Sunday, 13 November 2011 12:50
Author: Jeff Daniels
Princess Stephanie starts No Finish Line
"I am very proud of you," said Princess Stephanie before firing the starting pistol yesterday afternoon on Port Hercule. More than 4,000 people have pre-registered to take part in the No Finish Line charity run that ends next Sunday, November 20. Apart from a number of government counsellors, diver Pierre Frolla and driver ClivioPiccione were in at the start. ArianeFavarolo, the President of the race, promised "joy, intense emotions and shared human values." The new target is 180,000 km in eight days around a modified circuit of 1,373 metres. The money raised will go to Children and Future for humanitarian projects around the world. PHOTO: Princess Stephanie
Sir Jackie Stewart and Roman Polanski in a press conference at the Hotel Hermitage on December 17 discuss the making of the film Weekend of a Champion made during the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix. Sir Jackie talks about the huge improvements in safety for drivers and the changes in the sport over 42 years.See also two news reports in the main news column (scroll down for the main article)
RECENT VIDEOS: centre column, below. Click on images to view
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 0:02
Monaco Events & Announcements: a one-stop guide
ART AT EUROPA RESIDENCE: The Nall Exposition of recent paintings 'Arriere Pays' will continue at the Maison de l'Americain Latine until January 4.
BRITISH ASSOCIATION: The last Friday Friendship Club this year is on Friday, December 20, at St Paul's Church Library. The BAM FFC is for members and friends to meet up for afternoon tea twice a month. Entrance is free and is also a great opportunity to meet up with old friends or to make some new ones. Members can chat and read magazines, exchange books (more new titles), play cards/games or help with the ongoing jigsaw while enjoying complimentary tea, coffee and delicious homemade cakes. We now have an extensive DVD lending library with new titles coming in every week - help us to increase our ever-growing selection and bring along some DVDs. Books and magazines are always welcome.
FOR CHILDREN: Following the great success of the 'Petits Chefs by Fairmont Monte Carlo' programme organized in partnership with Monaco’s National Ministry of Education, a series of rendezvous will take place during the school holidays to give young ones the opportunity to have a special cooking lesson with the Executive Chef and Best French Craftsman Philippe Joannès and MasterChef finalist Claire Verneil.
The first two appointments will take place at the Fairmont Monte Carlo hotel on Monday, December 23, at 14:00 and 16:00. Children between the ages of seven and 12 will learn how to prepare and decorate their own “Bûche de Noël” that they then will bring home together with a nice apron. (Upon reservation, limited spots available, €30 per child). For information and reservation: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHRISTMAS EVENTS: St Paul's Church, ave Grande Bretagne, will be holding its Christingle Children's event at 17:00 on Christmas Eve, December 24, and there will be a Midnight Mass starting at 23:00. On Christmas Day itself, Wednesday December 25, there will be a Christmas Family Service at 10:30.
STARS'N'BARS will host its first ever Russian New Year's Eve party on Saturday January 11.....with a twist. We will be incorporating all the traditional elements of an authentic Russian New year's Eve including Russian food favorites, a magician, fortune teller and of course the Russian "Santa Claus" and his Snow Maiden (Ded Moroz and Snegurochka) But we'll combine the traditions with the "fun" of Monaco and have chosen a Disco 70s theme so that everyone can come dressed as their favorite Saturday NIght Fever character............or Abba! Plus music from the 70s and a bit of Disco Karaoke. We're also hoping to "Skype" another restaurant party in Moscow or St. Petersburg at midnight. The evening is not limited to Russians because Monaco is all about mixing nationalities in a spirit of fun.
Listings in Events & Announcements are free for non-profit associations, charged for commercial events and entities. To place listing email email@example.com
The French parliament, dominated by the champagne socialists, on Saturday approved a bill to criminalize the use of prostitutes. The battle of words has been virulent, with the grey, pompous and hypocritical left coming out with the usual stuff about exploitation, and the political right championing the right of the individual to do what they want with their bodies, male or female, a position usually taken by the left. The tongue-in-cheek 'Don't touch my whore' initiative has added a certain humour to proceedings, and now as it seems it's all coming to a sad climax after a great deal of anticipatory foreplay, I have yet to read anywhere in the online French press about the real motivation of Mr Hollande...
FOR RENT: 3 Bed / 3 Bathroom beautiful modern townhouse in the centre of St Jean Cap Ferrat's fishing village. Approx floor space 90m2 over 3 floors. Patio 16m2. On street parking. Air-con/heating throughout. Priced at €3000 PCM +33 6 01 43 55 89
BRIDGE PLAYERS SEEK COACH: Group of English speaking Bridge players in Monaco is seeking an occasional ACOL Bridge teacher to improve their game. Please contact Philippa Gitlin on 97 97 46 76 or Anne Norman on 97 98 61 65
TOUR LEADER: Karim Seif, tour leader/guide with 15 years experience speaks A/E/F/I/S/NL is offering his services in tourism or the interpreting field in Monaco, Nice or on the Riviera. Mobile phone: 00 33 6 32 76 86 58 – mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see our terms and conditions, please click on MORE
A reader responds to the recent editorial COMMENT on drunk driving:
I read with interest your recent comment 'Several Vodkas Too Many'. The image if the Principality is indeed in danger of being tarnished by the growing number of drunk drivers but also by two other issues. First, no one can have failed to notice the dramatic increase in the number of drivers who seem to take great pride in revving their engines and then accelerating at speed for a few meters before slamming on the breaks.
Second, the bars in the Port are pumping out music at such high volume that it can be heard when on Le Rocher. This is not necessary for the customer enjoyment and if all of them 'turned it down' a little there would be a more peaceful and tranquil place for all residents without impacting their business. Monaco has over the years successfully tackled problems that challenged its image. Urgent action is now required on these issues before they are allowed to tarnish the image of the Principality.
Sincerely, John (name and address supplied)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CAN BE SENT TO email@example.com. Please include a telephone number. Previous letters can be found at MORE
Saturday, 24 August 2013 9:26
Author: Celina Lafuente de Lavotha
with Gray Matters
Celina Lafunete de Lavotha writes: I followed filmmaker and Monaco resident Marco Orsini during one of his shootings at Villa E1027, in Roquebrune Cap Martin, for his documentary Gray Matters that is being produced in parallel with the film The Price of Desire by Mary McGuckian. Both films intend to unravel and duly recognize Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray’s extraordinary contribution to modernism. Gray Matters is the story the 20th century artist whose vision, imagination and sensibility changed the way we live, both within houses and their furniture. The documentary is a historical, scholarly and cinematic investigation of the life of one of the most significant, but otherwise little-known contemporary artists...
Thursday, 22 August 2013 8:49
Author: Celina Lafuente de Lavotha
On the set of Price of Desire
"The Price of Desire aims to set the facts straight about the controversial story of how Le Corbusier effaced and defaced Eileen Gray's moral right to be recognized as the author of her work and as one of the most forceful and influential inspirations of a century of modern architecture and design."
The Irish-Belgian co-production The Price of Desire by Mary McGuckian’s EG Film Productions and Saga Film is shooting on location this week in Eileen Gray’s iconic villa E1027 in Roquebrune Cap Martin. Photography has been already completed in Vezelay, France, and at Monev Studios in Brussels, Belgium, where many of her Parisian interiors were scrupulously re-created with a modern twist...
MONACO MEDIA: The media world has been stunned this week by news that the founder of Amazon - the online shop - has bought the iconic Washington Post newspaper at what seems to be a knockdown price. The $250 million Jeff Bezos paid is just a little over one percent of his personal wealth of $23 billion, making a very small dent indeed in his bank account. Never mind that since its founding Amazon has lost money more than it has made, making Bezos a virtual billionaire in charge of a virtual empire. Perhaps he bought the Post because he yearned for something real.
To decry the sale of the Post is not just to indulge in unworldly sentimentality. Its disposal marks another milestone on the way to the cemetery for printed newspapers as we have known them for the centuries since the Times of London first appeared in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register, changing its name three years later. In the ever-evolving world of media, print is in its death throes.
If it's almost all over for ink except the burials, and the standouts are disappearing fast, should we be surprised? No. Disappointed, sorry? Yes. The great newspapers of the past, including the Post, the New York Times, the Times, the UK's Daily Telegraph, are empty imitations of their former selves thanks to cost-cutting. The greatest loss as these titles decline and disappear is the quality of the journalism that called them home..
