Author Archives: larrysicular

A side trip to Amsterdam

  I’ve taken a side trip to visit some younger friends in Amsterdam.  I know them from the year they spent in New York—Brune, the daughter of friends in Paris, and her boyfriend Frederic, working respectively in solar-panel marketing and …

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Returning to France–the Vink sisters

  It is impossible to convey my love for France without writing about the Vink sisters.  Both are now married, with husbands, children and grandchildren, but of course that was not how they were when I met them.   Therese …

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Looking at France’s cities: Marseille

Marseille, July 29, 2018     Despite its mixed reputation, I was hoping to like Marseille.  I took a hotel room in an attractive, not-too-expensive place recommended by a friend of young friends, in a residential area not too far …

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Looking at France’s cities: Montpellier

Montpellier, July 25, 2018   After Bordeaux, I took intercity rail service to Montpellier.  The train line passes through Toulouse and continues to Marseilles, but I stopped in Montpellier to see one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in France. …

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Looking at France’s cities: Bordeaux

Montpellier, July 22, 2018   From Arcachon, I took the train into Bordeaux. After the importance and elegance of Paris, and the evident, nearly uniform affluence of Arcachon and Pyla, I was initially taken aback.   Of course, Bordeaux is much …

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Returning to France and why it matters

Bordeaux, July 21, 2018  My trip began sixty years ago, in a very different generation and place, when my mother found me a French tutor in Los Gatos, the northern California town where I grew up.  (I don’t know  why …

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Money laundering and compliance in Europe

For those of you who do business in Europe, I post the attached article on money laundering and compliance issues as recently addressed by the French government.   The author, Alexandre Marion, is a compliance attorney in Paris, a friend and …

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SUBWAY EXPANSION—ARE NEW YORK’S COSTS EXCESSIVE?

My City Club colleague John West distributed this, December 14, New York Times article on Friday.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/14/nyregion/mta-funding-real-estate-value-capture.html It argues that the city’s construction of new mass transit lines, with public funds or debt, is a subsidy to property owners, who should …

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The Midtown East Re-zoning, an Improvable Plan

Members of the City Club (cityclubny.org) met with New York City Council Land Use Staff and a representative from City Councilman Daniel Garodnick’s office to discuss changes to the zoning changes proposed for East Midtown.   The purpose of the …

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The pending rezoning of Midtown East

Most readers will remember that a proposed rezoning of Midtown East failed under the Bloomberg administration. Mayor De Blasio formed a Midtown East Steering Committee to improve on the plan, which is based on a perceived need for tall, modern, …

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