

In a special post to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Côte d’Azur’s Libération, French Lessons interviews a local woman who was drafted and captured, and who ultimately survived the war to reestablish her life here, four countries later, on the Cap d’Antibes. Her story is, at last, in print.

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Grab Bag: Last Sip at the Riviera’s Summer Party

September 4, 2015

As France gets on with the annual rentrée, French Lessons takes its final week of the 2015 summer season to soak in the reality of Côte d’Azur living – and to share a grab bag of offbeat highlights that never made their way onto these pages.

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