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The Elegant Eighth: Affordable Food and Superb Culture in Paris’ Chic Business District

Elegant Eighth, Paris courtyard

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

For many Parisians, a people who don’t typically identify themselves with their jobs, the Eighth Arrondissement represents the office. True, it’s pretty with row after row of Haussmannian edifices and wide, tree-lined boulevards. But isn’t so much of Paris just that?

Elegant Eighth, Paris street view

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

Covering an area of 3.88 km² with a population a bit larger than 40K people, the Eighth is one of the wealthiest arrondissements in Paris. Second only to La Défense as home to multinational firms and banks, the Eighth also caters to tourism (Champs-Elysées), culture (Musée Jacquemart-André, Salle Gaveau/Pleyel, the Petit and Grand Palais), fashion (avenue Montaigne is home to all Haute Couture houses. period), churches (La Madeleine, St Augustin, and my own favorite, the little-visited royalist Chapelle Expiatoire), and luxury (George V, Plaza Athenée, the Bristol, Hôtel de Crillon).

Elegant Eighth, Paris flowers

8th arrondissement, Rebecca Plotnick

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Bryan’s Italian Love Affair With Napoli

Paris might be our one true love, but there is always room for summer flings. As the season of summer getaways winds down and our very own Erica Berman soaks up the pasta and capuccino in Genoa, Bryan Pirolli tells us about his (short-lived) love affair with another irresistible Italian city: Napoli. – Geneviève

Shades of Italian architecture

I did a very bad thing.  I left Paris to spend some time in Naples.  There are some jealousy issues there.

Since I moved to Paris, I have never spent as much time in another European city as I have in this Italian port town. After just a week of feeling and acting like a local, I knew I was in love with Neapolitan culture. People actually stop you in the street to help you, to recommend which souvenirs to buy, or which beach to visit. Literally, pull up a chair and join the street sitters – it is Mediterranean culture at its best.

Everyday life – Italy

On my last day, I feared returning home to my first love.  The piazzas, the sun that turns your skin a leisurely brown, the gesticulating yet welcoming Italians – how could I leave this? Paris all of a sudden seemed lacking in so many Italian essentials – and not just the perfectly ricotta-filled cannoli. What’s worse, I knew Paris would be able to smell my new Italian love affair all over my clothes.

A Genovese stoop

Thankfully, as I started walking through the City of Lights again after my week of Italian bliss, the familiarity of it all made me feel at home. All of the things I usually take for granted stood out a little more –the things that, as a visitor, I didn’t have with my Italian fling. Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Travel | 7 Comments »

Market Shopping: Marché des Enfants Rouges

Marché des Enfants RougesMeg Zimbeck

If you enjoy the Marais and are a history buff or a market troll, you must take the time to discover the oldest market in Paris : le Marché des Enfants Rouges.

First off, a little history to get everyone situated. Marguerite de Navarre, sister of King François the 1st and mother of King Henri the 4th (who was the one to end the religious wars that had been bloodying France), was a very well educated, politically engaged and charitable member of the royal family. In 1534 she had an orphanage constructed in what is now the Marais whose little pensioners were dressed in red as a symbol of their status. The orphanage was closed in the beginning of the 17th century and in 1615 was transformed into a market dubbed the Marché des Enfants Rouges (market of red children) to commemorate the charitable establishment that had occupied the site for almost a century.

Marché des Enfants RougesMeg Zimbeck

It remains a market today and has been on the list of national historical monuments since 1982. Today, neighborhood locals still congregate to shop for produce and fresh products, to have a coffee and to converse with other locals, old-timers and merchants. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Shopping | 12 Comments »

Private Shopping with Miki on the Rue St. Honoré

Melissa Ladd, author of blog Prete Moi Paris, recently stumbled upon every woman’s dream: a private shopping lounge, reserved just for you and your friends, stocked with all the gorgeous designer items you can imagine. Fantasy? Think again!

Miki All photos courtesy of Miki

I don’t ever want to shop in a store again. I don’t want to do the queue for the dressing rooms, I don’t want to deal with pushy people grabbing the last black silk blazer in my size from my ecstatic fingers, and I am done with finding the perfect item after hours of searching only to discover the collar smeared with lipstick. Enough! Terminé! Finito!

And although I also love the comfort of browsing from home, online shopping is not conducive to the immediate gratification we crave — I have sent jeans back to Yoox three times in a row before finding the perfect fit. Personal shoppers are fabulous, but it can be tough to part with their fees when that cash could be put towards actual clothes…

casa-3

What if I told you I know of a place that combines the best of these shopping worlds, brought to you by an Italian woman no less ?

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 2 Comments »