It is already June but the air is still unseasonably cold, so I decided to meet Vasily Klyukin in the lobby bar of the Metropole Hotel in Monte-Carlo for an interview. His claim to fame is as the first Monaco resident to sign up for a Virgin Galactic trip into space with the famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio, when he made the highest bid of € 1.2 million at the recent amfAR auction during the Cannes Film Festival.
Vasily was born in Moscow in the late seventies. His father, a writer and history professor, had moved there with his wife to work in the University. He is married to Anna Vishnevskaya, an ex TV-presenter with whom he has a young son. He also has two other children from a previous marriage living in Cannes. Vasily pursued his studies in finance and as a true entrepreneur started his own company with a few of his schoolmates. They even managed to buy a small regional Bank and developed it to become one of the top hundred, that they later sold partly to a large Dutch-Israeli conglomerate. Being a banker enabled him to borrow money to invest in personal projects mainly in real estate reconstruction and development. He moved to France in 2012 and in March of 2013 he became a Monaco resident while keeping secondary properties in both France and Russia.
A man of diverse interests he counts architectural design and modern art as his passions and he recently bought a building on the Rue de Portier in the Principality that he plans to redesign. He is also working on an architectural book specializing in avant-garde exterior design to be published this summer. Among his favourite sports he cites football and poker. He constantly craves for extreme adventure and recently visited the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Vasily enjoys ice driving and bobsledding, has explored the deep caves in Belize, gone on helicopter tours in Salto Angel, made jungle trips and more. So it is only fitting that he will now go into space, the next frontier...
“The integrity of an artist is key to the value of his or her work” - Mary McGuckian
Meet filmmaker Mary McGuckian from Northern Ireland and learn about her current production 'The Price of Desire.'
By Celina Lafuente de Lavotha, freelance journalist & photographer (Monte-Carlo, Monaco)
It is mid April and the air is finally getting warmer, we are in the villa of Eileen Gray E1027 in Roquebrune Cap Martin with filmmaker Mary McGuckian for an exclusive interview. Mary McGuckian was born and brought up during the troubles in Northern Ireland. Bizarrely she studied engineering at Trinity College in Dublin but spent more time with the university Players, graduated as an engineer and then headed to drama school. Mary says life seems to have come full circle now that her engineering background is on call for the first time as she sets out to make a movie about Ireland’s most famous architect...
MONACO LIFESTYLE: Upon a recent visit to the New York offices of my publisher Google, it dawned on me that computer geeks have overtaken alpha males in the corporate hierarchy. Everywhere I looked, I saw barely graduate-aged technical whizz kids wearing ripped jeans and Google glasses and zipping to internal office meetings on push scooters. The few employees over the age of thirty-five were all editorial staff. These dinosaurs could be spotted a mile off with their staid chinos, ties or bewildered expressions.
Now cyberspace gurus have invaded the starched haven of Michelin-starred restaurants. It seems that coders are using custom-written programs (bots) to grab the best tables leaving traditional diners frustrated. These bots survey restaurant websites for available tables and then grab them before humans have time to reserve. The algorithms are hard to beat, as bot writers are careful to conceal their online identity. Upscale restaurants in New York, London and Paris are reacting by limiting their online reservations and setting aside tables for last-minute regulars. Monaco is yet to be hit by such high-tech problems: long may Southern France continue its Luddite tradition of telephone reservations.
Better still are informal addresses where you can just rock up after work. Some Monaco institutions are rumored to be on their way out such as Michele Piepoli’s Sabor di Vino, a eulogy to wine with 10,000 bottles of vintages from all over France and beyond.
Other places have just arrived. Last week I went to the opening of Bar 1154, a new apéro-tapas bar hidden above rue Grimaldi on allée Lazare Sauvaigo. While little ones ran around the pedestrianized street, we enjoyed a mouth-watering selection of Italian charcuterie and tapenades served up by the genial Ricci and Louis-Michel. Watch out for their red-hot bruschetta that will leave you gasping for a glass of beer. Another new place worth a visit is One Apple overlooking Fontvieille’s port. DJ Fabian mixes music as diners gaze at the super-yachts over drinks and no-nonsense Italian food. It won’t be long before you’ll have to start reserving your table in advance.
