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It’s much more fun to experience an event than to read about it, and I’ve been reading about Paris Plages since they started in 2001. I lived near the beach or at the beach in Los Angeles and only went when visitors came, so it’s not unusual for me to avoid crowded beaches, and somehow I just never came in the summer weeks when it was here, but now that I live here, I finally made it to the beach 🙂 

I went to the beach by Bassin de La Villette (Metro Stalingrad) with all the nautical amusements (instead of the one by the Louvre/Pont Sully) on a 90 degree weekday morning and it was perfectly peaceful.

There are numerous big boats, some of which offer rides/drinks/tours/meals.

There are small leg powered boats you can rent.

If you prefer to stay on land, plenty of pétanque areas.

Kids can play pirates or ride a carousel (which had a HUGE line).

Adults and kids alike can cool down with misters

or ice cream

and drinking water spouts dot the area so you can refill your water bottles (free).

Most of the chairs and picnic areas were claimed, but you could stroll along the waterfront

and lots of kids were doing that in their matching outfits.

You have numerous options to eat or drink along the water, including restaurants and bars in the Holiday Inn.


Instead of an American brand, I chose this place 🙂

The canal was my view on one side, and on the other this colorful artwork.

There is an association called Tous A Table which is founded on the principles of providing good food to those who may not normally be able to afford it, allowing them to pay only 10% of the cost of a meal, so they may have a good dining experience. This year they are here at Paris Plages, so I was very happy to support them; as you can see the menu is very inexpensive and basic, but there are options for vegans and meat eaters.

After you order, you are given a pager which alerts you to go upstairs to pick up your meal. In my case it was a can of sardines in excellent olive oil with a small salad and delectable butter on the side. I had some wine with my snack and my bill was still less than 12 € ($15 US).

The views of the water

have a cooling effect

no matter how hot and humid life is in the city 🙂


What are you doing next Tuesday night between 7-11pm?

If you don’t already have plans, then I suggest that you head over to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to eat some wonderful dishes prepared by Nobu Matsushisa, Wolfgang Puck, Mako Tanaka, Hideo Yamashiro, and Tim Goodell to support the relief efforts in Japan. Tickets range from $40 general admission to $300 VIP all access to all the dishes, chefs and open bar!

All the chefs are donating their time and the food, so that all of the proceeds will go towards helping people who have survived the Tsunami and earthquake in Japan, so even if you can’t attend, you please donate.

Today is Earth Day and there are many ways to help the Earth with simple acts, some of which will get you free coffee and trees:

1) CREEDO is planting a tree in your honor if you simply click that you like them on your Facebook page by April 30, the more people click, the more trees get planted, so pass on the information and post it on your wall.

2) M Cafe is offering $1.00 off to all take out customers who bring in their own bag to take home their food, and if you bring in your own reusable mug they will give you a free coffee as well.

3) Lowe’s is giving away one million trees today, stop by a store and pick one up.

4) Starbucks is giving away free coffee today when you bring in your own reusable mug.

5) Do what you can everyday to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle 🙂

Century City is one of my favorite places to go for movies and food, especially when for $25 (advance purchase) you can get EIGHT dishes (with drinks) from the restaurants in the Westfield Mall and 100% of the proceeds go to Food 4 All.

The offerings on April 12th for the 6pm-9pm event include:

Breadbar – Signature sliders with wine selection
Giggles N Hugs – Pizza bites, mini mac & cheese, mini cupcakes with a fresh fruit smoothie
Gulfstream – Smoked salmon and chef’s dressing with Sauvignon Blanc
Houston’s – Spinach & artichoke dip with white wine selection
Obika Mozzarella Bar – Caponata, eggplant parmigiana, ricotta mousse with a Pim’s mojito
Pink Taco – Signature pink-hued taco with a margarita
RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen – Princess shrimp, chicken samosa, spicy ahi roll with blood orange sangria
Toscanova – Mozzarella pizza, porcini mushroom risotto, umbricelli with sausage, spinach & ricotta ravioli, cherry tart and tiramisu with white wine spritzers

Not only is this a great deal, but your money will feed others as well as yourself; a win-win!

What would be more apropos than to go eat sushi and have 100% of the profits from your meal help the victims of the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan? Because several of the people at Takami Sushi have family and friends in Japan, they are donating all their profits to the Japanese branch of the Red Cross with no end date for this generous act of charity as of this post.

If you want to help and either don’t like sushi or don’t live near downtown Los Angeles, you can buy a piece of art here and 100% of the profits will go towards charitable organizations in Japan. Pieces range from $15 to $1000 so get one or get several.

To update yesterday’s post, T Mobile, Comcast, and Time Warner have finally joined AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in offering free calls (and texts) to Japan for prepaid US subscribers; better late than never, and that applies to sending aid as well.

