April 16, 2014
Acide Café & Blou
Montmartre, the Marais, Canal Saint-Martin; these are all well-known Parisian neighborhoods, their names immediately recognizable to any visitor. But Batignolles? That’s a local, well-kept secret.
This mostly-residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the 17th arrondissement is off of the standard beaten tourist track. There are no large monuments on visitor to-do lists, and beyond Place de Clichy, there are few names that the outsider will recognize. But that keeps it an out of the way gem, a place to explore when you’re craving a local dose of Paris.
Marché Biologique Batignolles & Parc Martin Luther King
The hub of Batignolles is Square des Batignolles, a quaint and well-maintained park that lies behind the church, Sainte-Marie des Batignolles. From here you can explore rue des Batignolles, full of a variety of small and independently owned stores. For the food lover there’s the epicerie Mary, which houses specialties from Corsica, including wines, honey, cheese, charcuterie and more.
April 14, 2014
My teenager is a junior in an international high school in Paris. Which means she has lots of exams for programs in the US, UK, Canada and France. Letters fly through the air in our home these days; SAT, DELE, BAC, and IGCSE all mean something in some country. Sound overwhelming?
It kind of is… But this is the official stuff, with rules and deadlines and plenty of assistance from guidance counselors. Unlike the challenges of raising a teen in a foreign country, for which there is no guidebook or standard testing procedure.
Some of the differences I’ve experienced raising a teen in a foreign country can be wonderful, like all the international travel these kids get to do. Recently my teen announced that she’d be in three countries in less than a week.
April 11, 2014
Williamsburg & Île Saint Louis (The All-Nite Images & Brandie)
Of all the things to do in Paris, taking a stroll on the Ile St. Louis on a sunny day and grabbing a cone of Bertillion ice cream is on just about everyone’s favorites list, whether they be a tourist, expat or long time Parisian. Personally, I’m a devout fan of their chocolate noir.
Île Saint Louis (Ana Luiza Oliveira)
The Ile St. Louis, smack dab in the center of Paris, is full of old Parisian families, award-winning butchers, and beautiful limestone buildings from the 1630s. It’s clean, peaceful, and just a bit removed from the whirr of Paris proper.
Williamsburg (Jo Morcom)
I like it even more than ever before because I somewhat miraculously found a flat here to rent last summer. Now that we are fully ensconced on the Ile as official residents, I’ve fallen in love with my little island in the way that almost everyone does with their own little corner of Paris.
April 9, 2014
From lazy fall mornings spent under a cozy comforter with a steaming café crème and a rich, buttery croissant within arm’s reach, to the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower at midnight — any moment of the day in Paris has the potential for extreme romance.
Around sunset, dramatic cotton candy clouds breeze through crystalline blue skies, the Seine tinted a warm amber as it ambles by, the gold statues of the Pont Alexandre III aglow. The beauty is so overwhelming it has inspired some of art’s greatest masterpieces and countless romantic proposals.
A lot of these proposals have been happening on the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian span that joins the Institut de France, where Cardinal Mazarine’s library has been serving the reading public since 1643, to Europe’s largest palace, the Louvre.
April 7, 2014
It has long been a generally accepted fact that French women don’t get fat. It is now also increasingly accepted that they don’t succumb to spots and wrinkles either.
A glance at the beauty pages of my favourite glossy magazines reveals a veritable fascination with the rules of French skincare. The consensus on what those rules are however is far from clear. There is the minimalist, soap-and-water camp embodied by Charlotte Gainsbourg, who swears by Embryolisse, a simple, French pharmacy classic.
Juliette Lévy (The founder of Oh My Cream !)
That icon of Parisian chic, Ines de la Fressange, espouses an even more minimalistic approach: to eradicate wrinkles, a smile will suffice! On the other side of the fence, we have the French facialist camp. They book their appointments with Parisian skincare gurus months in advance and apply complex sounding creams with scientific precision.
April 4, 2014
I’m what you might call a reluctant dog owner. I didn’t grow up in a house of happy canines; never longed for one of my own. I know, I know, a dog is Man’s Best Friend.
But all that face licking, barking and pesky fur on the furniture? Not to mention the shoes that would be mistaken for chew toys. It wasn’t for me. A dog would cramp my style, limit our freedom. And worse, he could get sick or injured and break everybody’s heart. No, I could enjoy other people’s dogs, just not my own.
April 2, 2014
Take a walk through Paris in the Spring and you’ll feel like you’re strolling through a never-ending garden. The once-bare trees lining the Seine are now filled with blossoming flowers.
The pink cherry blossoms and magnolias pop against the soft blue and grey hues of Parisian architecture. Red wine gives way to Rosé as terraces take up more and more sidewalk space, and café chairs line up on every street corner.
Picnic blankets are spread out in parks and amorous teenagers set up camp on benches throughout the city. Lovers stroll under the warm sun, children laugh and fountains gurgle. The magic of Spring is just beginning.
March 26, 2014
When my little sister lived in Paris in 2010, I remember her telling me running was not a popular pastime. She also told me it was hard to find a good workout class (the best she could find was a step aerobics style class circa the mid-90’s at a local gym). An avid runner, when I moved to Paris in January, I came fully expecting to be given disapproving glances when I ran through the city in my Lululemon running tights and Nikes.
My, how things have changed. When I’m out and about in Paris, I see people running everywhere. Parks like the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, a former quarry that has great hills for training, and the Tuileries are absolutely teeming with runners and groups doing circuits and sprint workouts on weekends. Over 33,000 people, a participation record, flooded the streets for the recent Paris Half Marathon.
The cause of this sudden shift? My Parisian friends tell me the running craze really gained in momentum over the last two or three years, thanks in part to companies like Nike and Lolë who are promoting the sport through organized running clubs.
March 24, 2014
Who says Paris is just for lovers? With world-class museums, jaw-dropping architecture and monuments galore, exploring the City of Light alone can be fun, freeing and fulfilling.
Maison F (Sylvano)
But the one thing that can still strike fear into the solo traveler heart is the phrase: “table for one.” The easiest way around this dilemma is to skip the table all together and head straight for the counter seating at one of these picks from some of the city’s latest hotspots.
For a leisurely lunch for one, check out Caillebotte, the latest from the team behind popular le Pantruche. Tucked away on a quiet corner in trendy SoPi, sit at the tiny counter to watch the busy kitchen turn out seasonal and fresh dishes like foam-topped skate, pumpkin soup with chestnut cream or tarragon ice cream desserts.
March 21, 2014
The glass pyramids of the Louvre, the manicured grounds of the Tuileries Garden, and of course, the remarkable iron puzzle that is the Eiffel Tower. When planning a trip to Paris, worldly known sights like these intoxicate you with euphoric expectations. But when you step off the plane, you find that they are simply window dressings framing an elaborate web of breathtaking details.
While a view of the Eiffel Tower guarantees excitement (and there are many), Paris is a city you must tour leisurely. The true beauty of Paris is in its details.
Whether you’re snacking on a world-class éclair, window-shopping on Boulevard Saint Germain, or merely sauntering about, there are countless opportunities to find little nuggets of beauty.
Romance is omnipresent. To many, the idea that every day is Valentine’s Day in Paris is a gross stereotype intended to lure travelers who have never walked the cobble stone streets. But I’m sorry; everything you’ve heard is true.