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France’s Foot Fetish: The Cult of Repetto French Ballet Slippers

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When it comes to footwear, there is one word that sends fashionistas around the globe swooning: Repetto. The brand is a well-kept secret that Parisians have known about since the first pair was created in 1947, but (as usual) the rest of us are just catching on. Frankly, I’m not the type to squeal over a pair of shoes—or so I thought, until I had a Repetto-related epiphany that made me realize what all the fuss was about.

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The brand’s cult status dates back to the 1950s, when Rosa Repetto created an iconic ballet flat for sultry French actress Brigitte Bardot. In the 1970s, Serge Gainsbourg got on board, and the rest was history. Though the company still creates actual dance shoes, many of their styles have been co-opted by those who simply want to prance around the streets in them (myself included). Today, most self-respecting Parisiennes have at least one pair in their closets. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 8 Comments »

Dinner at Mama Shelter Lives Up to the Hype

After enduring the heaploads of buzz generated by Mama Shelter — Philip Starck’s uber-hip hotel — HiP Paris Correspondent Amy Thomas decided to stop by its new Alain Senderens restaurant to fill us in on the eagerly awaited French fare.

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I arrived at Mama Shelter well before any of my friends. Simply said, it’s a schlep out to its 20th arrondisement location and none of us expats, despite priding ourselves on being locals now, realized how long it would take to get there. But waiting was fine with me; it gave me an excuse to saddle up to the Island Bar—a giant square about two-thirds into the dining room—enjoy an aperitif, and watch the parade of fashion and design devotees go by.

By the time everyone showed up, I already knew I liked the place. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »

Faire la Bise: The Art of the Parisian Double Air Kiss

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I’ve been back in New York for three weeks and I still can’t stop. Whenever I spend time in Paris, I pick up a habit that is nearly impossible to kick. No, it’s not smoking; it’s worse… it’s the double air kiss (standard Euro protocol for both hello and goodbye).

This maneuver—which generally involves touching cheeks but kissing the air near the other person’s ear—is so ingrained in my muscle memory that it has become completely involuntary to me (much to the chagrin of my American friends). I try to catch myself, but it’s always a split second too late. It happens again and again: the unsuspecting American person I’m double-kissing stands there, utterly bewildered, as on-looking friends roll their eyes and say something along the lines of, “Oh, Tory thinks she’s sooooo Euro now.” Or worse, the other person sort of tries to go with it, and we do an awkward head-dodging thing, and then inadvertently end up making out. Ooops.

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I promise I am not trying to be Euro. In Paris, on fait la bise (we do the standard Parisian double-cheek kiss) every time we say hello and goodbye. If you’re entering or leaving a group, you have no choice but to go around to each person and kiss him or her individually. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 11 Comments »

Paris Souvenirs: What You Shouldn’t Leave France Without

Souvenirs from ParisImages courtesy of Marvin Shaouni, Cesarastudilo, Quinn.Anya

Just like any other major city, Paris has its fair share of kitschy souvenirs on offer. Indeed, the word souvenir itself is French. And I’ll be the first to admit that I still have the mini Eiffel tower that my best friend brought back for me years ago. In recent trips, however, I haven’t looked twice at the knickknacks on display all over the city. Instead, when the time comes for me to return home from Paris – as it did earlier this month – my suitcase is packed with a different species of souvenirs to enjoy back on American soil. And they basically all have to do with food.

Sel de GuerandeSel de Guérande – Fritish

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Shopping | 15 Comments »

What to Wear in Paris this Spring

Parisien Salon - Fashion Essentials for Spring

Text by Je Ne Sais Quoi for Parisien Salon

In Paris, the bitter temperatures are finally subsiding and the sun is trying to shine through the seemingly endless grayness.  That means one thing: spring is quickly approaching, and heavy down jackets and wool scarves will be replaced with flirty skirts and blouses. But there’s no need to be in Paris, or any other big city, for that matter, to work Spring 2010 trends into your wardrobe. Here’s what you can expect this season. Continue Reading »

Posted in Shopping | 3 Comments »

New Couture Café Makes You Sweat for Style

Sweat Shop - Fabrice Fortin

Text by Paris By Appointment Only; Photos by Fabrice Fortin.

Even though they live in the capital of couture, most Parisians can’t sew a stitch. Like most countries, France kicked home economics to the curb decades ago. Since hardly any one knows how to shorten a hem, fix a button, or take in a seam, you can find a retoucheur on practically every Parisian corner. But all that is about to change thanks to Sweat Shop, a new creative collective in the residential 10th whose mission is to teach Parisians how to make and customize their own clothes.

Sweat Shop - Fabrice Fortin

Continue Reading »

Posted in Shopping, Tours and Classes | No Comments »

Guess I Didn’t Really Need That Shoe After All

One of our favorite Hip Paris bloggers, Tory Hoen, also has her own blog – A Moveable Beast – on which she chronicles her more bewildering encounters with French culture. Quirky, insightful and always hilarious, we’re happy to be able to share one of her memorable meetings with the French metro here.

Lost Shoe - Andre5Photo Courtesy of  ЕленАндреа

Now I’ve done it. This is probably a story I should bury in the “Secret Annals of an Awkward American in Paris.” But what fun is public humiliation if you can’t share it with your friends?

