March 17, 2011
I always know I’m in New York when, on Sunday, everything is buzzing and churning as if it were any other day of the week. Does no one in this city ever rest?! It makes me pine for Sundays in Paris, when the city retreats into its secret corners and everyone does their own thing.
But if you’re new to Paris or simply passing through, Sundays can often beg the question: now what do we do?
Never fear. Though the city’s pulse has slowed, its heart is still beating, and Sundays have their own unique array of activities to be uncovered. Here are a few of our favorite weekend activities.
1. Linger over brunch. Brunch has most definitely become “a thing” in Paris, and there’s no shame in passing your entire day partaking in the act. Check out some of our favorite spots here.
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Posted in Parisian Living | 14 Comments »
April 28, 2010
Paris by Appointment Only, one of our favorite blogs for insider Parisian tips, recently published an interview with Annie Venier, an American-born private pilates instructor in Paris. We know these gorgeous photos, courtesy of Nicholas Calcott, got us thinking about trading in our steak-frites for a little exercise! Readers: do you have any Paris zen fitness tips to share?
If you asked Parisians ten years ago what Pilates (pronounced “Pilottes”) was, they would have answered you with their habitual I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about-you-may-as-well-come-from-Mars shoulder shrug and dismissive lip fart.
But oh how the times have changed. Now, almost every sports club and well-being center is offering some kind of Pilates class, just like every grocery store these days has some kakamayme organic product line that they’re pushing. The point is that finding a fabulous, authentic, personalized Pilates studio in Paris can be as costly as it is exhausting. But now you can save your Euros and your breath because I have the Pilates pro for you!
Long, lean, strong and supple, American-raised, Paris-based Annie Venier is a walking and talking advertisement for Pilates. As well she should be, she’s been doing it now for close to fifteen years. Venier fell into the discipline quite literally by accident. After a running injury knocked her off her feet, she found herself in search of a deep, therapeutic strength-building alternative. She got hooked immediately, and before long quit her job to pursue a new career as a Pilates professional. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living, Tours and Classes | 2 Comments »
April 21, 2010
Still stranded in Paris? Step away from the ticketing hotline and treat yourself to a little trip to the steam baths. Guest blogger, writer and illustrator Badaude shares her favorite spots along with a little know-how on navigating the traditional hammam (North African steam baths). We can’t think of a better way to make the most of your bonus days in Paris!
It may be getting warmer, but some April days in Paris still start off pretty icy. But it’s not all bad. April is the last month I can indulge in my monthly treat at the only place you can get truly warm in the Paris winter – the hammam.
Paris has lots of hammams: traditional North African steam baths, not chi-chi hotel spas. They cost on average €45 per session including massage or exfoliation (gommage) and pastries — and who could fail to be attracted by this combination? There’s a hammam for every kind of Parisian, but how do you choose? I’m now a hammam veteran, but here’s what happened at my first visit to my favorite, the Hamman de La Grande Mosquée de Paris.
Illustration by Badaude – Click on the image to view larger version
I step off the street through a hidden doorway behind the main entrance and hand over the notes to the cashier at the till in exchange for a handful of colored paper raffle tickets and a mysterious squishy black plastic sachet. I knew this was savon noir. I’ve seen it for sale in big plastic tubs at the marché at the Place des Fêtes in Belleville. What I don’t quite know is what to do with it. Or when. A visit to the hammam might make you warmer, but they certainly don’t hand out an instruction booklet.
My outside eyes take time to adjust to the blue patterns of the Moroccan tiles. Looking up through the steamy light filtering down from the small, domed window in the ceiling, I’m suddenly in fairyland, a Dulac illustration from Sleeping Beauty. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 6 Comments »