Archive for November, 2009


Toasting a Marketing Ploy

Sometime in the postwar years, some commercial genius sitting behind a desk in Lyon came up with a brilliant plan. Take the gamay grapes harvested at the end of the summer, and rather than letting the wine mature according to the traditional methods, bottle it up and sell it quick. No, better than that, call […]

Fat: Come and Get It!

I think I’ve lived too long in France because when I saw this ad booklet from a supermarket chain, everything looked fine, nothing out of the ordinary. No French person would find anything unusual about it except my sweetie. He screams, “foire au gras! foire au gras!” Me looking at the ad, “et alors?” (So?) He […]

Steps to Nowhere

The other day I was feeling crowded. It felt like people were trying to congregate around me, elbow me and make me want to scream. It was, of course, nothing personal, but anyone who lives in an urban space can relate. I was near St. Michel (the worst of the worst if you ask me) and I […]

Those Skinny French

Mireille Guiliano’s best seller French Women Don’t Get Fat hit a raw (and plump) American nerve. Lucky French women! What’s their secret? Some insist that speaking French correctly is so hard that it burns extra calories. Others believe in the magic of red wine. And, of course, French women smoke, but it would be irresponsible to mention that, so better not. […]

Girls in Dream States

An exhibition of photographs by Tereza Vlckova, a young artist from Czechoslovakia is on view at Galerie Lefebvre. This is the first contemporary exhibition for this gallery, which specializes in French Art Deco. The furniture and paintings from the early 20th century have been cleared away for these colorful and engaging photographs. On view are a […]

Cheap & Cheerful Sushi

“You have to go,” said my very pregnant friend. “I’ve been twice in one week.” “For sushi?” I replied, with a skeptical eye directed down at her belly. I’d been hearing a lot about Rice & Fish in recent months, but it wasn’t until my pal admitted to putting her fetus in danger that I […]

Moonlight in Odessa

I just finished reading Moonlight in Odessa, the first novel by American-born Paris expat  Janet Skeslien Charles. Most Anglophone writers in Paris know Janet from the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore, where she has taught a writing workshop for several years. As one of her former students I was thrilled to hear about her published book. And like […]

Paris’s Fall Palette

Misty morning in the Bois de Boulogne Patterns on the water; these leaves in the basin of a fountain were swirling in a circle, almost hypnotically. Hydrangeas in the garden of the Musee de la Vie Romantique

The Week of Le Fooding

The Semaine du Fooding is almost upon us. Coinciding with the release of the new 2009 Guide du Fooding the week of culinary madness kicks off on the 30th of November. The theme is “Les Incorrects” : who wants to eat food that is politically correct when there’s horse carpaccio on offer? The Bureau de Fooding, the group behind the guide […]

The Port of Paris

The Seine is the lifeblood of Paris and the reason for the city’s existence, but we would be forgiven today for seeing it purely as a shiny mirror for the inhabitants of bourgeois apartments or a pleasure promenade for tourists. Five kilometers beyond the boundaries of Paris however is a liquid extension of the city […]

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