June 3, 2014
The Fort d’Aubervilliers, a former military fortication that was abandoned in the 70s, is opening to the public for a presentation of the work of more than 40 urban artists for the In Situ Art Festival. Pieces include the transformation of 15 trucks and 10 vans stationed within the fort, which is set to be demolished this fall; all the more reason to check out this festival, which is on view until July 14.
Festival Onze Bouge, 18 years and running, returns this year to Paris’s 11eme for “Eleven Movement” from May 31 – June 7. The festival features theater, music, dance, and street art performances around the arrondissement, and all free of charge. Take a peek at the schedule for more details.
From June 2 – 8 the Parc de la Villette plays host to Villette Sonique, this summer’s first major music festival. This year’s lineup brings a great variety of talents, from sets by Four Tet, Nils Frahm and Jagwar Ma. Not to mention Saturday and Sunday afternoons also promise free shows, which you should clearly not miss.
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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »
May 28, 2014
Aristide Boucicaut opened the world’s first department store in the 1850’s. Le Bon Marché was an instant and enduring success, changing shopping habits (and the neighborhood) forever.
The magnificent Hôtel Lutetia was built across the street to host out of town shoppers, and restaurants opened to feed them. Little has changed in the last 150 years and there are still a lot of great lunch options in the area, making it hard to choose just one!
Café Varenne – Although they all have similar menus, not all cafés are created equal and Café Varenne is a cut above the rest, using fresh, quality ingredients for simple, seasonal meals. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »
April 11, 2014
Of all the things to do in Paris, taking a stroll on the Ile St. Louis on a sunny day and grabbing a cone of Bertillion ice cream is on just about everyone’s favorites list, whether they be a tourist, expat or long time Parisian. Personally, I’m a devout fan of their chocolate noir.
The Ile St. Louis, smack dab in the center of Paris, is full of old Parisian families, award-winning butchers, and beautiful limestone buildings from the 1630s. It’s clean, peaceful, and just a bit removed from the whirr of Paris proper.
I like it even more than ever before because I somewhat miraculously found a flat here to rent last summer. Now that we are fully ensconced on the Ile as official residents, I’ve fallen in love with my little island in the way that almost everyone does with their own little corner of Paris. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 13 Comments »
June 25, 2013
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
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.
… 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.
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.
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 »
June 11, 2013
When we decided to move to Paris, I knew parenting here would be different. Not only would the moms (and les petits enfants) be better dressed, they’d enjoy luxuries not known to their American counterparts like guaranteed, paid maternity leave and high quality, state-subsidized childcare.
The impact of these family benefits cannot be overstated. And yet, I was still surprised to discover just how different parenting is here on issues big and small.
Some of the differences shocked me (and not in a good way). There’s an iron-fist disciplinary style that makes little ones quake in their parents’ presence and a culture of yelling that left me drop-jawed. The word “non” (shunned, albeit somewhat absurdly, by some American friends) is central to French parenting. Many smoke openly in front of kids and don’t shy away from spanking to discourage unwanted behavior. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »
February 28, 2013
Leisure is one of the most sacred components of a well-lived Parisian life, which is why we thought it absolutely necessary to revisit the best ways to spend a Sunday in Paris. You can find part I, Tory’s list of favorite Sunday pastimes, here. -Geneviève
One of the many great things about living in Paris is the French approach to relaxation. Around here, it’s serious business. Everyday events that would strike most of us as de rigeur — traffic jams, inhospitable weather, waiting one’s turn in line — can cause mini-attacks of le stress for Parisians, thereby necessitating extended periods of repose. And when the traditional, lengthy French vacation isn’t close at hand, a Sunday in the city can be the next best thing.
Since many shops and restaurants are closed (although this is changing), Sundays offer a great excuse to slow down and just relax. But if you’re feeling energetic, there are still many great ways to fill your day. Here are some of our Sunday favorites.
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Posted in Parisian Living | 10 Comments »
February 15, 2013
Whenever I return to Paris, it always takes me a few days to get settled and realize that I am actually here. A while ago, Tory wrote a post on how she knows she’s in Paris, which inspired me to think about the signs that tell me I’ve arrived.
Everyone has their own Paris; a few special haunts and pleasures that always make returning to Paris feel like a wonderful indulgence. I’ll bet most regular visitors have certain things they always do and see as soon as they hit the ground. I arrived here a few days ago and like clockwork, these seven habits kicked in.
Posted in Parisian Living | 17 Comments »
November 16, 2012
During my recent visit to the U.S., my sister told everyone that I live in Paris just to marvel at their reactions.
“Just stick a dagger in my heart, why don’t you,” came the response from a cosmetics salesman. “I’d give anything to live in Paris…” It garnered me bonus points in San Francisco’s chic boutiques and even scored us a table at an impossible-to-book restaurant. “My sister’s just in from Paris… hoping you might have something for us at eight?” Pas de problème.
Every expat who lives here knows the feeling. Why? Because Paris is the culmination of our romantic dreams, the city upon which we project our fantasies of a life well lived. We’re the lucky ones who’ve somehow pulled it off. But how?
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Posted in Parisian Living | 31 Comments »
October 8, 2012
When I moved back to New York from Paris, I began to notice a trend. When people learned that I had lived in Paris, their first question (once they’d finished gasping with joy) was almost always: “So, are you totally fluent in French?”.
At first, I thought it was a test. People wanted to know if I had really lived in Paris. Because if I’d really done it right, then I would, of course, be totally fluent. But as time has passed and the question has continually been posed, I think it’s less of a test for me than it is some kind of self-assessment measure for the asker. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »
September 24, 2012
The idea seemed too good to pass up. I’d exchange my Paris flat for a place in San Francisco for two weeks to visit family. Two whole weeks! Rent-and-hotel bill free! And we’d do it in August when no one really wants to be in Paris, anyway. I’d heard stories about fabulous swaps that didn’t end in identity or home accessories theft. With a little luck and a few well-lit interior pics, I was sure it could work for us, too. And so my search was on.
After several near-commitments that folded at the eleventh hour (“I had no idea airfare would be that expensive…” and “Off to Rome instead. Sorry!”), we swapped for a sweet little house just over the Golden Gate Bridge. It sounded perfect: Three-bedrooms with a view of Mt. Tamalpais complete with a private dock on a small saltwater lagoon. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 7 Comments »