Louise Simpson is a food and travel writer based in Monaco. Since studying French literature at Cambridge University, Louise has written for The FT, The Times, Condé Nast and The Independent in the UK and for Zagat and Google in the US. She has also published four travel books with Frommer’s:
Father Walter Raymond tells us what's on at St Paul's Church this Christmas
Kory Tarpenning on opening the first Starbucks in Monaco
Dena Lyons and Art Factory Monaco
Anita Di Sotto talks about Whisky Weekend
Martine Ackerman talks about Child CARE Monaco
Martina Brodie interviews artist Laure Fissore
Martina Brodie interviews Peace and Sport champions
Ian Brodie interviews President of National Council
Ian Brodie interviews author of Mayhem in Monte Carlo
click on images to view
MY MONTE-CARLO WEEKEND
Sunday, December 15
My editor asked me to show my face at the World Policy Conference, which continued into Saturday, and then I saw the application form for accreditation and gave up. I don't have 30 minutes to spare to fill in forms. The fact that the Foreign Minister of Iran and the head of Mossad and other people who think they're important were in town had almost nothing to do with Monaco itself. Later I heard that one US diplomat was refused entry to a particular forum because there 'wasn't room,' so what hope would there be for a humble journalist?
On Sunday went to church to see my two sons and 28 others perform the Nativity Play. As usual, the voices of the little ones didn't carry too far, but since our eldest has reached puberty his "Oh, to go to Bethlehem is so exciting" was absolutely clear. A pity he rolled his eyes to heaven, like the ironic teenager he is, on the word 'exciting.' Meanwhile, a baby on the front row started crying, rather loudly, and I couldn't hear very much. I turned to my wife.
"Why don't they take out that noisy baby," I asked.
"That's Jesus," she said.
"Oh My God!"
Meanwhile, I have been reliably informed by an anonymous correspondent that Father Christmas has gone missing from the large sleigh at the foot of the stairs from St Charles Church down to blvd. des Moulins. I shall investigate. No accreditation needed.
Christmas tips from Ruth Tongue
Don’t beat yourself up this festive season – but do keep an eye on the waist band! Our new in-house nutritionist and Pilates specialist Ruth Tongue shares her tips on how to start 2014 feeling fresh, energised and motivated - rather than sluggish and carrying a few unwanted extra pounds.
Everyone likes to indulge a little (ok, a lot) over Christmas and the New Year – and that’s normal. But there’s nothing worse than getting to the second day of January feeling heavy, tired and like you want to hibernate until your skinny jeans fit again! Follow these tips to ensure you enjoy the party season without feeling the effects when 2014 rings in...
MONACO LIFESTYLE: The great and the good of French hospitality turned out en masse at a recent press conference in Monaco to discuss food trends for the forthcoming trade fair Agecotel 2014. I was dozing off to the usual spectacle of up-and-coming chefs vying for attention and swapping gastronomic in-jokes, when there was a sudden lull as the godlike Joël Robuchon took to the stage. The assembled press corps gazed adoringly while the darling of Michelin-starred French cuisine made his prediction: the next decade of gastronomy will be all about vegetarian cuisine...
What on earth is the French President doing in Monaco? Well, there are a few things to see, such as the Oceanographic and Monaco's Scientific Centre. And a few bits of paper to sign. Lunch at the Palace should be good, and will not disappoint the Socialist President's champagne tastes. Otherwise, not much will be going on and the visit will be marked by an inconvenience to road traffic. That will be its high point, since it seems that the President won't be meeting any of the remaining 8,000 French residents - whose families have lived here for generations - to discuss the fact that they have to meet the high cost of living in Monaco while paying French taxes, an arrangement inherited from the treaty with France into which Prince Rainier was famously coerced in 1963.
If I were a Frenchman, or woman, I would wonder what my President was doing in Monaco. Perhaps he has come to open a bank account. Switzerland is certainly less attractive than it was for French savers. Or perhaps I would conclude that Mr Hollande fancied a day away from the office and a very unattractive in-tray.
Jeff Daniels reviews
Mayhem in Monte Carlo
Long-term Monaco resident and former ad-man Mike Ferrier's second book in a trilogy, Mayhem in Monte Carlo, is at first sight a mixed bag of intelligent insight and mundane stereotyping. And as many new writers do, Mike has cut out the middleman. The book can be ordered on Amazon, to be read on a tablet or consumed in book form, a modern form of buying novels that appeals to some more than others...
