Archive for November, 2010


Is French Culture Dying?

Within days of Time magazine’s publication of Don Morrison’s article on the decline of France as an international cultural power, French media “lit up like the Eiffel Tower in full sparkle.” Major French figures like Didier Jacob, Maurice Druon, Teresa Cremisi, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, and François Busnel weighed in. The blogosphere went wild. Even foreigners got […]

A Renaissance Museum in a Chateau

The Chateau d’Ecouen is not exactly convenient — it’s located a good 20 kilometers north of Paris. By road, it’s not a particularly pretty drive. And while you can get there by train from Gare du Nord, the station is a bit of a hike from the center of town. But if you’re up for adventure, […]

Can Imagination be Privatized?

I was happy to learn on Friday that the crime author Lalie Walker was acquitted of all charges in the trial that pitted her against the owners of the Marché Saint Pierre. The management at the fabric store had accused her of harming the image of the shop, simply because she had set one of her stories, […]

Heads Up

I was wandering down the rue du Mont Thabor in the 1st Arrondissement, which is one of my favorite Paris streets, when my eye was caught by this fetching window of skulls. I was taken with the skulls and walked into the Galerie 13 Jeannette Mariana to see what I could discover about the bony […]

Straight-Edge Shave

A straight-razor shave is one of the great pleasures that a man can enjoy, a wonderful way to relax, and indeed used to be part of the ritual of barbering. To this day in southern Italy, any local barber will provide such a service reliably for as little as 4€ or 5€, and some men […]

The Pumpkin Pie Premium

Whenever American visitors come to Paris, they always ask me two things: what I love about living in France, and what I miss about the United States.  I have my pat answers — on the French side, the overall lifestyle, the healthcare and the cut of women’s and men’s clothing, and on the American side, the customer […]

What Not to Do in Paris

Intrigued by this post, which I don’t completely agree with (the Champs-Élysées can be fun, especially right now when the Christmas market is up, and I love the 24-hour Maison d’Alsace late at night, a restaurant sponsored by Alsace, with its own boutique…). So I decided to post some of my own rules. 1. Don’t wear teal. (The […]

Too Little, Too Late

Construction of the new play area at Les Halles is underway. Unfortunately, as cool as it may look, it’s a sad compromise for the grand renovations of the entire Forum des Halles that the Maire de Paris has been promising (including the Metro/RER hub, the shopping areas, and the already existing play area, Jardin Lalanne, which […]

Conquering the Monet Show

Early Saturday afternoon found me scurrying across to the 16eme arrondissement to the Grand Palais to see the special Monet exhibition. I was meeting a couple friends from class and as Monet is one of the few painters whose work I enjoy looking at in large quantities, I was quite excited. It was brisk but […]

Death, Mom, and the Palais de Tokyo

French artist Sophie Calle’s latest exhibition is about death. Nowhere in Paris could be a more appropriate place to view it than the underground tomb of one of the city’s slickest alternative art spaces. The Palais de Tokyo plans to clean out, re-paint and re-open its cavernous basement as an additional exhibiting space in 2012. […]

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