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Love Locks on the Pont des Arts: Symbols of Love, or Tacky Vandalism?

Love Locks, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Pierre-Louis FERRER

Pierre-Louis FERRER

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.

Love Locks, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Eduard Díaz i Puig

Eduard Díaz i Puig

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.

Love Locks, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Derek Key

Derek Key

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 »

L’Amour Parisien: 10 Signs I Live With a Frenchman

Flickr, Damien [Phototrend.fr]Damien Roue

As a single Mom of two teens, this is not the first time I’ve lived with a man. With almost half a century of life and decades of dish with girlfriends on both sides of the Atlantic behind me, I have identified some undeniable signs that there is a Frenchman in my house.  He is not classically good looking, my Frenchman, but he has a magnetic attraction that pulls me in. I can’t quite describe it, and I’m not the only one — it’s why the French had to invent the expression je ne sais quoi. There are so many Frenchmen with that certain inexplicable charm that it has almost become a cliché, with quirky looking men like Serge Gainsbourg able to seduce gorgeous, intelligent ladies à la Jane Birkin. Living with a Frenchman is very much like marriage; for better and for worse.

Flickr, GeomangioFabiana

1/ Bathroom clutter. The French are addicted to their lotions and potions. There are currently about a dozen bottles leaving water rings on the shelves, and only two or three of those are mine. When I complain about the disorder and suggest we open one product at a time, Mr French is horrified, “But, I must choose how I smell in the morning. How can you ask me to wear a citrus scent on a day that must be sandalwood, or patchouli?”

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 37 Comments »

Finding Love in Paris: Snagging A Frenchman Is Easier Than You Think

Pecia!

Parisian women are so sexy and elegant. There’s no way an American girl could compete, right?

Wrong.

waynemah

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.

Carin Olsson

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 »

City of Love, Or City of Lonelyhearts? Every Relationship Has Two Sides

Making Magique

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.

Lost in Cheeseland

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.

fjludo

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 »

Where To Fall in Love: A Phase-by-Phase Relationship Map of Paris

Nicolas Blain

I fell in love in Paris—such a cliché, I know. But luckily, the person I fell in love with has no tolerance for Parisian clichés, so I know this is the real deal. Could we have fallen in love in, let’s say, Detroit? Yes, it just wouldn’t have been quite so awesome.

Here’s how it went down, in case you’d like to consult my love map as you chart your own course.

Aux Folies & Café Charlot (Akuppa; Winter d’Adulescent)

Nice To Meet You: We actually met twice—first at a house party, and then a year later at one of my most-frequented bars, La Perle (made famous by John Galliano’s rant). Our next meet-ups were at Aux Folies and then at Chez Jeanette. It’s no coincidence that these are still my preferred Parisian watering holes.

First Date: Ours was on-the-fly. After a long day of wandering around Parc Monceau and the Musée Camondo, we drifted over to Café Constant, and finished the night at La Mer à Boire. Not a bad way to spend a day.

Parc Monceau (Christophe Alary)

Romantic Getaway: Early on, we took an impromptu road trip to Normandy. When we mistakenly drove three hours in the wrong direction without caring one bit, we knew we were really in love. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

A Perfect Parisian Love Story: The Fairytale

Kasia Dietz is an American dreamer who fell in love with her Italian prince and moved to the city of light to be with him. She writes all about her travels and Parisian adventures on her blog, and sweetly offered to share her personal fairytale with us for our Valentine’s Day post. On this February 14, a holiday that seems especially significant to Parisians, Francophiles and Americans alike, we celebrate her love, your love and wish each of you a very happy Valentine’s Day. xoxo, Maggie

Hearts and love around Paris for Valentine’s Day (clockwise from top left, Paris in Pink, Elisa Dudkinova, Paris in Pink, Phil Moore)

The dream of every girl, particularly on Valentine’s Day, is to be swept away by a Prince Charming, into a setting of eternal sunsets and romantic interludes. Does such a fairytale really exist? Not exactly. But for everyone there does exist a unique love story. It’s simply a matter of time. And meeting the right Prince.

Needless to say, I never stopped believing in fairytales.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 11 Comments »

Surviving Valentine’s Day in Paris

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 »

Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »

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