October 9, 2013
Hot on the heals of the ethical department store, Merci, comes a chic newcomer: the much vaunted Centre Commercial at 2 rue de Marseille in Paris’ 10th arrondissement.
As a conscientious citizen of the world, I’m happy to join the chorus singing this new concept store the praise it deserves. The idea is simple: ecological and ethical fashion that supports small-scale artisan industry in countries all over the world.
Sébastien Kopp, the co-founder of the innovative eco-sneaker brand, Veja, is responsible for this latest foray into stylish, well-made, ecological fashion − and the carefully culled results presented in this light and airy emporium, are surprisingly chic.
October 3, 2013
Early fall has always been my favorite season in Paris. Residents return for “La Rentrée,” tanned and smiling (at least for now) after les grandes vacances and itching for some quality terrace time in their still seasonal summer looks.
Kids go back to school (hence the smiling parents), the weather is often lovely and the energy in the air is palpable. There’s always a lot happening – from restaurant openings to new exhibitions and film releases.
July 30, 2013
Beef bourguignon. Escargot. Bordeaux. Burgundy. France’s gastronomic culture stems from strong tradition. The French meal has even earned a place on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. And while there’s nothing like a great classic, sometimes you just want to shake things up.
Le Mary Céleste (Diane Yoon)
Fortunately, a formidable group of young food and drink folks have picked up on international culinary trends to create some new and vibrant options for Paris’ drinks and dining scene. The summer’s buzziest trend? Fresh fish with a South-American twist.
Just in time for Paris’ warmer summer months, these new hotspots are offering weather-appropriate fare like ceviche and lighter cocktails to go with the hot sunny days. Move over, tired old moules frites! There’s a new style of seafood in town and it’s being paired with some mighty fine drinks.
July 16, 2013
Dating in Paris is often a tricky business, particularly first dates. You’re so eager to make a good first impression – you need the perfect outfit, of course, but there’s also the pressure to pick a perfect location. You need a place that’s not too casual, lest it sneak into that ambiguous area known as “hanging out,” but you can’t go for a six-course tasting menu either. What if he turns out to be a dud and all you want to do is escape?
After much trial and error, I have come to love what I call “walking dates.” Start at a café for drinks or coffee, take a short stroll somewhere scenic, then – if it’s going well, of course – end at another establishment for a more substantial meal. There are built-in escape routes if it’s not going well, but if he turns out to be charming, there’s plenty of opportunity to get to know each other in several different settings.
July 9, 2013
“My food is 100% driven on being delicious.” That’s Chef Haan Palcu-Chang’s philosophy on cooking, and it’s clear from tasting the menu at Le Mary Celeste that this drive is bringing fresh new flavors to Paris that are hitting the spot for those who are looking for something a little different.
Le Mary Celeste, the nautically-themed bar and restaurant brought to you by the same folks as local taco-and-speakeasy favorite Candelaria and Pigalle gem Glass, sports a solid cocktail and beer menu, as one would expect.
What’s unexpected is the ever-changing menu of small plates coming from the kitchen, all of which have a slight Asian influence, often mixing in with what might be considered very traditional European dishes, such as a tartare de veau that’s dressed in a chili-mayonnaise and scattered with sesame seeds and scallions.
June 25, 2013
Lily Heise doesn’t date; she stumbles clumsily into romantic mischief. Her latest book, Je T’aime Me Neither, chronicles her sometimes absurdly funny, often racy, always entertaining amorous adventures in Paris. In honor of the book’s release, we’re giving away a copy to one lucky reader today. To mark the occasion, Lily has compiled a list of her favorite romantic activities in Paris — although we’re sure you don’t need too much help finding romance in the City of Love. For your chance to win, see instructions at the bottom of the post. -Geneviève
While Paris makes for a wonderful romantic backdrop any time of year, there is something particularly special about the summer months. Perhaps it’s the long days or the short skirts, the champagne or the strawberries — whatever the reason, there is definitely increased romance energy during l’été.
… Something I’ve found out first-hand over the years. Strolling along the Seine into the setting sun is enough to pull heartstrings at any time of the year, but here are my favorite tips for the perfect summer je t’aiming.
Le Pique-nique – but where?
Picnicking might just be tied with pétanque as the official summer sport of les parisiens, though I think it would definitely win out for the romantics. While there are many excellent places to lay your blanket, the city’s various waterways provide fitting spots for varying degrees of heartbeats.
New amoureux will cherish the semi-privacy found on the pelouse of the Square Vert Galant, located at the western tip of Ile de la Cité, or they can escape the crowds piled on Pont des Arts by heading to the Solferino bridge. Long time lovers might prefer to lounge and people-watch under a shady corner of the Canal Saint Martin. Lonely hearts will enjoy the lively atmosphere of overflowing groups along the Canal de l’Ourcq or just upstream from Notre Dame on the Quai de la Tournelle.
June 18, 2013
Before I moved to Paris, I was afraid of eating alone, at a table by myself, in public, for anyone to see. I have no idea why the idea was so terrifying, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who has ever felt that way.
It wasn’t until last year during a warm spring day in May that I found myself in this completely new and quite intimidating situation. But to get past your fears you have to face them, right? So that’s what I did. I sat down at Coutume Café and had brunch, all by myself. Sure, the first few minutes were a bit awkward. And no, it did not help that the two gentlemen at the table beside me giggled every time they looked my way. Do I have something on my face? Did the spinach get stuck between my teeth? Did I pronounce ‘jus de fruits’ completely wrong?
June 11, 2013
When we decided to move to Paris, I knew parenting here would be different. Not only would the moms (and les petits enfants) be better dressed, they’d enjoy luxuries not known to their American counterparts like guaranteed, paid maternity leave and high quality, state-subsidized childcare.
The impact of these family benefits cannot be overstated. And yet, I was still surprised to discover just how different parenting is here on issues big and small.
Some of the differences shocked me (and not in a good way). There’s an iron-fist disciplinary style that makes little ones quake in their parents’ presence and a culture of yelling that left me drop-jawed. The word “non” (shunned, albeit somewhat absurdly, by some American friends) is central to French parenting. Many smoke openly in front of kids and don’t shy away from spanking to discourage unwanted behavior.
May 30, 2013
By now, everyone’s heard of Verjus and its precipitous rise into the hearts of the food-obsessed expat community in Paris from its humble beginnings as the private supper club, Hidden Kitchen.
Having recently renovated the third floor of their triplex building into a private dining room for private parties of twelve to fourteen, and also having started a new lunch service, serving sandwiches to the ravenous masses, I wondered what was next for Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian, the team behind the venture. I sat down on a chilly Friday afternoon for a chat with Braden about their motivations in opening what Alex Lobrano called “the first real modern American restaurant in Paris.”
Braden and Laura landed in Paris, like many of us do, while taking a year abroad figuring out the next step in their careers. The intention was only to stay for a year or so. “So we’re here in Paris, and eating, and drinking, and traveling, but not meeting anybody. So we thought, let’s do a supper club once a month and just invite some people. And it worked exactly how we wanted it to work – we met tons and tons of expats, tons of bloggers, tons of cool people, and it was fun.”
May 21, 2013
Breaking up with someone you love is often a terrible experience. Breaking up with someone you love in what is supposed to be the City of Love can be a heart-wrenching emotional roller coaster.
Unfortunately, at the end of February, I found myself in this exact situation: ending a long-term relationship with a Parisian in Paris. At least by this point, Valentine’s Day had passed and I was no longer bombarded with images of happy couples in love, discounts on holiday-themed lingerie, and sickeningly sweet His & Her gift ideas on every street corner.
Nevertheless, the first few weeks were incredibly difficult. Not only did I have to deal with the usual post-break-up challenges common to any city — cancelling all the plans and trips we’d made for the following months, packing up his things in my apartment – but I also had to walk down the same Parisian streets that we had strolled through hand in hand, eat the foods he had introduced me to, and hear the romantic lilt of his language everywhere.
The worst part? Being French, he had one of those first names that 1/5 of the French male population seems to share. Included amongst the many other Arnauds in my life were (in no particular order): four people at work, two personal friends of mine, the guy at the Bastille Sunday market where I buy my vegetables, and the man at my favourite boulangerie!