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Love Locks on the Pont des Arts: Symbols of Love, or Tacky Vandalism?

Love Locks, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Pierre-Louis FERRER

Pierre-Louis FERRER

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.

Love Locks, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Eduard Díaz i Puig

Eduard Díaz i Puig

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.

Love Locks, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Derek Key

Derek Key

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. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »

L’Amour Parisien: 10 Signs I Live With a Frenchman

Flickr, Damien [Phototrend.fr]Damien Roue

As a single Mom of two teens, this is not the first time I’ve lived with a man. With almost half a century of life and decades of dish with girlfriends on both sides of the Atlantic behind me, I have identified some undeniable signs that there is a Frenchman in my house.  He is not classically good looking, my Frenchman, but he has a magnetic attraction that pulls me in. I can’t quite describe it, and I’m not the only one — it’s why the French had to invent the expression je ne sais quoi. There are so many Frenchmen with that certain inexplicable charm that it has almost become a cliché, with quirky looking men like Serge Gainsbourg able to seduce gorgeous, intelligent ladies à la Jane Birkin. Living with a Frenchman is very much like marriage; for better and for worse.

Flickr, GeomangioFabiana

1/ Bathroom clutter. The French are addicted to their lotions and potions. There are currently about a dozen bottles leaving water rings on the shelves, and only two or three of those are mine. When I complain about the disorder and suggest we open one product at a time, Mr French is horrified, “But, I must choose how I smell in the morning. How can you ask me to wear a citrus scent on a day that must be sandalwood, or patchouli?”

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 37 Comments »

Be My Parisian Valentine: Three Romantic Itineraries in the City of Light

HiP Paris Lily Heise Valentine's Day - Flickr-Pocketrockets georgemoga Pocketrockets; Georgemoga

Be My Perfect Valentine

Paris is definitely one of the most romantic cities in the world. But with so much to do in the City of Love, it can be hard to choose how to celebrate the ultimate day of amour: Valentine’s Day. Here are some thematic original ideas to inspire your plans for February 14th, or any special Paris date night!

HiP Paris Lily Heise Valentine's Day Flickr, philippe leroyer 4Philippe Leroyer

1920s Glamour

Start your night by slipping on your flapper-girl dress and slinking to the new Club Rayé piano bar (26 rue Dussoubs, 75002). Opened in December in a former 13th century nunnery, owner (and New Yorker) Kein Cross applied his interior design experience to create a one of a kind venue. Black and white stripes (rayé in French) are ever-present in the décor, from the comfy lounge chairs to the custom-made rayé accessories. Ideal for a before-or-after-dinner drink, sit back and enjoy the live piano music, inventive champagne cocktails and savory arancini balls.

HiP Paris Lily Heise Valentine's Day Le Boeuf Sur le ToitLe Boeuf Sur le Toit

Your evening should continue in kind, so make your way to the majestic art deco restaurant Le Boeuf sur le Toit (34 rue du Colisée, 75008). First opened at a different location in 1921, it became the after-hours hotspot of the Jazz era attracting the likes of Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie and Coco Chanel. While this incarnation dates from 1941, it impeccably embodies Les Années Folles.

HiP Paris Lily Heise Valentine's Day Tres HonoreLe Tres Honore

Craving one more drink? Cozy in at Le Très Honoré (35 place du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001) with its 1920s Boudoir style bar, plush sofas and seductively named cocktails such as “Bisou Bisou,” it’s the perfect late night lovers’ retreat. Read more about it here by fellow HiP Paris contributor and cocktail expert Forest Collins. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

City of Love, Or City of Lonelyhearts? Every Relationship Has Two Sides

Making Magique

Paris is for lovers. Unless you’re single. Like I was for the nearly two years I lived there. It was always a jab to my heart, like a deliberate and personally directed taunt, to see couples canoodling in dark café corners, pressed intimately together along the quais of the Seine, or just shopping at an outdoor market on a Sunday afternoon. Oh lovers, how very nice for you.

Lost in Cheeseland

Then a year after I left Paris, I returned. With a man. And indeed it was a different experience. But as happy and, oui, sometimes smug, as I felt during that week of amour, I also realized that the old adage is true: the grass is always greener.

fjludo

Every moment I basked in my City of Loooove romance was rudely followed by the memory of something I was missing from my solo days. It made me realize: no relationship is perfect. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 8 Comments »

Romantic Paris: Valentine’s Day in the City of Love

Valentine-2Photos: fineartamerica.com, littlebrownpen.blogspot.com, www.azurs.net

Paris has long been known as the City of Love, and with good reason. It is a place full of beauty, from the winding Seine river reflecting the city lights to the Sacre Coeur Cathedral perched upon the hill and the iconic Eiffel Tower that distinguishes its famous skyline. Even the classic rooftops inspire a feeling of romance among visitors and inhabitants alike. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite romantic spots and things to do in Paris. Whether you are a foodie, movie buff, hopeless wanderer, or just someone who enjoys spending a relaxing night at home, Paris has something to offer. And this year, with Valentine’s Day falling on a 3-day weekend in the US and fantastic last minute deals on Paris apartments, you just might be able to hop over for a spontaneous romantic getaway! Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

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