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Getting Paris Right the First Time

We've asked journalist, podcaster, and Paris dweller Oliver Gee to share his advice on how to pull of the perfect first trip to Paris.Grant Lemons

Editor’s Note: Memories of a first trip to Paris never fade. The indelible experience of discovering one of the world’s most beautiful cities unfailingly leaves its mark. No matter what you do, once you’ve seen Paris it will never leave you. Having said that, there are ways to approach your first time to Paris that will assure you get the most out of the experience and guarantee a maximum of memories you’ll hold dear for years after your first steps on Paris’ cobblestone streets. We’ve asked journalist, podcaster, and Paris dweller Oliver Gee to share his advice on how to pull off the perfect first trip to Paris. Happy reading.

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Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | No Comments »

Stories of Love in Paris: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Romantic Paris: Celebrate Valentine's Day in the City of Love with Selections from

There’s no question that the city of Paris exudes and encourages love, in its many forms. This passion can manifest any time of year, but it’s certainly intensified around Valentine’s Day. This year, the theme of this varied amour is explored in many of the pieces in the new anthology, That’s Paris, a lovely collection of short stories. With an entertaining forward by Stephen Clarke of A Year in the Merde fame, the 24 fun, funny, and touching pieces of both fact and fiction are organized in sections ranging from, “What’s Love Got to Do with It” to “Becoming Parisian.” In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’re going to visit some of the city’s most romantically charged locations through a selection of the works from the book.

Romantic Paris: Celebrate Valentine's Day in the City of Love with Selections from

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Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Paris Summer Romance Giveaway: Je T’Aime, Me Neither by Lily Heise

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
HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

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.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

… 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.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

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.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

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. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 47 Comments »

Paris Fall Fashion Week: A Recap in Images

I returned to Paris just in time for the fashion madness last weekend, and here are some photos I took to document my passage… – Carin

Twice a year (or three if you count the haute couture shows) the stiletto clad fashion crowd invades the streets of Paris. During these weeks, Paris becomes even more glamorous and frenetic than usual. The streets are suddenly filled with photographers, super slim models, high-heeled fashionistas and plentiful dubious sartorial choices.

In-demand hotels and restaurants are fully booked, and first-time visitors may be left to wonder where all the regular people are hiding. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly run into Rachel Zoe on the street (which I managed to do twice) or bump shoulders with the lovely Garance Doré (which I also did a few times).

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The Best Places To People Watch in Paris

When the sun finally comes out in Paris, it’s time to move your déjeuner or coffee break outside. In this city, you don’t need to bring along a book, magazine or something else to entertain yourself – the busy streets and the people are plenty of material for distraction. But where are the best place to indulge in this simple, basic pleasure?

Le Deux Magots & Café de Flore
I don’t think of these two very famous cafés, as clichés (as I’m sure many other people do), I like to think of them as classics. Whether you think of them as clichés or not, no one can deny their amazing location and how fantastic they are for doing some serious people watching. Since both cafés are so famous, their clientele is always extremely diverse – you’ll see everything from tourists with their sun visor caps and maps at the ready, to women covered in designer clothes and expensive jewelry – and everything in between. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

March Events in Paris: Our Top Picks

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Paris in March, there are tons of things to do that don’t involve fashion week. Here is our list of not-to-miss events, foodie happenings, concerts, exhibits and general goings-on. -Geneviève

VuTheara Kham

La fête

March 10-11: Colette Carnival in the Tuilleries: Bon anniv’ to one of our favorite concept stores! Colette will be celebrating its 15th bday with a fab – and free – carnival in the Tuileries.

La bouffe

March 17-18: A Brunch Bazar weekend has to be the best one of the month. Two nine-hour days filled with little bits of the things we love: food, music, workshops and even a funhouse for the little ones.

March 11-13: After a long stint in Deauville, the Omnivore Food Festival heads to Paris. In case plentiful tastings from some of France’s greatest chefs isn’t enticing enough, the alcohol and tunes that are sure to be in abundance make this a must-do.

La musique

March 8: Phenomenal Handclap Band at Nouveau Casino:  PHB’s feel-good fusion tracks hit Paris and are not to be missed.  If some old-school soul meets disco is what you crave, get to Nouveau Casino on Thursday night.

March 11: Super Sunday with Patrice is a mixed-medium event inspired by music, dance, graffiti and gastronomy. Enjoy some indie artwork and a delicious menu by Nelson Muller before jamming out to Afro-German Reggae artist, Patrice. Take a peek at the menu here.