>Today’s post is for everyone who wishes to help the people in Japan who have had to deal with earthquakes, a tsunami, and a volcano eruption all in less than a week. If you have family or friends in Japan you can e-mail the State Department or you can use Google’s people finder link here. AT&T is offering free calling and texting from U.S. to Japan through the end of March and Sprint & Verizon are offering free calls & text until April 10th for prepaid wireless subscribers.

One of my favorite charities is Doctors Without Borders because they use so much of their donations on actual service (85.5%) to those who need them. They have a special designation for the relief efforts in Japan, so you specify where your donation will go. Having doctors assisting in Japan is essential to saving lives.

Global Giving has also set up a specific fund for relief efforts in Japan here and they are about halfway towards the goal of a million dollars to send. I also like this organization because 85% of your money will go directly to the cause you chose.

If you use iTunes (who doesn’t?) you can click here and 100% of your donation will go to the Red Cross relief efforts. Speaking of the Red Cross, you can also send a donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

If you use Twitter (as I do), there is a blog page (in Japanese) with the latest news and information on how to help. There are also some hashtags for specific details/information/aid:

  • #Jishin: focuses around general earthquake information
  • #Anpi: a hashtag for the confirmation of the safety of individuals or places
  • #Hinan: Evacuation information
  • #311care: a hashtag regarding medical information for the victims
  • #PrayforJapan: A general hashtag for support and best wishes for victims of the crisis

However you decide to help, whether it is with your skills, time, money, or prayers, please help in whatever way you can. We are all connected; let’s connect with each other in a positive way.

>Yesterday was International Women’s Day, but the appreciation of women needs to continue everyday and one of the ways you can show your support for women is to attend the PPLA (Planned Parenthood Los Angeles) Food Fare in Santa Monica tomorrow; for $150* you can spend the morning (10:30-2:00pm) feasting on food choices from 150 restaurants, including the venerable Michael’s, Portia Via (see my recent blog post), Church & State, Joe’s, Westside Tavern, and even a few trucks will be there like the Border Grill truck and the Grilled Cheese truck.

If you are a late riser, go to the evening portion from 6:30-9:30pm for $225* per person, and enjoy the food, demonstrations, silent auction, and festivities all to benefit women’s health services. If you are busy all day and evening, you can also make a donation to PPLA at any time and support the health of the women in your life and your community.

Just as you make the choice of whether or not to attend this event, remember that every woman has the right to make choices for her own life.

*Advance purchase prices, at the door prices will be an additional $25 per person.

Every year I give donations to organizations in lieu of material gifts to my friends and family for the holidays. I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now and yes I apply this practice to the children of my friends also, telling them what I am doing and encouraging them to do the same.

For those of you who want to take a baby step towards transitioning to a completely charitable holiday, you can buy some ornaments ($20-$30 each) designed by celebrities (or by you) at HSN, with proceeds that will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Center.

My donations this year went to Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, and Habitat for Humanity. Today I just learned of an organization which sends food/care packages to troops overseas called Jacob’s Light, started by a mother who would send regular care packages to her son. When her son was killed, she continued to send care packages to soldiers who had no one to send them packages, or those stationed in remote areas without basic necessities like toothpaste or tampons. A philanthropist had given them some grants which will run out shortly, so if you can help, please do by volunteering, writing letters, packing, shopping, or giving them a donation.

Introducing the concept of charity to materialistic kids (or adults) may be met with confusion and resistance, but exposure to new ideas is how we grow. What traits would you rather grow than compassion and generosity? What better season to plant the seeds of charity than the holidays?

There once was a bank that allowed you to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and the difference would be saved into your saving account. A clever easy way to save, but what if you could use that concept and instead of adding a few cents to your own pocket, you could help someone in need?

Swipegood does exactly that, allowing you to choose what charity you want your money to go to, from getting internet access to people who need it, to providing clean water, or helping cancer victims. The list includes Donors Choose, so you have options to help fund projects and teachers also.

Right now you can only round up a few credit cards (American Express is one of the major ones), but they are adding new ones (Chase, Bank of America), and you can set a round up limit or put your round ups on hold at any time. You don’t even have to have the rounded up donation charged the the same card you sign up to round up, and they tally the totals at the end of every month (most people average $20). Swipegood takes only 5% to cover their operating costs, so they are truly in business to make charitable giving easy.

Since you are shopping for gifts now anyway, why not give a few cents to those who need it the most? You won’t notice the additional cents spent, but it could help make a change in someone’s life, and that makes sense.

I am making my wish today so it can come true tomorrow 🙂

Please vote for my essay. You can vote once a day through your Facebook account or simply register for a regular account on the website to vote with only your email. Thanks to everyone who has voted (194 times!) to make me #74 of 1498 entries!

If you would like to give me a gift, please make a donation to Doctors Without Borders.




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