December 21, 2016
Passage Jouffroy; Lily Heise
There’s something particularly special about Paris over the holidays. Of course there’s the sparkling street lights, the enticing window displays, the abundance of heavenly holiday treats, but it’s also something more than that. Spirits ride on this wave of joie and les parisiens can’t help but have a little extra joie de vivre. Here are three itineraries that will take you away from (most of) the crowds and allow you to take in that same joy, guilty pleasures, and offbeat sites that will make the holiday season in Paris truly shine.
Hip Shopping, Food and Culture in the Marais
Skip the mayhem of les grands magasins and do your holiday shopping as you take this creative meander through the Marais. Embark on your foray at the trendy concept store Merci, where you can pick up some of their carefully selected holiday ideas and perfect stocking stuffers like a candle version of their trademark red fiat bearing a roof-load of presents or a Christmas tree, thin garland thread, offbeat snow globes and an vast array of other cool gift ideas.
Merci Concept Store; Lily Heise
September 23, 2015
When Emily Dilling moved to France in 2005, she immediately started looking for ways to become involved in the French food movement. She was startled to discover that there was not as much out there as she had hoped. She was disturbed to see that the things France is known for, like eating in season and from the land, were becoming further and further displaced. There were fewer local producers at markets and good, quality bistrot food was seemingly becoming obsolete. To chronicle her discoveries of local produce, wine, cheese, coffee (to name a few), she launched a blog called Paris Paysanne. Emily wanted to prove that it was possible to live a local and sustainable lifestyle in an urban environment.
June 30, 2015
I have never been great in the kitchen. My family is filled with wonderful cooks and bakers, but it has always been clear that I did not inherit that gene. My father owned a restaurant and has always encouraged me to be an adventurous eater. My mother is well known for her cakes and decadent buttercream frosting. My brother collected TV infomercial kitchen appliances and loved experimenting with them. Does any one remember the Perfect Pancake Pan or the Fasta Pasta Microwave pasta cooker? Those were some of his favorites. Growing up, while they were concocting delicious meals in the kitchen, I was reading a book.
May 19, 2015
Quai de la Seine
Every Sunday the city of Paris inhales deeply, taking a short break to live life at a different rhythm as shops close and entire neighborhoods are labeled pedestrian zones. Museums and monuments become a refuge for art lovers and sight-seeing tourists, while many Parisians head for the greener pastures of local parks.
Hôtel du Nord; Le Comptoir Général
The 15th-century canals in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, Canal St-Martin and Canal de l’Ourcq, are great areas to slowly drift into the relaxing weekend beat. Start your day at the Marché de Joinville, where vendors announce prices for perfect picnic pickings. If the day has promised sunshine, rent an electric boat from Marin d’Eau Douce and head north, swans to port and cormorant starboard as you savor your market fare and take in the display of the local street art scene unfolding in this urban countryside.
March 23, 2015
We wrote in October with tips for navigating Paris’ Marché aux Puces St-Ouen, specifically where to find the best in oh-so-popular mid-century modern furniture. Why? Because with more than 1700 vendors spread out over 14 different markets hawking wares from 1960s lighting to vintage copper pots, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of a visit to this market, which is the largest in the world. But identifying what you’re seeking in advance and knowing how to find that item will make for a smooth day of treasure hunting.
March 20, 2015
Spring is blossoming in Paris as sprigs of green sneak into our grey city, bringing us back to life after months spent under winter skies. As an opening act to the Lily of the Valley vendors in May, bunches of daffodils are now being hawked on street corners, in front of cafés and bistros, and in flower shops across the city. The cheerful flowers are the first sign of the transition towards spring for Parisians, who can’t help but bring a bunch home to brighten up their cozy apartments.
March 11, 2015
Healthy, organic food is sweeping through Paris in the form of health food stores, juice bars, and vegetarian cafés, and not even boulangeries are immune to this food craze. The city’s top bakers are making baguettes and other loaves in biologique (organic) varieties in an effort to offer healthier products and protect the environment. Those who come to Paris hoping to forget about their diets and indulge in the city’s legendary baguettes and pastries should not be dismayed; the switch to organic flour doesn’t mean a sacrifice in taste.
Du Pain et Des Idées
February 9, 2015
I’m not sure any country takes chicken more seriously than France, where there are dozens of heritage breeds and where over 30 percent of the chickens consumed have been pasture-raised thanks to the Label Rouge program. This all ensures that whether your poulet rôti has been purchased straight off the spit at the market or at a Michelin-rated restaurant, the quality will likely be good. However, not all poulets rôtis in Paris are created equal.
Each Sunday morning at the Marché Bastille, follow your nose and the hordes of people to The Chicken Lady, a vendor known for her chicken crapaudine, or spatchcocked birds. The chickens have been marinated for several days in a variety of ingredients from citrus and ginger to honey and sesame, and then roasted until the skin is extra crispy. With a sticky, almost candy-like skin, these chickens are dangerously good (I dare you not to eat one in a single sitting). For added decadence get a side of the potatoes that soak up the roasting juices at the bottom of the rotisserie.
October 8, 2014
Hoards of travellers and locals alike flock to Paris’ flea markets in search of antique wares and one-of-a-kind finds, and rightfully so. The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is one of our favorite markets and this series will detail some of its top vendors. Today we look inside the best of Mid-century Modern. Enjoy! – Erin
The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is the largest flea market in the world, welcoming over five million visitors to its maze of stands and alleyways each year. And a maze it truly is—the sprawling complex houses over 1,700 vendors, from art dealers to artisans to purveyors of second-hand furniture.
Marché Paul Bert
So, you might ask, how do you find your way through this market, and where do you start? While there is value in going simply to get lost, this won’t work if your goal is to really sort the treasure from the trash. It should help that the Puces de Saint-Ouen is divided into 14 separate markets, some of which generally have better quality items than others. The Puces website has a description of each market here.
Marché Paul Bert
September 24, 2014
From the outside, it looks like any other Parisian covered market. Wander through its romantic 19th century pavilions, however, and you’re transported to a hidden jungle within the Gothic heart of Paris. The sounds of traffic and crowds of tourists coming across the Pont des Arts are slowly drowned out by a piercing crescendo of birds calling from their cages: red and neon green parrots, lavender and turquoise parakeets, tangerine canaries, cooing doves, miniature cockatoos, and more.
The Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux is one of the oldest markets in Paris. Located at the Place Louis-Lépine, it dates back to 1808, when Napoleon Bonaparte ruled as Emperor of France and implemented a number of upgrades to the city, including several different food markets, la Colonne Vendôme, l’Eglise de la Madeleine, and rue de Rivoli.