Archive for March, 2010


Chateau Day Trip

How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm After they’ve seen Paree? I’m afraid that old chestnut dating back to end of World War I is going to ring true for me in about 17 months. While we still have a good chunk of time left in our time in Paris, I already feel [...]

Sponsored Post: Online Mag for Francophiles

Have you seen the Francophilia Gazette? It’s an online magazine offering a fresh take on France and Frenchness: bite-sized morsels of news, trivia, history, arts, pop culture, food, fashion, language… It’s like a box of bonbons! You won’t know which one to try first. But watch out! The Francophilia Gazette is rated “French,” which means [...]

Cara Black’s Paris Mysteries

Cara Black released her 10th Aimée Leduc investigation, Murder in the Palais Royal, earlier this month. To coincide with this event I was recently able to grill her about the series and her Paris inspirations, and discovered how being a writer can be compared to being a private investigator. Q: A while ago I pondered the [...]

€14 Lunch on Ile de la Cité

Through a certain ironic piston, the American connection, we heard about a bistrot on the Ile de la Cité, a block from Notre Dame, 26 rue Chanoinesse, the Au Bougnat, a name which  means a coal-seller turned café-owner from the Aveyron, in south central France. Ironically, comparing then-and-now pictures of the Au Bougnat building in [...]

Working as a Film Extra

For the past five years I’ve been moonlighting as a film extra in Paris. The first time I responded to an ad I saw somewhere, perhaps the American Church, specifically looking for American extras for a vernissage scene of the film L’Un Reste, L’Autre Part (the logic being that Americans buy art, they wanted our voices in [...]

Hopscotch…or Ad?

When I saw this hopscotch (la marelle in French) at first, I thought some kids had drawn it on the sidewalk. But when I looked closer I realized that it was an advertisement! The usual earth/sky is replaced with Paris/Cannes and there is a web address on the side of it. I managed to decipher [...]

Night Run to Belgium

One of my favorite things about living here is that I can wake up one Friday morning, like last week, and say to myself, “I’m going to Belgium in 24 hours,” just because. In Wisconsin that phrase would substitute another country with some mundane task like… mowing… or milking cows. At best, I’d be going [...]

No French Word for “Hug”

I was horrified to learn in my first French course that there existed no word for “hug.”“But embrasser?” we naively asked. “Surely that must mean to embrace?” “No,” our kind teacher informed us, “embrasser means to kiss.” “So this,” we said, wrapping our arms around ourselves. “What do you call this?”Surely a simple demonstration would quickly [...]

Why the UMP Ate It

In France’s regional elections, Nicolas Sarkozy’s center right party UMP suffered major losses, in part because the President’s supporters abstained from voting at all.Why? The financial crisis and recession have hurt governing parties everywhere, but some of the blame clearly goes to President Sarkozy himself. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that have hurt his [...]

Faded History

These crumbling stone arches are virtually all that is left in Paris of the Palais de Tuileries, built by Catherine de Medici after the death of her husband French king Henri II in the mid 1500s. It was a royal residence for Louis XIV and Louis XV, and it’s where the Paris mob brought Louis [...]

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