August 25, 2015
Saint Sulpice is one of the poshest quartiers in Paris. With neighbors that include Catherine Deneuve and Scarlett Johansson, it is the regular haunt of celebrities, writers, and intellectuals, making it the cultural capital of the city. The area is named for the nearly 400-year-old church and its soaring bell towers, declaring both the geographical and social center of the arrondissement. A stately square spills from the church steps, lions guarding the central fountain. After school children come to play kick ball, practice tricycle, and engage in all the sports that are forbidden in the nearby Luxembourg Gardens. Gourmands from across the globe fill the green park benches, savoring delicacies from the area’s pâtisseries extraordinaires: Pierre Hermé and Gerard Mulot. In the winter, there is a free merry-go-round for young children on the square, while in the summer the Foire Saint Germain sets up stalls to celebrate poetry, math, ceramics, and antiques. And there are other festivals around crafts, volunteering, and jazz throughout the year.
The elegant Mairie, or city hall, dominates one corner of the square, providing a backdrop for neighborhood weddings, while the Café de la Mairie sprawls out from the opposite corner, creating one of the city’s most popular terraces for hours of people watching under dappling shadows of chestnut tree leaves.
August 4, 2015
August in Paris gets a bad rap amongst the visiting community. The city is dead, your favorite places are closed… but this norm is starting to change, with many more restaurants remaining open for parts of the month. And there’s no shortage of enticing events, proving August in Paris can be fabulous too (and hey, who doesn’t love a slightly less crowded city?)
So, about those restaurants keeping their doors open and “fermeture pour congés d’été” signs down. Paris by Mouth has graciously done the legwork for us and rounded up where to snag a table this month. Peek at this list before heading out for a weekday lunch or weekend apéro.
July 2, 2015
Paris is in the midst of one serious heat wave, but fortunately we have some amazing goings-on to take minds off the rising temperatures this month, all in addition to the city’s Bastille Day festivities on the 14th.
I was so saddened by recent news that two of my favorite Paris restaurants will be closing this summer. While impatiently awaiting to hear what Simone Tondo and James Henry’s next ventures will be, squeeze in one last visit to Roseval (closing July 31) and Bones (closing August 7).
April 20, 2015
Palais Galliera, Pierre Metivier
It’s true that even “seasoned” visitors to Paris (or residents!) could visit the Louvre and the Orsay Museum again and again, discovering something new each time.. and, it’s tempting. It’s a bit like going to your favorite restaurant instead of trying that new little bistro that just opened up around the corner, because you know the quality will be fabulous. But why not delve a little deeper and explore some of Paris’ lesser-known museums whose collections can be equally as interesting and enlightening?
Here are our top five lesser-known Paris museums that are worth at least one visit.
Musée de Cluny, Caroline et Louis Volant
April 3, 2015
Super Barquette Frenchie to Go, Mickaël Bandassak
If a springtime weekend out of the city is in order, we suggest heading north to Seine-Saint-Denis for Banlieues Bleues. The festival features a slew of jazz concerts, and given that this is the event’s 32nd year, they certainly know how to put together a fabulous lineup. Get your tickets soon, as the festival wraps on April 17.
Super Barquette, Luz Verde and The Beast, Mickaël Bandassak
March 18, 2015
Empress Eugenie’s Diadem
From the glittering Eiffel Tower to the lights dancing on the Seine, Paris is a city that shimmers, and not only on the outside. Considered by many to be the capital of fine jewelry, the city is a treasure trove for collectors and enthusiasts with its famed jewelry houses at Place Vendôme and historical pieces in museums across the city. However, it can also be an exclusive and secretive world. Graduate Gemologist and antique jewelry expert Alexis Vourvoulis is trying to lift the veil through her company Bijoux Society. On her website she blogs about up-and-coming jewelers and jewelry auctions and offers excursions to places like Place Vendôme, the Marché aux Puces, and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs.
Start of Opera tour; Marché aux Puces
March 6, 2015
Art and culture are such an integral part of French society that even in English we use the term chef d’oeuvre, and these are the words that swarmed through my thoughts as I visited the Fondation Louis Vuitton last month. Fashion not your thing? It is not the museum’s either. The Fondation was built by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault to celebrate contemporary art and French crafts, but for now, the most thrilling thing about the building is the building itself.
October 28, 2014
What happens when two fine arts graduates of the prestigious École du Louvre team up with a French wine expert? A cadre made in French heaven: a wine shop art gallery hybrid for enthusiasts who like their Sancerre with a side of up-and-coming art. Ici-même + Gallerie Graphem, located steps away from the manicured gardens of the Promenade Plantée, finds itself a home in this bohème corner of the 12th arrondissement.
Art directors Fabienne Lafaye and Claire Aimonier-Davat, who started their careers in fine art galleries throughout Paris, conceptualized the adjoining Gallerie Graphem. Through their experience in the art world, they have been able to cultivate relationships with artists from all over Europe who have been invited to display their work at exhibitions booked through 2015. During their residency, artists are invited to bond the two spaces with a light sketch trailing from the gallery into the wine shop.
September 21, 2014
Although the bright colors of Provence normally come to mind when thinking of the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, it was actually in Paris and nearby Auvers-sur-Oise that the passionate artist produced most of his work. As this year commemorates the 125th anniversary of his death, I’ve put together a stroll through the village using his own correspondence as a guide in his work, to pay homage to the artist and highlight the places that so fervently inspired him.
“Auvers is decidedly very beautiful. So much so that I think it’ll be more advantageous to work than not to work, despite all the bad luck that’s to be foreseen with paintings.” A poetic foreshadowing by Vincent near the beginning of his stay in Auvers; in the 70 days he spent in the hamlet, he produced over 70 paintings. It was his fellow artist and dear friend Cezanne who encouraged the Dutchman to spend some time in Auvers under the care of Doctor Paul Gachet. The doctor himself dabbled in art and, over the years, had become a patron and friend to many other Impressionists including Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley. For him, art was therapy.
August 20, 2014
In France, cinema is the 7th art, as important as painting or literature, and like museums or libraries, movie houses play a key role in local culture. Netflix has not yet come up the Seine, and according to the Office de Tourisme there are 84 theaters in Paris with well over 350 screens. Going to the movies is an important activity for Parisians who often spend their Monday mornings discussing the films they took in over the weekend. There are remarkable theaters across the city, but the movie houses below offer audiences more than just a film.
Le Louxor is an opulent 1920s architectural gem studded with Neo-Egyptian motifs and gilded mosaics. Recently renovated, the cinema screens modern blockbusters, but also houses an art gallery space and a stylish Art Deco bar with a view of Sacre Coeur. Once a month they feature the Université Populaire, a screening of a movie that has been chosen by a local celebrity who leads a discussion following the screening.