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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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Stoney Clove Bakery: American Comfort Food in Paris’ Montorgueil ‘Hood

Gaelle Marcel/Brook Lark

The long month of January is far behind us and, despite all our good intentions and resolutions, February lends itself to cravings for something sweet. In France, February is the unofficial crêpe month- kicked off by la Chandeleur which falls in early February and inspires the French to prepare sugary crêpes with family and friends for the weeks that follow.

Stoney Clove Bakery is an American owned “all-American bakery” in the 2nd arrondissement, tucked away in a quaint space on a side street away from the crowds of rue Montorgueil.Calum Lewis/Gaelle Marcel

It seems like there’s no use resisting the urge to indulge in sugar-coated nibbles in this cold and grey month, which ironically often feels like the longest of the year. Luckily Paris has several options for your sweet tooth and if you’re over French pancakes why not seek out some American treats?

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Fou de Pâtisserie: Sweet Treats from Éclair de Génie, Pierre Hermé & More

Fou de Patisserie: Paris' Top Concept Store for Pastries and Sweets

Next time your afternoon sugar craving hits, head straight to Fou de Pâtisserie in the center of Paris, where the city’s finest pâtissiers deliver their signature creations fresh daily.

Fou de Patisserie: Paris' Top Concept Store for Pastries and Sweets

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Paris Beneath a Veil of Rain

While today’s reprieve from the Paris rain of earlier this week is welcomed, the city has a mysterious way of looking equally as beautiful perched beneath a gray sky and the cover of drizzling rain. Wonderful photographer Rebecca Plotnick shares her stunning rainy Paris images today. Enjoy! -Erin

HiP Paris blog. Paris beneath a veil of rain. Three essentials for Parisian rainy days: a cute umbrella, proper footwear, and a cozy place to watch the rain fall over the rooftops.

“Paris is the most beautiful in the rain.” Woody Allen had it right in Midnight in Paris. Take a walk down rue Montorgueil near Les Halles or Rue Lepic in Montmartre and you can easily feel like you have stepped onto a movie set.

Cobblestone streets, flower shops bursting with colorful blooms, café chairs perfectly aligned, and beautiful dressed Parisians. Out of nowhere the clouds open up and it begins to rain. This is a regular occurrence in Paris, so I find it best to carry an umbrella no matter what the forecast has planned for the day.

Some prefer to sit back and relax, enjoying watching the rain fall while sipping a coffee or tea at the closest café. If you are lucky, you can find a terrace that covers you from the rain but still gives a front-row view of people walking, umbrellas agape. You can either stay inside and avoid the rain or embrace it, love it, and dance in it. The magic happens in Paris when the rain begins to fall.

HiP Paris blog. Paris beneath a veil of rain. Going to a museum is a great way to escape the rain, but bring your umbrella- you won't be the only one with this idea!

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The Best Places To People Watch in Paris

When the sun finally comes out in Paris, it’s time to move your déjeuner or coffee break outside. In this city, you don’t need to bring along a book, magazine or something else to entertain yourself – the busy streets and the people are plenty of material for distraction. But where are the best place to indulge in this simple, basic pleasure?

Le Deux Magots & Café de Flore
I don’t think of these two very famous cafés, as clichés (as I’m sure many other people do), I like to think of them as classics. Whether you think of them as clichés or not, no one can deny their amazing location and how fantastic they are for doing some serious people watching. Since both cafés are so famous, their clientele is always extremely diverse – you’ll see everything from tourists with their sun visor caps and maps at the ready, to women covered in designer clothes and expensive jewelry – and everything in between. Continue Reading »

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