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Dating in Paris: How to Hook a Frenchman

How to Date in Paris: What to wear, what to eat, and what to talk about with the Frenchman of your dreams

Katerina Athanasaki

Finding myself a single woman in Paris after 20 years of happily-ever-after came as something of a shock. Having lived decades as a Madame, I was suddenly a Mademoiselle. It took months of deep mourning before I awoke and realized that I was in Paris, it was springtime, and I was free to explore my fantasy of dating a Parisian. He’d lived in my dreams for ages, suave with an intellectual flair. He definitely wore glasses and a scarf, his unruly brown hair would be lightly greased back. Miraculously, he’d be 100% nicotine-free. He’d occasionally trip over uneven cobblestone as he geeked out, contemplating an important question regarding Nietzsche, Hegel, or Sartre.

How to Date in Paris: What to wear, what to eat, and what to talk about with the Frenchman of your dreams

PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE

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Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

Winter in Paris: Ice Skating Around the City of Light

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

Esti Alvarez

After a mild November, temperatures in Paris have dropped to respectable winter levels, thermostats hovering around 0° Celsius, bien sûr! Advent calendars have been cracked open and Paris is all dressed up for winter. After the lighting of the trees along the Champs-Elysées and the perfume of hot, spiced wine from the Christmas markets, everyone is putting on their party shoes (aka ice skates) to enjoy some pretty sensational ice skating rinks that have rolled in for the holidays, ensuring a White Christmas for anyone who seeks it.

Winter in France, Ice Skating at Hotel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in Paris

Simon Hooks

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Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »

Online Dating in Paris: Finding Mr. French Might Be Easier Than You Thought!

Online Dating in Paris

Damien Roué

After 20 years of happily ever after, my husband awoke one morning in our Paris apartment a changed man, a man in a midlife crisis. Family? Non, merci! He wanted to work endless hours, have a wife without children, hang with 30-year olds. We already had two kids and I was the other side of 40. In six weeks I went from that lady at dinner parties with an adoring husband whispering, “You are the most beautiful woman in the room” to single mom-dom.

Online Dating in Paris

François Digital

Which is how I found myself dating online in Paris. My friends in the US had warned me that online dating is a nightmare. Men want young girls, or mothers to help them with their kids, or just a one-night stand. One-night stands sounded pretty good to me; after two decades of marriage, I suspected it would do me good to play the field. So I checked out my online options.

Online Dating in Paris, Couple at Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Charles Talbot

Charles Talbot

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Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Halloween in Paris: Cemeteries, Catacombs, and Ghostly Itineraries in the City of Light

Montparnasse Cemetery graves, cachecacheMontparnasse Cemetery, cachecache

Temperatures are dropping as fast as the gold-stained leaves that crunch beneath our feet, filling the air with the fragrance of autumn. Sedate men selling warm chestnuts balance their shopping cart roasters at metro entrances. Fall has fallen on Paris and with Halloween just around the corner, it is the ideal season to explore the city’s darker side.

Pere Lachaise, CpaKmoi

Père Lachaise Cemetery, CpaKmoi

The Catacombs are a macabre storage depot 20 meters below street level; a maze of femurs, ribs, and skulls are arranged, stacked, and aligned, evoking an exhibition of Art Naïve. The aging bones of 15th century literary luminaries Rabelais and Jean de la Fontaine entwine with 18th century revolutionaries Robespierre and Danton, sitting among the remains of six million other Parisians, all of them originally buried in city cemeteries that were reclaimed as land for the living.

Catacombs, Rachel Alter

Catacombs, Rachel Alter

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The Parisian’s Paris: Discovering the 15ème Arrondissement

The best of the 15th arrondissement in Paris

Parc André Citroën

10% of all Parisians live in the 15th arrondissement, making it the most populous arrondissement in the city, with more citizens than the city of Bordeaux. They come because it’s easy, with spacious boulevards and lovely buildings. They stay because it is a vibrant neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of all the tourist sights, with great restaurants, excellent public transportation, and plenty of entertainment.

HiP Paris Blog, 15eme, Palmyre, LA CANTINE DU TROQUET 21

Montage HiP Paris Blog, 15eme, Palmyre, CANTINE DU TROQUET 45

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Posted in Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »

Back to School in France: Frantic Moms and Fading Tans

Hip Paris Blog, La Rentree, Emma Stencil 8

Emma Stencil

In North America, it’s “back to school.” That time of the year when classrooms fill up and families slip into familiar routines, or start new ones as the youngest step into kindergartens and the oldest fly the nest for college. In France, it’s la rentrée, and is not just about families and their children. Each September, almost the entire population faces their regular routines after a long holiday season.

Hip Paris Blog, La Rentree, Emma Stencil 11

Emma Stencil

Since many businesses close for the month of August and three-week holidays are taken for granted, September means Parisians are frantically mourning their fading tans as they get back into the swing of things. Stock that has been arriving slowly over the previous weeks has shop owners scrambling to get their newest collections out on the floor (eg. the Pablo boutiques just announced their collaboration with actress Clémence Poésy, who played Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter series and dabbles in fashion design on the side). Figs and wild mushrooms also begin to perfume the air at local markets, inspiring chefs to rewrite their menus to reflect on fall’s bounty. And, like Canada or the US, it is also back to school for the young ones. 

