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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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Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »

Paris on Two Wheels: Our Tips for Navigating the City of Light by Bicycle

HiP Paris Blog, Biking in Paris, Anna BronesAnna Brones

You’re in Paris. The sun is out, a cool breeze is blowing, café terraces and park lawns are full of sunbathing Parisians. The city is waiting to be explored, and you got up early enough that the day seems endless. Today is the perfect day to ride a bicycle.

bikes paris 4Anna Brones

Riding a bike in Paris can in fact be glorious, but if you want to cycle in this city, get ready to do some work.

Montage 1Anna Brones

Despite all the romantic pictures you’ve seen of ladies in flowing skirts with flowers and baguettes in their quaint bike baskets, cycling in Paris isn’t always beautiful. It’s often fast, dirty and sometimes a bit harrowing. But it’s also rewarding. Because when the sunlight hits the buildings just right and you get into the flow of navigating a tight Parisian street on two wheels, life feels really good.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

City of Love, Or City of Lonelyhearts? Every Relationship Has Two Sides

Making Magique

Paris is for lovers. Unless you’re single. Like I was for the nearly two years I lived there. It was always a jab to my heart, like a deliberate and personally directed taunt, to see couples canoodling in dark café corners, pressed intimately together along the quais of the Seine, or just shopping at an outdoor market on a Sunday afternoon. Oh lovers, how very nice for you.

Lost in Cheeseland

Then a year after I left Paris, I returned. With a man. And indeed it was a different experience. But as happy and, oui, sometimes smug, as I felt during that week of amour, I also realized that the old adage is true: the grass is always greener.

fjludo

Every moment I basked in my City of Loooove romance was rudely followed by the memory of something I was missing from my solo days. It made me realize: no relationship is perfect. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 8 Comments »

Au Revoir Paris, Bonjour NYC: What I’ll Miss and What I’ll Embrace

Jenny and David enjoying l’heure bleue in An Education

Once you’re familiar with the sweet life in Paris, it’s no easy thing to leave. After all, when every day is filled with arresting beauty, when all five senses get worked over like nowhere else in the world, when you’ve mastered the art of lingering for hours at the dinner table, the lunch table, on the river bank, beside the canal… well, where do you go from here?

Lucky for me, the answer is New York. And as loath as I am to leave some things behind (I’m talking to you, pain au chocolat), I’m equally excited to get back to certain creature comforts.

A stroll along the Seine and a vintage Tabac sign (pkabz, slimjim)

What I’ll Miss

Boulangeries

More specifically, the smell of boulangeries; of butter getting baked into millions of flaky croissant layers in the morning and of baguettes being pulled fresh from the oven each night. Getting smacked in the face with those delicious aromas is almost better than eating the warm, yeasty treats. Almost.

Velibs

It’s like being part of a symphony, riding around Paris on a Velib. You weave around delivery trucks, buzz past monuments, zip across bridges, and coast beneath dancing trees; your heart and legs pumping, spirits soaring, and then, the finale: you park outside Ladurée on the Champs-Elysées and reward yourself with un petit gateau.

L’Heure Bleue

What is it about this “hour” in Paris? Walking in the quiet side streets or staring out the window in the evening is nothing short of magic. It just doesn’t exist as beautifully, or linger as teasingly, anywhere else in the world.

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Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 15 Comments »

New York or Paris: Une Bonne Question

Amy Thomas, the sweets queen behind the God I Love Paris blog and one of our very favorite contributors, can’t seem to decide whether she prefers Paris or New York. Hard life? But really, we can’t blame her… because  we can’t choose either. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

New York or Paris? (Kat . . .)

Quick: do you prefer hopping in a taxi or on a Velib? Would you rather wear Manolos or Repettos? Oversized sunglasses, or an oversized scarf?

These are difficult questions. Ones that I’ve personally been trying to answer for a year and a half as I’ve also tried cracking the bigger dilemma: Which is the better city in which to live? I know, cue the teeny-tiny pity violins. Whenever I lament feeling torn between New York and Paris, I get the “poor you” rolling of the eyes. But truly, it’s not easy choosing between the two best cities in the world. Let’s see you do it.

Beauty or Energy?

Notre Dame in Paris or Snow in Manhattan? (Karigee)

Paris is dazzling. All you need to do is watch a Godard film or see a Doisneau poster to know that. But to actually walk the streets—with the Plane trees and cobblestones; the rose-tinted street lamps, green bookstalls and golden limestone facades—well, the French know a little something about seduction, don’t they.

But in New York, you’re swept away by everything and everyone around you: pedestrians, taxis, buses, street vendors, blinking neon signs, little dogs, big dogs, and, oh the freaks everywhere! To walk the streets of New York is to know what it means to feel alive. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 34 Comments »

Paris by Vélib’

Paris by VélibPhoto Erica Berman

The nice thing about Paris is that it’s small for such a major city; a lot of things you might want to see and do are within walking distance of each other. The Louvre is not far from the Marais, from which you can stroll over to the Ile St-Louis & Ile de la Cité, which in turn are just next to St-Germain, and then perhaps you might want to keep going just a bit further – possibly to the Musée d’Orsay, followed by the Eiffel Tower? All of a sudden, though the distance between one destination and the next is relatively short, you’ve walked many kilometers. Of course, it’s always nice to stop for a break at a café… but when it’s time to move on, your feet may start to object. There is always the métro – but sometimes the route is not so convenient, or it’s such a nice day you simply would prefer to remain above ground.

This is where Vélib’ comes to the rescue. Continue Reading »

Posted in Green, Parisian Living | No Comments »