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.
Mary, 52 rue des Batignolles. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Shopping | 3 Comments »
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. Continue Reading »
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April 11, 2014
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.
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.
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. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 11 Comments »
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. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »
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. Continue Reading »
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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.
Alas, my husband and two kids had other ideas. And so they began a doggie campaign. They promised to train him and take him on long walks. They’d feed him, bathe him, even pick up les crottes. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »
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.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »
March 31, 2014
Another new Parisian resto is borrowing a stateside favorite; The Grilled Cheese Factory has opened at 9 rue Jacques Coeur and is serving up their versions of the classic. They’ve got the standard grilled cheese on offer, of course, as well as some more experimental incarnations (pastrami, mac & cheese, smoked salmon…) Sure, a croque monsieur is delicious, but who doesn’t love a good old grilled cheese with a bowl of steaming tomato soup once in a while?
9 rue Jacques Cœur, 75004 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 77 10 67 83. Métro: Bastille.
Just a quick walk from The Grilled Cheese Factory, the Marais has another neighborhood newcomer: Boot Café. This latest addition to Paris’s burgeoning coffee scene is serving up Belleville Brûlerie coffee and Emperor Norton sweets, to stay (if you can get one of the few tables in the tiny shop) or to go.
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)6 26 41 10 66. Métro: Saint-Sébastien Froissart.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Events, Food | 1 Comment »
March 28, 2014
When it comes to what to drink in Paris, there will always be French wine. In the last few years, though, a few more exciting options have appeared. There are the specialty cocktail bars, offering a new twist on the classics; hot spots like Frenchie-to-Go, Glass and Dirty Dick now offer artisan beers, some of which are even brewed in Paris; and it seems there is a new coffee shop, with locally roasted beans, opening every week. Now there is also a healthy option to add to your drinking plans: cold-pressed juices.
What has become one of the top trends in New York City and Los Angeles has finally arrived in the City of Lights. Cold-press juicing differs from the average, fresh-pressed juice because an advanced press is used to extract the juice at a low temperature, therefore preserving all the vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes. If you’re going to drink your vegetables, cold-press is the purest way to do it.
While people come to Paris to break out of their health regimes and splurge on steak frites, stinky cheese, and pastries, there comes that moment when you just might need something light and fresh that’ll have a little less effect on your waistline. Luckily, there is now more than one place in Paris to partake in a mini-detox, and it’s also a great way to enjoy the organic, locally grown produce that France has to offer.
Here are a few spots where you can get a cold-pressed juice in Paris. All are 100% organic and 100% made in Paris by locals. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Green, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »
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. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »