Archive for March, 2009


Calder at the Pompidou

From the roof of the Centre Pompidou you have stunning views over Paris. Especially last week, with the constantly changing weather, the views were spectacular. And of course the museum inside was wonderful as well. The Alexander Calder exhibition is very interesting. The dedication this man had for his ingenious pieces of art is inspiring. And for parents of [...]

When Limonade Was King

Limonade was imported to France by the Italians during the 17th century and the places that would sell it became known as “Limonadiers” and would also sell liquors. Towards the end of the 17th century coffee became more popular than limonade and soon awnings would show Café or Café-Limonade. This one, called le Café Brébant, [...]

Trash Talk

Yet another social marketing campaign was launched this month by the city of Paris in what seems like yet another valiant-but-likely-to-be-ineffective effort to get Parisians to literally clean up their act. The campaign seeks to instill in the city’s residents the notion that clean streets are a collective responsibility and that littering hurts the environment. [...]

Chignon Chic

  Like their wine, cheese, fashion and Johnny Hallyday, the French take their chignon very seriously. Before moving to France, I had assumed that a chignon was a fancy word for “bun”- the hair pulled back into a band, and then pinned under to make, well… a bun. It wasn’t until I started phoning hair salons in [...]

Picnic Fixins

Spring means picnics, and that means a search for the best sandwiches in town. I have found my new favorite place, Cosi, over on the left bank at 54 rue de Seine. This dig has become my new must-stop for a quick lunch or dinner, and reminds me a lot of some of my favorite hangouts [...]

Let's Talk Cash

On the radio station France Inter there was a segment on a new tendency amongst politicians to “parler cash.” I had to ask my husband (who is French), what that could possibly mean. Were they speaking about money? No, apparently this is the new slang for straight talk, plain speaking. This tendency will be welcomed with [...]

This Old Thing?

I’ll never forget the time I brought one of the editors of Allure magazine to a secondhand shop. She looked around at the clothing tightly packed on racks, sorted by color and garment category rather than by designer or trend. She was lost. “How do you…do this?” she asked. I was already halfway buried in [...]

Springtime Inside & Out

Ah, the sun is out, the daffodils are in bloom, and the gardens of Paris are finally recovering from the cold and soggy winter. Celebrate the season with a trip to one of the oldest gardens in Paris, the Jardin des Plantes, where the famous botanical illustrations (or vélins) of Pierre-Joseph Redouté are on exhibit in Le Cabinet d’Histoire. [...]

Bateau Mouche

Yes, I know, it’s a classic, but I know you like the bridges of Paris! This photo is interesting because of the “Bateau Mouche,” the flat boat you can see on the left passing under the bridge. You have to get on one of those if you come to Paris; it may be a little [...]

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