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.
May 15, 2015
When I’m asked how I learned French quickly as an adult, I tend to slide the credit over to my move to Paris. However, the truth is, my first year in Paris was spent primarily speaking English with other expatriates I crossed paths with, or conversing with newly acquired French friends whose English majorly trumped my fledgling French.
While living in the city certainly expanded my vocabulary, truly improving my French took effort beyond embarrassing myself at parties and studying text books; I immersed myself into French pop culture by way of music.
I’ve compiled an edit of my favorite French songs that helped me make sense of this gorgeous language, and had me tapping my feet at the same time. I invite you to bop along with the selection, which I assure you will be a fabulous accoutrement to the burgeoning spring season.
May 12, 2015
Restaurant reviews on the Le Fooding website and in the printed guide essentially decide where food-loving Parisians eat during the year. Focusing on new talent and restaurant trends, the guide is descriptive, humorous, and well-informed.
Fooding 2015, a smartphone application available in English and French, allows users to search an immense database of restaurants, cafés, and hotels, and read insightful reviews from the website. Search by category (sushi, pizza, vegetarian, wine bar, etc.) or by average price. You can access a map to locate restaurants in your area or near a metro station, and bookmark your favorites.
An amusing features lets you shake your smartphone to discover a restaurant by chance, and the news section provides in-the-know tips on hotspots and restaurant openings.
May 1, 2015
Has all this talk about craft beer got you thinking about brewing your own? Maybe you already know your way around a malt sack, but home brewing is a little tricky in a tiny Paris studio, where the shower is also the kitchen. Whether you’re new to brewing (or even beer), or just looking for a comfortable place to test out new recipes, Paris now has a space for novice and experienced brewers alike: Brew Unique, the city’s first brew-on-premise location.
April 29, 2015
It was French President Charles de Gaulle who famously said, “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” That was in 1962. Today there are nearly 400 distinct cheeses in France, and discussing and eating them is a national pastime. Anyway you slice it, this is the land of fromage and it is a source of regional pride. Just like with wine, many varieties have their own AOC, or Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Roquefort only comes from Roquefort and it must adhere to strict regulations to earn the name. The types of cheese in France are as varied as the landscapes, and while it may seem like a love of pungent cheese is in the blood of the French, I believe it’s an acquired taste. Rather than going straight for the Brie on your next trip to Paris, push your palate by trying one of the following stinky cheeses and do as the French do: savor it after your meal, preferably with a digestif.
April 27, 2015
No soundtrack to Paris would be complete without at least one song by Édith Piaf, one of France’s greatest songstresses. From “Sous le ciel de Paris” to “La Vie en Rose,” her powerful voice penetrates hearts and souls. This year celebrates the centennial of the birth of “La Môme,” the ideal time to take a journey back to the roots of this immensely talented artist.
Before hitting the streets, a great place to gain insight into the life of the ubiquitous chanteuse is at the special temporary exhibition dedicated to her at the Bibliothèque nationale de France – Francois-Mitterrand. This vast retrospective, on view through August 23, includes hundreds of archival photos, letters, film clips, and music that tell the story of her life and career, shedding light onto her personality, trials, triumphs, and heartbreaks… which was not always la vie en rose.
April 22, 2015
Whether you’re a visitor or a longtime resident of Paris, there are always new places to discover and explore. These days, few people carry guidebooks or maps with them, but chances are you do have a smartphone in your pocket. If that’s you, when it comes to navigating Paris and all that it has to offer, there are a few apps that make discovering this city just a little easier.
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 27, 2015
Though you might not expect it, Paris – with its boulevards lined with grey Hausmann-style buildings and its meticulously cultivated and pruned city gardens – is home to over 150 independent community gardens. From transformed abandoned lots to reclaimed city property, these urban gardens of all sizes can be found throughout Paris, welcoming wildlife and creating biodiversity within the city.