Hip Paris Blog, La Rentree, Isabel Miller-Bottome

 Isabel Miller-Bottome

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Posted in Parisian Living | 6 Comments »

Luxury Lingerie Shopping on Paris’ Left Bank

HiP Paris Blog, Lingerie, Carin Olsson_MG_3146

There is nothing more Parisienne than underwear that oozes sexy attitude with understated elegance, and there is nowhere better for a decadent splurge on intimate underthings than the area around the Carrefour de la Croix Rouge on the Rive Gauche. Over the last few years this magical little triangle of land has attracted some of the most seductive names in the lingerie industry, with a La Perla store that is set to open any day now.

HiP Paris Blog, Lingerie, Carin Olsson 3293, 3253

Sophie d’Annunzia on the rue du Cherche-Midi is what the French call a multimarque, carrying a little bit of everything from not-so-sexy girdles to sumptuous cashmere shawls, with a lot of lace in between. She carries every size for all ages in her timeless little boutique.

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Lights, Camera, Action! Five Unmissable Parisian Movie Houses

HiP Paris Blog, Movie Houses, Briag Courteaux, STUDIO 28-30

In France, cinema is the 7th art, as important as painting or literature, and like museums or libraries, movie houses play a key role in local culture. Netflix has not yet come up the Seine, and according to the Office de Tourisme there are 84 theaters in Paris with well over 350 screens. Going to the movies is an important activity for Parisians who often spend their Monday mornings discussing the films they took in over the weekend. There are remarkable theaters across the city, but the movie houses below offer audiences more than just a film.

HiP Paris Blog, Movie Houses, Briag Courteaux, rex 23, scope briag

Le Louxor

Le Louxor is an opulent 1920s architectural gem studded with Neo-Egyptian motifs and gilded mosaics. Recently renovated, the cinema screens modern blockbusters, but also houses an art gallery space and a stylish Art Deco bar with a view of Sacré-Coeur. Once a month they feature the Université Populaire, a screening of a movie that has been chosen by a local celebrity who leads a discussion following the screening.

HiP Paris Blog, Movie Houses, Briag Courteaux, luxor 31, 22

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Posted in Arts, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Exploring the Bois de Boulogne, an Oasis of Green on Paris’ West Side

HiP Paris Blog, Boulogne, Palmyre Roigt, Bagatelle 7,9Parc de Bagatelle

The good King Dagobert would hunt bear and wild boar through the forest that is now the 2000-acre Bois de Boulogne on the western edge of Paris. That was over 1000 years ago. Today the air is filled with laughter instead of hunting arrows, but the woods are still alive with adventure and excitement, thanks to Napoleon III who returned from exile in London full of ideas for English gardens in Paris. He commissioned his city planner, the Baron Haussmann, to create more green space near Paris’ rapidly expanding west end, insisting on a stream with lakes like his cherished Hyde Park.

HiP Paris Blog, Boulogne, Palmyre Roigt, Jardin d'Acclimatation-11Jardin d’Acclimitation

He insisted on the water elements to provide a bit of fresh air. Today they serve as an idyllic spot for a peaceful afternoon watching swans glide by, rowing boats, or dining at the remote, romantic Chalet des Iles, an island accessible only by boat.

HiP Paris Blog, Boulogne, Palmyre Roigt, Chalet des Iles-17HiP Paris Blog, Boulogne, Palmyre Roigt, Chalet des Iles-1Le Chalet des Iles

The Bois offers a range of dining options, from fast food at one of the numerous snack stands, to the two palaces of haute cuisine: the Michelin-starred La Grande Cascade and the Relais & Chateau Le Pré-Catelan. For people with more moderate tastes but also an appreciation for good food, there are additional options available at many of the attractions, as well as the quaintly rustic l’Auberge du Bonheur.

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Posted in Parisian Living, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Exploring the Hidden Gems of Paris’ Chic 16th Arrondissement

HiP Paris Blog, Palmyre Roigt, 16eme Arr, Cyril Lignac 3La Pâtisserie de Cyril Lignac

When Benjamin Franklin came to Paris as US ambassador, he moved into the charming village of Passy, where genteel manor homes filled the bucolic countryside in what is now the 16th arrondissement. The Passy neighborhood still has that easy village feel, shady streets leading the way for relaxed, affluent Parisians out running their daily errands. It is far from the tourist crowds, yet very much in the heart of the city, the Eiffel Tower never far from sight.

HiP Paris Blog, 16eme arr, Palmyre Roigt, Deux Stations 3HiP Paris Blog, 16eme Arr, Palmyre Roigt, Patisserie des Reves 1HiP Paris Blog, 16eme Arr, Palmyre Roigt, Tour Eiffel 3Les Deux Stations, La Pâtisserie des Reves, La Tour Eiffel

The 16th is known for its wide tree lined boulevards with bourgeois apartment buildings, the epitome of Baron Haussmann’s 19th century urban planning. This is an arrondissement made for leisurely strolls and easy access, full of excellent museums, remarkable food, and stupendous views with the extraordinary 2000-acre Bois de Boulogne park just steps away.

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »