June 25, 2015
To pull from Dr. Seuss, “The time has come, the time is now, Marvin K Mooney, please go. Now!”
This fall, the “baby” of our family will be leaving the nest, flying to higher education in the United Kingdom, and the looming adjustment has once again underlined the cultural variety in our lives.
My American friends send me, “awws” with sad faced emoticons, declaring, “Now you’ll be empty nesters.” My Parisian friends raise their glasses in a toast, asking if I’ll now be joining Mr. French on all his business trips so we can enjoy long weekends across the globe.
June 19, 2015
Split only by the busy boulevard Voltaire, the rue de la Folie-Méricourt and rue Popincourt form a bridge between the Oberkampf and Voltaire neighborhoods of Paris. Starting at the southern end of rue Popincourt and rue de la Roquette, just steps away from the 11th arrondissement’s town hall, a neon horse head greets you as you approach Chez Aline. The horse head, along with the flashy yellow-tiled interior, is a throwback to the space’s former incarnation as an equine butcher’s shop. Chef Delphine Zampetti doesn’t specialize in controversial meat, but rather delicious lunch offerings, which do sometimes include surprising proteins. The octopus, salicorne, and cucumber salad is a particular favorite among locals as are the sandwiches, which are made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
June 15, 2015
Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop
It’s no longer hard to find good coffee in Paris. Lomi, Ten Belles, CREAM, Holybelly—the list of places to drink impeccable joe happily goes on. For those who have hit up all the traditional cafés, a growing selection of “concept” cafés offer novel spaces in which to savor a cup of java.
Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop
June 4, 2015
Paris is a city easily explored by foot, with seductive small streets and cobblestoned alleyways inspiring you to extend your stroll just a little longer. However, some of the most enchanting views of Paris can be seen from water level, and those who are looking to rest their weary feet will be rewarded by a fun way to explore the capital’s waterways and gardens. Luckily, there is a wide variety of options for those who are ready to take sail and see the city in a new way. Here are a few options for families, groups of friends, and adventurous travelers.
May 29, 2015
What must be this year’s most anticipated brasserie address in Paris finally opened its doors this April after a two-year refurbishment. While Brasserie Barbès has been criticized for being too expensive, contributing to making the unpolished Barbès neighborhood too “bobo,” and for having to queue for a table, the staff makes patrons feel welcome just as they are – whether they’re from this generation or the one before last, and whether they’re wearing scruffy trainers from their teenage years or have seemingly just stepped out of Vogue.
The brasserie sits on a street corner in the 18th arrondissement’s Barbès neighborhood, in the location of the former Vano discount shop and just across the street from the Louxor cinema, an Art Deco masterpiece. In fact, the new venue also comes with its own South Floridian Art Deco swing, echoed in its enormous bay windows, glitzy brass lighting fixtures, and flower-patterned carpets.
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.