I narrowly missed being an eye witness to an incredible scene at Nice Ville station yesterday morning. Three loud explosions, each stronger than the other, rocked the station at 11:20 am. Windows rattled, booms echoed around the cavernous halls, and passengers fled in panic. An assassination? Most likely. Fathers scooped their little ones in their arms and the crowd surged across the platforms and out of the station onto the building site in its forecourt.
The crowd stood back waiting for the police, the fire brigade, the ambulances, and the other force of law and disorder, the CRS. Nothing, except the lonely wail of a single siren on Jacques Medecin. The minutes passed.
A single passenger entered the deserted hall. He ventured to ask what had happened…. The incredible explanation was that a train driver was retiring and three blasts are a traditional way of saying goodbye.
Perhaps President Hollande could raise the retirement age to 80, in which case some of the SNCF staff could die on the job. In the meantime, the mutual contempt in which rail workers on one hand and passengers on the other hold and nurture one for the other will continue.
Monte-Carlo Diary is published in the interests of editorial diversity and the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers.
In a new light
Thursday, October 24
The announcement by the organizers of the annual Ever event that environmentally-friendly cars will not be on show at next year's event comes as a disappointment to everyone concerned. Evidently, the costs are high and there is still a reluctance on the part of motor manufacturers to push their electric and hybrid models to a still sceptical public. The lack of public enthusiasm for green vehicles is also evident during the Mobility Week event, which offers free trials each year at Larvotto Beach.
But all is not lost. The Government of Monaco has reported an increase in the number of registrations of electric and hybrid vehicles, albeit not a very rapid growth, thanks in part to the generous grants offered to purchasers of up to 8,000 euros per car. This is desirable and commendable. However, much more is needed.
Green warriors must be happy to know that there is a real revolution on the way, thanks to the 'E' grand prix to be held in May 2015 during the annual Monaco Grand Prix. The public will see electric-powered cars in an entirely new light, and demand is likely to soar. At least, that's the hope.
Wednesday, October 16
A sporting chance
I was asked to go to the Sportel Golden Podium Awards Ceremony by my busy editor who told me he had other things to do. It was very enjoyable and also informative, since I am a sports fan with a reasonable grasp of the media. It was impressive to rub shoulders with the women's Wimbledon champion, the English winner of the Tour de France, and the President of the IOC - the initials standing for the International Olympic Committee, for those who may not know, such as my editor. I went up the escalator just behind him - the IOC guy - and I was amazed at how many people gazed in awe. At Mr Bach, not at me.
Awaiting us was a splendid finger-food banquet, not the usual Grimaldi Forum demi-sandwich handed out to the press, and you have to be quick, but a full-blown feast in manageable portions. The plates had little holes for glasses, so if I had known anyone I could have shaken their hands without pouring wine on their sleeves. Many of the guests headed for the tele, to watch a France-Finland football game. I accepted another wine. Then another. At about 22:00 the room started to move, until I realized that a smallish cruise ship was leaving Port Hercule, unless the Lady Moura had broken from her moorings, possibly for the very first time.
Then came the murmur of a crowd amused, and in the centre of Cafe Llorca, amongst the barbajuans and mini-cheeseburgers, palatable rose and more than acceptable rouge, inside a circle of sportsmen, sportswomen and sports journalists, a lithe young lady was pole-dancing. It must have been half-time in the football game. Nothing moved in the port. I sampled the rouge one last time and took to my heels while I still had a sporting chance of making it home without falling over.
The Jeff Daniels column is published in the interests of editorial diversity, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publishers.
MONACO NEWS: One month ahead of schedule, the Department of Public Works has completed the work dismantling the shuttering of the Isle de Canton, with the return to service of the roundabout and the tunnels no longer being subject to exceptional height restrictions.
From Thursday 26 September, work will focus mainly on finishing the tunnel T34, which will be closed. The ongoing work will fully connect the Jardins Apollonia with Fontvieille and Condamine. A total of 237 state-owned apartments have been built on the site of the former railway station, together with commercial properties, 68 private apartments and a day-care centre.
Copyright 2011-13, Monaco Life. All rights reserved.
| Powered by