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On y va? Allons-y?

Often on the way out the door you will hear the Frenchies saying  “on y va,” or “allons-y.” What exactly does this mean?

Quite Simply:

On y va? = Shall we go? (singular)
On y va! = Let’s go! (singular)

Allons-y! = Let’s go! (plural)

Allons-y? (plural)

Forum on On y  va?

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Parisian living – Cell phone free?


Photo Erica Berman

Written by Jen Holup

Technology can be, at the same time, a great aide and a great adversary to modern urban living.  Yet, rather than search for a generalized answer to this dense question, the most effective measure we can take is simply to ensure that we use technology critically and slowly in our everyday lives.

Since September, I have survived in the cosmopolitan city of Paris without a cell phone.  My initial reasons for eschewing the mobile were entirely economic.  On my previous trip to France three years ago, I estimate that I must have spent hundreds of Euros over a six-month period on prepaid mobile cards- it is difficult to acquire an affordable monthly plan for a short stay.  After passing my phone off to a fellow student (and warning him about the conscientious use of the prepaid cards), I began to consider the true worth of those six months of convenient pocket communication.  I asked myself what I had really used the cell phone for over that half year.  Rather than a tool to facilitate work, my cell phone existed solely for the convenience of text messaging and a few brief phone calls to arrange evening plans.  In this way, I realized that I felt I had needed my cell phone in order to stay in touch with my social network.  Each time I ventured to the kiosk with 50 Euros in my hand to buy myself 3 weeks more “what’s up?” textos, I must have been internally convincing myself that this purchase would ensure a continued connectedness to my friends.  But could I not have just as easily gotten by with a landline and the Internet?

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Markets in Paris – The Inside Scoop


Photo by Erica Berman

Parisian Market Shopping

Although supermarkets, big and small, abound in Paris, most natives make it a point to buy their fresh produce from the colorful, bustling Marchés that dot Parisian neighborhoods. Long considered the centers of city life, nothing beats the satisfaction of returning to your apartment with a cartful of fragrant produce and a head-full of neighborhood gossip. With that in mind, here are few tips for navigating the oft-intimidating foodie meccas…

•    It’s more than worth it to make it out early enough to snag the day’s freshest picks. Most produce markets open around 9 or 10, and you can bet the freshest fish will be gone by 11.

•    It’s a good idea to do a quick walk-through before you start purchasing in order to get familiar with the offerings. Most stands will appear indistinguishable – yards and yards of contiguous vegetable stands, for example – but each often has a loyal following for whatever it does best, so a little detective work can pay off.

•    Unless you have a particular meal in mind, feel free to ask the vendor what he recommends – you’ll find most are more than willing to chat and, if prompted, are happy to point you to the choicest picks. A little charm and you might even walk away with a couple extra shrimp!

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The Paris Blog

Extensive Blog on Paris and all that is going on in the city of Lights:

The Paris Blog

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Polly Vous Français

pollyvousblogpixA wonderful Blog on Paris and France by An American with a love of Paris:

Polly Vous Français

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La Recette du Jour

From classics like crêpes Suzette, tarte Tatin and ratatouille to more
modern dishes such as rocket mousselines, passion fruit verrines, and
pineapple carpaccio, La Recette du Jour celebrates French cuisine (with a
few traditional British dishes sneaking in to reveal the author’s
origin!). Most recipes are simple to do with the kitchen equipment you are
likely to find in a rented apartment or country cottage, and have been
tested using the stringent quality controls provided by French guests. So
you can take advantage of local produce to create your own home-cooked
French meals during your stay in France, and recreate dishes you’ve
enjoyed when you get back home.

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Let us know why it is BETTER to rent an apartment in Paris, or a Villa in Tuscany or Provence for your vacation!!!

_mg_7289Bonjour Vacation renters! This chat board has been put in place to allow fellow travelers to explain why  the apartment and villa rental experience is so much more enriching and wonderful than a boutique hotel or luxury hotel for your stay in the Paris, Provence, Tuscany and around the world. We at Haven in Paris are convinced it is the only way to travel. We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences and more! merci  from all of us at Haven in Paris.

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Feels Like Home in Paris Blog on Paris


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Chowhound is an Online blog with tons of info on restaurants and food in Paris (and the rest of the world).  You will also find recipes, videos and links to many other foodie blogs!

From the editors’ of Chowhound: “Welcome to the Chowhound community and its voracious devotion to hyperdeliciousness! Food-lovers worldwide gather here to swap expert tips about restaurants, foods, stores, and bars, as well as cooking, wine, beer, cookware, and more. To post, you’ll need to sign up (it’s free!) and create a simple profile. Dig in … and be prepared to get very, very hungry! ”

To get to the French Food Board:


Tips for Dining, Eating, and Food Shopping in France (including Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Marseilles)

OR just go to

and then click on France

Bon Appetit!

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Plein vs. Repu After a Nice French Meal


Photo & Text by Erica Berman

Words of wisdom after a nice French meal

At the end of a nice French meal (repas), when you are asked if you would like another serving, you may be inclined to say, “non merci, je suis plein.” This is the standard reply in English . . . “no thanks, I’m full.” N’est ce pas?  After this seemingly banal declaration you may notice the Frenchies looking at you just a bit askance. They will have reason. In French to say ‘plein’ in reference to your stomach, usually relates to pregnant, and an animal (for humans it is ‘je suis enceinte’). Thus, by thinking you are telling them you are full and finished eating, they may think you are providing them with way too much information! So, what DO you say to let the French know your tummy is happy and that you no longer need another helping of that wonderful tarte tatin?

The proper expression to express your satiation would be, “non merci, je suis repu.”  Not many of us Anglophones know this, and many make this easy error. Another simple phrase would be ‘non, merci j’en ai eu assez.” This works; “no thanks, I’ve had enough,” but it is lacking any sophistication whatsoever. The French will most likely be forgiving of the ‘plein’, and tolerant of the ‘assez’, but they will be downright tickled with the ‘repu’. Take it from one who knows!

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