March 20-April 1: Les Femmes S’en Mêlent, a cross-Europe indie music festival celebrating female music-makers comes to Paris. Check out the lineup here.

Les arts

March 7-August 5: The magical Tim Burton Exhibition at Cinémathèque Française opens today. Following a wildly successful showing at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the fantastical works of Mr. Burton made it overseas. This show is a true pleasure and treat for the imagination of adults and children alike.

Through March 18: Experiencing the works of a creative mastermind is always a pleasure, isn’t it? The Jean-Paul Goude exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs is the designer/illustrator/photographer ‘s first retrospective, so it’s only appropriate that happening in Paris.

March 9-16: Louis Vuitton  – Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Décoratifs: Goude, Vuitton and Jacobs in the same location? That’s almost more genius than we can handle – but not quite. Once you’ve digested the former, be sure to check out the latter. The designers’ fabulous pieces are only on view for one week. In the mood for a teaser? Check out this video. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events | 3 Comments »

Paris Fashion Week: How to Dress the Part

Posing in the Tuileries in between shows, Paris Fashion Week 2012 (Boswell)

When early March hits, something in the air changes. Models come out of the woodwork and women in New York, London, Paris and elsewhere put a bit more effort into their attire. If you’re not in the fashion industry, it’s easy to be bewildered by the overnight switch from simple booties to stilettos. Fashion week is both daunting and exciting; add a locale like Paris to the mix and both sensations are heightened. Fear not, mes amis – dressing like a chic insider for Paris Fashion Week is possible.

Think of this week as an opportunity. March also (hopefully) marks the end of winter, a season when dreary days have the masses stuck in a style rut. Fashion choices are understandably made based on the practicality of pieces rather than how they actually look. After all, freezing temperatures make it near impossible to trade your puffy coat (the one that doubles as a sleeping bag) in for a cropped leather jacket, right?

Comings and goings in the Tuileries, Paris Fashion Week 2012 (Boswell)

Now that the weather’s turning around, ditch the bulk and grab your most daring pieces. Remember that quirky vintage hat you just had to have? Here’s your chance to wear it and not hear “mon dieu” whispered more times than you can count. Or those wonderfully whimsical printed tights that you feel just a little bit funny wearing around on any old day? Pull ‘em up. Parisians embrace Fashion Week, but that’s not to say you’ll get away with what you could in, say, New York. Here are a few guidelines to aid in your PFW sartorial adventures: Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Parisian Living, Shopping | 9 Comments »

August in Paris: The City’s Still Buzzing

August. An ideal time to be in Paris, as long as you don’t expect endless days of sunny hot weather or being able to work on the perfect tan. Yes, as the current season has shown, Parisian summer weather can be unpredictable! Being in Paris in August is still fabulous (and my favorite month of the year by far), as long as  you don’t need to:

•    Receive medical attention of any kind…
•    Get a haircut
•    Order furniture
•    Perform administrative tasks
•    Renovate your apartment or fix a small leak

Picnicing at La Villette before a movie

As of July 1, the French are either on vacation, planning vacation or dreaming of vacation. When August 1 rolls around, they are pretty much all truly en vacances (if not physically, at least mentally).  Nothing serious is possible in Paris before September and la rentrée. One must know this and plan accordingly.

You can forget about ordering the new couch you’ve been coveting anytime between July 1 and Sept 1. “Oh la la Madame… the factory where the couches are manufactured is closed until the end of August! Zut, alors the 6-8 week delay will bring you to at least mid- October before delivery can be made.”

You can try to get to the dentist to repair the filling that inconsiderately fell out over dinner. Another chorus of “Oh la la Madame, ze dentist is on vacation and will be back September 1.” Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Festival d’Automne: Art Abounds in Paris

The P&O Ferries UK blog has written up a wonderful account of this year’s Festival d’Automne, which is taking place from now until December 19.

resize_eve_photo1_rodrigobouche350Rodrigo Garcia – Versus – at the Theatre du Rond Point Nov 18-22

In Paris, when the leaves begin to fall as a sign of autumn’s arrival, actors, musicians and dancers alike come together to celebrate contemporary art. Rosie Khdir explores the delights of the Festival d’Automne.

Forty events in four months in over 150 venues in Paris, involving the original works of artists across the globe – this is what is expected of the Festival d’Automne.

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