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Paris in the Fall: A Few Of Our Favorite Things

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Autumn in Paris

Autumn has never really been my favorite season, mostly because I know what will come after it… That dreaded winter. But if the winter didn’t exist, autumn would probably be one of my favorite times of the year.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Autumn in Paris

The colors are absolutely beautiful, the fashion gets more interesting and the city becomes a little easier to handle without those millions of tourists and sweaty, steamy métro rides.

HiP Paris Blog, Carin Olsson, Autumn in Paris

So let’s try to ignore the fact that winter is approaching for a minute and enjoy the wonderful things about autumn in Paris while we can. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 11 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 »

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 »

Kid-Friendly Paris: Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Little Girl in Paris’ Luxembourg Gardens (Ktylerconk)

I’ve always thought of Paris as the ultimate adult playground. But Paris for the under-four-foot set? I wasn’t so sure.

That’s why discovering kid-friendly Paris (yes, it exists!) has been such a happy surprise. When the kids tire of museums and medieval churches (dubiously labeled “kid-friendly” by many a travel guide) put the Luxemburg Gardens on your family game plan. Even if much of the grass is interdit, there’s more than enough here to tire out your little travelers leaving papa et maman to enjoy an evening à deux.

Ktylerconk

Continue Reading »

Posted in Green, Parisian Living | 6 Comments »

The Perfect Parisian Picnic: Our Top Spots

Paris Picnic by the Seine Ile de La CitéMark Nunez

Picnic season is in full swing in Paris, and because nearly everything (eating included) is better when done outdoors, now is the time to take advantage of the city’s myriad picnic spots. While lunch in Paris is often a serious sit-down affair, summer loosens people up, and you’ll notice everyone from schoolchildren to businessmen grabbing a sandwich and a spot on the nearest bench to mellow out for a bit.

Summer Picnic in Paris: Ile St LouisMark Nunez

And while benches and sandwiches are great, pro picnickers prefer to take it to the next level. We want real grass to sit on (I’ll make exceptions for the right cobblestones), hours to waste, an assortment of delicious things to sample, and lots of friends to come and go as they please. Oh, and lots of wine.

Many of my more memorable afternoons and evenings in Paris seem to have involved those elements. They often began somewhat spontaneously, and then suddenly, five hours had passed and we’d discussed everything from the latest exhibit at the Pompidou to the rise of bionic cats (my friends are a little weird). But this is what picnics are for—musing, lounging, making sense, not making sense, and practicing the ever-important art of doing nothing.

Summer Picnic in Paris SeineMark Nunez

Here are a few spots where picnickers of all kinds can find their bliss. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

Lounge Here Now: Best Places to Loiter in Paris

from pont des artsView from Pont des Arts – Erica Berman

It seems somewhat unnecessary to write a post of this nature, given that any part of Paris could be considered an ideal place to loiter. A blind-folded novice could be dropped in any corner of this city and, after a few minutes of wandering, would have no trouble finding a scenic spot in which to spend a few hours. There are almost too many places to park oneself for a morning or afternoon (or, hey, a whole day), which is why I’ve come up with a list of a few standouts that I return to again and again.

Note: I’m assuming that the city’s big gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg, the Tuileries, Bois de Boulogne, and the Bois de Vincennes) are givens. You can’t go wrong at any of them, but as a semi-pro loiterer, I prefer to venture off the beaten path.

Chilled-out loiteringCanal St. Martin. Paris’ low-key canal stretches from Place de la République all the way towards the northern border of the city. People from all walks of life—hipsters, families, total weirdos—hang out along the Canal’s cobbled banks, picnicking and reveling until the wee hours of the night.

Canal St Martin EBBCanal St Martin – Erica Berman

Continue Reading »

Posted in Green, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Playtime in Paris: Kid-Friendly Activities for the Whole Family

Erica Berman - BonpointErica Berman- Bonpoint Boutique Paris rue de Tournon

There’s no doubt about it: Parisian kids have a good thing going on. They’re well-dressed, well-fed and, by virtue of being French, are destined for terminal coolness.

I used to spend afternoons at a little park in the 5th where the same group of schoolchildren always had their post-lunch play hour. In retrospect, I probably looked incredibly creepy as I sat there observing them, but I was totally mesmerized by the scene: their demeanor (distinctly Parisian, but innocently so), their adorable school clothes, their clear, deliberate French. I’m convinced that Paris—with all of its sensory pleasures—would be a fascinating place to grow up.

KtylerconkKtylerconk

But what about Paris for visiting kids? Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Spring in Paris: The Effect of Sunlight on Parisians

Bar in Sun1Photos Erica Berman

One of my favorite times of year in Paris is the transition between winter and spring. It’s that miraculous moment when the gray dampness lifts and the first rays of warm sunlight begin to creep their way along rooftops, through windows, over bridges. It’s still coat weather, but hope is in the air.

More importantly, it’s the moment when droves of Parisians emerge from indoors after months of hibernation. A few months from now, they will undoubtedly look healthy and bronzed and full of life; but for the moment, they are pale and wan (and still dressed in black) and seeking sunlight as if it were their lifeblood. I remember walking through the Jardin du Luxembourg on the first warm day last year and being convinced that the city was awash in a sea of vampires. I had never seen so many black leather-clad beings, their skin sparkling beneath the first rays of springtime sun.

guybeersun1

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Late Night Art: Paris’ Nuit Blanche 2009

nuitsblanchesparisiensalonparisiensalon.com

Grab an espresso and gear up for an endless evening of artistic exploration! This Saturday, October 3, Paris’ Nuit Blanche returns for its 8th year. This free annual event (which translates roughly to “sleepless night”) celebrates the importance of art as a central part of life in Paris and its diverse communities. This year’s fete has no explicit theme, but rather is dedicated to areas of the city “which you can explore through dream-like trails.” As night falls, thousands of art-lovers will wander the streets, exploring the boundaries between art and life, dream and reality… Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events | 2 Comments »

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