Yesterday was beautiful. When I woke up, there was literally a small French child singing “Frère Jacques” outside of my window. I quickly exited happy-daydream-mode when I stepped into the metro car and realized that something was not quite right. I looked down. Ah, yes. One of my shoes was missing, and I was standing in the middle of the train with one bare foot. Quite strange, really, because this foot had had a shoe on it not two seconds earlier… I was sure of it. I turned around just in time to see the little bastard slip into the gap between the platform and the train—plummeting to its death on the tracks below.

Metro - Pedrosimoes7Photo Courtesy of Pedrosimoes7

I didn’t need to gasp in horror because everyone around me on the train had already done so. So I just froze in a state of stupefied shock. Luckily, there was a go-getter next to me who pulled me back onto the platform and immediately started scheming about ways to get the shoe back. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Haven in Paris, and You?

Eiffel TowerMaggie Battista

Paris in the spring is absolutely perfect.  The trees begin to bud, promising blooms and fruit in short order. The city becomes even more electric, abuzz with Parisians and tourists. The light becomes even more special.

You really shouldn’t miss Paris in the spring. And, honestly, if you become the newest member of the Haven in Paris team, you don’t have to. We’re looking for a special someone in North America to join our company, spend some time  in Paris this spring, and visit from time to time going forward as our next Customer Service Specialist. We have some high expectations for the role, but we’re sure the benefits – working from home in the US; trips to Paris, Provence and Italy; liaisons with authentic macarons; amazing food; visits with some of the most luxurious flats in Paris – will be worth all the hard work.

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Haven in Paris, a boutique luxury vacation rental agency (and creator of this very blog), is looking for a smart, self-motivated, and customer-oriented Customer Service Specialist to join our luxury apartment rental team, handling high-volume sales inquiries and ensuring the client rental experience is smooth and stress-free!

The successful candidate must be energetic, creative, and resourceful; and must enjoy working in a highly entrepreneurial, fluid, and sales-driven environment. The position requires sales, communication, and organization skills, as well as a gift for developing relationships online.

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Can you work full-time from your North American home and keep up with our fast-paced environment? Are you a native English speaker? Can you speak and read French well? Then, we encourage you to apply.

Check out the rest of our list of responsibilities and skills needed below. If you’re a perfect fit, just email your resume and cover letter to careers@haveninparis.com. We so look forward to meeting you! (Please note that while we’d love to respond to every applicant, we’ll only be able to respond to suitable candidates. Thank you for your understanding and patience.)

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Customer Service Specialist

Responsibilities:

  • Moderate and monitor sales inquiries submitted to the Haven in Paris site, with the goal of achieving full occupancy for our roster of luxury apartments.
  • Handle the response and booking process to customers’ inquiries in conjunction with our current team.
  • Answer questions and solve issues from property owners, service professionals, and our apartment rental clients.
  • Participate, as needed, in Haven in Paris’ social media outreach, which is a key sales acquisition tool.

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Skills needed:

  • Experience in e-mail communications in an online sales, customer service, or community department. Effective communication skills with customers, including excellent writing skills.
  • Ability to approach problematic situations with common sense and calm.
  • Ability to learn Internet-based tools quickly.
  • Excel skills very useful.
  • Fluent in reading and writing of French.
  • Schedule flexibility is key, as this position will require some evening and weekend hours.

Again, if you’re a perfect fit, just email your resume and cover letter to careers@haveninparis.com. We so look forward to meeting you!

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Written by Maggie Battista for the HiP Paris blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Vernissage: American Artist Ralph Brancaccio

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One of the many great things about living in Paris is the multitude of vernissages (art openings) that seem to happen constantly in galleries and alternative spaces around the city. They’re generally free and open to the public, and they provide a great opportunity to check out both emerging and established artists. And of course, mixing it up with other art-interested people over wine and hors d’oeuvres is always a good time.

Tonight’s vernissage of note is that of American artist Ralph Brancaccio, whose mixed-media installations address current events in order to provoke positive social change. The vernissage is sponsored by Sarah McDonald’s Incubator 5066, an organization that helps to support and expose the work of emerging artists. The event will take place from 6-10pm at Patrick Ahmed’s Medley hair salon in the Marais.

Event details: 21, rue Vielle du Temple, 4eme. 6pm-10pm. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 06 20 59 84 46. Expo goes until May 1, 2010.

For more information on Ralph Brancaccio, check out his site, and learn more about Sarah’s art “incubator” by clicking here.

Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in Arts, Events | 3 Comments »

March 20: Free Macarons in Paris

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Photos by Nichole Robertson

Macaron lovers rejoice. March 20 is the Jour du Macaron in Paris. This annual celebration, dreamed up five years ago by the famed pâtissier Pierre Hermé, finds pastry shops giving their meringue-y little delights away for free.

Jour de Macarons

Customers are encouraged to make a charitable donation on their way out the door. It’s a sweet idea in celebration of spring and in support of research to treat rare diseases.

The crowds will be large this Saturday at Pierre Hermé, with fans lining up to choose any three of his famous macarons. Tempting flavors for spring 2010 include white truffle with grilled hazelnut and foie gras with chocolate, along with traditional favorites like coffee, caramel, and three kinds of vanilla. But Hermé isn’t the only one sharing his cookies…

Jour de Macarons

> For a list of participating pâtisseries, continue reading at Budget Travel.

> For a report on last year’s celebration, check out Dorie Greenspan’s post here.

Catch more of Meg Zimbeck’s fabulous writeups here and here.

View more of Nichole Robertson’s stunning photos here.

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Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Posted in Food | 2 Comments »

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