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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 »

12 Paris Apps That Make Exploring the City of Light Easier

Best smartphone applications for exploring Paris

Whether you’re a visitor or a longtime resident of Paris, there are always new places to discover and explore. These days, few people carry guidebooks or maps with them, but chances are you do have a smartphone in your pocket. If that’s you, when it comes to navigating Paris and all that it has to offer, there are a few apps that make discovering this city just a little easier.

Best smartphone applications for exploring Paris

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October Events in Paris: Pitchfork Music Festival, Nuit Blanche, Garry Winogrand & More

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, FIAC 2013

FIAC

The much-anticipated Faust, the new club/bar/restaurant space beneath the Pont Alexandre III, opened last weekend and this Friday promises a solid event. Spanish Hip Hop/Soul duo Cookin’ Soul are playing a 90s-jam DJ set along with DJ James of NTM and MYMY. More information on the Facebook event page

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, Vincent Desjardins, NUIT BLANCHE 2013

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, COOKIN SOUL

Nuit Blanche, Vincent Desjardins/Cookin’ Soul

This Saturday Paris’ 13th annual Nuit Blanche event returns under the direction of José-Manuel Gonçalvès, Director at Centquatre. Beginning at 19h and continuing through the night, not-to-miss performances, installations, and shows will take place in various locations around the city. You can see a detailed map and list of events here. And even if you don’t partake in the Nuit Blanche festivities, you can relish in the unique luxury of late-night Paris metro service, with lines 4 and 14 running all night.

HiP Paris Blog, October Events, nafea, NUIT BLANCHE 2013

Nuit Blanche, nafea

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On Becoming Parisian: 10 Signs I Belong in the City of Light

HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, meg hourihanLa Seine, meg hourihan

Falling in love with romance-infused Paris – the grandiose Haussmannian architecture, the Marais’ winding streets, and the city’s bistro scene – is easy. But if you’re not born here, living in Paris is another story. It’s a whole other lifestyle, a mentality. And although it is hard not to love Paris for its compelling beauty alone, not everyone takes to Parisian life like a duck to water. While most will relish in its temptations, others will see its grayer side. The very visible problem of homelessness, the significantly different humor, the mentality…even the party chitchat is different. The grimy metro, overflowing museums, and the onslaught of hipsters all take some getting used to as well. Paris may not be very far away from London, my hometown, but when I moved here, everything seemed far removed from what I knew. The unashamed indulgence in pleasure, the variety and standard of the food, the slower pace of life, the abundance of cultural activities, and the city’s manageable size are features I had a hard time finding elsewhere.

HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, drburtoni
HiP Paris Blog, Becoming Parisian, Roseval, Didier Gauducheau PL9A3093Drburtoni/ Roseval, Didier Gauchucheau

And then one day, I woke up Parisian. In other words, living a dichotomy of loving and hating the city, yelling at people for inconsiderate behavior on public transport, eating out most days, and when the sun shines, running to the nearest grassy spot no matter how crowded are now commonplace. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 8 Comments »

Parisian Perspectives: A Stroll Through Paris In Black & White

Paris in Black & White, Bicycle, Michael Kandel

Paris is beautiful no matter how you view it, but through a monochrome lens, its true elegance and character become strikingly apparent.

Paris in Black & White, Eiffel Tower, Michael Kandel

Removing color from a place so rich in fashion, art and culture impresses a fresh perspective upon both the tourist and seasoned resident.

Paris in Black & White, Pain Vin Fromage, Michael Kandel

You see things differently, and find magnificence between shades of gray that you may have missed walking the colorized streets in person.

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Posted in Arts, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Visiting Paris: Finding Beauty In the Little Things

HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Mike Kandel

The glass pyramids of the Louvre, the manicured grounds of the Tuileries Garden, and of course, the remarkable iron puzzle that is the Eiffel Tower. When planning a trip to Paris, worldly known sights like these intoxicate you with euphoric expectations. But when you step off the plane, you find that they are simply window dressings framing an elaborate web of breathtaking details.

HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Mike Kandel 5

While a view of the Eiffel Tower guarantees excitement (and there are many), Paris is a city you must tour leisurely. The true beauty of Paris is in its details.

Whether you’re snacking on a world-class éclair, window-shopping on Boulevard Saint Germain, or merely sauntering about, there are countless opportunities to find little nuggets of beauty.

HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Mike Kandel 4

Romance is omnipresent. To many, the idea that every day is Valentine’s Day in Paris is a gross stereotype intended to lure travelers who have never walked the cobble stone streets. But I’m sorry; everything you’ve heard is true. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 9 Comments »

Sans Pantalon: No Pants Subway Ride In the Parisian Metro

Sans Pantalons, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Elise Marafioti 2

On Sunday, January 12 at 3pm, a curious group of Parisians gathered together in front of the Arc de Triomphe to coordinate their collective metro ride to Bastille.

Sans Pantalons, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Glenn Cloarec – VICE MAGAZINE

Glenn Cloarec – VICE MAGAZINE

While moving across the city en mass is a common occurrence in Paris, (the city streets are regularly paraded on in protest), it is rare that such large groups move together by metro. It is even rarer that they do so sans pantalon.

 

 Didier Gauducheau

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Totally Seine in Paris – Getting Around by Boat

As sunny days gain hold in Paris, an excellent, and somewhat secret, transportation alternative shines through. Linda Donahue, HiP Paris friend and founder of Parisien Salon, details a sun-and-scenery-filled metro substitute: Paris by boat!

View of the Seine - Erica BermanPhotos Erica Berman

A few years ago, during one of Paris’ notorious strikes, the metro and the buses were shut down for nearly a week. After a few days of going à pied, I realized I needed to figure out some alternative transportation to get across the city to the Marais. That’s when, after years of getting around Paris, I discovered the Batobus. It was a revelation.

Batobus Paris is a hop on, hop off shuttle service on the river, offering eight stops along both the left and right banks: Tour Eiffel, Musee d’Orsay, St-Germain-des-Pres, Notre Dame, Jardin des Plantes, Hôtel de Ville, Louvre and Champs-Elysees. You can buy a one-, two- or five-day pass that lets you get on and off the bus as many times during operating hours as you’d like. There are no guided commentaries offered, but it’s as good a way to sightsee as any other. Continue Reading »

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Guess I Didn’t Really Need That Shoe After All

One of our favorite Hip Paris bloggers, Tory Hoen, also has her own blog – A Moveable Beast – on which she chronicles her more bewildering encounters with French culture. Quirky, insightful and always hilarious, we’re happy to be able to share one of her memorable meetings with the French metro here.

Lost Shoe - Andre5Photo Courtesy of  ЕленАндреа

Now I’ve done it. This is probably a story I should bury in the “Secret Annals of an Awkward American in Paris.” But what fun is public humiliation if you can’t share it with your friends?

Yesterday was beautiful. When I woke up, there was literally a small French child singing “Frère Jacques” outside of my window. I quickly exited happy-daydream-mode when I stepped into the metro car and realized that something was not quite right. I looked down. Ah, yes. One of my shoes was missing, and I was standing in the middle of the train with one bare foot. Quite strange, really, because this foot had had a shoe on it not two seconds earlier… I was sure of it. I turned around just in time to see the little bastard slip into the gap between the platform and the train—plummeting to its death on the tracks below.

Metro - Pedrosimoes7Photo Courtesy of Pedrosimoes7

I didn’t need to gasp in horror because everyone around me on the train had already done so. So I just froze in a state of stupefied shock. Luckily, there was a go-getter next to me who pulled me back onto the platform and immediately started scheming about ways to get the shoe back. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »