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 | 12 Comments »
February 13, 2014
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!
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.
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.
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 »
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February 21, 2013
Parisian women are so sexy and elegant. There’s no way an American girl could compete, right?
There are, of course, as many ways to snag a Frenchman as there are French men, but in my humble experience and observation, there are elements a girl should keep in mind as she searches for her Prince Charmant.
First and foremost, be yourself. I know, I know, I sound like your mom. But she isn’t totally off base here. It’s important to remember that you have something all those elegant, well-heeled Parisiennes don’t: you’re American. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 18 Comments »
September 17, 2012
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.
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.
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 »
February 11, 2011
Charlie Almond met a French girl two years ago at his housewarming party back in the states. Now he’s living in Paris and trying to sort the rest out. Here he shares a couple tips to help the average Joe pull one on the Jean-Pierres…
Finding love with a French woman – make sure she’s smiling before you set off after her though (Dave Bloom)
I try to fight it, but I sometimes feel like having a Parisian girlfriend has turned me into a bit of a cliché. Really though, it’s not my fault. Parisian girls are cute. Something about the way the corners of their mouths curl up when they speak French drives me wild. It’s an inviting half-smile even if they’re talking about how much they hate Belgians. So when one fell into my lap, the chase was inevitable. Now that I’m here, what have I learned?
Parisian guys are the reason why I could get a Parisian girl. Sorry messieurs, but when you look like the pilot cast for a European Jersey Shore, you’re not going to bag a classy Parisian lady. Yes, your chest hair is nice and you can carry on a conversation about hair products, but that’s not enough. Parisiennes do not like competing with their men over who’s prettier, especially if that also means fighting for shelf space in the bathroom.
Romantic evenings in Paris often start with wine, end in a blur… (Dave Bloom)
What Americans bring to the table. Let’s face it: if you’re spending time abroad, you’re probably not too stereotypical. You’re adventurous, worldly, and probably just fashionable enough to please a discerning French eye (on your good days). To the benefit of our oft-stuffy counterparts and despite our prudish national reputation, Americans are also more open and jovial socially. What’s more? We’re funny, and we all know humor goes a long way in defeating the rich, successful, over-groomed square in hand-to-hand combat. Right? Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 19 Comments »
January 18, 2011
So in love, they don’t even need the sidewalk (Dutotime)
You know what I love about February in Paris? Well, for one thing, by some quirk of nature the sky that has been threatening to cave in on Paris for the past 4 months of winter suddenly breaks and Paris is blessed with a few almost-warm days of uninterrupted sunlight. All the left bank vampires come out of their lairs, café terraces once again fill up with sunglass-toting-espresso-drinking Parisians and for a small window of time we can almost imagine that one day it will be Spring again.
The second reason why I like Paris in February is that storefronts, restaurants and TV commercials remain remarkably red-heart free until, say, a week before the Big Day – which seems like a completely reasonable amount of time to either start fretting or preparing for the year’s Day of Love.
Paris: the capital of park-bench romances (Trevino)
This also means that you and I are free to either glide blissfully unaware past Valentine’s Day or design a holiday that actually means something, devoid of the pressure of a month’s worth of intense, color-and-sound coordinated marketing tactics — all leading up to one pretty intense day that once, in some lost galaxy far, far away, was intended to give us pause to reflect on how lucky we are to have love in our lives.
So. Far from my candy hearts and hallmark cards and overpriced roses and expensive restaurant reservations made 3 weeks ahead of time, I would like to propose an alternate holiday of sorts, made up of all the things I love most about Paris and, if I’m lucky (but this is not central to the plan), someone with whom to share these indulgences. Continue Reading »
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