Archive for November, 2009


Does Paris Nightlife Suck?

Parisians love to complain, and now a bona fide issue has grown out of moaning that the City of Light has lame nightlife. Never mind that the burlesque shows at Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse are world-famous, that jazz clubs like Caveau de la Huchette have been drawing jazz fans for six decades, and that [...]

Style: Going Native

I think everyone has that image of how Parisians dress — always just so, heels and lipstick for ladies, crisply ironed shirts for men. And while there are plenty of folks who dress to the nines, come rain or shine, it’s probably more accurate to say not that everyone’s dressed up but that no one’s [...]

Meeting Parisians Chez Eux

It is the eternal question of the tourist – how can I get to see the true heart of a place if I just drift through hotels, museums and restaurants? Few visitors to Paris ever get to see beyond the public face, but two sisters in the city have come up with an idea that [...]

The Final YSL Auction

The final auction of the property of Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé at Christie’s was the art market happening earlier this month.  In contrast to the overwhelming crowds that invaded the Grand Palais in February, the pre-sale viewing held at Christie’s Paris headquarters on Avenue Matignon attracted a steady but underwhelming flow [...]

Grokking the French Revolution

Louis XIV stands alone in a barren courtyard surrounded by evidence of renovation. A stark introduction to the Musée Carnavalet is fitting preparation for the special exhibition La Révolution Française, Trésors Cachés. This rarely shown collection of over 200 pieces follows the chronology of the French Revolution as presented in three acts: The Fall of the Monarchy; Republic Jacobine; [...]

Rebels Without a Cause

On his last day visiting Paris, a friend writes:             This week in champagne socialism: We fell in with a totally fun protest(!) today along rue aux Ours in the rain. Adrian and I were collared by an older lefty woman who  brought us into the issue with a passionate and [...]

Passage 53 is #1

I had low expectations for Passage 53. This newish restaurant inside the city’s oldest covered passageway has drawn very mixed reviews. A number of eaters who I trust have been disappointed here. Other palates had been pleased, but their measured compliments never moved me to pick up the phone. Then my boyfriend, who wanted to celebrate [...]

The Blue Hour

Have you ever noticed that, after you’ve lived in a place for a while, you cease to note its charms?  This is always a sad day for me — the day I realize that I haven’t looked up in a while, haven’t appreciated the beauty around me, haven’t taken pleasure in my surroundings.   It [...]

Bowled Over

Did you know that pottery and pastry making are creative soul-mates? I hadn’t either until I ventured into the wonderfully cluttered Left Bank atelier of French ceramicist Claire de Lavallée. Surrounded by wall-to-wall cupboards, cutting boards and rolling pins galore, de Lavallée has the baker thing going on big time. But instead of turning out [...]

A Thai Gem

Baan-Lek is a small Thai restaurant in the Marais near my apartment. The card says “Cuisine de Siam,” so one would think the food is authentic. Yes, it is and having eaten there a few times now, it has become one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Paris. We went on a Friday afternoon at [...]

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