January 11, 2013
Is there anyone more radiant than a young Catherine Deneuve? The answer, my friends, is no. I confirmed this fact upon re-watching Belle de Jour, Luis Buñuel’s 1967 film in which Mme. Deneuve deftly juggles her housewifely duties with her day job (as a prostitute), all while looking like the classiest broad to have ever strolled/worked the streets of Paris.
In addition to the ridiculously awesome premise, this has got to be one of the most subtly stylish films of all time. There’s something about the integrity of Deneuve’s uniform—exquisitely tailored coats, simple shift dresses, polished pumps—that makes me pine for the days of visible sartorial effort, when putting yourself together meant you actually ended up looking like you cared—and that wasn’t a shameful thing. Continue Reading »
Posted in Fashion | 9 Comments »
November 9, 2012
In the town where I grew up, there was a small, mostly underwhelming children’s science museum. The best part of it by far was its taxidermy Bengal tiger, which was positioned—perhaps strategically—just around a sharp turn in a hallway.
If you turned the corner unaware, it would inevitably scare the bejeezus out of you. And even if you knew it was there (as I did), rounding that corner was still a heart-pounding, adrenal experience. What if the tiger is alive this time? Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 9 Comments »
November 5, 2012
Having grown up on CVS and Walgreens, the French pharmacy was a revelation to me. Anyone who has ever been lured by the glowing green cross knows that pharmacies in France shill more than medicine and bath staples. They’re cosmetic wonderlands that offer some of the most ingenious—not to mention luxurious—products around.
For a long time, a trip to France meant loading up on these goods and then painstakingly rationing them in between visits, but of late, they’ve begun to invade new markets. In New York, at least, you can now find brands like La Roche-Posay, Vichy, Klorane and Avène right in Duane Reade. Duane Reade! Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »
October 8, 2012
When I moved back to New York from Paris, I began to notice a trend. When people learned that I had lived in Paris, their first question (once they’d finished gasping with joy) was almost always: “So, are you totally fluent in French?”.
At first, I thought it was a test. People wanted to know if I had really lived in Paris. Because if I’d really done it right, then I would, of course, be totally fluent. But as time has passed and the question has continually been posed, I think it’s less of a test for me than it is some kind of self-assessment measure for the asker. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »
September 21, 2012
Fall is the absolute best season for style—agreed? During the summer, you’d rather just be naked, and come winter, you wish you could wear one of those sleeping-bag coats all day. Autumn provides a precious window in which you can strut your stuff while feeling cozy and comfortable. Here are some of our Paris-ready favorites from brands in France, the U.S. and the U.K. Happy hunting!
1. A.P.C. to the rescue yet again with fall sweater perfection. Continue Reading »
Posted in Fashion, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »
June 29, 2012
I’m so confused. When I first saw French designer Isabel Marant’s “sneakers”—which have a concealed 3-inch wedge heel built into them—I was mystified. It seemed like the worst of both worlds: you get the sloppy look of a sneaker and the discomfort of a high heel. Sweet combo!
Don’t get me wrong—I’m a fan of both sneakers and dangerously high heels, but doesn’t combining them cancel out the inherent value of each? It seems to me that there’s a distinct time for sneakers and for heels, but under what circumstances do you say, “Oh, my secret-heel sneakers will be just the thing!”? Continue Reading »
Posted in Fashion | 21 Comments »
June 20, 2012
With the longest day of the year quickly approaching, we are beyond ready to break out our summer duds. The weather isn’t exactly tropical here in Paris, but we’re all for a little wishful dressing. Here are 13 pieces we’d be psyched to wear this season—whether or not the sun decides to shine!
1. A.P.C. kicks up the basic white T-shirt with this slightly sassy open-necked version. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »
May 24, 2012
I’ve never been a particularly big fan of Monet’s paintings. Yes, they’re pretty—that much is undeniable. He certainly cornered the market on water lilies and haystacks. But I suppose I’ve developed a sense of indifference toward his work because it’s so ubiquitous. He’s one of the first artists I learned about (in a cursory 5th grade unit on art history) and whose work I learned to recognize with ease. But then suddenly it was everywhere: mouse pads, t-shirts, calendars, and the walls of countless dorm rooms I would encounter during my high school and college years. Before I knew it, I was Monet-ed out.
But once I moved to Paris, I kept hearing about Giverny, the quaint village where Monet famously made his home from 1883 until his death in 1926. It’s here that he cultivated the celebrated garden that many of his most famous works depict. Suddenly, unexpectedly, my long dormant interest in Monet was revitalized. Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Travel | 5 Comments »
May 22, 2012
Bone marrow, not on Tory’s list but, maybe it should be? (Roboppy)
I consider myself an adventurous eater, and from an early age, I had a French-leaning palate. As soon as I learned to chew solid foods, I began inhaling Roquefort, paté, and on occasion, entire sticks of butter. But despite my penchant for richness, there are certain French foods that still scare the living daylights out of me. In some cases, it’s the result of a past trauma, and in others, it’s just an instinct that whispers in my ear, “Run far and fast away from this food.” These are the items on my Do-Not-Eat list:
Boudin noir and mashed potatoes (Roboppy)
1. Boudin noir (a.k.a. blood sausage) is just that: a disturbingly purple sausage full of pork and pig’s blood. The name alone is enough to make any rational person run for the hills, but then of course, there’s the taste. Have you ever been on a car trip and passed through rural territory, only to have your air supply adulterated by the putrid smell of cow and pig manure? That’s pretty much what blood sausage tastes like, only more potent, because this time you’re not just smelling it, you’re eating it. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food | 41 Comments »
May 8, 2012
Last spring, every food-following Parisian had their sights set on one restaurant: Rino. After it opened in February 2010, chef Giovanni Passerini’s cozy, modern bistro quickly became the place for innovative, market-driven fare at reasonable prices. At the time, nearly every review was favorable (if not positively glowing); a year later, we stopped in again, for lunch this time, to see whether Rino has lived up to the hype.
The restaurant is tucked away on a fairly unsexy street in the 11th, and offers clean and unfussy décor, suggesting that here, the focus has always been on the food. As soon as we entered, we noticed a team of busy line chefs, chopping and arranging dishes in a small open kitchen.
In the tradition of Le Chateaubriand, Le Chapeau Melon, and Les Papilles, Rino offers a set menu (with little-to-no choice) that changes daily based on available ingredients and the whims of the chef. Luckily, Passerini’s impressive training (he previously worked at Arpège, Le Chateaubriand, and La Gazzetta)and innovative instincts mean that culinary missteps are rare—he has an innate sense for how to make seasonal produce shine in dishes that draw on tradition but play up surprises.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »