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April Events in Paris: Foire de Paris, Paris Marathon, Rhum Fest, & More

An old French saying advises that those struck with spring fever exercise restraint and cover up and stay warm until the month of May- an act of willpower made easier by the fact that this month is full of fun indoor activities.Fabrizio Verrecchia

April arrives in Paris with scattered showers and springtime colors. While the city isn’t known for its flora and fauna, Parisians take pleasure in the arrival of cheery yellow daffodils sold on street corners and the signs of the season- from fresh asparagus and shy strawberries- showing up at market stands. The city’s public gardens come back to life in the springtime, with delicate pink cherry blossoms and other buds bringing color to the lingering grey sky.

An old French saying advises that those struck with spring fever exercise restraint and cover up and stay warm until the month of May- an act of willpower made easier by the fact that this month is full of fun indoor activities.Fabrizio Verrecchia

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Posted in Events | 2 Comments »

Following Vincent Van Gogh: The Artist in Auvers-sur-Oise

HiP Paris Blog, Van Gogh, Isabel Miller-Bottome, 10

Although the bright colors of Provence normally come to mind when thinking of the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, it was actually in Paris and nearby Auvers-sur-Oise that the passionate artist produced most of his work. As this year commemorates the 125th anniversary of his death, I’ve put together a stroll through the village using his own correspondence as a guide in his work, to pay homage to the artist and highlight the places that so fervently inspired him.

HiP Paris Blog, Van Gogh, Isabel Miller-Bottome, 16

“Auvers is decidedly very beautiful. So much so that I think it’ll be more advantageous to work than not to work, despite all the bad luck that’s to be foreseen with paintings.” A poetic foreshadowing by Vincent near the beginning of his stay in Auvers; in the 70 days he spent in the hamlet, he produced over 70 paintings. It was his fellow artist and dear friend Cezanne who encouraged the Dutchman to spend some time in Auvers under the care of Doctor Paul Gachet. The doctor himself dabbled in art and, over the years, had become a patron and friend to many other Impressionists including Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley. For him, art was therapy.

Montage HiP Paris Blog, Van Gogh, Isabel Miller-Bottome, 18

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Posted in Arts, Travel | 5 Comments »

The Four Best Bike Rides Spanning the Paris City Limits

HiP Paris Blog, Best Bike Rides, thausj, olivier jean

thausj; Olivier Jeannin

A bicycle provides the perfect tempo for exploring a city. You can get from point A to point B faster than you would walking, but it’s slow enough that you get to take in the scenery in a way that riding a bus or metro never allows.

HiP Paris Blog, Best Bike Rides, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Ile de la Cite 3Isabel Miller-Bottome

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Finding Inspiration in Paris: Exciting Alternatives to Paris’ Big Museums

At the Rodin Museum, Paris (Stephen Boisvert)

The other week, as the famed Musée D’Orsay was about to celebrate a grand re-opening after two years of renovation, museum workers went on strike. The strike ended fairly quickly, but for a few agonizing days disappointed Impressionistas were left wondering how to get their art fix in Paris.

Which brings up a good point. The Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre are not exclusive guardians of the greatest art ever, despite what your guide book tells you. Yeah, yeah, you want to see the Mona Lisa. But why not get out of the big musées and discover places you never knew you wanted to? I mean, you’re in Paris, for God’s sake. You can’t throw a pavé without hitting beautiful pieces of art. They’re not all in museums. They’re in gardens, on bridges, down hidden streets. Art is everywhere. Walk around and stumble upon it.

Sculpture by Dali (Amelia Wells)

Or if you’re looking for a little more structure, here are a few ideas:

Find Monet elsewhere in Paris. If you want to see what inspired all the lily pad umbrellas and tote bags, head over to the Orangerie in the Jardin des Tuileries, renovated a few years ago. The enormity of Monet’s paintings alone is stunning. And just on the edge of Paris, near the Bois de Boulogne is the Musée Marmottan Monet, which houses over 100 works by Monsieur Monet.

Rodin’s “Eve”  (Rachel So)

Ever heard of Rodin? There are more than 130 art museums in Paris. So don’t just pin your trip on the two BIG ones. I was never much of a fan of Picasso until I went to the Musée National Picasso. (Sorry, that one is closed for renovations until 2013). Instead, make it a priority to see museums like ones dedicated to Auguste Rodin or Salvador Dalí, depending on your tastes. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events | 8 Comments »

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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Heidi Swanson’s 10 Days in Paris

Food blogger, photographer, and world traveler Heidi Swanson reflects on 10 idyllic days in Paris. From the flea markets at Clignancourt to the gelato at Pozzetto to dinner at Le Verre Volé, she hit a number of our favorite spots.

Ten Days in Paris

Text and photos by Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks

It’s 5:45 in the morning, the sky is starting to glow ever so slightly near the horizon, and all is still and quiet outside. I’m sitting on my sofa wide awake. My body thinks it’s the middle of the day, and there is no way around it – I’m in for a couple more early mornings before I can shake this jet lag. So. I thought I’d make myself some tea, watch the sun come up, and take a bit of time to share my notes on Paris, before the details of this adventure start to slip my mind. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living, Travel | 2 Comments »

A walk in Paris in the sun

photobridge

After many years of living Paris the beauty of the city is often lost behind the cloudy grey weather and daily train-train*.  Often I find I must make a concerted effort to find the time to take advantage of this beautiful city.

Yesterday, a sunny day, I decided to steal a few hours in town. First stop: the Passerelle de Solferino, a small bridge across the Seine from Musee D’Orsay to the Tuilerie gardens, to admire the spectacular view up and down the river Seine. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 1 Comment »